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Kilbeggan, Westmeath

The 1846 Slater's Commercial Directory, describes Kilbeggan as being a small market town and parish in the barony of Moycashel, 56 miles from Dublin, situated on the banks of the small river Brosna. Industry flourished in the 19thC, with a large distillery, a brewery, two mills for flour and oatmeal and a manufactory for tobacco and snuff. There was a national school in which 150 children received instruction and a market day was held every Saturday. In 1841 the population of Kilbeggan was 1,910.

It is in Kilbeggan that John Brennan was baptised at the Church of St James on 12 November 1819 the son of Hugh and Ellen (nee Daly) Brennan. His sponsors were James McCabe and Anne Armstrong. John had two sisters that we know of, Ellen baptised February 1822 and Rose baptised December 1827.

John's father, Hugh, died in July 1828 and his wife Ellen was left to bring up three young children on her own: John aged 8, Ellen 6 and young Rose, 7mths.

At the age of 21 John married Bridget Looram at St James Church on 6 June 1841. Witnesses were Thomas Fagan and Bridget Smyth. John's occupation was listed as a farm steward and army pension.

Bridget and John had eight sons and a daughter (see table opposite).

John's  occupation is given variously as:

Labourer (son Joseph's marriage certificate)
Labourer (son Matthew's medical record)
Army Pensioner (son John's death certificate)
Farm Steward (son Michael's death certificate)
Stone mason (son Matthew's death certificate)

The St James Church, Kilbeggan, parish records record the burial of a John Brennan on 23 May 1870.

Bridget died at Ellerslie on 18 September 1903 aged 80.  According to cemetery records Bridget had been in New Zealand for 25 years.  She is buried at Waikaraka Cemetery in Onehunga, Auckland.


Name       Baptism Date Sponsors at Baptism


20 April 1842

Thomas Fox and Elisa Madden


17 December 1843

Peter Daly and Ann Finnan


11 March 1846

James & Rose Daly


19 May 1849

Peter Daly & Catherine Brennan


16 November 1851

Joseph McCormack & Eleanor Brennan


17 March 1854

Walter Caddle & Catherine Ryan


 July 1856



28 November 1858

Thomas Phyland and Esther Wyer


8 May 1863

Thomas Rice and Elisa Clavin

St James Church, Kilbeggan

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