Welcome

to

The O'Brien & Cooksie Families


Dr. O'Mahony

The Family of James Joseph O'Brien

Report by Dr. S. C. O'Mahony
Director, Limerick Regional Archives

1997 Visit to Limerick Photo Album

Sister Mary Brigid
Condon

Special Thanks

To Sister Mary Brigid Condon, Research Historian of the Sisters of Mercy, for providing us the information on Sister Mary Alphonsus (Annie O'Brien), and Sister Mary Aloysia (Bridget O'Brien), which she obtained from the archives and other sources of the Sisters of Mercy, Regional Community of Chicago, Illinois. Sister Mary Brigid also provided the photographs included on the O'Brien Family page of the "Special Place" reserved for "family pioneers."

Map of Ireland with
County Limerick in yellow


The Early Generations

The O'Brien Family

The Cooksie Family


James Joseph O'Brien
Baptised: January 17, 1854, St. Michael's Church, Limerick City, Ireland
Sponsors Donat Cussen O'Brien and Catherine Scanlan
Married: Annie Toohey, October 25, 1868, New Zealand
Died: January 28, 1936, San Francisco, California


Annie Toohey
Born: October 14, 1858, Coolamoura, Cloughjordan, Tiperary, Ireland
Married: James J. O'Brien, October 25, 1868, New Zealand
Died: September 6, 1924, San Francisco, California

From family letters, we have been able to determine that Annie had a sister Eliza. Eliza and her husband John had daughters Mary and Bridgie. Mary married John Grace, who had died by 1908. Bridgie married Tom Costello, a railway clerk with the Cloughjordan Railway Station. John and Mary had 4 sons and 2 daughters. Two of the boys, Pat and David worked in the forge. A third son, John, worked at the railway station, and the youngest son, William, was a railway clerk in England before moving to America.


John O'Brien
Born:
Married: Elizabeth Cussen, circa 1812-1814
Elizabeth Cussen
Born:
Married: John O'Brien, circa 1812-1814
Patrick O'Brien
Baptised: September 5, 1816, Newcastle West Parish, Ireland
Sponsors: Robert Cussen and Margaret Vaughan
Married: Maria Behan, August 27, 1848, St. Michael's Church, Limerick City, Ireland
Witnesses: Donat O'Brien and Bridget Grady
Maria Behan
Baptised:
Married: Patrick O'Brien, August 27, 1848, St. Michael's Church, Limerick City, Ireland
Witnesses: Donat O'Brien and Bridget Grady
Robert O'Brien
Baptised: February 20, 1819, Newcastle West Parish, Ireland
Sponsors: Michael Minihan and Catherine Griffin

...lla O'Brien
Baptised: April, 1821, Newcastle West Parish, Ireland
Sponsors: Matt O'Brien and Elizabeth Vaughan

(Name and date apparently lost due to frayed pages in baptism records)


Terence O'Brien
Baptised: November 27, 1825, Newcastle West Parish, Ireland
Sponsors: Connor O'Brien and Anastasia McCarthy
Margaret O'Brien
Baptised: March 22, 1828, Newcastle West Parish, Ireland
Sponsors: Patrick O'Brien and Elizabeth Vaughan
Connor O'Brien
Baptised: March, 1830, Newcastle West Parish, Ireland
Sponsors: Patrick Minihan and Mary Cussen
Denis O'Brien
Baptised: November 25, 1831, Newcastle West Parish, Ireland
Sponsors: Connor O'Brien and Anastasia O'Brien

Denis apparently changed his name to Donat


Arabella O'Brien
Baptised: December 4, 1834, Newcastle West Parish, Ireland
Sponsors: John Morrison and Mary McCarthy
Annie O'Brien, Sister Mary Alphonsus
Annie was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1849. She left Limerick City in 1868, at the age of 19, coming to the United States to enter the new foundation of Sisters of Mercy in De Witt, Iowa. She was the second postulant to enter this convent. She was received as a novice on November 3, 1868, and given the name Sister Mary Alphonsus.

On March 3, 1869, she was selected to be part of the group of Sisters to open a convent and school in St. John's Parish, Independence, Iowa. When Independence became an independent Mother House in 1881, she chose to remain there, rather than return to Davenport, as one of the founders of the mission. She taught in the school and participate in visiting and caring for the sick and poor in their homes.

In 1891, Sister Mary Alphonsus requested permission to spend some time at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City where her early mentor in Independence, Mother Mary Isadore, was the Reverand Mother. From 1891 to 1894, she was active in all aspects of the hospital apostolate. While there, she was permitted to attend the Columbian Exposition World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. She had a great quest for learning and used every opportunity to expand her knowledge base.

In 1894, Sister Mary Alphonsus returned to St. Joseph's Convent in Independence when she was diagnosed with cancer. As her health waned, she spent more and more time in prayer and also engaged in her special talent of painting - an artist in her own right.

In 1896, needing more care than was available in Independence, the Superior of Independence took her to the Mercy Hospital in Dubuque. She received tender loving care from the Sisters and was also visited by her early novitiate companions from other Mercy convents in Iowa.

Surrounded by Mercy Sisters praying for a happy death, Sister Mary Alphonsus met her God whom she had served so well on October 9, 1896, at the age of 47. She is buried in the Mercy Sisters plot in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Dubuque, Iowa.


Bridget O'Brien, Sister Mary Aloysia
Bridget was born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1851. Two years younger than her sister Annie, Bridget left Limerick City and came to DeWitt, Iowa, entering the same convent on September 30, 1869. She was 18 years of age. That fall, the Mother House for the Convent was moved to Davenport. There she received her habit and name in religion, Sister Mary Aloysia on April 19, 1870.

As time in the Novitiate progressed, her physical health became serious enough to confine her to bed. She made her vows on her death bed as she lay dying with Tuberculosis, surrounded by the Sisters praying. She died on December 7, 1872 at age 21, the first death in the Community. She is buried in the Sister's Cemetery on the Davenport Grounds.


John James O'Brien
Baptised: November 26, 1852, St. Michael's Church, Limerick City, Ireland
Sponsors: Morgan J. O'Brien and Mrs. Margaret Whelan
Patrick John O'Brien
Born: May 18, 1855, Limerick, Ireland
Baptised: St. Michael's Church, Limerick City, Ireland
Sponsors: James Behan and Bridget Behan
Donat O'Brien
Born: July 2, 1858, Limerick, Ireland
Baptised: St. Michael's Church, Limerick City, Ireland
Sponsors: Donat Cussen O'Brien and Arabella O'Brien
Anastasia O'Brien
Born: September 26, 1860, Limerick, Ireland
Baptised: St. Michael's Church, Limerick City, Ireland
Sponsors: James Whelan and Catherine Whelan
John Toohey
Annie Toohey O'Brien's death certificate lists her father as John Toohey.
Annie [Toohey]
Annie Toohey O'Brien's death certificate lists her mother as Annie with no unmarried surname given.
Petro Croxsie
Born: San Jose, California (?)
The only information available on Petro is from the death certificate of his daughter, Antoinette Cooksie O'Brien. However, the source of that information was from Uncle Charlie McCarthy, and the information is not considered reliable because the death certificate lists Antoinette as having been born in San Jose, and the 1910 U.S. Census lists Antoinette as being from Panama.
Fannie Hoster (?)
Born: San Jose, California
The only information available on Fannie is from the death certificate of her daughter, Antoinette Cooksie O'Brien. However, the source of that information was from Uncle Charlie McCarthy, and the information is not considered reliable because the death certificate lists Antoinette as having been born in San Jose, and the 1910 U.S. Census lists Antoinette as being from Panama.
Last revision: 7/6/1998

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