Fanny Riches was the third child of Robert Riches and Jane Stanbury.  She was also known as Fanny Rennie, May Florence Rennie and eventually as May Florence O'Regan.

Fanny Riches was born in Buninyong, Victoria on October 17, 1857 (Buninyong Birth Registration 15037/1857)(1857-3355).   Soon after this Robert and Jane separated and by 1859 Fanny had become part of the family of Richard Hutchinson Rennie, the second husband of Jane Stanbury.

See family tree of Richard and Jane Rennie

Fanny became a dressmaker.  By her early twenties she had moved away from home in Buninyong and was living, at the time of her marriage, in Swan Street Richmond in Melbourne, Victoria

On September 23 1880, at the age of 23 years, Fanny Riches (then known as May Florence Rennie) married Robert Emmet O'Regan aged 28 at the Wesleyan Parsonage, Richmond Victoria (Richmond Marriage Registration 2901/1880).  Fanny incorrectly signed her marriage certificate as Fanny Ritchie instead of Riches; a mistake probably caused by her never knowing her father.  The name Ritchie was perpetuated on several later documents. 

The Age newspaper announced their wedding on Monday September 27 1880, where her name was given as May Florence Rennie.  This is the earliest reference found to the use of the names May Florence.  To her half brothers and sisters she was to be known as Fanny for the rest of her life.

Possibly Fannie Riches (also known as May Florence Rennie)

Fanny's husband Robert O'Regan was born in Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick, North America (Canada) in September 4 1852, the son of a tailor Daniel Francis O'Regan and Mary Steeves.  Robert was a mariner, and at the time of their marriage gave his address as the Australian Wharf, Melbourne.  He had only arrived in Victoria less than a year before they married.

Fanny and Robert moved to Emerald Hill, Victoria where on September 2 1881 their first child Robert Edwin O'Regan was born (Emerald Hill Birth Registration 16290/1881).  Apparently with the new family responsibilities Robert Emmet O'Regan changed his occupation from mariner to labourer.

They spent no more than one year together in Victoria before moving to New South Wales, settling in Kenthurst near Paramatta where they had an orange orchard.

See family tree of Fanny and Robert O'Regan

Fanny O'Regan at Emerald Hill Victoria

Fanny and Robert had seven children.  Not all of the subsequent O'Regan generations have been traced.  Some of the information below comes from the personal recollections of several members of the O'Regan family.

Robert Edwin O'Regan was born September 3 1881 in Clarke St. Emerald Hill, Victoria (1881-16290).  He was known as Ted.  He married Alice Grace Wright in November 1900 in Newtown (Reg 1900-9273) and lived in Baulkham Hills near Paramatta for some fifty years.  He worked on the tramways and is known to have had nine children.  He died on December 5 1965 age 86 years He had 9 children.  Alice died on July 9 1960.

Richard Francis O'Regan was born on August 4 1883 in Union Street Pyrmont, New South Wales (Reg 1883-2260).  He was known as Frank.  He lived in Pennant Hills, Camperdown and Newtown.  He married Annie Mary Stevens of Kenthurst in Paramatta on April 24 1909 (Reg 1909-5684) and is known to have had seven children. Richard died on August 26 1924 (Reg 1924-11749) and was buried in Rookwood Cemetery Lot No. 1374. Annie died on March 24 1972.

Charles Albert O'Regan was born in 1885 (1885-2111).  He married Charlotte (Lottie) Johnstone in Cowra (1911-1342). They lived in Cowra and are said to have had about three children children.  Charles is believed to have lived until around 1960.

Arthur O'Regan was born in 1887 (1887-5028).  He married Nellie M. Anderson in 1908 (1908-77). Arthur and his wife Nellie lived in 'Nellieville', a house in Punchbowl.  His mother Fanny is known to have died at 'Nellieville'.  Arthur is said to have died of tetanus at Lakemba in 1933 (1933-3056).  It is believed he had about four children.

Laura Violet O'Regan was born in Leichhardt in 1889 (1889-4763).  She was known as Dot.  Laura married Arthur A. McKenna in 1912 (1912-15341) and they lived in Kenthurst near her mother where they had a poultry farm.  It is believed they had no children but may have adopted one.  She is said to have lived into the 1950's.

Stella M. O'Regan was born in Leichhardt in 1891 (1891- 18696), the twin of Harry O'Regan. Stella married James A (Alf) Miller in St Leonards in 1912 (1912-3261).  They lived in North Sydney and are believed to have had three children. Miller worked on the ferries

Henry (Harry) H. O'Regan was born in Leichhardt in 1891 (1891- 18695), the twin of Stella O'Regan.  He married Emily (Emma) G Denning in Wellington N.S.W. in 1917 (1917-8851) and is known to have had at least three children.  He lived in Newtown and Camperdown.

 Further information is required.


Fanny O'Regan is said to have enjoyed good health and was a "fine upstanding lady".  She was called "mater" by her family and had a "severe manner".  She was described as tall, slim build with dark hair often in a bun at the back.  She was a dressmaker and often wore blouses with high collars.

Robert Emmet O'Regan was described by his niece, Doris Mansell, as a "nice old chap.  He was a dear; full of fun.  He would play jokes on you.  Fanny had a happy life with him."

Fanny apparently did not maintain close contact with the rest of the Rennie family in Victoria, with exception of her half sister Jane Alexander Mansell (nee Rennie), whom she visited at their home in Welshpool Victoria.  Jane Alexander also visited Fanny in New South Wales.


Robert Emmet O'Regan 

Robert Emmet O'Regan died on August 4 1913 (St Leonards Death Registration 13116/1913) from injuries received after being knocked down by an automobile in North Sydney.  He was aged 60 years and 11 months and was still residing at Kenthurst at the time.  The fatal accident was reported the next day in the Sydney Morning Herald.  He was buried on August 8 in the Church of England section of the Rookwood Cemetery, grave No. 5747.

Fanny (May Florence) O'Regan died on July 1 1928 (Canterbury Death Registration 11035/1928) in her son Arthur's house (Nellieville) Hillcrest St. in Punchbowl (late address Rosebery, Sydney).  She was aged 70 years.  She was also buried in the Rookwood Cemetery in grave No. 5747.

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Fanny and Robert O'Regan