Sometimes, as in the case of John Whelan, it is difficult to determine which, if any, of the birth records found relate to the correct person. Such is the case with John Whelan where there were four possible birth records with the correct year, and none of them may be the right one.
And it is not just birth records. There were more than 500 petty session court records. Going through each of these to determine if they could be the right John Whelan was interesting. All the trouble that they could get into. In the end, although many more of the court sessions may have related to our John Whelan, only four could be confirmed as very likely based on the occupation.
Sometimes, you can only be sure which ones are not the correct person, such as those that were farmers, carpenters, labourers, reverends and tailors. Others, such as the many drunk charges, we can only wonder if any matched our ancestor.