Mystery in a Bible

Although the primary intent of this blog has been to discuss my New Jersey-born father and the decision of his parents to relocate to the Soviet Union during the Great Depression, I have also strayed off-topic in order to add some genealogy tips for those interested in that subject.

I have compared my Russian grandparent’s decision to leave the United States with that of my mother’s parents, who lived through those years and never considered leaving their New Jersey home. Two Grandfather’s, Two Paths 

Mom’s family was of Irish descent, which led to the topic of my famous Irish relative, Louis Brennan, who will be honored next month in London. (Genealogy Search Brings About a Surprise Trip)

 In my blog posting, Using Local Tour Guides in Our Search, I mentioned that I have a family Bible which was owned by the uncle of Louis Brennan–Michael F. Brennan.

Family Bibles are an excellent resource in genealogy research and are considered as accurate in providing birth/death/marriage information as vital records.  Sometimes they are the only source of that information.

My Brennan Bible has been a mystery to me, since the birth page records only the births of the children of Michael F. Brennan’s brother, Thomas Brennan–Louis Brennan’s father.

Michael Brennan and his wife, Jemima Hoban Brennan immigrated to New York, settling in Brooklyn sometime during the time of the Civil War. According to later census records, Michael and Jemima had 8 children, yet Michael and Jemima’s Bible did not mention any of their own children.

Someone suggested that the Bible originally belonged to Thomas Brennan, which seemed like a plausible idea.  However, upon further study, I realized that my Bible was published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sometime during the mid 1800’s.  I believe Thomas Brennan never traveled to the United States. He and his wife left Ireland in 1861 with their younger children– including young Louis—and emigrated to Melbourne, Australia.

I am including the birth, death, marriage, and dedication pages, and would welcome any theories as to why this Bible, clearly owned by Michael and Jemima Brennan, contains only the children of his brother on the birth page. The death and marriage pages contain the records from assorted Brennan family members. Any theories out there?

From Michael F. Brennan to his Beloved Wife Jemima Mary Brennan May 23, 1881

From Michael F. Brennan to his Beloved Wife Jemima Mary Brennan May 23, 1881




Brennan Bible- Birth Page



Marriages (3)

About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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