17 March 2014

My Irish Immigrants


Today - St. Patrick's Day - seems like the perfect day to post about my immigrants, specifically my Irish immigrants.

Michael WALSH
believed to be from Dublin. An aunt had told me once that the family were haberdashers there. Once here, they settled in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County working in the coal mines.

Anna KEATING
Believed to be from County Mayo. She was born in 1855 and came here with her siblings when she was five. Her parents are assumed to have stayed in Ireland. The Keating siblings settled in Ringtown, near Shenandoah. She married Michael Walsh.

Michael and Anna had six children. One of whom was Martin Joseph Walsh, my great grandfather. At some point the Walsh family moved to Phoenixville. My grandmother mentioned once it had something to Martin playing baseball. In Phoenixville, which is in Chester County, he married Catharine O'Flaherty. She is the daughter of Dennis and Martha Durkin O'Flaherty.

Dennis O'FLAHERTY
Dennis was born in 1839.

Martha DURKIN
Martha was born in 1839 to Patrick and Abyan MURPHY Durkin. I have also seen the last name written with an "a" in place of the "i". I believe her parents stayed in Ireland.

Dennis and Martha had eight children. The first were twins - Mary and James - born in 1868 in Pennsylvania. Hence, the two immigrated before then but it has always been assumed they came over separately and met here.

Michael and Anna, and Dennis and Martha, are my maternal grandmother's grandparents. All were Roman Catholic. She would always point out that she was 100% Irish! My grandmother was Mary Rose WELSH. The family changed the name here because there were so many Walshes with similar names in the immediate area. She married Lloyd Pierson Still.

Mary KILPATRICK
Mary Kilpatrick (1884 - 1916) came over with her siblings. Her father James remained in Ireland with their mother. She and her siblings all settled in the Philadelphia area. The girls were all domestics. She was working on the Main Line when she met my great grandfather Pierson George Still, a blacksmith from Unionville. They married in 1908 and she moved to Unionville with him. She always longed her Ireland but sadly died in childbirth in 1916, never to see her homeland again.

I unfortunately do not have their actual immigration information ... yet. Ellis Island did not open its doors until 1892, which is after all but Mary Kilpatrick was here. Castle Garden did operate from 1820 to 1913 but databases there did not show any of my great grandparents. I am thinking Philadelphia might be a logical port but until I can document it, that is only a thought. Searches on Ancestry.com have not revealed anything, but of course I also have to accept that I am searching for very common names too.

Forget the pot o'gold, I just want to find a port of origin!
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.