Origin of the surname
The Grady name was first found in the Irish counties of Munster, Limerick, Clare, Cavan and Galway. The family anciently called Bradigan and O'Bradigan are believed to have anglicised their name after the advent of the Strongbow invasion.

Spelling variations include: Grady, Brady, O'Grady, O'Brady, Braidy, Graidy, Bradie and many more.

O'Grady coat of arms and family history.

James Grady, c1760 -
James Grady was a resident of Tipperary, Ireland. He married Mary Riley. The only child known is Patrick.

Patrick Grady, c1788 - 1866
Shortly after Governor Philip established the first European settlement in Australia, at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788, a child was born in Ireland who was destined to spend most of his life in that colony. Patrick Grady, born at Waterford, was the son of James Grady and Mary Riley. Nothing is known about his early life except that he grew up to become a farm labourer in Tipperary.

At the age of 18 he fell in love with a farmer's daughter who was three years his senior and they were married. His wife, Margaret, was the daughter of Timothy Whalan and Margaret Kelley. They had eight children, three of whom died as infants. The survivors were: Mary (c1807 - 1880), Ellen (c1812 - 1894), James (c1815 - 1887), Judith (c1816 - 1883) and Patrick (c1823 - 1892).

It is well known that the lives of Irish farm workers were incredibly difficult. Patrick was arrested in early 1822, aged 34, and tried at the Spring assizes in Waterford. He was found guilty and transported to Australia on a life sentence. When he embarked on the Brampton on 8 November 1822, he was described as 5' 3", of sallow complexion with dark brown hair and grey eyes. He was one of 172 convicts that disembarked in Sydney five months later, along with a detachment of the third regiment.

Somehow Margaret Grady struggled on in Tipperary without her husband, but he wanted her and the children to be with him. Just over a year after his arrival in Australia, he arranged for Thomas and Samuel Hassall to write to the Colonial Secretary with a petition that his family be allowed to join him in Australia. Patrick had been assigned to Reverend Thomas Hassell as a convict servant and resided at Bathurst. The letter read:


Patrick Grady, who arrived by the Brampton Captn Moore in 1823 Sentence Life is anxious to have his wife & five children sent out to him & begs that you will have his case taken into consideration and if pofsible afford him the pleasure of once more beholding & comforting all that is now near & dear to him.

We believe him to be a steady honest and industrious character & think he would be able to support the said wife & family if here without any expence to Government. I have the honour to be

Your most obedient
humble servant
Thos & Saml Hafsall

The letter indicated that the family lived at New Castle Parish Clon(mell), County Tipperary, Ireland and listed his children as James, Patrick, Mary, Elenor and Jude.

This request was granted and the family embarked on the City of Edinburgh on 23 June 1828 and arrived at Sydney five months later. By November of that year, Patrick had been joined at Bathurst by his son James but his wife and remaining children remained in Sydney. The following year Ellen married Patrick Foran, a 31 year old convict serving a life sentence. Mary married 24 year old Samuel Rawson, also a convict serving a seven year sentence. Judith married Thomas Casey (later Kessey) in 1832 and James married Rose Donnelly in 1835.

Patrick was awarded a Ticket-of-leave in early 1832 and soon afterwards the whole clan moved to the Brisbane Valley area on the Fish River near Oberon in NSW. The extended clan (the Forans, Kesseys and Donnellys) had many brushes with the law over the next few decades.

Patrick's wife, Margaret died and was buried on 7 June 1857, aged 72. A burial witness was Charles Whalan, but it is not clear that he was a relative. He could possibly be a son of the Charles Whalan who was sentenced to transportation in 1787 (when Margaret was just 2 years old) and arrived in 1791 aboard Albermarle. He enlisted in the NSW corps and became Sergeant of the Guard during Governor Macquaries' time. Charles Whalan junior too is buried in the area.

Three years later, at the age of 72, Patrick married Susan Ryan, a widow whose maiden name was Harty. There were no children. Patrick died six years later at O'Connell, near Bathurst, aged 80.

Judith Grady, 1816 - 1883
Judith was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, about 1816. Her parents, Patrick Grady and Margaret Whalan had been married for ten years and had two surviving daughters (Mary and Ellen) and a son (James) already.

When Judith was seven years old, her youngest brother, Patrick, was born. However, by then the family's life was all awry due to the arrest of her father a few months earlier. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He had been transported to Australia before his youngest son was born.

Fortunately the family was allowed to join their father in Australia but it was not until 1828 that they were able to do so. The intervening five years must have been incredibly hard for Judith's mother, with five children to rear without a husband. By the time the family boarded the City of Edinburgh on 23 June 1828, she and her daughters were dressed in rags. The government was forced to issue them with various items of clothing to see them through the voyage, including bed gowns, petticoats, shifts, stockings, shoes, caps, cloaks, bonnets and handkerchiefs. James and the toddler, Patrick, received nothing.

Judith arrived in Sydney as a twelve year old. Her father was living at the edge of civilisation and it was not possible for the family to join him at Bathurst (except for James). It took nearly four years before he was awarded his ticket-of-leave which required him to reside in the Bathurst district. By then, Mary and Ellen were married (to Samuel Rawson and Patrick Foran respectively). The whole clan moved to the Brisbane Valley area on the Fish River near Oberon in NSW.

Judith soon met Thomas Casey, a convict who had been convicted in 1818 at the Old Bailey, London, of sheep stealing and transported from England on the horrendous voyage of the General Stewart. He obtained permission to marry her in November 1832 and they were married at Kelso NSW by Rev. John Espy Keane three days before Christmas. Judith's brother-in-law (Patrick Foran) was one of the witnesses. Thomas was a 34 year old man hardened by convict servitude while Judith was only 16 years old.

Bu the time she was seventeen, she was a mother. Her first-born son was named for his father. Three years later came another son, John, followed four years later by her third son, James (named for his paternal grandfather). Nine more children followed over the next 18 years: Ann (1841), Mary-Ann (1842), Margaret (1845), Julia (1847), Elizabeth (1849), William (1853 - 1928), Martha (1857) and Jane (1859). An unnamed daughter was born in 1851 but did not live. Judith's brood became a baker's dozen when she adopted her grandson, Herbert John Smith, in 1875 (at the age of 59). He was the illegitimate son of her youngest daughter, Jane, who was only 16 when he was born. Perhaps Judith had a strong feeling, based on personal experience, that Jane should not be forced to be married at such a young age. Jane eventually married Denis McNamara five years later.

It is likely that Judith preferred to be known as Julia. It is noteworthy that she chose this name (and not Judith) for one of her eight daughters. She was certainly referred to as Julia in many of the documents that survive her.

Judith and Thomas raised their family in the Rockley - Black Springs district, near Bathurst and, in time, the family surname was more consistently spelt "Kessey" rather than "Casey". There are many Kessey descendants in the Bathurst area into the 21st century.

Her eldest son, Thomas, was the first of her children to marry. He married Sarah Ann Grose in 1856 as a 23 year old. Her second son, John, married Mary Ann Hanrahan the following year.

Five years later, in 1864, Judith was shattered when two of her sons (Thomas and James) were arrested and convicted of highway robbery. They were sentenced to ten years hard labour and served time in Darlinghurst gaol and Cockatoo Island. A number of individuals in her extended family, including the Forans, Donnellys and Groses were involved in crime around this time and in later years.

Her 83 year old husband died on 22 July 1882 of hemiplegia and senile debility. He left all of his estate, valued at 320 to his wife.

On 1 February 1883, Judith took a cart and drove into Bathurst from her home at Burnt Flat, near Gorman's Hill. Her adopted son (grandson), Herbert John Smith (known as John) accompanied her. They left home soon after lunch and visited Alloway Bank in Bathurst. A thunder storm broke but did not deter the pair from commencing the return journey that evening. They stopped at two public houses but Judith did not drink anything alcoholic. She was obliged to ford the strong-running Machatties Creek near Ranken's Bridge. The horse shied at froth on the water and twisted round; Judith pulled the reins and the horse jerked the cart backwards. A wheel was caught and Judith was thrown out, dragging John Smith with her. He was able to grab hold of the shaft and get back onto the cart but Judith was caught in the wheel. Her jaw was broken and she was probably unconscious. She drowned in shallow water. She was 67 years old.

The little boy ran, crying, the half mile to Daniel Cusick's house near Alloway Bank. He had known Judith for about 14 years and testified at the inquest the next day that she was a woman of temperate habits. Senior Constable Sutton, who had retrieved her body, testified that he had known her for 20 years and never saw her the worst for liquor. The jury brought in a finding of accidental drowning.

Judith died intestate. Her estate of 536 was granted to her son, William.

Family Group Sheet

Descendants Chart

Copyright Jim Fleming 2002.
This page created on 18 April 2003.
Last edited on 14 Jun 2004 .
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