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Would you be able to help?



Hi Folks  

Looking for a little help, if at all possible.

My great grandmother was Bridget Brennan, born around 1879-80 in Co. Limerick.

She cites her father as being Daniel Brennan, a publican, living, when she married in 1899. Now, the interesting thing is that Bridget Brennan became informally adopted by a family called McAllister sometime in the 1880s and 1890s - by my research these McAllisters were Limerick born and were catholics living in Pennywell (despite the name originally making me think they might be Presbyterians) 

I want to find Bridget's birth mother. Searching for birth certs hasn't worked as I believe she may be the illegimate child of Daniel Brennan and therefore have a different name. Daniel Brennan was probably of Annacotty, one who I think later had a wife, family and was publican of The Black Swan in Annacotty. 

Is there any hope of finding Bridget's mother? If so: how would you go about it? 

Take care and thanks for taking the time to read this

Edward Jordan

Manchester, England

Edward T Lavell Jordan

Thursday 17th September 2020, 12:22PM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear Edward:

    Many thanks for your post to the message board. I am forwarding this to one of our volunteers who will be able to assist you.  You should receive a reply from her in the next week or so.

    All the best,



    Friday 18th September 2020, 01:52PM
  • Thank you Jane that's kind of you.


    Saturday 19th September 2020, 08:18AM
  • Hi Edward,

    I have found a birth for a Bridget Brennan that fits your time line. This birth record place this Brennan family in the Pennywell area with a large family. It is highly probable that one or more of the childern could have been raised by other families. That was common practice at that time. 

    Also I think that it would be unusual for her to be known  as Brennan if she was illegimate.




    Wednesday 23rd September 2020, 10:16PM

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  • Thanks Maresa, really kind of you to look into that and I appreciate very much. You're kind for looking into that.

    This is where I've got to with my research:

    I did see that birth registration previously and I concluded it probably wouldn't be my Bridget. There are a reasons for and against this being my Bridget.


    There is name match with father per marriage certificate - Daniel.

    The area of Pennywell was also home to the McAllisters on the census returns of 1901/1911 - who were the informal adoptive family

    The birth year of 1868 is biologically credible.


    She put her age as 19 on her marriage in 1899. If she was 31 (i.e. born 1868) it seems a stretch, even if needing to appear younger than spouse (23)

    The could-be father, Daniel Brennan, of the Pennywell area is listed as 'Last Maker' on the 1868 birth and then later, when he dies in 1880, as 'Carpenter' - whereas again on her 1899 marriage registration she cites him as 'Publican' - and not 'deceased' either.

    On a census return Bridget is recorded as place birth being 'Co Limerick' rather than 'Limerick' like the rest of the family. And that chimes with:

    Information from a 1929 ship's manifest where she puts "Annasty" as her place of birth and "Limerick" for her son. Not that Annasty seems to exist, but Annacotty does and I wondered whether it had been transcribed incorrectly or suchlike.

    The adoptive family, McAllisters, married in 1883 and were living in Annacotty at the time as per their registration. That puts them near The Black Swan where I think a certain Daniel Brennan was publican. This man married in 1887 and was 39 by that time and noted as bachelor. That could make him a credible candidate for father of Bridget, biologically and possibly socially if the new wife wanted the child out of the way. 

    Lastly, Bridget's youngest child was born in November 1916 which would make her 48 at the time of she'd been born in 1868. Credible, but her being 36 seems more credible. 


    So I'm still treading water on this one unfortunately, it's a family mystery still.




    Friday 25th September 2020, 12:04PM
  • Hi Edward,

    Given what you have said I agree with you. The evidence supports Annacotty. But how to find Bridgets mother is the big question.

    One option left to you is to search for all the Bridgets born in 1879/80/ Limerick 

    A long tedious task but it might reap a result.I triedit on Roots Ireland but it doesnt give a wild card for a surname.

    The other is through DNA. It mght help I m sorry that I cant give you anything more concrete.



    Tuesday 29th September 2020, 08:38PM
  • Thanks Maresa, you're a star for helping me there. I did trawl 1879 and found a few fatherless Bridgets in Limerick workhouse, but then what can I do with it? Who knows! I think DNA would be a good idea... I've not done that yet. Take care and thanks again ... really lovely to know there's folks like yourself giving their time to help. Cheers 




    Wednesday 30th September 2020, 01:35PM