Michael Butler

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Michael Butler was from the Tullabrin townland, Kilkenny, Ireland, and had met up on the goldfield with other Kilkenny folk from the adjoining townland of Johnswell.[1] Michael Butler arrived in Port Phillip Hobson’s Bay on the Maitland on January 8, 1850. The ship had departed from Plymouth on October 2, 1849. There were a total of 282 immigrants aboard.[2]

Twenty-one year old Michael Butler was single and travelled on the same ship as two single women notionally from the adjoining townland, Johnswell, and possibly travelling together. Johnswell has a church so was the larger “village” of the two. These were 21 year old Mary Masterson from St. John’s and 25 year old Bridget Butler, possibly Michael’s sister. A lot of Johnswell and Tullabrin immigrants and ended up living around Buninyong/Warrenheip. They were both families and neighbours in Johnswell and Tullabrin and again became neighbours in Buninyong/Warrenheip. Several of these were siblings whose parents were Patrick and Mary (nee Hoban) Butler from Tullabrin. Michael Butler was to have close connections to the children of Patrick and Mary (nee Hoban) Butler in Ballarat over the period 1855-1856.[3]

Michael Butler appeared on the records in Ballarat as a godparent to the daughter of Edmond and Mary (nee Butler) Donnelly, at St Alipius' Catholic Church, Ballarat on June 29, 1854. A Bridget Butler was the other godparent. Edmond Donnelly was a goldminer at Eureka at the time.[4] Edmond and Mary (nee Butler) Donnelly were also from Johnswell.

On 18 November 1855 Michael was again a godparent. This time to the son of Patrick and Bridget Butler. Patrick’s sister, Catherine Butler, was the second godparent. Both Catherine and Patrick Butler were children of Patrick and Mary (Hoban) Butler from Tullabrin. Soon after Michael Butler was one of the witnesses to the marriage of Catherine Butler mentioned above. Catherine Butler married John Hobin at St. Alipius' Catholic Church, Ballarat on January 7, 1856. [5]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

... At the Police Court on Saturday, Michael Kennedy, William Develin, John Pardy, Patrick Kennedy, James Sexton, Daniel Macartney, James Ashburn, John Leadow, Herman Steinman, William Wickley, William Somerville, Jeremiah Hogan, William Avondale, Samuel Penny, Patrick Hickey, Joseph Walker, John Kelly, Cornelius Peters, William Stafford, Carl Anderson (a Swede), Patrick Meade, and Michael Gleeson, were discharged. In some of these cases there was either no evidence against the prisoners, or they were only proved guilty of living in the neighborhood of the stockade, and giving no information as to its erection. Edmund Bohen, Michael Meagher, William Galloway, James Barclay, Michael Butler, John Lynch; and Chas Doolan, were defended by Mr Dunne, and discharged. ... [6]

Post 1854 Experiences


Michael and Mary Butler had five children that came out from Kilkenny and 4 lived around Warrenheip.

1. Patrick​ jnr (Born Kilkenny, Ireland)
2. Catherine ​(Hobin​)​ (Born Kilkenny, Ireland)
3. Ellen ​(​Lamb​)​ (Born Kilkenny, Ireland)
4. Edward. (Born Kilkenny, Ireland)
5. John (Born Kilkenny, Ireland. Died within a few months of arriving at Portland in 1853 with Patrick but before they ​seemingly ​reached Ballarat from ​Warrnambool. John's wife, Ann, later married Thomas Trait and they lived in Warrenheip.)[7]

See also

Further Reading

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


  1. Research by Robyn McCormick, 01 January 2018.
  2. Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 115 1850/15, located by Robyn McCormick.
  3. Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 115 1850/15, located by Robyn McCormick.
  4. Research by Robyn McCormick using the following sources - Mary Donnelly, Victorian Birth Certificate 1854-275)
  5. William Butler, November 18, 1855, Ballarat Diocese Baptism Records located by Robyn McCormick.
  6. The Argus, 12 December 1854.
  7. Robyn McCormick correspondence, 01 January 2018.

External links

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