My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

EDWARD F. BRITT, deceased, for many years a well known personality in the business circles of Philadelphia, having been endowed with rare business genius, keen discernment, sound judgment and executive ability, was born at Guelph, Wellington county, Province of Ontario, Dominion of Canada, May 16, 1845, a son of Benjamin and Leonora (Nooman) Britt, and a descendant of an English lineage. Edward Britt (grandfather) was born in county Tipperary, Ireland. He obtained his education in the schools of his native county, and for many years thereafter was engaged in linen weaving, thus being enabled to provide a comfortable home for his family, which consisted of his wife, Mary (Wright) Britt, and twelve children.

Benjamin Britt (father), youngest child of Edward and Mary (Wright) Britt, was a native of county Tipperary, Ireland. After completing his education he became a shoe manufacturer, continuing as such until 1835, when he emigrated with his wife and one child to Guelph, Dominion of Canada, where he engaged in the same line of work up to the time of his death in the year 1856. He was a man of education and culture, and possessed excellent business ability. His wife, Leonora (Nooman) Britt, bore him two sons and three daughters, as follows: Catharine, deceased, who was the wife of John Shea; Dennis, deceased; Sarah, wife of Michael Kelly, of Carthage, Missouri; Edward F., mentioned hereinafter; Mary, wife of James B. Hallohan, an electrician of Chicago, Illinois.

Edward F. Britt obtained a good education in the schools of Guelph, and after laying aside his school books learned the trade of dyer, which he followed for some years in Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1871 he located in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, where he had secured employment with George Bullock & Company as manager of the dyeing department of their extensive works, a position which he held twelve years. In 1883, having decided to engage in business on his own account, he formed a partnership with James M. Kennedy, under the firm name of Kennedy & Britt, and they located their establishment at the corner of Mascher and Jefferson streets, Philadelphia. In 1889 Mr. Kennedy died and Mr. Britt purchased the interest of his partner in the establishment from his heirs, and conducted the same until his demise, it being one of the largest of its kind in the city. His business was that of a general finisher and dyer, taking the goods direct from the mills and manufactories and shipping them according to directions after they were dyed and finished.

Mr. Britt was pre-eminently a self-made man, of strong convictions, which he defended with the utmost confidence in their final triumph. He was ever alert in behalf of the interests of the community in which he lived, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of all his neighbors, without reference to their party or church affiliations, He served twenty-one years as school director, and several of his terms as president of the board. He was untiring in his efforts to improve the schools. He was burgess of the borough for three successive terms, in the last being elected by the unanimous vote of both parties. He endeavored for many years to have a bridge built over the Reading Railroad tracks at that place during his official connection therewith, and it was owing to his sturdy fight that the trolley franchise was refused to a company who did not offer an equivalent for its value. He was president of the Rising Sun Building and Loan Association, treasurer of the Tradesmen’s Saving Fund and Loan Association, and a director of the First National Bank of Conshohocken. His financial ability brought him in contact with many institutions in which his advice was sought and accepted. He was uniformly successful in his undertakings, his sound sense and good judgment aiding him materially on every subject to which he gave his attention.

Mr. Britt married, at Fitchburg, Massachusetts, March 10, 1867, Mary Kelly, who was born at Cavendish, Vermont, November 2, 1845, the only daughter in a family of six children born to James and Elizabeth (Highland) Kelly, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The children of Edward F. and Mary (Kelly) Britt are: Edward D., a prominent member of the Norristown and Philadelphia bars, and for several years burgess of West Conshohocken; Benjamin T.; Dr. Albert J., a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, who was resident physician of Charity Hospital, Norristown, for a time, and is now located at No. 1014 North Sixth street, Philadelphia; Grace, deceased; Charles C., William K., Rose A., and Walter F. Mr. Britt was an affectionate husband and loving parent, in disposition kindly and benevolent. The family are members of St. Gertrude’s Catholic church, in which Mr. Britt also held membership. Mr. Britt died at his home in West Conshohocken, January 24, 1901. His death was due to pneumonia, and his end was sudden, he having been confined to his bed but one week.

* * * *

This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.