Search for content in message boards

Patrick Breen-Donner Party

Patrick Breen-Donner Party

Helen Breen (View posts)
Posted: 932203339000
The Breen's from the Donner Party was my father's Uncle, Aunt, and cousins. I would like to hear from any of my relatives

Donnor Party Breen

J. Breen (View posts)
Posted: 967204225000
Heard a story from my father-n-law that his ancestors were part of the Donnor Party Breens. Possible relatives to you? E-mail me at I'll find out some more info. on relations.

Donner Party Breens

Posted: 971688575000
Edited: 995006567000
I am descended from the Donner Party Breens in the line of Patrick Breen Jr. and have collected information about other descendants. Please contact me by e-mail at; I would be delighted to compare notes.

Re: Patrick Breen-Donner Party

Posted: 997762405000
I'm researching for a friend, who has given me the name of Patrick Breen, born about 1845, married first to Maria Whalen in 1872 (Illinois) and then to her sister Kate in 1888 (Illinois).

I was told that they were the same family as the Donner Party.

Have you anything to share that would add to this info.


Patrick Breen

Posted: 1037122719000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1049142538000
Surnames: Breen,Aylward

I have a Patrick Breen who is the brother of my Great-Grandfather Michael J. Breen. That family settled in McHenry County,IL. near the WI line. I have Patrick's Civil War pension records. He was married (unknown) and moved away. Possibly he moved to Howard County,IA and then further north. My Patrick's parents were Peter and Mary. The family came to IL in1854, I think, and were from County Wexford,Ireland. Any connection ? This is not the Donner party family. joan

Re: Patrick Breen

Donna (View posts)
Posted: 1037134185000
Classification: Query

Thanks for sending your information; however, my Breens lived in NYC. I doubt right now if our families are related.

Take care,


Re: Patrick Breen-Donner Party

J. Mitchell (View posts)
Posted: 1066184257000
Classification: Query
My former wife was a Breen, descended from Patrick H. Breen, born in Ireland and I don't know when, who was married to Maria Whalen. (Caution: many, many Breens and Whalens lived in their county in Ireland.)

From this marriage, I have the name of one child Charles Edward Breen, born maybe about 1880 and probably near Winonah in Illinois. Charles died in 1976 in Iowa. Can you connect with these people? I am collecting family information for my children. Obviously I do not have much information.

I suspect the Donner Party story was an old joke.

Re: Patrick Breen-Donner Party

Judith Guerrero (View posts)
Posted: 1066338609000
Classification: Query
Thanks for the information on Breens. Charles may be a good clue for the next hunt. I'll pass this info along to the friend I was helping and see if she can connect and share anything back. I'm appreciative of what you have shared and anything else that may come to mind re the Breens.

I did search through cemeteries in Wenona and Streator but didn't find the names given me. Now to check out Charles's records. Do you know where in Iowa he died?


Re: Patrick Breen-Donner Party

J. Mitchell (View posts)
Posted: 1066354426000
Classification: Query
Dear Judith,

In the LDS version of the 1880 U.S. census, I find Patric Breene, 36, born in Ireland, married to Maria Breene, 33, born in Ireland, living in Evans, Marshall County, Illinois (p. 341B). They had six children. I am under the impression that the early Breen family moved quite a bit.

My very old notes on this family showed two first names for the Whalen mother of Charles Breen: Maria and Kate. I also find Patrick's two marriages to Whalen women in the Illinois marriage index. I now believe that Maria was Charles' mother but that Kate/Catherine raised Charles. This Irish family was very Catholic; and so far as I know, the Church did not allow a widower to marry his sister-in-law. Whether this marriage rule was always followed or was waived when a man needed a wife to care for his children is beyond me.

According to a copy of a family record from a Breen Bible, Charles Edward Breen was born on September 29, 1880, in Winona, Illinois, son of Patrick H. Breen and Maria Whalen. On January 24, 1911, Charles married Johannah Josephine Collins, born January 22, 1882, in Aspinwall in Crawford County, Iowa, by Rev. M. J. Farrelly in St Rose of Lima Church. I think that the handwriting in this Bible was either Charles' or his wife's.

In 1976, Charles Breen died in Britt, Iowa, where he lived with a grandaughter; he was buried in Ames, Iowa. He was prosperous, generous with his family, and social. He owned a great deal of land in Iowa and one of the Dakotas before the crash of 1929.

Oral family history reported that ther Breens originated in County Clare, Ireland; and one Charles' granddaughters has Clare/Clair as her middle name, supposedly as a memorial to the Breen family in old Ireland. I went to internet records for County Clare and found so many Breens and Whalens that I could not go further in research. Whalen is spelled in a variety of ways.

Do you have a complete list of Patrick Breen's children by both wives? Do you have his parents' names?

Re: Patrick Breen-Donner Party

Judith Guerrero (View posts)
Posted: 1066718438000
Classification: Query
Thank you again for the information. I have no other children mentioned than Charles. I will send the information you have provided to the person asking help and if she has more to offer, I will certainly share the info with you.

per page

Find a board about a specific topic