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The Martin Brennan and Catherine Corcoran Family of Huddersfield England: An analysis of their Migration from Ireland to Huddersfield England to South Bend, Indiana

The Connaught Counties of Galway, Roscommon, Mayo and Sligo are heavily represented in the Huddersfield England Census Records when the county names are given as a place of birth. The amazing research compiled on the Irish in England by great authors like Donald Macraid, Roger Swift, Donald E Jordan Junior, Sheridan Gilley, Kevin O'Connor, John Belchem, Frank Boyce and L. W. Brady among others seems to support repeated migration trails from certain counties in Ireland to certain places in England.

My objective in this research is to analyze the Brennan Families in Huddersfield England Census records over the years to see migration pattern trends from certain counties, possible Civil Parishes in Ireland and even with families of the surname itself. I hope to eventually connect them to the Brennans that I am identifying in the Catholic Church Records in both County Mayo and County Roscommon Ireland. This will most definitely be a work in progress and all findings I speculate on would have to be proven for accuracy with GRO of England marriage records, church baptismal records and death records among other genealogical records. Please use this information with that caveat in mind so that nothing is assumed and no stones are left unturned to assure it's your family and the connection is accurate.

I welcome any and all feedback, corrections- they benefit us all. If you believe that your family might be related to any of the families that I have identified in these census records please let me know and I will place a link to your family tree if you have one on line.

I believe that that following family are my second great grandparents Martin Brennan and Catherine Corcoran. According to the GRO of England and the St Patrick's Church Ledger of Huddersfield England, Martin Brannan was married to Catherine Corcoran on November 26, 1849. According to the St Patrick's Church record Martin Brannan and Catherine Corcoran were living on Castlegate in Huddersfield and their witnesses, Patrick Reynols and Anne Fili were living on that street as well. Martin's parents were listed as Michael Brannan and Biddy Coffee and Catherine's parents were Patrick Corcoran and Mary Gahagan. The GRO of England marriage certificate indicated the following: Martin Branin and Catharine Cochran were married November 26, 1849 at St Patrick's Church in Huddersfield. Martin was a bachelor and laborer, age 19 and Catharine was a spinster age 22. Both were residing on Windsor Court in Huddersfield. Michael Branin (Martin's father) is listed as being deceased and Patrick Cochran (Catharine's father) was a laborer. Patrick Reynolds and Ann Fili witnesses. Neither of my second great grandparents could read or write (indicated by their mark on the marriage record and Martin's will upon his death). Mary Brennan was born to Martin and Cath Brennan in Yorkshire, Huddersfield on October 5, 1851 and was baptized on October 13, 1851 at St. Patrick's Church in Huddersfield. Sponsors were Thomas Boyle and Cath Bride?

Family lore suggests that Martin and Catherine spent some time in England to earn passage to the U.S. and possibly had another daughter Mary and possibly Bridget that died before they came to South Bend. I can't be sure until I have found out what happened to Mary Corcran, Catherine's mother (who was living with them in the 1851 census) and Mary their Daughter (who I believe died before she came to the U.S.). I also have yet to be able to find them on a passenger list. The timeline is appropriate as I show that John, their eldest son was born in Ohio (likely on the way to South Bend) and have located them from about 1856 on in South Bend, Indiana.

The 1860 census seems to have the most controversial information. I am pretty certain that these are my Brennans in Portage Township. They had a daughter Ann that died, John was likely born on the way to South Bend from New York. Patrick 4 months; however should be Michael. I am wondering if this was a second name for him. The McNulty's (James and Margarett and their 5 children) documented as McAnulta are right next door. Family lore according to information gathered by my cousin Barb has them traveling with the McNulty's and Franes from New York via train. The McNultys and Frains witnessed many of the Brennan children's baptisms.

Research Observations and Analysis:

I have been going through every record of the New York Passenger Lists analyzing all records of ships from Connaght ports Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Sligo to New York and Liverpool to New York documenting all of the Brennan/Corcoran/Coffee and Gahagan passengers (years 1851-1852). This is the time line that I believe they would have traveled. I believe that I have found Martin, Catherine and Daughter Mary arriving in New York from Liverpool on March 22, 1852. There is some obvious discrepancy on Mary's age (02 male on there record is smudged out and 1 with a pale 0 , 01 or 10 is written in). Mary would have been just over 1 at that time. I believe it is them and that she most likely died somewhere in New York after arrival. Son John was born around 1853 in Ohio and I believe this passenger list time record would have fit the time frame for their travel. Obviously, this needs to be confirmed with a death record for Mary, birth record for John and considerable more scrutiny of the records.

Census Yr/ District Address Name Age Born Occupation Marital Status and Misc.
1851- Dist 4 Windsor Court Brannan, Martin, Head (plus lodgers from Ire including an Anthony Corcoran 14- works woolen piecer factory) 23 Ireland Labourer (sic) M
1851 - Dist 4 Windsor Court Brannan, Cathrine, Wife 22 Ireland   M
1851 - Dist 4 Windsor Court Brannan, Mary, Daughter 5 mos Yorkshire, Huddersfield, England    
1851 - Dist 4 Windsor Court Corcran, mary, Wife's mother 60 Ireland   W?
New York Passenger Lists 1820-1892 (Possible Passenger list for Martin, Catherine and daughter Mary) familysearch.org roll 110; arrival on the Jacob R Westervelt on March 22, 1852   Brennan, Martin 22 Ireland Laborer (immediately preceding them is a John Corcoran 48 and Henry Reynolds 23, laborer- there was a Henry Reynolds next to them on Windsor Court in Huddersfield, England) The previous page also has a John and Mary Gahagan- coincidence or ?
"   Brennan, Cath'n 22 Ireland    
"   Brennan, Mary 1, 01 or 10?     02 males is smudged and 1 with a pale 01 or 10 is listed in the column
1860 South Bend, Portage Township, St Joseph County, Indiana ? Bowman?, Martin 28 Ireland Laborer (can't read or write)($150 value of real estate)  
1860 Portage Twp   Bowman?, Catherine 28 Ireland    
1860 Portage Twp   Bowman?, John 7 Ohio attended school within the year  
1860 Portage Twp   Bowman?, Ann 4 Indiana    
1860 Portage Twp   Bowman?, Patrick 4/12 Indiana    
US Civil War Draft Registrations Records 1863-1868 Portage Twp, St Joseph County, Indiana (NARA) via Ancestry.com Database June 3, 1863 Brannon, Martin, age 34, married   Ireland   Laborer; 9th Congressional District recorded by Capt W. Wallace; Volume 1 of 1, Class 1, A-K. page 61 of 68 of ancestry.com compilation
1870 4th Ward Portage Twp   Branham, Martin (John McDonald, Eng lives with them works Paper Mill) 46 Ireland Laborer (value of real estate $1000)  
1870 4th Ward, Portage Twp   Branham, Catherine 44 Ireland Keeping Home  
1870 4th Ward, Portage Twp   Branham, John 16 Indiana Works in paper mill  
1870 4th Ward, Portage Twp   Branham, Michael 11 Indiana at school  
1870 4th Ward, Portgage Twp   Branham, Patrick 8 Indiana    
1870 4th Ward, Portgage Twp   Branham, William (my great grandfather) 6 Indiana    
1870 4th Ward, Portgage Twp   Branham, Martin 4 Indiana    
1880 4th Ward, District 161 South Bend, St Joseph County Notre Dame Avenue Brown, Martin (John Talbot Lawyer on his will on same page of census and friends the McNultys are next door) 52 Ireland Laborer (can't read nor write)  
1880 4th Ward So Bend, IN   Brown, Kate, Wife 52 Ireland (can't read nor write)  
1880 4th Ward, So Bend, IN   Brown, John, son 26 Ohio Brick Mason  
1880 4th Ward, So Bend, IN   Brown, Michael, son 22 Indiana Laborer  
1880 4th Ward, So Bend, IN   Brown, Patk, son 19 Indiana Laborer (paralysis)  
1880 4th Ward, So Bend, IN   Brown, William, son (my great grandfather) 17 Indiana Sewing Maching Factory  
1880 4th Ward, So Bend, IN   Brown, Martin, Son 14 Indiana Sewing Machine Factory  
South Bend City Directory 1892 (Ancestry.com Database) 1882 Brannon, Martin, Sr.     Laborer res. Notre Dame Avenue 2 So Moreau; (Son Patrick, Martin beds here as does Martin Jr and William who both worked at Singers)
South Bend City Directory 1894 (Ancestry.com Database online) 1894   Brennan, Catherine (Widow)     Residence 1015 N Notre Dame Avenue (son Martin who works at Singers and son Patrick also reside here. Son William (Singers) resides at corner of Howard and St Mary)
1900 - Portage Twp South Bend, IN District 0128 1015 Notre Dame Avenue Brannen, Catharine, Head (had 5 children, 4 living) Ann was one who died. Son William and his family are on the same census page as are McNultys 60 (born Jan 1840?) Ireland (immigration year 1850 - number of yrs in US- 50) (owns her home with mortgage W
1900 Portage Twp So Bend, IN District 0128 1015 Notre Dame Avenue Brannen, Patrick, son 38 (born Oct 1861) Indiana (can't read or write) U
1900 US Census South Bend, IN District 0128 772 Notre Dame Avenue Brown, Martin H, Head (I believe this is Martin, son of Martin and Catherine) 30 (Born Oct 1869) Indiana (Parents born in Ireland) Wood Worker married 6 years
" " Brown, Nellie, Wife 30 (Born Sept 1869) Indiana (Dad in Pennsylvania and mom in Virginia) Spinster Married 6 years 0 children

These records were acquired from the ancestry.com federal census (database online) Provo, Utah, Ancestry.com.

Ancestry.com 1851 England Census (Database On-line) Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc 2005

Regarding Marriage witnesses Patrick Reynolds and Ann Fili: I believe I may have traced the census records Patrick Reynolds in Huddersfield. In the 1851 Census, District 11 there was a Patrick Reynolds age 20 Labourer (sic) born in Ireland, a lodger with the Baughty family from Ireland on Castlegate (this was the street name Martin and Catherine and their sponsors lived on in the church record). The 1861 census doesn't quite fit our Patrick Reynolds but is worth looking at. If it is him, he married Mary ? He is listed in District 14 on Post Office Yard as follows: Patrick Reynolds head, 30, born in Ireland, Mason's Labourer (sic) with Mary his wife 36? also born in Ireland, Mary, Daughter 15 and Henry 9, scholars, born in Yorkshire, Huddersfield, England. There are other Reynolds in the Irish Districts of Huddersfield and this requires further research. The District 23 1871 Huddersfield Civil Parish Census has a Patrick Reynolds, a Lodger with the Thomas Boyle family from Ireland living on Windsor Court (where Martin and Catherine lived in the 1851 census). He was a 40 year old widow who worked as a labourer and it is a likely match if his wife Mary died after the 1861 census. His son Henry looks like he was living on Castlegate in District 23 of the 1881 Huddersfield England census and was a 28 year old unmarried labourer from Huddersfield staying with the Kelly family from Ireland. The Free BMD Index for England had a Patrick Reynolds being married in Huddersfield June 1859 Volume 9A, page 451. There was a Mary Navel same year, volume and Page from Huddersfield that was listed as well and could very well be his spouse. Her name was Mary and they first appear in the 1861 census however their children appear too old in this record, Mary 15 and Henry 9. The only way to know is to obtain a Catholic Church and the GRO record for their marriage to see if this connection is off tract starting with the 1861 census. A marriage record for the Patrick Reynolds that witnessed Martin and Catherine's wedding in 1851 could yield clues as to where Patrick originated from in Ireland (likely the same place as Martin). There is a death record in the BMD index for Patrick Reynolds in December 1879, age 63 Huddersfield Volume 9a, Page 237 that would make Patrick born around 1816 - the most likely possibility of the 5 Patrick Reynolds listed as dying in Huddersfield between December 1879 and June 1940.