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26152: Demetrius Donnell

submitted by Georgia Reeves on 25.01.2020

Hi everyone,
This is a longshot but my name is Georgia and I'm looking for any info about my 3x great grandfather Demetrius Donnell. The information I have gathered is from certificates and newspaper atricles. I believe Donnell was a name he adopted when he came to Australia in the late 1850s. He was born between 1820 and the early 1830s in Cephalonia. I have his Australian marriage certificate showing he was born there. His parents are listed as Carlo? and Bresida with no surname. Another piece of info on the marriage certificate is that the marriage was witnessed by Michael and Sarah Manousou. I know Michael was an early Greek settler on the south coast of New South Wales. I have not been able to find any naturalization papers for Demetrius and my theory is he may have been a ship crew member and jumped ship when he arrived here and adopted Donnell as his new name. Demetrius was a fisherman who was awarded a medal for a part he played in an attempted rescue of passengers from a shipwreck 1859 in South Australia. He eventually settled along the South Coast of NSW and was known in many towns along the coast as Peter the Greek. He had 3 (possibly 4) children and was lost at sea along with his son Peter in 1903. Their bodies were never recovered.

It would be great to be able to find his real surname! 


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