Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sláinte agus táinte this Saint Patrick's Day!

Since it's Saint Patrick's Day, I thought I'd take a side-step from the Brenton line to talk about some of my Irish relatives.

Only a small step, since my great-great-great grandfather, Isaac Brenton, married Jane K Johnston, an Irish woman. Jane was born around September 1839 in Ireland (according to the 1900 census), probably Northern Ireland. I don't know exactly when she immigrated, nor when she married Isaac, but I do know that she gave birth to her first child (that I know of), my great-great grandfather, Johnston Playford Brenton, on 28 Feb 1859, in East Pike Run, Washington County, Pennsylvania (according to his obituary). Isaac and Jane had seven children besides Johnston. On the 1870 census, a Thomas Johnston lived with Isaac and Jane. He is probably Jane's father, since he was 73 years old on that census, and Jane named her first son Johnston. Isaac does not appear with the family on the 1880 census, so I think that he died between 1870 and 1880. Jane would live in Washington County with her family until sometime between 1910 and 1920. She does not appear on the 1920 census; I am presuming for now that she died sometime in between those censuses.

Unfortunately, though, most of my information on Jane comes from census records. Since she and her father had such a common surname, I will have to use some different strategies to find more information than "the Johnston family from Northern Ireland." Since Jane was born around 1839, and immigrated before 1859, it seems possible that she and her father were affected by the Great Famine; but, I'll still have gather some more details on the two before a search of those records would be effective. I'm tempted to go off and do that now; but one line at a time! Hopefully gathering more information on Isaac and their children will tell more of Jane Johnston's story.


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