Theobald Fetherstonhaugh of Mosstown B.1808

Dear Paul,

My grandmother’s maiden name was Fetherstonhaugh and I have spent many years researching the family. I have come to the belief now that we are descended from Theobald Fetherstonhaugh of Mosstown B.1808 . My enquiries however have him marrying Jane Barlow in 1849, and AJ Fetherstonhaughs book has him desribed as a coroner in Westmeath.

I have a death certificate from a William Fetherstonhaugh (B. 1840 Westmeath Ireland) who was my G.G.G.Grandfather. His parents were Theobald Fetherstonhaugh and Mary Kelly. The occupation listed for Theobald on the cert. is Sugar Planter.

I have many reasons for believing these to be one and the same person, not the least being that he is the only Theobald in the right place at the right time to have been the father of this child (William). Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh’s “After many days” talks about a “house full of pretty cousins” who were Kellys, I wonder if this is where Mary fits in? Further to this, Theobald was 41 years old before he married Jane. I wonder what he was up to prior to this?

Mary Kelly was born around 1821 so was quite a bit younger than Theobald but I doubt that this was uncommon. She married John Murphy and came to Australia with her husband and William (17) and his young wife Mary Tone.

I can only imagine two possibilities for her having a new husband and a child by a different father.

1. She and Theobald were married and then he disappeared presumed dead. This was my first thought because his occupation of sugar planter would have taken him overseas. Perhaps he was one of the Fetherstonhaugh men described in After Many Days who left for Eldorado in 1853.

2. She was seduced by an older and powerful relative (Theobald) and was left holding the baby, so to speak. An unmarried mother might think that leaving for Australia would be a good solution.

I have had no luck in finding

Birth records for William

Marriage records for Theobald and Mary Kelly

Marriage records for Mary and John Murphy or

Marriage records for William and Mary Tone

Can you shed any light on this. I have no doubt, given the family names that we are descended from the Mosstown family of Fetherstonhaugh but I am frustrated beyond belief that I cannot prove this one last link.

Any direction that you can offer would be most appreciated.

Yours faithfully,



13 thoughts on “Theobald Fetherstonhaugh of Mosstown B.1808”

  1. Dear Robyn,

    I do have some information about this branch of the Fetherstonhaughs. My home ‘Correagh’ near Hamilton Vic, was built for Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh and family in 1855. He would be a brother of Theobald (b 1808)
    Please contact me.
    Sincerely, Wes

    1. Dear Wes,

      I am searching for my great great grandparents who were Theobald Fetherstonhaugh and Mary Kelly. The only record I have is that they are listed on my great grandmothers wedding certificate in Melbourne in 1861 and Theobald is listed as farmer. I assumed he was Cuthbert’s brother but now think not. I can not find any reference to him holding land in Victoria. My great grandmother is quoted in a newspaper column as saying her father took her to the first Melbourne Cup in 1861. Would you have any further information please as we are going to Ireland next year for my son’s wedding and were hoping to go to the place where they came from. I have been told he may be a member of the Mosstown Fethersonhaugh’s which were cousin’s of TCuthbert, do you have any information on this branch of the family please. King Regards Roslyn

      1. Rosyln —-In 1991 a Mrs Veronica De Araugo placed a notice in the Westmeath Examiner seeking information regarding the Kellys and Fetherstonhaugh. I Quote

        Date Nov 16, 1991 Page 14
        Westmeath Kellys and Fetherstonhaughs

        2 Caldwell Road,
        Vermont 3133,
        24 October, 1991

        Dear Sir,
        Would you have a space in your newspaper in which you could fit the following details please? I am hoping some of your readers may have information which could assist me in tracing my forebears.
        Approximately 1839, Theobald Fetherstonhaugh, a sugar planter of Westmeath, married Mary Kelly, of Westmeath. In 1840, their son William, was born.
        Theobald died before 1845 and Mary married John Murphy of Tipperary.
        In 1858 William married Mary Tone, The following year, the two couples arrived in Victoria, Australia on the Mindoro.
        I would appreciate hearing from anyone who believes they have a connection with these families, or has any knowledge of them.
        Thanking you in anticipation.
        Yours sincerely,
        (Mrs) Veronica De Araugo

        The current Telephone book shows the De Araugos living at the same address. Phone No. (03)98737627

        These people are possibly related to Robyn.

        Regarding Theobald and family, the only way this problem will be solved is physically looking at parish records in Ireland.
        The Theobald living at Correagh, who was the son of Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh and Susan Curtis, can not be the Theobald Roslyn is searching for, as I have a certificate of his death on 24 Dec. 1909 at Correagh aged 81 This would make him born 1828. Frances Lousia was born 1839. This would make Theobald 11 years old at her birth, which rules him out as her father.
        When Cuthbert in his book “After Many Days” refers to El Dorado he means coming to Australia and going to the gold diggings not to sugar plantations

        Posted on behalf of Maureen O’Donnell

        1. Hi Barry – no sorry I’m not. Still looking for Theobald – now know Mary Kelly married John Murphy (the tutor) and came out to Melbourne in 1859. Still looking for the actual family Theobold belonged to.

          Do you know how to find out their wedding date in Ireland?



  2. Dear Robyn,

    One of my ancestors was Casparus Klein, born Amsterdam 1838 and he married St.Kilda (Melbourne) 27th Aug. 1864 Sarah Anne Forde, born Dublin in 1838, died London 23rd June 1914, dau. of John Forde of Raughlan and Lydia Fetherstonhaugh of Mosstown, all living in Australia.
    Sincerely, Ed.

  3. Dear Robyn,

    The Certificate of the birth of Charlotte Fetherston in 1861 in Victoria shows her parents William Fetherston and Mary formerly Tone married in Kings County in 1858. This may help you obtain their marriage record.


  4. Hi
    I am looking at a death certificate of one of my ancestors. The informant was Theobald FitherstonH, Coroner for the County of Westmeath.
    The date was 10 July 1874.

  5. Dear Robyn

    I am also looking for ancestors of similar names. My great great grandfather was Theobald Fetherstonhaugh married to Mary Kelly date. ?. My great grandmother was Frances Louisa F.h. born Dublin 1839 , married Melbourne 1861 and her father is listed as farmer. In an article in the newspaper she tells of her father taking her to the first Melbourne Cup 1861. We have also been told they are part of Mosstown Fetherstonhaughs Co. Westmeath. Not sure if Theobald stayed in Victoria Aust or went back to Ireland. I have marriage certs and death certs of Frances (Fanny) Fetherstonhaugh.

    Regards Roslyn

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