29 March 2015

Census Sunday reveals possible immigration information

Dennis O’Flaherty is my 2nd great grandfather. He was born about 1839 in Ireland and died in Phoenixville, Chester County before 1902. He married Martha Durkin in 1867 or before, and they had eight children. 

That just summed up my knowledge of Dennis O’Flaherty. Today I am using the Census Records to pinpoint some more information about him. 

1870 US Census
Dennis, 31, works at a rolling mill in 1870. Hattie (Martha) keeps house. She is 30. At that time, they had two children: Mary, 2; and Hugh, 1. Living with them was 24 year old Ireland born laborer Patrick Hannegan. Dennis states he could not write. Martha could not read or write. 

1880 US Census
Dennis and Martha O’Flaherty are living on King (sp?) Street in Phoenixville, Chester County. The Census was taken on 7 June 1880. At that time, Dennis, 45, worked in the Iron Works. Martha was 41 and kept house. Both were born in Ireland. Their children are listed as Mary, 12; Hugh, 11; Michael, 8; Dennis, 7; Maggie, 3; and Martha, 1.

1910 US Census
Martha, 62, is listed as a widow in this Census. She lives on Airy Street in Phoenixville, Chester County with daughter Katherine, 23. The Census was taken on 16 April 1910. (side note: Catherine marries martin Welsh who lives just three doors down on 27 April 1910). Martha responds that she had 10 children but only three are alive and that she immigrated in 1870. Martha and Katherine live next door to Edward Murphy and his family. Perhaps just a coincidence, but it is interesting that Martha’s mother’s name was Abyan Murphy. 

Tracing Dennis O’Flaherty on the US Census gave me a possible lead on Martha Durkin’s arrival date. However, my grandmother always had implied they had met here and married here. If Martha had immigrated in 1870, as the 1910 Census states, then they would have been married in Ireland. In addition, three of their eight known children were born before 1870 here in Pennsylvania. Twins James and Mary were born in March 1868, while Hugh was born in 1869. It is my belief that Martha simply supplied the wrong year in the 1910 Census.

Census Sunday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.