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Patrick O'Brien
Birth: Dec. 20, 1775
County Louth, Ireland
Death: Aug. 11, 1871
Kent County
Michigan, USA

Another of the pioneers of Grand Rapids has passed from earth to join the lists of those who have heard the welcome words:--"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." A good citizen and honest man has gone from among us. Grandpa O'Brien is dead. MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN was born in the county Louth, Ireland, in 1782, and settled in Walker in 1846, where he lived until his death, which occurred Friday morning, August 11, at the great age of 89 years. He leaves a large family and numerous friends, by whom he will be long remembered.

GRAND RAPIDS DAILY EAGLE, Grand Rapids, Mich., Sat., Aug. 12, 1871, Pg. 1, Col. 1


...Meantime the parents, PATRICK and ELIZABETH O'BRIEN, came from Ireland to Michigan, but the mother died soon after arrival, aged seventy-eight; the father improved one of the tracts mentioned [in 1837 his son, STEPHEN, pre-empted eighty acres in each of the three sections--28, 29, and 32--in Walker township], and cultivated it until his death. He passed the latter years of his life with his son, but looked after his own farm. He was a well preserved man and often walked to the city, even when a team stood ready to convey him. He was in his ninety-first year at the time of his death. His family consisted of six children, viz: MARY, married to RICHARD CARROLL, of Ottawa county; STEPHEN; BERNARD; ANN, married to THOMAS KINNEY; BRIDGET, married to ANTHONY RUSCHE, of Grand Rapids; ELIZABETH, married to DAVID PETTIT, of Cascade township; and PATRICK, who owned a fine farm in Ottawa county, and died at seventy-six. All the above are now deceased, but the widow of BERNARD [ELLEN McCARTHY O'BRIEN] is now a resident of Grand Rapids.

THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS AND KENT COUNTY, MICH., Up To Date, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens (Illustrated), A.W. Bowen & Co., 1900, Pgs. 923-924 (Excerpt from Biographical Sketch on Patrick's grandson, Bernard M. O'Brien).


Head of Family: STEPHEN O'BRIEN
Free White Persons (Males) - 15 thru 19: 1 [?]
Free White Persons (Males) - 20 thru 29: 2 [STEPHEN & BERNARD O'BRIEN]
Free White Persons (Males) - 60 thru 69: 1 [PATRICK O'BRIEN? - Father]
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20 - 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4

1850 U.S. CENSUS, WALKER, KENT CO., MI, 12 Aug. 1850
OBRIEN, PATRICK, 64, Farmer, b. Ireland
McMahon, Ann, 30, b. Ireland
McMahon, James, 9, b. MI
McMahon, Elizabeth, 6, b. MI
McMahon, Catharine, 4, b. MI
McMahon, Mary, 2, b. MI
McCumber, Ellen, 13, b. Ireland

1860 U.S. CENSUS, WALKER, KENT CO., MI, 18 July 1860
Kenney, Thomas, 36, Farmer, b. Ireland
Kenney, Ann, 39, b. Ireland
McMann, Elizabeth, 16, b. MI
McMann, Catharine, 14, b. MI
McMann, Mary, 12, b. MI
Kenney, Richard, 5, b. MI
Kenney, Ann, 2, b. MI
O'BRIEN, PATRICK, 73, Farmer, b. Ireland

Acres of Land (Improved): 30
Acres of Land (Unimproved): 50
Cash Value of Farm: $1500
Value of Farming Implements & Machinery: -blank-
LIVE STOCK, June 1, 1860
Horse: -blank-
Asses & Mules: -blank-
Milch Cows: -blank-
Working Oxen: -blank-
Other Cattle: -blank-
Sheep: -blank-
Swine: -blank-
Value of Live Stock: -blank-
Wheat (bushels): 30
Rye (bushels): -blank-
Indian Corn (bushels): -blank-
Oats (bushels): -blank-
Rice (lbs.): -blank-
Tobacco (lbs.): -blank-
Ginned Cotton (bales of 400#): -blank-
Wool (lbs): -blank-

NOTE: For whatever reason, the second half of SCHEDULE 4 is not provided at this site


1870 U.S. CENSUS - Cannot locate Patrick O'Brien in this census, even though his probate papers list his death as Friday, August 11, 1871, contrary to the date of May 12, 1869 given on his gravestone inscription [A conundrum].


KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN, DEATH RECORDS (1871), Pg. 312, Record No. 737 - PATRICK OBRIEN (Male - White - Widower), died [No Death Date Given], in Walker, aged 92, of "Old Age'. Patrick was born in Ireland of UNKNOWN parentage.
NOTE: This record was recorded May 24, 1872 and has a wavy line crossing out the entire entry.

NOTE: A digital copy of this record can be viewed thru at: Kent County Michigan Death Records - PATRICK O'BRIEN


Kent County, Mich., Probate Court File No. 1599

In the name of God amen, I PATRICK O'BRIEN of the town of Walker, county of Kent and State of Michigan, Being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life do therefore make ordain publish and declare this to be my last will and testament that is to say first after all my lawful debts are paid and Discharged the Residue of my Estate I give and bequeath and Dispose of as follows

To Wit to my son STEPHEN O'BRIEN the east half of the south east quarter section twenty nine town seven north range twelve west containing Eighty acres of land situated in the town of Walker County of Kent and State of Michigan to my said son STEPHEN O'BRIEN and his heirs and asigns for ever.

And all my money and effects that will remain after my Burial Expences are paid I give and bequeath to Saint James Catholic Church New Building on the west side in the City of Grand Rapids County of Kent and State of Michigan. I hereby revoaking all former Wills made by me.

In Wittness whereof I have Hereunto subscribed my name [and affixed my seal?] this SECOND day of JULY in the year of Our Lord ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED and SEVENTY ONE.

PATRICK O'BRIEN [his X mark]

The above writen instrument was subscribed by the said PATRICK O'BRIEN in our presence and acknowledged by him. Each of us and he at the same time Published and declared the above instrument so subscribed to be his last Will and Testament and we at the Testators request and in his presence have signed our names as witnesses hereto and writen oposite our names our Respective places of Residence. [the end is hard to decipher, but the witnesses, on another document, are declared to be BERNARD COURTNEY and JOHN DUGAN].

Received and filed August 28th A.D. 1871, Benjamin A. Harlan, Judge of Probate

NOTE: The death date given on Patrick O'Brien's tombstone is wrong by over two years. It reads May 12, 1869, but his Will, Probate Papers and the Kent County Death Records show 1871...The Petition For Appointment of Administrator, shown below, specifically states Patrick's death as Friday, August 11, 1871.


The year 2014 was the 1000th anniversary of the death of BRIAN BORU, the Irish king and our ancestor. May the O'Brien clan flourish for the next one thousand years and for the many milleniums beyond.

"Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, (c. 941–23 April 1014), (English: Brian Boru, Middle Irish: Brian Bóruma, Irish: Brian Bóroimhe), was an Irish king who ended the domination of the High Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and especially his elder brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated Leinster, making himself ruler of the south of Ireland. He is the founder of the O'BRIEN DYNASTY.

The descendants of Brian were known as the Ui Briain (O'Brien) clan, hence the surnames Ó Briain, O'Brien, O'Brian etc. "O" was originally Ó which in turn came from Ua, which means "grandson", or "descendant" (of a named person). The prefix is often anglicised to O', using an apostrophe instead of the Irish síneadh fada: "´". The O'Briens subsequently ranked as one of the chief dynastic families of the country."

~~Found at: BRIAN BORU (c.941-1014)
Family links: 
  Elizabeth O'Brien (1785 - 1843)
  Mary O'Brien Carroll (1812 - 1888)*
  Stephen O'Brien (1814 - 1894)*
  Bernard O'Brien (1817 - 1852)*
  Patrick Henry O'Brien (1820 - 1895)*
  Anna O'Brien Kinney (1821 - 1881)*
  Elizabeth O'Brien Petted (1825 - 1859)*
  Bridget O'Brien Rusche (1827 - 1889)*
*Calculated relationship

Dec. 20, 1775
May 12, 1869

Note: PATRICK & ELIZABETH O'BRIEN, are listed on the SOUTH side of STEPHEN & JANE (PAYTON) O'BRIEN'S Monument.
Saint Andrews Catholic Cemetery
Grand Rapids
Kent County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Plat A1-Old - Block 8, Lot 8, Grave #6
Created by: Mike Cronk
Record added: Jun 16, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53779051
Patrick O'Brien
Added by: Mike Cronk
Patrick O'Brien
Added by: Mike Cronk
Patrick O'Brien
Added by: Mike Cronk
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- Angela Owens Jando
 Added: Feb. 19, 2013
I honor your memory and admire the courage it took to leave ancestral Ireland, so late in your life, and start anew in the wilderness of West Michigan.
- Mike Cronk (4x-gr-grandson)
 Added: Mar. 11, 2012
This page is sponsored by: Mike Cronk

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