This is a photo of my great-grandfather, Garret Brady. He is my favorite ancestor. I first became interested in genealogy due to Garret. When I was studying the Civil War in high school, my father mentioned that Garret had fought in the Civil War, and showed me copies of Garret’s service record and his widow’s pension file. I have been learning about Garret ever since.
Family tradition states that Garret Brady came from County Mayo, Ireland, but I have found no proof of that. Garret came to America at the age of 17 aboard the Isaac Webb. He arrived at the port of New York on 9 June 1854. Garret settled in Newark, New Jersey. He served an apprenticeship in the leather trade. In 1858, Garret joined the Erina Guard, a militia organization in Newark. In 1859, he became a U.S. citizen.
With the beginning of the Civil War, Garret’s militia unit volunteered as a whole. Garret mustered in on 27 May 1861, becoming a 1st lieutenant of Company C, 2nd New Jersey Volunteers.
During his military career, Garret reached the rank of captain. During one recruiting trip to Newark in 1862, Garret married Mary Ann Bestick. She was the daughter of Timothy and Ellen (McSorley) Bestick, at whose house in Newark Garret had been a boarder. Garret was wounded and captured at Spotsylvania Court House on 14 May 1864. The exact details of Garret’s injury and imprisonment are not known, due to conflicting data from various sources.
War took a heavy toll on Garret Brady. He returned to Newark from the war in significantly worse physical condition than when he enlisted. After the war, Garret continued to be associated with the leather manufacturing business. He and a partner, John Nugent, formed the business of Nugent & Brady, located in New York, New York.
Garret died on 18 July 1886 at his home at 143 Academy Street, Newark. The cause of his death was phthisis pulmonalis. His funeral was held at St. John’s Church. He was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange, New Jersey. Members of the Lincoln Post G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) and Morocco Dressers’ Association attended. (Additional details and sources available upon request.)
I am a genealogist with over 30 years experience. I have been researching my own family history since 1974, and I did client research for several years. I hope to have more time for research and blogging in 2014 than I have had in the last few years.