Sunday, December 8, 2019

A couple new items helping to tell the Brady family story.  Hope you enjoy them.


I’ve been exchanging email with Daniel C. “Danny” Queenin, a third cousin, for about a year now.  Danny is connected to our shared Brady line through his grandmother Lillian Agnes Queenin (née Brady).  Her father, Francis Edwin “Frank” Brady, is one of Michael John Brady’s (our first Brady in the U.S.) sons. 

Lillian was born in New Britain, Hartford, Connecticut, USA, in 1893 and married Raymond Joseph Queenin, Sr., another Connecticut native in 1920.  Raymond Joseph Queenin, Sr. has an interesting story, having been severely wounded in France during World War I and later serving the U.S. State Department for many years.

Lilian and Raymond had four children together: Joseph Patrick, who died at only two days old and is buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in New Britain, Raymond Joseph, Jr., Francis Edwin (Danny’s father) and Margaret Louise.

In 1932 while the family was living in the Washington, DC area, Lillian suffered a brain aneurysm, possibly caused by a car accident several months prior.  She did not survive and died at the young age of 38 years old.  Her body was returned home to New Britain where she was buried alongside her son.

I’d like to thank Danny for sharing Lillian’s story with me and for providing me with a few photos of Lillian that I’d like to share with you all.  I particularly am drawn to the smile Lillian is giving her son Frank in the first photo.

Lillian Agnes Queenin (née Brady) with son Francis Edwin “Frank” Queenin, circa 1925

Francis Edwin “Frank” Queenin, Lillian Agnes Queenin (née Brady) and Raymond Joseph “Ray” Queenin, Jr., circa 1926
As I’ve mentioned many times before, one of my main goals in to trace Michael John Brady, our first direct line ancestor in the U.S., back to his homeland in Ireland.  Tom Thaphagen and I have speculated that Michael may have lived in the Dublin area at some point before emigrating.  This may still prove to be true, but some new information may ultimately contradict that hypothesis.

I recently received an email from Maureen Roberts from Perth, Western Australia.  She was writing because we were a DNA match on FamilyTreeDNA, one of the sites were I have my DNA data stored. 

Maureen and I share 52 centimorgans of autosomal DNA across 18 segments.  Autosomal DNA is the mix of DNA inherited from one’s parents.  We inherit half our DNA from each parent and roughly a quarter of our DNA from each of our grandparents, etc.  This allows of autosomal DNA to identify genetic relationships.  The 52 centimorgans of shared DNA is indicative of third cousins x1 removed, although there are other relations within whose normal range our result could fall.  In any case we most certainly a common ancestor within the last 3 to 5 generations.

Interestingly, Maureen’s 2x great grandfather was James Denis Brady of Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland who was a farmer with a piggery.  Sometime before 1967, James immigrated to Mullewa, Western Australia, Australia and purchased a farm in the area.  He married Bridget Ann Cummins, an immigrant from Sixmilebridge, Clare, Ireland, in 1867 and they had six children together.  James died in 1912 at the age of 81 and Bridget died in 1919 at the age of 78.  The Nenagh area was particularly hard hit by the great famine between 1845 and 1849 and it is possible, if not likely, that James left Ireland sometime around 1850.  Today, there are numerous Brady descendants in Australia all tracing their lineage back to James and Bridget.

If the third cousins x1 removed relationship indicated by the DNA is accurate; James and Michael should be brothers.  Maureen informs me that James’ parents were John Denis Brady and Ellen O’Grady.  I do not have any information on the names of Michael’s parents.  If Michael followed traditional Irish naming patterns his father should be named Francis Edwin.  Obviously, this is not a match with the information we have for James’ father.  There is at least some indication Michael was not following the Irish naming traditions to the letter as the third son should be named after the father and Michael named his third son John Michael, switching the first name, middle name order.  Perhaps the relationship is forth cousins or, though I think it is very unlikely, the connection could be through a relative from another line and not the Bradys.

Another interesting thought occurs to me.  If James and Michael were brothers, how did James end up a farmer and Michael a boot/shoe maker?  It appears Michael was very skilled as he worked as a shoe maker from at least 1850, working in shoe factories before owning his own custom boot/shoe store for many years.  Could he have been apprenticed back in Ireland and could he have ended up working in Dublin, 100 miles from Nenagh?

Brockport republic 1875-Mar-25

Hopefully, additional research and other DNA matches will provide more insight on this relationship.  I have recently taken a Y-DNA test.  The Y chromosome passes almost unchanged from father to son allowing paternal line tracking/matching.  Perhaps, the results of this test will allow a conclusive relationship between James and Michael to be established. 

Many thanks to Maureen for reaching out to me regarding our shared DNA and for providing some photos which she has graciously agreed to share with us.

 James Denis Brady about 80 years old, circa 1911

Bridget Ann Brady (née Cummins) and James Denis Brady with two granddaughters, circa 1911

Brady Horse Harvester on the farm at Bootenal, Greenough, Western Australia


Hope you enjoyed the latest updates.  If you would like more information about anyone mentioned here or included in my tree let me know and I can share all the material I’ve been able to collect.

I’m always interested in collecting more information to pay tribute to our ancestors.  Feel free to share facts, stories, photos or anything you would like to see made part of someone’s story.  I am especially partial to photographs including “unknowns.”  I have had some success in identifying them and in the process have added an image to some of our otherwise faceless ancestors.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Brady Boys Discovered

While I haven’t made much progress in tracing our Brady linage back to Ireland, I haven’t been totally stymied in adding a few new facts to the Brady family story.

My first discovery focused on Francis J. “Frank” Brady.  Frank is the son of Francis Edwin “Frank” Brady and the grandson of Michael John Brady, our first U.S. ancestor.  His birthdate had been estimated using census records.  It is clear he was born in New Britain, Connecticut and lived there until at least 1920 where the census enumerates him as a single male living in the household of his father and working as a timekeeper in a cutlery factory.  Obituaries for family members record him as living in New Britain in 1956 and Meriden in 1969.  I was able add a little more to Frank’s story after finding his senior entry in the New Britain High School yearbook, called the Beehive, for 1919.  The senior entries for that year include a date of birth and Frank listed his birthday as February 29, 1900.  Unfortunately, 1900 was not a leap year!  My initial thought is that Frank had a bit of Brady mischievousness.  I base that on my father who despite being a reserved and quite person, was apt to play a prank or otherwise have a good chuckle.  I’m assuming the correct birth date is February 28th or close to it.  Best of all the entry included a picture of Frank.

1919 New Britain High School Beehive entry for Francis J. Brady

My second discovery focused on one of our John Michael Bradys.  The John in question is the son of Joseph Francis Brady, Sr., grandson of State Senator John Michael Brady, and the great grandson of Michael John Brady, our first U.S. ancestor.  Research had already confirmed John died in Hartford, Connecticut in 1957.  John died of smoke inhalation during a mattress fire in his boarding house room.  At the time of his death he was 34 years old, divorced with one daughter and working at a local auto body shop.  He is buried in the Brady family plot at Mount St. Benedict Cemetery, 1 Cottage Grove Road, Bloomfield, Connecticut.  I was able to find an entry for John in the Weaver High School (25 Ridgefield Street, Hartford, Connecticut), Portal 1941 yearbook.  It includes a photo, a nickname – Jackie – and the fact that John was in the school band and “blows a mean trumpet”.  For me the musical hints are the most compelling.  Mary Jane Katherine Egan (née Brady), John’s niece, recalled impromptu musical recitals during her visits to the family home on Holcomb Street in Hartford.  My mother recalled her father-in-law, and my grandfather, Harold Sr., being a skilled saxophone player.  We can now place John as our family trumpet player!  While not a ringer for my father Harold Jr. – John’s nephew – I do think there is a family resemblance especially from mid-nose down.

1941 Weaver High School Portal entry for John Michael Brady

Hope you enjoyed the latest updates.  

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Help Me Find a Soldier

Well I haven’t been posting here much lately but I’ll try to be more active in 2018.  In working on my tree and scanning a number of family photos, I’ve discovered some that include non-family members who are at least partially identified.  I’d love see copies get into the hands of ancestors of those pictured and intend to use this forum to assist in finding a connection.  The first photo posted is a carte postale of Charles Francis Riley Jr (1st cousin 2x removed to me) who served in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), 26th Infantry Division “Yankee Division”, 102d Regiment, Company F, during World War I.  Sergeant Major Riley is standing on the right and, according to the hand written notes on the reverse of the card, the other two members shown are Prison Sergeant Bruck and Supply Sergeant Ray Baer (possibly “Roy”).  The photo was taken in St Nazaire, France in 1919-Jan.  If you can help track down the families of these soldiers please let me know.  I also have a much higher resolution scan of the photo available.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Jordan Family Picnic Photos

My mother's paternal side of the family were the relatives I most grew up with.  There was an annual family picnic that could easily bring together 70 to 100 relatives for a day at the Fireman's Picnic Grounds along the bank of the Salmon River in East Hampton, Connecticut.  Most of the attendees were directly related to the children of Michael Francis Jordan Jr and Sabina Cecilia Jordan (née Hynes).  There were activities, good food, and good company.  The lead organizer for many years was Thomas Michael Jordan Sr.  My uncle, Gerard George Ringstad, would be pressed into service to photo-document the ensuing madness.  They were great times and I hope we can resurrect the practice soon.   Here is one of Uncle Gerry's photos of the Jordan siblings and spouses.  I'm hoping for some help in identifying them.

Jordan Family Picnic circa 1979

1 Joseph Francis Jordan
2 Helen M Jordan
3 William John Freeburn Sr
4 William Joseph Jordan
5 Cora Marie Jordan (née Bouvier)
6 Ann Rita Lanoue (née Jordan)
7 Elizabeth Jordan (née Miller)
8 Sabina Hines Freeburn (née Jordan)
9 Kathleen Anita Minery (née Jordan)
10 Elizabeth Marie Fucci (née Jordan)
11 Joseph Charles Minery
12 Clayton Joseph Lanoue
13 Raymond Gregory Jordan
14 John Eudes Jordan Sr
15 Francis Michael Jordan
16 Fortuanto "Fred" Fucci

Monday, September 26, 2016

J.M. Brady Hartford Estate

During recent research on my great-grandfather, John Micheal Brady, I came across this advertisement in a 1924 edition of the Hartford Courant: 

John Micheal Brady's home was located on Holcomb Street in Hartford, Connecticut.  Further research revealed a plat map, showing the home and associated lot was listed in Catherine S. Brady's (nee Moffitt) name (Catherine was John's wife), while all the remaining lots on the block belong to John.  John was a fairly successful real estate developer and was responsible for a number of large developments in New Britain, Hartford, Wethersfield and Clinton.  

I was surprised to see this advertisement for I was familiar with the house.  I served twenty-six years with he Hartford Fire Department and for six years worked at Engine Company 14, which was the first due engine for this neighborhood.   It is a beautiful house that sits directly across the street from the Oak Hill School for the Blind, one of the first institutions in the country to serve blind individuals.  The 4,078 square foot single family home was built in 1890 and still stands majestically on the crest of Oak Hill.

135 Holcomb Street, Hartford, CT - 2016
I've recently been in touch with a cousin, who's mother was John's grand-daughter and remembers visiting John's home as a child.  She remembers the family playing music together.  I believe this would have been the house she visited as it appears John lived here from about 1920 to the early 1930s.  

My daughter, Rachel, came up with the idea of searching for the house on real estate sites and we found twenty photos of the house at You can view them by clicking the photo box overlaid on the image of the house.  You'll have a chance to see a home that has been loving maintained (or restored), as well as appreciate the socioeconomic standing of John at this stage of his life.  I can image John and Catherine and their seven children enjoying this home.

My Brady Connection

First a little background about my Brady connection.  Michael John Brady is the first of my Brady linage in the U.S. arriving about 1849 and settling in Brockport, New York.  He was a shoemaker who eventually opened his own shop on Main Street in Brockport.  He died in 1889.  I am the 2nd great grandson of Michael John Brady, through his son, John Michael Brady, his grandson Harold Benedict Brady Sr and his great grandson Harold Benedict Brady Jr.  Harold Benedict Brady Sr married Eileen Mary McEvoy, my grandmother, in 1933 and my father Harold Benedict Brady Jr was born about 1½ years later in 1934 Just discovered that they were married in 1934 and my father, Harold Benedict Brady Jr, was born less than nine months latter that same year.  By 1935, Harold Sr and Eileen are not living together and they are legally divorced in 1947.  I was led to believe the split was very bitter an as a result Harold Jr, my father, had a very limited relationship with his father and the Brady side of the family.  I did meet John Michael Brady’s daughter, my great aunt, Ethel Beatrice Herlth / Cohen (née Brady) and her second husband Edward Cohen once and they were very kind and pleasant to us kids.  From my parents few mentions of Harold Sr, I believe he was very charismatic, smart and talented.  I know he worked in real estate throughout his life and was told he was an accomplished musician (saxophone player) and talented mechanic, who I believe worked at his brother’s (Joseph Francis Brady) Cabot Street garage.  Harold Sr ultimately suffered from a severe case of alcoholism and had at least one run in with the law where he was accused of being the ring leader in the robbery of a commercial laundry (Still trying to pin down the outcome of that case).  Harold Sr died in 1954, when Harold Jr was only 19 and five years before his first grandchild was born.

Regarding alcohol, I have uncovered newspaper articles indicating that John Michael Brady and all his sons were arrested, accused or charged with alcohol related offenses.  Based on that small, non-scientific sample there may be something to the argument of a genetic predisposition for alcohol abuse.  It also seems that they all were talented, charismatic individuals with a bit of an outspoken or, perhaps, bad boy quality.

My goal will be to uncover more of the story of my Brady ancestors, find my Brady cousins and to ultimately trace Michael John Brady back to his birthplace in Ireland.

John Michael Brady
Harold Benedict Brady Sr.
Harold Benedict Brady Jr.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Welcome to my genealogy blog!

My name is Scott Brady.  I recently retired and started work on creating a family tree.  I’m hoping to use this blog to share stories of my genealogical research into my family.  I am currently concentrating my research on the Brady and Jordan line, but am also interested in the Bouvier, Samson, McEvoy and Hazel lines of my family and the Coco and D’Amico lines of my wife’s family.  I’m easily distracted into pursuing information on the lives of distant cousins as every story is interesting and deserves to be told and remembered.  I hope you enjoy these posts.  Please feel free to comment, offer suggestions or make corrections to my work.  Thanks for stopping by!