Mary KeatingLast Name
Flin, Flinn, FlynnArrival in Queensland
19 June 1854Date of Birth
ca. 1834Place of Birth
Rathkeale, Limerick, IrelandDate of Death
11 April 1883Burial
Dunwich Cemetery, Stradbroke Island, QueenslandPlace of residence in Queensland
Brisbane; Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, Stradbroke IslandSpouse
John FlynnPlace Married
Rathkeale, Limerick, Ireland
Mary was born in Rathcale (Rathkeale), County Limerick, Ireland in about 1834. She was the daughter of Paul Keating, a farmer, and Margaret Shannon. In about 1852, when Mary was 18 years old, she married a local man, John Flynn.
In 1854, John and Mary emigrated to Queensland on the ship John Fielden. Their surname was entered on the ship’s passenger indent as ‘Flin’. John was described as a labourer aged 26 and Mary was aged 22. No children were listed.
In about 1859 Mary became paralysed and in 1865 when she was 31 years old, she was sent from the Brisbane Hospital to the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum on Stradbroke Island. The admission register recorded that she had been paralysed for six years. Mary said her husband was ‘last heard of on the Burnett’ and that her daughter Mary was living with a Mrs Reardon in Fortitude Valley. It was also noted that two sons were deceased.
After nearly six years at the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, Mary was discharged on 20 May 1872 but readmitted again on 3 June 1880. She was last seen by the medical officer on 5 April 1883 and died at Dunwich on 11 April 1883 aged 49.
Mary’s record also noted that that her husband was No. 1392 in the Male Register. However, John Flynn did not enter Dunwich until April 1885 after spending nine months in the Rockhampton Hospital with chronic rheumatism. Flynn was also born in Rathkeale, Limerick, the son of James Flynn, a labourer, and Margaret Ryan. Flynn’s entry stated that he was ‘Never’ married but this is noted as ‘false’ with a further notation that his wife was No. 3 in the Female Register.
Flynn described himself as a labourer and miner and said that he could read and write. He told the Dunwich staff that he had remained in Queensland since arriving on the ship John Fielding [sic] about 33 years ago. Flynn said he had worked in Gympie, Palmer, Crocodile, Peak Downs, Ravenswood, Charters Towers, Etheridge and Mount Morgan, and that he was last employed shearing at Gayndah. He had no property and no cash, but did have a change of clothes.
John Flynn was discharged on 19 June 1888 and readmitted on 5 February 1889. He was last seen by the medical superintendent on 24 June 1889, the day he died, and was buried on 26 June 1889. It is likely that John and Mary Flynn were buried in unmarked graves at the Dunwich Cemetery, like thousands of other paupers from the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum.
Researcher and author: Jan Richardson, Harry Gentle Resource Centre.
Date of publication: 28 April 2022.
Women's quarters at Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, North Stradbroke Island, 1914 (State Library of Queensland).
John and Mary Flin [sic] per John Fielden, arrived Moreton Bay 19 Jun 1854, p. 55.
QSA, Register of personal details relating to females admitted to Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, Item ID ITM9520 (Digital Image No. DR51287).
Mary Flynn (née Keating), Entry No. 3, first admitted Dec 1865.
QSA, Admission register, males - Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, Item ID ITM298713 (Digital Image No. DR51295).
John Flynn, Entry No. 1392, first admitted 11 Apr 1885.
21 Apr 1883
6 Jul 1889