Mystery History Search – Ancient Catholic Families of Dublin, Eire.


Its been a two-decade chase but the story of  Dublin-born mariner  John P. Armstrong is nearly ready for the telling, except I need to know a little more about his family back in Ireland and so would like to hear from descendants or researchers of the following Dublin families, of the 1700-1800 era:  CORBALLIS  / CORBALLY, MOONEY, LAWLESS, SHERLOCK, CONNOR and ARMSTRONG .

The replica tall-ship Enterprise passing Warrnambool's Middle Island for Port Fairy. Picture by Jenny Fawcett 19 Nov 2015
It has taken two decades but the story of a mystery captain after which Armstrong’s Bay is named is nearing completion. The bay is also home to the mythical ‘Mahogany Ship and lies between the ports of Warrnambool and Port Fairy,  on Victoria’s south-west coast. Picture by Jenny Fawcett


Dublin families of this era commonly identified themselves by the  street or localities in which they lived, worked or operated, so I know from church records, directories, wills and estate administration as well as newspaper reports that  I particularly seek  John Corballis (1700-1779) of ‘York Street’, Dublin and his wife Jane McManus (1703-1783) and particularly their son John (jnr) Corballis (1729-1805) ‘of New Street, Dublin”.

The Corballis/Corbally are an ‘ancient catholic family’ who featured among the ‘forfeiting proprietors in Ireland under Cromwellian Settlement’ and it is variously recorded that John Corballis and his son are descendants of Robert Corballis of ‘Nuttstown’ (in the Barony of Balrothery, Co Dublin). This branch of the family moved to Tallaght and Saggart in Co Dublin and the father John Corballis (described upon his death as a ‘Gentleman”) and his son John were heavily involved in the timber trade, and the son in particular in the speculative building industry.

There are conflicting reports about the name of the wife of  John (jnr) Corballis of New Street, but the original Catholic Church Records I have viewed say she is Margaret Mooney. Other versions include an Elizabeth Mooney, or a second wife named Margaret McDonald (a ‘stepsister’ named Mary McDonald is mentioned in a family Will, and is either a stepchild of John snr, or John jnr).

Children of John Corballis of New Street Dublin and his wife Margaret Mooney (all born/christened in Dublin, Ireland)”

  1. Elizabeth Corballis  (born c 1767?)  (possibly married 1785 to William Sherlock)
  2. Richard Corballis (1769-1847) of Rosemount, Roebuck, Milltown Dublin and who married Deborah Taylor of Castlepollard, in Nov. 1791
  3. Esther Corballis (1770-??) married 1790 to John Brady
  4. James Anthony Corballis (c1771-1842) married Ann Kenny (of St Andrews) in 1794
  5. Mary Catherine Corballis (c1773? – ??) married 1794 to Chris Connor of Great Britain St, Dublin  (Burkes states her sister Margaret married Chris Connor, but I have an original news report of 1794 confirming it was Mary Catherine who married this man).
  6. Margaret Corballis (c1774? – ) married Thomas ARMSTRONG c 1791  (an accepted version is that a Sarah Corballis married Thomas Armstrong, but I have a christening record of a child of the above Margaret and Thomas, from St Nicholas Church, Dublin). There is however a Sarah Corballis who married a Thomas Armstrong some twenty years later, in 1817 so perhaps that is where the confusion comes in.

Also seeking relatives of: 1775 Elizabeth Corballis who married JOHN MARTYN of St Catherines, Dublin

I also seek descendants of Margaret Corbally who in 1777 married CHRISTOPHER SHERLOCK,  and Margaret Corballis who in 1770 married Nicholas DERHAM.

Sherlock Families I am interested in making contact with descendants of:

  • 1757 Alice Sherlock, of Naas, married Thomas VICKERS, a Tanner, of Dublin
  • 1757 Mrs Sherlock the wife of a surgeon, of Lazors Hill, who died on Nov 28.
  • 1775 Miss Sherlock of Castlemarket Street married a Mr HAND, Dublin
  • 1777 Christopher Sherlock (Brewer) who married a widow, Margaret CORBALLY
  • 1780 Ms Sherlock of St Andrew Street, married John Gorman KENNEDY, a Tanner, of Parliament street
  • 1782 the Widow Sherlock of 1 Werbugh street who advertised she would carry on her husband’s business (did she marry Edward Kelly in 1784?)
  • 1783 Miss Margaret Sherlock of Drury Lane, married Henry NELIS of Donnybrook Road
  • 1783 Miss Margaret Sherlock of St Andrew Street married Mr KELLY a sadler, of Exchequer Street
  • 1783 Miss Sherlock of St Andrew Street married Mr COLLIER of Werburgh street (conected? to the 1757 Mr Collier who was a Tallow Chandler in Weburgh St.)
  • 1783 Catherine Sherlock, who ‘absconded’ from her husband Edward QUIRK, of Kilcock, Dublin
  • 1783 Edward Sherlock who was living in33 Marlborough street, who needed a tutor for two young lads.
  • 1784 the widow Sherlock who married Edward KELLY of Vicar street.
  • 1787 John Sherlock of MItchelstown, Cork who married Miss WIGMORE
  • 1790 Robert Sherlock, aged 8o years who drowned, having worked as a trusted employee some 40 years for Customs.
  • 1809 Stephen Sherlock who married Margaret MOONEY

Particularly interested in these Sherlock family members:

  • Christopher Sherlock, brewer, who in 1777 married the ‘widow Corballis” (Margaret Corballis nee ?). He operated out of St Andrew Street (1776) St Stephens Green( and New Street until his death in 1786. ‘Eminent Brewer’ and ‘most exemplary citizen’.
  • Nicholas Sherlock (draper, merchant of Dublin ) who famously eloped with Mary BROWN (daughter of Dublin draper and merchant).
  • Nicholas Sherlock who in 1797 was Commission and Army Agent and working out of 13 Trinity STreet, Dublin
  • William Sherlock , and his son William jnr Sherlock (who was married to a Mary ? )  and son James Sherlcok of Francis Street, drapers and merchants of Dublin. 1776 – 1797 Co Kildare properties included Little Rath, Bordingstown, Sherlockstown, Beabush, Grange Beg Park, Sallins and Dublin properties included Marlborough street, Earl street, and 51 Dominick Street.
  • William Sherlock, of Sherlockstown who in 1793 was a Captain of the 5th Dragoon Guards.
  • William Sherlock, who in 1774 opened a new sadle and bridle shop in ‘New Church Street’ and who later that year moved his business to Castle street.


Of especial interest is DENNIS LAWLESS, the witness to the christening of John Armstrong (christened 1792, son of Thomas Armstrong/ Margaret Corballis), also probably the same man who was the godfather to Eliza Maria Anna Armstrong born 1803 (dau of Thomas and Margaret Armstrong, but probably not the above couple).

  • Dennis Lawless was also a witness at the marriage of Margaret Armstrong to Edmund Lawless in Dublin in 1784  (she is possibly a sister/cousin of Thomas Armstrong who married Margaret Corballis).
  • A Dennis Lawless died, intestate, and without issue in Sept 1810. (Dublin).


Also of interest is THOMAS ARMSTRONG of Great Britain Street, Dublin who married in 1800 to Anne CONNOR, and possibly their son Thomas christened 1817 in Dublin (though mother named as Margaret Connor).

Also Captain Armstrong of ‘Prospect, Clontafrd Road’ and Peter Armstrong LAWLESS of Templeogue, Farmer.

And finally, particularly seek descendents of PETER ARMSTRONG (C17170 – ??) who married Margaret (unknown maiden name) and had the following issue:

  1. Thomas Armstrong christened Dec. 1743 St Nicholas Without, Dublin (witnesses Hugh McGUIRE and WInifred DOYLE).
  2. Margaret ARmstrong christened 1746, St Nicholas Without (witnesses Luke BARRETT and Catherine TICKLE.
  3. Robert Armstrong christened 1747, St Nicholas Without (witnesses Hugh McGUIRE and Jane McGUIRE).