an e-mail from Helen Favelle that provides some very interesting information
about Breretons in Australia and Ireland (dated: 2 April 2007):
Many thanks for the great Brereton web site. I haven’t been
able to see anything about my Brereton ancestors on your site so
here are some details in case anybody is related and wants to contact
me. Here are a few of the interesting bits of information about
my Brereton ancestors that I’ve collected.
Immigration from Ireland
Robert Gordon Brereton, wife Elizabeth – previous
name Fitzgerald, and son William Gordon aged 1 emigrated to Sydney,
Australia in 26/5/1839 on the Roxburgh Castle, sailing from Plymouth.
From the immigration records:
Robert’s occupation is listed as a farm overseer, father William
Brereton – mail coach agent, Robert was born in Tralee, Ireland
in abt 1815.
Elizabeth’s occupation was listed as dairywoman, father James
Fitzgerald – farmer, Elizabeth was also born in Tralee, Ireland
in abt 1815.
Occupation in Australia
By 1841 Census Robert was working as a dispenser or apothecary
(now called pharmacist or chemist) at Port Macquarie Hospital, Elizabeth
was a nurse (Port Macquarie, at the time was a convict settlement
north of Sydney).
Sometime after 1846 Robert and Elizabeth moved to Armidale (inland
of Port Macquarie) and he was now a Medical Practitioner. I have
copies of advertisements he put in the local newspaper which are
interesting – here is one about him moving his practice from
Armidale to the Rocky River goldfields.
Pro Bono Publico
Rocky River Medical
The undersigned in compliance with numerous applications from the
"Diggers" and more especially in according to the repeated
invitations of the "Fair Sex" and "Old Acquaintances"
now so rapidly congregating to the above locality, desires to inform
them and the public generally, that in future, instead of coming
to "Armidale" to consult him (an occurrence - which not
infrequently happens during the night), he may now BE APPLIED to
any hour at the "EL DORADO INN" pledging himself that
every case shall receive prompt attention.
Correspondents from the neighboring stations answered from "Armidale"
ROBT. GORDON BRERETON
General Medical Practitioner
Armidale, May 31, 1856
Source: Armidale Express Sat June 7 1856 Price 6d
Children of Robert Gordon Brereton and Elizabeth Fitzgerald
There were 6 children from the marriage:
William Gordon Brereton b.1837 Tralee, Ireland d.1905 Minto, NSW
Australia m. Amelia Mary Ellen Salter
Margaret Brereton b. abt 1839 Port Macquarie d.1910 St Leonards,
Sydney, Australia m. William Kendall
Raymond Brereton b. 3/4/1840 Port Macquarie d. 24/2/1841 Port Macquarie,
Georgina Margaret Brereton b.1841 Port Macquarie d.1902 Gosford,
NSW Australia m. James Payn Lewis – my gggrandparents
Charles Oliver Brereton b.1844 Port Macquarie d.1876 Bendemeer,
NSW, Australia m. Mary Elizabeth Trowbridge
Rosanna Brereton b.1846 Port Macquarie d. 1877 Warialda, NSW, Australia
m. William Kendall
The eldest son, William Gordon Brereton, also drove a mail coach
– his obituary stated that the notorious bushranger Thunderbolt
would not attack the mail coach when he was driving. He later became
a publican of one of the major hotels in Armidale. A number of his
descendants became pharmacists, one went into the priesthood, and
two later descendants became members of parliament in our State
and Federal governments.
His brother Charles Oliver Brereton drove a mail coach too, he
died aged 32 from rheumatic fever.
Death of Robert Gordon Brereton
Robert Gordon Brereton died in 1857 at the Eldorado Inn
at the Rocky River goldfields, near Armidale. His cause of death
was delirium tremens brought on by excessive use of Ardent Spirits.
I have no information about what happened to his wife Elizabeth,
she disappears from the records entirely.
Murder of William Brereton, father of Robert Gordon Brereton
I believe the father of Robert Gordon Brereton, William
Brereton was murdered (during one of the outbreaks of troubles in
Ireland) in 1822 at Carriganimi, four miles from Killarney, Ireland.
The name, occupation, and place as per his son’s immigration
records fit with newspaper articles I have found on the internet.
The murder and subsequent court cases are well documented in the
newspapers of the time, as it was a particularly gruesome murder.
Possible brother William Brereton – family emigrated
I think there may have been a brother, William Brereton
whose wife Alicia Eager/Eagar and daughter Wilhelmina may have emigrated
I have not researched the Irish records any further at this stage
to find out more (difficult to do in Australia), I suspect that
the Brereton family came from another part of Ireland as the name
is very uncommon around Tralee, and they are more likely to have
come from another part of Ireland where the name is more numerous,
and of course prior to that, from England.
Look forward to hearing from anybody that is related or interested.