It’s a Long Way from Tipperary- the Mackey Family

It has been many years since I started researching our Mackey family. I’m often told I will not be able to research far, because I’m spelling the surname incorrectly, as it should be “MacKay”. I laughingly tell people we are the Irish variety and I do indeed have the correct spelling.

Family research is conducted backwards from the present, generation by generation,with as much documentation as we find. Beginning with my husband, who is the only son of James John and Valerie Mackey (nee Hodgetts), we find ‘James John’ was the only son of James and Honorah Lena Mackey (nee Stapleton). Then ‘James’ was the son of James and Winifred Mackey (nee O’Neill). In the generation before, ‘James’, was the son of William and Sarah Mackey (nee Hadnett). He was born in Dundrum, in the parish of Ballintemple, in the County of Tipperary, Ireland in about 1861, and immigrated to Queensland in 1883. He arrived on board the ‘Woronga”, a steam ship under Captain Fife, which left Plymouth, England on 1 April 1883 and after a passage of several weeks arrived off Cooktown on 5th June and eventually arrived in Brisbane about the 16 June 1883.

James Mackey worked as a labourer, possibly on a farm on the out-skirts of Brisbane. When he married Winifred O’Neill, on 23 May 1885 at St Stephen’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Brisbane, he stated he lived at Happy Valley, Lutwyche.

James and Winifred Mackey had two sons, James b 1886 and Michael b 1887 before Winifred died in 1889.

Little is known of James Mackey Sr for a number of years, but he died in Brisbane Hospital in 1943. His sons, as young children were reputed to have been raised by a Mr and Mrs Kirby.

However, soon after the turn of the 20Th Century, both James and Michael can be found living at Mullumbimby, in Northern New South Wales. For a number of years they worked at Hollingworth’s Timber Mill. Michael later returned to Brisbane. He married Mary Jane Byrne. They were killed in an accident in 1963.

James remained in Mullumbimby and married Honorah Lena Stapleton, the daughter of Michael and Rosanna Stapleton (nee Kane), in 1912. They in turn had two children, James John, b 1914 and Rose Winifred b 1920, both of whom are now deceased.

James John Mackey married Valerie Mary Hodgetts in 1941 and had one son and three daughters.

Rose Winifred Mackey married Norman Joseph Hodgetts in 1941 and they too, had one son and three daughters.

Although James and Winifred Mackey’s descendants are small in number with less than thirty descendants over the five generations in Australia, I am still interested in being in contact with any one interested in researching the MACKEY surname, particularly in Queensland and Tipperary, Ireland.



14 thoughts on “It’s a Long Way from Tipperary- the Mackey Family

  1. Thank you again Nola, ‘Nora’ Stapleton as she was known was my Grandfather Daniel Patrick’s sister and this opens up a new lead for me with my family research.

  2. Hello NOLA. My name is Cheryl White (née Mackey). I showed my Mum and Dad your post tonight when my Dad was in hospital at Redcliffe Queensland. I stumbled across your site as I know my ancestors came from Tipperary Ireland. I am one of four children. Dad recognised your history line re Mackey/Tipperary/Cooktown/Brisbane connection. James Mackey and his brother David arrived in Cairns Queensland on the Waroonga in 1883. We have this copy of the shipping list. Their father was William Mackey. He was a sawyer. He married a Sarah Hednety. All of Tipperary. Thanking you for you time. We as the Mackey family would love to hear from you. We all live in Brisbane Queensland Australia. From Cheryl White.

      • Hi Nola,
        My Mackay connection is through Thomas Gannon who rented land from a Patrick Mackey in March 1850 from Griffiths lands and leases
        Townline- Ballycahill

        Judy Lynch

      • Hi Judy,
        Many thanks for your comment and contact. Our Mackey ancestors came from Gortussa and Garyduff in Ballintemple, Eliogarty. Not very far from the Patrick Mackey from whom Thomas Gannon rented land. As yet I do not know if there is a relationship between these Mackey families, but I would like to keep in touch.
        Nola Mackey

  3. Hi Nola, my husband, Warren Lockyer, is indeed related to you. He is from the Mackey line, a descendent of David Mackey (James Mackey’s brother). I am currently updating our family tree and would love to compare. I have some gaps I am trying to fill in and might be able to help with any gaps you have. I have just found out that Sarah Hadnety was a misspelling and have found William and Sarah’s marriage certificate details. Please contact me by email if you wish.

  4. My family has been researching our ancestry as well we are in the United States and have traced it back to the Mackey’s from Tipperary. I would be interested to see if they intersect with your Mackey’s.

    • Thank you Mary for the contact. I am very interested in discussing this. I do not have Internet service at present, but hope to have the problem sorted in the next few weeks. Will contact you again then.

      • Hi Jason, I would love to correspond about the possible connection in the Mackey families in Tipperary. I will email you privately. Regards Nola

  5. I’d be interested in possible connections between our families. I have some partial evidence of a Patrick Mackey from Featherd, Tipperary migrating to Newfoundland, Canada. Other possible names John or Thomas. I was pleasantly surprised to come across your name hope you are well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s