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My ancestors - O'Rahilly - Contents


Edward Wren



Edward Wren.




Edward Wren [poss. descendant of Edward III],
Catholic, born Sept 1849, Littur, W of Ballylongford, Co.Kerry.
Obituary says he graduated from a college in Ireland.
Obituary says he worked for Cannock, Tate and Company, a dry goods house of Limerick, for about 6 years (would be 1867 to 1873).
Listed as "commercial traveller", of Tarbert, Co.Kerry, at marriage.

He mar 1stly, 24 Oct 1871 [Tarbert RC par records], [GROI], NOT 22 Oct, to Maggie Kinnane [Margaret M., born 1849, dau of James Kinnane, boot and shoe maker, of Co.Tipperary].
She is listed as of Tarbert at marriage.
They emigrated to the US, landed New York. Arrived in US on 1 Sept 1873 [obituary].
Moved first to Lancaster, Ohio, there as at 1874.
He started dry goods business with a partner. Partner took over this business.
He settled in Springfield, Ohio, in 1877 [obituary].
He started dry goods business with his Kinnane in-laws as partners 1877, Kinnane and Wren, South Limestone St, Springfield, Ohio.
He ran successful dry goods business and general store, became very wealthy.
He built a residence, "Mount Pleasant", North Limestone Street, Springfield, Ohio (built by 1885).
The partnership with the Kinnanes dissolved in 1892. He set up as the "Edward Wren Company", South Limestone St, Springfield, Ohio.

Maggie dies, 1897:
She died Columbus, Ohio ("where she had gone for treatment"), Mon 27 July 1897, age 48 yrs,
bur Springfield, Ohio.
See obituary, Weekly Republic, Springfield, Ohio, Wednesday, July 29, 1897.
Edward had issue by 1st wife:

  1. 13 children, Wren.

He is listed as merchant, living Springfield, Ohio, at 2nd mar.
He mar 2ndly, 9 July 1898 [Listowel RC par records], [GROI], him age 48, her age 24, to Josephine Hickie [born 28 May 1874].
They both came from the Ballylongford area.
She had also emigrated to America but they went back to Ireland to marry.
They lived Springfield, Ohio.
Living "Mount Pleasant", North Limestone St, Springfield, at dau's death 1900.
He built "The Cliff House" in Ballybunion, Co.Kerry, for her mother after her husband died 1901.
Their wealth helped a number of her siblings move to US.
Wren's store moved 1903 to a new building, Wren's Department Store, East High St, Springfield, Ohio. This was Springfield's first department store.

They left Springfield and moved late 1911 [Lucev, 2006] to Rockaway, Long Island, New York and in 1912 he built there a new house at the beach.
He still ran business in Springfield and on E coast.
Obituary 1917 still lists the Wren residence at "Mount Pleasant", North Limestone Street, Springfield, Ohio. Must be some of his family living there.
He worshipped at St. Raphael Catholic church, Springfield.
He also had summer home in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.

Edward dies, 1917:
He died evening of Thur 25 Oct 1917 at his home, Rockaway, Long Island, New York, age 68 yrs, NOT Fri 26 Oct.
See obituary, Daily News, Springfield, Ohio, Friday, October 26, 1917. This describes him as "merchant prince, former resident of Springfield and founder of the Edward Wren company's dry goods store in this city".
See obituary, New York Times, October 28, 1917.
Daily News obituary says body brought from NY back to Springfield, and funeral St. Raphael church, Springfield, Mon 29 Oct 1917.
He must have been bur temporarily in Springfield, and then the body taken back to NY in Feb 1918.
He was bur 26 Feb 1918 in the new Wren Mausoleum that Josephine built in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery (Catholic), Hawthorne, NY. The Wren Mausoleum is near grave of Babe Ruth.

Josephine sold Wren's Department Store 1920.
It was apparently sold for $1 m. This is $10-50 m in today's money.
Josephine's obituary says "she left Springfield about 1925", and travelled widely, living at times in Washington, D.C., in London, and in Ottawa, Canada.
She apparently is much mentioned in the society pages of the day. The family called her "Brammy".
The house in Rockaway, New York was sold 1930.
[Lucev, 2006] says she took up residence in the Blackstone Hotel, New York City, and summered in Southampton, Long Island.
She lived in her last years at the New Weston Hotel (Madison Ave and 49th or 50th St), New York (see map).

Josephine dies, 1949:
She died New York, Sun 4 Sep 1949, age 75 yrs.
See obituary, Daily News, Springfield, Ohio, Monday, September 5, 1949.
Funeral Wed 7 Sept in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York,
bur 7 Sept, Wren Mausoleum, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, NY.
Edward had issue by 2nd wife:


  1. Genevieve Wren,
    or "Mary Genieve", born May 1899,
    died an infant, Springfield, Ohio, Sun 5 Aug 1900, age 15 months,
    see death notice, Daily Morning Sun, Springfield, Ohio, Monday, August 6, 1900,
    there was a family story that she choked on skin of a peach, though death notice says she died of "congestion of the brain",
    funeral Tue 7 Aug, bur Lagonda avenue cemetery, Springfield.


  2. Angela Wren, born 24 Apr 1902, Springfield, Ohio,
    think educ in England and France,
    mar 25 Jan 1922 to Brendan Quin [John Brendan Quin, NOT Quinn, born 1889],
    they lived internationally, summer in Dublin, winter in France,
    lived in New York during WW2,
    she is listed as "of London" at mother's death 1949,
    he died England, 1959, age 70 yrs,
    she took great interest in ancestry, did lot of research,
    O'Rahilly / O'Reilly family tree was drawn up for her by Ann O'Rahilly 1961,
    she was good friend of Sighle Humphreys,
    she died England, Aug 1965, age 63 yrs, NOT 1964,
    bur August 31, 1965, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY,
    had issue:

    1. Hilary Quin,
      Angela Hilary, think NOT Josephine Angela Hilary,
      born 16 Jan 1923, New York City,
      mar pre-1947 to Peter Vaughan-Fowler and had issue.

    2. Wren Quin,
      Brendan Edward Wren Quin,
      born NYC, 24 Oct 1924, NOT 1925,
      didn't marry,
      died NYC, Mar 1967, age 42 yrs,
      bur March 14, 1967, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY.


  3. Ursula Wren,
    Pauline Ursula, think NOT Ursule, born 24 June 1904,
    had Down syndrome,
    died unmarried 1920, age 16 yrs, NOT 1919,
    bur August 27, 1920, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, NY.

  4. Malcolm Wren,
    Malcolm Edward, born USA, 1 July 1905, NOT 1904,
    didn't marry,
    he is described as living with mother at New Weston Hotel, New York, at mother's death 1949,
    died Dublin, Jan 1969, age 63 yrs, NOT 1974,
    bur January 8, 1969, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, NY.




Josephine Hickie.



The Wren family.
(Left to Right): Edward Wren, Josephine Hickie, Ursula, Angela, Malcolm.
Photo c.1915.
At the house in Rockaway, New York.



The Wren Mausoleum, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY.
Photo courtesy of Jenny Wren.
See full size.






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