as of 10-1-08

An Australian McTernan

From: Margaret Donoghoe (nee McTiernan)

I have been researching my family history for some time now with Mary Todd. Unfortunately I came to a standstill as I was told that I would have to visit Ireland and check the church registers, as civil registrations did not come into being until 1864.

I am the 5th generation of our family in Australia. Hugh McTernan (born 1808-1880) whose father was John McTernan of Derrinivver in County Leitrim, married Mary Glanan from Ward County, Dublin at St. Margaret’s Church, Dublin on 5-6-1841. They arrived in Australia in September 1841. He was the only one of his fathers family to come to Australia.  My direct family line is below.

John McTiernan, c. 1775--, born in Ireland
Hugh McTiernan, 1808--1880, born in Ireland - possibly Townland of Derrinivver)
William Glennan
McTiernan,1853--, born in Michelago, NSW
William Glennan
McTiernan,1886--, born in Michelago, NSW
Oscar Glennan McTiernan, 1911--, born in Boggabri, NSW
Margaret Mary Donoghoe, nee McTiernan, 1940--, born in Sydney, NSW

They eventually settled just outside Canberra and called their large property Mount Allen. We know from two letters sent to him in 1869 (one from his sister-in-law Catherine and from her son Con) the names of two of Hughs brothers, Michael and Bryan “the only one still alive in this quarter of the globe”. The name of Catherines husband is unknown. (The name of Hughs mother is also unknown).

Catherine was living then with her daughter Mary who married Patrick Gilmartin from:

Stranagarvanagh, Ballinegleragh, Dowra P.O.

She speaks of two of her family “John is in New York. Jas in England, both married”.

Con’s (Catherines Son) address was: Gub Glan, Doura P.O., County Cavan

Con McTernan was married to Micky Neal’s daughter, who he says lived in Mully?. Apparently Hugh was a good friend of Mickys before Hugh left Ireland.

Con’s brother James married a neice of Rev Hugh Magovran “of the same family with Bartley Fildy”. “ Her father lived in Swanlinbar, not in Glan”.

Hughs brother Mick had a son that we know of, Bryan. According to Con’s letter Bryan now lived in “Hugh Dolans place”.

Con finishes his letter by saying he hopes to come to Australia (with Hugh’s financial assistance) and raise “a big party of McTernans in your new Mount Allen as ever came to Drumkeernan”.

At our property “Keewong” (4 miles from Mount Allen at Michelago) there was a painting of Sir Edward McTiernan when he was Attorney General. However no one seems to know how it came to be there. I did write to Sir Edward when he was alive, but I did not receive a reply.

Mary Todd has no doubt given you the above information. My question is what would you suggest we do to follow this up. 

Is there some way we could trace the descendants of Hugh’s brothers son John who went to New York. I have come to a stand still and don’t know where to go from here.

I am going to put the information I do have on the Internet and maybe this will bring some information.

Hoping to hear from you soon.


Margaret Donoghoe

Two other sites may help in the search for info on the Australian McTiernans. They are:

Mt Allen McTiernan family

Heapstown McTiernans

Sir Edward McTiernan

If anyone has any info that might help Margaret please let her know.


Michael McTiernan

Last updated Jan, 2007

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