Clan Henebry Association TM

Henebry/Henneberry Families from the Irish counties of
  Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford

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James Henneberry
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Bresnan Family History

    Edward (Bresnahan) Bresnan left his wife Mary and five children in Ireland and came to America to earn money.  He worked for the Stoner family in Bath County, Kentucky where he became a citizen in 1851.  It took Edward about eight years before he had enough money to send for his family.  Mary did not want to make the long journey alone with five children.  Her brother, William Twohy, accompanied the family and stayed with the family in Illinois.  Lucy Ann (Lucille) was the first child born in America.  Lucille became Mother Teresa of the Ursuline Order of nuns, and founded the St. Teresa Academy in Decatur, IL.  St. Teresa is now a co-ed Catholic High School. 

Newspaper Obituary:  August 30, 1895.  Lovington Reporter.

"Two of Dora Township's oldest citizens, Edward Bresnan and Frank Ryan, passed away last Saturday morning.  Both were over 80 years of age.  They were buried side by side at 9 o'clock Saturday morning at St. Isidore cemetery after impressive funeral services conducted by Father McGowan.  Both the deceased were held in high esteem by all who knew them."


Photo of Mrs. Edward (Mary Twohy)  Bresnan taken near Dalton City, Illinois about 1898.  The young boy is her grandson, Edward Bresnan, Jr.  She is holding her granddaughter, Mary Alice Bresnan.

Mrs. Bresnan was born September 8, 1814 and died March 25, 1905.   Edward Bresnan, Jr. was born in 1892 and died in 1968.  Mary Alice Bresnan  was born in 1898 and died in 1976 near Dalton City.  She married William Heneberry. 


Below is Mary Alice Heneberry's history of the Bresnans.

"The Bresnans first settled in Kentucky, Bath County, where Edw. Sr. received naturalization papers in 1851. He came from Ireland earlier (date unknown) and worked (for the Stoner family) till he saved enough money to send for his wife, Mary (Twohy) Bresnan and their 5 children: John, Bryan, Mary, later to marry John Kinney, Kate, Mrs. Jack Doolin, Bement, and Margaret, Mrs. Dan Tueth. Edward, my father and Lucy, Mother Teresa were born in Kentucky. 
This whole family came to the St. Isidore area in 1858, according to an old newspaper clipping. Of course, there was no church at that time, but a sort of "Irish settlement" as that area was called. Apparently, the Stoner family had come to Ill. earlier and always kept in touch with the Bresnans. At any rate, Edw. Bresnan, Sr. was instrumental in getting the St. Isidore parish organized. The first Mass in Moultrie Co. was said in the Bresnan home in 1863. An interesting note here, a William Twohy, brother of Mary (Mrs. Edw.) Bresnan made the trip across the ocean with her and the children. Sailingvessels were used and people were weeks, even months on the sea. Evidently, William remained with the family till his death. His name is on the family marker in St. Isidore cemetery.

While erecting their log house, the Bresnans lived with the Delahunty family (grandparents of my husband) who also had 7 children. Hospitality, huh? The family attended "American" school, a one-room structure northeast of Bethany. Writing school was held at night to encourage adults and older boys to add to their meager education.

Some years later Bryan Bresnan left home at 16, according to information I got from Annie Nolan. He lived with a Dr. at Mt. Auburn, drove the horse & buggy transportation for the Dr. who encouraged Bryan to acquire more learning. At any rate, he, Bryan, wrote a flowing hand, learning & memorized poetry, studied history etc. and always bought (and gave away) books. He became anunlicensed "horse doctor" and actually developed a cure for fistula prevalent among work horses, an ugly open sore on the shoulder of horse, where the collar rubbed. He had many a run-in with veterinarians & was able to defend himself in court when they sought to stop him. He had the sharpest wit of anyone I ever met.
On Memorial day I copied these dates from the Bryan Bresnan monument
Bryan 1845 - 1913
Kate B, his wife 1845 - 1885
Teresa (Brady) 2nd wife 1846 - 1913

Bryan lived only a few months after the death of his second wife Teresa. We called her Aunt Tressie and she was so proud of the fact that she came from Saratoga, N.Y. I'd love to know where they met or how she was enticed to the West and a ready-made family.

P.S. I neglected to say they were from County Limerick, Ireland. I found no such name in the phone book in Limerick when I was there in 1971. One Bresnan listed in Dublin but I was unable to reach them.

Also, I remember distinctly Grandma Bresnan who lived to be nearly 90. She was born in 1814 (Ireland) and made her home with Tueths. Grandpa Bresnan died in 1896 before I was born."

(Signed) Mary Alice Heneberry


Edward & Mary Hughes Bresnan: parents of Mary Alice.

Mary Alice Bresnan:  Age 15


Bryan Bresnan

Daniel Bresnan, son of Bryan


Bernard Bresnan, son of John & Catherine Conlin.
photos courtesy Bresnan family.

Laverna & Helen, daughters of Bernard

St. Isidore Cemetery, Bethany, IL

Edward Bresnan, son of Edward & Mary Twohy.

John Bresnan, son of Edward & Mary Twohy.


Bresnan Family Pages



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  For privacy reasons, NO information is provided on any living members of the Henneberry family.  Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information.  Birth, death and marriage certificates from various County Clerk's offices have been obtained.  Census records and obituaries have been researched.  As with most genealogy searches, confusing and conflicting information exists such as spelling of first and last name, ages and dates of birth.

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