BRESNAHAN Pioneer Family
Lot 20, Concession 10, Huntley Township, Ontario, Canada
Peter Robinson Settlers in 1823 from County Cork, Ireland
also in the Madawaska Valley and the Kilaloe area and in Osgoode Township

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893
August 26, 2002:
Hi Al 
I am trying to untangle a mess of Bresnahans in the area.  Do you have access to 
birth records for the entries.

Bresnahan, Mary	
daughter of Bresnahan, Thomas and Camley, Ann (McCambley?)	
born 11/25/1847	
Godparents: Flynn, William & Flynn, Ellen
Bresnahan, James	
son of Bresnahan, James and	Malone, Jane	
born 5/7/1847	
Godparents: Bresnahan, John & Malone, Catherine
Bresnahan, James	
son of Bresnahan,John and Malone, Anne	
born 8/28/1857
Godparents: Leahy, David & Kiley, Anna (this could be Cayley (Kealey))
Bresnahan, John	
son of Bresnahan, James	and Malone, Jane	
born 11/13/1842	
Godparents: Hart, Thomas & Malone, Anne
Bresnahan, John	
son of Bresnahan, John	and Malone, Anne	
born 6/25/1859
Godparents: Malone, Philip & Malone, Anne
Bresnahan, John	
son of Bresnahan, John * and Keefe, Mary	
aged 6 w	baptised on 5/17/1849
Godparents: Delaney, David & Laune ?, Johanna	* of Ramsay Township

Bresnahan, Joseph	
son of Bresnahan, John and	Malone, Anne	
born 1/29/1863
Godparents: Lynch, Patrick & Hogan, Bridget
Bresnahan, Thomas	
son of Bresnahan, James	and Malone, Jane	
born 4/8/1845	
Godparents: Walsh, William & Malone, Lisabeth

son of Bresnahan, Joseph and 	Shaw (Shea?), Frances	
born 3/12/1843
Godparents: Casey, Patrick & Donohoe, Mary A	

... Barrie Bresnahan

Note: Page 38 of Carol Bennett's, The Peter Robinson Settlers, book has information 
regarding the Bresnahan family.
... Al
August 28, 2002: Hi Al - thanks for your reply about births etc. The mess I am trying to untangle comes from the following notes left by my dad (deceased) from his mother (even more deceased.) At the time of arrival of the John Bresnahan referred to in the doc below, it would appear that there were several John Bresnahan's in the Ottawa valley some of whom are descended from Peter Robinson settlers and some who are not. Also, depending on who you read about for Peter Robinson settlers, Dan Bresnahan came that way or Maurice Bresnahan. A separate Bresnahan (Cornelius) seems to predate arrival of either. I can find no records of arrival in New York for John in 1853 nor burial in Corkery Ontario. I also cannot find any records for Leahy in Goveneur New York, nor a marriage in either Goveneur New York nor Corkery. It is not helped by the fact that Bresnahan's and Leahy's are all over the same general area Anyway here is the note I have (maybe you know of some thread I could follow. : BRESNAHAN JOHN BRESNAHAN m CATHERINE LEAHY | +---------------------------------- ... ? | THOMAS m MARY MATILDA MICK | +-------+-------+--------+--------+-------+ | | | | | | JOHN | MALCOLM BEATRICE HAROLD DAVID(died in infancy) | JAMES m FLORENCE BARRIE | +-----------------------------+ | | FLORENCE IVON THOMAS JAMES m MARY LILLIAN BOLGER The exact origins of our family is uncertain but the popular belief is they originated in the county Kerry. Around 1853 three brothers left Ireland via Liverpool and came to America. Two remained in the U.S.A. and John married Catherine Leahy of Goveneur New York settling in and around Corkery, Ontario. To my knowledge they had one son Thomas but as the parish priest destroyed the headstones and a fire demolished the records I was unable to confirm the above. John died at Corkery so Catherine took her son Thomas to live with her brother David Leahy at Sheenboro where he was the school teacher. There she met Thomas Cahill and married him in 1862.( St.Alphonse,Allumette Island May 8,1862--Thomas Cahill and Catherine Leahy widow of John Bresnehan witnessed by David Leahy and Ellen O'Keefe). David Leahy was the father of Kate MacDonald who,lived in the apartment at 103 Mary St. PEMBROKE. Catherine Bresenhan Cahill went to live on a farm at Osceola Ontario and had more children so we are related to the Cahills and by marriage to the O'kane family. Matthew.
May 8, 2003: Hi Barrie, Noticed your query on Al Lewis' Bytown pages. Don't know if this Thomas fits in with your bunch, but... a very nice lady in Florida did a lookup for me and sent the following info: Thomas Bresnahan, son of Thomas Bresnahan and Honora Heffornan / Heffernan of Lisconel, (Liscarrol?) County Cork, Ireland married Ann Camley, daughter of Owen Camley and Mary Fitzpatrick of Ramsay on 24 Jan 1847 at St. Michael RC Church, Corkery (now West Huntley), Carleton County, Ontario. Witnesses to the marriage were Patrick Manyan / (Manion) and Ann Fault of Ramsay. > Bresnaghan, Mary 11/25/1847 Mary Bresnahan, born 25 Nov 1847, daughter of Thomas Bresnahan and Ann Camley was baptized 29 Jan 1848 at St. Michael RC Church, Corkery, Carleton County, Ontario. Her godparents were William Flinn (Flynn, PR) and Ellen Flinn. The 1861 census for Bromley Twp. lists: Terence CAMBLEY, Farmer, b: Ireland, (31) (may be McCambley) Mary CAMBLEY (nee Quigley), b: Ireland, (22) Terence CAMBLY, b: U. Canada, (2 or 4?) Ellen WHALEN, b: Ireland, (15) Whelan Johanna BRESNAHAN, b: U. Canada, (8) Thomas BRESNAHAN, b: U. Canada, (2) Religion for all is R. Catholic and the age, in brackets, refers to "Age next Birthday." The 1871 census also has Thomas BRESINGHAM, [age 12, R. Catholic, Irish origin] still living with Terence and Mary CAMELEY. (The other variation of this name is Camilly.) Carol Bennett McCuaig speculates that Johanna & Thomas "...were children of Joseph Bresnahan and Frances Shaw," (Founding Families of Bromley Township, p. 44). Given the Bresnahan/Camley marriage, and that there were Bresnahan children living with the Camley family on two consecutive censuses, it appears possible that they could have been Thomas & Ann's children. I would like to discover if Thomas & Ann were the parents of Johanna (c1853) and Thomas (c1859); and if so - what happened to them? Diana
June 7, 2003: See also a John Bresnahan who owned property in Osgoode Township, near a Cahill family, in 1863.
July 19, 2004: I am descended from Joseph Bresnahan. His son, John, was my great grandfather who farmed/homesteaded in Hybla north of Bancroft. His first wife's maiden name was Sutherland. His son, James, eventually settled and farmed in Madawaska, Ontario (Upper Ottawa Valley. His wife's maiden name was Golden. My mother, was James' daughter. I also have in my possession a rough outline made by one of the children of Joseph Bresnahan's son. (I must get back into this material.) If you are at all interested, you may email me and I'll try to pass on the information that I have in my possession. If we live fairly close to each other, and it's your wish, we could meet and you could go through what material I have in my possession. Gloria
May 17, 2005: Ive been trying for a few years to help my grandfather to find his ancestors without a lot of luck. My grandfather passed away last year so I've been trying to do it on my own without any luck. But I'm trying!!! The only information that I've got is that we came over from Ireland in 1846. That my great great grandfather's name was Henry Thomas Bresnahan and he married his wife Priscilla Johnstone on May 13, 1880. We know that his dad's name was John and He was one of many brothers that came over together. They arrived in Ontario but then moved around Canada after that. Henry and Priscilla had moved to Killaloe, Renfrew County, Ontario. Anyway we were told that John had fourteen children and that he brought all or most of them to Canada with him. It is believed that Henry was named after an uncle but we don't know this for sure. Henry's childrens names are Robert, John, Eliza, Francis ,Joseph, Margaret, Hugh, May, and Mary. We don't know if any of them were named after anyone but it is a possiblity since two of them has a middle name after their parents. I do have some pictures of Henry and Priscilla. ... Sherryann e-mail: ____________________ Hi Sherryann: Was your Francis Bresnahan a male or female? Here is a 1900 record from St. Mary's Church in Brudenell. June 14th 1900 We the undersigned Priest, by virtue of faculties given us by Rt. Rev. Narciss Zepherine Lorrain, Bishop of Pembroke, have in the Church of St. Mary's Brudenell received the profession of faith of Ann Wade, aged eighteen years, daughter of Samuel Wade and Francis Bresnahan. Francis L. French, Priest. Brudenell is also in Renfrew County, not far from the Madawaska area and also not far from Killaloe. There were two other Bresnahans mentioned in these records: Catherine and Margaret but they don't match up with your names. ... Al Lewis _____________________ I have no problem with you adding my name or email address to your web site. I talked to my mother and she said that she remembers her grandfather talking about a Kate. ... Sherryann
September 29, 2005: I read Gloria Montgomery's note about Joseph and John Bresnahan on the Bytown or Bust site. I am trying to find out about my great-grandmother's family - Johanna (also known as Hanna / Hannah) Bresnahan, born Dec. 16, 1847 in Ireland (no County, Town or Parish listed). In 1872, she married John Hatton in Owen Sound, ON. She died Sept. 3, 1906 and is buried at the Hatton Family Cemetery in Sydenham Township, Grey County, ON. Does any of this sound familiar? Cheers - Bruce Hurley _________________________ Thanks to Barrie Bresnahan for the following reply: A firm maybe here. Of three lines of Bresnahan I know who were in the Ottawa area around that time there is only one reference I can find to a Johanna, and that is the census of 1861 census for Bromley Twp. which lists children Thomas and Johanna, with Johanna born in 1853 and Thomas born in 1859. There is much speculation about who these two are, most guessing that they are children of (Joseph Bresnahan x Frances Shaw). Diana is trying to figure out if they are of (Thomas Bresnahan x Ann Cambley), and I am trying to figure out if they are of (John Bresnahan x Catherine Leahy). It is possible/probable that these three Bresnahan men were brothers and so the gordian knot of names and inter-relationships is pretty daunting. The claim that they are children of (Bresnahan x Shaw) is unlikely, given that these two managed to haul all the rest of their chldren with them up the Ottawa Valley to Madawaska. Its possible that they are related to (Bresnahan x Cambley) as census has the children staying with Cambleys. Johanna disappears by the next census (she would have been 18 or so in 1871) and so its quite possible that this is your great-grandmother. It is also possible that children were the offspring of (Bresnahan x Leahy). Because John died at Corkery right around the 1861 census, it explains why two Bresnahan children were living with Cambley's in Corkery Ontario, while widow Leahy was trying to pull her life together. There is no explaination I have found for why (Bresnahan x Cambley) children were staying without parents and the story of the children fits so well to the death of John and the (Bresnahan x Leahy) verbal history. The short answer is that I just plain don't know. Is it your Johanna .. possibly but it doesn't quite fit (its off by 4 years.) If you find other stuff please keep me in the loop. Good luck ... Barrie
August 26, 2009: Thanks to Diana Cockwill for the following pieces to the Bresnahan puzzle: Chapeau (St-Alphonse), Quebec “Jany 17, 1853 … baptized Johanna Bresneham born August 29th 1852" parents: Thos Bresneham and Ann Camley sponsors: Johns Fitzpatrick & Ann Fitzpatrick “January 19, 1860 … baptized Thomas born December 16th 1859" parents: Thos Bresneham and Anne Cameley; sponsors: Thomas ? & Maria Cleary The 1861 Census for Wylie, Renfrew, Ontario (p. 2) lists Thomas BRASENHAM with children. Thos Brasenham, Farmer, born Ireland, age 42 Daniel Brasenham, son, born United States, USA, age 10 (Bromley is crossed out) Johanna Brasenham, daughter, born U Canada, age 8, residence Bromley Ann Brasenham, daughter, born U Canada, age 7, residence Almonte Thos Brasenham, son, born U Canada, age 2, residence Bromley Religion for all is Roman Catholic. In the column “Residence if out of limits” was the location of the children. Ann Brosanham (age 6) is with Owen & Mary CHAMBLY (Ramsay, Lanark); Johanna and Thomas are with Terence and Mary CAMBLEY (Bromley, Renfrew). There is a mark in the column “Died in 1860” – female, Age & cause of death is “34 Cold caught in confinement.” The death of their mother, Ann Camley Bresnahan in 1860, would explain why the younger children were sent to live with relatives. Thomas BRESNAHAN m Honora HEFFORNAN / Heffernan | +--- ... ? | THOMAS m Ann CAMLEY | +-------------+--------------+--------------+-----------+-- | | | | | Mary Daniel Johanna Ann Thomas Other records that I’ve come across for Thomas Bresnahan Location Name Event Date Father Mother Notes Pembroke Thomas BRESNAHAM death 11 Mar 1895 Hotel Keeper, b. Huntley, ON Renfrew Thomas BRESNAGNE Mary Mathilda MICK marriage 7 Nov 1885 John Bresnagne Catherine Bresnagne b. 1856, Ramsay Township son of John B… & Catharine Leahy Renfrew Beatrice K BRESNAHAN Patrick J O’BRIEN marriage 6 Nov 1913 Thomas Bresnahan Mathilda Mick b. 1891, Pembroke Rolph Thomas BRESNAHAN death 3 Mar 1909 Thomas Bresnaham Jane? Cannibly? father born Ireland mother born Ontario According to Roberta O'Brien's Family Page... "List of emigrant settlers from the South of Ireland embarked on board of the Hebe transport for passage to Quebec Cove of Cork July 8th 18" included Daniel Brestnahan Liscarrol, Cork Honora Brestnahan Bridget Brestnahan Julia Brestnahan Mary Brestnahan Joanna Brestnahan Thomas Brestnahan John Brestnahan (under 14) Catharine Brestnahan (under 14) This list is posted at ... Diana Cockwell _____________________________ And from Barrie: Hi Diana - thanks for info. As noted there are several Thomas' of interest here .. one set of which starts with Thomas + Honora, a second which starts with John + Catherine Leahy. The first three lines of your table pertains to John + Catherine -> Thomas + Matilda Mick, the last line pertains to line of Thomas + Honora -> Thomas + Ann Cambley. Family historic stuff confirms death of Thomas (who owned hotel in Pembroke) in 1895 in after being run over by a horse carriage on the main street. Your stuff on Johanna and death of Ann Camley in 1860 likely closes outstanding question on Johanna / Thomas in 1861 census possibly farmed out to friends following death of John - Good stuff! Thanks, ... Barrie
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