John Roche O’Bryen is Ernest’s father, and Celia O’Bryen was his second wife.
John Roche O’Bryen was baptised in Tracton Abbey, co Cork on the 14th January 1810, and died in London on the 27th July 1870, seven weeks after the death of Charles Dickens – his near contemporary. JROB was two years older.
He was a student at Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated in medicine at the University of Glasgow in 1836. He then practised in medicine first in Bristol, from at least 1841 until 1858. He then spent three years in Liverpool. By 1861, the family were in London, first in Manchester St, W.1, and then in present day Drayton Gardens, South Kensington – then known as Thistle Grove.
So far fairly uncomplicated; however the story starts to get a little more complicated. JR’s family bible has survived (currently with one of his great-grandsons), and is a very useful, if not completely reliable source. I’m going to look at it separately. He appears to have a rather curious double marriage:
“John Roche OBryen & Eliza his wife (born Henderson July 27th 1805) married Decr 25/32 Janr th 7th /33 by Protestant Curate at Bordeaux With Issue”.
JR was studying medicine in Bordeaux at the time, so the assumption is that the first marriage is a Catholic one, he was a Catholic and all the children were brought up as Catholics. The reason for the second marriage is one of the big intriguing questions.
Anyway to continue with the facts. JR and Eliza have ten children:
- Emily Jane 1833 -1844.
- Henry Hewitt 1835-1895
- Mary Anne 1836 -1856.
- Corina Margaritta Eliza 1837- 1907
- Edwin John 1839 -1857.
- Eliza Louisa 1840-1844.
- Catharine Teresa 1842 -1845.
- Mary Frances 1844 -1858.
- Cecilia Agnes 1846 -1856.
- (William Gregory) Basil 1848 -1920
Emily, and Henry are both born in France, and all the others are born in Bristol. Only Henry, Corinne, and Basil survive to adulthood.
Eliza dies on 25th April 1857, and JR remarries on the 1st October 1857. He and Celia have six children.
Alfred Charles O’BRYEN, 1859 – 1942 born in Liverpool
Mary Evelyn O’BRYEN,1858 – 1916 born in Liverpool
Philip Augustus O’BRYEN, 1861 – 1913 born in London
Walter Mary O’BRYEN, 1862 – 1871 born in London
Ernest Adolphus O’BRYEN, 1865 -1919 born in London
Edward Reginald O’BRYEN, 1867 – 1928 born in London.
His father Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Senior, was born 1780 in Ireland , and died 11 May 1836 in Cobh, County Cork. He married Mary Roche Nov 1807 in Whitepoint, Cobh, Co. Cork, the only daughter of John Roche and Miss Collins?. She was born in Ireland (?), and died in ????.
John Roche, Mary’s father, and JR’s grandfather, also has a major part to play in the story.
The children of Henry and Mary O’Bryen are:
Jane O’Bryen, born 1808; died 1837 in unknown
John Roche O’Bryen, born 1810 ; died 1870 in London
Hewitt O’Bryen, born 1811 in Ireland; died 1845 in Norfolk
Robert Hewitt O’Bryen, born 1814 in Ireland; died 1888 in Ireland.
Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Junior, born 1815 in Ireland; died 1873 in Ireland.
Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen, born Unknown in Ireland; died 1872 in Gibraltar.
Mary A O’Bryen, born Unknown in Ireland; died 1863 in Ireland.
Henry Hewitt O’Bryen’s father Laurence O’Brien was born 1754 in Ireland (?). He married Jane Hewitt on 20th Mar 1778 in Castle Townsend, County Cork, daughter of Henry Hewitt and Unknown.
Their children are:
Henry Hewitt O’Bryen, born 1780 in Ireland (?); died 11 May 1836 in Cobh, County Cork.
Stephen Laurence O’Bryen (unconfirmed)
and finally Laurence O’Brien’s parents are Daniel O’Brien and Ann Sullivan; Daniel O’Brien was born 1717, and died 1758 in Castletownsend, co Cork. He married Ann Sullivan in 1743 in Cork.