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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cornelius, Bridget and J. P. O'Brien

I recently received contact from an O'Brien in Australia.  I was very excited about this.  I'm not entirely sure that this gentlemen has much information at this point.  His ancestor is a Cornelius O'Brien who's parents were Edmund O'Brien and Anne Glesson.  Coincidence.....probably not.  The likelihood of having there be two Anne Glesson's married to two different Edmund O'Brien's is highly unlikely.

Initially, I thought this person was the person who had originally contacted me from Down Under.  I went back to review my messages and found that it was Kate's sister's line who contacted me.  Her sister's name was Bridget.  So, now I think that I've found two descendants of Kate's siblings, Cornelius and Bridget.  I might really be onto something.  I hope and wish that Bridget's descendant contacts me again.

The other thing that I did recently was look at passenger lists in 1908 from Australia to the U.S.  Trying to find anything into San Francisco is dismal.  It does not appear to be available on Ancestry.com at all.  While ad-hoc searchable passenger lists into SF do exist online, they are incomplete as I think the records truly are anyway.

It did strike me finally to look at Hawaii.  Being a U.S. Territory, by 1908 the U.S. government was running people through immigration.  Also, you bet a ship would stop there.  It's a good stop over from Australia to California, even today.  The U.S. Military would agree as would many tourists.

Anyway, back to 1908.  Why would I pick that year?  Well, Kate's brother arrived in Napa, CA, in September 1908 to visit her.  He had come all the way from Australia.  Without knowing his first name, I looked for any O'Brien's into Hawaii in 1908.  Guess what?  I only found one.

Mr. J. P. O'Brien arrived from Sydney, Australia, on 18 Aug 1908, in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He had left Sydney on 13 Aug 1908.  It only took 5 days to sail to Hawaii?  That sounds like a substantial improvement over the mid-1800s.

So, did I find John O'Brien.  What was his full name and his full story?  Maybe someone knows.

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