Joseph Dolleur

Joseph Dolleur

Last Name


Given Name:


Alternative Name:

Doleur, Delore, De Lore, Dellore, Dollard, Dollair, Dollieur, Dilleur

Arrival in Queensland

ca. 1853

Date of Birth

ca. 1814

Place of Birth

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Date of Death

20 October 1879


Liverpool, NSW

Place of residence in Queensland

Kangaroo Point, Brisbane


Mary Kelleher

Place Married

Moreton Bay, Qld


Francis Dolleur (recorded as Dollard), born 5 Feb 1854 at Moreton Bay, Mary Ellen Dolleur, born 20 Aug 1855 at Moreton Bay, and eight younger children born in NSW


Joseph Dolleur, a 24-year-old French-Canadian convict, was tried in Montreal in the Canadian province of Quebec. He was transported to the colonies for 21 years on board the Waterloo, arriving in Sydney in 1838. Dolleur and his Irish wife, Mary Kelleher, resided at Moreton Bay during the mid-1850s. Mary arrived in Queensland as an assisted immigrant on the ship Argyle which docked at Moreton Bay in 1852. Joseph and Mary likely married in Queensland in 1852 or 1853 and their eldest son, Francis, was born at Moreton Bay on 5 February 1854. In 1855 or 1856 the Dolleurs departed Queensland and lived the rest of their lives in New South Wales. Joseph Dolleur died at the Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute in 1879 and was buried in a pauper's grave.

Dolleur was found guilty of housebreaking in Montreal in February 1837. His trial record stated that he and his accomplice, James Gordon, were 'part of a gang of thieves who have infested this city for some time'. Dolleur was sentenced to 21 years' transportation to a penal colony. He was 24 years old, single, and 5 feet 8 and a half inches tall. He had multiple tattoos including initials, a date (20 May 1837), the name Louise Boldague, images of two women, a flower, a star, and a cross.

In 1850, twelve years after arriving in Sydney, Dolleur was granted a ticket of leave for Maitland but it was cancelled in 1851 as he was 'illegally absent' from the district. In 1852, Dolleur was sentenced to imprisonment in Sydney's Darlinghurst Gaol. The next mention of Dolleur occurs when he and his Irish wife Mary Kelleher had their eldest son Francis at Moreton Bay on 5 February 1854, though Joseph's surname was spelled 'Dollard' and Mary's name was recorded as 'May Caleher'. Mary arrived in Queensland in 1852 as an assisted immigrant on the ship Argyle which sailed directly to Moreton Bay. Joseph and Mary were likely married in Queensland in 1852 or 1853 but no record of their marriage can be traced.

In November 1854, Dolleur was called as a witness in an enquiry into the disappearance of two members of the boat pilot's crew, Joseph Goold [sic] and Thomas Anderson, who set sail from the Kangaroo Point wharf for Moreton Island in the company of seven Aboriginal men. Dolleur stated that he was with Goold and Anderson on the day in question and that he saw all of the men in boat just before it pushed off from the wharf. After several witnesses were examined, warrants were issued for the arrest of three Aboriginal men: Billy Barlow, Andy, and Jacky.

The final trace of Joseph Dolleur at Moreton Bay occurs on 21 March 1855 when it was reported that 'Joseph Dolleur, of Kangaroo Point, was fined 20s and costs for using profane language'. Following the birth of their eldest child Francis at Moreton Bay in February 1854, the Dolleurs had nine more children including Margaret Ellen Dolleur who may have been born in Brisbane on 20 August 1855, though there is no record of her birth.

Joseph received his conditional pardon, bringing his convict sentence to an end, on 13 February 1856. After departing Queensland in 1855 or 1856. the Dolleurs lived the rest of their lives in New South Wales, moving to the Williams River, the Myall River and then eventually settling in Tuncurry where Joseph worked in a timber mill and ship building business owned by John Wright.

Joseph's surname was spelled multiple ways throughout his lifetime but during the 1860s and 1870s it was most commonly recorded as Delore, including when he was admitted to the Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute on 21 November 1879. According to Joseph's biography on the Midcoast Stories website, when Joseph became seriously ill with cardiac disease in 1879, he was forced to apply for a bed at the Liverpool Asylum because there were no hospitals in their local area. Joseph died not long afterwards and was buried in a pauper's grave.

After Joseph's death, Mary married James Rennie in 1881. She became known on the New South Wales Midcoast as 'Granny Rennie' because of her work in delivering hundreds of babies in the region, which was acknowledged in 1901 when the Tuncurry community presented Mary with a purse of sovereigns. Mary Rennie, who was born in County Clare, Ireland in about 1832, died under tragic circumstances at Forster, New South Wales on 2 August 1908 after her clothing caught fire. Rennie Crescent at Tuncurry is named in her honour. Descendants of Joseph and Mary Dolleur (Delore, De Lore, de Lore) now live in multiple states of Australia, including Queensland.

Author: Jan Richardson. Based on initial information provided by descendant, Jeremy de Lore, and with special acknowledgement of Marilyn Boyd and Janine Roberts, authors of the biographies of 'Joseph De Lore' and 'Granny Rennie' published on the Midcoast Stories website.

Archival Resources

Dominus Rex vs Charles Ouellette, Joseph Dolleur, George W. Donato et Martin Cullen

Archives Canada, File D123 - Dominus Rex vs Charles Ouellette, Joseph Dolleur, George W. Donato et Martin Cullen, 24 Feb 1827 to 10 Mar 1837, CA Quebec TL19-S1-SS62-D123.

Indent of the Waterloo (1838)

New South Wales State Archives (NSWSA), Indent, Waterloo 5 (1838), NRS 12189, Item X641, Microfiche 732.

Ticket of Leave

NSWSA, Ticket of Leave Butts, NRS 12201, Item 4/4222, Reel 964*, No. 50/21, 28 Jan 1850, Joseph Doleur [sic].

Conditional Pardon

NSWSA, Conditional Pardons, NRS 1172, Item 4/4477, Reel 796, pp. 143-144, No. 56/17, 13 Feb 1856.

Letters Relating to Moreton Bay and Queensland

State Library of Queensland, Letters Relating to Moreton Bay and Queensland, A2 Reels, A2.16, pp. 647-648, Statement of Joseph Dilleur [sic], 31 Oct 1854, CS Reg No. 54/10006.

NSW Reg BDM, Birth and death registrations

NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Birth and death registrations of children of Joseph and Mary Delore/Dellore/De Lore:

Joseph Dellore, birth registration, 1857, no district, 1301/1857 V18571301 121A
Joseph Dellore, birth registration, 1857, Maitland, 8130/1857
Andrew Dellore, birth registration, 1861, Port Stephens, 11997/1861
John De Lore (also John Delore), death registration, 1862, Port Stephens, 5632/1862
Jane Delore, birth registration, 1863, Port Stephens, 12636/1863
John P. Dellore, birth registration, 1864, Port Stephens, 13934/1864
Edward A. Delore, birth registration, 1867, Port Stephens, 15111/1867
Sophia H. Delore, birth registration, 1869, Port Stephens, 17055/1869

Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute

NSWSA, Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute, Surgeon Superintendent's Weekly Reports, NRS 4951, Joseph Delore [sic], admitted 21 Nov 1879.


List of absconded convicts

New South Wales Government Gazette
16 May 1851

Moreton Bay

Tasmanian Colonist
30 Nov 1854

Police cases

Moreton Bay Courier
24 Mar 1855

Conditional pardons

New South Wales Government Gazette
7 Mar 1856

Online Resources

Midcoast Stories: Joseph De Lore (by Janine Roberts and Marilyn Boyd)
Midcoast Stories: Granny Rennie (by Marilyn Boyd and Janine Roberts)
NSWSA, Convicts Index, Ticket of Leave
NSWSA, Convicts Index, Conditional Pardon
Archives Canada, Trial of Joseph Dolleur
SLQ, Letters Relating to Moreton Bay and Queensland
Qld BDM, Birth registration of Francis Dollard [sic], 1854/BBP/2007
Convict Records of Australia: Joseph Dolleur per Waterloo (1838)