b. 1834, d. 15 February 1873
FatherThomas Lee
MotherBridget Callaghan

Birth, Death, Marriage

Margaret Lee was born in 1834 in Clare, Ireland.1 
She married Michael O'Loughlin, son of Michael O'Loughlin and Anne Mulquinny, on 7 February 1857 in St Mary's, Geelong, Victoria.2 
She died on 15 February 1873 in Warrenheip, Victoria.3 


Michael O'Loughlin b. Apr 1826, d. 3 Jun 1890
ChartsO'Loughlin, Michael, descendant chart
Phillips, Thomas, pedigree chart


Margaret died in childbirth at age 37. She is the daughter of Thomas Lee, a farmer, and Margaret Callaghan of County Clare in Ireland, and had come to Australia to escape the devastating effects of the potato blight. In 1857, a year after arriving in Geelong, she married Michael O'Loughlin who is also from County Clare. The couple had five children in the Geelong area before moving to Warrenheip near Ballarat where three more children were born. In February 1873, Margaret and the baby died during childbirth and no birth was registered. This left Michael to care for the children aged from 15 down to two.
The John & Lucy arrived at the port of Geelong on 16 January 1856 following a three month journey from Liverpool. Margaret was one of 387 passengers and 240 predominantly Irish females of working age (14 to 45) who had fled the terrible hardship caused by the potato blight. There were no other Lees on board, so the 20 year old Margaret most likely travelled alone.

Victoria was booming and there was an acute shortage of skilled workers and of females, so people such as Margaret were in high demand. Her passage out was assisted by R Martin of Gt Lonsdale St Geelong, with whom she was engaged to start work on 23 February. The initial term was three months and her wages were 20 shillings.4
Family Life
Michael O'Loughlin and Margaret Lee married in St Mary's Roman Catholic church in Geelong. Neither Michael nor Margaret could sign their name.

The couple's first five children, Thomas, Mary Anne, Catherine, Austin and Margaret were born in the Geelong area. Sadly, two of those, Austin and Catherine, later known as 'Katy', died in infancy. Then around 1866, Michael, his family, and his extended family, moved to Warrenheip near Ballarat where a further three children were born.

The 1860s and early 1870s would have been happy times for Michael and Margaret. They were surrounded by extended family and their own family was growing. There was plenty to eat. And in mid-1872, Michael's gainful employment had enabled him to make the final lease payment for their Warrenheip property.5,2,6
Death During Childbirth
Tragedy struck in February 1873, when Margaret succumbed to the hazards of childbirth. She died after two days of haemorrhaging following a protracted labour. No birth was registered, so the child also died.

This left Michael to look after their six children, the youngest of whom was two year old Bridget. Perhaps he was assisted by his family or any of Margaret's family that might have lived nearby.3
Two days after her death, Margaret was buried at Ballarat cemetery. Her husband Michael was later buried in the same grave.3


  1. [S98] The O'Loughlins, self published, 1997, p. 206.
  2. [S46] Michael O'Loughlin and Margaret Lee, marriage registration no. 590, 7 February 1857.
  3. [S47] Margaret O'Loughlin, death registration no. 2885, 15 February 1873.
  4. [S388] Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists 1839-1923, online, ship 'John & Lucy', January 1856.
  5. [S30] Ellen O'Loughlin, birth registration no. 1121, 26 March 1869.
  6. [S315] 'Warrenheip parish plan, imperial measure', VPRS 16171 Regional Land Office Parish and Township Plans Digitised Reference Set, plan no. 3760, map, 2002, allotment 27, section 15.