© Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal Updated 10 May 2024 Date of 'update' refers to the whole section update, not to every individual file.
(About 1740-)
(About 1745-)
(About 1765-)
(About 1768-About 1811)
(About 1784-)


Family Links

1. O'HARA, Mary

2. McCAFFERY, Jane

QUIGLY, Peter 1 2 3

  • Born: About 1784, County Derry, Ireland 4 5
  • Marriage (1): O'HARA, Mary
  • Marriage (2): McCAFFERY, Jane
  • Died: 23 February 1868 at 11.15 am, Croft-An-Righ, Wigtown, Wigtownshire, Scotland 6

   Cause of his death was influenza over 10 days.6

   Other names for Peter were QUIGELEY, Peter,6 QUIGLEY, Peter Evans 5 and QUIGLY, Peter alias Patrick.3

  General Notes:

From his later trial documents in February 1816 we have information from Peter Quigly himself that he was 'born in County Derry and may be about thirty two years of age', and that 'he kept a shop in Ireland for several years but being unfortunate in business, he became a travelling merchant and he has since kept a public house in little dow hill" in Glasgow, Scotland. In his earlier and later life he was referred to a Peter Quigly and Patrick Quigly, or other variants of this surname.

In 1812 or thereabouts, Peter seems to have met and married Mary O'Hara. In February 1815 Mary testified that her young sister Kitty
"came over from Ireland with the Declarant and her husband nearly two years ago, and lived with them in Edinburgh while they kept a broker's shop there, and she came from thence with them when they removed to Glasgow a short time after last Whitsunday."
From later Australian information it is clear that they had three children who came over to the colony after Peter had completed his sentence. They were living in Edinburgh about 1814 for a time. In 1815 they came to Glasgow where Peter ran a small liquor establishment, without a licence, in the Glasgow Cross area of the city, beside the College of Glasgow, that is the old University area before its transfer to Gilmorehill.

In early 1816 in Glasgow, Peter alias Patrick Quigly and his wife Mary O'Hara were accused and charged, with others, of being party to thefts in the area around High Street, Glasgow. They were brought to trial in the Spring of the year at the High Court there. Found guilty they were sentenced to be transported 'beyond the seas', that is to the new South Wales penal colony in Australia to serve fourteen years as convicts. Peter was imprisoned first on the Justitia prison hulk, and later sailed aboard the Sir William Bensley to the southern hemisphere. They sailed from the south of England, separately, as men and women were not transported together, in late 1816, and arrived in Port Jackson in the February-March of 1817.

Between 1817 and 1830, while still a convict, it is clear that, within the terms of the regulations, Peter Quigly was able to adjust to his new life - with only a few hiccups - and operate as a small businessman. This is markedly true after 1822 when his Ticket of Leave allowed him great freedom: Peter Quigley of Market Street, Sydney, advertised in newspaper "the latest arrivals of goods he has for sale." There are advertisements for his business all through 1820s sometimes at 10 Market Street sometimes at 72 Market Street, corner of Pitt Street, or 73 Pitt and Market Streets. He had people working for him, although he still, in 1826, was selling liquor without a licence!

Mary O'Hara or Quigly seems to have become ill in 1828 or 1829, because in March 1829 James, Ann and Jane Quigley, children of Peter Quigley, arrive, free, in New South Wales, aboard the vessel City of Edinburgh. Then in May 1829 The Sydney monitor advertised the death of the wife of "Mr Peter Quigley, an industrious shopkeeper".

On 1 May 1830 The Sydney Monitor reported that Peter Quigley will begin trading on this date under 'Quigley & Son'. On the 3 May 1830, exactly fourteen years to the day after his conviction in Glasgow, Peter Quigly was granted his Certificate of Freedom.

After the death of Mary O'Hara, the completion of his sentence, and the arrival of his children in New South Wales, Peter Quigly was once more faced in the 1830s with an experience of tribulation. At first it started off well. His son James and daughter Ann married their respective partners. Peter himself returned to Ireland for an unknown length of time. However, a series of legal and court appearances ensued for himself and his family, mainly regarding money and property transactions.

In May 1831 The Sydney Herald reported Mr Quigley of Market Street had been missing property for the last eight months. Earlier Mrs Quigley, who was dead by mid-May 1829, had discovered it was their assigned servant Peter Davies who was the thief, so presumably the case continued for some time. In September and October of the year Peter and James Quigley had to attend Supreme Court in King St regarding insolvency. On 1 November 1831 Peter & James Quigley "lately of Pitt Street Sydney" were involved in insolvency proceedings. Later the same month James Quigley, Peter's son, testified at Sydney Supreme Court against Alexander Thompson, indicted for stealing a substantial amount from him in September of that year, while his father Peter Quigley was in Europe, in Ireland to be precise. On 5 December The Sydney Herald reported that [James]Fraser, Ann Quigly's husband, had been given bail: "On Thursday, Fraser, who was committed to take his trial for embezzling money and treasury bills belonging to Quigley, was admitted to bail by Judge Stephen, himself in 100L. and two sureties in 50L- each." On 7 December The Sydney Monitor reported a statement by James Quigley, Peter's son, regarding a charge of embezzling made against James Frazer, a life convict, his brother in law.

In 1832 Peter was still listed in The New South Wales Calendar and General Post Office Directory, 1832 as "Quigley, Peter, Dealer, Pitt Street." On 15 March 1834 the Sydney Gazette advertised the sale of Lot 88, a piece of land which was then or formerly belonging to Peter Quigley on two of its borders on the south side of Market St, Sydney. On 25 September 1834 the Trustees of the estate of Peter & James Quigley sold by auction four building allotments corner of Market & Kent Streets, Sydney. On 1 October 1836 Peter Quigley was mentioned in Correspondence to Editors of The Sydney Herald, but by 1837 no employer named Peter or Patrick Quigly figured in the muster of that year. Peter, in his mid-50s, had again seen his life slip away from him.

The 1851 census for Mochrum in Wigtownshire recorded Peter Evans Quigley living at Elrig as a lodger. He was recorded as married and aged 50 years. His occupation was 'dealer in hardware'. He had been born in Ireland. He was living with Jane Evans Quigley, 'dealer's wife', aged 40 years and born in Ireland. They were living in the household of Thomas and Catherine Creily whose family, with the exception of their grandsons and son-in-law, had been born in Ireland. Thomas was 72 years old and had formerly been an agricultural labourer. His daughter Bridget was married to Charles McAlaster, and they and their family and Bridget's brother all lived together at Elrig.
Note: Charles, born in Saltcoats Ayrshire, and Bridget had been married at Newton Stewart by Father Robert Sinnott in 1845. Charles was the son of Bernard McAlaster and Agnes Brown, and Bridget the daughter of Thomas Crilly and Catherine McMahon.

In the 1861 census for Wigtown parish in Wigtownshire, Scotland, there is a record of a Peter Quigley, a labourer, born in Ireland, living at West Side, Low Vennell. His age is noted as 60 years.

In February 1868, at the recorded age of 83 years, Peter Quigeley, a pauper married to Jane McCaffery, died at Croft-an-Righ in Wigtown, Scotland. No parental information was recorded in the death certificate. 3 5 6 7 8 9 10

  Research Notes:


There is a good case to be made that Peter Quigly, the husband of Mary Logan was the Peter Quigly who was transported to Australia. A different case may be made for them being separate individuals, possible father and son as is portrayed in this arrangement. Neither case is definitive at present.

Over the years items of evidence have come to light to alter the original picture, based circumstantially on Peter Quigly's presence in the locality of Paisley and Glasgow about the same time, and the fact that both were natives of County Derry. Lack of documentary proof is a huge stumbling block, either way, in trying to form a clear and accurate picture. Peter's age is an important factor: given the age of the transported Peter and the age for John Quigly husband of Catharine Linas, it seems less likely they were father and son and more likely they were brothers.

Another area of doubt is spotlighted by the existence of the children of Mary O'Hara. If Peter and Mary Logan already had a daughter Ann - living - why would Peter call his daughter with Mary O'Hara by the same name? Another area of doubt lies in the fact that Peter Quigly and Mary O'Hara were In Ireland and Edinburgh in the years before the trial in 1816, so if Mary Logan - a possible first wife - had died, had Peter abandoned his relatively young children? The transported Peter, maybe a changed man, shows some pride in being a father.

The vagueness of the relationships is irritating but no easy or absolutely definite answers are yet available.


Elrig is a clachan on the west side of the Machars peninsula in Wigtownshire, now Dumfries and Galloway region, Scotland. It is situated about three miles north of Port William.


Wigtown, formerly a royal burgh, is situated on the east side of the Machars peninsula. The Gulf Stream causes the climate to be mild and allows plants of the southern hemsiphere to flourish there. 3 11 12

  Medical Notes:

Samuel Snowdon MD of Wigtown certified the cause of death.

Rosy Sally, (Neighbour in Charge), of Bank Street, Wigtown, gave notice of Peter's death before James Shaw, registrar, on 24 February 1868 at Wigtown, and made her X mark. 6

Peter married Mary O'HARA, daughter of O'HARA and Unknown. (Mary O'HARA was born about 1784 in County Antrim, Ireland and died before 2 May 1829 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.)

  Marriage Notes:

"'it is two years since he married his present wife, Mary O'Hara. That they have no family..'

Patrick stated he was married to his wife Mary O'Hara for about two years before his arrest in February 1816. Of their three children that came to him in Australia when he became a free man again, the eldest was James, who was recorded as being born in 1812. Mary, like Peter, seems to have been been married to another person. 4

Peter next married Jane McCAFFERY. (Jane McCAFFERY was born about 1795 in Ireland 5 and died 7 December 1868 at 4.30 pm in Ball Green, Wigtown, Wigtownshire, Scotland.). The cause of her death was chronic bronchitis and anasarca of unknown duration.6


1 ancestry.co.uk, New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia Convict Musters, 1806-1849 New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1810-1814, 1827-1867 New South Wales, Australia, Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856.

2 ancestry.co.uk, New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849 New South Wales, Australia, Land Grants, 1788-1963 Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books; Class: HO9; Piece: 4.

3 National Records of Scotland, Trial Documents High Court of Glasgow February 1816.

4 National Records of Scotland, Trial Documents 1816 Feb 5 Glasgow 1st Declaration.

5 1851 UK census, Mochrum Wigtownshire Elrig 892 en d 7 page 64.

6 GRO Scotland, Wigtown parish Wigtownshire Deaths 1868.

7 1861 UK census, Wigtown Parish Wigtownshire West Side Low Vennell.

8 Roman Catholic Records, Marriages Newton Stewart Kirkcudbrightshire 1845.

9 ancestry.co.uk, State Archives NSW; Series: NRS 12202; Item: [4/4069]; Reel: 911 New South Wales, Australia, Certificates of Freedom, 1810-1814, 1827-1867 New South Wales Government. 1828 Census: Householders’ return New South Wales, Australia, Settler & Convict Lists.

10 Internet Site, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper.

11 Internet Site, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elrig.

12 Internet Site, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigtown.

© Copyright 2024 Mary McGonigal

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