Select Brophy Miscellany


Here are some Brophy stories
accounts over the years:


Brophy Early History


Annals of the Four Masters

recorded the death of Gilla Molua O’Brophy of Rath
Tamnaighe in Kilkenny

in 1069; while The
Annals of Ulster
noted that Connor O’Brophy, King of Ceann
Chaille, was
slain by the O’Moore’s in 1165.
Giolla na Naomh O’hUidhrin wrote
in the 14th century that the earliest ancestor
of the Brophys was Sedna, the great-grandson of the semi-legendary
pre-Christian founder of the Kingdom of Ossory.
Their territory comprised the level portion of the barony of
Galmoy in
the county of Kilkenny.  They were driven
from the plain of Magh Sedna into Upper Ossory after the Norman
of Ireland.  Their chief settled at
Ballybrophy near Borris-in-Ossory in county Laois.
William O’Brothe was
appointed the prior of the Augustinian monastery of St. Tigernacius of
Aghamacart in Upper Ossory in 1481. William
is likely to have been the illegitimate son of Philip O’Brothe, abbot of Kilcooly Abbey in Tipperary,
whom Pope
Pius II had legitimized and instructed to be taken on as a monk at the
after his father’s death.
When Florence Fitzpatrick, 3rd Baron Upper Ossory, the
son of the last person to have claim to the kingship of Osraige, was
by Queen Elizabeth in
1601, his
kinsmen, the Brophys and other “old tribesman of Upper Ossory,” were
also mentioned in the pardon. 

Francis Brophy in the Great War

a trench raiding party on November 9, 1916, Francis Brophy
gunshot wounds to the abdomen and died the
same day.   A report on his death
appeared in the Liverpool Evening Express on
December 19.

Francis William Brophy, K.L.R. Signallers, aged 25 of 9 Carver
Street, Liverpool, has been killed in action.
Previous to the war he had been employed at Messrs. Nicholls,
bevellers on Seel Street.   He had
been a
member of the 8th Territorials for a period of eight years.
the outbreak
of hostilities he joined up and during the two years he was in France
he rose
from the rank of private to sergeant.
Three days before his death he gained the Military Medal for
service in
the field.  He was a member of St.Francis
Xavier’s School and Boys Brigade.  He
leaves a widow and child.


Daniel Brophy’s Early Life

Daniel Brophy was born in 1832 at Castlecomer, county
Kilkenny, the youngest son of William Brophy, farmer, and his wife
Margaret. In
the Irish rebellion of 1798 the family estates had been confiscated.  His father escaped to Newfoundland but
returned after fourteen years and regained some of his property.

Daniel was
educated in local schools including one run by Quakers. At 15 he went
with his
family to Quebec in a migrant ship whose passengers were decimated by
fever.  His mother died on the voyage and
his father soon after landing.  Daniel found work in a shipyard
but did
not like
it and entered a grocery warehouse.

Attracted by the Victorian gold discoveries,
he arrived at Melbourne in 1853.  With
four Irish friends he set off for Bendigo on foot.
The party was credited with the first
discovery of payable gold at Taradale.
But by 1855 they had moved to Ballarat.
There Brophy proved himself a shrewd investor in many successful



Frank Brophy and
the Babacomari Ranch

When Frank Brophy acquired the
Babacomari ranch in southern Arizona in 1935, he became the third owner
of this
historic ranch since the King of Spain, four hundred years earlier.

The Upper
Pimas and their ancestors had lived there from prehistoric days until
marauding Apaches drove them into the interior during the 18th century.
the Elias family took possession and built the old fort-like hacienda
1833.  They too had to contend with the
dread Apaches and in time were forced to withdraw into safer territory.  After the Americans established themselves in
Arizona, Dr. Perrin and his brother arrived on the scene.
But it took a legal battle that lasted for
more than a quarter century before he was assured of its ownership.

In 1935,
when the Brophys took over, some fifty years of uncontrolled open range
operation in the area had led to serious overgrazing.
As the grass disappeared and the water holes
dried up, cattle died in the severe drought in such numbers that one
described the skeletons and carcasses extending over miles of country.

decades a quiet war was waged against this erosion of the land.  Dikes and furrows were placed like companies
of soldiers to stop or divert the attacking waters after the summer
sets in.  New grass varieties were seeded
year after year.  Gullies were plugged
and arroyos dammed.  Seeps were turned
into water holes.  New wells were dug and
drainage basins changed from millraces into ponds.

After years of conservation
warfare, peace came again to San Ignacio del Babacomari.
was able to breed and train race horses
there and raise Hereford cattle

Reader Feedback – William Brophy from Limerick to Australia

The William Brophy you mention was my great great
great grandfather.  Research has shown that his original surname
Broggy and that he was tried in Limerick.  I’ve
been trying to trace his origins by following back a Broggy family who
lived around Derrymore, Clare for many years.
traced them back to a Daniel Broggy and
Bridget Finucane.  Daniel was married
prior to 1832 and could have kinown William.


William Brophy
was tried in 1828 and arrived in Australia aboard the Governor Ready
died in 1844.  Further research has
produced new information.

Around 1840 there were at least two William Brophys in
Sydney.  The death record of William
Brophy dying in 1844 and said to have arrived on the Governor Ready
in fact a William Brophy who had arrived on the ship Larkins 2.He
involved in a fight in Sydney and seriously injured and taken to

Superintendent wrote a letter asking who was going to pay for his
treatment.  He
had obviously tried to connect how he arrived in the colony and on the
correspondence recorded that he had arrived on the Governor Ready.
William Brophy died from the wounds it would appear that he has used
information to record his death certificate.  There was no William
Brophy on
board the Governor Ready but a William Broggy.

I thought this death
record in 1844 had provided me with the answer why my forebear Mary
White, who
had been in a de-facto relationship with a William Brophy, had
remarried in
1846 to a John Callinan in Maitland.

But Trove has now produced articles
which show that Mary White and William Brophy were still in a de-facto
in 1845 in Sydney, as there was a court case in which they were
having had a house invasion.  I believe this William Brophy was a
constable in
Sydney around 1837-38.  But I can’t find
what happened to him.

So Mary White
remarried in 1846.  She was married in her maiden name.  Mary
had two
children to William Brophy and then three children to John
Callinan.  I
have followed their story right through.

Merv Webster (


John Brophy, Hockey Coach

is widely regarded as the inspiration for Paul Newman’s character Reg
Dunlop in
the popular 1977 film Slap Shot.

in 1933 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he fought, clawed, brawled, stick
fought, and
bled with the toughest of his era in minor league hockey.
In the almost twenty years that he played, he
was suspended or fined more than seven times for physically and
abusing referees both as a player and as a coach.  He
incited bench-clearing brawls, was
arrested for assault and fought security guards.  When
asked about assaulting officials, Brophy
responded by saying that the incident was “nothing, just a load of

launched his lengthy coaching career initially with Long Island Ducks
1967.   He will be remembered for
the Hampton Roads Admirals to three league championships and
transforming the
franchise into one of the most successful teams in the history of the
Coast Hockey League.

1984 Brophy joined the ranks of the National Hockey
League as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs and succeeded
Maloney as head coach in 1986.  He guided
the Maple Leafs to two playoff berths in 1987 and 1988.
When is career was done he r
anked second only to Scotty Bowman in his victories as a
ice hockey coach


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