Author Archives: rebelhand

About rebelhand

A Rebel Hand is: about Nicholas Delaney, Irish rebel of 1798, transported as a convict to New South Wales, roadbuilder, innkeeper and farmer. My great-great-great grandfather. Other ancestors transported to Australia, like Sarah Marshall, John Simpson and James Thomas Richards, pop up as well. This blog's also about the historical background to their lives, in England, Ireland, and Australia.

What else was happening in Australia?

Reading other genealogy and family history blogs and posts is inspiring. One idea I’ve been impressed by is having a timeline of the historical background to someone’s life. So here is what was happening in Australia during the time Nicholas … Continue reading

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2011 – what a year it’s been!

What a year – and what a lot I’ve learned in this first full year of blogging. When I started this blog in November 2010 I knew I wanted to talk about topics related to the life of my great-great-great … Continue reading

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How’s your family tree?

Flourishing? Many-branched? Or lop-sided (mine is a bit, at the moment)? A seedling? Not yet started? If yours needs a bit of nourishment and care, now is a good time to start looking after it – It’s Start Your Family … Continue reading

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My first Christmas – a link with the past

I treasure this photograph. It’s of my grandfather, Laurence Thomas Delaney, holding me on his knee on my first Christmas Day. He’s my link to all the generations of Delaneys (and Marshalls, Simpsons, Wilsons and Henleys) in Australia over two … Continue reading

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Did Nicholas build the oldest bridge in Australia?

If you visit the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, take a few minutes to look for a small bridge over a stream near the Wollemi Pine, ‘Australia’s homegrown Christmas tree’, close to the information booth. This is Macquarie Culvert. The … Continue reading

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1798 – the television programme

Here at last! A link to the episode of BBC TV’s Story of Ireland which deals with the Rebellion of  1798 and the United Irishmen. Earlier this year, this four-part series presented by Fergal Keane took us at some speed … Continue reading

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Tombstone Tuesday: Sarah’s haunted grave

At last I’m posting a photograph of the grave of my great-great-great grandmother, Sarah Simpson, who arrived in New South Wales as a convict on the Friendship in 1818. Sarah Marshall, as she was then, was lucky to be sentenced … Continue reading

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I’m one!

It’s hard to believe, but… its one year since I began this blog. At first I was nervous, and posted, oh, once every two months or so. Big mistake. It’s like everything else; the more you do it, the easier … Continue reading

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Now that’s a plus!

The battle lines are drawn up. As of yesterday, Google+ has pages, much as Facebook does. Who will win the social media struggle? I’m quite happy to use them both, so I’ve jumped at getting a G+ page. If you’re … Continue reading

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The song that inspired ‘A Rebel Hand’

At Boolavogue as the sun was setting O’er the bright May meadows of Shelmalier, A rebel hand set the heather blazing and brought the neighbours from far and near. That’s the first verse of the song Boolavogue, which tells the … Continue reading

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More about Boolavogue

The lyrics to Boolavogue were written by Patrick Joseph (PJ) McCall and set to the Irish air Eochaill, or Youghal Harbour. There are many versions of this well-loved song on the net. Probably the best-known is the one I heard … Continue reading

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Book sale – special Christmas offer

This offer is now closed – thank you to everyone who ordered ‘A Rebel Hand’ at the reduced price!   From today until December 24th we’re offering A Rebel Hand: Nicholas Delaney of 1798 at the special price of £6.50, … Continue reading

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The day we met the President

The Irish presidential election is in the news these days – it takes place on Thursday, 27 October 2011. There are seven hopefuls in the race, some more controversial than others. It reminds me of the day, 13 years ago, … Continue reading

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Was Sarah murdered? Is she a famous ghost?

For a change from thinking about Nicholas, I typed Sarah Marshall into Google. She’s my g-g-g grandmother, a convict who arrived in New South Wales on the Friendship in 1818. She married* John Simpson (Ocean II, arr 1818) and later … Continue reading

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Posted in Australia, Convicts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

At the heart of Sydney

‘One of the most historically significant urban spaces in Sydney and Australia’. That’s how another of Nicholas Delaney’s building projects has been described by New South Wales’s Office of Environment and Heritage. It’s Macquarie Place. Just over a fortnight after … Continue reading

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Posted in Macquarie, Roadbuilder | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments