|Surname||Forename||Age||Sex||Relation to head||Religion|
|Sheahan||Michael||53||Male||Head of Family||Catholic|
We are grateful to Michael Cain, a descendant of the Sheahan family, for the following information:
My grandfather was James Sheahan. He was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1898 and died in Adelaide in 1982.
His father was Patrick English Sheahan. He came from Thomastown, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick. He died in 1924 in Melbourne aged 63. This means that he was born in about 1861. It is stated on his death certificate that at the time of his death he had been in Australia for 35 years, i.e. since 1889.
Research suggests that his father was George Sheehan of Thomastown. His mother was Margaret Sheehan (her birth name was English). I have seen a copy of Griffiths Land Valuation Ireland of 1851/2 which shows that a George Sheehan – note the slightly different spelling – was an occupier and lessor of land at Thomastown.
I was told by my grandfather that Patrick initially left Ireland for the USA, but found it too cold, and hence found his way to Australia. My grandfather also told me that in that part of Ireland in the 19th century the oldest son inherited any land, and the second was expected to be a priest. He said that his father did not want to be a priest and therefore left the family and area. I don’t know whether that is accurate or not.
The census of 1901 and 1911 refer to a Michael Sheahan and family living in Thomastown. He would appear to be about 3 years older than Patrick Sheahan. Maybe he was an older brother, and also a son of George Sheehan.. . . .
GPS: 52.348447, -8.433645