Michael Byrne

Born Arklow October 1870

By Colette O'Rorke

Michael Byrne (parents John Byrne and Dorothy Fitzpatrick) is supposed to have been "lost at sea" but I have no idea when. However, I was very interested to discover recently that a Michael Byrne is registered in the burial records of Arklow (St. Gabriel's) in Nov. 1909 as having been "lost at sea" from the MARY AGNES, owned by James Horan. I subsequently found the Will of James Horan which includes this info " ....who died 19 October 1909, off Lundy Island, Bristol Channel...." Also found this info "1910 - October 19th. The Arklow owned schooner, “James & Agnes”, Swansea for Cowes, I.O.W. with 220 tons of anthracite, sailed on the morning tide. A gale blew up in the evening and the vessel was sighted by another Arklow owned schooner, the “Venedocian”, as she passed to the east of Lundy. The “James & Agnes was never seen again and a Board of Trade enquiry concluded that she must have been run down by an unknown steamer in the vicinity of Lundy Island. .The crew consisted of Captain Horan and four other Arklow men. What I'm hoping is that the tragedy was reported locally, and might include who the parents of Michael Byrne were, or his age, or any further info about him. Can anybody help, please?

This page was added by Colette O'rorke on 05/04/2014.
Comments about this page

Hi Collette

Both the 'Wicklow People' and the 'Wicklow New-Letter' were issued weekly at that time and should have reports of the losses. Whether they would have the ages or family details is unlike, but possible. The main problem is it's such a common name in this area that getting the right 'Michael Byrne' is going to be tricky. How about comparing the 1901 and 1911 censuses. He would have been roughly 31 in the former. If you find someone of that age who had a family, look at the same family ten years on and see if he is missing. Not foolproof, but it might show up possibilities.

By Jim Rees
On 23/05/2014

Thanks for your reply, Jim, which I've only just seen! I found a Michael Byrne (who was a sailor), aged 28, born Arklow, on the 1901 census, as a "Resident of a house ship in Limerick Port". This Michael was not married, and as he was "lost at sea" in 1909, I don't know if he married in the intervening years. Do you know how I could access the Wicklow People and/or the Wicklow New-Letter please?

By Colette O'Rorke
On 10/09/2014

Collette, sorry to have taken so long to reply regarding the newspapers, but we have had a battle on our hands in the past few months to have the Local Studies section of the county library re-opened after closure in the summer. Glad to say that it did re-open this week (Tuesday, 6 January). I have to look for something there this coming Tuesday and will see if I can find a report you. The papers are not on-line so you see how vital it was that the studies room be kept open.

By Jim Rees
On 12/01/2015

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