Researching family history can be frustrating but today I had a magic breakthrough in relation to my namesake and great-great uncle Michael Gorey (Gorry).
Michael was born at sea aboard the Middlesex on 24 September 1841 just before the ship arrived at Port Phillip on 1 October 1841.
To give some context, the population of Melbourne at that time was fewer than 10,000 people and they were Victorian pioneers.
Michael’s parents were James and Elizabeth (nee Hanlon or Hanley) Gorey from near Thomastown, County Kilkenny in Ireland.
I knew that Michael died at Nagambie, Victoria, on 31 July 1908. The death certificate says he died of a heart attack and it states his mother’s name was Elizabeth Hanley.
That’s important because other records show her surname as Hanlon, which appears to be correct, and the variations have been noted for several decades.