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Saturday, September 22, 2012

O'Brien's - Descendants - Part 1

Ever get at that feeling that you forgot something?  That you left a key point out on accident?  That something might have slipped your mind?

With so many portals of communication for genealogy, it should not surprise me that I overlooked a key piece of communication.   Between message boards on and a few other genealogy sites, member messages within, email, blog comments, and other paper documents, I missed it! 

I read the following message when it appeared mid-June and got distracted.  It was an internal message over 

hello my name is [J.A.R]. Mary O'Brien is my 2x great grand mother. She Married John Courtney In 1855 later they moved to NZ were the Daughter married my great grandfather Edmond Fraser . Mary had two sisters Catherine And Bridget there is also another named Ann She was baptism sponsor to Catherine Courtney. I also have baptism records of other O'briens from Hokitika West Coast New Zealand. I have a statement here that Catherine O'brien married a Patrick Flanagan They settled in the Napa Valley California. I came across you whilst searching ship passage for the O'brien family to Australia

How in the world could I forget about this message?   The specifics in the short paragraph are almost enough to make me cry with elation.  That is "them" and it tells me where they were in New Zealand.

I guess I need to explain this so that I remember this for my future research and in trying to connect to my O'Brien distant relatives in the "land down under".   Mary O'Brien was Kate Flanagan's sister.  Bridget was their other sister.  I have also received contact from Bridget's descendants along with a brother, Cornelius.  The following is my June post about Cornelius, Bridget, and a J. P. O'Brien. 

Cornelius, Bridget, and J. P. O'Brien

Now, I have Mary O'Brien.  Are all of these people truly Kate's siblings?  Are they the children of Edmund O'Brien and Ann Gleeson of County Clare, Ireland near the border of County Limerick near Castlconnell in origin?   It sure is looking like it.

The O'Brien's left Ireland for Australia in 1854.  We know based on letters that they ended up in New Zealand at some point there after.  It also appears that Edmund and Ann went back to Australia.  We think.
How do I tie all of this together and fill in some of the blanks for the O'Brien's?

To be continued...............


  1. If you ever run across, or have run across information on other Flannagans (sometimes misspelled Flanagan) - Patrick Flannagan married Ellen Hogan 1866 in Hokitika. Seemingly there were at least three Patrick Flannagans in Hokitika around 1866-1868. I know they were in Auckland by the early 1870s as their son William (Bill) was born there in 1871 or so. Other children were apparently Mary and Edward known as Ned. there doesn't seem to be any records for the children.

  2. Thanks for posting. I haven't really had success in finding my Patrick Flanagan while he was Down Under probably because he was rather transient going from one mining town to another. I have letters that place him there though. If I get around the looking for him in records there, I will definitely post about it. I'm sure there was more than one Patrick Flanagan in this location at that time.