Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
Old name Ballymurchoe (Irish name: Baile Uí Mhurchú),
Patrick Breen was from near Ballymurphy. He was born in 1795 and in 1846 to 1847 himself and his family were part of 87 pioneers in America who set off on a wagon train for California and found themselves trapped by snow in teh Sierra Nevda. They were called the Donner Party volunteers- named after George Donner, their leader. Patrick Breen from Ballymurphy brought his wife and seven children and they all survived. Of the 87 pioneers on this journey, 39 died. Patrick Breen kept a diary of his time. It was reported that some of the people who survived did so by eating the flesh of their dead companions and the indian guides. They were trying to find a faster route across Utah and Nevada. The Breens ended up living in California in a place called San Juan Bautista, California.
Source: Turtle Bunbury c.2013