16 March 2008

O'Brien Descendants of Mary Kelly of Beara Peninsula, Ireland, and Houghton Co., MI

Mary Kelly, great-great-greatgrandmother of my son-in-law was born in Ireland in 1805 and died in Houghton County, Michigan on December 10, 1880. Some of this information was found on the 1880 census:

1880 Census Franklin, Houghton, Michigan
Joseph GREENE 34 IRE Occ: Miner Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
Julia Wife 33 IRE Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
Mary Dau 14 MI Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
James Son 13 MI Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
John Son 4 MI Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
Catherine Dau W 6 MI Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
Julia Dau 1 MI Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
Philip Son 11 MI Occ: At School Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
Daniel Son 9 MI Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
Mary Mother Wid 75 IRE Occ: At Home Fa: IRE Mo: IRE

Her death record found online here provided additional information:

DOD: 10 December 1880
Ledger#264 Record# 2262
Place of Death: Franklin, Houghton Co., MI
Birthplace: Ireland
Father: KELLY, Con
Mother: KELLY, Anna

Now it seems as though that the Greene family was part of a group of copper miners who immigrated from the Beara peninsula of Ireland to the "Copper Country" area of Houghton County, Michigan. A search of the Rootsweb list that focuses on the peninsula corroborated some information that had surfaced during my research.

Widow Greene (nee Mary Kelly) had actually been widowed three times. She and her second husband, Michael O'Brien, had two children, Catherine and Quinlan, half-sister and half-brother of my son-in-law's great-greatgrandfather, Joseph Greene.

Researching the name "Quinlan" seemed easier than researching John or Patrick or... anyway, I found a few items of interest about Mary Kelly Greene's "O'Brien" descendants. At this search site, I found the Quinlan O'Brien family in the 1880 census.

1880 Iowa, Greene Co., Greenbrier
Q. O'BRIEN Self M Male W 48 IRE Farmer IRE IRE
Margaret O'BRIEN Wife M Female W 42 IRE Keeping House IRE IRE
Michael O'BRIEN Son Male W 20 IRE At Home IRE IRE
Daniel O'BRIEN Son Male W 17 MI At Home IRE IRE
Dennis O'BRIEN Son Male W 16 MI At Home IRE IRE
John O'BRIEN Son Male W 15 MI At Home IRE IRE
Patrick O'BRIEN Son Male W 14 MI At Home IRE IRE
Maggie O'BRIEN Dau S Female W 11 MI At Home IRE IRE
Quinn O'BRIEN Son S Male W 9 MI IRE IRE
William O'BRIEN Son S Male W 5 IA IRE IRE
Joseph O'BRIEN Son S Male W 3 IA IRE IRE

In 1900, Margaret (O'Brien) Ryan and her brothers, Patrick O'Brien and Quin O'Brien, are living in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois on Dearborn Avenue. Margaret was born in April 1870 and died April 23, 1915, in Chicago, and was survived by her husband, Judge Joseph E. Ryan (born Feb 1870 in Fort Dodge, Iowa; died 9 December 1915) and children Joseph, Jr. (ca 17), Quin (ca 14) and Dorothy (ca 11). Margaret O'Brien Ryan's obituary also stated that she was survived by her mother, Mrs. Quinlan O'Brien of Bayard, Iowa, and siblings Quin, Patrick and William.

Margaret (O'Brien) Ryan's son, Quin Ryan, was a "pioneer Chicago radio personality and former manager of WGN-Radio" according to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune published 9 October 1978. His obituary also stated that "he created the first "You Are There" program and was the first announcer to broadcast the Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500." He also covered other historic events including the Scopes trial, the Dempsey-Tunney fights and Knute Rockne's funeral, according to the obit.

Margaret (O'Brien) Ryan's son, Joseph Colman Ryan, was a professor at Notre Dame who died in April 1976.

Margaret (O'Brien) Ryan's daughter, Dorothy (1904-1970), married attorney Paul Denvir. Dorothy is probably the person referenced here. Dorothy's son, Quin, was a Public Defender for the Unabomber.

To be continued......


jobrien said...

Very interesting to stumble on this while Googling for Quin Ryan, my father's cousin. I am a grandson of Quin O'Brien, son of Margaret and Quinlan. Quin was an uncle of Quin Ryan, who I believe was named for him. Joseph Greene has come up in our ragged and confusing research. This explains a few odds and ends.
Justin O'Brien

emersun said...

And I've come across Quin O'Brien in my research because he had the terrible misfortune to have tangled with Marguerite Eustice/Oehler. She and her kin (related to my husband's family distantly through marriage) caused a great deal of trouble for Quin O'B in 1937; their son, Quin O'Brien Jr was the reason for the trouble. I'm glad to have gotten this kind of background on him.

Palmsrv said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog.

To jobrien: Joseph Greene was the great-great grandfather of my son-in-law.

To: emersun: Oh, now you've got me curious about the precise nature of Quin O'Brien's terrible misfortune with Marguerite!