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Monday, September 19, 2011

The O'Brien's, My O'Brien's

Recently, I received an email as a result of one my posts on Ancestry.com.   The message came through via RootsWeb which is apparently the precursor to the current Ancestry.com Message Boards.  The person spotted my post about Edmund and Anne O'Brien, two of my 3G grandparents (that's great, great, great!).  The person was looking for Anne O'Brien.  His or her email was scant and did not indicate if they were looking for Anne O'Brien with O'Brien as her maiden name or not.

While I find these message board type emails to be quite random, I still respond to each and every one of them with the understanding and knowledge that I may never hear back from the person.  As a prudent move, I have started posting my email responses right here on my blog.  Below is my email response about my O'Brien's.

By the way,  I must express my intense dislike for researching passenger lists.  The email below included my one-by-one lookup of each O'Brien who arrived on the same date, ship, and location.  It was not an easy search but once I nailed it, I was able to figure out all of the O'Brien's who traveled together on that particular journey.  Did I find my correct O'Brien's?

The following is my email...............

Great to hear from you and I too am seeking more information about my O'Brien's.  They went from Ireland to Melbourne Australia in the 1850s!  

I have a little bit of information about my O'Brien's.  Where should I start?  My Ann O'Brien was born Ann/Anne Gleeson/Gleason.  She married Edmund O'Brien.  They were from an area near Castleconnell, Ireland or in Castleconnell.  They left for Australia in 1854.   This information was provided by my great great grandmother, Kate O'Brien Flanagan to her children and grandchildren.  Luckily, the information was retained by her oldest grandchildren, my great Aunt Ellen and Aunt Kay.  They in turn, shared this information with my grandfather, their brother, Richard J. Flanagan. 

Now, my great great grandmother, Catherine "Kate" Mary O'Brien (her married last name was Flanagan) always indicated that she was from Castleconnell, County Clare, Ireland.  She was born on May 19, 1843, immigrated to Australia with her family in 1854, and immigrated with her future husband, Patrick Flanagan (who was originally from Termonfeckin, Louth, Ireland) to San Francisco, CA in 1870.  From what I can gather, the rest of her O'Brien family remained in Australia, most likely.  Pat and Kate Flanagan lived in Napa, CA.  Kate died in 1928. 

When I look at Castleconnell, I find it in County Limerick these days.  I have not done much research on a possible county line shift which may have occurred around the completion of the Griffith's Valuation circa 1869.  I found another County Clare line shift in the northeast corner of Clare along the Galway border for another of my Irish Family lines.  I bring this up because the county line shifts (which appear to be slight here and there in Ireland) do make a difference when you go to hunt for information.   If you have anything about this, feel free to share it.   Castleconnell is a definite place to find O'Brien's (and a lot of them) in Ireland.  There is apparently a bridge there called O'Brien's Bridge. 

I have tried to trace my Edmund and Anne O'Brien in Australia but have found much difficulty because I am challenged with the geography there.  In other words, I know little about geography in Australia and New Zealand.  I live in Northern California near Sacramento.  I have some scant references to places in Australia and New Zealand in several letters including some written by my great great grandmother, Kate O'Brien Flanagan.  My great great grandfather, Pat Flanagan, was there for the "Gold Rush Down Under".  He went all over mining and wrote letters to Kate.   I think that I found the O'Brien's on a passenger list into Melbourne.  I think that I found Edmund with his wife Ann and his brother with his wife and each couple's children but I'm not sure which children belong to each couple.  See below....Sorry that it might be hard to read.....copy/paste did not work so well.

I have three photos of Kate O'Brien and a possible photo of a brother named Peter O'Brien.  I'm not sure about Peter though.   I've determined that the "Uncle Peter" in the photo that I have is not a Flanagan, so he must be Kate's brother Peter.  I have a letter referencing when a brother of hers visited her in Napa, CA from Australia. 

I hope that this is not all that there is to find.   I haven't gotten further with my research on my O'Brien and Gleeson line.  By the way,  Kate herself indicated that her mother's name was Anne Gleeson.  I hope this helps some.  Let me know what you think.  Thanks.

Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923
Immigration & Travel View Image Preview Name:
Michael Obrien Estimated birth year: abt 1811 Age: 43 Arrival Date: 9 Jun 1854 Arrival Port: Melbourne, Australia Departure Port: Plymouth Ship: Parsee Nationality: Irish and Scottish Take a look at the picture to see even more. See more Name: Michael Obrien Birth: abt 1811 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Edmund Obrien Birth: abt 1812 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Bridget Obrien Birth: abt 1816 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Run Obrien -- ANN Birth: abt 1816 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Margaret Obrien Birth: abt 1841 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Ella Obrien Birth: abt 1842 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Catherine Obrien -- KATE Birth: abt 1843 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Eliza Obrien Birth: abt 1844 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: John Obrien Birth: abt 1845 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Michael Obrien Birth: abt 1845 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image Name: Susannah Obrien Birth: abt 1847 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923 Immigration & Travel View Image PreviewName: Michael Obrien Estimated birth year: abt 1849 Age: 5 Arrival Date: 9 Jun 1854 Arrival Port: Melbourne, Australia Departure Port: Plymouth Ship: Parsee Nationality: Irish and Scottish Take a look at the picture to see even more. See more Name: Michael Obrien Birth: abt 1849 Departure: Plymouth Arrival: 9 Jun 1854 - Melbourne, Australia


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