Our BRADY family ancestry has been traced back from my great grandfather Ebenezer Brady (1817-1879) to his great grandfather, my fourth great grandfather Hugh Brady (c.1709-c.1778). Hugh Brady emigrated from Ireland to the American colonies shortly after 1730, by tradition embarking from Londonderry with his Scottish wife Hannah in company with several other Scots-Irish families. They landed at the mouth of the Delaware where their first son John was born in 1732. In a few years Hugh and Hannah settled with their growing family in Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, where they were early members of the Middle Spring Presbyterian Church.
My contributions to the discovery of more information about our Brady family history began in 1997 when this web page was first created when our Ebenezer Brady's specific family connection to pioneer Hugh Brady was still somewhat tentative. My own efforts began using the fruitful discoveries of a first and a second cousin. Their genealogical search for my great grandfather Ebenezer's ancestors began well before the existence of the Web and its many genealogical resources. My two cousins' help and advice while I was doing my family research were indispensable and are gratefully acknowledged.
A 1997 trip from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Iowa.
In 1997 I took a leisurely road trip back across the country from the east coast that traced my Brady family's migration route from Cumberland County near Shippensburg, PA, to Westmoreland County (1787) to Indiana County, PA (by 1810), to the Ohio counties of Belmont (1837), Monroe (1840s), and Noble (after 1860), and then to Guthrie County, Iowa (about 1872). Several days each were spent in Shippensburg and Indiana, Pennsylvania at their local libraries and historical societies. My trip also included visits to cemeteries and county court houses to gather new information. Upon returning home I put up the first short version of this genealogical web page summarizing our Brady family lineage back to pioneer Hugh Brady (my great grandfather Ebenezer as the son of John, who was the son of Ebenezer, the 6th son of Hugh). (For the record I visited Indiana County, PA twice after 1997 for the purpose of genealogical research.)
Contributions of others.
My family research over the twenty-one years since that first visit to Pennsylvania has significantly benefitted from the many contacts with other Hugh Brady descendants (in particular 2nd and 3rd cousins descended from my 2nd great grandfather John Brady). This was made possible by the ancestral information I posted on this web page and endeavored to keep uptodate. I still welcome contact from anyone having questions or additional information to contribute.
My family line back to Hugh Brady.
Here is a summary of my direct line back to my great grandfather Ebenezer and thence to his great grandfather Hugh.
If a male American Brady directly descended from a colonial Brady male ancestor is related to Hugh (based upon what we know presently), then (1) he must be genetically related to the Bradys from Cavan. (2) He should have the slowly mutating DYS 439 marker value of 11, not the usual value 12. On the other hand if a male American Brady is directly descended from an American colonial era Brady and is not genetically related to the Bradys from Cavan then he is not descended from Hugh regardless of the value of the DYS 439 marker.
A few unsubstantiated claims have been made over the past two centuries by some Brady families convinced they were descended from colonial pioneer Hugh Brady. The answer to such a claim is now easily determined by a yDNA test. The distinguishing marker value is not unique, however, only unusual. If a genetically related male Brady is directly descended from an 1800s Irish Brady immigrant it is possible that his test could show the distinguishing marker value. It has been seen in one or two tested Bradys in Ireland. (Should you somehow happen to be in the latter group, please contact me.)
Contact by a descendant of Daniel Brady.
In 2008 I was contacted by a descendant of the family of a son of my great grandfather Ebenezer's brother Daniel Brady. To my delight I learned from her that of the large number of Daniel Bradys living in America after the Civil War, our Daniel Brady, my great grandfather Ebenezer's brother, had ended up nearby in Nebraska after the Civil War. She had just moved to Nebraska, and her relocation there was extremely useful for our family research.
John Irwin Brady(1831-1865), the youngest brother.
I was already aware that Ebenezer's and Daniel's eldest sister, Margaret (Brady) Brown, was living in Nebraska in the 1880s. In 2009 I was inspired to track down the mysterious "E. G. Brady, Humphrey, Nebr." who was the subject of the tantalizing hundred year old family photograph. Soon I determined that E. G. Brady was Ephraim G. Brady, born in Ohio. ("Ephram Brady" had even been mentioned in an 1889 letter sent by one of my grandfather's brothers from Nebraska to Iowa.) Tracking Ephraim led me back to his father John Irwin Brady (1831-1865), a Methodist minister residing in southeastern Ohio. Since a descendant of John Irwin Brady knew of his 1831 birth in Westmoreland County, PA, it thus seemed logical to conclude that Ephraim's father John Irwin Brady was the ninth and final child in the family of my 2nd great grandparents John and Mary Brady. One sister and all three brothers among the nine children were identified, leaving us with the remaining unidentified five sisters of my great grandfather Ebenezer.
My family's genealogical connection to Hugh Brady was corroborated in 2009 by tests of yDNA (y chromosome DNA). When two 46 marker tests of two descendants from two different sons of Hugh were compared, they were identical! (A 5th cousin was one descendant and I was the other.) In 2012 we obtained a yDNA test from a descendant of the first brother Capt. John Brady. He was very closely related, and the test showed the distinguishing marker marker value.
More recently, the relationship of our family to Hugh Brady's descendants has been confirmed by autosomal DNA (atDNA) tests. The results of all the relevant DNA tests, when added to the weight of the accumulated genealogical evidence, indisputably confirm our original conclusion in 1997 that my great grandfather Ebenezer Brady (1817-1879) was descended from the family of the Irish immigrant Hugh Brady through his father John Brady (c.1779-1834), and grandfather Ebenezer Brady (c.1850-1804). Ebenezer was the sixth of the seven sons of Hugh Brady(c.1709-c.1779).
John Brady, "no record" of descendants.
My second great grandfather John Brady is mentioned in his father Ebenezer's 1804 will, and otherwise the published genealogical research regarding pioneer Hugh's son Ebenezer's offspring is summarized by the statement, "We have no record of the descendants of Hugh, Martha, and John Brady named above."(See the Brady Annals Vol 1, edited by William Y. Brady, published between 1923 and 1955 and distributed by the editor as a series of 12 monographs on Hugh Brady family history.)
Our John Brady's family history is now known in some detail. Useful information about his brother Hugh who moved to Ohio we believe has been identified. Likewise, a person with whom I was once in contact and who was a descendant of Martha (Brady) Shannon has researched the family of Martha and her husband Samuel Shannon. Samuel was given 150 acres of Westmoreland County land by Martha's father Ebenezer Brady.
Continuing the search started by two cousins.
When I began my serious Brady family research in 1997, starting from my two cousins' many years of study, we had (1) only the newly deduced connection of my great grandfather Ebenezer to his father John Brady, (2) the year 1834 for John's death inferred from my great grandfather Ebenezer's 1879 obituary, (3) the very clear possibility that Daniel Brady living in Monroe County, Ohio was Ebenezer's brother and (4) that Mary Brady (born in 1795) was John's wife and the mother of Ebenezer and Daniel. Everything that we learned subsequently, starting with the information I had found during my 1997 trip, has clearly substantiated our original conclusions, fleshed out facts and history about the John and Mary Brady family, and filled in many missing details.
John and Mary's nine children.
A careful study over the years of official records, the family pictures (2003) and letters (2006), and contacts with several descendants of my great grandfather's siblings, finally led to the our conclusion in 2010 that John and Mary Brady's family consisted of their oldest child, Margaret (Brady) Brown (1814-1898), three sons, Ebenezer (1817-1879), Daniel (1827-1886), and John Irwin Brady (1831-1865) plus five Brady daughters all born between the years 1817 and 1830.
A family list found in a Bible.
In early 2012 we were contacted by a descendant of my great grandfather Ebenezer's sister Margaret (Brady) Brown (1814-1895). Among the Brown family documents which he had received from his grandmother (a Brown who was my third cousin) was a transcription of a detailed list of John and Mary Brady family. The original list was found tucked inside a Brown family Bible. Everything we had concluded about the family composition (Margaret, Ebenezer, Daniel, and John Irwin Brady) was corroborated by the list, but additionally the five previously unnamed sisters Jane, Sarah, Susannah, Mary, and Martha were listed by name (along with their dates of birth). There were exactly nine children in the family, with Margaret the eldest born in December 1814 and John Irwin Brady the youngest born in November 1831. My great grandfather Ebenezer, the oldest son, obviously had the name of his grandfather, and Jane, the second daughter had the name of her grandmother Jane (Irwin) Brady. The third son John Irwin Brady was named after his father. The transcription of the family list also gave a date of birth for my 2nd great grandfather John Brady and listed his wife Mary's birth as occurring in 1795. There was no mention, however, of Mary's maiden name.
John Brady in 1810.
My second great grandfather John Brady (c.1779-1834) lived during the early 1800's in Westmoreland County and adjacent Indiana County, Pennsylvania in Mahoning Township. There were other nearby relatives named "John Brady" also descended from Hugh (including two more grandsons of pioneer Hugh Brady named John Brady). Our John Brady apparently was the Brady known to have bought a tannery in Indiana County's Mahoning Township. ("The job sure stinks, but the pay don't!") And we now realize the 1810 census shows that my second great grandfather John Brady lived in Mahoning Township next to his future father-in-law Daniel Brewer.
The 1830 move to Westmoreland County.
After the U.S. Census was taken in 1830 John and his wife Mary moved with their then family of eight children from Indiana County, to adjacent Westmoreland County. A year later, their third son and youngest of their nine children, John Irwin Brady (1831-1865) was born. The Westmoreland County place of birth of the son John Irwin Brady (as it was already known by his descendants) was stated in his obituary published in 1866 in the conference proceedings of the Methodist Episcopal Church. (The obituary was found for me by a Brady correspondent, but a copy was at one time in the hands of descendants of Rev. John Irwin Brady's son Ephraim.) Tax records show that my second great grandfather John Brady (who had been a tanner) was taxed in the 1830s in Westmoreland County as a saddle maker.
Pictures and Letters from the 1800s.
A surviving picture of John Irwin Brady's son Ephraim ("E. G. Brady, Humphrey, Nebr.") was sent to me in 2003 by a second cousin in Iowa. My cousin had obtained a boot box full of old family pictures from her father. The pictures had thankfully been saved because she dissuaded her father from tossing them into the fireplace.
An 1889 family letter obtained later (written by one of my grandfather's brothers) mentioned "Ephraim Brady" living in Nebraska. The letter had been found among a collection of family letters from the late 1800s that were saved in an old trunk. The trunk was obtained in Iowa in 2006 by yet another second cousin, and my Iowa second cousin has copies of those letters.
My determination in 2009 of our family connection to John Irwin Brady, my great grandfather Ebenezer's youngest brother, was finally confirmed by the transcription of the family list of John and Mary Brady's found in the Brown family Bible. This transcription was obtained in 2012 from a Brown descendant who contacted us. We finally had the entire John and Mary Brady family identified.
John Irwin Brady (1831-1865).
My great grandfather Ebenezer's youngest brother John Irwin Brady (1831-1865), the youngest of John and Mary's nine children, was an ordained Methodist minister. During the Civil War he was a 1st Lieutenant (serving as a line officer, not as a chaplain), commissioned in August 1862 in the 97th [87th?] Regiment of the Ohio Volunteers. He was wounded during the Civil War at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, but after recovering from his wounds he was discharged from the Union Army in 1864 because of an incurable cough. He came home to southeastern Ohio where he died of consumption in April 1865 as the Civil Was was ending. Sadly, John Irwin Brady left his widow, Mary Melissa (Gould) Brady (1837-1921), with two young sons (Ephraim and Hiram). Those two sons have many Brady descendants.
Maiden name of John Brady's wife Mary.
The maiden name of my 2nd great grandmother Mary Brady was finally determined by my daughter after an intensive effort in 2017. Mary Brady was born Mary Brewer (1795-c.1850). Mary was one of three children of Daniel Brewer (1761-1842) who married offspring of Ebenezer Brady (1750-1804) in Mahoning Township of Indiana County, PA. The steps to this discovery were not simple, but once we had actually determined the maiden family of John Brady's wife Mary (Brewer) Brady our conclusion was unchallengeable, and in retrospect it was completely obvious. Learning Mary's maiden name greatly simplified the entire family picture and opened up research of the John Brady and Mary (Brewer) Brady family.
John and Mary (Brewer) Brady followed naming custom.
The family list found in the Brown family Bible indicated that John and Mary followed the old Irish and Scots-Irish custom for naming their children when considering the names of the first son Ebenezer, second daughter Jane, and third son John Irwin Brady. However, until we finally knew for sure who Mary's parents were it was not possible to say that the oldest daughter Margaret and the second son Daniel were named after their maternal grandparents. But as we now know, Margaret's maternal grandmother was Margaret and Daniel's maternal grandfather was Daniel. So John and Mary Brady clearly used the naming custom insofar as their children's father and grandparents were concerned.
A correspondent of mine of Irish descent once told me that her father's family followed the naming custom rigorously, but her mother's family didn't follow it at all!
We originally thought that looking at the atDNA results would lead us to finding Mary's maiden name, but we soon realized that such an approach would be very difficult. The atDNA results, however, clearly corroborated the validity of our solid genealogical conclusions.
Death of John in 1834 and Mary's 1837 move to Ohio.
In 1834 my 2nd great grandfather John Brady died in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. His oldest son Ebenezer, then 17 years of age, went to work in a lumber mill to help support the family and met with a severe accident which left him recuperating for many months. Three years later (1837) John's widow Mary (Brewer) Brady moved with her children from Pennsylvania to Belmont County, Ohio. Her Brewer family then lived there, along with the families of two of her late husband's Brady brothers. Mary (Brewer) Brady's brother Daniel Brewer (Jr.) had married John Brady's sister Mary Brady in Mahoning Township, Indian Co., Pennsylvania. Mary Brewer's sister Catherine (not her sister Elizabeth) had married John's brother William P. Brady.
Remarriage of Mary in 1840 and her son Clancy.
Widow Mary (Brewer) Brady remarried in Belmont County in 1840 and had a son Thomas Clarence "Clancy" Hendricks (1841-1914). Mary (Brewer Brady) Hendricks apparently died before 1850. In the 1850 census her nine year old son Clancy was living in the home of John Davis with his half sisters Martha (Brady) Davis and Mary J. Brady. By the time of the 1860 Census, however, "Clancy" was living in the state of Indiana with the William Hendricks family. Clancy Hendricks (my great grandfather Ebenezer's much younger half brother) served in the Civil War and eventually married and had children. In 1918 Clancy Henricks died. He had been living in Shelby County, Iowa located halfway between Guthrie County, Iowa and the Missouri River border with Nebraska.
Do you have useful information?
We remain interested in any further information others might have about my 2nd great grandfather John BRADY(1779-1834) and his immediate family. We are particularly interested in information about the lives (and possible families) of Brady daughters Jane (1818- ), Susannah (1824- ), and Mary J. Brady(1825- ). The marriages found for sisters Sarah (Brady) Dillon and Martha (Brady) Davis occurred in Belmont County, and several of their children have been identified. Daughter Mary J. Brady was living with her sister Martha's family in 1850. John and Mary's daughter Susannah Brady was apparently in Monroe County, Ohio in the 1840s, but nothing more is known about her. Nothing further has been found about daughter Jane Brady except that she was obviously part of John's and Mary's family in 1820 and 1830 in Mahoning Township.
Please send email to