Breretons in Australia and Ireland  
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Below is 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" on Sundays.

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, NSW, Australia
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 to U.S
I think there may have been a brother, William Brereton whose wife Alicia Eager/Eagar and daughter Wilhelmina may have emigrated to U.S.

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.


Helen Favelle
Sydney, Australia



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