Elisha Brien

Elisha Livingston Brien (1870 - 1936)

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Elisha Livingston Brien
Born in Mississippimap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Lebanon, Wilson County, TNmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Vicksburg, Mississippimap
Profile last modified | Created 28 May 2012 | Last significant change: 4 Dec 2018
23:50: Liz (Noland) Shifflett edited the Biography for Elisha Brien. (fixing typos) [Thank Liz for this]
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Categories: Warren County, Mississippi | Cedar Hill Cemetery, Vicksburg, Mississippi.


Elisha Livingston Brien was born in 1870. He went to Lebanon, Tennessee to earn his law degree at Cumberland College.[1]

In Lebanon, he met and married Annie Bell Neal on November 8, 1893.[2]

He returned with Annie to Warren County, Mississippi. Elected judge in 1914 to the Ninth Judicial District, he served unopposed the rest of his life.[3]

Although the photograph included with his profile was labeled "Judge" Brien, it seems to be from an earlier time (and earlier in the judge's life too - more likely in his 20s, around 1890s, than after he became a judge in 1914, when he was 44).[4]

Judge Brien died in 1936 and is buried in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Vicksburg City Cemetery records show a burial date of Nov. 22; family documentation shows his death date as Nov. 27, as does the tombstone.[5] The portrait included in this profile was done by "H. Loober 1950, Pastel on Canvas 20x23", and was "unveiled in 1950 at a meeting of the Warren County Bar Association."[3]


Judge Brien and his wife had three children:

In a letter to Gordon Cotton of the Old Courthouse Museum in May 2003, my Mom wrote the following about her grandfather, "Pappy":

In addition to Judge Brien's devotion to the Crawford Street Methodist church, where he taught the men's bible class (and my grandmother taught the "Bluebirds" ladies' class) and his fondness for western and detective stories, he owned a flower farm from which he shipped peonies and gladioli through a local florist to the Chicago market for Mothers Day, Easter, and Memorial Day. The farm was in bottom land behind the small home where he and "Nanny" lived in their later years on Union Avenue in the park [Vicksburg National Park]. My parents' house was next door to theirs. The houses are gone now and there was a picnic area in their place when I last went there.

Through his mother, Judge Brien apparently linked the Noland and Brien families. In 1950, my Mom and Dad visited Mississippi relatives after they were married. Mom said that when they visited Nannie, my Dad's great aunt, she told them they were cousins, telling Mom: "Your Grandfather Brien was our Cousin Livingston." (Both "Grandfather Brien" and "Cousin Livingston" being, presumably, Judge Brien.) ~Liz Shifflett, April 1, 2013 (but not April Fooling!)

The Briens of Nashville includes information from his correspondence in the 1920s about the origins of "Brien" and the claimed relationship to the King of Ireland:

William Bryan's great-great-grandson said of the family surname, "I'm quite sure it has never been O'Brien." His father told him that there was a tradition among their "folks," that they originally went to Ireland from the northern part of France, where the first spelling of the name was Brienne. He vaguely thought the first who came from Ireland may have settled in Culpepper County, Virginia. They were traditionally of Protestant stock [EL].


  • Anne Selene Bennett, The Briens of Nashville: Descendants and Ancestors of Elisha Brien 2013. (available from Lulu)
  • [EL] Brien, Elisha Livingston. "Letters to Mr. Bernis Brien." April 16, 1920, and April 3, 1920, in the Lindsay M. Brien Genealogical Papers, #3671, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. E.L. Brien was the son of Livingston Brien and the grandson of Elisha Brien.
  • Find A Grave memorial #103432039
  • Old Courthouse Museum, Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • see also sources listed on his wife Annie's profile page
  • Liz Shifflett, family knowledge. Click the Changes tab for the details of edits by Liz and others.
  1. In 1852, it had boasted the first law school west of the Appalachian Mountains (see the Wikipedia entry)
  2. Tennessee Marriages, 1796-1950
  3. 3.0 3.1 from placard under portrait in the Old Courthouse Museum
  4. The photograph was included in a display of business leaders in the Old Courthouse Museum, Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  5. Entered by Liz Shifflett, May 28, 2012; updated June 16, 2012; July 1, 2013; November 21, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Betty (Brien) Noland (the judge's granddaughter), Genealogy/Dates document written in 2002 (updated by her in 2006)

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Elisha by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Elisha:

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Images: 5
1910 Census
1910 Census

Judge Brien
Judge Brien

Tombstone of Mr. and Mrs. Brien
Tombstone of Mr. and Mrs. Brien

Elisha Brien Image 4
Elisha Brien Image 4

E.L. Brien's Law Degree
E.L. Brien's Law Degree

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Elisha is 14 degrees from George Bush, 22 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 18 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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