A Troop of Brennans in the NSW Police Force.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.
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 Cemetery, Patrick 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?