Thomas Brennan

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Brief biography

Thomas Brennan was born in Manchester. His birth reference may be [Birth Index: Manchester 8d 131, 1864 (Dec)].

His parents have not yet been identified with certainty. Census returns indicate several possibilities, one being that his parents were Owen Brennan and his wife Mary. The 1861 Census finds Owen aged "45" living with Mary and several children at 30, Fawcett Street, Manchester where he was occupied as a bricklayer's labourer. He and Mary were born in Ireland, as were all the children then present. Owen died no later than 1871. His death reference may be [Death Index: Manchester 8d 114, 1871 (March) - indexed as "Brannan"] with his age under-cited as "51". The 1871 Census finds Mary widowed with two of her children and other relations at 20, Cobden Street, Manchester. Her birthplace is given as Sligo, Ireland. The 1881 Census finds Mary living with several children at 7, Pott Street, Manchester. These children included some of those present in 1861 and also a son Thomas, aged "20" and occupied as a carter, who had not been with her in 1871.

The 1871 Census possibly finds Thomas boarding at age "7" in the household of an Irish furniture broker Edward Brett at 2, Back Cable Street in Salford.

He has not yet been identified unambiguously in the 1881 Census.

He was probably the father of the May Brennan who married George (2) Harrison. The circumstantial but unverified evidence for this consists of a relative's report that May's siblings included the following, but with no stated chronology: "Elsie", "Mirim" (Miriam), "Vera", "Walter" and "Ruth".

He married Mary Elizabeth Chapman in 1890 [Marriage Index: Manchester 8d 309, 1890 (Dec)]. The birth reference of Mary Elizabeth is probably [Birth Index: Barton 8c 505, 1865 (June)].

The 1891 Census finds them living at 18, Berry Street, Manchester. He is described as aged "27", born in Manchester and occupied as a general labourer, and she as aged "24" and born in Manchester. With them was a daughter Ruth aged "7 months".

The 1901 Census finds them living at 157, Harcourt Street, Manchester. He is described as aged "38" and occupied as a market produce salesman, and she as aged "36". Besides Ruth they now also had with them three further children May, Elizabeth A. and Mary.

Nothing further is yet known of them.

His children by Mary Elizabeth Chapman

  1. Ruth Brennan - born in 1890
  2. May Brennan - [Birth Index: Manchester 8d 258, 1892 (June) - indexed as "Brennen"]
  3. Elizabeth Ann Brennan - [Birth Index: Manchester 8d 262, 1894 (March)]
  4. Mary Brennan [Birth Index: Manchester 8d 247, 1896 (Sept)]
  5. and probably ... Walter Brennan - [Birth Index: Chorlton 8c 856, 1902 (March)]
  6. and probably ... Elsie Brennan - [Birth Index: Chorlton 8c 789, 1904 (March)]
  7. and probably ... Miriam Brennan - [Birth Index: Chorlton 8c 866, 1906 (Sept)]
  8. and probably ... Vera Brennan - [Birth Index: Chorlton 8c 730, 1909 (Dec)]
  9. and possibly others ...

Ruth was probably born before her parents married and no birth reference has yet been found for her. She was christened on December 7th 1890 at St. Andrews, Manchester with her parents named as "Thomas Brennan and Mary Elizabeth" [IGI: Batch C008857].

May was christened on August 14th 1892 at St. Andrews with her parents named as "Thomas Brennen [sic] and Mary Brennen" [IGI: Batch C008857]. She was probably the woman who married George (2) Harrison.

No christening records have yet been found for the other children.

An alternative candidate birth reference for Elsie is [Birth Index: Manchester 8d 225, 1908 (March)] and an alternative for Walter is [Birth Index: Manchester 261, 1907 (Dec)], but neither of these would produce a uniform chronological progression of registration districts vis-a-vis the other siblings.