Descendants of James HIGGINS & Margaret Conran


Early days in Ireland, and Australia in 1850

James Higgins

Margaret Conran

James Higgins was born around 1804 at Portarlington, Kings County, Ireland.    Son of James Higgins and Hannah Fletcher. who were farmers.   

3 March 1829 he was married in Dublin, Ireland, to Margaret Conran daughter of Dennis Conran and Fanny Frances Conran and was born about 1812 Ireland.

James and Margaret , with 5 children arrived in Melbourne with 5 children on the  “ S Curling” on 10 June 1860

James Higgins died 7 September 1869 aged 65 years at Sandridge, Port Melbourne, and is buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery, C of E, G 113. His wife Margaret died in Melbourne on 8 April 1885 aged 69 years. 

They had ten children of which several died as infants, and one had married and did not emigrate.

These three photographs are believed to be members of the Higgins family.
If you can help with their identification, please write to

Thomas Fletcher Higgins

My great grandfather was their eldest son, Thomas Fletcher Higgins born on 3 March 1831 in Dublin, Ireland, and had arrived in Melbourne before his parents 9 June 1857 on “Red Jacket”.

The "Red Jacket"

Thomas was an engine driver (as was his father), and on 20 July 1863 at Ballarat, Victoria, he was married to Elizabeth Anne Colquhoun. Elizabeth was born on 7 November 1841 at Dumbarton in Scotland, the daughter of Robert Colquhoun & Margaret Gibson, and emigrated to Melbourne in February 1855. [ See Descendants of Robert COLQUHOUN & Jean/Jane McKenzie.]

Elizabeth died 9 January 1884 aged 42 years at South Melbourne and is buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery, Pres. L 904. 

After his wife had died Thomas went to Auckland, N.Z. and and died on 5 August 1884, aged 53 years.

Thomas and Elizabeth Higgins had four children.

Margaret Anne Higgins 
& Thomas Cooper Ingram

  • Margaret Anne Higgins born 11 December 1864 in Ballarat, Victoria, and was  married on   April 1890 at Free C of  E, Fitzroy, Victoria to Thomas Cooper Ingram who was born on 24 March 1853 at Manchester.

    Thomas died on 1 December 1942 aged 89 years, and Margaret died on 7 July 1944 aged 79 years at Richmond, Victoria.  Both are buried at Melbourne General Cemetery, C of E, CC 1756.

Robert Colquhoun 

  • Robert Colquhoun Higgins was born in 1867 Ballarat, Victoria, and was married on 30 December 1889 at Moor St., Fitzroy to Elizabeth Harwood. Elizabeth was born 7 June 1870 at Great Eversden, Cambridge. Elizabeth emigrated on her own and arrived in Melbourne on 13 January 1884 on "SS Orient" to join her married sister after her parents had died.

    Robert died on 4 September 1939 at East Perth, WA and Elizabeth died on 8 February 1959 aged 88 years at Perth, WA. They are both buried Karrakatta Cemetery.

Elizabeth Harwood

Sarah Dunning Higgins

  • Sarah Dunning Higgins (my grandmother) was born on 1 December 1869 at Grenville St, Ballarat. She was married on 21 July 1887 Richmond, Victoria. to James Allen, born on 21 July 1863 at Majorca, Victoria. 
    [See The ALLEN family of Chelsea, London ]

    Sarah Dunning Allen died on 3 June 1898 aged 28 years at Richmond, Victoria, and is buried at Melbourne General Cemetery, C of E, CC 1756. 

    James Allen who was an engine driver and gold prospector then went to South Africa looking for employment in 1901. While at Durban he joined Johannesburg Mounted Rifles, an English Unit. He served at Orange Free State, and the Transvaal. He was later at Gatooma, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where he died on 30 January 1912 aged 49 years.

James Allen

  • Ernest Walter Haig Higgins was born on 29 September 1878 at the Carlton Hospital. He did not marry, and died on 30 August 1963 aged 84 years in Melbourne. He as buried with his mother at the Melbourne General Cemetery, Pres. L 904

Samuel Wilson Higgins

Samuel Wilson Higgins

Samuel Wilson Higgins was born to James and Margaret Higgins on 4 April 1835 in Dublin, Ireland and about 1856 was married to Sarah Williams  who was born c1837 at Caergeiliog, Anglesey, Wales.

They had 11 children born at Holyhead, Anglesey and Llanberis, Caernarvon. In the 1881 census they lived at 18 London Road, Holyhead, Wales. Samuel died in 30 March 1901 aged 67 years, and Sarah died on 15 September 1916 aged 79 years..

Charlotte Higgins

Charlotte Higgins
was born 12 September 1837 and baptised at St. Mathias, Liverpool.  In 1860 she arrived in Victoria with her parents on the "S. Curling" on 10 June 1860. In 1875 she married John Melville, born on 3 March 1822 at Paisley Abbey. Charlotte died on 5 October 1882 and is buried at Melbourne General Cemetary C of E. G244, and John died 2 September 1902 and is buried in the same grave.

John Higgins

John Higgins was born 14 April 1839 and baptised at St. Mathias, Liverpool. His mother's death certificate records his death at the age of 43 (after 1885).

James Stewart Higgins

James Stewart Higgins was born on 14 November 1841 at Lyons Street, Chester, Cheshire married Elizabeth Robinson on the 16 January 1865 at Emerald Hill, South Melbourne. Elizabeth was born on 4 June 1837 at Coseley Sedgley, Staffordshire, the daughter of Edward & Elizabeth Hancox.  and arrived with her mother and four sisters on the vessel "Melbourne". James and Elizabeth had 10 children.
James Higgins died on 3 August 1881, aged 39 and is buried at Melbourne General Cemetery, C of E, W 493. 

Elizabeth Higgins remarried after the death of husband 

Margaret Ann Higgins

Margaret Ann Higgins was born on 27 March 1846 at Lyons Street, Chester, and arrived In Australia with her parents in 1860. In 1877 she married George Ernest Barnes who was born Suffolk, England.

They had a son George Frederick Barnes born in 1878 at Collingwood, Victoria. 

Margaret is buried with her parents Melbourne General Cemetery, C of E, G 113

Hannah Higgins  

Hannah Higgins was born on 9 December 1849 at Bangor, Wales. In 1866 she married John Payne, son of Edward and Sarah Oliver born c1819 Kent, England. Hannah and John had a family of eleven children.

John died on 12 July 1893 aged 74 years at Kensington Hill, Victoria, and is buried at Melbourne General Cemetery, C of E, M 183. Hannah died on 30th November 1929 aged 79 at Surrey Hills, Victoria.

Mary "Marion" Jane Higgins

Mary Jane Higgins

Dr. Louis Lawrence Smith

Their daugther, Louise

Mary "Marion" Jane Higgins was born on 23 October 1853 at
Chester, Cheshire, and became the second wife of the widowed
Dr Louis Laurence Smith on 15 May 1883 in Victoria.
Louis Smith was born on 15 May 1830 to Edward Smith and
Magdalene Gengoult at St. Saviour Southwark, London. He
emigrated to Australia as Ship's Surgeon on the "Oriental"
arriving on 11 December 1852, and died on 8 July 1910 at East
Melbourne, aged 80. Buried Melbourne General Cemetery, C of E,
M 600/605

Marion was known to my grandmother Sarah Dunning Higgins as
"Aunt Polly".
She died on 27 June 1921 aged 68 years at Melbourne East.

Louis and Marion had four children :

  • Louise Bertha Mosson Smith born on 19 July 1884 at
    Melbourne and in 1911 married James Dyer who was born
    in 1859 in Scotland.
    Louise married a second time after 1930.

    Louise died on 9 November 1962 at Monaco, and her ashes
    lie at Melbourne General Cemetary, C of E, M600/605

  • Louis Lionel Smith was born in 1887 in Melbourne and
    married Marjorie Annie Gromann in 1916. Marjorie was
    born in 1888 at Box Hill, Victoria, and her residence in
    1917 is given as of East St Kilda, Victoria.

    Louis Lionel died on 2 April 1917 aged 30 yrs, killed in action
    as a Captain in the 51st Battalion. Australian Infantry, A I F.
    He is buried at the H A C Cemetery, Ecoust-St. Mein,
    Pas de Calais, France, grave ref. 11. E.3.

  • Harold Gengoult Smith was born on 25 July 1890 at East
    Melbourne. On 6 December 1933 at St Paul's Cathedral
    Melbourne and he married Cynthia Mary Emmerton
    born 27 July 1912 at South Yarra and she
    died at Melbourne on 21 November 1961 aged 49 years.

    Harold Smith and Cynthia Brookes

    Harold did military service (VX 117117), and was elected Lord Mayor of Melbourne 1931 to 1934. He died on 16 April 1983 aged 93 years, and his ashes are at Ashes Melbourne General Cemetery, Cof E, M 600/ 605

  • Gladys Marion Grace Sherrard Smith was born in 1892 at East Melbourne and died on 7 January 1902 aged 10 years at Beaconsfield after an accident.
    Gladys is buried at Melbourne General Cemetery, C of E, M 600/605

If any readers of this page have any further information on this branch of the Higgins Family,
please e-mail direct to Betty Moyle