Thomas O'Brien and Mary English PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dennis O'Brien   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 08:08

Thomas O'Brien and Mary English - 1840's to 1930's

Thomas Individual Facts

  • Father: William O'Brien
  • Mother: Mary Conway
  • Birth:    29 12 1845 in Abington, Limerick, Ireland; Rath Townland
  • Death:    18 05 1932 in Cobram, Victoria, Australia
  • Education:    Read & write

Marriage to Mary English: 1871 in Victoria, Australia

Mary’s Individual facts:

  • Father: Michael English
  • Mother: Bridget Hickey
  • Birth: 1849 in Gardiners Creek, Victoria, Australia; Gardiners
  • Death: 13 02 1911 in Cobram, Victoria, Australia

Children of Thomas and Mary:

  1. Mary (Dol) Ellen O'Brien, B: 1873 in Avenel, Victoria, Australia, D: 1933 in Cobram, Victoria, Australia, M: Martin O'Dwyer, 18 02 1903 in Burramine South, Victoria, Australia; St Mary's RC Church.
  2. William (Bill) Patrick O'Brien, B: 1875 in Greta, Victoria, Australia, D: 11 03 1901 in Cobram, Victoria, Australia; Bill died from drowning
  3. Michael Joseph O'Brien, B: 1877 in Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia, D: 21 02 1944 in Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia, M: Jane Elizabeth Ryan, 1905 in Victoria, Australia.
  4. Bridget Anne O'Brien, B: 1880 in Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia, D: 17 02 1914, M: Tom John O'Dwyer, 1908.
  5. Catherine (Kate) O'Brien, B: 1884 in Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia, D: 05 03 1925, M: Thomas James Kennedy, 1909 in Burramine Victoria, Australia.
  6. Tom O'Brien, B: 1887 in Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia, D: 14 08 1919 in Cobram, Victoria, Australia, M: Amelia Gertrude (Eilie) Moore, 1912; Died of the great influenza flu plague
  7. Ellen (Nel) O'Brien, B: 1889 in Cobram, Victoria, Australia, D: 1928 in Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia, M: Matthew Rohan, 1925 in Victoria, Australia.



Tom was the first of the family to travel to Australia, arriving on board the "John Temperley" in September 1867. He went north from Melbourne and selected 320 acres, 7 miles east of the township of Cobram In Victoria, one mile south of the Murray (the border with New South Wales). He later married Mary English whose family were from Wangaratta.
Thomas was born on 29 Dec 1845 at Rath and appears to be the third child bearing the name and the eighth child born at Rath Farm Cottage. In Ireland there is a tradition to name the eldest boy after the paternal grand father. As the two previously named Thomas' has passed away, the tradition was continued.

Tom was the first of the family to travel to Australia, arriving on board the "John Temperley" in September 1867. He made his way to the Goulburn Valley and selected land of 320 acres on the banks of Murray River, 7 miles east of a tiny town called "Cobram". He called this property "Rathvale". Tom met and married Mary English (1849-13 Feb 1911) from Wangaratta, a daughter of Michael ENGLISH and Bridget HICKEY in 1871.

It is interesting to note that Mary's sister Hanora also married an O'Brien, but there appears to be no connection.

Mary often told the story about " when she and Tom arrived home at Rathvale and she found there was only one large log hut with a heap of good, solid logs ready to light near a huge stone fireplace at one end of the room. At the other end of theroom were potatoes laid out on a bag sheet and a couple of bags of flower stood in the corner. A bed, a table and two stools occupied the middle of the room."

Tom later bought another place called "Erindale" in the Burramine district. He also bought another farm on the Murray river on the New South Wales side. They used boats to cross the river. Unfortunately a number of family members were to perish trying to swim this river. Tom's large family married into many local families and many are still on the land to this day. Tom died on 18 May 1932 at Cobram, Vic, at age 86.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 08:40