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Topics - shellyesq

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US Resources & Offers / MOVED: Hugh Higgins
« on: Monday 04 May 20 13:16 BST (UK)  »

US Resources & Offers / MOVED: Florida State Hospital
« on: Tuesday 04 February 20 13:58 GMT (UK)  »

United States of America / O'Brien family
« on: Sunday 07 October 18 21:26 BST (UK)  »
I have been working on this branch for a long time (here's an old thread from 10 years ago -, but still haven't gotten all the way across the pond.

The first person I know who arrived in the US was Margaret Catherine O'Brien.  Her birth date varies in the records, but probably somewhere circa 1870.  She was born in Ireland and was Catholic.  Her possible arrival in the US varies between 1884-1886 on the census records.  There is a family story that she lived in Boston, Massachusetts prior to coming to the NY area, but I have nothing to support that.

Her husband was Frederick Cowperthwaite, born 5 Aug. 1865 in Keswick, England and died 7 Aug. 1948 in Port Chester, New York.  I still don't have a marriage record for them, so if anyone could happen across that, I would be thrilled.  Census records have them married in the 1892-1895 range. 

It appears that they did not have a happy marriage, as Frederick was arrested for beating her in 1911, and he subsequently married another woman in 1922 (and was divorced from wife #2 in 1929.)  Frederick died in 1948.

Here is Margaret on all census records I have found:
1900 census -
1910 census -
1920 census -
1930 census -
1940 census -

I have lots of information on her kids going forward, so I am covered there.

Margaret died in 1954.  Her obituary is here, which lists surviving siblings as Patrick & John O'brien of Dublin, Ireland and Mrs. Mary Dolan of New York City -  Her death certificate had her father as Patrick O'Brien, but that was the extent of the information from there.

Since my previous thread, I found that she had a brother named Peter O'Brien who died 4 Dec 1930 in Somerville, New Jersey.  A newspaper from 1929 said, "Peter O'Brien of Second Street is spending some time with his sister Mrs. James Dolan of New York.  He will later visit his sister, Margaret Coperwaite of Portchester and his brother Michael in Rye, N.Y."  Peter's obit said he was survived by "survived by wife Mrs. Johanna O'Brien, daughter Miss Mary O'Brien at home, and one brother Michael, a resident of Port Chester, N.Y."  Peter's daughter Johanna Mary O'Brien died 09 Nov 1941 in Somerville, NJ, and her obit said, "She is survived by aunts Mrs. Mary Dolan, New York City;  and Margaret Cowperthwaite, Port Chester, N.Y., and cousin Miss Nellie McGuinees, Cold Spring, N.Y. "

I don't know anything about the brother Michael mentioned in Peter's obituary, and I'm not sure if the cousin Nellie mentioned was from the O'Brien side or not.  I haven't figured out anything definite about Margaret's sister Mary Dolan (or spelled in one newspaper article as Doland) either. 

Maybe another set of eyes can straighten this out for me. 

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