Martin, Julia, Stephen, Edmond, Honora, Edmond, Bridget, Unnamed SHEA

Martin Shea                         1813-1876

Julia Shea                              1815-1902

Stephen Shea                      1858-1859

Edmond Shea                      1855-1909

Honora Shea                        1856-1941

Edmond Shea                      1887-1888

Bridget Shea                        1899-1899

Unnamed Shea                    1914-1914

The late Alan Shea of Main St Bacchus Marsh provided this information:

Martin O’Shea (son of Edmund Shea and Mary Maher) and Julia Ryan married at Laffin’s Folly, Tipperary, Ireland in 1854.  At that time, due to the failure of the potato crop, there was a severe famine throughout the land, and many Irishmen were migrating to places like America and Australia.  In that same year Martin, his wife and infant son Edmond, together with three cousins -Stephen, Timothy and John Shea – set sail for Australia aboard the sailing vessel ‘William Hammond’ on an ‘assisted passage’.  Stephen and Timothy were brothers and were the sons of Stephen O’Shea and Margaret Britt.  Stephen, the immigrant cousin, had married Catherine Corbett in Tipperary in 1840.  (Other family sources have said that Stephen and Catherine came out in 1851 with their three children). John was another cousin who was the son of John Shea and Anna Kearns.

The voyage took three months and they landed safely in Tasmania, where they had to spend three years working to pay their ‘assisted’ passage.  They then made their way to Victoria and eventually settled at the east end of Bacchus Marsh at an area called Hopetoun.  Stephen and Timothy took up land on the Deep Creek.  John went into the hotel business and Martin worked at the Flour Mill.  Edmond went to school in the Church of St Laurence O’Toole.’  In 1868 a local committee was formed to revive interest in the deserted Hopetoun Chapel for use as a school.  Martin Shea was on that committee.  In 1869 children from the following families were among those in attendance – Connell, Costello, McCullagh, Shea, Griffith, Finnin, Egan, Carter, Dodemaide, Duggan, Tracy, Whelan and Allen.

Julia was the daughter of Stephen Ryan and Julia Maher of Rosheen north (13 acres) which includes a small cul-de-sac known as Laffin’s Folly.  She died at Exford estate. She was the great great grandmother of Terry, Danny, Trish and Leo Shea who still live locally.

Martin and Julia Shea had six children.  Their eldest son, Edmond Shea married Honora Moore in 1883.  They had eleven children, two of whom are buried at Hopetoun cemetery. They were:  Edmond, nineteen months and Bridget, four days. Edmond and Honora have a tombstone at the cemetery.  Honora was the last burial in Hopetoun Cemetery.  Her obituary in 1941 contained the following:  “Interment took place last Tuesday in the old Hopetoun Cemetery….  It has since been announced that no further burials will take place at Hopetoun”.

A daughter of Martin Shea and Julia Ryan, Johanna Shea, married Patrick Bowe in 1875 at Bacchus Marsh.

Their eldest son, Martin, married Mary McLeod.  One of their sons, Alan, had a keen interest in the town and its history and was a brother to the Hawthorn footballer, Eddie Shea.  Alan’s four children still live in the Bacchus Marsh area.

An un-named Shea baby, child of Martin Michael Shea and Ellen Mary McLeod of Coimadai, lived for just one hour and is buried in our cemetery.

Martin Michael Shea was the fifth child of Martin Shea and Julia Ryan.