The Holmes family, whilst latterly coming from Ireland, seemingly originates in England.
The first recorded Holmes connected to our family is Robert Holmes, born in about 1770. He married a woman called Elizabeth, and they had two boys, William Holmes (born perhaps in 1794 or as late as 1803) and Robert.
William stated that he had been in the Irish police for twenty years, but he also said that he had been a manager of a farm. He married Ellen O'Donnell and they had four children, all girls. They emigrated to New South Wales in 1842 and adopted another four girls and a boy, all older then their own children.
Once in Australia, William joined the Sydney police, and rose in rank to Inspector.
However, he can't have been helped by the activities of his brother. Robert had been transported twenty years earlier with a life sentance for attacking another villager. Robert was given a pardon, but he was required to live with his brother.
William's adopted daughter Bridget Holmes married Henry Hill in 1851; when she died ten years later, Henry married another of William's adopted daughters, Maria Holmes. Another adopted daughter married a convict.