John Michael Curtin

Denis Curtin (1843-1917) with his son John Michael Curtin (1879-1946)

Did you know that a first cousin of Australian war-time Prime Minister is buried in Drishane Cemetery? Their fathers John and Denis, and another brother Michael emigrated together on the Earl Dalhousie in 1874, but Denis returned with his son John in 1882 after his wife died.

“John Curtin’s (the Australian Prime Minister 1941-1945) early ancestry is Irish. His father, also a John Curtin, was born in 1853 at, Kilpadder, near Dromohane, Mallow, in the Parish of Kilshanig, Co Cork. He emigrated to South Australia in January 1874 on board the “Earl Dalhousie” with his brothers Michael and Denis. He served in the Artillery Corps and transferred to the Victorian Police in 1878. He retired from the Force in 1890.
John’s brother Denis was born in 1843. He married Bridget Conway in Adelaide, South Australia in 1876 and together they moved to Melbourne, Victoria. Their son John Michael Curtin was born in 1879. Sadly Bridget died, and in 1882 Denis and his young son went back to Ireland. Denis is buried in the family plot at Newberry Cemetery, and John is buried in Drishane Cemetery, Millstreet, Co Cork.
Michael Curtin who also emigrated was born in November 1850 & baptised in Glantane, Parish of Mallow. He married Margaret Kain in 1882 and together they raised a large family in South Australia, Australia

Born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 2 Apr 1879 to Denis Curtin and Bridget Conway. John Michael married Jane O Connell and had 5 children. He passed away on 24 Jun 1946 in Millstreet, Cork, Ireland, a year after his cousin John the Australian Prime Minister who died in office.” – from BlueGumTrees


Ship records for the Earl Dalhousie say that John’s father Denis was a Baker/Policeman.

John’s father Denis (1843-1917) was one of seven siblings, but he and his wife Bridget only had one child. John’s Children with Jane O’Connell are

  • John (unknown-1973) married May Hartnett, and had 3 children, Ann, John and Daniel
  • Denis (1910-1999), married Margaret Winters and had 8 children, passed away in 1999 at Clonbanin
  • Margaret
  • Nicholas, had 5 children
  • Charles (1912-1976), Married Maura Hoare and had 3 children

Family of John are still in the Millstreet area – at Curtin’s Bar, Clonbanin, and Minor Row.


2 thoughts on “John Michael Curtin”

  1. An interesting coincidence: At the same time as John Curtin was Prime minister of Australia another man with local connections was acting Prime minister of New Zealand. He was Daniel Giles Sullivan. His father Florence Sullivan had left from Cahirbarnagh and sailed to New Zealand in 1879. There he married a Scottish woman Mary Dow. Daniel G was born on 18 Jul 1882. In 1919 he contested the Parliamentary election, was elected and was returned every year until he died in 1947. He held important ministries in government during most of this time, especially during WW11. He was elected Mayor of Christchurch from 1931 to 1936. He acted Prime Minister of New Zealand on five occasions during the 2nd world war, his last period was from April to July 1944. “Sullivan Avenue” and “Sullivan Park” are places names in his honour in Christchurch. He spent about 6 months with his relatives here in 1902/3. He visited again after Christmas in 1944, when a big party was organised for him in the home of his cousins the Dempsey family in Rathmore. Sadly he died rather suddenly in 1947.

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