brick wall goes boom! \o/

Apr. 17th, 2016 11:26 pm
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[personal profile] rainbow
One of my brick walls is ^h^h was Thomas Brennan and his wife Catherine.

In 1842 they were in Beckwith Twp, Lanark Co, Ontario, 3 lots south of my 3rd ggps.

In 1851 they were in Sydenham, Ontario, where Thomas was working as a laborer (the other Brennans farmed) -- and two of the younger Brennan brothers were boarding with the family next door and also laborers.

In 1861, the Thomas Brennans were in Holland Twp, where my 3rd ggps had settled in the 1840s, 2 lots above them.

Thomas is on the same lot in the 1865-1866 Directory of Grey Co. And that's the last he's seen.

Years ago I found a widowed Catherine Brennan with 3 kids that matched in Chicago in 1880, but couldn't find any proof one way or the other.

I still don't have PROOF, but now I have a lot of circumstantial evidence, partially through more records at, partially from a findagrave listing for a daughter of Thomas Brennan and Catherine Comerford in Chicago, and partially for an Irish record of the marriage of Thomas and Catherine in Co Kilkenny -- just over the county line from the other Brennans in Co Carlow, about 2 miles to the northwest.

That Thomas and Catherine were married in 1833. The two eldest daugthers of my Thomas and Catherine (Ann and Margaret) were born in 1836 and 1838. (The parish baptismal register for ~1800-1840 is missing for Muckalee parish, argh)

My Thomas and Catherine move to Ontario and had 6 more children: Catherine, Mary, Ellen, John, Thomas, and Julia.

Thomas last appears in 65-66 in Grey Co, Ont. Catherine first appears as widow of Thomas in Chicago in 1867. She's living at the same address, 120 Milwaukee Ave, as Edward Comerford, her son in law (yes, also her maiden name; I don't know if they were related, but they WERE both from Co Kilkenny). In 1867 Edward built a family home on Halsted. In 1869 Catherine Brennan lists that address.

In 1871 she and her sons are missing -- but Margaret Brennan Comerford, her husband Ed, their kids, and her younger sister Ellen Brennan are on Halsted.

In 1881 Catherine, her sons John and Thomas, her divorced daughter Ellen, and Ellen's children are living together on Libery. Ellen's ex-husband's will (in California) mentions the three children by name and that they are living with their mother in Chicago.

Catherine died in 1892 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery. Margaret died in 1925 and is also buried there (I don't yet know if they are in the same plot). She death record lists her parents by name and her place of birth as "Kilkenna, Ireland"

I went through the records I have for St. Lazarian RC in Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow, for another researcher, the one who posted the marriage of Thomas and Catherine. The other person's names include Hosey, Comerford, and Byrne in Kilkenny near the Carlow border.

The families seem to have very close ties with both the Brennans and other families that married into the Brennans: Lawlor/Lalor, Roach, Mara, Jordan, and Rice. (My 3rd ggm was a Jordan. Her brother married a Lawlor and her sister married a Mara. Her husband's brother John married a Rice and their sister Catherine married a Roach.)

So, based on the patterns and the circumstantial stuff, I feel about 95% confident that I've found the right family. I'm hoping I can find descendents at some point to compare DNA with.


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Dee Burris Blakley

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