Cos. Tyrone, Donegal, Londonderry & Fermanagh Ireland Genealogy Research

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George & Margaret Keys of Tirkernaghan, Donemana, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland Emigrants to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1841

Compiled and Submitted by
Len Swindley, Melbourne, Australia
Brighton General Cemetery, Melbourne: Graves of GEORGE & MARGARET (JEFFREY) KEYS
and some of their family; William; Isaac; John and Thomas (Methodist Compartment)

George (1792-1873) & Margaret (nee Jeffrey) Keys (1795-1865) of Tirkernaghan, Donemana, Donagheady Parish, Co. Tyrone, emigrated to Melbourne, arriving in 1841. They are recorded as Assisted Immigrants (i.e. the colonial government had paid their passages).

They were accompanied by their children – Robert, William, Elizabeth, Isaac, John, Margaret, Mary, and Thomas.

A public spirited family, they made their mark in a new society settling on land south-east of the emerging town of Melbourne. The present-day sprawling suburb of Keysborough commemorates their early presence in what was described as wilderness.

Previously in 1840, brother-in-law Samuel Jeffrey (1804-91), wife Eliza Jane (1810-96) and family (also from Tirkernaghan) had arrived in Melbourne settling at Irishtown (present-day Preston).

Victorian Registry of Birth, Marriages and Deaths: Information from civil registration certificates:

Parents of GEORGE KEYS – Thomas Keys and Ellen Monteith

Parents of MARGARET KEYS – Robert Jeffrey and Margaret Brooks

Parents of SAMUEL JEFFREY – Robert Jeffrey and Margaret Brooks

Parents of ELIZA JANE JEFFREY – Malcolm Smith & Ann Hason