Notes for Daniel O'Brien: In April of 1995 I had the good fortune to locate Helen Hunt Hall, 82 years old, still residing in the Hall territory of Buckhannon, WV. She supplied me with invaluable information on the Hall/O'Brien lines (we are related to her through both lines). Halls and O'Briens were connected through the marriage of Enoch Hall and Mary O'Brien on 10 Dec 1839 in West Virginia (Virginia at that time).
The following is in the handwriting of Daniel O'Brien, father of Mary O'Brien, regarding his own roots:
"Daniel O'Brien was born in Ireland in the year 1774, Tiermaclane, in County Clare, being a son of Bryan O'Brien and Mary O'Brien (both) being descended from the O'Briens of Inciquin in a direct line. Mary O'Brien, a daughter of Torlough O'Brien descended in a straight line from Donseigh O'Brien, Earl of Thomond. The above families are of record in the histories of Ireland.
Daniel O'Brien emigrated to America in the year 1796, lived in Baltimore 8 years and traveled to Tygarts Valley, Randolph County, (WV) in the year 1804, there acted in the mercantile line until the year 1817. In the year 1815, February, married Miss Hannah Norris, daughter of John Norris, then of Harrison County in Virginia (now WV), they being natives of America, their families or descent is unknown to me. If any of my children should travel to Europe, enquire of Balicrile, Dromoland, or of the family of the Melvilles, Enocanvia, near Ennis or O'Gradies of same counties all are near relations to said Daniel O'Brien."
Another record (in the Bible): Daniel O'Brien departed this life the 2nd day of November 1844 being Saturday evening, age 70 years.
This is a remarkable record. Of course, then as now, people are quick to conclude that they are direct descendants of royalty, castle and all, but there is enough information here to pursue the records. I am struck by the level of education of Daniel O'Brien, and by his touching desire to record his roots for posterity. It would be fitting to travel to Ireland and revisit his birthplace. Helen Hunt Hall adds: "Dromoland is a beautiful castle. The first time I was in Ireland (1982) our guide pointed it out to us as he knew I was of O'Brien ancestry...in recent years it was purchased by a millionaire from Parkersburg, WV, who renovated it and opened it as a Honeymoon Hotel. There are at least two other O'Brien castles - Bunratty and Knappaogue which appear to be much older and have been refurbished by the Shannon Development Company."
In Sep 1980 Helen Hunt Hall found the following in GENEALOGICAL PERSONAL HISTORY OF THE UPPER MONONGAHELIA VALLEY, Butcher 2 vol. originally pub. 1912. pp. 397-398 Vol. 1: Daniel, son of Bryan and Mary O'Brien, was born in the year 1774 in County Clare, (Ireland), died in 1844 in Beverly, then Virginia (Upshur). He emigrated to America in the year 1796, resided in Baltimore 8 years as a merchant, traveled to Tygart's Valley, in Randolph County, by way of the Seneca Trail, in the year 1804, and resided in Beverly, where he engaged in the mercantile business. Feb 16, 1815, he married Hannah, daughter of John Norris, of Lewis County, then VA, a descendant of the Norris and Jones families of Fauquier County, VA, and was a second cousin of Gen. George Washington, connected through the Ball family. She died in Upshur Cty., WV in 1880.
Katherine Hall Knall April1995
More About Daniel O'Brien: Burial: Unknown, Volga, Barbour, WV.
More About Daniel O'Brien and Hannah Norris: Marriage: February 16, 1815, Beverly, Upshur, WV.