The following information has been passed down by one of Margaret's grandchildren who has long since passed away but thankfully, he wrote down what she told him.
Margaret Brennan (or Brannan) was born in Glencolumbkille on May 11, 1830. Her parents were Michael Brennan and Ellen Gilespie. Ellen Gilespie died when Margaret was quite young. When she was a child, Margaret fell from a haystack. As a result, she was crosseyed and possibly blind in one eye.
Margaret told her grandson that because her family lived by the sea in Ireland, they had plenty of eat, unlike many of the Irish during the Famine.
Michael fought in the Battle of Waterloo and lost a leg so he apparently received a pension. Ellen died quite young. So Michael sent Margaret and one of her brothers to Glasgow to study. The name of the school may have been "National School". There, Margaret learned to be a tailor. She and her brother had one passage to America between them so in 1850, Margaret arrived in New York where she was hired as a tailor for two wealthy families. We do not know how or when but she went to Galena, Illinois, which had a huge Irish population because of the lead mines there.
One July 12, 1855, Margaret and Dennis O'Flaherty were married at the Trappist Monastery of New Mellerary near Dubuque, Iowa, across the Mississippi River from Galena. The monks of New Mellary came from the monastery in Mount Mellary near Waterford, Ireland. Dennis was from Inver, Killymard Parish in County Donegal. So both came from County Donegal.
|Date of Birth||11th May 1830|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||Michael Brennan|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Ellen Gilespie.|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||Dennis O'Flaherty|
|Place & Date of Marriage||One July 12, 1855, at the Trappist Monastery of New Mellerary near Dubuque, Iowa, across the Mississippi River from Galena|