Mick and Chris now live in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, about 120km west of Sydney, with views over the Grose Valley. Mick became interested in the O'Neill side of his family during a visit to Ireland in 1995, and very quickly on his return to Sydney managed to trace his line back to his great-great-grandfather, Patrick O'Neill, using the Pioneer Index and Federation Index CDROMs in Fisher Library. At this stage, and by the kind of fluke that often occurs during family history research, he learned of the gathering of an O'Neill clan that had occurred in November 1994 in Dungog, NSW. He immediately contacted one of the organisers of the gathering, Jann O'Neill of Wauchope, NSW, and learned that his family was one of the several missing links in Jann's research.
Mick grew up believing that his family was tiny - his mother was an only child, his father had just one brother and there were only two first cousins. He now realises he has a large extended family, and has endeavoured to meet as many of his relatives as he can. Mick and Chris returned to Ireland in 1999 and again in 2006, and managed to locate where his Irish forebears lived.
Being an Irish musician, Chris always dreamed that her ancestors were Irish, but sadly it is not (yet) to be. She taught herself recorder and guitar to the songs of Joan Baez and was drawn to Irish music. She knew sketches of her family back a generation or two but not the detail. It is therefore a joy to see her family unfold further and further back and reveal its secrets.
This website is designed as a repository for these two families' stories. We encourage any input that friends or family can make. Please send your stories and photos to either of us, which we will publish with due acknowledgment.
Mick O'Neill (email@example.com, 0405 595 654)
Chris Wheeler (firstname.lastname@example.org, 0408 276 436)
21 Days Crescent
Tel +61 2 4787 5725