I started on Genes Reunited. His marriage to Maria Jane Ramsden is indexed in quarter 2 of 1864 in Liverpool. Unfortunately the index doesn't record all the details (you can order birth, marriage and death certificates from the GRO). But I have a location.
Found him and Maria in the 1871 census, living in China Street, Everton, Liverpool. He is 29, so born in 1841-42, in Ireland. His occupation is "porter in metal warehouse". Maria is 23, so born in 1847-48, in Liverpool. They have two children, Margaret (4) and John (10 months), both born in Liverpool.
Going back to the 1861 census, where John is 18, born in Ireland, working as a cotton porter, and living in William Henry Street, Everton. He's the stepson of the head of the family, John Grannell, a bootmaker, age 60 and born in Ireland. His wife Margaret Grannell, age 35 and born in Ireland, is presumably John's mother. Also living with them are John's brothers Philip Breen (14, born Ireland) and James Breen (11, born Ireland) and his step-brother James J Grannell (2, born Liverpool).
John, Philip and James were all born before civil registration of births in Ireland, so I turn to RootsIreland.ie, which records a large number of church baptisms, marriages and deaths. Found 'em. John was baptised on 4 August 1842, Philip on 1 October 1846, and James on 2 May 1849, all in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, and their parents are James Breen and Margaret Foley, who married on 11 September 1841 in Enniscorthy. If the age recorded for Margaret in the 1861 census is accurate, she was only 15. Unfortunately the church marriage record doesn't record anything about their parents, but you at least have a location in Ireland.
As confirmation I've got the right family, I found John Grannell in the 1871 census, living at Kermode Street, Everton, with a nephew, whose name is Donatus Foley.
So to summarise:
Margaret Foley (born somewhere around 1815 to 1826) married James Breen in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, on 11 September 1841. They had three children:
- John Breen, born before 4 August 1842, Enniscorthy
- Philip Breen, born before 1 October 1846, Enniscorthy
- James Breen, born before 2 May 1849, Enniscorthy.
James senior presumably died some time after 1849. Margaret then married John Grannell, and they had at least one child, born c. 1859.