Most of Joe Quinn’s childhood was spent in the Campbelltown area before he immigrated to the United States with his parents and older brother at the age of 11 in 1872. He was actually born in North Ipswich, QLD, in 1862, to Patrick and Catherine Quinn, but the family are thought to have moved to Campbelltown around 1866 due to the severe drought and subsequent high levels of unemployment in Queensland.
But the Quinns’ lives in Campbelltown between 1866 and 1872 are a bit of a mystery. Joe’s father was an illiterate labourer with a history of finding work wherever he could get it during his travels around Australia – he had previously worked as a farmer, miner, and railway navvie. The Quinns were Irish Roman Catholics and it may be that both Joe and his older brother Patrick jnr. attended St. Patrick’s school on the Old Menangle Road. But there are very few employment or education records from this period – can anyone shed any light on this family and their lives?
It is anticipated a book about Quinn’s life will be released later this year – details to come.
This photograph of Joe Quinn was taken in 1890 in Boston
Written by Andrew Allen