One of these women could be my great great grandmother, Bridget Power. Or not.
Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.
One of these women could be my great great grandmother, Bridget Power. Or not.
Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.
Oh my word, it has been a long while since I’ve posted. I have been busy with IHGS assignments, lots of family history research, and correspondence with distant cousins – hence this blog has been somewhat neglected.
Thanks to a fellow IHGS student, I now have a copy of my great great grandmother’s obituary from the New Zealand Tablet, and as I’ve lately been in contact with a few O’Rourke cousins, I thought it timely to share.
MRS O’ROURKE, NAPIER
Death has laid its hand very heavily upon Mr
B. O’Rourke, sen., and his family during the last few
days (says the Hawke’s Bay Herald of July 20). Fol-
lowing the death of the youngest son, Mr. James
O’Rourke, on Friday morning, Mrs O’Rourke, sen.,
passed away on Saturday morning. The news caused
a profound shock to the community, and feelings of
widespread sympathy for the bereaved family. The
deceased lady was an old colonist, having arrived in
New Zealand in the early ‘sixties, partaking of the ups
and downs of goldfields life at Charleston, on the West
Coast, where Mr. O’Rourke took a prominent part in
the pioneering work of those stirring times, eventually
coming to Napier, where the family have been well
and popularly connected with its business life since
1875. Mrs. O’Rourke’s health had been failing for
some time, but her end was doubtless accelerated by
the shock of the death of her son James. On Sunday the
remains of mother and son were laid to rest in the
Napier Cemetery, the cortege being one of the largest
seen in the city for many years. A service was first
held at St. Patrick’s Church, and the final rites were
performed by the Rev. Fathers O’Sullivan and O’Con-
nor, the scene at the graveside, when the coffins con-
taining the remains of mother and son were lowered
into the one grave beside that of a son and brother,
who had died only a comparatively short time pre-
viously, being most impressive. The members of the
H. A. C. B. Society, of which the late Mr. James
O’Rourke was a member, attended in full strength, and
acted as pall-bearers. – R.I.P.
Bridget O’Rourke died on 18 July 1914 in Napier, New Zealand, and is buried at the Old Napier Cemetery in the O’Rourke family plot. Her cause of death was given as “Pneumonia, Syncope”.
Sunday’s Obituary is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.
This is the reverse of the postcard of St Mark’s Church, Remuera, Auckland, that I posted some time ago.
Mr H J F Florey
c/o K S Williams
Just a few lines
to let you know that we
are all quite well & hope
by this time you will
be better again. I wrote
to you a good while
ago but the children
don’t go to shool [sic] now so
it never got posted as I can
not get down myself.
I will send again soon.
Wishing you a Happy & a
Prosperous New Year from
Henry John Forrest Florey is my great great grandfather. I couldn’t work out who “Nean” was – perhaps his daughter Naomi, or maybe a daughter-in-law? (I felt it was written by a woman, with the reference to children and school.)
In January when I was back in New Zealand, I came across an autograph book that belonged to my great grandmother Naomi, and inside the front cover was written:
After reading John Brosnahan’s will, I was curious to know what was in his father James’s will. I hadn’t found it on Archway when I initially looked, as I was searching under the name ‘Brosnahan’. Remembering that John’s parents were buried under the name of Brosnan, I searched again and found the reference to James’s probate file, held at Archives New Zealand’s Christchurch office. The office now offer to email you a PDF of the document(s) you are wanting, or you can wait for a photocopy by post (NZD20.00 charge which includes postage and up to 80 pages). Service was speedy and friendly!
I, James Brosnan of the Levels Plain in the Provincial District of Canterbury in the Colony of New Zealand Farmer do hereby revoke all former Wills and Testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last Will and Testament I appoint George McSheehy Gentleman of Temuka in the Provincial District aforesaid Saddler and John Fitzgerald of Arowhenua in Provincial District aforesaid Farmer (hereinafter called “my Trustees”) to be the Executors and Trustees of this my Will. I devise my freehold sections numbered 8037 7763 and 15176 situated in the District of Timaru and section numbered 1207 on the plan of the Town of Arowhenua and all other lands and hereditaments of which I shall die possessed to my Trustees To the use and intent that my wife Ann Brosnan may receive out of the rents and profits thereof during her life a yearly rent charge of ten pounds sterling to be paid by equal half yearly payments the first of such payments to be made six months after my decease and to the further use and intent that if and as often as the said rent charge or any part thereof shall be in arrears for twenty one days my said wife shall have the same remedy by distress upon the said hereditaments ann premises for recovering such rent charges as lessors have by law for the recovering of rent in arrears And subject to such rent charge and the said remedy for the recovery thereof In trust as to the said section 1207 for my daughter Ann Brosnan her heirs and assigns forever and as to all other lands and hereditaments of which I shall die possessed in trust for my said daughter Ann Brosnan during her life and after her decease in trust for my grandson John Joseph Brosnan the son of my son John Brosnan his heirs and assigns forever I bequeath all the residue of my property to my trustees in trust to convert the same into money and to pay thereout my debts and funeral and testamentary expenses including the costs of erecting a gravestone over my grave and out of the residue to pay to my said wife the sum of twenty pounds to my daughter Kate Gaffaney the sum of forty pounds and to my daughter Margaret Gaffaney the sum of twenty pounds and to divide the residue equally among all my children who shall be living at my death And I declare that the power of appointing new trustees conferred by the Trustee Act 1883 may be exercised without the consent of any beneficiaries under this my will who shall at the time of such appointment be infants for under any disability In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of August one thousand eight hundred and ninety.
Signed by the said James Brosnan as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us both present at the same time who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
J Beri Cabinetmaker[?] Temuka
John W Salmond
There is no specific bequest to his daughter Ellen or son John – perhaps they were well set up anyway? And maybe he left his farming land to John Joseph as he was the youngest grandson, and without any land of his own? As for his trustees, I know John Fitzgerald was a close family friend but I have no idea who George McSheehy Gentleman was. I’d also love to get my hands on some contemporary maps that show the land sections.
James’s will is dated 7th August 1890, and he died just over a month later, on 23rd September.
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.
At the beginning of this month, I decided I would challenge myself to post on this blog every day. It almost killed me, but I did it!
Today I’m reposting a photo, one that’s become quite special to me. It’s a close up of John and Hanorah Brosnahan celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary with family and friends.
When I was in Temuka last month, I met someone who is in this photo. He is a grandson of John and Hanorah, and it was a great surprise and pleasure to meet him. It is moments like these, that make my crazy obsession with family history all worthwhile.
James and Ann (Collins) Brosnan are my 3 x great grandparents. I’m not sure why they used that particular spelling of their surname here – they seemed to have used a couple of spellings interchangeably, but ‘Brosnan’ is now etched on their gravestone. The rest of the family all appear to have consistently used ‘Brosnahan’.
In Loving Memory
who died 23rd Sept 1890
Aged 76 Years
R. I. P.
wife of the above
died May 15th 1902
Aged 85 Years
also their daughter
died Dec 28 1944
R. I. P.
Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.
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 (1866 – 19541)
Matthew Brosnahan (1876 – 19462)
Thomas William Brosnahan (1878 – 19543)
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??
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.
Wedding Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
So far, I have come up with ten probable children for John – nearly, but not quite, the twelve as mentioned in his Cyclopedia entry!
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 gave the names of three sons, five daughters (and their married names), his wife, father, a sister, and a grandson. Eureka!
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:
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?)