Patrick Ryan was born in Limerick or Clare, Ireland around 1804-1805 and traveled to Australia with his wife Sarah (nee McInerney) and four children (William, Ann, Honorah, Mary). His children were all born in Limerick and his wife was born in Clare (where they were also married according to Sarah’s death record). It is unknown exactly when they came to Australia or on what ship, but Sarah’s death record states that she had been in Victoria for 42 years when she died in 1894 which suggests that they traveled to Australia in 1852.

The exact date that Patrick died was determined to be December 16th in 1860. The following story from The Ballarat Star on Monday, December 24 1860 provides information regarding the week he died.

About five o’clock on Saturday morning,the dead body of a man named Patrick Ryan, a blacksmith, was found floating in a water hole at Warrenheip. The deceased had been missing since the previous Sunday.

Dr Glendinning held an inquest on Saturday at the Victoria Hotel, Warrenheip, on the body of Patrick Ryan, blacksmith, aged 55 years. The evidence of his wife was to the effect that he was a drunkard, and a bad head to his family. On Sunday, 16th  at seven p.m. he was beating her while on the road home, and tore all the clothes off her, and she then got away from him, and parted from him near the hotel, at which time though drunk he was able to take care of himself.  McLean, the landlord, deposed to serving him with drink the same night, though he appeared to have had a good deal of liquor. This was the last time he was seen alive, and on Saturday he was found by some railway laborers floating face downwards in a quarry hole about half way between the hotel and his own hut.

The jury returned a verdict – ” That death took place on the 16th, and was caused, as we believe, by drowning, from his having accidentally fallen into a large water hole on his way home in a state of intoxication on same day ; and we farther consider that the railway contractors should be required to fence round the said water hole.”