© Christopher Earls Brennen


The records indicate a fairly extensive family of Brennans centered in the townland of Ballynarry, parish of Tartaraghan, County Armagh. They belonged to the Church of Ireland. The townland of Clonmakate is about half a mile to the north and Milltown is about three miles away on the shores of Lough Neagh. The 1740 Hearth Money Roll or list of householders for the parish of Derrynuse, County Armagh includes Murta Breinan and John Branan. The family history begins with two men by the name of William Brennan and Robert Brennan who may well have been brothers:

  1. William Brennan was born in the late 1700s, early 1800s. The possible children of William Brennan:
    1. Robert Brennan was born about 1830. On Jul.12, 1851, in the Church of Milltown, Robert Brennon, full age, bachelor, weaver, of Ballinary (father: William Brennon, pensioner) was married to Jane Kennedy, full age, spinster, of Ballinary (father: Robert Kennedy, weaver). Robert Brannon is listed in the 1901 Census as a 72-year-old farmer (born in County Armagh) in Ballynary living with his 68-year-old wife Jane and two of their children. They belonged to the Church of Ireland. Also listed in the 1901 census as living with Robert and Jane is a 17-year-old grandson, Robert Haugh, an unmarried domestic labourer. The children of Robert and Jane:
      1. Martha Ann Brennan was born about 1862 and is listed in the 1901 Census as an unmarried 36-year-old linen weaver living with her parents in Ballynary.
      2. Robert John Brennan was born on Jan.1, 1864, in Ballynarry.
      3. Amelia Brennan was born on Dec.4, 1864, in Ballynarry. She is listed in the 1901 Census as an unmarried 34-year-old linen weaver living with her parents in Ballynary.
      4. Elizabeth Brennan was born on Jul.15, 1867, in Ballynarry.
      5. Robert Brennan was born on Jul.26, 1869, in Ballynarry.
    2. William Brennan was born about 1825 in County Armagh. Townland of Ballynary, Parish of Tartaraghan, County Armagh. A farm labourer, he married a woman named Eliza, born about 1827 in County Armagh. In the 1901 Census, William and Eliza Brennan are listed as a 76-year-old farm labourer and his 74-year old wife living in the townland of Ballynary, parish of Tartaraghan with their 35-year-old son, Thomas (an unmarried farm laborer) and their 10-year-old granddaughter, Elizann Brennan. The children of William and Eliza Brennan:
      1. Thomas Brennan was born in County Armagh about 1866 and is listed as an unmarried, 35-year-old labourer in the 1901 Census.
      2. a son who had a daughter, Elizann Brennan who was born in County Armagh about 1891 and is listed as a 10-year-old scholar in the 1901 Census.

      Possible additional children of the above William and Eliza Brennen are:

        Martha Brannen about 1919Elizabeth Vennard
        (courtesy of Jackie Gausden)
        (courtesy of Margaret Jardine)
        Elizabeth Vennard, William Vennard, William Vennard & Irene Floyd
        Mary Wasson and Thomas Scott about 1926.
        (courtesy of Margaret Jardine)
        (courtesy of Margaret Jardine)
      1. William Brannen was born about 1845. On Oct. 9, 1868, in the Church of Milltown, County Armagh, William Brannon, 23, bachelor, labourer, of Ballynarry (father: William Brannon, farmer) was married to Martha Proctor, 24, spinster, of Ballynarry (father: George Proctor, farmer). He signed, she made her mark. William must have died before the turn of the century for Martha Brennen is listed in the 1901 Census as a 55-year-old widowed linen weaver (Church of Ireland) resident in the townland of Clonmacate, parish of Tartaraghan with three of her children as indicated below. The children of William and Martha:
        1. Elizabeth Brannen was born on Jul.10, 1869, in Ballynarry. She married Thomas Henry Vennard, born Nov.27, 1869, in Cloncore, parish of Tartaraghan. They belonged to the Church of Ireland and had 8 children. The children of Thomas and Elizabeth Vennard:
          1. Martha Jane Vennard was born on Mar.8, 1897, in Cloncore and on Mar.26, 1920, in St. Mark's Church, Tartaraghan, married Samuel Taylor (born in 1900). They had at least six children:
            1. Hilda Taylor married Bernard Tiernan in Manchester, Connecticut, USA.
            2. ? Taylor married James McNally in Hartford, Connecticut, USA.
            3. ? Taylor married William Ford.
            4. Sarah Taylor
            5. Alexander Taylor
            6. Stephen Taylor
          2. William John Vennard was born on Sep.15, 1898, in Cloncore. He married Mary Wasson and they lived in The Birches, Portadown. Their children:
            1. William James Vennard was born on Dec.5, 1928, in Lisburn. He married Irene Floyd and died on Jan.2, 2006. They had three children, Margaret Vennard who married a man named Jardine ( and has two daughters, and John William Vennard who has twins, Jack William Vennard and Ellie Carson Vennard, born on Oct.25, 2006, and Norman Sidney Vennard, who has a daughter.
            2. Lesley Vennard who had two sons, John and Colin Vennard.
            3. John Vennard who had three children:
              1. Gary Vennard
              2. Keith Vennard who lives in Kesh, County Fermanagh, and has 3 children, Amy Rose, Jodie May and Jonny Christopher Vennard.
              3. Nicola Vennard.
            4. Thomas Vennard who lives in Armagh.
            5. three other daughters.
          3. Elizabeth Maria Vennard was born on Mar.19, 1900, in Cloncore and, in 1931, married Thomas Scott in Portadown. They had no children.
          4. Mary Ada Vennard was born on Jul.28, 1901, in Cloncore and married George Armstrong in Portadown.
          5. Thomas George Vennard was born on Dec.6, 1902, in Cloncore and married Margaret Jane Trainor in Seagoe. They lived in Armagh. Thomas died on Jan.18, 1964, and Margaret on Jul.5, 1994. Their children:
            1. James Henry Vennard was born in 1944 and Married Gwen Abraham. James died in 1992. Their children:
              1. Marion Vennard was born on Mar.9, 1968 and married Jonathan McKinley. They have a child Matthew McKinley.
              2. Julie Vennard married Anrew Boyd and has two children, Lauryn and Alex Boyd.
              3. Thomas Vennard married Janice Blackburn and they have 3 children, Owen Vennard and twins Ryan and James Vennard.
            2. George Vennard married Edith Baird and they had 5 children, Thomas Paul, Philip, Stephen, David and Ruth Vennard.
            3. Margaret Jennifer Vennard married Samuel John Harrison and they had 3 children Samuel John, Margaret Elaine and Thomas Alan Harrison. They live on the original family farm.
          6. Sarah Anne Vennard was born on Jul.27, 1904, in Cloncore. She lived in Armagh.
          7. Edna Maud Vennard was born on Jul.14, 1906, lived in Armagh and did not marry. She died in 1935.
          8. Moses Henry Vennard was born on May 9, 1908, in Cloncore and emigrated to the USA. He died in Jul. 1975 at 12758 Livingston Manor, Sullivan, New Tork.
        2. William Brannen was born on Jan.25, 1871, in Ballynarry.
        3. Martha Brannen was born on Feb.8, 1873, in Ballynarry. Her father is now listed as a weaver. Martha is listed in the 1901 Census as a 28-year-old unmarried linen weaver living with her mother in Clonmacate.
        4. William Brennan was born in 1875 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 26-year-old unmarried agricultural labourer living with his mother in Clonmacate.
        5. Jane Brannen was born on Jan.30, 1875, in Ballynarry.
        6. Stewart Brannen was born on Apr.4, 1876, in Ballynarry.
        7. George Brannen was born on Jul.11, 1878, in Derrylard. He is listed in the 1901 Census as a 21-year-old unmarried agricultural labourer living with his mother in Clonmacate. George emigrated to the USA and married a woman named Annie about 1920, in Manchester, Conneticut, USA. They had no children, George died in Feb. 1966 in Paterson, Passaic County, New Jersey.
        8. Mary Jane Brannen was born on Aug.11, 1881, in Clonmakate. She is listed in the 1901 Census as a 19-year-old unmarried linen weaver living with her mother in Clonmacate. About 1925, she married William Robinson. They had no children. Mary Jane died about 1955 in Portadown, Co. Armagh.
      2. Elizabeth Brannen was born about 1852. On Apr.17, 1874, in Tartaraghan Presbyterian Church, Armagh, Elizabeth A. Brennan, 22, spinster, of Ballinarry (father: William Brennan, farmer) was married to Matthew Forbes, 24, bachelor, labourer, of Clonmacate (father: James Forbes, farmer). Elizabeth and Matthew lived in Clonmacate and belonged to Tartaraghan Presbyterian Church. They had children:
        1. Eliza Forbes was born in 1876.
        2. Margret Ann Forbes was born in 1881.
        3. Matthew Forbes was born in 1883.
        4. Martha Jane Forbes was born in 1886.
        5. Emily Forbes was born in 1891.

  1. Robert Brennan was born around 1800. The tithe applotment book of about 1835 for Tartaraghan, County Armagh, lists Robert Brennan with 9 acres, 2 roods and 16 perches in the townland of Derryaugh (a subdenomination of Ballinary). The children of Robert Brennan:
    1. Martha Brannen was born about 1830. In 1847, in the Church of Milltown, Martha Brannen, 17, spinster, of Ballynarry (father: Robert Brannen, farmer) was married to Arthur Mercer, 21, bachelor, labourer, of Clonmakate (father: Arthur Mercer, farmer). He made his mark, she signed. Robert Brannen was a witness. Their daughter:
      1. Amelia Mercer was born on Jan.7, 1864, in Ballynarry. Her father is listed as a laborer.
    2. Samuel Brannen was born Samuel Brennon, widower, labourer, of Derryene (father: Robert Brennon, farmer) to Margaret Trelford, widow of Clonmacarty (father; Jome Tiffery(?), farmer) on Aug.3, 1848, in the Church of Milltown, district of Lurgan, Co.Armagh. He signed, she made her mark.
    3. Sarah Brannen was born about 1833. On Aug.17, 1854, in the District Church, parish of Milltown, Sarah Brannin, full age, spinster, of Ballinarry (father: Robert Brannin, farmer) was married to Robinson Taggart, full age, bachelor, weaver, of Ballinarry (father: Moses Taggart, farmer). Robert Brannin was a witness.

  1. Robert Brennan was born around 1870 in County Armagh. He married a woman named Martha Stevenson and they are listed in the 1901 Census as 31-year-old farmer and his wife (same age), residents of Ballynary and members of the Church of Ireland. Living with them are Martha's 71-year-old father James Stevenson, a widowed linen weaver and two of their children as follows:
    1. Martha Jane Brennan was born about 1895 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 6-year-old scholar living with her parents in Ballynary.
    2. Mary Amelia Brennan was born about 1897 and is listed in the 1901 Census as a 4-year-old living with her parents in Ballynary.
    3. Robert Brannen, full age, bachelor, farmer, of Ballinary (father: Robert Brennan, farmer) to Ethel Mary McClelland, full age, spinster, of Derryadd (father: James McClelland, farmer) on Dec.14, 1934, in Tartaraghan Presbyterian Church.

Last updated 3/16/04.

Christopher E. Brennen