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Charles GILLESPIE in America
Charles GILLESPIE (1792-1882) was born in Maghera, County Derry, Ireland. He emigrated to America in 1815 and eventually settled in Lancaster, Pa., a thriving area and the largest inland city in America at the time. He became a naturalized citizen on October 29, 1827. Charles made his living as a shoe and boot maker. He was very active in civic life in Lancaster. Records show that he offered toasts at a Lancaster dinner in honor of President James Buchanan in 1832, and that he raised money for the famine victims in Ireland in 1847. In 1829 he was one of the founding members of the Mechanic's Society Library--a literary association with a purpose to educate tradesmen and apprentices.
Charles GILLESPIE was intensely proud of his ancestors' rather romantic history and often told his descendants stories about it. His obituary in the October 24, 1882 The Daily New Era noted that he was Lancaster's oldest inhabitant (90) and "a healthy, hardy man, never having been confined to bed a day by reason of sickness during his long life." His death was attributed to old age. The obituary also listed his many community activities, including membership on the Select and Common Council for 30 years, and the School Board for 20 years. He was the last surviving member of The City Guards, a local militia organization.
The obituary concluded: "There was no one better known in this city than the deceased. He was a close reader and a well-informed man. It was his pleasure to gather his young friends around him and tell them of the early history of Lancaster." His funeral included a high mass at St. Mary's Catholic church in Lancaster.
Charles' third wife was Anna Marie SCRAVENDYKE, (1797-1879) whom he married in St. Augustine's Catholic church in Philadelphia in November 1832.
Charles and Anna had five children together including:
Lucy GILLESPIE (1835-1906) m. Ambrose MC CONOMY
Charles J. GILLESPIE (1838-1898) M. Mary MCCONOMY (1840-1910)
Adelaide GILLESPIE m. Henry DECKER
Cecelia GILLESPIE m. ------SHEEHAN
Mary GILLESPIE N.M.
Peter MC CONOMY (1804-1877) and Rebecca RUDISILL (1806-1873) were my 2G grandparents. Peter MC CONOMY was the son of Neal MC CONOMEY (@1769-1839) an Irish immigrant, and Ann MC GUINESS who settled in Lancaster, Pa, where Neal was naturalized as a citizen in 1807. Peter apprenticed to his father and took up his trade of shoemaker. He eventually owned a small shoe manufacturing business. Peter MC CONOMY was very active in the civic life of Lancaster: serving on the city's first school board in 1838, raising money for victims of the Irish famine in 1847, serving as trustee of the Home for Friendless Children in 1859, and so on. The library for the Mechanic's Society was housed upstairs from his shoe store. A contemporaneous account refers to him as "a respected merchant, and a man of strict integrity."
Peter MC CONOMY also devoted a lot of his time to the Catholic church, becoming a prominent member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Lancaster. Family legend has it that he laid out the "new" cemetery of St Mary's church, and planted the trees that lined the avenue leading to the family burial plot there.
Peter MC CONOMY shoe store was located on West King Street in Lancaster,
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