cailin10 on Family Tree Circles
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Irish natives JAMES AND MARGARET MCTAGGART BRADY arrived in the U.S. in 1869. James was from Dublin (parents CHARLES BRADY AND ELLEN KEARNS) AND Margaret (parents WILLIAM AND CATHERINE (Catherine's surname unknown) MCTAGGART. James was born about 1843 in Dublin; Margaret about 1847 in Virginia, County Cavan. One of their sons was JOHN THOMAS BRADY, my grandfather, born in Holyoke, Mass., Jan. 6, 1874. John moved to Yonkers, New York, where he m. my grandmother ALICIA REGINA HEAFY in 1906. Alicia was the dau. of THOMAS AND ALICE MORRISSEY HEAFY of County Waterford, Ireland. One of John and Alicia's children was my father, FRANCIS (FRANK) JOSEPH XAVIER BRADY, Oct. 26, 1908. Frank m. my mother, ANNA DOLORES CHINNERY, in 1934 in Yonkers. I am looking for the "maiden name" of Margaret McTaggart Brady's mother, Catherine McTaggart. I also have reams of Brady info to share.
Some 70 million people worldwide - including about 40 million Americans - claim Irish ancestry. When you consider the North Atlantic island that spawned such an exodus measures only about 200 by 300 miles, the mind begins to boggle. Toss in stumbling blocks such as common surnames among descendants(Brady and Murphy, to name two of "mine") along with the paucity of records, and would-be ancestry tracers are apt to throw up their hands and say "Forget it. I don't need this!" Let us mention too that hundreds of thousands of our "ould ones" left Ireland during the late 1840s. That was the period known as the Great Famine, the years of the near-total failure of the potato crop on which so many of the Irish depended. During the Great Famine the Island of Saints and Scholars lost nearly 2 million of her 9 million people to starvation, disease and emigration. Most were Catholic and poor. The emigrants fled to England, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. In Grosse Isle near Quebec lies the largest Famine cemetery outside of Ireland, where 6,000 disease-ridden Irish from the "Famine ships" lay buried, along with the health care workers and clergy who tried to save them.
But the great percentage of those "getting out of Dodge" flooded the East Coast ports of America. By 1852, New York City alone was more than a quarter Irish. And Ellis Island with its excellent records was still almost half a century in the future. At home in Ireland, the British government then governing the island did not begin civil record-keeping of the "Popish people" until 1864.
That is the situation facing the prospective amateur genealogist of "Irish extraction." Is tracing your Irish ancestors an impossible task? Not really. I am living proof that it can be done. I am 100 percent Irish (as I know now), three and four generations down in America. All four of my father's grandparents and all eight of my mother's great-grandparents were born in Ireland. In America today, their descendants live in New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Utah, Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington State. There are more to find out about; as we know, genealogy detective work is never done. But most of the work is done! Next: How did I manage to do it?
Thomas Heafy was born in 1839 in Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland, to Thomas and Mary Meehan Heafy. He had a number of siblings, some of whom emigrated to the U.S. Tom came to New York in 1860 and later married Alice Morrissey (born 1847), a native of Lismore, County Waterford. The couple later moved to Yonkers, a NYC suburb in Westchester County. They had 10 children, starting with young Tom (who became a priest) and including my grandmother, Alicia Heafy, b. 1879 in Yonkers. All the children were educated. Ed was a pharmacist; Frank became a politician and was known in NY State GOP circles. My grandmother had two sisters, Teresa (Tessie) and Mary (Minnie). I have tracked the descendants of some of her brothers. But recently, looking at some family photos from my cousin Ken Krauer, I found a picture of a Lt. George Heafy, A World War II paratrooper who was killed in action in Belgium Jan. 9, 1945. He is buried in Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. Cousin Ken did not know how George was related. I had never heard of him, nor of the Joseph Heafy who - according to a WWII website - was the informant to the website and was George's brother. Neither Ken nor I had ever heard of Joseph Heafy, either. We are assuming both George and Joseph were chldren of one of our grandmother's brothers. They would have been the right age to enter the military during WW II. Does anyone know? Anyone related to these Heafys?
In my 100 percent Irish ancestry, John Chinnery is the most difficult to trace. Born in County Cork about 1825, he shares his surname with some minor-aristocracy English men and women who settled in Ireland starting in the 1600s. Not all Chinnerys were wealthy or distinguished, of course. "My" John may have been a farmer, for all I know after years of research. I do know that he married Julia Lehan, also of County Cork, on Sept. 15, 1849 - name of church, town or village unknown. Julia was Catholic; John may have been Catholic or Church of Ireland (Anglican), I don't know. Nor do I know the parents' names for John or Julia. I sure have corresponded with many many Chinnerys over the years, but none were "mine." There was a George Chinnery a famous painter, but I have been unable to trace my line to him, either.
Family story says John and Julia went to Wales after their marriage. There their four children were born between 1850 and 1859: James, John, Katherine and Michael (my g-grandfather). John apparently died in Wales about 1850, following which Julia brought her children to NYC, moving to the nearby city of Yonkers. I have traced the descendants of her children (mostly, that is; two of them had 10 kids apiece). Julia raised her children Catholic.
I even hired a researcher several years ago to no avail. I have dug into all the Chinnery records I could find. There are still Chinnerys in England (none of whom that I corresponded with knew anything about the Irish Chinnerys) ... but none left in Ireland that I know of. At least, there are none in the Irish telephone directories. Anyone know anything?
Julia LEHAN was my g-g-grandmother. She was born in County Cork (parents' names unknown) circa 1825. On Sept. 15, 1849, she married John CHINNERY, also of Co. Cork, b. circa 1825. Marriage site is unknown, presumably in Co. Cork and presumably Catholic. The couple moved to Wales, where their four children were born between 1850 and 1859: James, John, Catherine and Michael. John CHINNERY supposedly died in Wales; subsequently, JULIA LEHAN CHINNERY emigrated to NYC with her children (about 1860). She moved to Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, where I found her in the 1870 census with the four children. I did not find her in the 1880 census, and Yonkers civil records of deaths only started in 1876, so I'm presuming Julia died between 1870 and 1876. In 1879 her son MICHAEL CHINNERY married MARY GREELEY (GRALY)in St. Joseph RC Church in Yonkers. I have information on that generation of Chinnerys. I would like to know more about Julia (death date, burial location and names of parents, and siblings if any, plus village or town of birth in County Cork).
ELIZABETH ROSALIE WHITE did a "reverse migration" of sorts - moving FROM Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to Cork, Ireland.She was b. in 1868 presumably in USA, state unknown, then moved to Cork from Boston. There, in Cork City, on Dec. 26, 1890, she m. THOMAS LOVE. They had four children: Mary (Molly), 1892; Robert George (Bob), 1894; John (Jack), 1895, and Elizabeth Agnes, February 1897. Elizabeth Rosalie died of childbed fever two weeks after her daughter's birth. Her husband died four years later. The children were raised by aunts and uncles. Was Elizabeth Rosalie White born IN Boston? - or elsewhere in the U.S.? We have her father's name, GEORGE WHITE, but no name of mother. Thanks for whatever help you can give.
Of all my great-grands, I probably know the least about MARGARET MCTAGGART BRADY, one of those nearly-anonymous Irish immigrants during the post-Famine years of the 1860s. Info I've gleaned: she was b. about 1848 to Wm. & Catherine (maiden name unknown) McTaggart in Virginia, County Cavan. She m. JAMES BRADY (parents Charles and Ellen Kearns Brady) of Co. Dublin (unknown date & place), entering the Port of NY 1869 with him and their two young children b. while they were in Liverpool. The Bradys moved to Holyoke, Mass., where my grandfather John Thomas Brady was b. in 1874. James Brady worked on construction of the Holyoke City Hall. Margaret d. Jan. 20, 1887, of typhoid malaria, the scourge of the ghetto, acc. to a newspaper writer in Holyoke. Her children included (besides my grandfather) Mary Anne, b. 1864; Hugh Dwight, b. 1865; William, 1869, and James, 1878. James later remarried (a widow named Sarah Lyons O'Connor) and had two more children. My grandfather moved to Yonkers, NY, and married Alicia Heafy, b. in NY in 1879 to Irish-born parents. Any more info on Margaret McTaggart Brady who d. at the tender age of 39 would be appreciated. She was undoubtedly Roman Catholic; all the rest of my dozen Irish-born forebears were RC.
My g-g-grandfather JOHN DONEGAN was b. in County Westmeath, Ireland, circa the 1830s. He emigrated to New York State, where he married MARY FARRELL, also of Westmeath, about 1850, probably in Haverstraw in Rockland County. By the 1860 census, John had died and his widow had married JOHN BANNON. All are most likely buried in St. Peter RC Cemetery in Haverstraw, but I can't find them in the cemetery records. Does anyone know any more about JOHN DONEGAN?
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