Yass, NSW. A Touch of Serendipity.

A Troop of Brennans in the NSW Police Force.

Brennan
Patrick James Brennan (1887-1935)

A few years ago I was researching the family of Patrick James Brennan who was born at Tinonee, near Taree in 1887, where his father was a police constable. Patrick’s parents, John and Elizabeth Brennan were married at Cooma in 1881. Patrick joined the Mounted police in 1913 and was appointed to the South Western District of New South Wales and is pictured above (place unknown). John was born in Queanbeyan in 1857 and became a mounted policeman in 1878 patrolling the Northern Districts of New South Wales. Although, the majority of this information is obtainable through the free indexes at NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages it was only verified after obtaining a copy of Patrick’s birth certificate and his police records. Patrick Brennan died in 1965 and is buried at Botany Cemetery. John Brennan was a retired sergeant of police when he died in 1935 and was buried in Waverley Catholic Cemetery according to the newspaper notices at the time, giving his age as 80 years. The BDM Index for 1935 shows his parents as John & Mary Brennan but there is no birth registered near Queanbeyan in 1857, although there is a possible entry for 1855 with parents John and Mary.  It would require purchasing the certificate or a transcription to check and hopefully provide some details about John and Mary.

Bowning Police

1901 Bowning Police Station & Post Office, NAA Ref. B5919, 4/11

Coincidentally, in Yass at this time Trooper Patrick Brennan was busy catching bushrangers. In 1835, Trooper Brennan of the Mounted police is reported as accompanying a search for armed cattle stealers. In 1861, Sergeant Brennan apprehended Bushranger Marshall at Bowning, near Yass. In 1863 and 1864 it was Sub-Inspector Brennan who was involved with ‘Gilbert’s Gang’ at Bowning and the capture of Bushrangers Seery and Synam followed by the ‘Conroy Murders’ in 1868.

The Late Inspector Brennan. 

Inspector Patrick Brennan died at the police barracks, Yass, on Sunday night, after a long illness, aged 71. He had been 48 years in the police force, and took an active part in early bushranging days, also in the Lambing Flat riots. Before he joined the police he was a sergeant of the southern gold escort. He leaves a family of five sons and one daughter. The Mayor has arranged for a public funeral. (Goulburn Evening Penny Post 31 October 1899).

A search of Trove results in Police Inspector Patrick Brennan’s death in 1899 being mentioned in a variety of newspapers, including the Sydney Morning Herald, Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Singleton Argus and Burrowa News.  The Northern Star remarks on his son who is a constable at Lismore. Most newspapers acknowledge Patrick’s brother Martin Brennan, the Superintendant of Police, who had previously been an Inspector of Police at Newcastle. The Australian Dictionary of Biography records Martin Brennan as born in 1839 at Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, Ireland, the son of Martin Brennan, farmer, and his wife Sarah, née Tobin.

According to Yass CemeteryPatrick Brennan died 29 October, 1899, aged 68 years. 49 years in Public Service of the Colony and 40 years Inspector of the Yass District. Native of Kilkenny Ireland, erected by daughter Gertrude A Brennan. Sadly both his first wife Catherine and his infant daughter Mary Sarah died on 28 November, 1869.

Now, the question is are the two Brennan families related? Could John Brennan be related to Patrick and Martin Brennan? A nephew, perhaps? Just coincidence? Further investigation is required. Can you help?

This entry was posted in Botany/Eastern Suburbs, Brennan, Cemeteries, Family History, Family Stories, National Library of Australia, Trove, Yass NSW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Yass, NSW. A Touch of Serendipity.

  1. Maxine Gray says:

    Found this today, I’m researching the Brennan family, I think the trooper at the top of the page could be a nephew or cousin. Brennans are thick on the ground in Kilkenny. Martin, Patrick and Patrick’s son John Isadore were all policemen.

    • Thanks for the information regarding the Brennan family. Patrick’s family has not traced their family back to Ireland as yet. If you would like to contact them or send any other photos or information feel free to contact me directly. ET

  2. Richard dyball says:

    Hi Patrick brennan was my wife’s grandmothers greatgrandfather. The brennan all arrived in oz over a 10 or 15 year period. Patrick arrived first, then a sister, then Martin and younger brother John. I am on holidays just now so have not got access to my files. I have no knowledge of the John brennan you mention or confirmation he is or is not a relative, what I do know is there where a lot of Brennan’s in the police, at this time. I have the book Martin Brennan wrote in 1907 or there about, which is about his time in the police, it was Martin who was at lambing flats, not Patrick. I am currently in Bathurst today on my way to Dubbo, just visited the Edgar penzig collection held in the old court house museum. Edgar wrote quite a lot about the Brennans unfortunately his books are overly expensive. Once I return I would be interested in exchanging info. I am on ancestry under Dyball-graham family tree, hope you find this of interest. By the way when inspector Brennan died at Yass it was my direct ggggrandfather who lead the Yass band in the funaral procession. A little surprise to me and my wife. Richard dyball

    • Thanks Richard. I look forward to hearing from you & working out the connections. If you prefer you can contact me directly at explorerstree@me.com. ET

      • Maxine Gray says:

        Hi there
        My interest in the Brennan family comes from a long distance which is the better explanation!
        Through my Madigan family Mary Madigan married John Kelly, their daughter Johanna married John Edward BRENNAN, youngest brother of Patrick, William, Mary, Martin, and Margaret and son of Martin and Sarah (nee Tobin) Brennan. Whilst researching the Madigans I had gathered an enormous amount of info on the Brennans and so last year I decided to put it all into a small book. it was a wonderful research project and I learned so much about the Mounted Police and all the goings on and was very impressed finding out so much through Trove and other newspapers and to see how from very poor beginnings the various Brennan members achieved great things.
        I’m happy to share with you my information and if you wish to contact me on maxrose1436@gmail.com
        Maxine Gray

      • Maxine Gray says:

        Hi there
        My interest in the Brennan family comes from a long distance which is the better explanation!
        Through my Madigan family Mary Madigan married John Kelly, their daughter Johanna married John Edward BRENNAN, youngest brother of Patrick, William, Mary, Martin, and Margaret and son of Martin and Sarah (nee Tobin) Brennan. Whilst researching the Madigans I had gathered an enormous amount of info on the Brennans and so last year I decided to put it all into a small book. it was a wonderful research project and I learned so much about the Mounted Police and all the goings on and was very impressed finding out so much through Trove and other newspapers and to see how from very poor beginnings the various Brennan members achieved great things.
        I’m happy to share with you my information and if you wish to contact me on maxrose1436@gmail.com when I can give you my phone no. also if you wish. I live in Moss Vale.
        Regards
        Maxine Gray

      • Thanks Maxine, I shall dig out my Brennan papers and get back to you soon.ET

  3. Ben O'S says:

    Hi i have encountered john brennan daughter in my tree with unknown mother in moree.

    • Thanks Ben. Didn’t know of a Moree connection. We’ll have to check it out.ET

      • Ben O'S says:

        On the person im currentyl researching her death cert states
        ——————————————–
        Father: John Brennan
        Fathers Occupation: Sergeant of Police
        Mother – Maiden Name: Not Known
        Where Born: Narrabri
        ——————————————–
        Her marriage cert says Both parents unknown birthplace moree

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s