Note: For privacy reasons, living people are not identified in this blog without permission.


If you would like to be contacted about a comment, you must leave me a way to reach you. Please include your email address. Thank you!

Follow This Blog!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Flanagan O'Brien Down Under - Part 5 - O'Brien Origins

Continued from December 12th post......

Catherine was 11 years old when the O'Brien family arrived in Australia from Ireland, the youngest of the three O'Brien girls.  Mary O'Brien, the eldest sister, was three years older than Bridget.  She was born in 1833.  Mary was 21 years old when she arrived in her new homeland in 1854.

Mary O'Brien, aged 22, married John Courtney, aged 24, 28 December 1855, at St. James' Catholic Church, Richmond, Melbourne.  The church was later demolished to make way for grander and larger building as the congregation outgrew the original wooden one.  the new church was built in 1900 on the site where many of our ancestors stood, taking wedding vows, baptising their children and saying goodbye to loved ones.   John Courtney was from the South of Ireland.  Mary and John did have at least one child in Australia, a daughter, before coming to New Zealand to settlem  This is where I must leave Mary O'Brien and John Courtney and hopefully her descendants will continue to tell of their life in New Zealand.  

Now.....the many sons Anne and Edmund had, who also came to New Zealand.  So far, the only authentic history I have of Anne and Edmund's sons is very sketchy indeed.  One was led to believe there were at least five siblings.  I can name three only - Jack, Timothy, and Tom.  Timothy is buried in Greymouth cemetery.  No doubt the descendants from these O'Brien men will have their history and lives well documented which would be interesting to know. 

Our Bridget married James Power on 31 July 1858 at St. Francis Historical Catholic Church in Melbourne.  The building of the church was started in 1841 and completed in 1845.  Mary (Saint) Mackill made her First Holy Communion in St. Francis in 1850, the same year Ned Kelly's parents were married in St. Francis' church. 

Bridget was 22 years of age when she married James Power, he was 30 years old.  Catherine, Bridget's sister, was the bridesmaid/witness.  James Power came from County Wexford, Ireland.  His father was also named James, mother's maident name Chandler. 

Bridget and James lived eight more years in Australia after the marriage before setting sail for the West Coast of New Zealand in 1866, with three children being born in Australia, two sons and one daughter.  Bridget had five daughters, Mary-Jane (born Williamstown, Victoria), Julia, Alice, Catherine, Frances, and five sons, Tom, Ned, Jim, Bob, Mick.

There is so much detail on these two pages of the booklet.  The next few pages are fuzzy copies for sure.  I will have to try and download them more clearly here.


  1. Thank you so much for posting this online. Bridget O'Brien and James Power were my great-great-grandparents, and I haven't been able to find anything about them until now. Their son James (Jim) was my great-grandfather, he married Ellen Brassington in 1916 and he had one daughter, Frances Amy Elizabeth Power in 1917. She was my grandmother, my father's mother. They separated shortly after her birth, and I don't know what happened to James after that.

  2. Glad it helped. If you would like further contact, please email me or post your contact info.