Sharp-Healy Family

The Story of the first two Generations

Honora Healy 1834-1889

This page has the story of Honora Healy, sister of Thomas John Healy, who was baptised on 17 July 1834, in County Galway, Ireland.

Honora's father was Thomas Healy, a farmer in the village of Menlough (Menlo), three miles from the City of Galway, with estates in Londonderry, Ireland, and her mother Bridget Connell. She was baptised a Roman Catholic with her sponsors being her father Thomas Healy and a Judith (or Judy) Haly (Healy) (possibly an aunt).

Thomas and Bridget Healy had five children that we know of:

Honora married a John Lawless (1832-1898) on 2 March 1862 in the Castlegar Roman Catholic Church, County Galway, Ireland. He was the third child of seven from Stephen Lawless and Kate Conneelly of Galway. His sister Ellen Lawless (1842-1924) married Patrick Healy (1831-1922).

Together they emigrated to New Zealand along with their 3 sons - Stephen (10), Thomas (7) and John (2), on the "Corona" departing on 23 May 1874 from Gateshead and arrived in Otago on 28 August 1874. John was listed as being 45 and Honora was 35 years and they paid 50 pounds 15 pence. He was listed as a Farm Labourer from County Galway. (See transcript and image of the voyage of the "Corona" below.)

Here's a screenshot of the passenger list record:


There were seven children altogether:

  1. Stephen Lawless 1862-1951
  2. Patrick Lawless (1) 1865-? (did not emigrate, presumed died in Ireland)
  3. Thomas Lawless 1866-1943
  4. Michael Lawless 1869-? (did not emigrate, presumed died in Ireland)
  5. John Lawless 1871-1905
  6. Patrick Lawless (2) 1875-1876
  7. James Lawless 1882-1910


Stephen Lawless was born in Galway, Ireland in 1862 and emigrated with his parents to Dunedin. He was a brickmaker. He lived at 723 Cumberland Street, Dunedin. He married Mary Campbell Hawkins (1874-1954) on 11 May 1898 in St Joseph's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Dunedin. They had 8 children: 3 daughters and 5 sons, all born in Dunedin:

  1. Theresa Josephine Nora Lawless 1899-1974
  2. Thomas Aloysius Lawless 1900-1981
  3. Dorothea Sophia Lawless 1903-1932
  4. Theobald Matthew Stephen Lawless 1904-1951
  5. Cyril Patrick Lawless 1909-1980
  6. Mary Philomena Lawless 1912-1985
  7. Clarence Alfred Lawrence Lawless 1914-1916
  8. Dominick Eugene Graham Lawless 1916-1920

Stephen, whose last address was 723 Cumberland Street, occupation Brickmaker, died on 17 May 1951 aged 89 years (BDM Ref 1951/24156) and is buried in Anderson's Bay Cemetery, Block 194, plot 29, along with his son Theobald Matthew Lawless, a ticket seller, (BDM Ref 1951/23830) aged 46 years, of 727 Cumberland Street, who died on 30 May 1951. No plot image is available.

His wife Mary died on 23 December 1954 aged 80 years, in Christchurch, and is buried in the Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch along with her daughter. The burial details state: "LAWLESS, Mary Campbell, d. 23 December 1954. Late of Dunedin. Marie Philomena Baker, d. 16 July 1985 a. 72. 8/20."


Thomas Lawless was born in Menlo, County Galway, Ireland, on 30 June 1866 and was baptised on 4 July 1866 at the Castlegar Roman Catholic Church - sponsors Michael Ward and Mary Francis. He emigrated with his parents to Dunedin aged 8 years. He died on 13 June 1943 aged 77 years (BDM Ref 1943/18668) in Auckland. His death was reported in the "Evening Star" Issue 24897 22 June 1943: "DEATHS. LAWLESS - At Auckland, Thomas, son of the late John and Honora Lawless, brother of Stephen, 634 George Street. RIP." He was buried on 15 June 1943 in Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland, in Catholic Division B, Row 2, plot 2A. Ref Waikumete Cemetery.


John Lawless was born in 1871 and died on 20 March 1905 aged 35 years, at Dunedin Hospital (BDM #1905/4052). His death notice published in the "Evening Star" reads: "LAWLESS - on the 20th March, at the Dunedin Hospital, John Lawless, aged 35 years. RIP." [EVENING STAR, ISSUE 12457, 20 MARCH 1905, PAGE 4]. He is buried in the family plot at the Southern Cemetery, Block 13R, plot 11.


Patrick, who died on 8 December 1876 (Ref BDM 1876/4219) aged 1 year was named after his older deceased brother, was born on 28 October 1875 (BDM 1875/8842). He was baptised on 29 April 1876 at St Joseph's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Dunedin, godparent Bridget Fox? He was buried on 10 December in the family plot at the Southern Cemetery, Block 13R, plot 11. No death notice has been found.


James Lawless was born on 3 March 1882 (BDM Ref 1882/397) in Dunedin, baptised on 12 March 1882 at St Patrick's Roman Catholic Basilica, Dunedin (godparent Helena Duggan) and died on 1 October 1910. His death notice read: "LAWLESS - on the 1st October, at the Dunedin Hospital, James Lawless, aged 28 years. Deeply Regretted. RIP." [EVENING STAR, ISSUE 14487, 3 OCTOBER 1910, PAGE 4] He was buried in the Southern Cemetery, Block 21R, Plot 10 on 4 October 1910. (Note the Dunedin cemetery record states his age as 36 years.) Headstone.


Honora died on 2 March 1889 aged 55 years (BDM Ref 1889/244) and is buried in the Southern Cemetery, Dunedin, in Block 13R, Plot 11. Unmarked grave. She was recorded as living at Argyle Street in South Dunedin. Her youngest son James was just 7 years of age.

John Lawless died in hospital on 22 July 1898 aged 70 years, and is buried in the Southern Cemetery, Dunedin, in Block 13R, Plot 11 (BDM Ref 1898/4293). Unmarked grave.

In this plot is also listed a George Francis, died 4 November 1876 aged 5 years (BDM Ref 1876/4220). It is not known if this child is related or not.

Their death and funeral notices read:

Reference: Dunedin City Council Cemetery database: Honora and John Lawless

Image of Lawless family Plot, Southern Cemetery (from Dunedin City Council website).
Lawless family plot

Voyage of "Corona"

Above: View of the prow and figurehead of the sailing ship Corona, at Port Chalmers. Source: National Library.

This passage details the arrival of the Corona - Otago Witness, Issue 1188, 5 September 1874, Page 12

The Corona, a stately ship of wooden build, and nearly 1200 tons register, arrived on the 28th inst. with another crowd of immigrants shipped at London. She was signalled shortly after the Bruce, and the signal of her name was immediately followed by that most welcome one of all "All well on board." After placing the Bruce in safety, the Geelong went to the Heads again, and soon returned with the Corona in tow. Just as the two vessels reached the Quarantine Ground it came to blow sharply from the S.W., and as the tug could not make headway against the breeze, the ship had to be anchored just below Palling Point, and was there boarded by the Customs and Immigration Officer and others. Mr Collin Allan was, of course, present. The visitors were courteously received by Captain Robertson, and the surgeon superintendent, Dr Gordon. The report of the latter touching the sanitary condition of those under his charge was satisfactory. No infectious disease of any kind had appeared during the passage and the immigrants on the whole were a decent lot of people. There were, however, some amongst them who had better have been left at home, and from the tenor of the Doctor's remarks, and also from what we could glean in other quarters, we inferred that the selection of the subagents had been carelessly conducted.

There are 406 souls, equal to 390 and a half statute adults, on board the Corona, aud include 93 married couples, 52 single women, 78 single men, and 180 children. The latter comprise 71 boys, 78 girls, and 31 infants. Eleven deaths and 10 births had occurred on the passage, the deaths being all in the case of children excepting one. The first was that of George Whitehead, aged 6 months, who died of bronchitis on June 4th. On June 12th, Steven West, aged 16 months, died of atropy; on June 29th, Michael Sullivan, aged 8 months, died of convulsions; July 23, Ellen Willis, 5 months, died of atropy; August 23, Edward Walsh, 10 months, died of convulsions; August 24, John Milton, aged 26 years, (died of consumption); and on August 27, Owen Sullivan, 3 years, died of inflammation of the brain, and as the death happened so near land the body was brought in to be buried on shore. The above were all the deaths amongst those who joined the ship at London, the remaining deaths are connected with the births which took place on board. These were as follows: June 4, Mrs White of a son; June 21, Mrs Le Fauden of a daughter; July 21, Mrs Brooks of a son, who died on July 21. On that date Mrs Jopson was confined of a boy; July 16, Mrs Hannon of a girl; July 31, Mrs Barron of a girl, who died subsequently; August 11, Mrs. Walker of a girl, died August 13; and at later dates, Mrs Grewett was confined of a girl, and Mrs Blackwood of a boy, still-born.

Taking the immigrants throughout, we were not unfavourably impressed by their appearance. They appeared to be strong aud healthy, and one and all expressed their utmost desire for, and willingness to work. They were also satisfied with their entertainment on board, and spoke in high terms of praise of the captain and doctor. The compartments were scrupulously clean, the single women's especially so, and the bunks were arranged London fashion, so as to make the most of the space at command. There was, of course, the usual herding in the case of the unfortunate married people, less care being taken to promote secrecy than is usually observable in London ships. The Corona is a fine vessel, admirably suited for the immigration business, her 'tween-decks being lofty and freely ventilated and lighted. She is pierced with side scuttles, and is liberally fitted up with roomy hospitals, dispensing and other offices. The freshwater condenser, one of Chaplins, worked well; the cuisine department was also well provided for. The ship made the passage in 98 days from the docks, which is somewhat in excess of average time. She was, however, much hindered by light weather, and by easterly weather at the latter end of the run. Her report states that she left London on the 22nd May, Gravesend on the 24th, and passed through the Downs on the 25th. Light variable weather and fogs were experienced in the Channel, so that it was not until the 1st June that she cleared the land, the Lizard being the last departure. Unsettled moderate weather prevailed until the 9th June, when she picked up a N.E. breeze in latitude 33 that merged into the Trade wind. On the 22nd. the Trade died away in latitude 9 18. Thence the ship knocked about in the doldrum belt until July 2nd, when she crossed the Equator in longitude 28 10 W., and on the following day she then being 4S miles south of the Line the S.E. Trade was met with. It blew pretty steady and fair, and gave out on the 10th in latitude 23. Northerly breezes then found tho ship, and on the 15th the wind took westing, and held between N.W. and W. a few days. On the 19th she crossed the meridian of Greenwich, and between that and the meridian of the Cape she lost the westerlys, and had several days of light variable easterly weather, just where fresh westerly winds were looked for. This materially lengthened her passage. On the 25th of June, she crossed the meridian of the Cape, and on the 2Sth the wind veered to the westward, and fell there steady and strong, bowling the ship along at a great rate. On the 1st and second inst, she logged at the rate of 11 and 12 knots per hour. She passed the median of Cape Leuwin on the 13th inst., and on the 17th the breeze hauled to the N.E., and freshened to a smart gale that brought her down to lower topsails for a few hours. Next day it worked round to the westward again, and took her to within sight of the Snares on the 24th. Then she met easterly weather again, the strong gale of that date, and weathered it under snug canvas, and being favoured by a subsequent westerly slant, she fetched the Heads yesterday morning, and was towed in as above. Two vessels wero signalled during the passage. Firstly, north of the Equator, the ship Craigendarroh, from London bound to Adelaide. On the 29th June, lat 2.22 north, long 28W., the ship Delaware, from Valparaiso, bound to Cork, was signalled. The Corona brings about 900 tons of cargo, chiefly dead weight railway material, and is consigned to Messrs Cagills, Gibbs, and Co.


If you know of any information about Honora Healy, please contact Dale Hartle on 021 45 34 24 or email mjhartle at xtra co nz (please adjust the email address) or contact me at 171 Queen Street West, Levin, New Zealand 5510.