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Austin Thomas Byrne
Birth: Sep. 8, 1859
Death: May 24, 1934
Ulster County
New York, USA


Acted as Chief of Construction Staff Under General Wood in Havana After Spanish War

Special to the New York Times

NEWBURGH, N. Y., May 25.-- Austin Thomas Byrne, at one time a prominent civil engineer in New York, died last night at the Kingston City Hospital, after an operation for a bladder ailment. He suffered a heart attack. His age was 74.

Mr. Byrne was born in Belfast, Me., on Sept. 8, 1859. He received his technical training at Trinity College, Dublin, being graduated in 1876 as a civil engineer. Until the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Mr. Byrne was engaged in highway construction work in the East. He was the author of several books dealing with that problem.

After the war with Spain Mr. Byrne acted as chief of the engineering staff, which, under the direction of Major Gen. Leonard Wood, installed the sewerage system of Havana.

He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Rebina [sic] Jardin Byrne, whom he married in 1890, and three sons, Austin St. Clair Byrne of Baldwin, L.I. (where a funeral service will be held Sunday); Oliver Byrne and Terence Byrne.

Source: "Austin T. Byrne Dead; Author and Engineer," New York Times, obituary, 26 May 1934, 17.

A book review transcribed by hand into one of Byrne's books, "Mr. Byrne will be remembered by many of our readers as one of the engineers whose essays received honorable mention in the prize competition for articles in road construction and maintenance instituted in 1890 by the Engineering Record. His volume just issued under the above title [A Treatise on Highway Construction] covers all branches of highway construction and [treats?] -also of a number of allied topics such as cements, mortars and earthwork calculations. xx the author has done a valuable work in collecting and editing his material, especially in preparing many of the tabular statements and the volume contains an unusually large and welcome amount of information concerning American experience. Engineering Record Jan 7/93 [1893]."

Titles of Austin Thomas Byrne's books available on as of 18 July 2014:

1. A Treatise on Highway Construction: Designed as a Text-Book and Work of Reference for All Who May...
2. Masonry Construction: A Guide to Approved American Practice in the Selection of Building Stone, Brick, Cement,...
3. Inspection of the Materials and Workmanship Employed in Construction: a Reference Book for the Use of Inspectors
4. Highway Construction
5. Modern Road Construction; a Practical Treatise on the Engineering Problems of Road Building, With Carefully Compiled...

Austin Thomas Byrne (1859-1934) was an Irish American surveyor, civil engineer, and author. Artifacts Austin Byrne left to the family include the 1863 edition of Oliver Byrne’s The Handbook for the Artisan, Mechanic, and Engineer, an 1879 Employee’s Time Table from the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway, a Protestant Episcopal hymnal and family lore reflecting "Scots-Irish." In 1880, Austin was the superintendent of Joseph Drexel’s philanthropic project in Klej Grange, Maryland. Austin’s career beyond 1880 is well-documented. Although he consistently reported being born in Belfast, Maine, his childhood remains a mystery in a state with decent records. His death record reports his birth place as Belfast, Ireland and recent Y DNA tests lean in the direction of Northern Ireland. His parents’ names, Michael J. Byrne & Ellen Cashin are noted in Austin’s Who’s Who in America entry. Source: Albert Nelson Marquis, editor, Who's Who in America Vol. 3 1903-1905 (Chicago: The A. N. Marquis Company); digital image, Google Books ( : accessed 6 Nov 2011), 217.

Austin produced a map of Honduras between 1883-1886 by a commission from the Honduran government. It was published by GW & CB Colton Map Makers. The map depicts the location of Mayan ruins as well as mineral deposits including gold, silver and copper. A full size, hand-colored print of the map is in the Byrne family papers. For his likely return voyage, see Entry for A. T. Byrne; SS Finance List of Passengers, February 3 1886, page or list number 124, line 1; New York Passenger Lists, 1851-1891; digital image,, accessed on 27 February 2005.

From 1895 or so, Austin was in business with Michael J. Dady.

His grandson's Byrne Y DNA is registered under Kit #338826.
Family links: 
  Rebena Jardin Byrne (1872 - 1947)
  Austin St. Clair Byrne (1892 - 1975)*
  Louise Evelyn Byrne (1893 - 1918)*
  Oliver Thomas Byrne (1900 - 1961)*
  Terence Julius Byrne (1908 - 1989)*
*Calculated relationship
Old Springfield Cemetery
Springfield Gardens
Queens County
New York, USA
Created by: Sue Hawes
Record added: Apr 19, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 51352301
Austin Thomas Byrne
Added by: Sue Hawes
Austin Thomas Byrne
Added by: Sue Hawes
Austin Thomas Byrne
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