John Boyle (1836-1913) and Anne Slattery (1847-1908)

John Boyle was born around 1838 in Thurles, the son of William Boyle and Margaret Grant.

Anne (Annie) Slattery was born in Melbourne, Victoria on 2 January 1847, the first child of Patrick Slattery and Julia Holohan, his second wife.

According to Ethel Ramsdale, her grandfather John Boyle came to Victoria from Thurles via New York, but she did not have any dates for this, nor provided any indication of how long he stayed in New York.1 John’s death record (1913) says that he had been in Victoria "over 60 years", which would mean before 1853. These death record estimates, however, are sometimes quite inaccurate guesses by the informant.2 The first firm date we have for John in Victoria is his marriage in 1864, which, allowing for a modest period of courtship, means that he was definitely in Victoria by the end of 1863.

John may have arrived in Victoria on the Anna Kimball from New York on 30 March 1857. This is four years out if he'd been in Victoria over 60 years at death, but no earlier arrival has been found. If this is the case, he probably went to New York in his mid-to-late teens, say, between 1851 and 1856. From the US shipping records, which unfortunately do not record the County from which the immigrants originated, there are a number of possibilities with estimated birth within 2 years of 1836:

Nothing has been found to indicate John’s whereabouts or doings after his arrival in Victoria and before his marriage in 1864.  At some stage he found his way to the Kyneton/Carlsruhe area, where he settled. Annie came to that area with her family in 1857, when she was about 10 years of age.3

John and Annie married in the Catholic Church at Kyneton on 4 April 1864, with Annie’s mother, by then a widow, having had to provide her consent due to Annie’s age of only 17. At the time of marriage both John and Annie were shown as residents of Kyneton, Victoria, with John’s occupation shown as labourer. Both signed the marriage record. They had eleven children, all born in the Kyneton/Carlsruhe area:

  1. William (b.1856) – Ethel Ramsdale wrote that “Bill Boyle went to America with a cattle man from Kyneton Vic in his teens, to the Argentine, (Buenos Ayres) & never came back again, so we lost sight of him. He married a Spanish girl & although Grandma used to hear from him & his family, after her death he wrote very seldom so lost all trace of him.” One of William’s letters to his sister Johanna, in which he refers to himself as Guillermo Boyle and mentions the names of some of his children, survives. See letter from him dated 5 September, 1926 or see PDF [1.4mb] in his own handwriting. It is not known when William died.
  2. Johanna (our great grandmother - 1866-1954)
  3. Margaret (1868-1944) – born on 10 April 1868 and married John Hanley in Kyneton in 1890. They had eight children: Johanna (b.1892), John Joseph (b.1893), Margaret Ann (b.1895), Elizabeth Mary (b.1898), Ellen (b.1900), Veronica (b.1903), Mary (b.1905) and Michael John (b.1907), all born at Kyneton. Note that she is referred to as ‘Maggie’ in the letter from her brother William above. Margaret died at Kyneton in 1944. 
  4. Ellen Mary (1870-1899) – married John (Jack) Ramsdale, the brother of her sister Johanna’s husband, at Kyneton in 1893. They had three children together: James (b.1893), Francis (b.1895) and William John (b.1898). She died at Kyneton on 9 December 1899.
  5. James Patrick (1872-1951) – born on 8 August 1872 at Carlsruhe, he married Lucy Florence Harrison on 13 October 1906 at Kyneton. They had eight children: Dorothy (dates unknown), Lillian Annie (1907-2000), Ellen Catherine (1908-1979), Ethel May (1910-1984), William James (1912-2000), Elma Jean (1917-2008), Francis John (1919-1944) and Leonard John (1922-1994), all born at Kyneton. James died at Reservoir, Victoria on 24 September 1951.
  6. Mary Anne (1874-1942) – born on 26 June 1874, she never married and died at Kyneton.
  7. John Thomas (1876-1877) – born on 11 October 1876, he was only six months old when he died in April 1877.
  8. Elizabeth (1880-1941) – born on 17 March 1880, she married Herbert Adra Darby in 1905 but there is no record of any children. Elizabeth died in Kyneton.
  9. John (1882-1882) – born on 30 May 1882 and died the next day.
  10. John (1885-1975) – apparently known as Jack, he never married and died at Footscray, Victoria
  11. Catherine (1888-1969) – apparently known as Kate, she married William Hargrave Hayles at Malvern, Victoria in 1911 but they do not appear to have had any children. Catherine died in Melbourne.

Little is known of the Boyles’ life in Kyneton/Carlsruhe, and there are no newspaper reports involving John or Annie. John and Annie are both resident at Carlsruhe in 1903, and their children Elizabeth and James are listed in the electoral rolls with them. John is shown as a labourer. John and James are both shown as labourers at Carlsruhe in the 1909 electoral roll.

Annie died aged 62 years at 10.15pm on 30 September 1908 at Carlsruhe of bronchitis and exhaustion, a condition that she had been suffering for three weeks. She was buried at Kyneton Cemetery on 2 October, but no marker has been found there.

John died aged 72 years at 6.15am on 13 May 1913 at Carlsruhe of senility and heart failure. He was buried on 15 May 1913 at Kyneton Cemetery, but no marker has been found there.



1 Documented in her handwritten notes. Ethel would have personally known John Boyle. She was 18 years old when he died, so is considered a reliable source.

2 In this case his son James Boyle. James incorrectly reported John’s father’s name as Thomas Boyle and did not know John’s mother’s name.

3 Her sister Mary was born there in 1858.


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