b. 1825, d. 16 September 1866
FatherThomas Phillips1
MotherMary Ann West1

Birth, Death, Marriage

James Phillips was born in 1825 in Worcestershire, England.1 
He married Bridget McMahon, daughter of Thomas McMahon and Mary Mack, on 4 July 1860 in Church of St Francis, Melbourne, Victoria.1 
He died on 16 September 1866 in Geelong, Victoria.2 


Bridget McMahon b. 1835, d. 25 Dec 1903
ChartsPhillips, James, descendant chart
Phillips, Thomas, pedigree chart


James Phillips was the first of our Phillips line to come to Australia. He was a blacksmith from Worcestershire in England and worked around Meredith in Victoria. From available evidence, James died in Geelong after being in Australia for just 7 years, leaving a wife and two children aged four and one.
Our First Phillips in Australia
James Phillips was the first of our Phillips line to come to Australia. Sadly, we have discovered very little about his life. He was from Worcestershire in England, and probably arrived about 1859.3,2
Marriage and Family
James and Bridget married in 1860 in Melbourne. According to the marriage registration he was ten years her senior, but according to the birth registration for their daughter, he was twenty years older. James would not have been a Catholic, but Bridget was an Irish Catholic so they married in the Catholic Church of St Francis. At the time of their marriage, both gave their present residence as Melbourne.

Their first child John arrived three years later in either Lal Lal or Meredith, depending on which source you believe, his birth registration having never been found. Meredith is half way between Geelong and Ballarat. Their second child Bridget was born two years later, also in Meredith.1,3
On his marriage registration and the birth registration for his daughter Bridget, James gives his occupation as blacksmith. This is the same occupation as given for his father. The two children were born near the gold mining areas of Morrisons Diggings and Dollys Creek, near Meredith. So it is possible James plied his trade in support of the gold miners.1,3
What Became of James Phillips?
We don't have reliable information on what happened to James. From the best available evidence, he is the James Phillips who died in 1866 in Geelong Hospital of dysentery and is buried in the English (Eastern) cemetery in Geelong. That James is about the right age and died in the right area, though there is no information given about his occupation, parents, marriage or family, and his occupation is given as 'farmer'. Another reason for believing this is our James is that it explains why there are no more children after Bridget's birth in 1865. Dysentery would also be common on the goldfields, with Geelong hospital well equipped to treat it. If this is our James, he was in Australia for only seven years.

James left a wife, and two children aged four and one.2


  1. [S106] James Phillips and Bridget McMahon, marriage registration no. 2564, 4 July 1860.
  2. [S34] James Phillips, death registration, 16 September 1866.
  3. [S29] Bridget Phillips, birth registration no. 23864, 6 September 1865.