Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My ancestors - O'Rahilly - Contents


"Papa" [Robert Brown].
Date written on it is Apr 1889, Chicago.
But he died 1880.
See full size.

John Brown,
John A. Brown, born 1805, Ireland.
[Bourke, 1967] says Brown were from Belfast.
Listed as "John" at his son Robert's mar. NOT William. NOT Browne.
He emigrated to America.
He mar Sarah ----.
Owned a prominent wool and linen business, "John Brown and Sons", in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a branch in New York.
He is listed as worth $500,000 in late 19th century [Brown family tree]. This is $10-50 m in today's money.
He died Philadelphia, 19th Nov 1890, age 85 yrs [Brown family tree], think NOT 11th Nov.
He was bur 22nd Nov 1890.
He did NOT die c.1850.
John and Sarah had issue:

  1. John Brown,
    died Philadelphia, c.1876.

  2. Robert Brown,
    Robert Alexander Brown, born 1840, born England [according to birth certs of his children],
    death cert says born Ireland but think this is wrong.
    He mar 1870 to Margaret Hickey [Maggie, listed as "Margaret Mary" at dau's birth 1871, death cert says "Maggie A."].
    She was born 1850, Ireland, dau of John Hickey by his wife Margaret or Mary Dineen. NOT Hicky.
    [Bourke, 1967] says she was O'Kennedy-Hickey but think this is wrong.
    Hickey were from Emly, Co.Tipperary [O'Rahilly, 1991], across border from Hospital, Co.Limerick.
    Her death cert says she came to US 1865.

    Robert ran the New York part of the Brown woollen mills business.
    He returned to Philadelphia 1880.
    He died Philadelphia, 8th Nov 1880, age 40 yrs [death cert], NOT 11th Nov, leaving her with 5 small daughters.
    He was bur 11th Nov 1880 [death cert].
    After his death his brother James helped the family.
    Margaret returned to New York at some point.
    She took ill on journey home from France, and died New York, 2 Oct 1895, age 45 yrs.
    She was bur 4 Oct 1895.
    Daughters now entirely in care of James.
    Robert and Margaret had issue:

    1. Mary Brown,
      Mollie, Mary Theresa Sebastian, "Mamie", born 1871,
      mar Jim Cremins [James] and had issue.

    2. Sadie Brown,
      Sarah, Sarah Josephine Marie, born 1873, NOT 1877.
      She mar 14 Sept 1899 to Malte Stierngranat [Malte Gustaf Claës Bernhard, "Gösta", born Sweden, 22 Sept 1874, NOT 1875].
      Mar cert has him as "Gösta Liewen Stierngranat". Liewen is a Stierngranat family name. NOT Lierven. NOT Steingranat.
      He was a member of the Swedish nobility.
      Sadie's uncle James sent The O'Rahilly to Sweden during his honeymoon, summer 1899, to investigate his background before he would consent to the marriage. It turned out he was genuine. See [P102] 66 and 470.
      They had issue.
      See STIERNGRANAT in 1923 edn of "Sveriges ridderskaps och adels kalender" (Swedish Chivalry and Peerage).

    3. Nancy Brown,
      born New York, NOT Philadelphia,
      born 4 Sept 1875 [birth cert], apparently NOT 30 Aug 1875,
      born "Annie Hickey Brown", Annie, NOT Anne,
      generally called "Nannie" or "Nancy" (see both forms on The O'Rahilly's note),
      "Neans" in Irish [grave].
      Her father died 1880.
      She and her mother and sisters travelled a lot. They visited Ireland, France.
      She was educ at Ursuline convent school, Fontenay-aux-Roses, Paris.

      She met Michael Joseph Rahilly (later "The O'Rahilly") at a party near Tarbert, Co.Kerry, summer of 1893 [O'Rahilly, 1991]. She was only 17, on vacation from school in Paris. He was 18, between school and university.
      In his first term at UCD, end-1893, Michael won £20 on horses. He secretly went on a trip to Paris to see her. He left post-dated letters with his room-mate, Arthur Conway, to post in a certain order to his family to cover his tracks. As [O'Rahilly, 1991] says: "Conway, who later became Professor of Mathematical Physics at UCD, failed to post the letters in the correct order". Michael got in trouble when he came back.
      Nancy's mother died 1895. She was now orphaned.
      She is listed as "Nanette M. Brown" in 1898 [Brown family tree], living with her sisters in Brown summer home, in the fashionable Long Branch, New Jersey.
      Nancy was back in America, no communication with Michael except by letter. She was proposed to by a man named Marx. Then Michael made his dramatic trip over in 1898 and changed her mind.

      She mar 15 Apr 1899, New York, to Michael Joseph Rahilly (later "The O'Rahilly") [born 22 Apr 1875] and had issue.
      They mar at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Upper East Side, New York (see street view).
      Wedding invite in [P106/75], she is "Nannie H. Brown".
      See mar cert, copy in [P102/65], she is "Nannie H. Brown".

    4. Margaret Brown,
      twin with Madeleine, born 1878,
      died a few hours after birth.

    5. Madeleine Brown,
      Madeleine Margaret, NOT Madeline, twin with Margaret, born 1878,
      mar George Blake [George Clarence] and had issue:

      1. Sheila Margaret Blake, mar Richard Gustav Wasserbauer and had issue:

        1. Sheila Wasserbauer,
          mar Ross Schneider,
          she is researching [Brown family tree].

    6. Celie Brown,
      Ceci, Cecilia, Cecelia Celeste Brown, born 25th June 1880 [birth cert], NOT 1881, NOT 1884,
      never married,
      Aodogán said she was once engaged to a Russian Prince.

  3. James Brown, born c.1846.
    "Uncle James" took care of his brother's family after he died.
    [O'Rahilly, 1991] says James never took care of the family mills. He was always looking for some big investment that would pay off.
    Family story that he was one of those who turned down a man called Bell, looking for a backer for his new invention, the telephone.
    The mills declined.
    The O'Rahilly came over to America in 1905 to help bail them out, but this was unsuccessful.
    James died Philadelphia, 1936, age c.90 yrs.

STIERNGRANAT genealogy, showing marriage to Sadie Brown.
From here.

Brown sisters, maybe in Pennsylvania.
See larger and full size. Image 4394 in Humphrys glass negatives. Light-adjusted. See original.
See other copy.
See almost identical shot. Image 7001 in Humphrys glass negatives. Light-adjusted. See original.
See other copy.

Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown. See full size.

Nancy Brown. See full size.

Nancy Brown, think holding a picture of The O'Rahilly, post-1916.
See full size.

Nancy Brown, Madame O'Rahilly (think 5th from LHS) on stage at meeting of Cumann na mBan, 1919.
This is [P106/1465]. See larger and full size.
Names written on back.

Executive of Cumann na mBan, Mansion House, 5 Feb 1922, at the meeting at which they voted to reject the Treaty.
Nancy Brown, Madame O'Rahilly, is front row, 4th from RHS.
Sighle Humphreys is back row, 3rd from LHS.
This is [P106/1466(3)]. See larger and full size.
See list of names in [P106/1466(4)].
See other copy in [P106/1466(2)]. See back.

Nancy Brown, Madame O'Rahilly, in old age.
This is [P106/1474]. See larger and full size.

Nancy Brown as portrayed by actress Linda Teehan in the TV drama-documentary "Cumann na mBan" (2015).
Here Nancy is at a planning meeting shortly before the public founding of Cumann na mBan in April 1914.

Wynn's Hotel

There is a plaque at Wynn's Hotel, Dublin, to commemorate the meeting that founded Cumann na mBan here on 2 Apr 1914.
Nancy Brown is listed on the founding committee.
Plaque unveiled 3 Apr 2014.
See also plaque to the Irish Volunteers at Wynn's Hotel, with the name of her husband The O'Rahilly on it.

The plaque at Wynn's Hotel.
Photo 2022. See full size.

From Women's History Association of Ireland.

1919 movie clip

Nancy Brown, widow of The O'Rahilly, pledges money to Michael Collins (centre), Minister for Finance of the underground Irish Republic.
This is a clip from the Republican Loan film, a fund-raising film shot at St Enda's, Dublin, in 1919.
Movie is here on my YouTube account.
Download WMV of clip.

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