Born at Ballybunion, County Kerry, Ireland in July 1834, died at Rockhampton, Queensland, in July 1899.
He left for Australia and landed in Brisbane April, 1861. He was a gardener by trade. Between 1861 and 1864 he worked for the Brisbane Botanic Gardens when Walter Hill (1820-1904) was the first Director 1859-1881) of these Gardens (as well as the botanical collections and library that is now known as the Queensland Herbarium). O'Shanesy established his own nursery at Rockhampton in 1866.
John moved to Kangaroo Park (Kabra) in 1870, when he entered into fruit growing and a nurseryman's business. In 1876 he started farming, and continued the three businesses up until his death. John learned about plant collecting at the Brisbane Botanic Garden. Later he was collecting for Mueller in the Rockhampton area. He also introduced his younger brother, Patrick, to plant collecting for Mueller. As a result it is not always clear from published accounts which O'Shanesy is meant. Acacia oshanesii F. Muell. & Maiden is named after John.
Source: Hall, N. (1984) and Maiden, J.M. (1909). Published
in Port Curtis District Flora and Early Botanists by G.N. Batianoff
and H.A. Dillewaard (1988), Botany Branch, Queensland