Share This:

Theresa O’Brien b.1930

Hi everyone, 

I am brand new to all this but very curious to know more about my Irish ancestry, sadly with no one to ask. I have found the death record of my fathers mother, Theresa O'Brien, who I knew very briefly as a child and remember her thick Irish accent. The birthdate on it is 1st March 1930, and she died in Portsmouth, England in 1997. All I know is she married an Englishman, Eric Sydney Harris, deceased around 1998, and they moved to Portsmouth I would imagine in the early 70s. My father lived in/ was born in Derry/Londonderry.

If anyone is able to advise how I can find out more about Theresa I would love to know and eventually visit where she came from. 

Thankyou so much in advance for any help you can offer.






Friday 7th August 2020, 01:49AM

Message Board Replies

  • The English death indexes give Eric’s date of birth as 6th Jan 1934. Eric’s death is registered in Portsmouth in August 1998. I don’t see a matching birth in England so he may well have been born in Ireland.

    If you think he was born in Derry (or anywhere in Northern Ireland), you could order a copy of his birth certificate from GRONI in Belfast. Contact details for ringing or e-mailing GRONI:

    If they married in Northern Ireland, you can ask GRONI to search for the marriage certificate. Obviously if Theresa was born in Northern Ireland they should have her birth certificate too. If she was born in the Republic of Ireland then you need to contact the GRO there.

    You can order a research copy (photocopy) of the civil certificate from GRO Roscommon for €4 (euros).


    Friday 7th August 2020, 10:20AM
  • Hi,
    Have you got the marriage record?
    This would give Thesesa's Father's name and occupation, your years are just in the cut off times. 
    Ireland records cut off 1919 for births.
    Northern Ireland records if not on line you have to use PRONI (Public Records of Northern Ireland)
    Familysearch have records not detailed, Birth up to 1958 you would need Theres's Mothers maiden name.

    Then we can search for her family.



    Friday 7th August 2020, 11:05AM
  • Hi everyone. Thanks so much for all this great advice. Just to update, I have spoken to the GRO in Derry and have since ordered the birth certificate of my father (as I wondered if this would include her maiden name) and also gave them absolutely all the info and dates I have on Theresa which the lady at the GRO advised (names of her children, where they lived etc). 
    I've since had two emails saying my orders are on their way, so hopefully that means they have found both certificates. I look forward to updating you when I have them and hopefully finding the right place to start investigating her family going back. 

    it's very exciting all this isn't it! 



    Monday 10th August 2020, 10:42PM

    Hi everyone, I had some great post this morning in the form of Theresa's birth certificate! She was born 1st April 1930 at 5 Nailor Street Derry. Her mother was Mary Jane and her father was a labourer called John OBrien. I can't quite make out what Mary Jane's maiden name was so I'm wondering if anyone can confirm it for me? I'm hoping someone can advise me what to do next, how do I now research Theresa's parents going back as I imagine they were born at the turn of the century. Is there some resource that I can search on or do I need to pay to use these databases? Apologies if silly questions and thanks in advance. I found online some old photographs of Nailors Row and burst into tears imagining my Nanny playing there as a child- I didn't expect to feel so emotional about it but here we are!









    Wednesday 12th August 2020, 01:31PM
  • Sorry I thought I could add a photo of Mary Janes information but can't seem to. It looks like Hood, Ford or Aird. Any clues?!


    Wednesday 12th August 2020, 01:33PM
  • Mary Jane’s surname is probably Hood. There’s a marriage registered in Derry on 30.4.1927 between John O’Brien and Mary Hood.  You can view the original certificate on-line on the GRONI website, using the “search registrations” option:

    You will need to open an account and buy some credits. It costs £2.50 (sterling) to a view a certificate. 

    If you put the fathers names and occupations on this board, I’ll see if we can trace John & Mary’s births.



    Wednesday 12th August 2020, 09:26PM