Toomey

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Mark Anthony Toomey was born in Dublin in 1844 to Mark Toomey and Jane Kelly. He married Julia Adelaide Bourne in 1868 at St. Peter’s church in Dublin. She was from a respected legal family. When his daughter was born in 1875 he was a wine merchant.

Mark Anthony was very active in Freemasonry and was initiated in Commercial Lodge No. 245 in 1871 in Dublin. In 1878 he was installed as Worshipful Master of this Lodge. He was also a Life Governor of both the male and female Masonic Orphan Schools in Ireland.

There were six children in the family: Mark born 1869 and died in 1871; Louisa Alice born 1871; Mark born 1873; Jane born 1875; Walter Bourne born 1878 and Richard Fenton born 1880. The children were all born in Dublin.

Mark Anthony Toomey got into what was described as “financial trouble” over a debt he had guaranteed and could not pay. This was an offence you could go to prison for and two of his Bourne brother in laws suggested he went to Australia. According to family lore he left for Sydney in 1883. There is a letter dated 2 March 1880 that suggests it may have been closer to 1880. If this is the case then the reason Julia and family did not go with him at the time could have been because she was carrying their son Richard.

When Mark Anthony arrived in Sydney he hired a Chinese girl to look after the house and then Julia and family joined him.

Julia and the children joined Mark Anthony in 1890. They left London on 5 February 1890 and arrived in Sydney on 27 March 1890. They were on the Coromandel which originated in Greenock Scotland. Julia could not settle in Australia and did not like the Chinese help so she went back to Dublin. She left her son Mark behind. Julia wanted to leave Jane in Australia because Jane wanted to stay but Mark Anthony said no girls.

Walter Bourne Toomey returned to Australia via Canada. He arrived in Montreal in 1907 and arrived in Sydney in 1909. It is believed that Richard returned to Australia in 1911. The female lines were the only ones to remain in Ireland.

On arrival in New South Wales Mark Anthony joined the Freemasons. In 1885 he helped to form Lodge Hiram No. 41 and was elected Secretary. In 1887 he was made Grand Secretary and also held the position of Deputy Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales. He was a member of the Leinster Marine Royal Arch Chapter No. 266.

Mark Anthony Toomey died in Sydney on 29 March 1916. He died at the home of his son Mark Toomey at Rubyville, Church Street, Chatswood. The funeral was at the Church of England Cemetery Gore Hill.

Julia lived in the home of her daughter Jane and her family. She retired to her bed to die when she was 60 and did not die until she was 91. She died in 1932 in Rathmines Co. Dublin.

Julia Adelaide Bourne Toomey is buried in St. Nahi’s Cemetery in Dundrum Co. Dublin. The headstone reads: In Loving Memory of our parents Mark Toomey who died 21st March 1916 aged 72 and his wife Julia Adalaide (daughter of the late Walter Bourne of Taney House in this Parish) who died 9th April 1932 aged 91 “Peace Perfect Peace”with loved ones far away. This must have been put up by their daughter’s as the sons were all in Australia at this time. Mark Anthony Toomey is actually buried in Sydney Australia.

Mark Anthony and Julia Adelaide only lived together for about 14 years. They spent more than double that living apart from each other. If Julia had not returned to Ireland then I might not be here writing their story.

© 2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

April 25th is ANZAC Day in Australia. As a tribute to my Great Grand Uncle Richard Fenton Toomey, who fought with the ANZAC’s in Gallipoli, I am reposting this article from Remembrance Day 2011.

Remembrance Day is a very important day here in Canada. Last year I remembered my Great Grand Uncle Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell who lost his life in the First World War fighting with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. This year I will look at the accomplishments of my Great Grand Uncle Richard Fenton Toomey who was an ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps).

Richard Fenton Toomey is on the maternal side of my family. He was born in Dublin in April of 1880 to Mark Anthony Toomey and Julia Adelaide Bourne. He was the last of six children, four boys and two girls. My Great Grandmother Jane Toomey was his sister. The other siblings were Mark (who died in infancy), Louisa Alice, Mark Anthony and Walter Bourne.

How the Toomey family got to Australia is a long story and I will elaborate on that in another post. Needless to say Richard Fenton Toomey was in New South Wales to sign up for the First World War on 1 March 1915.

There are no attestation papers in his military file. The first record is an Application for a Commission in the 12th Light Horse Regiment. This states that Richard was 35 years of age, a British subject, an accountant and that he is single. Richard was six feet tall and 11 stone (154 lbs/70 kg). His next of kin is his brother Mark Toomey and their postal address was Elbana Annandale St. Annandale NSW.

Listed under military qualifications and past military service are: 5th Lancers, Assam Valley Light Horse, Chittagong [unreadable word] Rifles, Lieut. [unreadable two words] and Lieut. Army Service Corps.

The Assam Valley Light Horse was part of the Cavalry Reserve in the British Indian Army and was formed in 1891. Chittagong was in Pakistan but is now in Bangladesh. To date no British military records have been found for Richard Fenton Toomey.

Richard was made a Honourary Lieutenant and Quarter Master on 29 June 1915. On 9 August 1915 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Division, 3rd Light Horse Brigade. On 3 January 1916 he was transferred to the Army Service Corps. He was made Quarter Master and Honourary Captain on 30 April 1916 and on 1 August 1918 he was made Quarter Master and Honourary Major.

He set sail on 12 June 1915 on board the “Suevic”. On 5 September 1915 Richard was sent to Gallipoli this was the battle that defined the ANZACS and a nation.

Richard was frequently in the hospital during his time at the front. On 3 September 1916 he was sent to hospital in Port Said Egypt with Pyorhea which is an infection of the gums. He was sent on to the hospital in Serapium and then Cairo. He was sent back to his unit on 20 September 1916.

Richard was back in hospital on 20 July 1917 with septic sores. He was sent to the hospital in Alexandria. He returned to the 4th Light Horse Regiment on 27 September 1917. He was transferred back to the 12th Light Horse Regiment in November of 1917. He was sent back to hospital with dysentery in August of 1918 and invalided in September of 1918. He left Egypt on the Morvada on 29 September 1919.

According to Richard’s military file his appointment was terminated with the A.I.F. in Sydney on 31 October 1919.

There are letters found in his military file addressed to Base Records Canberra. One is dated 20 February 1939 and Richard is requesting: “For the purpose of receiving employment in N.S.W. a discharge or Certificate of Service is required. I shall be obliged if you will kindly let me have either as soon as possible.” A copy of the form he was requested to fill out is in the file. It is stamped dated 27 February 1939. Richard’s address is Lisarow NSW.

Richard writes requesting a duplicate Returned Soldiers Badge of the one he had received “around 29 August 1919 on his return to Australia.” It appears the one he was given was lost in “think bush country” and it has not been returned or found. This letter is dated 19 February 1943 and he is a public servant and the address given is 110 Phillip Street in Sydney.

In 1919 Richard Fenton Toomey married Ellie Maud Stewart in Sydney Australia. They had no children.

I have a friend who lives in the same area as Richard Fenton Toomey. There was a family story that said he had surveyed and built a road to one of the highest points between Sydney and Brisbane and that there was a park named after him. She helped me discover that there was a place called Toomey’s Walk which we believe was named after Richard Toomey. The government body responsible for this area does not know how the name came about.

There is also Toomeys Road and these are both located in the Mount Elliot area. He might have lost his Returned Soldiers Badge while surveying this area.

She contacted the local history librarian at Gosford City Library and he sent some pictures of Richard Fenton Toomey and his wife having tea in the garden.

They also forwarded a newspaper article which talks about Richard nearly loosing his life because he had taken poison instead of medicine. Thankfully his wife was a nurse and she knew what to do.

Some Australian newspapers are online and searchable at Trove. Advertisements were found relating to a chicken farm owned by Richard and Ellie Toomey. In 1929 Ellie was selling White Longhorn chicks and the farm was called Phoenix Poultry Farm. In 1933 she was selling Khaki Campbell’s ducklings.

In 1927 Phoenix Farm was dealing with floods.

Bush fires are a common happening in Australia. It seems that in 1928 a fire wiped out the poultry farm, residence, stock and plant owned by Richard Toomey. The name of the farm seems appropriate since it rose from the ashes to start again.

Richard Fenton Toomey died in 1968 in Gosford, New South Wales and is buried in Macquarie Park Cemetery.

Lest We Forget

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Remembrance Day is a very important day here in Canada. Last year I remembered my Great Grand Uncle Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell who lost his life in the First World War fighting with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. This year I will look at the accomplishments of my Great Grand Uncle Richard Fenton Toomey who was an ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps).

Richard Fenton Toomey is on the maternal side of my family. He was born in Dublin in April of 1880 to Mark Anthony Toomey and Julia Adelaide Bourne. He was the last of six children, four boys and two girls. My Great Grandmother Jane Toomey was his sister. The other siblings were Mark (who died in infancy), Louisa Alice, Mark Anthony and Walter Bourne.

How the Toomey family got to Australia is a long story and I will elaborate on that in another post. Needless to say Richard Fenton Toomey was in New South Wales to sign up for the First World War on 1 March 1915.

There are no attestation papers in his military file. The first record is an Application for a Commission in the 12th Light Horse Regiment. This states that Richard was 35 years of age, a British subject, an accountant and that he is single. Richard was six feet tall and 11 stone (154 lbs/70 kg). His next of kin is his brother Mark Toomey and their postal address was Elbana Annandale St. Annandale NSW.

Listed under military qualifications and past military service are: 5th Lancers, Assam Valley Light Horse, Chittagong [unreadable word] Rifles, Lieut. [unreadable two words] and Lieut. Army Service Corps.

The Assam Valley Light Horse was part of the Cavalry Reserve in the British Indian Army and was formed in 1891. Chittagong was in Pakistan but is now in Bangladesh. To date no British military records have been found for Richard Fenton Toomey.

Richard was made a Honourary Lieutenant and Quarter Master on 29 June 1915. On 9 August 1915 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Division, 3rd Light Horse Brigade. On 3 January 1916 he was transferred to the Army Service Corps. He was made Quarter Master and Honourary Captain on 30 April 1916 and on 1 August 1918 he was made Quarter Master and Honourary Major.

He set sail on 12 June 1915 on board the “Suevic”. On 5 September 1915 Richard was sent to Gallipoli this was the battle that defined the ANZACS and a nation.

Richard was frequently in the hospital during his time at the front. On 3 September 1916 he was sent to hospital in Port Said Egypt with Pyorhea which is an infection of the gums. He was sent on to the hospital in Serapium and then Cairo. He was sent back to his unit on 20 September 1916.

Richard was back in hospital on 20 July 1917 with septic sores. He was sent to the hospital in Alexandria. He returned to the 4th Light Horse Regiment on 27 September 1917. He was transferred back to the 12th Light Horse Regiment in November of 1917. He was sent back to hospital with dysentery in August of 1918 and invalided in September of 1918. He left Egypt on the Morvada on 29 September 1919.

According to Richard’s military file his appointment was terminated with the A.I.F. in Sydney on 31 October 1919.

There are letters found in his military file addressed to Base Records Canberra. One is dated 20 February 1939 and Richard is requesting: “For the purpose of receiving employment in N.S.W. a discharge or Certificate of Service is required. I shall be obliged if you will kindly let me have either as soon as possible.” A copy of the form he was requested to fill out is in the file. It is stamped dated 27 February 1939. Richard’s address is Lisarow NSW.

Richard writes requesting a duplicate Returned Soldiers Badge of the one he had received “around 29 August 1919 on his return to Australia.” It appears the one he was given was lost in “think bush country” and it has not been returned or found. This letter is dated 19 February 1943 and he is a public servant and the address given is 110 Phillip Street in Sydney.

In 1919 Richard Fenton Toomey married Ellie Maud Stewart in Sydney Australia. They had no children.

I have a friend who lives in the same area as Richard Fenton Toomey. There was a family story that said he had surveyed and built a road to one of the highest points between Sydney and Brisbane and that there was a park named after him. She helped me discover that there was a place called Toomey’s Walk which we believe was named after Richard Toomey. The government body responsible for this area does not know how the name came about.

There is also Toomeys Road and these are both located in the Mount Elliot area. He might have lost his Returned Soldiers Badge while surveying this area.

She contacted the local history librarian at Gosford City Library and he sent some pictures of Richard Fenton Toomey and his wife having tea in the garden.

They also forwarded a newspaper article which talks about Richard nearly loosing his life because he had taken poison instead of medicine. Thankfully his wife was a nurse and she knew what to do.

Some Australian newspapers are online and searchable at Trove. Advertisements were found relating to a chicken farm owned by Richard and Ellie Toomey. In 1929 Ellie was selling White Longhorn chicks and the farm was called Phoenix Poultry Farm. In 1933 she was selling Khaki Campbell’s ducklings.

In 1927 Phoenix Farm was dealing with floods.

Bush fires are a common happening in Australia. It seems that in 1928 a fire wiped out the poultry farm, residence, stock and plant owned by Richard Toomey. The name of the farm seems appropriate since it rose from the ashes to start again.

Richard Fenton Toomey died in 1968 in Gosford, New South Wales and is buried in Macquarie Park Cemetery.

Lest We Forget

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

My Toomey family has not made research into this line very easy. The first known ancestor is Anthony Toomey; his son is Mark and the next generation is where all the trouble begins. Mark named two of his sons Mark and Mark Anthony and both of these boys lived into adulthood.

Mark Toomey’s grandchildren include three Mark Anthony Toomey’s and one Mark Toomey. There are several other Mark Anthony’s but these come from Mark’s daughters so they have different surnames. The next generation has two Mark Anthony Toomey’s and two Mark Toomey’s and so the naming practice goes. In my database I have five Mark and nine Mark Anthony Toomey’s and most of them were born in the mid to late 19th century.

At least I know that if I come across a Mark or Mark Anthony Toomey the chances that they are connected to my family is good. The problem comes in differentiating between them in the records such as city directories. This is where the next family link comes into play. A lot of the Toomey men were solicitors. So it is not that easy to figure out which Mark Anthony Toomey Solicitor is the one I am researching in the city directory.

Now I sit with my list of Mark and Mark Anthony Toomey’s with their dates of birth and death and their address, if the address can be found on civil registration records and directly linked to them. Every one is noted and I try to see if they can fit into any of the information currently relating to them.

This problem is one that keeps growing but it not insurmountable. It just takes a little patience and a lot of detail work to make sure the information is connected to the right Mark or Mark Anthony Toomey. Thank goodness the family did not start using Anthony or Anthony Mark as names or we could be in a lot more trouble.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

The place to start would be the family story itself so here is the story that has been passed through the generations about Anthony Toomey and Martha Cross.

“Anthony Toomey who filled the Office of Physician General at Bombay in the East India Company Service, a native of the County Kerry married about the year 1780, Martha Cross, daughter of George Cross Esquire of Rathconnell in the County Kildare, she being a Protestant and he a Roman Catholic.

By the influence of the said Anthony Toomey’s sister, who held a high position in the Convent Tralee, County Kerry, he got a position in the East India Company’s Service and left for India. His wife, being with child, did not go with him but in time she was safely delivered of a boy whom she got christened Mark Toomey and brought him up in her own religion, a Protestant.

Shortly after the birth of her child she got what purported to be an official account of her husband’s death in Bombay of yellow fever, and from what transpired afterwards, he (Anthony Toomey) must have got a similar official notice of not only her death in childbirth but also the death of her child.

Without a husband (as she thought) and estranged from her family by her marrying a Roman Catholic, she was obliged to earn her bread as best she could, and took the position of Housekeeper to a Mr. Purcell of Athy, County Kildare, a wealthy man who ran a number of mail coaches in Ireland at that time that were well known as “Purcells Coaches”

The town of Athy had a Military Barracks and Mr. Purcell always called on the Colonel and Officers of every new Regiment stationed there and invited them to dinner. He being a self made man, felt highly honoured at having them at his house, and the story goes that the young Officers used to laugh amongst themselves at the expense he went to to entertain them with the finest of wines, etc. – indeed it is more than surmise to say that the reason he employed Martha Toomey was to assist him in such entertainments which of course he did not quite understand.

A new Regiment came from India and was stationed at Athy Barracks and Mr. Purcell as usual invited them to dinner and after dinner, as was fashionable then, there was general wine taking all round and the host, Mr. Purcell said “May I have the pleasure of a glass of wine with you Mrs. Toomey”. On hearing the name of Toomey one young Officer said to the other “That reminds you of the name of our old friend the General”, whereupon Mrs. Toomey enquired who the General was and was told he was Physician General in the East India Company Service at Bombay to which she exclaimed, “My husband”, but the Officer said “Oh! Pardon me Madam, General Toomey’s wife and child died in Ireland soon after he arrived in Bombay. He got official notice of the fact.” She asked did they know what his name was and they told her “Anthony”, and she said “It is my husband and I got official notice that he was dead”. It was quite clear to all present that a swindle had been perpetrated on both of them and Mr. Purcell set about the next day to try and solve the mystery.

This must have been many years after the General left Ireland for his only son, born after he left (Mark Toomey of Eagle Hill) was at the time bound to a shoemaker to learn a trade as his Mother of course had not means to leave him or give him a profession.

The mode of communication between Ireland and India at the time was much slower than now, and it was many months before the General was communicated with, but when he was quite satisfied in his mind of the truth of the statement he sold off and prepared to leave Bombay and return home, but unfortunately he died a month exactly before he should have started home.

Martha Toomey received after his death some few personal effects of his and over 20,000 Pounds in cash, so I need not tell you that Mark Toomey gave up the shoemaking trade and lived a private gentleman all the rest of his life.”

It is believed that my Great Great Grandfather Mark Anthony Toomey (1844-1916) wrote this story. He was the Great Grandson of Anthony Toomey. The story could have been written between 1890 and 1916.

So here I am presented with this family story and what to do next. First step is to check out the East India Company records to see if Anthony Toomey can be found. A book called “Roll of the Indian Medical Service, 1615-1930” by D.G. Crawford was checked and Anthony Toomey was in the East India Company Medical Service in Bombay. He was born in 1746 and was an Assistant Surgeon as of 18 April 1771. Anthony was involved in the Second Mainsur war 1781-82 and became a Physician General on 13 January 1790. He died in Bombay on 16 January 1797.

Another useful book was “History of the Indian Medical Service 1600-1913” by D.G. Crawford. In this book I found more detailed information of Anthony’s time in India and a monument inscription that was on his tomb and where he is buried in Bombay. This also explained the sketch I have of Anthony’s tomb in Bombay.

This information does call into question the date of marriage of about the year 1780 but I continued.

If he did leave 20,000 Pounds to his wife and son then there must be a probate record of this fact. The National Archives of England has Documents Online and there is an index of Prerogative Court of Canterbury probate records. There is a notation for Anthony Toomey of Dublin so I purchased a copy for 3.50 GBP. This was the gold mine that connected the two sides.

The will which was written on 5 January 1796 states that he divides his estates in half, one of which goes to his wife Martha and the other to his son Mark Toomey. If one or either dies then the other gets the entire estate. If Mark had married or had children it would be divided up equally amongst them. The cash value of the estate was not mentioned. If the estate was worth 20,000 Pounds then in today’s money the estate would be worth 643,400.00 Pounds. I found this out by using the Currency Converter on the National Archives website.

So Anthony Toomey of the East India Company Bombay did have a wife Martha and son Mark. When the will was written Martha and Mark were living in County Dublin.

A Catholic in Ireland at this time had a hard life. Catholic emancipation did not happen until 1829 and even then it was still difficult. They were excluded from parliament, holding a profession and not many actually owned land. If Anthony had a medical education he probably had to go to Scotland or the continent to receive it. Martha had strength of her convictions and a true love of the man to marry Anthony and be estranged from her family.

A quick Google search provided proof that “Purcell’s Coaches” did exist and were based out of Dublin.

The decedents of Mark Toomey were from County Kildare and could be found in the Ballyshannon and Fontstown area of the county.

As mentioned in the above story, news did not travel quickly between Ireland and India at that time so who knows how long it took for the news to reach Anthony, for him to be sure it was true and be able to arrange to get home. We know that he knew about his wife and child when he wrote the will on 5 January 1796 and that he died in Bombay India on 16 January 1797.

This story was written about 75 years or more after the event. It had gone through several generations to get to my Great Great Grandfather. If he wrote it when he was older then he may have remembered things differently. Whether the events in the story are true is not known. Either way it is a great story to have and some evidence has been found to corroborate the story. Finding information for this early a time period in Ireland is difficult but I keep looking as you never know what else may appear around the corner.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research