Patrick Breen (c.1795 - 1868)

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Birthplace: Barnashasken, Co., Carlow, Ireland
Death: Died in San Juan Bautista, San Benito Co, CA.
Managed by: Elizabeth-Gaye Jeans
Last Updated:

About Patrick Breen

In Patrick Breen’s first diary entry, from November 20th, he wrote: “We now have killed most part of our cattle, having to stay here until next spring and live on poor beef without bread or salt.”

On November 30th, Patrick Breen wrote: “Snowing fast…about 4 or 5 feet deep, no drifts. Looks…likely to continue…no living thing without wings can get about.” Then, the next day: “Difficult to get wood. No going from the house. Completely housed up.”

Although they didn’t know it, the Donner Party was experiencing one of the worst and earliest winters in the recorded history of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Warm, moist air from the Pacific Ocean had sped across the California mainland, colliding with cold, dry air in the mountains. This led initially to a rain/snow mix, followed by drier snow that accumulated to ski-slope depths. While these sorts of weather patterns are not uncommon in the Sierra Nevada, they don’t usually happen as early as they did in 1846, or with the same intensity.

Snow continued to fall through the following days. On December 13th, Breen noted that it was now about eight feet deep on level ground.

http://serene-musings.blogspot.com/2009/11/tragedy-in-sierra-nevada-part-iv.html

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/WWbreenP.htm

http://user.xmission.com/~octa/DonnerParty/Breen.htm

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/r/a/v/Alice-Raven/GENE16-0003.html

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Patrick Breen, Donner Party's Timeline

1795
1795
Barnashasken, Co., Carlow, Ireland
1832
1832
Age 37
Ontario, Canada
1833
1833
Age 38
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
1837
1837
Age 42
Keokuk, Lee Co., IA
1838
1838
Age 43
Keokuk, Lee, IA, USA
1841
1841
Age 46
Keokuk, Lee Co., IA
1843
1843
Age 48
Keokuk, Lee Co., IA
1845
1845
Age 50
1845
Age 50
Keokuk, Lee Co., IA
1849
1849
Age 54