O’Brien might be the most common Irish name in America or maybe it just seems that way when I’m trying to find records for my 3rd great-grandfather, Patrick. There are over 4 million results returned when searching for O’Brien on Ancestry and that doesn’t count the misspellings.
Patrick’s last name is misspelled O’Brion on his 1874 marriage record to Ellen Ryan (spelled Rayen on the same)1 and O’Brine on his 1919 death record.2 Thankfully, his daughter Mary passed along some papers and a picture to my grand aunt Betty (Lucey) Bedard. And via Ancestry.com, I connected with a descendant of one of Patrick’s brothers. Chris was able to fill in many blanks and confirm the connection to the Amesbury MA O’Briens.
Patrick O’Brien and Helen Melson (not sure who she is)
Patrick was born in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland in March of 1848, the eldest son of Patrick and Bridget (Hare)3. He came to America sometime in the mid to late 1860’s, probably with his siblings John, Richard and Mary. They lived in Amesbury, MA and he worked in the carding room at the woolen mills there and in neighboring Salisbury4.
This signature is from one of Mary’s report cards
By 1876 he was living in Rochester, NH with wife Ellen (Ryan) and working in the woolen mill, probably the Gonic Manufacturing Co where James Lucey, the future father-in-law of daughter Mary, worked. They had four daughters in Rochester, Katherine (1876-1966), Bernice (1879-1948), Mary (1881-1972) and Sara (1883-1886).5
I love how stuff like this was published in the newspaper!
In the summer of 1910, he and James Lucey visited York Beach Maine where James and Mary (O’Brien) Lucey were vacationing.6
Patrick died 19 Jul 1919 at home in Rochester at age 71.
This post is 5th in the in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge series.
1. Ancestry.com. Maine, Marriage Records, 1713-1937 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.Original data: Maine Marriage Records, 1705-1922. Augusta, Maine: Maine State Archives. Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll #: 81.
2. Ancestry.com. New Hampshire, Death and Disinterment Records, 1754-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.Original data: “New Hampshire, Death and Disinterment Records, 1754–1947.” Online index and digital images. New England Historical Genealogical Society. Citing New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records, Concord, New Hampshire.
4. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1870; Census Place: Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts; Roll: M593_607; Page: 27A; Image: 58; Family History Library Film: 552106.
5. Ancestry.com. New Hampshire, Birth Records, 1659-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations. Inc., 2013.Original data: “New Hampshire, Birth Records, through 1900.” Online index and digital images. New England Historical Genealogical Society. Citing New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records, Concord, New Hampshire.
6. Ancestry.com. Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original data: Portsmouth Herald. Portsmouth, NH, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper. 2 Aug 1910, pg. 2.