Contributed by Kellie Keen at keen@pacific.net.au

I'm doing research on my husband's family. My husband's great grandmother was an O'NEIL (spelt like that), I am looking for any available information.

I have information going back a man by the name of Charles O'NEILL who married a lady by the name of Charlotte O'BRIEN I have NO other information on them except that they had a son named Charles O'NEILL b 1830 Tasmania, Australia he married a young Irish immigrant girl by the name of Mary BUTLER b 1840, Tipperary. Ireland. They were married in 1858 - St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney. Australia. They had a son named Charles Edward O'NEIL b 5 Sept 1862, Little Plain, NSW. Australia and d 4 May 1950.

I'm guessing by this stage you have noticed that the surnames for O'NEILL had changed to O'NEIL...there is a little story behind that and it goes like this:

The first O'Neill into Australia was Edward O'Neill married to Charlotte O'Brien last known as being in Tasmania because the next in line is Charles O'Neill was born there and gives his parents as such . Charles O'Neill came to Sydney from Tasmania and married an Irish immigrant girl named Mary Butler ---- he had the first sawmill and timber business on the banks of the Tank Stream in York St CBD Sydney--------- he sold out and went to Yass near Canberra and took up and bought huge ares of land at Blakeney Creek via Yass -------- his first born child was Charles Edward O'Neil who had 17 children of which 15 survived (my husband's great grandmother was the last surviving child out of the 15 children). Charles O'Neill who settled near Yass was a strong Catholic and he and Mary were in fact given permission to marry in St Marys Cathedral Sydney where their marriage certificate (was found by Milton O'NEIL)in 1858 and Mary who died very young after her last child is buried in an unmarked grave in the Catholic section of Yass Cemetery somewhere, it was never given a headstone because Charles her husband lived 30 years on after his wifes death and during that time had a huge argument with a local priest and was so bitter he changed his children's surname to a single O'Neil not O'Neill which it should be plus he made himself and his children Church of England religion, he even decided not to mark his wifes grave and he himself is buried in the same cemetery at Yass but with a very impressive headstone in the C of E section right next to the explorer Hamilton Hume.

Unfortunately we cannot find here in Australia or in Ireland any record of our original forebears Edward O'Neill and Charlotte O'Brien ---very very strange. Information supplied by Milton O'Neil.

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