- Born: 1800, Plymouth, Devon, England
- Christened: 10 Aug 1800, Plymouth, Devon, England 6
- Married (1): 26 Mar 1821, St. Philips, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia 1 2
- Married (2): 31 Jul 1835, St. John's Anglican, Parramatta, N.S.W., Australia 3 4 5
- Died: 8 Aug 1879, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 7 8 9
"O'DONNELL. —On the 8th August, at the residence of his son-in-law (Mr. D. Stewart), Mr. John O'Donnell, aged 79, having been 69 years in the colonies, respected by all who knew him. [Sydney papers please copy.]"
In 1821 he married Elizabeth Squire at St. Phillip's church Sydney. Sydney was in the grip of the Emancipists vs Exclusives conflict. The Emancipists campaigned for equal rights for all people whether they came free or earned their freedom after arriving as convicts. The Exclusives did not agree and supported a separate society for those who came free. Not even the children of emancipated convicts were acceptable to them. In 1821, the Emancipists sent their 'Humble Petition' to King George IV seeking support for their campaign which eventually succeeded. Sydney was the size of an English market town now and was run less like a ship as was the infant colony.
James was one of the most notable early residents of Kissing Point. He was tried at Kingstone on Thames for highway robbery and sentenced to 7 years. He arrived on the 'Charlotte' with the first fleet. After his arrival, he became the first man in Australia to produce ale from local hops. By 1789, James was the licensee of the 'Malting Shovel', a public house at Kissing Point, which served passing boatmen. In 1805, he picked his first hops and in 1811, when licenses were introduced, became one of the first four legal brewers in the country. Squire befriended Bennelong, the aborigine that Gov. Phillip had taken to England. Bennelong ended his days as a drunken brawling misfit. He was buried in Squire's property at Kissing Point. James Squire, who was given his freedom by the Governor because he liked his brew, went on to become a rich man. His epitaph at the Parramatta cemetery reads; 'Ye who wish to lie here drink Squire's beer.'
On 13 June 1823, John was given a grant of 60 acres in the County of Cumberland, District of Parramatta by the governor Sir Thomas Brisbane, along side his brother Thomas's 60 acres and his father Hugh's 100 acres.
In 1828 census, John owns 1 horse and has 2 convict labourers assigned to him, no doubt to work the property at Parramatta. Their home was in Clarence St. Sydney. Elizabeth Squire/O'Donnell died in 12 May 1830 and was buried at St. Jame's cemetery Sydney.
John worked the piece of land he had at Parramatta until about 1845. By then, he and Elizabeth had 7 children. He moved to Sydney at this time. He spent some time as a labourer and then in 1850 had a business selling horse-drawn carts and wagons on South Head Road Sydney. The children count was by now 10, however at least five had died in infancy. It was probably in the late 50's when John and his son Daniel travelled to the gold fields of Ballarat and Bendigo. Daniel became a tin miner in northern NSW as a consequence and became quite wealthy. His father, John, apparently did not avail himself of the same opportunities but returned to Parramatta.
At some time after about 1860, John moved to Queensland to live with his daughter, Martha Stewart, in Brisbane. There is mention of a John O'Donnell, labourer, in the 1878/9 Post Office records for Brisbane but is that him? John died on 8 Aug 1879 and was buried in the Toowong cemetery. Only three of his 12 children were still living, Emily, Martha and Daniel. 10
John married Elizabeth SQUIRE, daughter of James SQUIRE and Elizabeth MASON, on 26 Mar 1821 in St. Philips, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia 1 2. (Elizabeth SQUIRE was born on 6 May 1800 in Kissing Point, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia and died on 12 May 1830 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 11.)
"MARRIED—On Monday last, by special license, at St. Philip's Church, Sydney, by the Rev. Mr. COWPER, Mr. JOHN O'DONALD to Miss ELIZABETH SQUIRE, daughter of Mr. JAMES SQUIRE, brewer, at Kissing-
John also married Elizabeth Peace CRABTREE, daughter of Richard CRABTREE and Margaret CHAMPAIN, on 31 Jul 1835 in St. John's Anglican, Parramatta, N.S.W., Australia 3 4 5. (Elizabeth Peace CRABTREE was born on 20 Jun 1814 in Southwark, Surrey, England 12, christened on 10 Jul 1814 in Saint Saviour's, Southwark, Surrey, England 12 and died on 8 May 1871 in Sebastopol, Victoria, Australia 13.)
"At St. John's Church, Parramatta, on the 3rd instant, by the Rev. Samuel Marsden, Mr. JOHN O'DONNELL, of Kissing Point, Landholder, to Miss ADELINE [sic] PEACE CRABTREE, of London."
Note: both the bride's first name and the date (3 Aug) are at odds with other records.