Thursday, November 03, 2011


While working on the last blog post about my Dunham cousins buried right here
in Abington (which I posted waaaaay back in August!) I came across the name
Patrick O'Brien. as the husband of Worthy Dunham's youngest sister Lydia
Howard  Dunham. So I wasn't surprised to find the O'Brien family buried a few
feet away from Worthy's family.

The inscription reads:
Patrick O'Brien-1834-1879 Aged 45 years
Lydia H. His Wife 1834-1932 Aged 98 years
Angie F. daughter 1854-1930 Aged 76 years
Mansfield S. O' Brien 1868-1848 aged 79 years
Winifred E. His Wife  1883
Delia H. 1862-1864
Helen Florence Cole 1875-1916 Aged 41 years
Leonard M. 1904 Aged 3 days

What I hadn't realized was just how prominent a family this was.
Patrick O'Brien had been born in Ireland and emigrated to America
where he ended up here in Abington at a period when both the
shoe factories and the Irish population were booming. That's probably

how Patrick met Lyudia Dunham, through business dealings in the
shoe industry with Worthy Dunham or another of the male Dunhams.
The fact that a young Irishman was able to marry the daughter of
a Protestant New England family was an indicator of the changes
in the Massachusetts society in the Industrial Age.

Patrick and Lydia were married on 4Oct 1853. Besides the three
children buried with them there were four other O'Brien children.
Here's the full family as given in The Dunham Genealogy (p169):

LYDIA H., b. Oct. 17, 1834; m. Oct. 4, 1853; Patrick O'Brien,
of Abing"ton. Issue, b. Abington : 218. I. — Angeline Frances O'Brien;
b. Aug. 15, 1854; milliner, Abington. 219. II. — William Smith, b.
Aug. 16, 1856; boot and shoe heel manufacturer, Abington, Mass. 220.
HI. — Delia Hammond, b. Dec. 22, 1862; d. July 23, 1864. 221. IV. —
Robert Lincoln, b. Sept. 14, 1865, Washington, D. C. ; journalist. 222.
v.— Mansfield, b. 1867. 223. VI.— Charles, b. April, 1870. 224. VII.
— Ellen, b. July, 1872. 

Of the children, two had illustrious careers. William S O'Brien had a
successful shoe heel manufacturing company and was a president of
the Abington National Bank. His brother Robert Lincoln Dunham was
even more prominent, being a Harvard University graduate, a secretary
\of President Grover Cleveland and eventually became Editor in Chief of
the Boston Transcript newspaper.

I'll have to check around Mt Vernon Cemetery to see if I can find any
of the other O'Brien children buried there.

Meanwhile, I'd found another member of the Dunham family buried
a bit further away from the others as I'll explain in the next post in this

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