NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people and the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Patrick O'Brien, progenitor of this branch of the family, was a native of Cork, Ireland, born 1829. He emigrated to the United States when a young man, and during his residence in this country proved himself a worthy citizen, fulfilling the duties required of him in a commendable manner. He located at Boonville, N.Y., and there passed his days, his death occurring there in 1881. Have these webpages helped you?
He married Julia Slatterby, born in Cork, Ireland, 1829, died at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Utica, N.Y. 1907. Among their children was William.
(II) William, son of Patrick and Julia (Slatterby) O'Brien, was born at Boonville, N.Y., Jan. 18, 1858, died Sept. 1, 1893. He followed the occupation of farming, purchasing a farm in the town of Boonville, which he managed successfully for many years. He was progressive and enterprising, and by the exercise of prudence and thirft accumulated a competence for his declining years, in addition to caring for his family in a comfortable manner. He was respected by all who knew him, and his influence for good was felt in the community.
He married, at Boonville, N.Y., Nov. 29, 1880, Anna Kelly, born in Leyden. N.Y., Oct. 18, 1858.
James P., of whom further.
John E., born April 17, 1884.
Elizabeth, Nov. 25, 1885.
Robert William, Feb. 10, 1888.
Grace, April 27, 1890, died June 2, 1890.
Mary Ellen, born Oct. 28, 1892.
(III) James P., eldest son of William and Anna (Kelly) O'Brien, was born at Boonville, N.Y., March 27, 1882. He obtained a practical education in the common schools, and, after completing his studies, being inured to farm labor, turned his attention to that line of work, which proved highly remunerative. He was the owner of a productive farm near Denby station, in the town of Lyonsdale. He makes a specialty of dairying, having on his farm a fine herd of cows, from which he derives a goodly income, and in addition raises colts for the market. He gives his farm his personal attention, which is evidenced by the neat and trim appearance of everything pertaining to his property, and has made a success of his chosen work.
He is a Democrat in politics, strong in his convictions, popular with his party, and is regarded as one of the influential men of his town. He was elected assessor of Lyonsdale in 1907 and again in 1909, and has held other minor town offices, in all of which he displayed ability and the utmost cnscientiousness. He is public spirited and everything that pertains to the welfare and advancement of his section receives from him a hearty support. He is of a genial disposition, and enjoys the acquaintances of a wide circle of friends.
The O'Briens were for many centuries the Royal family of Ireland. Cormac Cas, brother of Own Mor, of the McCarthy Mor family, was the ancestor of O'Brianin, anglicized O'Brien, Bernard, Bryan and Bryant. The place of inauguration of the O'Briens as kings and princes of Thommond, was at Magh Adhair, a plain of the barony of Tullagh, county Clare, and their battle cry was "Lemhlaidir an uachdar," which means "the strong hand uppermost." On their armoral ensigns were three lions rampant, which were also on the standards of Brian Boru, borne by the Dalcassians at the battle of Clontarf.
In modern times the O'Briens were marquises of Thomond, earls of Inchiquin and barons of Borren, county Clare. Many of them were distinguished commanders in the Irish brigades in the service of France under the titles of earls of Clare and counts of Thomond. Brian Borimhe (Boru), the 175th monarch of Ireland, younger son of Cineadh, born 926, slain on the battlefield of Clontarf on Good Friday, April 23, 1014, was the ancestor of O'Briain of Thomond. The name means in Irish, very great strength. Brian is represented by the old Irish analists as a man of fine figure, large stature, of great strength of body and undaunted valor, and has always been justly celebrated as one of the greatest of the Irish monarchs, equally conspicuous for his mental endowments and physical energies; a man of great intellectual powers, sagacity and bravery; a warrior and legislator; at the same time distinguished for his munificence, piety and patronage of learned men, thus combining all the elements of a great character, equally eminent in the arts of war and peace; a hero and patriot, whose memory will always remain famous as one of the foremost of the Irish kings in wisdom and valor. Brian lived at his palace of Cean Cora (Kincora) in a style of regal splendor and magnificence unequalled by any of the Irish kings since the days of Corman McArt, the celebrated monarch of Ireland who flourished in the third century.
The more prominent branches of the O'Brien family trace their ancestry for more than a hundred generations through the royal family, as given by the ancient Irish analists (see"Irish Pedigrees," by John O'Hart, Dublin, 1881).
(I) James O'Brien was born in county Cork, Ireland, in 1896. He came to this country in 1848 and settled in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he married. Later he moved to Fort Edward, Washington county, N.Y., and by great industry and thrift became a prosperous and well-to-do farmer.
He was a Catholic in religion, and a Republican in politics.
He married, at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Mary Walsh, a native of county Kilkenny, Ireland, died at Fort Edward, in 1895, aged seventy years.
1. William D., married Mary A. Timpone; eight children, of whom the following grew to maturity:
John F., Anna M., Josephine T., Catherine M., Edward W.
2. Catherine, died young.
3. John F., mentioned below.
4. Edward C., a graduate of the military academy at North Granville, N.Y.; a prominent Republican; was on the staff of Governor Levi P. Morton with the rank of general; was president of the New York dock board under Mayor Strong; was commissioner of navigation in the Harrison administration; now (1910) minister from the United States to Paraguay and Uraguay.
5. James H., died 1899, aged thirty-four years; married Eleanor Shaw, of Salem, New York; no children.
6. Jarvis P., married Jessie Thoms; he is a graduate of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and for six years was district attorney of Rensselaer county, N.Y.; now practicing in Troy, N.Y.
(II) Hon. John F. O'Brien, son of James O'Brien, was born at Fort Edward, Washington county, N.Y., Oct. 9, 1859. He attended the common and high schools of his native town, and graduated from the Fort Edward Institute. He succeeded his brother, General E.C. O'Brien, in the commission business in Plattsburgh, dealing in grain and feed and the products of the various flouring mills of the west. In 1908 he formed a copartnership with George C. Kellogg, under the style of The Dock & Coal Company, in the wholesale flour, feed and coal business, which is at present time (1910) one of the largest and most successful businesses in Northern New York.
In politics Mr. O'Brien is a Republican, and has been a prominent figure in state politics, manifesting a keen interest in public affairs and taking an active part in the Republican organization. He has served his party frequently as delegate to nomiating conventions and on important committees. For a number of years he was state committeeman of the twenty-sixth congressional district, which includes the counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence. He represented Clinton county in the New York state legislature in 1901-02. He was elected secretary of state of New York in 1902, and re-elected in 1904 by the largest majority on the Republican state ticket, serving with conspicuous ability and efficiency. In 1908 he was appointed by President Roosevelt collector of customs for the Champlain district, and since then has held that office. Like all public men of strong character and real force, he has opponents in politics, but his earnest, straightforward course in public life, his fidelity to his friends and his party, his concientious administration of the great trusts that he has discharged, and his attractive personality, gave him a position of leadership and great influence in the county, state and national politics.
He is president of the City National Bank of Plattsburgh, being elected upon the organization of that well-known financial institution.
He is now living at West Chazy, N.Y.
In religion he is a Catholic.
He is a member of Plattsburgh Council, Knights of Columbus, and Plattsburgh Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Mr. O'Brien married, Jan. 12, 1897, at Plattsburgh, Elizabeth, born at Chazy, N.Y., daughter of Elam L. and Martha (Norton) Larkin, the former of whom was born at Beekmantown, N.Y. in 1825, and died in 1893 at West Chazy, and the latter was a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Goeey) Norton. Children of Elam L. and Martha (Norton) Larkin: Edmer C., M.D., married Georgetta Demond; child: Schuyler V. C. Larkin; John L.; John L., died in 1887; married Minnie Wood, of Chazy, who is also deceased; Elizabeth, aforementioned as the wife of Hon. John F. O'Brien.
Mr. & Mrs. O'Brien have one child:
John Larkin O'Brien, born March 14, 1898, at Plattsburgh, New York
Daniel Howard O'Brien, an active and prominent factor in the professional, political, fraternal and social circles of Constableville, N.Y., traces his paternal ancestry to Daniel O'Brien and his wife, Julia (Dacey) O'Brien, natives of Timoleague, county Cork, Ireland, who with their families of six children emigrated to Quebec in 1828. The father died in Canada in 1835. The family then came to New York state. Edward settled in Lewis county; Michael settled at Fort Doge, Iowa; Mary, married Daniel Dempsey, of Brooklyn; Ellen, married John Loughran, who was president of the Mechanics' Bank, Brooklyn, until his death about 1900; Julia married John Ragan of Brooklyn.
The descendants of the sisters reside in Brooklyn.
The mother of these children died in Brooklyn, N.Y. about 1860.
(II) Edward, son of Daniel and Julia (Dacey) O'Brien, was born in Timoleague, county Cork, Ireland. He accompanied his parents to Quebec, Canada, 1828, and married there about 1835, Mary, daughter of Martin Walsh, of Killali Bay, Ireland.
1. Mary, married John Gaynor, a cousin of Mayor W. J. Gaynor of New York City; she died about 1906.
2. Julia, married Michael Reardon; resides in High Market.
3. Michael, mentioned below.
4. Daniel E., resides in High Market, N.Y.
(III) Michael, son of Edward and Mary (Walsh) O'Brien, was born on the old homestead in High Market, N.Y., Feb. 23, 1842. He was attending an academy at Utica, N.Y., when his father died, and he was obliged to abandon his studies and return to his home in High Market, where he still resides (1910). He served six years as supervisor in a town in which his party cast only one-fourth of the total vote. He was a supporter of Abraham Lincoln and the war policy, and has always been a staunch Republican.
He is a member of St. Patrick's Church at High Market.
He married, at Constableville, N.Y., 1869, Mary Mahan, born in county Mayo, Ireland, 1842, came to Lyons Falls, 1850, daughter of Thomas Mahan, who moved his family from county Mayo, Ireland, to Lyons Falls, N.Y. Thomas Mahan was a man of strong character, a zealous advocate of total abstinence, being one of Father Matthew's converts, and of high mental attainments, having acquired an excellent education. He died in 1895; his wife died about 1860; their remains are interred at Constableville, N.Y.
Children of Mr. & Mrs. O'Brien:
1. Daniel Howard, mentioned below.
2. Thomas F., born April 6, 1877.
3. Edward, born Aug. 26, 1879; a dentist in Boonville, N.Y.
4. William J., born July 23, 1811; town superintendent of highways in High Market; conducts the old homestead.
5. John, born May 9, 1886.
(IV) Daniel Howard, son of Michael and Mary (Mahan) O'Brien, was born in High Market, Lewis county, N.Y., Jan. 17, 1874. He attended the district school at High Market, State street school, Lowville, 1888-89, Lowvillle Academy at intervals, graduating in 1895, winning Cornell scholarship, entered Cornell, 1895, was absent three years in order to earn funds, and graduated from that institution with degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1902. He devoted some time to the study of Law at Cornell, read law with the firm of Wormuth & Wormuth, of Port Leyden, while school commissioner, taking special work at Albany Law School, 1908-09, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1909. He served in the capacity of school teacher seven years altogether. He was elected school commissioner in 1902, and was the first commissioner to receive a third term in his district, this fact proving conclusively his popularity and efficiency for office. He is now (1910) a member of the firm of Wormuth & O'Brien, with others at Port Leyden, Boonville and Constableville, enjoying an extensive clientage and a reputation second to none in that section of the state. He also filled the office of village clerk, and the duties pertaining thereto were performed in a highly commendable manner.
He is a member of several fratrenal societies, serving as commander of Tent No. 811, K.O.T.M., and member of the P.O.H.L.O.F. and I.O.O.F.
Mr. O'Brien married, at Boonville, N.Y., Dec. 28, 1898, Clara, born at High Market, Lewis county, N.Y., April 26, 1874, daughter of Fred and Katherine (Klossner) Anken, the former of whom is a farmer and has served as supervisor for several years. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Anken: Frank C., Edward O., Lillian (Mrs. Ueltschi), Susan (Mrs. Uelstchi), Clara (Mrs. O'Brien).
Children of Mr. & Mrs. O'Brien:
Ruth, born July 26, 1900.
Bernice, Dec. 2, 1903.
Clyde, Feb. 27, 1906.
The prefix in this old Irish name signifies "grandson of," and was adopted in days long past in Ireland, and the whole ulitmately became a surname. It is the badge of good blood, and has been borne by man citizens prominent in New York as well as other states of the Union.
(I) John O'Brien, of Ennis, Ireland, there married Mary Maloney, and together they came to America soon after 1830. They settled on a farm on the St. Lawrence river, in the town of Oswegathchie, in St. Lawrence county, where they passed the remainder of their lives, dying respectively in 1880 and 1882.
(II) The late Hon. Denis O'Brien, of Watertown, N.Y., an eminent lawyer, distinguished statesman and for eighteen years one of the nine judges comprising the court of appeals of the state of New York, was a man of splended intellectual atttainments and nobility of charracter. He was born March 13, 1837, on a farm near Ogdensburg, son of John and Mary (Maloney) O'Brien, and died at his home at Watertown, May 18, 1909.
After acquiring an excellent English education in the schools of his native county, he began the study of law at Ogdensburg, where he was admitted to the bar in May, 1861. In November of the same year he removed to Watertown, and there entered upon the professional career which, slowly but steadily, gave him such an enviable position in legal circles. In 1869 he was elected an alderman of his city, serving in that capacity four successive terms, and was afterward called upon to fill the responsible position of mayor. His judicious and conscientious management of these offices gained for him the respect and confidence of the community, and in 1880 he succeeded the late James F. Starbuck as a member of the Democratic state committee. He held this position for four years, during which time he extended his reputation for ability and fidelity beyond the bounds of his county and state. In Nov., 1883, he was elected attorney-general of the state, succeeding in this office another son of St. Lawrence county, the late Hon. Leslie W. Russell. He was re-elected in Nov., 1885, his term of office terminating Jan. 1, 1888.
The following year, as a tribute to his satisfactory public service, and in a convention composed of the ablest men in his party, he was tendered the Democratic nomination for associate judge of the court of appeals, having been nominated with remarkable unanimity, and the nomiation was ratified by the peopel at the ensuing election by a large majority. On Jan. 1, 1890, he took his seat in that court for the constitutional tern of fourteen years, and was re-elected in 1903, having been unanimously endorsed by both parties.
He was a master of pure, vigorous English; was outspoken and fearless in his written opinions; exerted a wonderful influence over his associates; and was untiring in energy and courageousness in the performance of every obligation which he considered to be right and just. By genius, energy and integrity he forged his way to the front, and won just fame and an eminent position among men.
He married, in 1861, at Watertown, Mary McCahill, of Utica>
Anna, Louise, Edward D. (mentioned below), John F. (mentioned below), and Gwendolyn.
The last named is the wife of Ernst J. Berg, now at the head of the electrical department of the University of Illinois. The elder daughters reside in Watertown, unmarried.
(III) Edward Denis, elder son of Denis and Mary (McCahill) O'Brien, was born May 20, 1869, in Watertown, and passed through the public and high schools of that city and Georgetown College, at Washington, from which he graduated in 1890. He graduated from Albany Law School in 1892, was admitted to the bar in the same year, and began practicing in New York City in 1893.
He is a member of the Manhattan and University Clubs, of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York County Lawyers' Association, and the New York Historical Society. He is an independent Democrat, and has served as a member of the Board of Education of New York City.
He married, June 1, 1899, Elizabeth Jordan, a native of Jersey City, daughter of Thomas D. Jordan, of that city.
(III) John F., junior son of the late Denis O'Brien, was born June 15, 1874, in Watertown, and was educated at Georgetown College, now Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., from which he was graduated in 1896. He subsequently attended the New York Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1899, and immediately entered the office of the corporation counsel of New York, with which he has since been continuously associated.
John O'Brien was born, lived and died in county Kerry, Ireland. He was a farmer and land owner. He married ____ Buckley.
Jeremiah, Michael, John (mentioned below), Daniel, Bridget and Mary.
(II) John (2), son of John (1) O'Brien, was born in 1828 in county Kerry, Ireland, died there May 9, 1908, aged eighty years. He was a farmer; owned much land and had many tenants.
He married Joanna Branbury, born 1828, died May 19, 1908, in Ireland; she was also of Kerry.
Michael, died in Ireland.
John, lives in San Jose, California.
Jeremiah, lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Nora, lives in Ireland.
Thomas John, mentioned below.
Anna, lives in Ireland.
Elizabeth, lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Edward, died in Colorado in 1907.
Joseph, merchant in Ireland; graduate of Ottawa College, Canada.
Daniel, lives on the homestead, Ireland.
Two others died in infancy.
(III) Rev. Thomas John O'Brien, son of John (2) O'Brien, was born in county Kerry, Ireland. He was educated there in the parish schools, and was sent to the school of the Christian Brothers at Tullow, county Carlow, Ireland. In 1882 he entered St. Michael's College, at Toronto, Canada, where he was a student until 1888. He then studied for the priesthood at Luville University, Quebec, and also at the Little Seminary at Sulpician College, Montreal, Canada.
He was ordained as priest at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Ticonderoga, N.Y., Dec. 21, 1892, and remained there for two months. He was then assigned as curate of St. Patrick's Church at Watertown, N.Y. After fifteen months he was obliged on account of his health to give up his duties and he traveled for a time. He was stationed at North Lawrence for four months, at St. Regis Falls three months, and at Ticonderoga three months. He became pastor of the church at Evans' Mills and continued three years, and had charges also at Sterlingville, Black River and Theresa, in connection with the parish of Evans' Mills. He was pastor of the church at Olmsteadville, Essex county, for six years, and was in Lewis county five years.
He came to Norwood, July 30, 1907, as pastor of St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church, and is at present (1910) in charge of that parish. During his pastorate here a new marble church has been erected at a cost of about forty thousand dollars and was dedicated in 1909. He also has charge of the Church of Visitation at Norwood, N.Y., where a new edifice has just been dedicated, costing sixteen thousand dollars. Since coming to Norwood he has also renovated the parsonage at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars, and has an ideal church and home.
This is one of the oldest of Irish names and has been borne by many distinguished citizens in the Emerald Isle as well as in this country, and is especially conspicious in legal circles throughout the United States. One of the ablest jurists among the sons of New York, Denis O'Brien, a native of St. Lawrence county, has recently passed away. The state has many other able and worthy sons bearing the name.
(I) John and Bridget O'Brien, resided in county Wexford, Ireland, and died there.
(II) James, son of John and Bridget O'Brien, was born in county Wexford, and there married Ellen, daughter of Michael and Ellen Kenney. With their family they emigrated to America in 1851, landing at New York City, and immediately settled in the town of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence county, N.Y.
Mr. O'Brien had been a farmer in his native country and he shortly secured land on the Oswegatchie river, the tract including an island a mile in length. He died there in 1869.
He was an active member of the Roman Catholic church, and a very quiet citizen who sought no part in public affairs.
He had two sons, John W. and James.
The latter died in Rossie, leaving a widow and daughter Jennie, now (1910) residing in Gouverneur.
James O'Brien and wife had three daughters, all of whom removed to Minnesota:
Ellen, wife of Michael Mullin, president of the New Ulm Bank, Minnesota.
Ann, wife of Michael Mulvihill, resides at St. Peters, Minnesota.
Bridget, Mrs. Peter O'Brien, of the same place.
(III) John William, elder son of James and Ellen (Kenney) O'Brien, was born Feb. 6, 1742, at Oulard, county Wexford, Ireland, and was nine years old when his parents came to this country. He was educated in the public schools, and early trained to agriculture. Soon after attaining manhood, he operated a large lime-kiln on a farm which he purchased in Rossie, and after 1860 was engaged in burning charcoal. This was incidental to the clearing of timber land, and by his industrious and energetic pursuit of business, he became very successful as a farmer and business man.
In 1900 he removed to the village of Gouverneur, where he purchased a house and has since made his home. While retired from active farming, his energetic nature is not content with idleness, and he is engaged in various speculations in which he is usually successful.
He was trustee of the Roman Catholic church at Rossie, and is active in the local councils of the Democratic party. He served several terms in Rossie as road commissioner and is recognized by his contemporaries as an active and useful citizen.
He married, in 1862, Mary, born near Manor Hamilton, county Leitrim, Ireland, daughter of Stephen and Margaret Waters; the latter a daughter of John and Nancy Fallon Waters, and the former a son of John and Bridget Waters.
Children of John W. & Mary (Waters) O'Brien:
1. Anna, formerly a school teacher in St. Lawrence county; wife of John McAvoy, a successful farmer of Carthage, N.Y.
2. Ella, wife of Samuel Maxwell, Cohoes, N.Y., died 1889, at the age of twenty-three years.
3. William Smith, educated in the Gouverneur high school and Potsdam State Normal School. For a time he taught school in St. Lawrence county, and afterwards studied law in the office of Thomas Spratt, at Ogdensburg, and in the New York Law School.
In 1896 he began the practice of law at Geneva, N.Y. He early achieved success in his profession, and for several years has been one of the most prominent and active attorneys in that part of the state, having for ten years served as corporation counsel of the city of Geneva and having been interested in many cases of large public importance. One of the cases with which Mr. O'Brien has been actively identified is that of "City of Geneva vs. Henson," having to do with the state's title to lands constituting the beds of navigable bodies of water.
He is prominent in the councils of the Democratic party.
4. Jennie Margaret, educated at the Potsdam State Normal school, and formerly a school teacher in St. Lawrence county; wife of James O'Riley, of Somerville, N.Y.
5. Jerome Joseph, resides in Gouverneur, N.Y., where he is engaged in the newspaper business, in connection with the Northern Tribune, published in that village. He is the owner of the old George Parish homestead and farm surrounding on three sides the village of Rossie.
6. John Edward, graduated from the Potsdam Normal school, classical course in 1898, being president of his class and of the Delphic Society. He afterwards taught three years in the New York City public schools. In the meantime, he attended the evening branch of the New York Law School, from which he was graduated sum laude, in 1902, being president, and second in rank in his class, which numbered one hundred. He has since practiced law independently.
He has been connected with several educational cases of far-reaching importance, and probably has the largest practice in that line in the city. He is ex-president of the St. Lawrence County Society, and of the Potsdam Alumni Association, in New York City, and is an active member of the State Bar Association, New York County Bar Association, the Catholic Club of New York, the Osceola Club, the Municipal Art Society, and Xavier Alumni Sodality, the American-Irish Historical Society, the Ozanam Association, and of various charitable organizations.
7. James Denis, formerly a teacher in St. Lawrence county; traveled extensively in the west and finally settled in New York City. He was a pioneer in the establishment of civil service schools in which men and women receive training preparatory to taking examinations in the municipal state and national civil service. He is now (1910) the president and practically the sole owner of the corporation, "O'Brien Civil Service School," which has branches in various parts of the city.
8. Statia H., graduated from the Potsdam State Normal school in 1902. She taught school in St. Lawrence county, and died in 1903, at the age of twenty-four years.
9. Gertrude, died in 1889, at the age of six years.
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