The Grady name was first found in the Irish counties of Munster, Limerick, Clare, Cavan and Galway. The family anciently called Bradigan and O'Bradigan are believed to have anglicised their name after the advent of the Strongbow invasion.
Spelling variations include: Grady, Brady, O'Grady, O'Brady, Braidy, Graidy, Bradie and many more.
Shortly after Governor Philip established the first European settlement in Australia, at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788, a child was born in Ireland who was destined to spend most of his life in that colony. Patrick Grady, born at Waterford, was the son of James Grady and Mary Riley. Nothing is known about his early life except that he grew up to become a farm labourer in Tipperary.
At the age of 18 he fell in love with a farmer's daughter who was three years his senior and they were married. His wife, Margaret, was the daughter of Timothy Whalan and Margaret Kelley. They had eight children, three of whom died as infants. The survivors were: Mary (c1807 - 1880), Ellen (c1812 - 1894), James (c1815 - 1887), Judith (c1816 - 1883) and Patrick (c1823 - 1892).
It is well known that the lives of Irish farm workers were incredibly difficult. Patrick was arrested in early 1822, aged 34, and tried at the Spring assizes in Waterford. He was found guilty and transported to Australia on a life sentence. When he embarked on the Brampton on 8 November 1822, he was described as 5' 3½", of sallow complexion with dark brown hair and grey eyes. He was one of 172 convicts that disembarked in Sydney five months later, along with a detachment of the third regiment.
Somehow Margaret Grady struggled on in Tipperary without her husband, but he wanted her and the children to be with him. Just over a year after his arrival in Australia, he arranged for Thomas and Samuel Hassall to write to the Colonial Secretary with a petition that his family be allowed to join him in Australia. Patrick had been assigned to Reverend Thomas Hassell as a convict servant and resided at Bathurst. The letter read:
Patrick Grady, who arrived by the Brampton Captn Moore in 1823 Sentence Life is anxious to have his wife & five children sent out to him & begs that you will have his case taken into consideration and if pofsible afford him the pleasure of once more beholding & comforting all that is now near & dear to him.
We believe him to be a steady honest and industrious character & think he would be able to support the said wife & family if here without any expence to Government. I have the honour to be
Your most obedient
Thos & Saml Hafsall
The letter indicated that the family lived at New Castle Parish Clon(mell), County Tipperary, Ireland and listed his children as James, Patrick, Mary, Elenor and Jude.
This request was granted and the family embarked on the City of Edinburgh on 23 June 1828 and arrived at Sydney five months later. By November of that year, Patrick had been joined at Bathurst by his son James but his wife and remaining children remained in Sydney. The following year Ellen married Patrick Foran, a 31 year old convict serving a life sentence. Mary married 24 year old Samuel Rawson, also a convict serving a seven year sentence. Judith married Thomas Casey (later Kessey) in 1832 and James married Rose Donnelly in 1835.
Our Grady ancestors include the following people. Click on any name to access a computer-generated page of information about that person and a list of the information sources.
Click on the name of any of the notable ancestors listed below to read a short biography that I have written about them.
The following Grady family stories are published on this website.
The Grady clan descends from James Grady and his wife Mary Riley.