Background PDF Print


This page outlines how I became involved in the search for my family and some general details about my immediate family groups. More details about specific families are shown on another page.

My Paternal Side

When I was about 16, while visiting my Great Aunt, Johanna O'Brien commonly called Aunty Cis, with my Grandmother Daphne, I became a little bored.  Cis suggested that I read a small diary that she was writing about the story of her childhood, as the eldest of 10 children, living on a farm in Cobram, Northern Victoria. I found the story she had written very interesting with references to the many family members lives and struggles in the early Victorian Colony. It was this experience that started of my interest in family history and a commitment to keeping that history alive and available to all those interested.  The information gathered has been aided by the chance that many buy viagra australia older members of the O'Brien clan were alive until the 1980's, allowing the chance to talk with them.  The process was further helped when the O'Brien's in Australia, from the late 1970’s, started holding regular family reunions.  This allowed for a great exchange of has extended the knowledge of the family and allowed communication with members previously long lost.

In recent years I have had the opportunity to visit Ireland and England and meet many distant family members.  Gaps still remain, especially in members who immigrated to the USA and Canada, however many cousins are starting to gather small bits of information and links and it is hoped that in the next several years many hundreds of yet unknown family members can be added to the data base.  In addition, many hours have been spent in public libraries and on the Internet.  I am also grateful for the assistance of other family members who have also been interested in the family history.

2005 saw a major milestone was accomplished when on August 21st a reunion of O'Brien's was held in Murroe with over 150 relation attending.  This was the first gathering of the descendants of Rathwood and Rath for over 150 years.  In attendance were many senior family members, including Peggy White, nee O'Brien the current owner and resident of the Rath Cottage, where my forbearer's came from.  Also my father and mother, John and June were there, dad had been the first of the Australian descendants to visit Ireland back in 1945, so it was good to have the senior and younger generations represented.

My Maternal Side

Research has been somewhat more difficult as the family has dispersed and out-of-communication for many years.  However recently I have been able to re-connect some of the family and we now have details of the remaining English family to link to those who came to Australia in the late 1800's.  This family has many connections tracing back to the earliest foundations of European settlement in Australia. The family has interesting links to the early settlements of New South Wales, Goulburn, Camden, Yass, Hay and the Wylong district with many interesting stories have unfolded during my research.


In developing this site, I have extended the boundaries of family to include the ancestors of family members who married into the main stream family. There are also many cases of descendants who result from previous or later marriages, these have been included where known. Of course, like many families, there are some who were born out of wedlock. These are also named and linked where possible.  Through my marriage to Susan Bright, the second child of Edward and Joan Bright, I have extended there linage into the site. So, in many ways this site is the history of my children. Sue's parents were also interested in family history, though not yet shown on these pages, I have details of most of her family and hope in the near future to log them on.


My wife Susan, who sadly passed away in July 1997 after many years of illness, was very supportive and keen on the research, spending many hours in libraries and visiting other places while I searched for information.  During 2001 and again in 2002, 2004 and 2005, I was able to visit Ireland and England and had the great pleasure in meeting many new family members, adding greatly to the information and data collected. Much of the information collected related to my O'Brien family and has expanded the family tree by many hundreds and allowed this site to be truly an international one.  My main aim now is to find out more about members of the O'Brien clans who moved to the USA.

I am also very interested in the Family tree DNA project and both my father and I have joined the ambitious program, I hope to encourage as many family members as possible to also participate.


It is my hope to keep adding pages, as more information becomes available. Currently, I have nearly 7000 people recorded on my computer system data base and expect that to exceed 8000 by the end of 2010. Please use the tabs to read about the families covered within this site. 

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 March 2010 07:17