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Dennis O'Brien

This website is going to be updated soon. Dennis May 2018


About this web site

Welcome to my website which records and shares the data and stories of my family over the past two Centuries. Starting from their origins in Ireland and England the information tries to track their movements within those countries as well as Australia, the USA and many other places.

My name is Dennis O'Brien and for over forty years I have been interested in the history of my family, both on the paternal and maternal sides.

In the early stages of my research I kept a lot of information in paper form and even attempted to write my own basic program to capture this information when computers started to appear.  Over the past 20 years I've tried many of the software programs on offer, but always found there was something extra I wanted. One of the hardest requirements to be attained was to allow others to share and update the information.

Around fifteen or so years ago, I uploaded my first web pages, but despite the many computer packages I used, the problem of updating the information became tedious and slow. Also, they still did not allow equal participation by other family members.

Recently I have using Family Tree Maker for Mac. I had used the PC version many years ago and find this new Mac based version very good. In addition I have decided to use the web space allowance on Ancestry.com, but have decided to keep the information and data private.

I am very happy to allow limited access to this data, as long as people can display that they are someone who is a genuine member of the extended family.

On the following pages I have listed all the surnames I have information on.

All comments are appreciated and welcomed.










Below I have introduced the main families covered by this web site and helps researchers locate information which has been gathered on these families. No guarantee is made for the information but where possible information has been verified through the use of official documents.  Anyone with additional or differing information is invited to contact the author.

The O'Brien's

This O'Brien family are the descendants from the small County Limerick town lands known as Rathwood and Rath, located within the Parish of Abington, Murroe (Moroe) in the north east part of County Limerick.  There are two family clans who seem to have split during the early 1800's, yet to this day know each other as cousins and whose history has intertwined over the past 200 years.  There are over 2000 descendants some descendants still remaining in Limerick County, but the greater number spread throughout Australia, the USA and Canada.  Of the family from Rath, where the cottage still stands and is still held by a family member, most now reside in Australia.  Of the family from Rathwood, most still remain in Ireland, with many residing in the USA.  Those who ventured to Australia most settled and established themselves in the Cobram region of Northern Victoria.  However many members of the other families have since came to settle in the new land.

The Perry's

The Perry's resided in the village of Harwell, Oxfordshire, England during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the late 1800’s some of the family went to Australia, the remaining family married and settled locally, though today there is only one family of Perry's remaining in England.  In Australia the Perry's settled in New South Wales and Sydney. Of particularly interest is Dr. Michael Perry, who as a young man, having been stationed at St Luke's Hospital, London, came to Sydney to seek his new life and fortune. He ended up a senior surgeon, Mayor of Yass, and finally living in West Wyalong. At the time of his death he was very well to do and respected. Interestingly, his wife Sarah Bull was the daughter of a wealthy land owner and business partner with Michael in establishing an early Chemist shop in the Goulburn area.

Because of recent visits to England, contact has been re-established with the families of England and Australia and more work is being undertaken to expand the knowledge of what happened to the various parts of this Perry family.

The Morris & Watson's

Patrick Morris and Catherine Watson married in 1903, both being from families that lived in the Clunes District of Victoria.  They had 6 children who moved around the State but finally most settled in Melbourne.  Some of the later generations moved interstate into farming in the Gippsland region.

The Blunden's

Thomas Raynor Blunden arrived in Melbourne in the 1852 and soon married Louisa Crawford at St. James, Church of England, Melbourne in 1853.  They then moved to the Gold-fields of Bendigo (Sandhurst) where he was a prospector.  Most of their children were born in this area.  Around 1881 the family moved to New South Wales and settled in the Hillston and Wyalong districts.  The family then joined the Ray family, famous in the Campbelltown region.

The Bull's

Joseph Bull arrived as a convict in New South Wales in the 1820's, worked hard to become a successful businessman in the Goulburn region, owning a large retail store, several business interests, the local postmaster and senior local citizen during the second half of the 1800's. His name is well known around Goulburn, his final home being St Clare, now a national Heritage house.  To this day the entrance gates to one of his stores bearing the initials "B & W" can still be seen and are used as part of the symbols of Goulburn history.

The Ray's and Herrick's

Edward Ray and Catherine Herrick were married in 1851.  Both came from old convict families who were major players in the early development of New South Wales.  Edward Ray is a descendant of Mary Wade, known as one of the "Mothers" of the new colony.

The Mitten's

John Mitten married Catherine Lahey (Lee) in 1801, both having been sentenced to death but sent to Australia instead.  This family spread themselves throughout the Colony and with their daughter’s marriage to John Herrick establish a long lasting list of families, especially in the western districts of New South Wales.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 May 2018 06:15