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Below is a family biography included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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THOMAS O’BRIEN, retired farmer; P. O. Gettysburg, Ohio; Michael, his father, was a native of Ireland, where he lived, died, and was buried in his native country; he married Margaret Kilday, who was also a native of Ireland, born on the 15th of August, 1769; she emigrated to America with her daughter Ann, in 1850, landing in New Orleans, and in 1861 she came to Darke County, Ohio; she departed this life in Gettysburg, Ohio, at the residence of her son, on the 15th of August, 1879, at the advanced age of 110 years; the day of her death being her birthday, her friends and relatives were going to celebrate the day with joy and good wishes, but alas! The messenger of death entered the household and removed her from earth to heaven. Thomas, the subject of this sketch, is a native of Ireland, born in March, 1822; lived with his mother and worked on the farm during the summer, and attended subscription schools during the winter, and by close application he obtained a good common school education; at the age of 17, he emigrated to America, landing in New Orleans, and in 1841 he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained till June of the same year, when he began to travel from one State to another till he had visited nearly every city and State in the United States, during which time he worked at all kinds of work; and, at the breaking-out of the rebellion, he was working in Nashville, Tenn., acting as foreman of the corporation, in which he worked a squad of men on the public works, and had, by using economy, accumulated some money, but left the city; and in March, 1861, he came to Darke County, Ohio, locating in Van Buren Township, and followed farming; and in 1862 he purchased 62 ¼ acres of land, for which he paid $900, where he remained till 1872, when he rented his farm and purchased property in Gettysburg, where he moved and has resided since. On the 27th of March, 1857, he celebrated his marriage with Bridget Mannix; three children were born to them, of whom one is living, viz., Margaret, born on the 13th of April, 1859; his wife died Jan. 29, 1861. He celebrated his second marriage with Catherine Meagen on the 29th of January, 1865; she was born in Ireland in 1831, and emigrated to America in the fall of 1854; no children by this union. Mr. O’Brien has accumulated some property by his hard labor, in which he has been nobly assisted by his good and industrious wife. He is a member of the St Mary’s Church of Greenville.

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This family biography is one of 659 biographies included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  View the complete description here: Darke County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Darke County, Ohio family biographies here: Darke County, Ohio Biographies

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