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Searching for any family information for Philip (Phillip) McBrien (McBreen) b 1805. According to his obituary, he was born in Bailieborough, though DNA suggests he may have been from Knockbride, Cavan. His obituary also says he was a graduate of the College of Physicians of Glasgow, Scotland, though they do not have any record of him. He emigrated to the United States in 1845, married and had a family in south-western Wisconsin, where he practiced medicine until his death in 1874.

I have a good amount of information on him once he reached the US, but have no information about his life in Ireland. I do not know who his parents were, or if he had any siblings. His children were James Owen, Mary Ann, Julia Elizabeth, Theresa Agnes, Catherine "Kitty", Rosa Ellen, and Margaret Isabell -- maybe they provide clues, but they all seem like very common names, especially in that era.

I would greatly appreciate any information or suggestions on where to look for more info on this enigmatic ancestor.


Friday 28th Jul 2023, 11:03PM

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  • Local volunteer contacted.

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 29th Jul 2023, 12:18PM
  • Hi KellyT,

    There are a few families of McBreens around the locality and I believe that they are all connected, how far back I do not know.  Charles McBreen is visiting here in a few weeks, his Great Great Great Great grandfather was Mick McBreen born circa 1804 who married Mary Gearty born circa 1820.  They were married in Knockbride.  Their son Charles moved to Glasgow and got married in Dundee in 1865.  

    I have also been in contact with James Reilly, his father's maternal grandmother, was Catherine McManus, nee Riley born circa 1855-1864.  Her death details stated that her parents were Myles Riley and Catherine McBreen.  He states that he has never found any record that confirms any of this and anyone who might know is long gone. 

    These men have not found any DNA connections to each other, though both families come from the parish of Knockbride which is between the towns of Bailieborough, Shercock & Cootehill.  James & Charles are in America.

    Given that Dr. Philip was well educated he may belong to a family that lived in Skeagh, Drumamuck, Taghart and Bailieborough, if you look at the 1911 Census and just search McBreen County Cavan you will find them there it is my understanding that they are all related.

    I have gone back through other postings on Ireland XO and I realised that I have communicated with Tom O'Driscoll from Australia and I mentioned a Fr. Philip McBreen who entered All Hallows College 1843. 

    You will find this on the following link and you may wish to join them and see if you can make connections, one of them is trying to hunt down a Philip!!!…

    I hope they are your family and I look forward to hearing and reading how it works out.

    Best of luck Carmel O'Callaghan



    Bailieborough Cavan

    Monday 31st Jul 2023, 11:57AM
  • Hi Carmel,

    Thank you for your speedy response. I will take a closer look at the 1911 census; I had mentally dismissed it because it was over 100 years after my Philip was born, but it makes sense that some family would still have been in the area. And thank you for the link to the discussion with Tom O'Driscoll. I will reach out to him and see what connections we may be able to make. With any luck we'll be able to connect some dots.

    Kind regards,



    Tuesday 1st Aug 2023, 11:18PM

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