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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

O'Brien's - Passenger List - Victoria

A few months back I was peeking at a potential distant relative's O'Brien Family Tree.   I found that they'd grabbed a 1856 passenger with O'Brien's on it and saved it to the tree.  It occurred to me that I should go look this over.

While I trust the written information that my family has handed down indicating that the O'Brien's arrived in Australia in 1854, I still had to go and look it over.  My great great grandmother, Kate, was such a direct, specific person that I can't imagine that her information was incorrect.  She also tended to write things down or at least have someone, like her granddaughter, Ellen, write it down.   I do trust the 1854 date.

I still peered at the 1856 passenger list for grins.  Now, I am not a fan of reviewing passenger lists but am learning how to weed through them.  The best results come when you find a whole family unit or a few generations of the family who traveled together.

While I do not think these are my O'Brien's, they could still be related.  On 18 Sep, 1856, the following O'Brien's arrived in Melbourne:  Thos., Christ., Pat, Michael, C., Margt, Ann, Orlanda, Wm D., Charlott, Locker (probable typo), and Charlotte.  Now most of these O'Brien's were on the Saldanha including the two Charlotte's who have two different years of birth.  Those could still be one in the same person.  Transcriptions of these passenger lists from the originals do leave me scratching my head especially because I cannot review the original document online.

Now, two of the above O'Brien's arrived on different ships but on the same date.  I really can't assume that they were related to the O'Brien's on the Saldanha.   C. and Christ O'Brien may or may not be with this same group.

I have eliminated the above passenger list because, frankly none of the names match my family line except Ann.  But this Ann O'Brien was born in 1845 so is not old enough to be Ann Gleeson O'Brien by any stretch.

Like I said, it is tough to search passenger lists and know for sure that you found your family.  I have not abandoned the use of passenger lists but know that more research is really needed when using them.  I find that if I am looking for a single person, the use of the passenger list is pretty futile.

The 1854 passenger list with the 20 or so O'Brien's on it is the winning find for right now.  I am about 99% certain that I found the correct list.

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