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    One of the most frustrating aspects of tracing families that have their origin in Ireland is the lack of records due to a fire early in the last century. The only information that we have regarding John Ahern's background it that gained from the shipping records & his B, D&M documents.

    John was born in Mallow Co. Cork, Ireland in 1836. His mother was Elizabeth White & his father, Michael was a landlord. The only other information that has been found regarding the parents is that there was an Elizabeth White listed in the Griffiths Valuation of 1851 having property on Main St. Mallow.

    He was just sixteen years of age when he left for Australia, his occupation was listed as a "Gentleman" & it would appear that he travelled alone as no family member accompanied him. It is generally assumed that he had contacts in the Colony, however this remains to be proven one way or the other. There is no family record of John's whereabouts in the years 1853 to 1856, however it is thought he spent some time in Sandhurst (Bendigo) before arriving in Rushworth.

    We know that he married Ann Naughton in Rushworth on the 19th July 1859, by this time he was 22 & his occupation was that of a miner. Ann was the youngest daughter of Thomas Naughton, an Irish soldier who had served 19 years in the 17th Lancers, was pensioned out, then joined the Royal New Zealand Fencible Force. After the death of their mother, the four Naughton children moved to Victoria, again thought to be Sandhurst. Ann's older sister Belinda was a witness at the marriage & so was Charles Crocker. (Belinda & Charles were to marry at a later date)

John Ahern & Charlie Crocker formed a gold mining partnership before 1856 which proved to be very successful, as Charles was an astute & very wily customer to do business with. Between them they mined "Crocker's Reef", the "Cockatoo Reef" & the "Jewelers Shop" reef all of which proved to be successful ventures, there is no record of those that weren't. John's failing health caused him to sell his business share to Crocker late in the late 1870's. John was to die of Phthisis in February 1881.

The Family of John & Ann Ahern.

bulletJohn                     Born  6th August 1862 Rushworth.
bulletElizabeth              Born 18th December 1864. Rushworth.
bulletHerbert Henry      Born 1869 Brighton Victoria.
bulletGeorge Michael    Born 22nd May 1872 Rushworth