Name: Adam O'Brien 1 2
Birth: 1727 in Bath Co., VA
ALIA: /John Adam O'Bryan/
Reference Number: 11466
Death: 1836 in Roane Co., WV
Adam O'Brien, (1727-1836) one of the first settlers in what is now WV, came to the West Fork of the Monongahela around 1756. In 1763, he defied the order of the King of England and was one of the early settlers West of the Blue Ridge mountains. Sutton's "History of Braxton County and Central WV" states that a Capt. G.F. Taylor reported in a letter to a newspaper that Adam O'Brien was disappointed in a love affair with Isabel Burgoyne, the only daughter of Revolutionary General Burgoyne. Whatever his reasons, Adam certainly wandered over a large portion of what was to become central WV. In the "Journal of the Braxton Historical Society" for September 1983, Virginia Carr states that Adam was living on the Potomac River in 1747 as a landowner. Adam later served as an Indian scout and told an interviewer that he was at the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. Adam was on a list of malitia paid at Romney Virginia in 1775. Adam was granted 400 acres of land on the West Fork River in Harrison County and 400 acres on Lost Creek. F.J. Baxter's "Notes of Braxton County"states that Adam O'Brien assisted in making the first survey of that county in 1784. Carr states that Adam moved all his family except his wife from Harrison County to what is now Braxton County WV in 1795, and they lived at the present site of Sutton, WV.
Withers'"Chronicles of Border Warfare" states that Adam O'Brien was somewhat responsible for the Indian attack on Benjamin Carpenter family in 1798. Withers alleges that the Indians followed trails blazed by O'Brien and discovered the Carpenter settlement. Withers says that Adam was, "...rather an indifferent woodsman, incautiously blazed trails in several directions...". This sounds unreasonable in
light of the fact that Adam survived to over 100 years of age.
About 1800, the O'Brien family moved to the West Fork of the
Little Kanawha River in what is now Calhoun County WV. Shortly after
he moved to the West Fork, Adam and Mike Fink were attacked by
Indians. Fink was killed, but Adam escaped to return a few days later
and bury Mike Fink and an Indian side by side.
O'Brien had at least four wives and many children. Icie Barsatti
states that at one time, Adam had a wife and family on Steer Creek,
Braxton County, Virginia (WV) and another on O'brion Creek in what is
now Clay County, WV. His third wife died of exposure after she was
evicted from a cabin on land claimed by O'Brien years before.
In the May 1838 issue of "The Southern Literary Messenger" an
anonymous writer reports and encounter with Adam O'Brien in Preston
County VA (WV) at "Gandy's, far famed as being the worst house on the
road." The reporter told of a conversation with Adam during the
course of an evening in which Adam stated that he was nintey three
years old. Adam was on his way to Clarksburg to "ferret out a land
title". Adam said that he had walked the distance of about 125 miles
from Kanawha County at the rate of about 25 miles a day. Adam further
told the reporter that his youngest child was a year old and that his
oldest was 64. He recounted his loss of his third wife because of
exposure after they were evicted from a cabin while his wife was ill.
"One of these here speculators had brought suit against me for my
settlement, and what with bad management and hard swearing and
perjury, he gained it." "And the sheriff came one snowy day in
January, with a writ of possession to turn me out, and out we went."
"I took my poor wife to an old cabin that had but half a roof on, and
she never came out of it until she came out a corpse."
Poet-historian, Colonel John L. Cole, once related a story
told by Ephraim Bee, who had spent considerable time in a section,
then a comparative wilderness, a neighbor to Adam O'Brien and Peter
McCune. According to Bee, O'Brien's general complaint was of the
advent of preachers, sheriffs, and lawyers into the area; he however
made one exception, this was Rev. Barnabas Cook, who was one of the
noted characters of his day. Bee related how a time came when the
minister had to separate from his flock, and for the occasion,
composed a valedictory hymn, in which he referred to all members of
the congregation. In part, it ran as follows:
So fare-ye-well Adam O'Brien.
And good-by Peter McCune,
If one jump don't take us to heaven,
Light, and take a new jump from the moon.
Only two of the names of Adam's various wives is presently
available, Elizabeth ----, mother of Margaret, and Margaret,
mother of Timothy.
Known children of Adam O'Brien.
2. (1). Adam Jr.
3. (2). Thursley
4. (3). Christina b.c. 1767
m.Peter McCune Jan 13 1781
5. (4). Mary "Polly" b.c. 1770
m.Thomas Cottrell Sr.
6. (5). Daniel b.c. 1770
m.Hannah Norris Feb 16 1815
7. (6). Rachel
m.John Wright Nov 21 1821
8. (7). Eyrean
Children of Adam and Elizabeth O'Brien.
9. (1). John b.c. 1800
10. (2). Margaret b.Mar 1804 d.May 13 1877
Children of Adam and Margaret O'Brien.
11. (3). Timothy b. 1806 d.Apr 6 1882
Katherine Christine Westbrook b: ABT 1728 in WV
- Adam O'Brien Jr. b: AFT 1745
- Thursley O'Brien b: AFT 1746
- Eyrean O'Brien b: AFT 1748
- Christina O'Brien b: 1767 in Harrison Co., VA
- Mary Catherine O'Brien b: ABT 1768 in Harrison Co., VA
- Daniel O'Brien b: ABT 1770
- Title: Leigh Marvin
- Title: http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvcalhou/obrien-adam.txt