As it’s St Valentine’s Day, we’re off to 1896 Temuka, South Canterbury, for a wedding – the nuptials of Mr Patrick Dennis Hoare and Miss Mary Brosnahan.
Wedding at Temuka, New Zealand Tablet, 15 May 1896, p 29
A WEDDIGN AT TEMUKA.
(From an occasional Correspondent.)
Temuka, May 2, 1896.
One of the nicest weddings that has been celebrated in Temuka for many years took place in St. Joseph’s Church on Tuesday last, when Mr P. D. Hoare, eldest son of Mr Denis Hoare, of Kerrytown, was united in holy matrimony by the Rev Theophilus Le Menant des Chesnais, S.M., to Miss Mary Brosnahan, second daughter of Mr John Brosnahan, of Levels Plains. The wedding procession arrived at the church at 9 o’clock and, after the marriage ceremony, assisted at the nuptial Mass, Miss Nellie Fitzgerald (Timaru) rendering “Mendelsshon’s Wedding March” on the organ. The bride, who wore an elegant dress of creme silk mixture, trimmed with Brussels lace and ribbons, and a wreath and veil, was given away by her eldest brother, Mr P. Brosnahan, and was attended by Miss Nellie Brosnahan, as chief bridesmaid, who was assisted by Misses Bridget and Katie Brosnahan, the bridesmaid wearing a cream serge dress trimmed with ribbon and hat to match and the assistants were attired in pure white dresses and hats to match. Mr Richard Hoare was best man. The bride’s travelling dress was one of navy serge, trimmed with silk, and tats to match. On going from the Church to the carriage rice fell in abundance on the happy pair. After a drive round, the guests assembled at Mr John Brosnahan’s for the wedding breakfast, about 150 being present, and in the evening about 200; these came from all parts of the district. After full justice had been done to the abundance of good things which bad been provided, Mr J. M. Twomey proposed the health of “The bride and bridegroom,” which he did in most felicitous terms, wishing the newly married couple success and happiness. Mr Glasson, of Timaru proposed the health of “Mr and Mrs Brosnahan,” and his neat speech was brimming with mirth. Mr Brosnahan responded, and thanked those present for their attendance, extending to all a hearty welcome. I might remark that the kindness of the good old couple fully justifies the proverbial Irish hospitality. After the banquet Mr Botterfield photographed the party. During the afternoon the time was spent in all kinds of amusement, and in the evening, after supper, the grand march, headed by the bride and bridegroom, took place at 8 o’clock, and the large assembly indulged in tripping the light fantastic toe for some hours, interspersed with songs and recitations. The presents were very numerous and very nice. The happy couple left for Amberley, their future home, the following day by the express train.1
I love that expression “tripped the light fantastic toe”! A quick internet search reveals it was originally coined by John Milton, in his poem L’Allegro, written in 1645. The Times was using the phrase in that form in 1803.2
After that slight diversion, back to the task at hand. The article seems to be clearly referring to my John Brosnahan and family, with the names of his daughters mentioned being the same as given in his will. Information I noted here:
- a son, “the eldest brother” P. Brosnahan, who was not mentioned in John’s will
- Mary is John’s second daughter
- Nellie, Bridget and Katie (Catherine?) have not yet married
I love the description of the party afterwards – gives a wonderful sense of the convivial atmosphere.
Anyway, time to get searching for Mary’s sisters’ marriages on NZ’s Births, Deaths & Marriages Online, using the spousal surnames discovered in her father’s Will, and these are the most likely ones I found:
- 1898 – Margaret Elizabeth Brosnahan m. Frank Louis Adams3
- 1905 – Ellen [Nellie] Brosnahan m. James Moore4
- 1908 – Kitty [Catherine] Brosnahan m. Richard Connell5
- 1911 – Bridget Brosnahan m. James Thomson6
Could the brother “P. Brosnahan” be Patrick? On John and Hanorah’s gravestone is an inscription for a Leo Brosnahan, “son of Patrick and Nora”.
Looking for possible marriages for Mary’s brothers, this is what I came up with:
- 1898 – Patrick Brosnahan m. Hanoria Toohey7
- 1907 – Thomas William Brosnahan m. Esther Byrne8
- 1915 – Thomas William Brosnahan m. Catherine Rebecca O’Neill9
There is a death in the index for an Esther Brosnahan in 191010, which would tie in with Thomas William remarrying. I couldn’t find a likely marriage for Matthew.
Looking back at John and Hanorah’s gravestone again, there is an inscription for a John Joseph, who died in 1900 at the age of 15. On Papers Past, I found a death notice which confirmed that he was John’s son (and his youngest)11:
Death notice of John Joseph Brosnahan, The Star, 03 Mar 1900, p5
At the very bottom of the gravestone is an inscription to Annie Kleim. She proved to be a bit of a mystery for a while – I could find no record of an Ann(ie) Brosnahan marrying a Kleim.
However, I did (eventually!) find a record of an Annie Orton marrying a Fritz Kliem in 191012, and then a record of an Annie Brosnahan marrying a Bruce Orton in 189813 (they actually appear twice in the index). There was a death entry in the index for a Bruce Orton in 190614, but his age was given as 7 years. Upon checking the Timaru District Council cemetery database, I found a record for a 29 year old Bruce Orton who was buried on December 11th, 1906 in Pleasant Point cemetery.15
So, could this Annie be another child of John and Hanorah’s?
This is how John’s family is shaping up so far:
- John Brosnahan m. Hanorah O’Driscoll
- Patrick m. Hanoria Toohey
- Thomas William m. (1) Esther Byrne, (2) Catherine Rebecca O’Neill
- John Joseph d. 1900
- Annie m. (1) Bruce Orton, (2) Fritz Kleim
- Mary m. Patrick Dennis Hoare
- Margaret m. Frank Louis Adams
- Ellen m. James Moore
- Catherine m. Richard Connell
- Bridget, m. James Thomson
So far, I have come up with ten probable children for John – nearly, but not quite, the twelve as mentioned in his Cyclopedia entry!