Bridget Shanahan

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Bridget Kinnane was from from Upperchurch, County Tipperary, Ireland. She married Timothy Shanahan.[1]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Katholisch Kapelle aus den Gravel Pit Lunis 3u Ballarat Januav 1854 by William Strutt. State Library of Victoria Collection (H12532)

Bridget was a sponsor to at least three baptisms. Mary (Quinn) and Michael Hogan had a son, Michael, baptised at St Alipius on 9 September 1854. The sponsors were Patrick Comyns and Bridget Shanahan. Julia (O’Meara) and William Maher had a daughter, Mary Anne, baptised at St Alipius on 15 August 1854. The sponsors were Thomas Maher and Bridget Shanahan. Catherine (Shelton) and John Moroney had a daughter, Catherine baptised at St Alipius on 5 January 1854. The sponsors were Thomas Shallow and Bridget Shanahan.

Bridget is, possibly, Bridget Kinnane who was married to Timothy Shanahan and was one of the first women on the Ballarat goldfields.

She told her story to the Courier reporter saying: “I heard the firing first. My husband was not long gone to bed, and I pulled him out and told him the firing was on. He got up, and, said I to him, take out your gun. There is the little gun (pointing to an ancient firearm against the wall). He went out, and must have hidden himself in a small outhouse. There was a knock at our tent door, and a trooper and a soldier came in. “Shoot that woman” said the trooper. The foot soldier said, “spare the woman,” and the trooper said, “well, get out of this, the place is going to be burnt woman.” They set fire to the place, but before it was much burnt I managed to put it out. “The soldiers did not stay long”, continued her husband “and galloped away at once”. Her husband then went and looked around and saw dead bodies within the stockade. He saw Peter Lalor down a hole with his arm broken and reported that Lalor was taken away on Father Smythe’s horse. [2]

Bridget died on 16 May 1891 at Nazareth House Ballarat, and was buried in the Ballaarat Old Cemetery with her husband Timothy Shanahan, and grandchildren Esther and Thomas Kirby. [3]

Post 1854 Experiences

See also

Timothy Shanahan

Further Reading

Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.

Dorothy Wickham, Women in 'Ballarat' 1851-1871: A Case Study in Agency, PhD. School of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Ballarat, March 2008.

Dorothy Wickham, Blood, Sweat and Tears: Women of Eureka in Journal of Australian Colonial History, 10, No, 1, 2008, pp. 99-115.

Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, BHSPublishing, 2009.,_Sweat_and_Tears:_Women_at_Eureka

Clare Wright, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Text Publishing, 2013.

Dorothy Wickham, Not just a Pretty Face: Women on the Goldfields, in Pay Dirt: Ballarat & Other Gold Towns, BHSPublishing, 2019, pp. 25-36.


  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  2. Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2009
  3. Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2009

External links

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Caption, Reference.