Arthur O'Brien Bernard


Introduction to the Bernard Family of  Carlow, Laois and Offaly, Ireland

Charles Bernard of Carlow  born circa 1638 - died 1668 (Children: Thomas John and Philip)

Thomas Bernard and Deborah Franks (Children: Charles, Franks, Elizabeth, Joseph and Anne)

Philip Bernard (1668-1721)

Charles Bernard of Laois (Queen’s Co). (Eldest son of Thomas and Deborah)

Franks Bernard of Carlow (Second son of Thomas and Deborah)

Joseph Bernard of Carlow (youngest son of Thomas and Deborah)

Thomas Bernard of Castletown, Offaly (Son of Joseph and Mary)

John Bernard of Carlow (Son of Joseph and Mary)

William Bernard of Carlow (Son of Joseph and Mary)

Thomas Bernard of Carlow (Son of William and Mary)

Arthur O’Brien Bernard of Carlow and the Isle of Man (son of Thomas and Anne)

Bernards of Tullow, Aghade, Newstowne and Rathrush, Co Carlow

Arthur O’Brien Bernard, was the second son of Thomas Bernard and Anne O’Brien and he was my great x3 grandfather. b. 1792, he married Elizabeth Gayer (b. 1791) in 1812. This is the same year that his older brother William married Elizabeth Gayer’s sister, Maria. One wonders if they had a double wedding.

Arthur and Elizabeth Bernard had three children:

  • Maria Frances Bernard born in Carlow 16th Sept 1815. Married Thomas Jackson in Dublin in Nov 13th, 1853. The groom's father was William Jackson.  Arthur O'Brien Bernard and Henry Maddock were witnesses.  Maria and Thomas had two sons and a daughter:
    • Thomas Jackson 1854. Did not marry.
    • Isabella Jackson 1857. Married James Campbell Dreaper in 1879. One witness at the marriage is Samuel Knaggs who is the husband of Rosetta Bernard the half sister of Maria Frances Bernard
    • William Joseph Jackson 1858
In the 1901 Census of Ireland Maria (aged 84)  is a widow, living with her son Thomas in Dublin (his occupation is "traveller"). The address is Sandford Rd, Pembroke West, Dublin. 
Next door is her daughter Isabella Dreaper who is with her husband and children

Maria Frances Jackson died in 1902 aged 85.

  • Arthur O’Brien Bernard (Jr.) 1818 in Carlow
  • John Hamilton Bernard 1820 in Carlow
No further record of the two sons has been found. As Arthur’s first son, by his second wife, was also called Arthur it is probable that his first son died in infancy. It was common practice to call a child by the same name as a previous child who had died.  Elizabeth Bernard died in 1823.

In the 1818 edition of the Carlow Morning Post you can get an idea of life in Carlow at that time.  Arthur and Elizabeth Bernard are mentioned (p7) along with “Miss Gayer” who was most likely to have been Anna as she was living with Elizabeth and Arthur in 1817. Arthur granted an annuity of 32 pounds sterling to Anna Gayer in 1817 (1

Following Elizabeth’s death, in 1823, Arthur married Anna Frances Gayer in 1825 (she was the youngest of the Gayer sisters). The Gayer sisters were the daughters of John Gayer, a Clerk of the Irish Parliament.

Arthur and Anna Frances Bernard had five children:

  • Arthur Thomas Bernard, (born c. 1828, place not known)
  • Standish O’Grady Bernard (born 1829 in the Isle of Man). At age 16 he was "bound" as a merchant navy apprentice seaman. His indenture commenced in April 1847 for 4 years.  He is recorded as desserting three times in 1848. One of these occassions he is in the Dreadnought Seaman's Hospital, England for 12 days (injured ankle). He is listed as an "apprentice from Dublin, aged 15. Height 4'11" at sea for 6 years. Sailing on the Rasselas".
  • Rozetta Bernard (born 9th October 1830 in IoM), baptised 31, Oct 1830 in Onchan. Her birth notice appeared in the newspaper in the Isle of Man in 1830.
birth notice

        Rozetta Bernard married Thomas Doolittle White in 1855, Rozetta and Thomas had three children;
    • Robert Taylor White 1859-1923
    • Anna Frances White 1861-1925
    • Rosetta Thomasina White 1863-1939. Married Adam Couser in 1892. Two children:
      • Violet Mignon Couser who migrated to USA and became a teacher. She died in a fire in Philadelphia in 1965.
      • Adelaide Rose Couser

                Thomas White died in 1867. Rozetta (Bernard) White re-married to Samuel Frederick Knaggs. And had                 a daughter

    • Martha Drought Knaggs in 1868

 “15 Feb 1867,Samuel Frederick,KNAGGS, Rose WHITE née BERNARD, Dublin North, Samuel full bachelor apothecary's assistant 21 North Cumberland Street (father George hardware merchant), Rose (later Rosetta) full widow (father Arthur O'Brien Bernard captain in Army), Lic, wit Richard Knaggs"


  • Anna Frances Bernard (born 1832 in IoM) baptised in Malew, 22nd July 1832.  Married in 1851 Henry Hutton Maddock, son of Joseph Maddock (lawyer) and Mary Gunning of Dublin.

“At Dublin, Henry Maddocks, esq., to Anna Frances, daughter of Arthur O'Brien Bernard, esq., of Carlow, and Mount Bernard, Isle of Man.”   The Annual Register.

              The children of  Anna Frances Bernard and Henry Hutton Maddock

  • Harriett Bernard (born 2nd August 1834)



Arthur O’Brien Bernard owned property in the Isle of Man (possibly inherited from his father). At least three of his children were born there.

By 1830 Arthur and Anna Bernard were seriously in debt. Two attorneys from Ireland came to arrange a transfer of the Balladhoo Farm to a trust for Anna Frances Bernard and to address the debts to creditors.  The Attorney William Trail was a cousin of Anna Frances (Gayer) Bernard

"Whereas by indenture bearing the date 26th day of May 1830 made between Thomas Lorey therein described in the first part, William Trail and Fortescue Gregg therein also described of the second part,  take Arthur O’Brien Bernard and Anna Frances Bernard his wife therein also described in the third part All that and those the lands of Balladhoo therein and herein after more particularly described were conveyed to the said William Trail and Fortescue Gregg to hold the same unto and to the use of them the said William Trail and Fortescue Gregg they paying the yearly the lands rent and all the customary dues incumbent thereupon the trust to permit and suffer the said Anna Frances Bernard to occupy and enjoy the said land and to receive the rents, issues and profits for her sole and separate use....."

 “Douglas the 23rd of October 1830  It may here be observed, that the said Arthur O’Brien Bernard and Anna Frances his wife having contracted several debts, and a bill having been filed in the Court of the Chancery for the aforesaid estate of Ballydhoo for the payment of said debts, whereupon the said William Trail and Fortescue Gregg went to the Isle of Man for the purpose of affecting an arrangement with said Creditors, and the following indenture was thereupon entered into between the said parties, in manner following.” 

[Information found in a document was discovered in the attic of a Bernard descendant.  The document appears to be excerpts from various deeds relating to the property called Balladhoo. The document is misssing several pages]

Troubles seem to have continued as, in 1832 Arthur O'Brien Bernard is imprisoned for failure to pay his debts.

Debtors notice 1832

A  notice appeared over 12 months later and is evidence that Arthur spent at least 13 month is debtor's prison.

debtors notice

In August 1833 Arthur O'Brien Bernard was discharged on the understanding that his property would be "assigned" to benefit his creditors.

debtor notice 1833

William Traill and Fortescue Gregg, Irish attorneys went to the  Isle of Man and secured an Indenture dated 7th of June 1833 which allowed the debts to be paid.

"Whereas by indenture bearing the date of the 7th day of June 1833 made between the said William Trail and Fortescue Gregg Trustees as xxx of the one part Charles Scott and Co., Charles Scott,  William Duff and Co., Thomas Gelling, Robert Cribbon, John Cain and John  Stephens all of the Town of Douglas and creditors of the said Arthur O’Brien Bernard and Anna Frances Bernard of other part. It was agreed between the several parties thereto that said lands should be let or lease for any term of years not exceeding 21 years that the yearly rents of said lands reserved by the said lease should be applied for the benefit of one Mr. William Stephenson therein named and of the creditors of the said Arthur O’Brien Bernard and Anna Frances Bernard"

In 1840 there is a record of an Irish Chancery Court case where Anna Frances Bernard is the plaintiff in a case against her husband, Arthur O'Brien Bernard and his solicitors William Trail and Fortescue Gregg. The case appears to have been dismisssed in 1846. Note: the Chancery Court records are from an index of cases and do not contain any details of a case.

Ch Ct 1840

In the census of 1841 the Bernards are living at Mount Bernard in Lonan, Isle of Man:
(None of the ages stated in the Census are correct)
  • Arthur (45), (birth year 1792, age in 1841 was 49)
  • Anna (30), (birth year 1801, age in 1841 was 40)
  • "Mariah" (20), (born in 1819 to Arthur O'Brien Bernard and his first wife, Elizabeth. So age was 22 not 20)
  • Rosetta (8), (birth year 1830, was 11 in 1841)
  • Anna (7) (birth year 1832, was 9 in 1841)
  • Harriet (5). (birth year  1834, was  7  in 1841)
It is probable that the two boys, Arthur (13) and Standish (12) were away at school. Mount Bernard was next door to Balladhoo, a property later belonging to first Arthur Bernard and then to Henry Hutton Maddock. None of the Bernard family is shown in the Isle of Man census in 1851. Standish was in the Merchant Navy and Thomas had left for parts unknown. As Rozetta married in 1855 it is probable that the family had returned to Dublin at the time of the 1851 census.

In 1844 a notice appears in an Isle of Man newspaper advertising the property of Balladhoo "to let by Public Auction"

sale of Balladhoo

By 1854 the Bernard family had returned to Ireland and was living in Dublin. The property "Balladhoo" was still in the hands of the Bernards and in an 1855 document, dated Jan 1st  the Balladhoo estate was sold to Henry Hutton Maddock, husband of Anna Frances (Bernard) Maddock

In 1856 Standish O'Grady Bernard, youngest son of Arthur and Anna, who was not present at the signing of the 1854 document because he was in Kildare, signed a Release.

On January 9th of 1855 a deed was drawn up to sell the the same property to Mary Maddock for £200.   Mary Maddock was the mother of Henry Maddock and mother-in-law of Anna Frances (Bernard) Maddock.

Further information about transactions concerning the Balladhoo estate are shown in my Maddock family line

Arthur O'Brien Bernard died in North Dublin on Sept. 1st 1872 aged 80. Notice in Carlow Post, September, 1872

Death AOB

Anna Frances (Gayer) Bernard died about 1875 in Dublin. She would have been about 73.

That is the end of my exploration of the Bernard family. If anyone reading this would liketo make a contribution, please contact me (email address at bottom this page)

Registry of Deeds: Vol #, Page #, Memorial #
(1)   Memorial  735/579/501514. Image # 278

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