(also spelt Meighan)
Michael Meehan was born in 1830 at Highwood, Parish of Kilmatranny five miles from the town of Boyle, in County Sligo. His parents were John Meehan and Bridget Devine (mn) who owned a tavern and small farm. Michael faced violent opposition from his family when he informed them of his plans to marry Elizabeth McMaster, the daughter of Archibald McMaster and Eliza Mitchell (mn). Elizabeth had no dowry and was a protestant. With no other options, Michael and Elizabeth eloped in 1859 and set sail for Australia aboard "The Zohoe" arriving in Geelong on September 1st, 1859.
His first job was on a farm at Meredith, receiving one pound per week. Their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1860. Michael volunteered for the Burke and Wills expedition but was rejected because he was married. After a few years, he managed to buy 40 acres of land at Meredith, slowly buying smaller lots. By 1878, Michael headed north after selecting and buying 320 acres of land fronting the Lalbert/Swan Hill road. The family had grown with the births of Jack, Margery, Tom, Edward, Michael, James and Nell.
Michael's brother, Patrick, came to Australia for a short time but returned to take over the family farm when his father died, later migrating to America where he established a branch of the family - Patrick's son William kept in touch with the members of the Australian family until his death earlier this century.
Michael died in 1915 and is buried at the Lalbert cemetery with his wife Elizabeth who died in 1907.
Much of this information was documented by Lizzie Meehan in 1944, the oldest child of Michael and Elizabeth Meehan.
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