Buffalo Tour of the O'Brian Family History

Van Rensselaer Street. Thomas J. O'Brian came to Buffalo from County Sligo, Ireland in 1850 and lived here. He came over with Mary McCarrick and they were married in 1851. Thomas worked for a tailor before establishing his own business. They probably lived here when all seven of their children were born. They left in the 1870's.

100 Seneca Street. Thomas opened his own business called O'Brian and Sons Merchant Tailors in the early 1860's, which was established here and run by the entire family. During the 1870's the family moved from Van Rensselaer Street to this address above the tailor shop. Thomas retired from the business in the 1880's and it was then taken over by Thomas J., Jr. and Martin J. The business was still at this address at the time of Thomas J. Sr.'s death in 1904. At some subsequent time the business was also at 208 Seneca Street and 48 Eagle Street in downtown. Thomas J. Sr. lived at 291 Niagara Street at the time of his death.

610 Niagara Street. Thomas Sr.'s eldest son John Mortimer married Winifred M. O'Brien in 1885 and lived at 85 Prospect Street for one year before moving here. John was involved in the family tailor business, and they had three sons, John J. Jr., William J. and Thomas F. John died of typhoid fever in 1890. By 1905, Winifred's mother, Margaret Hanrahan O'Brien, had moved in with the family.

597 Crescent Avenue. Winifred subsequently lived at 193 Massachusetts Ave. and 82 Wellington Road before moving here in about 1926. In the 1940's she moved in with her son William's family at 225 Wellington Road.

209 Linden Avenue. William J. worked in the family tailor business run by his uncle, Martin J., but by 1924 had become an insurance agent. In 1915 he married Claire Mercedes Mohn and lived here for about one year.

904 Lafayette Avenue. William and Claire moved into a duplex here in 1916. Margaret M., William J., Jr., Robert L. were born here.

874 Lafayette Avenue. The growing William and Claire family moved here in 1924-25(?). Claire M. (I think) Winifred M. (Happy) and Eleanor M. were born here.

143 Oxford Avenue. The William and Claire family moved here in about 1933 after losing the home on Lafayette during the Depression. They rented this house for $50 per month. Claire rented rooms for $1 per night.

Lafayette High School. Bill Jr., Bob and Claire graduated from here.

Nardin Academy. Peggy, Happy, Eleanor graduated from here. Claire attended for 2 yrs.

225 Wellington Road. William Sr. and Claire moved here in the 1940's and lived here until their deaths in 1966.William's mother, Winifred, lived here until her death in 1952.