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Descendants of Martha O'Hara

Martha O'Hara, daughter of Joseph O'Hara and Margaret Kellett, baptised 10 Dec 1840 1 in Billis Church of Ireland, Killinkere parish, County Cavan, Ireland. She married 15 Jan 1866 2 in Billis Church of Ireland, John Shields (Shiels/Sheils) b. ca. 1841 3 of Coolnacola townland, Killinkere parish, son of John Shiels (Sheils) and Ann O'Hara.
       When Martha was baptised in 1840 the occupation of her father Joseph O'Hara was given as farmer and his place of residence as Lissnaymore (Lissanymore) townland in Killinkere parish. When the next born child Susan was baptised at Billis Church of Ireland three years later he was farming in Drumformina townland where he remained until his 1879 death.
       Matha's eldest sister Jane married her cousin William Shiels in 1855 and the same year they emigrated to Australia. When William died in Sydney in 1859 his death certificate, for which his wife's sister Margaret, who emigrated at the same time as William and Jane, was the informant, recorded his mother's name as Ann O'Hara. As the O'Haras' of Killinkere parish were all related she was likely Joseph's sister thus making William and Jane first cousins. When Martha
married William's younger brother's John in 1866 her occupation was given as dressmaker and his as baker. When they emigrated to New Zealand two months later baker was also given as his occupation in the passenger list of the John Temperley that departed from London, England on 10 Mar 1866 and arrived on 21 Jun 1866 at Port Lyttleton - the entry port for Christchurch 4.
      Shields was how their surname was phonetically spelt in the John Temperley passenger list and subsequently the spelling of family name in New Zealand. The passenger list gave Martha's age as 24 and John's as 20 which varied from respective ages of 23 and 24 given in their two months earlier marriage record. Accompanying them on the John Temperley was Joseph Shields aged 17, presumably John's younger brother and likely named after his presumed uncle and Martha's father Joseph O'Hara.
      Four years previous John's sister Margaret and husband George Deyell similarly arrived at Port Lyttleton and settled in Christchurch. Favourable reports in letters written home to the families likely encouraged John and Martha to also emigrate to New Zealand.


Children of Martha O'Hara and John Shields were 4:
     1.    Joseph William Shields
     2.    Martha Shields
     3.    Emma Charlotte Shields
+   4.    Alfred Henry Shields
     5.    James Ernest Shields
     6.    Harvey Vernon Shields
     7.    Thomas Robert Shields
     8.    Dora Maxwell Shields


1.  Joseph William Shields, b. 1867 4 in New Zealand; d. 1945 4. He married in 1892 4 in New Zealand, Laura Pellett. By occupation he was an orchardist.

2.  Martha Shields, b. ca.1868 4 in New Zealand.

3.  Emma Charlotte Shields, b. 18714 in New Zealand; d. 1910 4. She married in 1892 4, William Skinner.

4.  Alfred Henry Shields, b. 1873 in New Zealand; d. 1960 4. He in 1899 4, Eliza Susannah Maine. By occupation he was a bootmaker.

Children of Alfred Henry Shields and Eliza Susannah Maine were:
Muriel Eileen Shields

5.  James Ernest Shields, b. 1876 4 in New Zealand; d. 1960 4. He married in 1900 4, Mary Jane Turnbull. By occupation he was a baker.

6.  Harvey Vernon Shields, b. 1876 4 in New Zealand.

7.  Thomas Robert Shields, b. 1878 4 in New Zealand; d. 1879 4 in New Zealand.

8.  Dora Maxwell Shields, b. 1880 4 in New Zealand; d. 1936 4. She married in 1899 4, Thomas Grenfell.


9.   Muriel Eileen Shields, b. 1908 4 in New Zealand; d. 2001 4, She married in 1936 4, Clarence George Wheal Austin, b. 1906 4; d. 1988 4.

To provide information etc. on these families please contact:  


1  Billis Church of Ireland Baptisms - extracted by Herbert Stewart of Termon, Virginia - per letter dated 19 Nov 1999.
2  LDS Church - Ireland Marriages microfilm #0101488, 1866 Vol. Vol.2, p.565 - minister Rev. Walter C. Peyton, witnesses Joseph O’Hara & Jane Jackson.
3  Birth year based on age 24 given in Jan 1866 marriage record. Age of 20 given in the John Temperley passenger list is considered a deliberate understatement.
4  Immigration, children names, and their marriage details provided courtesy of Margaret Smith of Whangaparaoa, New Zealand.

Compiled by John Raymond, Brisbane, QLD., Australia - first posted 16 May 2009