Explore Irish Hungerfords

Hungerfords of England and Ireland

Until the mid-twentieth century, the Hungerfords who came to Australia and New Zealand originated from Ireland. They were descendants of Captain Thomas Hungerford of Rathbarry, Cork, who died in 1680. Captain Thomas’s ancestry cannot be definitively identified. Two contemporary clues to his parentage exist. First is a letter he wrote in 1675 to Robert Southwell of Kinsale, Cork, in which he calls Robert’s wife, Helena Gore Southwell, his ‘cozen’ (cousin). Other evidence shows that Helena Gore’s mother, Susannah Hyde, was first cousin of Avis Ivy who married Fulke Hungerford of The Lea. This Fulke died in 1620 leaving children, Henry, George and Susan named in his will, and a wife pregnant with an unborn child. The pedigree below suggests that Captain Thomas was Fulke’s unborn child from 1620. Supporting this theory is the second clue, a letter from the Earl of Clarendon, Edward Hyde, that mentions Captain Hungerford of Ireland as his ‘cousin’. For further information, see the HAFS Journals Vol 2 No 3 (May 1994) and Vol 5 No 2 (Nov 1999).

Peter Sherlock [E.4.1a.6b.5c.1d.2e], HAFS member and historian has completed considerable further research on the ancestry of Thomas Hungerford of Rathbarry which now provides a number answers to the questions posed above in this piece: see Origins of the Irish Hungerfords: New Evidence.

Hungerfords of Ireland

The Hungerfords were descended from Hungerfords in Ireland, who were descended earlier from Hungerfords in Wiltshire. This chart shows the descendants of Captain Thomas Hungerford of Rathbarry [SH1] who emigrated to Australia and New Zealand – Becher [B], John Thomas [J], Emanuel [E], Richard [R], Ryder [Y], Henry (H), Townsend [T]. Other Hungerfords  from this family went to Canada, Jamaica and beyond, but are not shown for the sake of brevity. For further information on the Irish Hungerfords, see the special Irish issue of the HAFS Journal Vol 4 No 1 (May 1997).

View this chart of the Hungerfords of Ireland to understand how the first Australian Hungerfords were descended from them.