In 1870, Michael Sheehan was working as a salter and lived in Mill Lane, Callan. After migrating to Australia, he worked as a stonemason.
Michael and Bridget Sheehan migrated to Australia on the “Toowomba” which sailed from London on 21 August 1874, with their six children, and arrived at Rockhampton on 30 November 1874. On December 3rd 1874, The Queenslander reported that “The immigrants by the Toowoomba, barque from London and Plymouth, were landed to-day, all well, and appear to a very superior and able-bodied class”.
Michael worked as a stonemason in Rockhampton for about four years and then moved to Molong (where there are still two stone buildings which he built).
Note: by Peter Thorogood:
My grandmother, May Fallon told me that her grandparents, Michael and Bridget Sheehan, came to Australia because Bridget was ostracised by her family, who were wealthy wine traders, for marrying a stonemason who was seen as being well below her class. This may seem an unlikely story as Ireland neither grows nor consumes much wine. However, Ireland was a very large wine importing country before the English occupation. After the Battle of Boyne (1690) many Irish soldiers joined the French army and eventually settled in the Bordeau region from which they exported wine to Ireland. The English imposed such heavy import duties on French wine and brandy, that the Irish changed to drinking Guiness (founded 1759) and whiskey (e.g. Bushmills founded in 1784). Irish wine traders become wealthy by switching to exporting to the growing North American market. (Hence, French wines with Irish names, like Chateau Lynch, and brandies like Hennessy.)
Sheehan Name History:
Sheehan is one of Ireland’s most numerous surnames. Of these the great majority were born in Co. Cork, or in the adjacent counties of Kerry and Limerick. In Irish it is O Siodhachain,.
In mediaeval times a sept of the Ui Maine called O’Sheehan were hereditary trumpeters to O’Kelly, the O’Lonergans being the harpers to the same leading chief.