Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mill Road, Waimate

Margaret, Dominic and Peter Gaffaney, Mill Road, Waimate

Margaret, Dominic and Peter Gaffaney, Mill Road, Waimate

My great grandparents Peter Dominic and Margaret (O’Rourke) Gaffaney, along with their son Michael Dominic, moved to Waimate in 1919, where they lived at this house they named “Clonmel”  in Mill Road.

Gaffaney home, Mill Road, Waimate

Gaffaney home, Mill Road, Waimate

I didn’t know which number in Mill Road the house was, and couldn’t find it using Google Maps, so when my parents and I visited Waimate last month, it was a matter of cruising (very slowly) up and down the road.

Mill Road house, Waimate ~ January 2012

Mill Road house, Waimate ~ January 2012

We found it!  It was difficult to spot initially because of all the trees in front of the house, but the distinctive woodwork over the verandah gave it away.

St Patrick’s church, Waimate, South Canterbury, NZ

St Patrick's church, Waimate (photo probably taken 1920s)

St Patrick's church, Waimate (photo probably taken 1920s)

St Patrick's church, Waimate ~ January 2012

St Patrick's church, Waimate ~ January 2012

St Patrick’s church in Waimate was opened on October 24th, 1909, replacing the original church that had been built in 1876 of local heart timber.  It was renovated in 1954. ( The original church was moved to Washdyke in 1934, where it remains today.)1

  1. Waimate District Council, “Waimate Churches“, (http://www.waimatedc.govt.nz/Waimate/Community/waimatechurches.htm : accessed 19 Feb 2012).

Anything but Filing ~ Sorting Saturday

I had planned to tackle some filing today, but I seemed to have found a myriad of things to do instead!

I’ve just installed a WordPress plugin called Organise Series, so that it’s easier for my readers to follow a series of posts that I write on a particular topic. My Brosnahan posts are ideal candidates for a series, so I went ahead and set it up, but the series links box that is added to each post needs a bit of work, appearance- and placement-wise, so have turned the feature off for now. If you’re interestd in adding this plugin to your blog, check out Moultrie Creek’s article, which is where I got the idea from.

This week I need to spend some time preparing for WDYTYA? Live. I have two ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions, where I get to spend 20 minutes with an expert who will hopefully tell me all the answers what steps to take next in my research. The two areas I want help with are tracking down my Burke ancestors in Mayo, and finding the regiment and movements of a military ancestor. I want to collect together all the information and research I’ve done so far and type up a summary for each question.

I also want to choose a couple of photos to copy and take along to be dated – Jayne Shrimpton will again be attendance, though I found you need to get in early, or be prepared for a long queue! I’m hoping this year there will be an efficient system in place, perhaps even more ‘photo detectives’ available. (Must check out the guide and website to get the details before Friday.)

I’d like to follow up a little more on my Brosnahans, plus tackle some of my neglected IHGS assignments. I’ll get a chance to see my tutor at WDYTYA, so better do some work before I go!

Tomorrow I may do some filing.

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

WDYTYA? Live ~ one week to go!

This time next week I will be at WDYTYA? Live in London!  I’m attending on Friday and Saturday, and have booked workshops for both days.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to pick up tickets on the day for another workshop or two.

Ancestry have announced they will be streaming some of their presentations live from their Facebook page.  (You’ll need to have a Facebook account.) Details are on their blog. There are three presentations on Friday and three on Saturday that you will be able to view.

Seven more sleeps to go!

Caught on camera (and in caption) ~ the Brosnahan boys

If you’ve read my post from yesterday, you might have noticed some marks and lines across the photograph – some captions had been written on the photo itself as well as on the cardboard frame surrounding it.  So, here for the delight and edification of all, are John Brosnahan’s boys, circa 1925:

Patrick Brosnahan, Temuka, South Canterbury, 1925

"Pat", Temuka, South Canterbury, 1925

Patrick Brosnahan (1866 – 19541)

Matthew Brosnahan, Temuka, South Canterbury 1925

"Mat", Temuka, South Canterbury 1925

Matthew Brosnahan (1876 – 19462)

Thomas William Brosnahan, Temuka, South Canterbury, 1925

"Tom", Temuka, South Canterbury 1925

Thomas William Brosnahan (1878 – 19543)

  1. Timaru District Council, “TDC Cemetery Database”, database, Timaru District Council (http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed Jan 2012), entry for Patrick Brosnahan, Rosewill (ref 15932, block 6, row 224, plot 360, Temuka, buried 19 Jun 1954).
  2. Timaru District Council, “TDC Cemetery Database”, database, Timaru District Council (http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed Jan 2012), entry for Matthew Brosnahan, Wilkin St, Temuka (ref 14224, block 4, row 233, plot 212, Temuka, buried 08 Oct 1946).
  3. Timaru District Council, “TDC Cemetery Database”, database, Timaru District Council (http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed Jan 2012), entry for Thomas William Brosnahan, Arowhenua, Temuka (ref 15920, block 8, row 215, plot 527, Temuka, buried 06 Apr 1954).

Golden, or Diamond Anniversary? ~ Wedding Wednesday

On the occasion of John and Hanorah's wedding anniversary, Temuka, South Canterbury

On the occasion of John and Hanorah's wedding anniversary, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

The caption on the frame containing this photo says the occasion for the gathering was John Brosnahan and Hanorah O’Driscoll’s Golden Wedding anniversary.  John and Hanorah were married on March 31st, 1865 in Christchurch, NZ.1  This would date the photograph to 1915.  But the clothes don’t seem to match the period – just looking at the women’s hats, for instance, and checking my (new!) book by dress historian Jayne Shrimpton, they appear to be from the mid 1920s.  So, my guess is the occasion is their 60th (or Diamond) wedding anniversary, which would have been in 1925.  What do you readers think??

John and Hanorah Brosnahan (both seated)

John and Hanorah Brosnahan (both seated)

Taking a closer look at the photo, John is seated with his walking stick across him, and wife Hanorah is the woman seated on the right.  Behind John, with her hand on his chair, is his sister (my great great grandmother) Margaret.  On Margaret’s right is their sister Annie (“the Queen”).

The photograph was taken outside the Brosnahans’ house in Wilkin Street, which still stands today, though many of the external character features seem to have been removed.

Brosnahan home, Wilkin Street, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ

Former Brosnahan home, Wilkin Street, Temuka, South Canterbury, NZ (Google map image)

Wedding Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. New Zealand, marriage certificate for John Brosnahan and Hannah Driscole [O’Driscoll],31 Mar 1865, Catholic Church, Christchurch, 1865/7579, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.

A Temuka wedding ~ 1896

As it’s St Valentine’s Day, we’re off to 1896 Temuka, South Canterbury, for a wedding – the nuptials of Mr Patrick Dennis Hoare and Miss Mary Brosnahan.

Wedding at Temuka, New Zealand Tablet, 15 May 1896, p 29

Wedding at Temuka, New Zealand Tablet, 15 May 1896, p 29

A WEDDIGN AT TEMUKA.

(From an occasional Correspondent.)

Temuka, May 2, 1896.
One of the nicest weddings that has been celebrated in Temuka for many years took place in St. Joseph’s Church on Tuesday last, when Mr P. D. Hoare, eldest son of Mr Denis Hoare, of Kerrytown, was united in holy matrimony by the Rev Theophilus Le Menant des Chesnais, S.M., to Miss Mary Brosnahan, second daughter of Mr John Brosnahan, of Levels Plains. The wedding procession arrived at the church at 9 o’clock and, after the marriage ceremony, assisted at the nuptial Mass, Miss Nellie Fitzgerald (Timaru) rendering “Mendelsshon’s Wedding March” on the organ. The bride, who wore an elegant dress of creme silk mixture, trimmed with Brussels lace and ribbons, and a wreath and veil, was given away by her eldest brother, Mr P. Brosnahan, and was attended by Miss Nellie Brosnahan, as chief bridesmaid, who was assisted by Misses Bridget and Katie Brosnahan, the bridesmaid wearing a cream serge dress trimmed with ribbon and hat to match and the assistants were attired in pure white dresses and hats to match. Mr Richard Hoare was best man. The bride’s travelling dress was one of navy serge, trimmed with silk, and tats to match. On going from the Church to the carriage rice fell in abundance on the happy pair. After a drive round, the guests assembled at Mr John Brosnahan’s for the wedding breakfast, about 150 being present, and in the evening about 200; these came from all parts of the district. After full justice had been done to the abundance of good things which bad been provided, Mr J. M. Twomey proposed the health of “The bride and bridegroom,” which he did in most felicitous terms, wishing the newly married couple success and happiness. Mr Glasson, of Timaru proposed the health of “Mr and Mrs Brosnahan,” and his neat speech was brimming with mirth. Mr Brosnahan responded, and thanked those present for their attendance, extending to all a hearty welcome. I might remark that the kindness of the good old couple fully justifies the proverbial Irish hospitality. After the banquet Mr Botterfield photographed the party. During the afternoon the time was spent in all kinds of amusement, and in the evening, after supper, the grand march, headed by the bride and bridegroom, took place at 8 o’clock, and the large assembly indulged in tripping the light fantastic toe for some hours, interspersed with songs and recitations. The presents were very numerous and very nice. The happy couple left for Amberley, their future home, the following day by the express train.1

I love that expression “tripped the light fantastic toe”!  A quick internet search reveals it was originally coined by John Milton, in his poem L’Allegro, written in 1645.  The Times was using the phrase in that form in  1803.2

After that slight diversion, back to the task at hand. The article seems to be clearly referring to my John Brosnahan and family, with the names of his daughters mentioned being the same as given in his will. Information I noted here:

  • a son, “the eldest brother” P. Brosnahan, who was not mentioned in John’s will
  • Mary is John’s second daughter
  • Nellie, Bridget and Katie (Catherine?) have not yet married

I love the description of the party afterwards – gives a wonderful sense of the convivial atmosphere.

Anyway, time to get searching for Mary’s sisters’ marriages on NZ’s Births, Deaths & Marriages Online, using the spousal surnames discovered in her father’s Will, and these are the most likely ones I found:

  • 1898 – Margaret Elizabeth Brosnahan m. Frank Louis Adams3
  • 1905 – Ellen [Nellie] Brosnahan m. James Moore4
  • 1908 – Kitty [Catherine] Brosnahan m. Richard Connell5
  • 1911 – Bridget Brosnahan m. James Thomson6

Could the brother “P. Brosnahan” be Patrick? On John and Hanorah’s gravestone is an inscription for a Leo Brosnahan, “son of Patrick and Nora”.

Looking for possible marriages for Mary’s brothers, this is what I came up with:

  • 1898 – Patrick Brosnahan m. Hanoria Toohey7
  • 1907 – Thomas William Brosnahan m. Esther Byrne8
  • 1915 – Thomas William Brosnahan m. Catherine Rebecca O’Neill9

There is a death in the index for an Esther Brosnahan in 191010, which would tie in with Thomas William remarrying.  I couldn’t find a likely marriage for Matthew.

Looking back at John and Hanorah’s gravestone again, there is an inscription for a John Joseph, who died in 1900 at the age of 15. On Papers Past, I found a death notice which confirmed that he was John’s son (and his youngest)11:

Death notice of John Joseph Brosnahan, The Star, 03 Mar 1900, p5

Death notice of John Joseph Brosnahan, The Star, 03 Mar 1900, p5

At the very bottom of the gravestone is an inscription to Annie Kleim. She proved to be a bit of a mystery for a while – I could find no record of an Ann(ie) Brosnahan marrying a Kleim.

However, I did (eventually!) find a record of an Annie Orton marrying a Fritz Kliem in 191012, and then a record of an Annie Brosnahan marrying a Bruce Orton in 189813 (they actually appear twice in the index). There was a death entry in the index for a Bruce Orton in 190614, but his age was given as 7 years. Upon checking the Timaru District Council cemetery database, I found a record for a 29 year old Bruce Orton who was buried on December 11th, 1906 in Pleasant Point cemetery.15

So, could this Annie be another child of John and Hanorah’s?

This is how John’s family is shaping up so far:

  • John Brosnahan m. Hanorah O’Driscoll
    • Patrick m. Hanoria Toohey
    • Thomas William m. (1) Esther Byrne, (2) Catherine Rebecca O’Neill
    • Matthew
    • John Joseph d. 1900
    • Annie m. (1) Bruce Orton, (2) Fritz Kleim
    • Mary m. Patrick Dennis Hoare
    • Margaret m. Frank Louis Adams
    • Ellen m. James Moore
    • Catherine m. Richard Connell
    • Bridget, m. James Thomson

So far, I have come up with ten probable children for John – nearly, but not quite, the twelve as mentioned in his Cyclopedia entry!

  1. “A Weddign in Temuka”, New Zealand Tablet, Vol XXIV Issue 3, 15 May 1896, p 29; digital image, Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast : accessed 23 Apr 2011)
  2. Martin, Gary. “Trip the light fantastic”, The Phrase Finder (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/trip-the-light-fantastic.html : accessed 14 Feb 2012).
  3. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of Frank Louis Adams and Margaret Elizabeth Brosnahan, 1898/5006, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
  4. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of James Moore and Ellen Brosnahan, 1905/2373, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
  5. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of Richard Connell and Kitty Brosnahan, 1908/3495, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
  6. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of James Thomson and Bridget Brosnahan, 1911/3995, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
  7. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of Patrick Brosnahan and Hanoria Toohey, 1898/1849, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
  8. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of Thomas William Brosnahan and Esther Byrne, 1907/5988, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
  9. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of Thomas William Brosnahan and Catherine Rebecca O’Neill, 1915/43, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages
  10. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Death Search”, database entry for Esther Brosnahan, 1910/5717, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages
  11. “Deaths”, Star, Issue 6734, 03 Mar 1900, p 5; digital image, Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast : accessed 16 Jul 2011)
  12. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of Fritz Kliem and Annie Orton, 1910/5520, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages
  13. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Marriage Search”, database entries for marriage of Bruce Orton and Annie Brosnahan, 1898/1888 and 1898/2713, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages
  14. NZ Department of Internal Affairs, “Death Search”, database entry for death of Bruce Orton, 190/7649, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages
  15. Timaru District Council, “TDC Cemetery Database”, database, Timaru District Council (http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed 2011), database entry for Bruce Orton, (ref 3122, row 6, plot 126, Pleasant Point, buried 26 Aug 1926)

 

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way ~ Amanuensis Monday

When I finally received a copy of John Brosnahan’s Will1 in the post, I was very excited, hoping that it would reveal information about his family.

It did.

It gave the names of three sons, five daughters (and their married names), his wife, father, a sister, and a grandson. Eureka!

  • James Brosnahan
    • Ann Brosnahan
    • John Brosnahan, m. Honora
      • John Joseph
      • Thomas William, Levels Plains, Farmer
        • Thomas John
      • Matthew, Seadown, Farmer
      • Bridget, m. Thomson
      • Nellie, m. Moore
      • Mary, m. Hoare
      • Margaret, m. Adams
      • Catherine, m. O’Connell
John Brosnahan's signature, from Will dated July 9th, 1918

John Brosnahan's signature, from Will dated July 9th, 1918

I, John Brosnahan of Temuka in the Provincial District of Canterbury in New Zealand, Farmer, hereby revoke all former wills and codicils made by me and declare this to be my last Will.

1. I appoint my sons Thomas William Brosnahan of Levels Plains in the said Provincial District, Farmer, and Matthew Brosnahan of Seadown in the said Provincial District, Farmer, to be executors and Trustees of this my will.

2. I declare that in the interpretation of this my will the expression “my Trustees” shall (where the content permits) mean and include the trustee or trustees for the time being hereof whether original or substituted.

3. I bequeath the following legacies free of all duties:
a) To my Trustees the sum of One hundred pounds (£100) of which I direct my Trustees to spend the sum of Fifty pounds (£50) in having masses offered up for my soul in the Parish of Temuka each week until the said sum of fifty pounds (£50) shall have been so expended and as to the other sum of fifty pounds (£50) forming the balance of the said sum of One hundred pounds (£100) I direct my trustees to hold the same In trust till the death of my wife and then to expend the same in having masses offered up for her soul in the Parish of Temuka each week until the said sum of fifty pounds shall have been so expended.

b) To my daughter Bridget Thomson the sum of Two hundred pounds (£200) to be paid within six calendar months from the death of the survivor of myself and my wife and I declare the the said legacy shall be charged exclusively upon and raisable and payable out my farm at Seadown herein after devised to my son Matthew Brosnahan charged with the payment of the said legacy.

c) To my daughter Nellie Moore the sum of Two hundred pounds (£200) to be paid within six calendar months from the death of the survivor of myself and my wife and I declare the the said legacy shall be charged exclusively upon and raisable and payable out my far at Levels Plains herein after devised to my son Thomas William Brosnahan charged with the payment of the said legacy.

d)  To my daughter Mary Hoare the sum of Two hundred pounds (£200) to be paid within six calendar months from the death of the survivor of myself and my wife and I declare the the said legacy shall be charged exclusively upon and raisable and payable out my far at Levels Plains herein after devised to my son Thomas William Brosnahan charged with the payment of the said legacy.

e) To my son Thomas William Brosnahan my twenty one shares in the Timaru Milling Company Limited

f) To my daughter Margaret Adams the sum of Sixty pounds (£60) to be paid within six calendar months from the death of the survivor of myself and my wife and I declare the the said legacy shall be charged exclusively upon and raisable and payable out my farm at Seadown herein after devised to my son Matthew Brosnahan charged with the payment of the said legacy.

4. I devise and bequeath my messuage and premises situated at Wilkin Street, Temuka, whereon I now reside and my furniture and effects of household use or ornament therein or thereto belonging to my wife Honora Brosnahan during her life and after her death  to my daughter Catherine O’Connell absolutely and I direct that my wife shall during her lifetime at her own expense keep the said messuage and premises and effects in good repair and condition and insured against fire to the full insurable value thereof in some office of repute and to the satisfaction of my Trustees in all respects.

5. I give devise and bequeath all the residue of my real and personal estate to my Trustees Subject to the payment of my debts funeral and testamentary expenses and the aforesaid legacy of One hundred pounds (£100) mentioned in clause 9a0 of paragraph 3 hereof and any duties payable in respect of any legacy bequeathed free of all duties.  I direct that my Trustees shall stand possessed of my real and personal estate (thereinafter called “my residuary estate”) upon the trusts following:-

(a)  Upon trust to pay the net income thereof after payment of all rates, expenses of management and such outgoings as in the opinion of my Trustees are properly chargeable to income to my wife if she shall survive me during her life and after the death of the survivor of my said wife and myself,

(b)  Upon trust: –

i. As to my farm at Seadown for my son Matthew Brosnahan absolutely subject to and charged with the payment of the legacy of two hundred pounds to Bridget Thomson mentioned in clause (b) of paragraph 3 hereof and of the legacy of sixty pounds to Margaret Adams mentioned in clause (f) of paragraph 3 hereof.

ii. As to my farm at Levels Plains for my son Thomas William Brosnahan absolutely subject to and charged with the payment of the legacy of two hundred pounds to Nellie Moore mentioned in clause (c) of paragraph 3 hereof and of the legacy of Two hundred pounds to Mary Hoare mentioned in clause (d) of paragraph 3 hereof.

iii. As to the three shares which I hold in the Canterbury Farmers’ Co-operative Association Limited for my son Matthew Brosnahan absolutely.

iv. As to the lands and hereditaments held by the Trustees of the will of my late father James Brosnahan In trust for Ann Brosnahan daughter of said James Brosnahan during her life and after her death In trust for my son John Joseph Brosnahan grandson of the said James Brosnahan his heirs and assigns forever In trust for my grandson Thomas John Brosnahan, son of my son Thomas William Brosnahan absolutely.

v. As to the residue (if any) of my residuary estate for my daughters Nellie Moore, Mary Hoare, Bridget Thomson and Catherine O’Connell or the survivor or survivors of them if more than one as tenants in common in equal shares.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand to this will this Ninth day of July One thousand nine hundred and eighteen.
[signature of John Brosnahan]

Signed by the Testator John Brosnahan as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us both being present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.
[signature of Walter Raymond], Solicitor, Timaru
[signature of L. Gow] Clerk to Raymond, Raymond & Campbell, Solicitors, Timaru

Apart from the valuable family details, there are a few other things I noted:

  • why was daughter Margaret Adams only bequeathed £60, whereas her sisters received £200 (apart from Catherine, who was left the house in Wilkin St) and a share of the residuary estate?
  • are there any children missing from the will?
  • did John’s father James leave “land and hereditaments” to John Joseph because he was the oldest grandson?
  • what else was in James Brosnahan’s will?

A codicil to the Will was added on August 8th, 1922.

I, John Brosnahan of Temuka in the Provincial District of Canterbury, Farmer hereby declare this to be a first codicil to my last will and testament which said will bears date the 9th day of July 1918.

Whereas by my said will I gave devised and bequeathed all my residuary estate unto my Trustees therein named upon trust to pay the income thereof to my wife during her life and subject thereto after giving and devising certain farms and shares to certain of my children I directed that the residue of any of my residuary estate should be held upon trust for my daughters Nellie Moore, Mary Hoare, Bridget Thomson and Catherine O’Connell or the survivor or survivors of them if more than one as tenants in common in equal shares.

Now I hereby revoke the trust of the residue (if any) of my residuary estate in favour of my said daughters and direct that the Trustees shall hold the said residue (if any) of my residuary estate upon trust for my wife Honora Brosnahan absolutely. In all other respects I confirm my said Will.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this Eighth day of August One thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.
[signature of John Brosnahan]

Signed by the said John Brosnahan as and for a first codicil to this last will and testament which will bears date the 9th day of July 1918 in the presence of us both being present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

[signature of L. Gow], Law Clerk, Timaru
[signature of Walter Raymond], Solicitor, Timaru

Amanuensis Monday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.  An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. (I have no idea how to pronounce Amanuensis, but it looks good, doesn’t it?)

  1. John Brosnahan Will, 1918-22; Probate file, 04 Oct 1926, Supreme Court, Timaru; photocopy, from original Ref [CH145, TU2645/1926] held at Archives New Zealand, Christchurch.

Annie (Collins) Brosnahan ~ Sunday’s Obituary

Obituary, Mrs Brosnahan, Temuka - New Zealand Tablet, 22 May 1902

Obituary, Mrs Brosnahan, Temuka - New Zealand Tablet, 22 May 1902

Obituary

MRS. BROSNAHAN, Temuka

Yet another of the fast diminishing numbers of early settlers has passed away in the person of Mrs Brosnahan, relict of the late Mr James Brosnahan, whose death (says the Temuka Leader) at the age of 86 is announced. The deceased lady was a resident of the district for the past 36 years, having settled here on her arrival from the County of Kerry, and was well known and highly respected. During the last 12 months her once familiar figure has not been seen about as frequently as of yore, owing to illness. The late Mrs Brosnahan was the mother of Mr John Brosnahan, of Arowhenua,  Mrs M Gaffaney and Miss Brosnahan (Temuka), Mrs Gaffaney (Dunedin), and Mrs Bryant (Christchurch). She leaves altogether one son, four daughters, 41 grand-children, and 20 great grandchildren. Previous to her illness she was hale and hearty, and was often to be seen walking to or from Mr Brosnahan’s to her own house in Temuka preferring to do so than drive.1

Annie Collins was my 3 x great grandmother.  She was born about 1816 in Co. Kerry, Ireland to Patrick Collins and Ann Seeler(?)2, and married James Brosnahan around 18383. Their son John and daughter Margaret (my great great grandmother) emigrated to New Zealand in 1862, and Annie and James followed a few years after with the rest of their family.

This obituary helped me to follow up the rest of my great great grandmother’s siblings. I knew about Catherine, who had married Francis Gaffaney, the brother of Margaret’s husband, Michael Gaffaney.

This photo is apparently of Catherine and Francis:

Catherine (Brosnahan) and Francis Gaffaney, Dunedin, NZ

Catherine (Brosnahan) and Francis Gaffaney, Dunedin, NZ

They married on April 16th, 1874 in Timaru, South Canterbury, and made their home in Dunedin, Otago.4

From Annie and James’ death certificates, I knew they had one son and four daughters living at the time of their deaths. After going through old photographs with my father, he told me about Annie Brosnahan, Margaret’s sister, who lived next door to the Gaffaneys – she was nicknamed “Queenie” and where she lived was called “The Queen’s Paddock”.

Caption on reverse: The Queen's Paddock, Queenie being Annie, next door to Belper House

Caption on reverse: The Queen's Paddock, Queenie being Annie, next door to Belper House

I wonder who the other woman is in the photo? Taking a closer look:

Annie "Queenie" Brosnahan, second from left

Annie "Queenie" Brosnahan, second from left

I wonder if this could be Annie’s mother, Annie Collins? From what the younger Annie is wearing, I’m guessing maybe the photo was taken early 1890s..? Annie Brosnahan never married, and is buried with her parents in Temuka Cemetery.5

So then I just had one remaining daughter to find: Mrs Bryant.

I found an Ellen Brosnahan who married Daniel Bryant in 18706, and found a few references to them, but haven’t been able to confirm anything so far – that may require ordering a certificate or two.

Sunday’s Obituary is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. “Obituary”, New Zealand Tablet, Vol XXX Issue 21, 22 May 1907, p 20; digital image, Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast : accessed 20 Nov 2010).
  2. New Zealand, death certificate of Annie Brosnahan, 15 May 1902, Temuka; photocopy, citing 1902/5750, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
  3. New Zealand, death certificate of James Brosnahan, 23 Sep 1890, Temuka; photocopy, citing 1890/4316, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
  4. Gaffaney Family Tree, compiled by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]; GEDCOM supplied to author, 2006.
  5. Timaru District Council, “TDC Cemetery Database”, database, Timaru District Council (http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed 2010), database entry for Annie Brosnan, Timaru  (ref 13936, row 203, plot 203, buried 30 Dec 1944).
  6. NZ Department of Internal Affais, “Marriage Search”, database entry for marriage of Daniel Bryant and Ellen Brosnahan, 1870/8022, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.

John Brosnahan in the Cyclopedia

Interestingly, a John Brosnahan appears in The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, which I posted about yesterday. Could this be my John?

Brosnahan, John, Farmer, Levels. Mr. Brosnahan was born in County Kerry, Ireland, and came to New Zealand in 1862 by the ship “Exchange.” He engaged in various pursuits until 1865, when he became a farmer at the Levels, where he acquired 530 acres. Mr. Brosnahan is married and has twelve children.

Twelve children. Crikey! I have my work cut out trying to find all that lot.

The people featured in the Cyclopedia paid for the privilege of having an entry included – and provided the information to the compilers, so one assumes that the biographical data would be reasonably accurate.

My John Brosnahan did arrive in New Zealand in 1862, but the ship given here is “Exchange”, whereas he sailed on the “Echunga”. I can’t find any record of a ship called the “Exchange” sailing to New Zealand during this time, so I suspect it is an error made by the compiler, or perhaps faulty memory on John’s part? Or a different John?

  1. “Brosnahan, John”, The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District], (The Cyclopedia Company Limited, 1903); digitised publication by New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc03Cycl-t1-body1-d6-d104.html : accessed 09 Feb 2012).

Excerpt from The Cyclopedia of New Zealand shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand Licence.