Hugh Thompson Down Patrick

This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by pamgreen.

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    I am trying to find out about the wife and family of Hugh Thompson who died in Australia on 24th February 1859. He had been in Australia for about 18 months.  His wife Catherine ( nee Ward )  had stayed back in Downpatrick  Northern Ireland when he went to Australia.  He was about to return home and after boarding the  ship  the Ellen Stewart he died before the ship left the port. The inquest report in Australia said he was a Builder, and also said his wife was of the the legatees and executrix.  Probate was granted in the Principle Registry Office in Dublin.  I was wondering if anything was reported in a Newspaper in Ireland after his sudden death.  I have been unable to find out anything about his wife Catherine Ward or if he had children  or other family back in Ireland . I also have been unable to trace any Parents /Grandparents  for Catherine Ward.    Thank you


    Hi Pam
    Do you know what religion Hugh and Catherine were? Have you got there marriage record?
    Non Catholic marriages were registered from 1845 but Irish civil registration of Catholic marriages and all births and deaths did not start till 1864. I had a quick look at the civil records on for a marriage of a Hugh Thompson and Catherine Ward 1845-1859 and did not see one. This could be because they were Catholic or alternatively they married before 1845.
    So you will need to consult church records in tracing the family. If they were Catholic you can check the church registers at There is no name index there but you can filter your search results by date and event within a parish. Alternatively you can sign up for a free account with FindMyPast and use their name index to the same record collection, labelled there Ireland Roman Catholic Parish
    If you have an Ancestry subscription the same name index with the same errors is available there. Locating their marriage record may provide you with at least the name of their fathers. However as there was no standardisation of Catholic registers at this point there is no guarantee that this information is there.
    Irish newspapers can be found on two main sites, neither of them are free. is based in Ireland and is currently offering a large discount on subscriptions but the offer closes next Sunday night Irish time. Other newspapers are available through the British Library Newspaper collection some libraries offer access to this collection. The British Library Newspaper Collection is also available to some subscribers to FindMYPast.
    The information on the discount offer is available at


    Hello .  Thank you for your reply.  Unfortunately I don’t know anything more about Catherine Ward and Hugh Thompson other than what I sent you taken from the details of the Australia Inquest following the death of Hugh Thompson on 24th February  1859.  I am a long standing member of all  of  the Ancestyry / Find My Past and other genealogy sites and there  is nothing on there to help in this search. I feel sure there  would have been a newspaper report back in Ireland after the Australia death, as Probate was mentioned.  Thank you again Pam

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