William Forbes Synnot[1]

Male 1831 - 1876  (44 years)


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  • Name William Forbes Synnot 
    Born 23 Jun 1831  Ballymoyer, County Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Address:
    Ballymoyer House 
    Gender Male 
    Died 3 Mar 1876  Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8, 9, 10
    Probate 2 Oct 1876  Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Probate 4 Mar 1898  Dublin, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [12, 13
    _UID 25482EE2810F48F1ABF233ECBFC73AE9ABF2 
    Person ID I9035  Treefive
    Last Modified 1 Sep 2017 

    Father Marcus Synnot, Esq.,   b. 21 Jun 1771, Ballymoyer, County Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Feb 1855, Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Mother Jane Gillson,   b. 20 Apr 1794, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 May 1866, South Dublin, Dublin, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 29 Jun 1813  Edenham, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
    Family ID F2677  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Catherine Mulligan,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Maryanne Synnot,   b. Abt 1857, Loughgilly, County Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F5000  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Sarah Kelly,   b. 1835, Armagh, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jul 1859, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 24 years) 
    Children 
     1. William Forbes Kelly,   b. 24 Jun 1859, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Aug 1859, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F4999  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 


    • In 1855, William Forbes Synnot graduated B. A., Vern at Trinity College, Dublin. Vern is an abbreviation for Comitia Verna - Spring Commencements. To take the highest degree in each Faculty is described in the Old Statutes as Commencing in that Faculty i.e. commencing as a Teacher or Doctor.

      Forbes Synnot was named as the father of Maryanne Synnot (illegitimate) in the record of Maryanne's baptism in the Parish of Loughgilly, County of Armagh on 25 Aug 1857. The mother's name was given as Catherine Mulligan, and the sponsor was Mary McDonnell. Forbes was described as 'acatholicus' i.e. non-Catholic.

      William Forbes Synnot was awarded a Commission as a Lieutenant in the Armagh Regiment of Militia (the 75th Armagh Light Infantry) on 29 Dec 1854. Commissions in this militia were signed by the Lieutenant of the County or the Lord Lieutenant.

      The same gazette advised on 29 July 1859 that Lieutenant William Forbes Synnot was appointed Captain in the Armagh Light Infantry Regiment of Militia on 12 Jul 1859, replacing Close who had resigned. James Porter Reid was appointed as a Lieutenant on 6 Jun 1861 to replace Synnot who had been promoted. This presumably refers to William's promotion to Captain in 1859.

      A United Kingdom passport was issued to William F. Synnot on 1 May 1858.

      On 27 Dec 1859, Wm. Forbes Synnot was admitted to the Armagh Lodge no. 409 of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland. He received his Grand Lodge Certificate on 24 Jan 1860. It seems that Forbes was heading for a settled and conservative lifestyle in County Armagh.

      But later in 1860, Forbes was in Australia. He left Liverpool on the 'Empress of the Sea' on 6 Sep 1860 and arrived on the 'Empress Of The Sea' in Melbourne, Victoria on 24 Nov. It appears that he emigrated alone, as no other family names are on the passenger list. There is no sign of his daughter Rose on the list, under any known family name.

      Wm Forbes Synnot next appears on a 'List of Unclaimed Ship Letters for the Week Ending 15th Nov 1860' in the Victoria Government Gazette on 22 Nov 1860. His next move was to New Zealand - he was on a list of unclaimed letters in Wellington, New Zealand on 1 Jan 1861. It appears that his stay in Australia was very brief.

      In partnership with Frederick Martin Chapman, Forbes farmed sheep at Pokawa Station near Te Aute, in the Hawkes Bay area. He was modest in describing himself as a sheepfarmer - the partnership leased 12,000 acres of Maori land at £330 per year, from sons of Hapuku and Puhara who were rangatira of the Ngati Kahungunu iwi. The value of the stock or other property owned by the partnership was £3,000.

      There was a 'Synnot' on the passenger list for the s.s. Queen which left Napier for Wellington and southern provinces on 10 Dec 1862. As Forbes is the only known Synnot in Hawkes Bay at this time, it is almost certain that he was the passenger. On 28 May 1863 a Mr Synnot arrived at Napier on the Lord Ashley from Wellington. On 6 Jun 1864 as "Captain Synnot" he left Napier on the s.s. Auckland heading for Wellington and southern ports. On 24 Dec 1864, again as Captain Synnot, he departed from Auckland on the s.s. Rangatira heading for Napier. Capt. Synnot arrived in Napier 2 days later, on 26 Dec 1864.

      The partnership of Chapman & Synnot of Te Aute placed notices in the Hawkes Bay Herald throughout 1863, 1864 and 1865, offering to receive 500 to 1000 wethers for fattening, and selling half-breed Leicester rams, usually 50 at a time.

      There is a curious news item in the Lake Wakatip Mail of 14 Jul 1866, referring to a notice in the 'Hawkes Bay Herald', which has not been located. The item reads:
      "Military rank and title is usually considered honorable, particularly when it is that of a commissioned officer, and even when the individual has left the service it is customary to address him according to the position he held in it. One gentleman. however, is of a different opinion, as may be seen in the following advertisement which we clip from the 'Hawkes Bay Herald' : '-Notice!-The person sometimes called Captain Synnot wishes to be called for the future Mr Synnot, as he has long since left the service.' Forbes' view contrasts strongly with his nephew Mark Seton Synnot, a Captain in the Armagh Militia until 1883. His entries in the annual Thom's Irish Almanac from 1885 to 1900, relating to his position as a magistrate, all refer to Mark as 'late Captain Armagh Militia'.

      This raises some interesting questions, as to why Forbes wanted to avoid mention of his career with the militia in Armagh, which was only 7 years previously, and why it was of interest to the Lake Wakatip Mail in distant Otago.

      The Hawkes Bay Herald of 5 Jan 1867 carried a notice of the dissolution of the partnership by notice dated 31 Dec 1866. Frederick Chapman was 'empowered to receive and discharge all debts due to or by the said late co-partnership.'

      The name of 'Wm. Forbes Symot, Esq.' was on a 'List of Unclaimed Letters for the Month of September, 1868', by the GPO, Sydney, on 1 Oct 1868, and published in the NSW Gazette of 29 Oct 1868.

      It appears that Forbes and his ex-partner F. M. Chapman remained on good, if not close, terms for some years. The Sydney Morning Herald of 9 Jun 1871 carried a notice for W. Forbes Synnot from a friend from Napier, who was anxious to see Forbes at the Royal Hotel, George Street, Sydney, or to send his address to F. M. C. Immediate. F. M. C. must have been Frederick Martin Chapman.

      Forbes was again on an Unclaimed Letters list in 1873 - this time in the New South Wales Government Gazette of 20 Mar 1873 in a 'List of Letters Returned from the Country Unclaimed, and Now Lying at this Office Unclaimed (General Post Office, Sydney, 15 Feb 1873)'

      William Forbes Synnot was named as a selector of land on 25 Jun 1874 in a list of the Department of Lands, Conditional Sales Division, Sydney of 4 February, 1880. The list was published in the New South Wales Government Gazette on 4 Feb 1880. The land was 50 acres in the District of Scone.

      According to his death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald (14 Mar 1876), William had been a captain and lieutenant of a company in the Armagh Light Infantry Regiment of Militia in Ireland.

      Burke's Irish Family Records (1976) says of William: ‘dsp 29 Feb 1876.’

      His date of death was probably 3 March 1876, as in:
      "New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843-1998," database with images, FamilySearch; Exemplification of probate. Extracted by J. P Abbott, Proctor, Murrurundi, New South Wales, filed 9 Oct 1880:
      This document is an extract of the will and probate of William Forbes Synnott [sic].
      The extract of the probate notes that William died on or about 3 Mar 1876, and a note in the margin of the Exemplification says 'No. 674 Testator died 3rd March 1876'.
      [note that this is consistent with Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010, but conflicts with the death date of 29 Feb (Burke 1879, 1894, 1976) and 4 Feb 1876 in death notices in the Sydney Morning Herald (14 and 18 Mar 1876) and the Sydney Mail (18 Mar 1876)]
      The official (Calendar and probate) version is taken as correct - the newspaper notices were possibly from the same (erroneous) source.

      William's will was dated 4 Dec 1875, witnesses J.T. Nilshire, Clerk of Petty Sessions and J. T. Vincent, Scone Hospital. William was described as being late of Middlebrooke near Scone, NSW, and formerly of Ballymayer, County of Armagh, Ireland and then of 'Powkarra Pi Artie', Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, farmer. This NZ address was a corruption of Pokawa, near Te Aute, where he was a sheepfarmer.

      In his will, William left:
      £900 to his brother Parker George Synnott of Lurgana, Ballymoyer, Newton Hamilton, County Armagh, Ireland;
      £25 each to his 2 executors, the Rev I. Shaw of Scone and James Little, storekeeper of Scone; and
      his 'selection or farm on the Middlebrooke near Scone, New South Wales' to his man Harry Ested - except for the writing desk and papers which he wished his executors to examine and to destroy those of no value.

      Joseph P. Abbott, the Proctor for the executors of Forbes' will, gave notice in the NSW Government Gazette of 25 Aug 1876 that, 14 days after publication, application would be made for probate to be granted to Rev, John Shaw of Scone, Church of England clergyman and James Little of the same place, storekeeper, who were the executors named in the will.

      Probate was duly granted in Sydney on 2 Oct 1876 by the Supreme Court of NSW, Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. The estate was valued at £1001. As Forbes left £900 to his brother Parker, they must have been very close.

      A notice in the NSW Government Gazette of 24 Jul 1877 advised that claims against the estate of William Forbes Synnot of Middlebrook, near Scone, should be sent to the the executors, James Little and John Shaw, at the office of their solicitor Joseph Palmer Abbott of Mayne Street, Murrurundi by 30 Sep 1877.

      The probate was re-sealed in Dublin on 4 Mar 1898.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4823] BOK Synnott Pedigree (Philip H. Hore, unpublished, 1913), page 15.

    2. [S3941] TRE Family tree - brightwater(1) (owner Brightwater99) family tree on ancestry.com accessed 22 Jul 2014, 11 Feb 2015, William Forbes Synnot.

    3. [S4042] TRE Family tree - WADDELL: Northern Ireland to Northern Ontario (owner ffreeband55) on ancestry.com accessed 19, 26 Jul, 21 Oct 2014, 11 Feb 2015.

    4. [S4439] TRE Family tree - Ruff===Aitken Family Tree (owner Margaret Ruff) on ancestry.com accessed 11 Nov 2014.

    5. [S5186] ancestry.com Belfast, Northern Ireland, The Belfast Newsletter (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1738-1925, pub. 1 Jul 1831: born 23 Jun 1831, a daughter of Marcus Synnot.

    6. [S5649] BIR491 Synnot, a son (William Forbes), BIR491., Birth notice; 1 July 1831; page 2; Birth 23rd ult, a son to the Lady of Marcus Synnot.

    7. [S4443] DTH651 Death notice Synnot, William Forbes, DTH651., Death notice - William Forbes Synnot; 14 March 1876; page 1; Died 4 Feb 1876.

    8. [S4500] BOK Burke - A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland Part 2 (Burke, 1879), page 1562, 1563 (Synnot).

    9. [S4504] BOK Burke - Burke's Irish Family Records (1976), pages 1089-1092 (Hart-Synnot).

    10. [S3171] DTH Death Index New South Wales, William F. Sennett; 9188; Parramatta; 1876.

    11. [S5452] New South Wales Government Gazette, Notice of application for grant of probate; 25 August 1876; Issue 299, page 3381.

    12. [S2306] ancestry.com England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1898, page 470.

    13. [S5453] WIL165 Probate Synnot, William Forbes, WIL165., Probates and Letters of Administration; 17 November 1876; page 8.

    14. [S3941] TRE Family tree - brightwater(1) (owner Brightwater99) family tree on ancestry.com accessed 22 Jul 2014, 11 Feb 2015, Marcus Synnot Esq.

    15. [S4011] TRE Family tree - Sinnett Family Tree (owner James Sinnett) on ancestry.com accessed 12, 22 Jul 2014, 18 Feb 2015, Marcus Synnot.

    16. [S4501] BOK Burke - A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 2 (Burke, 1894), page 1971, 1972 (Synnot).

    17. [S4519] MAR Marriage Synnot, Marcus and Gillson, Jane, marriage of Jane Gillson and Marcus Synnot; 2 July 1813.

    18. [S4519] MAR Marriage Synnot, Marcus and Gillson, Jane, marriage of Marcus Synnot and Jane Gillson; 2 July 1813.

    19. [S5495] MAR592 Marriage Synnot, Marcus and Gillson, Jane, MAR592., Marriage notice; 2 July 1813; Page 2.