James Patrick Brennan 18861886

James Patrick Brennan 1886

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Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in USA

James Brennan was born at Rhue on 24 Jul 1886 to Pat Brennan (23 May 1853-28 Sep 1915) and Ellen Frizzell (c1860-17 Aug 1935). The sponsors at James Brennan’s baptism were Hugh Judge and Honor Brennan. He immigrated to the USA in 1911. He arrived at Boston, MA on the SS Ivernia on 13 April 1911 having left Queenstown (Cobh) on 5 April 1911. Initially, he stayed for a time with his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Anne and William DeVito at their home at 64 Glenway Street, Dorchester. By the autumn of 1911 he’d moved to a new address in Roxbury.


James worked as a tram car driver for the Boston Elevated Railway (BER). His BER Service No was 1445. He worked out of the Milk Street and Grove Street Tram Stations.

Military Service

Despite signing the Military Draft as required by Law James voluntarily enlisted at Fort Andrews, MA in the 8th Company, Coast Artillery Corps, Massachusetts National Guard, which was manned by men from the 23rd Company from the Boston Coast Defenses. His military service lasted from 29 Aug 1917 to 18 Feb 1919. From 2 September 1918 he was transferred into Unit Number 2 of the September Automatic Replacement Draft and arrived in France on September 23, 1918.  He was with the 54th Artillery Regiment which was the Coast Artillery's Training Regiment in France from then until 4 December 1918 when he was transferred as a replacement man to Battery D of the 60th Artillery Regiment. On 26 January 1919, the 60th Artillery Regiment boarded the HMS Cedric at Brest, France to begin its trip across the Atlantic. On 4 February 1919 the Cedric reached New York Harbour and the 60th Regiment went on to Camp Merritt, NJ. On February 24, 1919 the Regiment was demobilized at Ft. Washington, Maryland.

James however, was honourably discharged on February 18, 1919 and was demobilized at Camp Devens, MA. During his military service James served as a Private from 29 Aug 1917 to 7 June 1918 when he was promoted to Private First Class (PFC). He was promoted from PFC to Corporal on 22 Aug 1918. His Service No was 580176. James became a US citizen when his Certificate of Naturalisation, was granted on 22 July 1918 while he was on military service.


James met Mary Kate Cooke (27 Jun 1891-5 May 1968) from Carrigeenagowna, Tubbercurry, Sligo, apparently at a dance while he was in Boston. She was a daughter of James Cooke (22 Apr 1859-2 May 1922) and Margaret Ruddy (2 Jan 1858-22 Feb 1919), who was born in Killasser, Mayo. Mary Kate immigrated to the US arriving on 1 April 1909 in Boston on the SS Ivernia which had sailed from Queenstown on 24 March 1909. She was working as a domestic in the home of the Governor of Massachusetts at the time she met James. James was granted a US Passport in November 1920 (No 136635). He and Mary Kate returned to Ireland and were married on 27 March 1921 in St. Attracta’s Church Tourlestrane, Co. Sligo. James Patrick Brennan was vested 40 acres by the Irish Land Commission in 1923 from the estates of Major Bryan Cooper at Carrowreagh Cooper (Land Registry Folio No SL8492). He and his wife, Mary Kate farmed this for the rest of their lives.


They died within 3 days of each other in May 1968. Mary Kate died from a blood cancer. James died from a stroke.They’re buried with their son, Patrick and his wife, Mary Wimsey in St. Attracta’s Cemetery, Rhue. A military headstone was subsequently installed by the US Veteran’s Administration on the grave in recognition of James Brennan’s military service in WWI.


Additional Information
Date of Birth 24th Apr 1886
Date of Death 1st May 1968


  • The Brennans are related to the Collinses from Rhue, Tubbercurry and Drumbaun.

    Mandy Collins

    Tuesday 22nd June 2021 10:01AM

    Hi Mandy,

    James and Mary Kate were my grandparents. How were they and their descendants related to your Collins Family?

    John Brennan


    Tuesday 22nd June 2021 08:33PM
  • Gidday John,

    I've checked my ancestry tree and my Brennans were from Kilkenny actually, even though there were Brennans nearby to where my Collins ancestors came from near Tubbercurry. Sorry bout that. I think I was thinking of the Stensons from Drumbaun by mistake. 

    Do you have any Brennan ancestors from Kilkenny? Mine was Catherine Brennan who married Phillip Comerford. Their daughter Judy, or Julia, married a Blanchfield. My ggggrandmother was a Blanchfield.

    Regards and apologies,

    Mandy Collins

    Mandy Collins

    Wednesday 23rd June 2021 12:09AM

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