The Midleton and Cloyne Tramway, 1884

Lartigue Rail, Ballybunion, Co. Kerry (National Library of Ireland)

Lartigue Rail, Ballybunion, Co. Kerry (Ref: LROY 4275, National Library of Ireland)

In the mid-1880s proposals were being put forward for the construction of a tramway between Midleton and Cloyne under the Tramways Act. While many local business people seem to have been in favour of the scheme, there was also considerable opposition to it, as it would have led to an increase in rates. The latter would appear to have won out. There were a number of newspaper articles about these proposals in 1884. One in particular provides some detailed information on both population and trade in Midleton, Ballinacurra, Cloyne and Ballycotton, and is worthy of reproduction in full here. It recounts evidence that was provided in support of and in opposition to the scheme, and gives a fascinating insight into certain aspects of life in the area; how important Ballinacurra was as a port, the size of the fishing population in Ballycotton, and the population difference in the 1880s between Cloyne and Midleton.

THE MIDLETON AND CLOYNE TRAMWAY

Mr. Atkinson, QC (for the promoters), stated that this was an application for the construction of a tramway between Midleton and Cloyne, to run about seven miles. The project was promoted by a number of local gentlemen, including Mr. Penrose Fitzgerald, Dr. Reardon, & c., and it was stated that £16,000 of the capital had been placed locally in case of the line not paying. Only a sum of some 7d or 8d in the £1 would fall on the barony which would be taxed. As an instance of the popularity of the line he might mention that every elected Poor-aw guardian was in favour of it. The Government had made a proposal to grant a sum of £16,000 for the construction of a new pier at Ballycotton, on condition of a sum of £4,000 being subscribed locally. this £4,000 was forthcoming, and with the construction of the pier the fishing there would be greatly developed, and a large traffic would result from it.

Mr. Savage French deposed that he was a promoter of the line in question. The population of Midleton last census was 308, and there were a large number of good business houses there. It was proposed to have sidings connecting the premises of the Cork Distillery Company, several business stores and mills, and the gas company, with the main line. At Ballinacurra the line would run down to the pier. He estimated the imports at 21,400 tons to Ballinacurra, which estimate did not include the private lighter trade. The seaboard traffic–inward and outward–was represented at something over 40,000 tons. This traffic principally went to Midleton. The population of Cloyne was 11,026. Cloyne was six miles from Ahadagh, and five from Midleton Railway Station. Between Ballinacurra and Cloyne the traffic would likely be 14,000 tons, which would be in addition to the other traffic referred to. At Ballycotton there were 147 men and some forty boys engaged in fishing and their fish traffic would be very large. The new pier would greatly develop the fish traffic. Witness had made an estimate as regards the passenger traffic, and he had put down the number as 3,000 passengers a year. Calculating this at 6d a head it would come to about £2 per day. The line would enable the buyers to come to the farmers for their corn. A sum of £1,500 had been already taken up locally. He confessed there was a good deal of opposition.

Cross-examined by Mr. Roche–He had himself entered five hundred of the fifteen hundred pounds he spoke of. He was aware of the fact that the grand jury of county Cork had held two meetings in regard to the question of this guarantee. At the first meeting a resolution was passed to the effect that the line was approved, subject to the promoters giving a ten years’ guarantee. At the second meeting, held some days subsequently, this requirement was passed over, and the line approved of.

The Lord Chancellor remarked that there was nothing extraordinary in this. The grand jurors had thought at first that they could better secure matters by requiring such a guarantee, but, finding that they could not legally exact this, they had given up the idea.

Mr. Connolly, Harbour Master, Ballinacurra, gave evidence regarding the imports and exports at his harbour.

Mr. James Penrose Fitzgerald, agent to Lord Midleton and to his brother, Mr. R U Penrose Fitzgerald, a director of the company, gave evidence in support of the proposal.

Mr. Murphy and Mr. Daniel Cronan, residing in the district, also gave evidence.

Mr. Custian, publican, explained that the estimate of trade traffic was framed on statistics supplied at a meeting of the traders of Cloyne specifically assembled for the purpose.

Mr. Stevenson, CE, who had drawn up the plans and laid out the line, gave evidence regarding the route and particulars as to estimate. This close[d] the case for the promoters.

Mr. Roche, QC, for the opposing ratepayers, contended that the proceedings before the grand jury showed that a great uncertainty prevailed regarding the desirability of this scheme. Twenty-three grand jurors had at one meeting refused to pass the scheme unless a ten years’ guarantee was given, and at a subsequent and a smaller meeting this resolution had been set aside.

The Lord Chancellor said they had nothing whatever to do with that circumstance now. It was sufficient for the committee that the grand jury had passed the scheme, and their business now was simply and solely to inquire into the merits and see if they could recommend it to the Lord Lieutenant for approval.

Mr. Roche, QC, continuing, stated that the figures given regarding the traffic were not strictly correct, but were based on wrong assumptions.

Mr. Smith, JP, was called in support of the appeal, and stated that he had land in the district the valuation of which was £459. He had a memorial against the scheme signed largely by farmers representing land to the amount of £15,817 valuation. Speaking as a farmer, he did not believe the line would pay. The Midleton board of guardians on two occasions dissented to the proposition as well as the Town Commissioners.

Cross-examined by Mr. Atkinson–He was not in a position to contradict the statement that with but the exception of three guardians–one of whom was himself–all the guardians representing the taxed area had assented. The memorial was signed after a statement by witness that the county cess would be increased if the line was constructed. The statement was not a conditional one.

Mr. Dennis McCarthy, shopkeeper, Midleton, presented a memorial signed by appellants representing £2,647 valuation in Midleton.

The committee adjourned at this state till half past eleven o’clock to-morrow morning. (1)

The Morning News, Belfast, 7th August 1884

The division that existed in the area surrounding the tramway was typified by the note in the Cork Examiner of 28th June 1884, which notified that readers that “in consequence of a meeting having been called in Cloyne for Tuesday, July 1st, on the above tramway, the meeting of cesspayers in opposition to same, will be held in the Courthouse, Midleton, on Thursday, July 3rd, at 12 o’Clock, which all cesspayers from the proposed area of taxation would find it to their interest to attend.” (2)

Though the tramway was never constructed, plans do appear to have been drawn up, which would be fascinating to see. We hope to do more research into this– if any readers have any more detail on the proposed scheme we would love to hear from you.

(1) The Morning News, (Belfast) 7th August 1884; (2) The Cork Examiner, 28th June 1884;

Image Credit: National Library of Ireland Flickr Page

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Categories: Nineteenth Century | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The “47th Sheep Stealers” of Thomas Street, Midleton

During the era of the Famine detachments of British units were to be found throughout the country providing aid to the civil power. In 1847, a Company of the 47th (The Lancashire) Regiment were quartered at Thomas Street, the first reference we have come across to troops being stationed on the street at this time. Apparently the sight of a prize ram in a nearby field was too much for some of the soldier’s to resist– but their deeds were exposed thanks to the testimony of one of the town butchers. The irony that the troops were based in Midleton in order to protect property was not lost on the local correspondent who related the story:

MILITARY SHEEP STEALERS

In the course of the last week a gentleman residing in the vicinity of Midleton, near Killea, (Mr. Welland) engaged a prize ram for breeding purposes for £20 which, with two sheep, was left our at night to pasture in a field about a mile distant from Middleton. On missing them one morning, information was conveyed to the police, who made every effort to discover their whereabouts, but with no success. The secret, however, soon transpired. A knife, lost by the depredators, was found, and on its being shown by the police to a butcher resident in Middleton he instantly identified it as his property which on the previous evening he lent to a few of the soldiers of the 47th Regt., a company of which is at present stationed in Middleton, with a view to the protection of property, as well as the preservation of the peace of the country. The constabulary instantly proceeded to Thomas Street, Middleton, where the military are quartered, and on examination discovered portions of the carcasses of the slaughtered animals safely deposited in a coal hole. Suspicion strongly attaching to three of the gallant corps, they were arrested and taken before the sitting magistrates, who decided on receiving informations against them; and they now await their trial at the ensuing sessions in durance.

It is to be regretted that the conduct of a few scoundrels should have the effect of bringing into disrepute a gallant body of men, such as unquestionably is the 47th Regt., who, since the unhappy occurrence, are denominated by the people here– “the 47th sheep stealers.”– Middleton Correspondent. (1)

A Prize Ram (The Mark Lane Express, Wikimedia)

A Prize Ram (The Mark Lane Express, Wikimedia)

A postscript to the incident was reported in the Cork Examiner of 8th January:

THE MILITARY SHEEP-STEALERS

It is said that Capt. Armstrong, lately commanding the party of soldiers stationed at Midleton, has left the regiment in consequence of the disgrace incurred by the recent conviction of three privates of the party at the Fermoy Sessions. At the same time, the gallant detachment have got the route, “for the protection of life and property.” (2)

It would be interested to discover what became of both the soldiers and Captain Armstrong, and also to discover if the coal-hole used to conceal their misdeeds on Thomas Street still exists.

(1) Cork Examiner 1st January 1847; (2) Cork Examiner 8th January 1847;

Categories: Nineteenth Century | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chasing the Oval: Historic Reports of Rugby in Midleton, 1889-1967

For those interested in international rugby, exciting times are back as the 6 Nations Championship is once again in full swing. Midleton is a town that is now steeped in the rugby tradition, with strong links to the game through the town’s AIL club Midleton RFC, and also with Schools Rugby, notably Midleton College. We decided to take a look back through the pages of the Irish Examiner and gain a historic perspective on the game in the town, which stretches back into the 19th century.

Dave O'Callaghan (Munster Rugby) and Clive Ross (Ulster Rugby), both products of Midleton College, where rugby has been played since the 19th century

Dave O’Callaghan (Munster Rugby) and Clive Ross (Ulster Rugby), both products of Midleton College, where rugby has been played since the 19th century

More than 120 years before producing the likes of Dave O’ Callaghan and Clive Ross, Midleton College was fielding rugby teams. The Cork Examiner of 9th April 1889 brought news of an “interesting football match, under the Rugby rules” which took place between the College and the second fifteen of Cork Queen’s College. Unfortunately for the Midleton boys, the Cork students “displayed their superiority” from the moment of “the leather being put in motion” and emerged victorious by 1 goal and 2 points to no score.

9 April 1889 (Irish Examiner)

The report of the match between Midleton College and the Cork Queen’s College second fifteen, 9 April 1889 (Cork Examiner)

Midleton College faired much better in a game against Cork Grammar School in 1892. The Midleton ream “rushed to the front” and showed some nice “give and take play” to score a try, which was soon followed by another. However, despite some “well-concentrated rushes” in the second half they failed to add to their tally, but luckily held on for the win, by 1 goal and 2 tries to 2 tries.

19 October 1892 (Irish Examiner)

The report of the match between Midleton College and Cork Grammar School, 19 October 1892 (Cork Examiner)

Midleton College’s Gloster, who had been a standout in the 1892 game, was still going strong in 1895, when Midleton took on Tipperary College. The strength of the Tipp team left Midleton dependent “almost entirely on the swiftness of their forwards,” but apparently they were ” not able to show on the soft ground.” Whenever “the oval” came into a Midleton forward’s hands, the “would not have gone twenty yards when he made the acquaintance of mother earth.” When the final whistle sounded, Midleton had been defeated by four tries to nil.

29 November 1895 (Irish Examiner)

The match report of Tipperary College and Midleton School, 29 November 1895 (Cork Examiner)

Outside of Midleton College, the town’s first Rugby Football Club was founded in the 1927/28 season (for a summary of the history of clubs in the town, see the Midleton RFC site here). It only survived for a few years, but despite that made an impression on the community. The Cork Examiner brought an advertisement on 29th September 1928 for the First Annual Dance to support the club, which was due to take place on Tuesday 2nd October in Midleton Town Hall. Perhaps in an effort to attract the ladies, women enjoyed a reduced entrance fee, while a discount was available for couples. A running buffet was planned, with dancing scheduled from 9 pm on; musical accompaniment was to brought by Brierley’s Dance Band.

29 September 1928 (Irish Examiner)

Advertisement for the First Annual Dance of Midleton RFC, 29 September 1928 (Cork Examiner)

We are fortunate that some images of this iteration of Midleton RFC are left to us. The Cork Examiner of 27th March 1929 ran a photograph of the team that had put Dungarvan to the sword by 16 points to 3.

27 March 1929 (Cork Examiner)

The Midleton RFC team who defeated Dungarvan 16-3, 27th March 1929 (Cork Examiner)

Despite the demise of the first Midleton RFC, the town was not left without a team, as there was separate entity called the Midletonettes taking the field. As explained by the present-day Midleton RFC website, it was this team that is regarded as the direct antecedent of the current club.

8 February 1932 (Cork Examiner)

Rugby results, included the score of the Conettes and the Midletonettes, reported on 8 February 1932 (Cork Examiner)

 

29 November 1932 (Cork Examiner)

The Mideltonettes defeat the Covettes, reported on 29 November 1932 (Cork Examiner)

The modern Midleton RFC played their first game against Bandon in 1967, the beginning of a long and proud tradition. The “oval ball” still gets a consistent outing in the town, drawing crowds today much as it did more than 125 years ago. The story of the game, and indeed of the town’s history in other sporting codes, is something we hope to return to in future posts.

Categories: 20th Century, Nineteenth Century | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Visiting the “Old Country”: Photographs & Stories of Returning Midleton Emigrants, 1915-1924

We recently looked at Midleton emigrants who found themselves in New York Poorhouses in the 19th Century. Returning to the topic of emigration, we have taken a look at United States passport applications in the 1910s and 1920s by people who had been born in Midleton. In all bar two of the cases below, these were emigrants from the town or parish who were seeking to return to visit Cork. The majority of them were doing so to reunite with family. As per usual, there are some fascinating stories among them. Edmond Bowler was travelling to “visit the Old Country”, while Margaret Talbott was going to “see the old homestead.” Some, like Joseph Hickey, were going to see their parents. Joseph had apparently not been back to Ireland since his emigration, but he had been to France– serving with the American Expeditionary Force during World War One. Mary Ryan was going back to Whitegate with her newborn to show off the child to her father, while the entire Buckley family where making the journey to attend to “family business.”

The 'Celtic', a vessel that a number of the Midleton emigrants returned on (Imperial War Museum via Wikipedia)

The “Celtic”, a vessel that a number of the Midleton emigrants returned on (Imperial War Museum via Wikipedia)

Throughout these emigrants lives, connections to Midleton remained strong. Abbie Keefe had emigrated as a young child, and in almost 50 years never returned to Ireland. Yet she still kept contact with relatives here, and eventually returned in old age to visit them. Hannah Walsh spent 52 years in Boston without going home, but at the age of 75 she sold up her Boston house, returning to Midleton to live out her final days with her sister.

Two of the passport applications below are not like the others. They were made not by Midleton emigrants in the United States, but by two young women from the parish who had never been out of Ireland. Both had married U.S. sailors stationed in Queenstown during World War One, and they were now hoping to start new lives in America. In the case of one of the women– Bridget Mahony (Lynch)– the marriage came after her pregnancy, a situation that was likely difficult for her in 1919 Ireland.

In reviewing the below, readers should note that the applications of married couples often prioritised the man’s details; also married Midleton women retained their married name on the application, making it difficult to determine their maiden names. By far the most remarkable element of these passports is what they have left us, as in each one is a photographic image of the applicant. They have been included beneath each bio below.

The "Philadelphia", another of the ships on which Midleton emigrants returned (US Navy Research Center)

The “Philadelphia”, another of the ships on which Midleton emigrants returned (US Navy Research Center)

William J Ahern, Passport Issued 15th April 1916

William was born in Midleton on 4th November 1869, and had emigrated to America aboard the Pavonia on 11th May 1887. He had never been home to Ireland in the intervening 29 years. He became naturalized in New York in 1899, where he still lived, at 55 Horatio Street. He worked as a Marine Engineer. He intended to travel back to Midleton for one year to see his wife and children. His intention was to sail aboard the Philadelphia on 22nd April 1916.

William J Ahern (Ancestry)

William J Ahern (Ancestry)

Edmond Bowler, Passport Issued 8th May 1920, Passport Issued 3rd July 1922

In his application Edmond stated that he was born in Midleton on 8th September 1869, and had emigrated to the United States from Liverpool in June 1895. He spent the next 25 years living in New York without ever travelling home. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1918. His occupation was a Railroad Gateman, and he lived at 139 East 15th Street. He planned to visit Cork for three months, sailing aboard the Celtic on 15th May 1920. When asked to put down his reason for travelling home, he initially wrote “Visit the Old Country”, but scratched out “the Old Country” and replaced it with “relatives.” Edmond again applied for a passport in 1922, when his address was 143 East 18th Street. His intention was again to visit relatives, and he hoped to sail on the Baltic on 8th July 1922.

Edmond Bowler (Ancestry)

Edmond Bowler (Ancestry)

Daniel Buckley, Passport Issued 13th July 1920

Daniel stated that he wanted to travel to Ireland with his wife Mary and children Mary (12), Anna (11), William (9) and Helen (1). He was born in Midleton on in July 1876, and had emigrated to the United States from Queenstown in October 1898. He lived at 140 Rodney Street in Brooklyn, and had become a naturalized citizen in 1905. A Stable Foreman by trade, he had previously visited Ireland from May to August in 1914. The purpose of this visit was given as “family business.” Like Edmond Bowler, he intended to travel on the Celtic, sailing on 28th August 1920.

The Buckley Family (Ancestry)

The Buckley Family (Ancestry)

John Cronin, Passport Issued 10th February 1920

John was born in Clonmult on 21st June 1886. He noted that his father was called Edmond. John emigrated from Queenstown on 4th September 1911 and went to Spokane in Washington State. He was naturalized there in 1917. In 1920 he lived in Rosalia, Washington where he was a clergyman. He intended to travel to Europe for 6 months, to visit family in Ireland, be a tourist in England and be a tourist in France and Belgium. He planned to leave New York aboard the Philadelphia on 22nd May 1920.

Father John Cronin (Ancestry)

Father John Cronin (Ancestry)

Richard Cronin, Passport Issued 12th March 1920

Richard mentioned that he was born in Midleton on 13th June 1869. He sailed to the United States from Ireland in 1886, spending the next 24 years in America without visiting home. He had spent from 1890 to 1919 in the U.S. Navy, and was naturalized in 1899. He lived at 413 West 19th Street following his retirement from the service. He wanted to go back to Midleton to visit relatives and because his health was failing. He intended to sail on the 20th March 1920.

Richard Cronin (Ancestry)

Richard Cronin (Ancestry)

William Duhig, Passport Issued 19th December 1919

William was travelling home “to visit my mother who lives in Midleton.” His father Michael was now dead. He said he was born in the town on 14th February 1889, and had left for America from Queenstown on 24th May 1910. He spent the next 7 years in Boston, before spending more than a year at home. He now wanted to spend another 6 months with his mother, intending to travel on the S.S. Carmania on 21st January 1920. In Boston he worked as a Wool Grader, and lived at 7 Allen Street.

William Duhig (Ancestry)

William Duhig (Ancestry)

Thomas John Galvin, Passport Issued 15th March 1923

Thomas was born in Midleton on 22nd December 1868; he recorded that his father Garrett from Midleton was now dead. He had emigrated from Queenstown on 10th May 1887 and he had been naturalized in 1896. He had returned home before, spending almost a year in Cork between December 1898 and November 1899. He worked as a laborer and made his home at 520 45th Street in Brooklyn. He intended to sail aboard the President Adams on 9th April 1923 in the company of his Irish wife Kathleen, with the purpose of his trip being a “visit.”

Thomas Galvin (Ancestry)

Thomas Galvin (Ancestry)

Lillian Hart, Passport Issued 28th June 1920

Lillian was born in Midleton on 19th January 1885; her husband was an American, Burnham Hart from West Cornwall, Connecticut. They lived at 192 Bradhurst Avenue in New York. The purpose of the trip was for Lillian to see her parents. She intended to travel aboard the Baltic on 4th September 1920.

Lillian Hart (Ancestry)

Lillian Hart (Ancestry)

Joseph Hickey, Passport Issued 11th August 1921

Joseph noted that he had been born in Midleton on 1st February 1886, and he had emigrated out of Queenstown on 11th March 1905. He had never visited home in all the time since, and was naturalized in California in 1919. However, he had been abroad- Joseph had served in France during World War One with the American Expeditionary Force. He now lived at 26th Street and 4th Avenue in New York, where he worked as a painter. He was going back to Midleton to see his parents, and intended to stay 6 months. His intended sailing was aboard the Olympic on 13th August 1921.

Joseph Hickey (Ancestry)

Joseph Hickey (Ancestry)

Abbie Keefe, Passport Issued 27th August 1921

Abbie was born in Midleton on 10th December 1867; her husband Morris was also from Ireland. He emigrated from Queenstown around 1866, and lived in Aurora, Illinois until 1903 (presumably the year of his death). Abbie had emigrated in 1875, and had now moved from Aurora to Waterbury, Connecticut, where she was keeping house. She hoped to go to Ireland for one year to visit relatives. It is interesting to note that Abbie had emigrated to America as a child, yet despite the passage of nearly 50 years was still going to visit her birthplace.

Abbie Keefe (Ancestry)

Abbie Keefe (Ancestry)

Margaret Kowalski, Passport Issued 3rd September 1919

Margaret had been born in Midleton on 12th September 1899 and had lived in Ireland “all my life” and had “never been in U.S.” She applied to the U.S. Consulate in Queenstown for a passport, as she had married Wenceslaus Kowalski of the United States Navy in Midleton on 15th March 1919. He was a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he lived at 914 11th Avenue. By the time Margaret applied, Wenceslaus had been moved on to Liverpool.

Margaret Kowalski (Ancestry)

Margaret Kowalski (Ancestry)

Katherine Lee, Passport Issued 29th November 1920

Katherine was born in Clonmult on 22nd December 1882. Her husband, Hugh Lee, was a native of Boston but had died. Katherine had lived in America from 1904, and appears not to have been home. She now lived at 61 Farragut Road in South Boston, where she had no occupation. She was travelling home to Clonmult to visit her father, and hoped to leave on the Celtic on 11th December 1920.

Katherine Lee (Ancestry)

Katherine Lee (Ancestry)

Bridget Mary Mahony, Passport Issued 8th July 1919

Bridget applied to the U.S. Consulate in Queenstown for a passport, citing her status as a wife of a member of the naval forces of the United States.She hoped to travel from Queenstown to the United States in the company of her daughter Veronica Mahony, who had been born at Queenstown on 9th May 1919. Bridget was born in Midleton on 7th May 1897, and her husband George Daniel Mahony had been born in America. She had married her husband in St. Colman’s Cathedral on 1st January 1919; he was then serving as a cook in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Imperator. George had enlisted in Boston in May 1915. Bridget related that her father was Thomas Lynch from Midleton, and her mother was Mary (Geary) Lynch also from the town. Given the respective dates of the couple’s matrimony and the birth of their child, it seems likely that Bridget was pregnant with Veronica prior to their marriage. Bridget related that she was “never in [the] U.S.A.’ and had been in “Ireland all my life.” She intended her permanent address to be New York City.

Bridget Mary Mahony (Ancestry)

Bridget Mary Mahony (Ancestry)

Thomas McCarthy, Passport Issued 18th September 1924

Thomas was born in Midleton on 15th December 1861. His father had been Charles McCarthy, and he was now dead. Thomas had emigrated from Queenstown 1887, and spent the next 37 years in America without returning home. He made his home at 168 Prescott Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, where he was a Wine Inspector. He gave travel as the purpose of his journey, and intended to leave Boston on the Scythia on 21st September 1924.

Thomas McCarthy (Ancestry)

Thomas McCarthy (Ancestry)

Joseph Moore, Passport Issued 13th July 1915

Joseph applied for his passport in San Francisco, California. He was born in Midleton on 1st December 1881 and had emigrated aboard the Lukania from Liverpool on 31st December 1899. He had never returned to Ireland in the intervening period, but had travelled throughout the States, living in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Goldfield (Nevada), Oakland and San Francisco. He had been naturalized in San Francisco in 1908. His permanent residence was now Oakland, where he worked as a Horticulturist. He planned to go to Ireland to “attend to the settlement of my father’s estate” and also hoped to stop off in England to visit friends.

Joseph Moore (Ancestry)

Joseph Moore (Ancestry)

Annie Parker, Passport Issued 23rd September 1924

Annie was born in Whitegate on 13th April 1877. She left for America in 1892, and now lived at 3174 23rd Street in San Francisco, where she was engaged in housework. She had married Joseph Parker (from San Francisco) in Chicago on 4th October 1894 and had been widowed on 18th October 1918.Apparently having ever been home, Annie hoped to spend almost a year in both Ireland and England visiting relatives.

Annie Parker (Ancestry)

Annie Parker (Ancestry)

Mary Ryan, Passport Issued 10th June 1920

Mary intended to travel back to Midleton with her newborn child Mary for about two to three months. She had been born in Midleton on 29th January 1888, and her husband Stephen Ryan had also been born in Ireland. He had emigrated aboard the Cymric from Queenstown on 19th April 1905 and had spent the next 15 years in America. He was naturalized in 1919, and the family now lived at 20 Grafton Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts. The purpose of Mary’s visit was to visit her father, and she hoped to sail on 21st July 1920.

Mary Ryan (Ancestry)

Mary Ryan (Ancestry)

Margaret Talbott, Passport Issued 10th April 1922

Margaret was born in Midleton on 14th June 1870. Her husband Edward Talbot had also been born in Ireland. He had emigrated in 1888 and spent the next 34 years in Chicago. Margaret had lived in the United States uninterrupted for 36 years between 1886 and 1922, making her home at 6751 East End Avenue in Chicago. The purpose of her visit to Ireland was to “see the old homestead” and “visit relatives.” She planned to leave on the Celtic from New York on 3rd June 1922.

Margaret Talbot (Ancestry)

Margaret Talbot (Ancestry)

Hannah Walsh, Passport Issued 14th July 1920

Hannah was born in Midleton on 20th December 1835. Her husband Michael had also been born in Ireland and had emigrated from Queenstown in 1861, living in Boston until his death in 1890. He had been naturalized in 1868. Hannah had emigrated in 1867, and in the 52 years since had never been home to Ireland, living in Boston where she was a Lodging House Keeper. She was going back to Ireland to “reside with her sister,” and had arranged to sell her house to that purpose. She intended to leave on the Caronia on 24th July 1920.

Hannah Walsh (Ancestry)

Hannah Walsh (Ancestry)

References

Selected Passports. National Archives, Washington, D.C. [Accessed via Archive.com]

Categories: 20th Century | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Portraits of Midleton People in New York Poorhouses, 1875-1915

The topic of Midleton people who emigrated away from the town and parish is one we have returned to a number of times. Many of those who left succeeded in improving their lot in life, uncovering opportunities that were unavailable to them at home. However, such was not the case for everyone. Many Midleton people faced times of struggle at some point after their departure. For some it would prove only a temporary setback, but for others it represented a permanent reduction in fortunes. In order to capture vignettes of some of these people’s lives, we have been looking at the records of residents in New York Poor Houses and Alms Houses, the State that likely took more 19th century Midleton emigrants than any other location on the planet. Below you will find details on almost 50 Midleton natives for whom hardship lay in store after their departure from Ireland. 

Underground lodgings for the poor of New York around 1869. Many people who ultimately ended up in Poor Houses would have been familiar with such scenes (Library of Congress)

Underground lodgings for the poor of New York around 1869. Many Midleton people who ultimately ended up in Poor Houses would have been familiar with such scenes (Library of Congress)

The topic of Irish dependents in New York Poor Houses has previously been examined on another site (see here). From 1875, these institutions were required to record details about those in their care, filling out forms that provide information on things such as age, marital status, emigration date, literacy, employment and cause of dependency. They also offered an opinion on whether or not individuals might escape dependency in the future. These records have been used to compile the brief biographical portraits you see below.

What is immediately apparent when reviewing the records is how easy it was to become dependent in 19th century New York. An inability to be able to earn a living was highly likely to leave individuals reliant on charity. Many of those below– such as men like Michael Humphrey– had suffered injuries which prevented them from working. Others, like Margaret Barry, were suffering from degenerative conditions such as the onset of blindness, which was a common physical reason for admission to Poor Houses.

The records not only tell us of hardship but also allow us to look at the trades of those admitted, and in many cases those of their fathers in Midleton. Many are typical of the working classes– laborers like John Colbert and John Hyde, or domestics like Mary Buckley and Mary Murphy. Some were tradesmen, like carpenter Patrick Brown, or worked as seamstresses, like Eliza Mead[e]. But there are also those who you might think less likely to find themselves in such straightened circumstances, such as John D. O’Brien, an engineer. Aside from trades, we can also gain an insight into differing literacy levels, which ranged from those who were able to read and write, like Michael Pomfrey, to people who could only read, like Hannah Mahony, or were completely illiterate, like Mary Collins.

As noted above, the onset of old age was a major factor leading to the dependence of many working-class people. Even where elderly individuals had adult children, those children often had families of their own or were too poor to be able to help with their parent’s support, resulting in their reliance on institutions. The reality for some– like William Ronan– was that they simply did not know where their children were. We often associate emigration with youth, but that was not always the case in the 19th century. Necessity often forced older people to uproot themselves from the place they had lived all their lives to cross the Atlantic. Thus we meet people like Ann Corcoran, who emigrated aged 50; Eliza Maher who left Midleton at 53; and Mary Welsh who left Cork forever at 60. Mary Keefe, who was 65-years-old, had only been in New York for a year and three months when she found herself in the Poor House.

The institutions were careful to note whether those in their care were of intemperate character, and went so far as to explore if that had been the case with their parents. In most instances where intemperance was recorded, it refers to alcohol abuse. The morality of the time also played a role on admittance. A number of young Midleton women were forced to seek aid in the Poor Houses for having children out of wedlock. It is in this context that we encounter the sad stories of 24-year-old Mary Ahearn, 23-year-old Mary Buckley and 26-year-old Mary Hayes. In their cases they had their children with them in the Poor Houses, and they were far from alone. It was not uncommon to have entire families admitted; for example all of Hannah Daley’s three children were in the Alms House with her.

It is important to recognise that going to the Poor House did not mean the end of the road for everyone. Some, like William Anderson, were there because of sickness or short-term/seasonal employment difficulties, and were expected to leave soon. But prospects of escape reduced for the elderly, the permanently disabled or the gravely ill. The record of Daniel Keller stated bluntly that the 30 year-old “will die here.” Each of these portraits has its own story to tell, and it is often a sad one. They serve to remind us that many thousands of Midleton people through history lived out their lives not in East Cork, but formed part of Irish emigrant communities around the globe, just as they continue to do today. You can explore each of the individuals researched in more detail below, where they arranged in alphabetical order by surname.

The New York Alms House Buildings on Blackwell’s Island (New York Public Library Record ID 706081)

The New York Alms House Buildings on Blackwell’s Island, where a number of the Midleton emigrants discussed below found themselves (New York Public Library Record ID 706081)

Mary Ahearn, Midleton. Admitted to Westchester County Poor House on 3rd March 1892. 

Mary was a 24-year-old single woman when she was admitted. She had arrived in New York from Ireland four years previously. Both her parents were from Midleton, where her father had been a laborer. Mary was a domestic, and could read and write. The cause of her dependence was that she was pregnant. It was felt that she may recover from her dependency.

William Anderson, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 13th December 1880.

William was a 37-year-old widower when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York from Ireland ten years previously and was a naturalized citizen. Both his parents had been from Midleton, and William, like his father, was a laborer. He was able to read and write. William was admitted due to chills and a fever, but was able to carry out light work. He was expected to leave the institution soon.

James Barry, Midleton. Admitted to Seneca County Poor House on 8th January 1891.

James was a 51-year-old single man on his admission. He had arrived in New York from Ireland 24 years previously, and was now naturalized. He worked as a laborer, as had his father- both his parents were also Midleton natives. He had a common school education. The cause of his dependence was “intemperance.” He was deemed capable of light work, but not to a great extent, and it was noted that he “should take care of himself and probably will soon.”

Margaret Barry, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 25th August 1875.

Margaret was a 30-year-old single woman when she was admitted. She had arrived in New York 22 years previously from Ireland. Both her parents had also been born in Midleton; her father had worked as a tailor. Margaret herself worked as a domestic, and was unable to read or write. The cause of her dependence was near blindness. Unable to perform work of any kind, it was determined that she would remain permanently dependent.

Patrick Barry, Midleton. Admitted to Wayne County Poor House on 11th December 1884.

Patrick was a 50-year-old widower when he was admitted. He had arrived into Canada from Ireland 37 years before, and had been in New York for 20 years. He was a naturalized citizen and worked as a laborer; his father had been a carpenter. He had four children still living. The reason for his dependence was that he had injured one of his eyes, but he was able to carry out light work. It was expected that he would recover.

Patrick Barry, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 14th January 1887.

Patrick was a 71-year-old married man when he was admitted. He was a naturalized citizen of the United States, having emigrated 44 years previously, landing in New York. Both his parents were also from Midleton; his father had been a tailor. Patrick himself worked as a stevedore. He had one brother and one sister, both of whom still lived in Ireland. Patrick also had a son of his own in New York. The cause of his dependence was given as homelessness and destitution. He was deemed able to carry out light labor, but it was deemed doubtful that he would ever recover from his dependency.

Michael Barry, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 7th January 1889.

Michael was a 43-year-old widower when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York from Ireland 20 years previously and was a naturalized citizen. Both his parents had been born in Midleton, where his father had been a laborer. Michael himself was a shoemaker; he was able to read and could “write a little.” Of his siblings, one brother was dead and one was still in Ireland, while he had four sisters in Ireland and one in New York. Michael also had three sons of his own. He had spent time in an institution before, in Mount Loretto on Staten Island. The reason for his dependency was given as paralysis, homelessness and destitution. He was deemed incapable of pursuing any labor, and it was thought doubtful he would ever recover from his dependency.

Patrick Brown, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 1st April 1886.

Patrick was a 70-year-old widower when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York from Ireland 30 years previously, and was now naturalized. Both his parents had been from Midleton, where Patrick’s father had been a laborer. Patrick was himself a carpenter, and was able to read and write. He had three children still living. The reason for Patrick’s dependence was old age and infirmity. Two year prior to his admission he had spent time with the Little Sisters of the Poor, but was discharged from there because of his “disobedience of orders.” It was thought probable that he would remain dependent.

Mary Buckley, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 16th November 1885.

Mary was a 23-year-old single woman when she was admitted. She had landed in New York three years before. Both her parents were also from Midleton, where her father had been a father. Mary worked as a domestic. She had one child, who was with her in the Alms House; the child was the reason for her admission, which was given as “bastardy.” She was able to carry out chamber work while in the Alms House. She had previously spent time in Kings County Hospital, and it was noted that “this young woman has stated particulars of her case to the Commissioners.” It was felt that she may recover from her dependence.

Margaret Carroll, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 10th April 1882.

Margaret was a 50-year-old single woman when she was admitted. She had arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia from Ireland some 33 years before. Her parents, who were both described as having been “intemperate”, had been from Carrigtohill. Her father had worked as a laborer- Margaret was a peddler. The cause of her dependence was given as an old fracture of the left arm, being nearly blind in the left eye, and “disorderly conduct.” Her habits were also described as intemperate. She had previously relied on charity twice and been admitted to Bellevue Hospital once. Her future was deemed “doubtful.”

Charles M. Carter, Midleton. Admitted to St. Lawrence County Poor House on 10th January 1878.

Charles was a 65-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had landed in Boston 31 years before, and was now naturalized. His father had been a farmer in Ireland. Charles was able to read, but apparently not to write. No further information was provided.

John Coleburt (Colbert), Midleton. Admitted to Chemung County Poor House on 5th November 1879.

John was a 63-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York 20 years before, and was naturalized. He was a laborer like his father before him, and like his father was also described as intemperate. The cause of his dependence was having no work. He had received three weeks of Out-Door Relief. It was felt he had a good chance of recovery- as he was a state charge he was going to be sent to the state Alms House.

Mary Collins, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 24th September 1895.

Mary was a 60-year-old widow when she was admitted. She had landed in New York 43 years previously. Her father had been a laborer in Ireland, Mary worked as domestic in New York. Mary had no education, and had two children still living. No reason was given for her dependence; her daughter’s address was given as 128 Cherry St.

John Connell, Midleton. Admitted to Orange County Poor House on 2nd December 1886.

John was a 47-year-old married man when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York 25 years before from Ireland, and was a naturalized citizen. John worked as a laborer, as his father had before him. The reason for his dependence was given as destitution; he had been in the Poor House the previous winter for the same reason. He was deemed to be unable to undertake any labour, but it was though probable that he would be able to leave again once the spring had arrived.

John Conners, Midleton. Admitted to Orange County Poor House on 7th October 1879.

John was a 41-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York 26 years before and was now naturalized. He had a common school education, and like his father worked as a laborer. The cause of his dependence was his inability to get work. It was determined that he would recover.

Ann Corcoran, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 24th July 1883.

Ann was 70-years-old on her admission. She was married, and had arrived in New York 20 years before from Ireland. Both Ann’s parents had been born in Midleton, where her father had been a farmer. Ann was able to read but not to write. She had no children but did have a brother in Boston. The cause of her dependence was homelessness, destitution, and bruising to her face caused by a fall. She had already been in an institution three times previously, and she was deemed as having little prospect of recovering from her dependence.

Hannah Daley, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 29th December 1885.

Hannah was a 37-year-old married woman when she was admitted. She had arrived in New York 7 1/2 years previously. Her parents had both been from Midleton, where her father was a farmer. Hannah could read and write, and was a housewife. She had three children, all of whom were with her in the Alms House. The cause of her dependence was destitution due to her husband being out of work. It was thought that she may recover.

Jeremiah Daly, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 15th December 1880.

Jeremiah was a 32-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York 11 years previously. Both his parents were from Midleton; like his father, Jeremiah was a laborer. He was able to read and write. The cause of his dependency was rheumatism, and he was able to undertake light work. It was expected that he would soon be able to leave.

Cath Donnovan, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 25th September 1877.

Cath was 26-years-old when she was admitted. She was married, and had arrived in New York 13 years previously from Ireland. Her father had been a laborer, Cath herself was a servant. She could read, but not write. Cath had two children, one of whom was in the hospital and the other who was with her in the Alms House. She was dependent because her husband had deserted the family. She had previously spent four weeks in hospital in 1877. Cath was able to contribute towards her own support in the Alms House through nursing, and it was deemed probable that she would recover from her dependency.

John Donovan, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 22nd September 1884.

John was a 64-year-old widower when admitted. He had been in the United States for 30 years. Both his parents had been from Midleton, and John, like his father, was a laborer. He could read and write and had two living children. The reason for his dependency was old age and infirmity- he had spent time in Kings County Hospital four years previously. His prospects for leaving were classed as “doubtful.”

Michael Fitzgerald, Midleton. Admitted to Westchester County Poor House on 17th November 1896.

Michael was a 43-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York from Ireland 17 years before and was naturalized. He was able to read, and worked as a Rock Man. His father had been a laborer. His mother was still alive, and he had three brothers. The cause of his dependence was sickness, and at the time he was not able to work. It was thought that he may recover from his dependence.

William Foley, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 26th December 1883.

William was 60-years-old when he was admitted. He was a widower, who had arrived in New York 16 years previously and was now naturalized. Both his parents had been born in Midleton, where his father had worked as a laborer. WIlliam was a shoemaker, and was able to read and write. He had sisters who lived in New York, and one son, William, who was 24-years-old and was then at sea. The cause of his dependence was homelessness, destitution and having no work. He was able to pursue shoemaking while in the Almshouse, and it was thought likely that he would recover from his dependence.

Mary Hayes, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 20th April 1877.

Mary was a 26-year-old single woman when she was admitted. She had arrived in New York from Ireland 12 years previously. Bother her parents were from Midleton, and her father had worked as a blacksmith. Mary was a servant who was able to read and write. She had one child living, who was with her in the Alms House. The cause of her dependence was given as “bastardy”, and during her time there she was able to work at nursing. She had previously spent three months in hospital in 1877, and it was felt that she would recover from her dependency.

James Herin, Midleton. Admitted to Putnam County Poor House on 5th February 1885.

James was a 70-year-old married man when admitted. He had landed in New York 50 years previously, and was a naturalized citizen. His father had also been from Midleton, and like James had been a laborer. He had no education, and also like his father, James was described as intemperate. He had seven children still living. The cause of his dependency was old age and lack of employment, and he was unable to do much work. It was felt he would probably not recover, and the following was added: “This man was brought here from Phillips town is quite feeble has worked in the west point foundry for nearly fifty years the probability is that he will remain a county charge as long as he lives.”

Michael Humphrey, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 11th December 1877.

Michael was a 38-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York from Ireland 25 years previously, and was now naturalized. Both his parents had been born in Midleton, and his father had worked as a blacksmith. Michael was also a blacksmith, and was able to read and write. The cause of his dependence was a sore leg, and at the time he was unable to work. It was felt that he would likely recover.

John Hyde, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 2nd January 1885.

John was a 56-year-old widower when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York from Ireland 35 years before, and was a naturalized citizen. His parents were both from Midleton, where his father had been a farmer. John was a laborer, and was described as intemperate. He had no education and had three living children. The reason for his dependence was given as intemperance. He was able to work, and it was felt that he may be able to recover.

Mary C Keefe, Midleton. Admitted to Saratoga County Poor House on 26th November 1889.

Mary was a 65-year-old widow when admitted. She had only been in the United States for a year and three months. Although she was born in Midleton, her parents were from Co. Waterford (her mother from Newtown). Her father had been a steward. Mary had no education, and was engaged in housework. She had two children living. The reason for her dependence was destitution. She was unable to do any work, and had previously received a few days of relief. No opinion was offered on her prospects for recovery.

Daniel Keller, Midleton. Admitted to Greene County Poor House on 10th August 1915.

Daniel was a 30-year-old single man when admitted. He had been born on Christmas Day 1884. Daniel had arrived in New York 8 years before, but was not naturalized. Both his parents were from Midleton, and he had a common school education. He worked as a laborer. The cause of his dependence was sickness. He had previously been to hospital and was a county charge. With respect to his probable destiny, it was noted that he “will die here.”

Ellen Kelley, Midleton. Admitted to Saratoga County Poor House on 25th January 1887.

Ellen was a 70-year-old widow when she was admitted. She had arrived in Quebec from Ireland 55 years before, and had made her way straight to New York. Her parents were both from Cork, and her father was from Midleton. He had worked as a shoemaker. Ellen had carried out housework, and she had no education. The reasons given for her dependence was destitution. It was thought probable that she would remain dependent.

Daniel Leahey, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 18th January 1883.

Daniel was a 50-year-old married man on his admission. He emigrated to New York 30 years previously. Both his parents and been from Midleton, where his father was a peddler. Daniel was a tanner, and was able to read and write. He had two sons still living. The reason for Daniel’s dependency was destitution, and a fracture of the hip which left him lame. He was able to carry out light labour. Daniel had previously spent time in Bellevue Hospital- it was felt that he would likely recover from his dependence.

Michael Leahy, Midleton. Admitted to Westchester County Poor House on 11th September 1894.

Michael was a 53-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had emigrated to New York 27 years before, and was now naturalized. He was a laborer like his father before him, and was able to read and write. The cause of his dependency was sickness, and at that time he was unable to work. He had spent some time in an institution before, and it was felt that he “may recover.”

George Lee, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 2nd December 1880.

George was a 38-year-old single man when admitted. He had emigrated to New York 6 years before, and was naturalized. Both his parents had been from Midleton, where his father had been a boot and shoe maker. George was a laborer, and was able to read and write. The cause of his dependence was “fever and ague” and George was able to undertake light work. He had previously spent 10 days in hospital. It was expected that he would recover from his dependency and be able to leave the Alms House soon.

James Lenden, Midleton. Admitted to Yates County Poor House on 2nd November 1885.

James was a 45-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had been in the United States for 20 years, and was a naturalized citizen. Both his parents were from Midleton, where James had received a common school education. His father had been a laborer, as was James. He had two brothers. The cause of James’s dependence was intemperance. He was able to work, but his outlook was bleak, as it was anticipated that he would remain dependent.

Eliza Maher, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 16th July 1883.

Eliza was a 70-year-old widow when she was admitted. She had emigrated to New York 17 years before. Both her parents had been born in Midleton, where her father had been a steward. Eliza had no occupation and no education and did not have any living children. The cause of her dependence was destitution, and four years prior to her 1883 admission she had relied on the charity of the Little Sisters of the Poor. She was given no chance of recovering her independence, with it deemed probable she would remain dependent.

Hannah Mahony, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 28th June 1876.

Hannah was a 60-year-old widow on admission. She had emigrated to New York from Ireland 43 years previously. Both her parents were from Midleton, where her father had been a Master Hostler. Hannah was a servant, and was able to read but could not write. The cause of her dependence was old age and rheumatism. Hannah was able to carry out needle work. She had been in and out of the Alms House for 8 years, and in and out of hospital over the same period. It was anticipated that she would remain dependent.

Charles McCarthy, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 18th August 1894.

Charles was 51-years-old when he was admitted. He was married, and had emigrated to New York 47 years before. Now a naturalized citizen, both his parents had also been born in Midleton. His father had been a farmer, Charles himself worked as a peddler. He had at least one child, but was now dependent as a result of blindness. He had previously received $37 from the City, and had spent time in Bellevue and Presbyterian Hospitals. The probability of him ever escaping from dependency was described as “hopeless.”

Michael McCarthy, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 6th January 1899.

Michael was a 59-year-old widower on admission. He had arrived in New York from Ireland 33 years previously, and was now a naturalized citizen. Michael followed his father’s profession of tailoring, and he was able to read and write. He had two brothers living in the United States and one sister in Ireland. He also had two sons still living, both of whom worked as laborers and lived at 371 Broome St; James, who was single, and Charles, who was married. The cause of his dependence was destitution. He was able to carry out ordinary work, and had spent time in hospital the previous November. It was thought that he would probably recover.

Eliza Mead, Midleton. Admitted to Kingston City Alms House on 22nd November 1886.

Eliza was a single woman of about 46 when she was admitted. She had been in the United States some 28 years. Her parents had both been from Midleton, where her father was a farmer. Eliza was a seamstress who could read but not write. The reason for her dependence was that she had no home. She was able to carry out sewing work, but despite that it was deemed likely that she would probably remain dependent.

Mary Murphy, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 3rd November 1887.

Mary was a 60-year-old widow on her admission. She had landed in New York from Ireland 35 years previously. Both her parents were from Midleton, where her father had been a farmer. Mary had no education and worked as a domestic. Her brothers (who lived in the U.S.) and sisters (who lived in Ireland) were all dead. The cause of her dependence was debility, homelessness and destitution. She was unable to work, and had spent time in Bellevue Hospital. It was deemed likely she would remain permanently dependent.

John Murray, Midleton. Admitted to Westchester Alms House on 8th November 1890.

John was a 60-year-old widower when he was admitted. He had arrived in the United States 30 years before. His parents were also from Midleton; John, like his father before him was a laborer. The cause of his dependence was that he had been a vagrant for the previous 6 months. He was capable of light work, but it was thought he would likely not recover from his dependency.

Richard Nugent, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 31st October 1878.

Richard was a 69-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had come to New York 50 years before, and was a naturalized citizen. Both his parents had been born in Midleton, where his father had been a laborer. Richard had no education, and worked as a carman. The reason for his admission was given as heart disease and destitution. unable to work, his potential for escaping dependency in the future was described as “doubtful.”

John D. O’Brien, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 4th December 1894.

John was a 42-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had emigrated to New York 25 years previously, and was now a naturalized citizen. His parents had been from Cork, where his father had been a laborer. John had a school education and had risen to become an engineer. He had three brothers and three sisters. The cause of his dependence was paralysis and destitution. He had previously spent time in Randall’s Island Hospital and it was thought that he may recover.

Michael Pomfrey, Midleton. Admitted to Kings County Alms House on 28th January 1881.

Michael was a 42-year-old single man when he was admitted. He had landed in New York 20 years before and was now a naturalized citizen. Both his parents had been from Midleton, where his father had been a horse shoer, the same trade that Michael followed. Michael was able to read and write. The cause of his dependence was a sore leg, as a result of which he was unable to work. He had previously spent three weeks in hospital, and he expected to leave the Alms House as soon as his leg was well.

William Ronan, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 13th December 1881.

William was a 59-year-old married man when he was admitted. He had emigrated from Ireland 16 years previously. Both his parents had been from Midleton, where his father had been a fisherman. William, who could read and write, worked as a laborer. His brothers and sisters were still in Ireland. He had four living children but did not know where they were. The reasons for his dependence were paralysis of the right side and destitution. He was unable to work, and had spent time more than four months and 9 days in various homes and in Bellevue Hospital. His future was deemed doubtful.

John Shanahan, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 19th April 1895.

John was a 65-year-old widower when he was admitted. He had arrived in New York from Ireland 45 years before, and was now a naturalized citizen. Both his parents had been from Midleton, where his father had been a shoemaker. John, who could read and write, followed in the same trade as his father. He had one daughter living, who was in the Home of the Good Shepherd. Te reason for John’s dependence was destitution. He was able for only light work, but his future prospects were deemed favourable.

Thomas Sullivan, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 14th November 1887.

Thomas was a 43-year-old married man on admission. He arrived in New York 20 years previously and was a naturalized citizen. Both his parents had been from Midleton, and Thomas, like his father before him, was a laborer. He had two sons a daughter, who were apparently living in Pennsylvania. The reason for his admission was homelessness, destitution and partial blindness. He was unable to work, and had previously spent time in Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. It was thought that he would recover from his dependence.

Mary Welsh, Midleton. Admitted to New York City Alms House on 1st May 1888.

Mary was a 90-year-old widow when she was admitted. She had emigrated from Ireland 30 years before. Her parents had both been from Midleton, where her father had been a farmer. Mary had no education, and worked as a housekeeper. The cause of her dependence was debility, homelessness and destitution. She could do no work, and had previously been in a Charity Hospital, from where she had been taken to the Alms House. It was considered likely she would remain permanently dependent.

These are far from the only people with Midleton connections who ended up in these institutions; indeed it is likely only a small sample. Others who are known but for whom records were not accessible include Daniel Cunningham, who was around 49 years-old when he was admitted in 1897, and Maggie Ford, who was 38 when she was admitted in 1897. Many more people with a parent from Midleton ultimately found themselves reliant on charity.

Inmates of the Poor House on Randall’s Island, East River, New York, forming in line for dinner, 1875 (New York Public Library Record ID 692408)

Inmates of the Poor House on Randall’s Island, East River, New York, forming in line for dinner, 1875 (New York Public Library Record ID 692408)

References

New York. State Bord of Charities. Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1835-1921. series A1978. Microfilm 225 rolls. New York State Archives, Albany, New York. Accessed via ancestry.com

NYPL Digital Gallery Record ID 692408

NYPL Digital Gallery Record ID 706081

Categories: Nineteenth Century | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Castles of Midleton

This week we were delighted to have Jenny O’Brien of Christ King Girls Secondary School in South Douglas working in Rubicon’s Midleton Office. Jenny is a Transition Year student, and was with us to learn more about the work we do in archaeology and heritage. As part of that, Jenny undertook a project for the Midleton Archaeology & Heritage blog to look at some local castles in the area. Jenny spent time researching a number of them before writing up her findings. Today she took to the field to photograph the sites and to share what she found with readers. Jenny has prepared the post below for us; everyone at Rubicon would like to thank her for her help, and for exploring the story of some of these sites for us!

Location of the Castles discussed in the text (Hannah Sims)

Location of the Castles discussed in the text (Hannah Sims)

Ballyvodock West

Ballyvodock West is a roughly square tower. Only the ground floor remains, except in the South-East corner where the first floor wall survives. (1) The Hodnetts, William and John Oge, were in residence here in 1582. John fitz Edmund Oge died in 1597 in possession of Ballyvodock West, which was then inherited by his son, William. In 1621, William mortgaged the property to Ludovic O’Cahill. (3) How Ballyvodock West came to be in ruins is something of a mystery. Some sources say it was destroyed by gunpowder in the last decade of the 17th century. (3) Other sources say it was blown up in the 1640s, during the Eleven Years War. (6)

Ballyvodock West Castle (Jenny O'Brien)

Ballyvodock West Castle (Jenny O’Brien)

Cahermone

Cahermone is a rectangular tower. Today, it is four storeys tall, although it was originally higher. It has an early 17th century appearance. (1) Cahermone was built around 1450 by John Fitzgerald.(8) In 1571, John fitz Edmund of Cloyne acquired the land and took up residence here. (3) In the farmyard, there is an arch stone inscribed with the date 1579, when John fitz Edmund may have renovated the house. (2) John fitz Edmund of Cloyne was then driven into Cork City by his cousin and namesake, John fitz Edmund of Castlemartyr, Seneschal of Imokilly. He returned to Cahermone in 1583. He later abandoned Cahermore for Ballymalloe. (3) In the 1650s, Cahermone was passed to Sir John Broderick. It is now situated on the private grounds of a farm. (8)

Cahermone Castle (Jenny O'Brien)

Cahermone Castle (Jenny O’Brien)

Coppingerstown

Coppingerstown is located in a farmyard. It is four storeys tall, with a conjoined one storey structure. It is connected with the Coppinger and Cotter families. (1) William Shane Cotter lived at Coppingerstown in the mid-16th century, but owned a lot of land elsewhere. The Cotters mortgaged the bulk of their land to John fitz Edmund of Cloyne, who occupied Cahermone. By 1589, Shane Ode MacCotter, brother and heir to William, had only Coppingerstown and Gearagh to leave to his son. In 1638, Shane’s grandson, William, mortgaged Coppingstown to Charles Caldwell, an Anglican clergyman. William’s lands were confiscated by the Cromwellian administration in the early 1650s. (3) Unfortunately the surviving elements of this castle appear to have recently collapsed.

Coppingerstown Castle (Jenny O'Brien)

Coppingerstown Castle (Jenny O’Brien)

Ballintotis

Ballintotis is a small, four storey tower. There is no door to the second floor, and it was probably entered through a manhole from below. Very little of its history is known. (4) Some consider the theory that the tower may have been part of the ‘outer defences’ of nearby Castlemartyr. (5) The tower was granted to George Moore in 1579, but was recovered soon after by the Fitzgeralds. (6)

Ballintotis Castle (Jenny O'Brien)

Ballintotis Castle (Jenny O’Brien)

Castleredmond

There is no visible surface trace of Castleredmond. (1) The site has been excavated, starting in June 2001 when three test-trenches were dug. They revealed a 1 metre section of the wall, 0.7 metres in height, made of limestone blocks. In December of that year, three more test-trenches were excavated and they exposed the limestone bedrock. Most of the remainder of the site has been filled with stone. (7)
This castle was ruinous by 1625. It was written by a man called Lewis in the 1840s that Castleredmond was built by a Redmond Fitzgerald during the reign of Henry VIII. Lewis then contradicted himself by saying that the last pre-Reformation Roman Catholic bishop of Cloyne was born in the castle. The bishop he refers to appears to have been part of a family living in Castlemartyr. Several sources say that Castleredmond may have been part of Corabbey. Corabbey was then owned by the Barry family, who seemed to be very connected to the Redmond family, as their names appear together often. (3)

Castleredmond Castle (Site Of) (Jenny O'Brien)

Castleredmond Castle (Site Of) (Jenny O’Brien)

Ballyannan

Ballyannan was a two storey, fortified house with an attic, and is now roofless. (1) The first building on the land was owned by the Hodnett family. (8) By 1601 the Hodnetts appear to have lost control of Ballyannan. Edward Gould, a Cork merchant, had the land in his possession by 1641. (3) In 1653, Sir John Broderick, a Cromwellian settler, took possession of the estate and rebuilt it into the fortified Tudor mansion that we see in the ruins today. (8)

Ballyannan Castle (Jenny O'Brien)

Ballyannan Castle (Jenny O’Brien)

References
1. “Archaeological Inventory of County Cork. Volume 2: East and South Cork”
2. “The Old Castles around Cork Harbour” – J. Coleman, 1915
3. “The Chronicles of Midleton” – Jeremiah Falvey, 1998
4. “Antiquarian Remains and Historic Spots around Cloyne” – J. Coleman, 1913
5. “The Castles of County Cork” – J. N. Healy, 1988
6. “The Castles of South Munster” – Mike Salter, 2004
7. http://www.iamlai.com – Sheila Lane, Consulting Archaeologist
8. http://www.castles.nl

Categories: Midleton Archaeology | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Searching for Midleton’s Missing 19th Century Emigrants

In a previous post on the site (see here) we looked at advertisements placed in the New York Irish American Weekly newspaper seeking information about East Cork immigrants. In an era where many people were illiterate, and communication often difficult, it was easy for families and friends to lose touch with one another. One way Irish emigrants tried to find loved ones was through placing ‘Information Wanted’ advertisements in Irish immigrant newspapers in the hope that the person they sought might hear of it. In this post, we have compiled the significant number of Information Wanted ads from the Boston Pilot, looking specifically at people from Midleton.

The Midleton advertisements range in date from 1841 to 1911, and are organised chronologically. Many are extremely poignant, as brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers sought to find each other, often after many decades apart. Here we discover Midleton people who had tried to make new lives, like James McSwiney who became a farmer in California, or Daniel Sullivan, who likely followed gold to New South Wales. John Buckley, who lived on Midleton’s Main Street, hoped to find his brother in New Jersey, while James Dexter was wondering why his brother had never returned to Boston following a visit to their mother on Chapel Street four years previously. The influence of the Pilot was far reaching– one of the most poignant advertisements sees Midleton’s Thomas Denehy, then living in Wollongong in Australia, seek to make contact with his brothers and sister who had emigrated to America 50 years before. Why not take a look through the ads (arranged chronologically) and see if you recognise any of the family names.

How the 'Information Wanted' advertisement for Jeremiah Hegarty, Midleton, appears in the New York Irish American Weekly (New York Irish American Weekly)

How the ‘Information Wanted’ advertisement for Jeremiah Hegarty, Midleton, appears in the New York Irish American Weekly (New York Irish American Weekly)

6th November 1841

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN COTTER, a native of Middletown, county Cork, Ireland. When last heard from he was in the employ of Charles Stark, Grocer, Charleston, South Carolina. His brother Edmund, who lives in Rockbottom, Ms., is anxious to hear from him. Should this meet his eye, he is requested to write immediately. Catholic Miscellany please copy.

5th November 1842

INFORMATION WANTED OF BARTHOLOMEW KEEFE, of the Parish of Carrictouhal, co. Cork, when last heard from was in Newport, R.I. His wife’s maiden name is Hennessy, a native of Middletown, co. Cork. They had one child when leaving home named Donnell. Any information respecting them will be thankfully received by Jeremiah Hennessy, addressed to 249 Ann st. Boston, Ms.

5th October 1844

INFORMATION WANTED OF BARTHOLOMY WALSH, a native of Middleton, Co. Cork, Ireland- when last heard from, was in Norfolk, Va.; any information respecting him would be thankfully received by his niece Ellen Sheehan, (alias) Mrs. Cody, Hartford, Ct.

25th January 1845

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN MARA, a native of parish of Middleton, co Cork. He left Boston on the 11th day of June last, and is about 27 years of age. Any information respecting him will be thankfully received by his sister, Mary Mara, care of Robert Garnett, 13 North Square, Boston, Ms.

17th May 1845

INFORMATION WANTED OF TIMOTHY LEAHY, formerly of Kilmountain, parish of Middleton, co. Cork, who came to this country about 8 years ago. When last hear from he was in Louisville, Ky, two years ago. Any information in relation to him will be thankfully received by his brother, Maurice Leahy, addressed to the care of Michael Leahy, No. 17 Hamilton street, Boston, Ms, or at this office.

6th February 1847

INFORMATION WANTED OF PHILIP CARRAUS, a native of Ballinthontis, parish of Middleton, co. Cork, who emigrated in 1844, and landed in New York, and is now supposed to be in Middleton, Ct. Any information respecting him will be thankfully received by Richard Shea, care of Mr. O’Hern, West Stockbridge, Berkshire Co., Ms.

18th September 1847

INFORMATION WANTED OF ABIGAIL FITZGERALD, who was married to a man by the name of Simon Welsh. She is a native of Middletown, co. Cork. They are supposed to be in Albany or Troy. Her brother, Patrick, is anxious to hear from her. Address him, Randolph, Ms.

6th November 1847

INFORMATION WANTED OF CATHERINE HARTNET, from Middleton, co’y Cork, who formerly lived as cook with Mrs. James Murphy in Middleton, and who left Liverpool in April, 1847, for New York, will write to Ellen Cannovan, care of Rufus Perkins, No. 51 Summer street, Boston, where she is to be found, she will get intelligence much to her advantage.

10th March 1849

INFORMATION WANTED OF MICHAEL COTTER, a native of Middleton, co. Cork, who left Ireland about 8 or 9 years ago, – when last heard from he was in Montreal, L.C. Any information respecting him will be thankfully received by his brother, Edmond Cotter, care of Mr. Benjamin Dayton, corner of Leveret and Brighton streets, Boston, Ms.

15th September 1849

INFORMATION WANTED OF DAVID AHERN, who emigrated to this country about 7 year ago and landed in Quebec. He is a native of Middleton, co. Cork. When last heard of was in Port Trent, District of Victoria, Upper Canada. Any information respecting him will be thankfully received by his brother, Mr. John Ahern, Hyde Park, Lackawana Iron Works, Luzerne County, Pa.

4th July 1851

INFORMATION WANTED OF MRS. LANE and Family having emigrated from Middleton, co. Cork, to the United States, some time since, – a friend in Charleston, South Carolina, wishes to hear from them. Should this meet their eye, they will please address J.B., Charleston, S.C.

16th August 1851

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN DALY, from parish of Middleton, co. Cork, who emigrated to this country 13 or 14 years ago, – was in New York when last heard from. Also, his daughter, HONORA DALY, who landed in Quebec 4 years ago last April. Also, PATRICK DALY, Sadler, who was in Quebec, when last heard of. Any information of them will be thankfully received by his son, JOHN DALY, care of Edmond Ryan, Montpelier, Vermont.

23rd August 1851

INFORMATION WANTED OF MICHAEL MCNAMARA of Middletown, co. Cork, who got married to Catherine Doyle, at Ireland Depot, Ms, in June, 1848. His brother-in-law, PIERCE DOYLE, wants to hear from them, and will thankfully receive any information directed to Indianapolis, Ia.

24th August 1850

INFORMATION WANTED OF SAMUEL WALSH, (gardener), and Abigail Walsh, otherwise Fitzgerald (his wife), natives of Middletown, co Cork, who left Ireland in 1831; when last heard from they were in Albany, N.Y., about 11 years ago, and supposed to be at present in Virginia. Any information respecting them will be thankfully received by her brothers, James and Patrick Fitzgerald, Randolph, Ms.

2nd October 1852

INFORMATION WANTED OF MICHAEL & MARY GOLDEN, from parish Middleton, who sailed from Cove in July, 1847- landed in New York. When last heard from were in Quayekey N.Y. He is a tailor by trade. Any information respecting them will be thankfully received by his brother, DANIEL GOLDEN, Baker, – or by BARTHOLOMEW TAYLOR, No. 87 Ann street, Boston, Ms.

2nd December 1854

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN CRONIN, of Middleton, co Cork, who left home 2 yrs ago and was year since in Jago, near Buffalo, NY. Information will be received by his wife Honora, care of A A Cody, Middletown Conn.

6th October 1855

INFORMATION WANTED OF MICHAEL FITZGIBBON, of Middletown, co Cork, who landed in New York in 1850; when last heard from was in Rockett, Worcester co, NY. Please address his sisters Margaret and Ellen, care of John White, 58 Liverpool st, East Boston, Mass.

13th October 1855

INFORMATION WANTED OF PATRICK & MARTIN BARRY, of Middleton, co’y Cork, who were last heard of in Corning Steuben co, NY, and are supposed to be in Michigan. Information received by their brother John, Floras Depot, Dinwiddy co, Va.

24th November 1855

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN, Mary and Bridget MOORE, of parish Middleton, co’y Cork; when last heard from John was in Albany 7 years ago. His father is anxious to hear of him or his sisters. Please address John Moore, care of Mr P Doyle, Arcade, Toronto, CW.

5th January 1856

INFORMATION WANTED OF MARGARET AHEARN, of parish Middleton, Cork, who came to this country about 6 months ago, and landed in New York city, where she was last heard from. Information received by her sister Ellen, care of Miss. Eliza Ahearn, 23 Joy st, Boston, Mass.

16th February 1856

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN and JOSEPH SCANLIN, native of Midletown, Co Cork, when last heard of John was some four years ago, was in Pittsburg. Information received by their sister Mary; address, care of Mathew Lians, No 54 Light St, Baltimore.

8th March 1856

INFORMATION WANTED OF MARY FAILY, (then her maiden name) of parish Middleton, co Cork, who when last heard of, 3 years ago, was in Catherine Slip, No 27 New Market, N York city. Information received by her brother William, Galena, Ill.

28th June 1856

INFORMATION WANTED OF ELLEN and JOHANA SHEA, of Middletown, who sailed from Cork 4 years ago last September; when last heard from , about 2 years since, were in Columbus, Ohio. Johana is married to John Hinchy, of the county Clare, who was last heard of in Toledo, O. Information received by their brother Michael, Little Valley, Catteraugus county, NY.

18th October 1856

INFORMATION WANTED OF MRS. OLIVER, (maiden name Mary Fitzgerald,) a native of Middleton, who came to this country in 1836; when last heard from was in Dark county, Indiana. Information received by her sister, Bridget Burns, Zanesville, Ohio.

3rd April 1858

INFORMATION WANTED OF DENIIS O’BRINE, painter by trade, formerly of Middleton; when last heard from he was living in Sea Street, Boston. Information received by his sister, Mrs Elizabeth O’Sullivan, Jackson, Miss.

23rd October 1858

INFORMATION WANTED OF JAMES FITZGIBBON, native of parish of Middletown, who landed in Boston in 1854, and when last heard from was in Missouri, in June, 1856. Any person knowing his whereabouts would confer a great favor by addressing his sister Catherine, Roxbury, Mass.

11th December 1858

INFORMATION WANTED OF PATRICK KEEFFE, from Middleton, who came to this country 3 or 4 years ago. Information will be thankfully received by his brother Owen, Woodberry, Baltimore county, Maryland.

2nd April 1859

INFORMATION WANTED OF DENIS O’KEEFE, a native of parish Middleton, who went to England about 13 years ago, came to America shortly after, and was last heard of in Cincinnati, Ohio, in Seventh street. Should he or any one acquainted with him see this, he will hear of something to his advantage by addressing his brother John’s wife, (maiden name Ann Fitzgerald) or Thomas McDonough, Waukegan, Lake county, Illinois.

28th May 1859

FIVE DOLLARS REWARD. INFORMATION WANTED OF DENNIS O’KEEFE, of Middleton, parish of Middleton, county Cork, who went to England 11 years ago and came to America a short time after; when last heard of he was in Seventh street, Cincinnati, Ohio. There has been a certain amount of money willed to him by his uncle. The above reward will be paid for any information of him, dead or living. All particulars can be learned by addressing Mrs. Ann Foy, or Thomas McDonough, Waukegan, Lake county, Illinois. [Advertisement was again repeated on 20th August 1859]

10th March 1860

INFORMATION WANTED OF DENIS BUCKLEY, who came to this country in April, 1857, and, when last heard from, was living in New Jersey. His brother, John, who lives in Main Street, Middletown, county Cork, Ireland, is anxious to hear of him, care of his cousin, Denis Conway, Middleton, Mass.

22nd September 1860

INFORMATION WANTED OF THOMAS FITZGERALD, of parish Middleton, who left Nashville, in October, 1858, for Cincinnati. Please address Helen Fitzgerald Nashville, Tenn.

13th July 1861

INFORMATION WANTED OF JEREMIAH CASHMAN, who left the parish of Middleton in 1854, and is supposed to have gone to Chicago or Kentucky. His mother and friends are anxious to hear from him at 270 North Eutau street, Baltimore, Maryland.

13th December 1862

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN WALSH, a blacksmith by trade, native of the parish of Lisgoold, Middletown, county Cork; when last heard from in February last, had landed in Boston, and began working at his trade. His age is about 20 years. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his sister Eliza Walsh, No 3 Clark st, Newport, RI.

13th October 1866

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN MULLINS, of Middleton, county Cork, who sailed from Liverpool for this country in 1859. He is supposed to be in some of the Western States. Any information concerning him will be thankfully received by his brother, Jeremiah Mullins, Burlington, Vermont.

13th July 1867

INFORMATION WANTED OF GARRET BARRY, (butcher) a native of the parish of Lisgool, county Cork, Ireland, who left Middleton, county Cork, for this country in the year 1844 or ’45, and has not been heard from since. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his brother, John Barry, No 6 Lawrence street court, Charlestown, Mass.

22nd February 1868

INFORMATION WANTED OF DANIEL SULLIVAN, a native of Middleton, county Cork, who left Ireland about 15 years ago and came to Boston. he left Boston about eleven years ago, and went to New South Wales; when last heard from, about seven years ago, he was in Munderlow Bridge, New South Wales. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his father, Daniel Sullivan, No. 42 Billerica street, Bost, Mass. New South Wales papers please copy.

24th October 1868

INFORMATION WANTED OF PATRICK DEXTER, a native of Chapel Road, Middleton, county Cork, Ireland. He went home from Boston about four years ago to see his mother, and left there to come back to Boston. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his brother, James Dexter, 128 Albany street, Boston, Mass.

5th February 1870

INFORMATION WANTED OF JAMES McSWINEY, a native of Middleton, county Cork, Ireland; when last heard of was in San Francisco, Cal; he wrote to his sister Jane in September, 1859; said he had a farm of one hundred acres in Penola Valley, Contra Costa country, Cal. He is about 28 years of age, and has been to sea some time after leaving Middleton. Any information of him, dead or alive, will be thankfully received by his sisters, Jane or Bessie McSwiney, Main street, Middleton, county Cork, Ireland; or by John Mahoney, Co. G, 3d Regiment U.S. Cavalry, Fort Union, New Mexico. California papers please copy.

26th February 1870

INFORMATION WANTED OF EDMOND O’LOUGHLIN, formerly of Middleton, county Cork, now living in Boston, will oblige a cousin by sending his present address to C.R., Post-office, Montreal, Canada.

28th May 1870

INFORMATION WANTED OF MARGARET SCANLAN, a native of parish of Middleton, county Cork, who married a man by the name of Michael Hennisy, about 20 years ago; when last heard from, about 10 years ago, she was in Springfield, Mass. Information will be received be her sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Stark, Brown county, Minn.

2nd July 1870

INFORMATION WANTED OF FANNY CALLAHEN, from Middleton, county Cork, who came to this country about 10 years ago, she got married since, but don’t know her husband’s name; when last heard from was in West Constant, outside of Boston. Information of her will be received by her brother, John Callahen, Onota, Grand Island, Lake Superior, Mich.

16th July 1870

INFORMATION WANTED OF WILLIAM O’CONNELL, a native of Middleton, county Cork, who left Charleston, Kinawa county, West Virginia, in June, 1869, and has not been heard from since. Information of him will be received by his wife, Mary O’Connell, Charleston, Kinawa county, West Virginia.

22nd April 1871

INFORMATION WANTED OF THOMAS WHITE, baker by trade, son of John and Margaret White, a native of Middleton, county Cork; when last heard from was in Melbourne, Australia. Information concerning him will be received by his sisters. Address Hanora White, care of John Flynn, No. 5 Mystic Place, Charlestown. Mass.

17th June 1871

INFORMATION WANTED OF MICHAEL LOMASNEY, a native of Castlmartyr, county Cork, who emigrated from Middleton, of said county, in 1869; aged 26 years; when least heard of he was in Savannah, Georgia, January, 1871. Information of him will be received by his brother, Thomas Lomasney, Portland, Middlesex county, Conn.

14th October 1871

INFORMATION WANTED OF THOMAS CONAL, or his wife (maiden name Nellie McCarty), born in Middleton, county Cork, who came to Boston 26 years ago; they moved from Boston to Norwich, Conn., where they lived about seven years; when last heard from, about 18 years ago, they were in the State of New York. Information of them will be received by her brother, Timothy McCarty, No. 1 Foster place, Boston, Mass. [an advertisement of 21st October corrects to ‘born in Churchtown, near Middleton’]

27th June 1874

INFORMATION WANTED OF JOHN MCDERMOTT, Middleton, co. Cork, who left Ireland about four years ago, and landed in New York; from there he went West. His brother heard a short time ago that he was in New Hampshire, but left there for Maine or Massachusetts. Any one knowing where he is will confer a great favor by addressing his brother, Patrick McDermott, corner of Warren and Jefferson streets, East Cambridge, Mass.

12th September 1874

INFORMATION WANTED OF COLMAN and MICHAEL SISK, of Midleton, county Cork, who are supposed to be residing at present in some one of the Eastern States. Any person knowing their present address will confer a great favor by communicating the same to William Kidney, corner of Compton and Clark avenue, St. Louis, Mo.

21st August 1875

INFORMATION WANTED OF PATRICK, COLEMAN and MICHAEL SPLAIN, sons of Patrick Splain and Johanna Day, parish of Midleton, county Cork; they left Ireland 25 years ago; when last heard from Michael and Patrick were in Washington county, Vermont, and Coleman somewhere in Massachusetts. Information of them will be received by Lawrence Splain, Putnam county, N.Y.

14th January 1877

INFORMATION WANTED OF ANDREW HYDE, formerly of Middletown, county Cork; when last heard from was in Portland, Conn. Information of him will be received by his sister, Minnie Hyde, 374 Main Street, Charlestown, Mass.

24th January 1880

INFORMATION WANTED OF OWEN O’KEEFFE, son of Owen and Ellen O’Keeffe (maiden name Coleman), a native of Middleton, county Cork, who left home about 28 years ago, and went to England; left there for this country; when last heard from was in California. Information of him will be received by his brother, John O’Keeffe, Hingham, Mass.

21st May 1892

INFORMATION WANTED OF MRS. MARY COTTER, (born Mary Upton), a native of parish of Middleton, County Cork, who came to this country when young. It is known that she settled in Boston, and that her family are at present living in this city, Boston or vicinity. Any information of her, or any of her family, will be thankfully received by Miss Maggie Upton, a niece of Mrs. Cotter. Address 2256 North Ninth Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

22nd April 1905

INFORMATION WANTED OF ELLIE KENEALY, daughter of John Kenealy, hardware merchant of Midleton, County Cork, Ireland, who I think is now in Boston , or vicinity, will communicate with John Walsh, of East Berlin, Conn., she will hear of something to her advantage.

23rd December 1911

INFORMATION WANTED OF MICHAEL and DENIS and HONORA DENEHY, brothers and sister, born near the town of Middleton, County Cork, Ireland, went to America about 1860 or 1861; last heard of was at Boston Mass. Brother Thomas, address Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, would like to hear from above or any of their family.

References

Harris, Ruth-Ann M., Donald M. Jacobs, and B. Emer O’Keeffe, editors. Searching for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in “The Boston Pilot 1831–1920”. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1989.

Categories: 20th Century, Nineteenth Century | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Few Families…Suffered As We Did:’ War of Independence Pension Files Associated with Midleton

The Military Archives have released another tranche of material relating to the Easter Rising, War of Independence and Civil War. Included among them are some more pension files that connect to service during the War of Independence around the Midleton area. There will be further releases in the coming months and years, but already there is much to interest us locally among what is available. The pension files in particular can contain great insights into the War of Independence in East Cork. Take for example the statement included in the pension application of Christina Ahern, of Cumman na mBan, charting her experiences during the conflict:

From the inception of the volunteers in East Cork, our house, situated midway between Carrigtwohill and Midleton, was a recognised clearing house for all Volunteers activities. We also had a business in Cobh and maintained daily communication for volunteer purposes there. As stated in my claim our house was burned and my eldest brother brutally killed and things got so bad that we could not engage a farm labourer as they would not stay any time with us. Actually some members of the A.S.U. [Active Service Unit] were sent to us from time to time to assist in the farm work and to provide protection. Both my mother and an invalid sister died shortly after the Truce and their deaths can be attributable to a certain extent to the strain they had undergone. My younger brother who was a very active volunteer officer and a member of the A.S.U. died in 1923. As a result of all our activities our farm property had eventually to be sold and our prosperous market gardening business at Cobh had to close up. I think I can honestly say that few families in the South of Ireland suffered as we did. I am not claiming from a sympathetic point of view but for my service as O/C [Officer Commanding] of the Cumann na mBan and the statements made in my claim can be fully verified.

The burnt cottage at Clonmult, where 12 members of the local Flying Column were killed (a further two were executed later). Many of these men had participated in the Midleton Ambush.

The burnt cottage at Clonmult, where 12 members of the local Flying Column were killed (a further two were executed later).

All of these files are free to access and we would encourage you to explore them. Those currently available with direct links to Midleton are as follows (click on the hyperlinks to access the file):

 

Categories: 20th Century, War of Independence | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cork’s Darkest Day of World War Two? Cork Losses on HMS Glorious, 75 Years Ago

The 8th June 2015 marks the 75th anniversary of one of the Royal Navy’s costliest engagements of World War Two. This date also has significance for Cork, as it almost certainly represents the worst single day’s loss of Cork men serving in Allied forces during the entire conflict. On that day at least 22 natives of the Rebel county were killed when HMS Glorious, HMS Ardent and HMS Acasta encountered the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off the coast of Norway. The vast majority of them were in their late teens and early twenties. 

HMS Glorious in May 1940 (U.S. Naval Historical Center)

HMS Glorious in May 1940 (U.S. Naval Historical Center)

In early June 1940 the Royal Naval Aircraft Carrier HMS Glorious had been sent to Narvik to assist with the evacuation of British forces from Norway. Early on the morning of 8th June, she set through the Norwegian Sea for her return trip to Scapa Flow, accompanied by her two destroyer escorts, HMS Ardent and HMS Acasta. Around 4 o’clock that afternoon the Glorious spotted two vessels on their western horizon. Disastrously for the isolated vessels, these proved to be the extremely formidable German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

HMS Ardent was the first to close with the Germans as she sought to identify the ships; she came under fire from them just before 4.30. In an effort to protect the Glorious from the enemy, Ardent released smoke to conceal her charge. Before the smoke took full effect, Glorious was struck for the first time. The distance at which the Scharnhorst hit her– 24,000 metres, or some 24km– illustrates the extreme range under which naval combat could commence. Over the course of the next two hours the Glorious sought to escape while the Ardent and Acasta tried desperately to protect her. Their efforts were doomed. Ardent was the first to be sunk, going down at around 5.25 pm. Glorious was sent to the bottom around 6.10, followed by Acasta some ten minutes later. There were few survivors; for those who did succeed in getting off the ships, the failure of the German vessels to pick up survivors consigned many to death by exposure. Only around 45 men survived– a staggering 1,519 sailors were lost. (1)

Each of the three Royal Naval ships carried Irishmen among their compliments. Below are details on the 22 Corkmen and 15 other Irish sailors from the 26 counties who we have identified as being lost that day. Where possible we have sought to uncover more detail about their origins through baptismal records and Census returns, but we are eager to hear from readers who may have additional information on any of them. Behind each of their names are individual stories of life and, ultimately, loss. Among their number are young men like 19-year-old Patrick Pearse Murphy from Cork City, a boy clearly named for the 1916 Revolutionary leader, who ultimately gave his life fighting for the British against Nazi Germany. Tragically the list also includes brothers James and Joseph Regan; it is hard to imagine what it must have been like for their family in Leap, Co. Cork, when word came through that both had been lost aboard Glorious, 75 years ago next week.

The Scharnhorst (German Federal Archives)

The Scharnhorst (German Federal Archives)

HMS Glorious 

Barrett, James. Leading Seaman, age 26. Son of William and Margaret Barrett, Bandon. Co. Cork. The 1911 Census records James’s father William (34), a shoemaker, living with his wife Margaret (26), son John (3) and daughter Elizabeth (2) at 24 Cavendish Quay in Bandon.

Calnan, Timothy. Stoker First Class, age not given. Son of Timothy and Hannah Calnan, Lispatrick, Co. Cork. Timothy Senior was recorded as a39-year-old fisherman in the 1911 Census. He lived at a house in Lispatrick Lower, Ballymackean with his new wife Hannah (31) and niece Maggie (16).

Daunt, James. Chief Petty Officer, age 37. Son of Thomas and Teresa Daunt of Rostellan, Co. Cork. The 1911 Census records the Daunt family at house 12 in Farsid, Rostellan. James was then 9-years-old and living with his 28-year-old mother Teresa and 2-year-old sister Emily. 

Hayes, Denis Anthony. Able Seaman, age 22. Son of Timothy and Helena Hayes, Skibbereen, Co. Cork.

Holland, James Christopher Holland. Stoker First Class, age 25. Son of James and Mary Holland of Kinsale, Co. Cork.

Kelly, Joseph Patrick. Petty Officer Writer, age 23. Son of Patrick J. and Helena M. Kelly, Summerhill, Co. Cork.

McCarthy, John David. Stoker First Class, age 21. Son of Timothy and Mary McCarthy, Kinsale. Co. Cork.

Minihane, Denis John. Stoker First Class, age 23. Son of Denis and Mary Minihane, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork. The only Denis Minihane on the 1911 Census was a 21-year-old agricultural labourer and is likely Denis John’s father. He lived in Downeen.

Murphy, John Stanislaus. Stoker First Class, age 22. Son of John T. and Sheila Murphy, Youghal, Co. Cork.

Murphy, Patrick Pearse. Able Seaman, age 19. Son of Patrick J. and Ellen Murphy of Cork. Born in Cork City in 1920. 

O’Brien, James Francis. Stoker First Class, age 25. Son of Denis and Mary O’Brien of Cork.

O’Leary, Joseph. Stoker First Class, age 21. Son of Daniel and Mary O’Leary, Clonakilty, Co. Cork. In 1911 Joseph’s parents Daniel (a 30-year-old agricultural labourer) and Mary (20) had just celebrated the birth of their son Michael John who was 6 months old. They lived with Mary’s parents and siblings at a house in Knockskagh, Clonakilty. 

Regan, James. Leading Stoker, age 24. Son of Jeremiah and Margaret Regan, Leap, Co. Cork. His brother Joseph died with him. As far as I can establish the Regan’s father Jeremiah was originally from Brulea, Co. Cork.

Regan, Joseph. Stoker First Class, age 22. Son of Jeremiah and Margaret Regan, Leap, Co. Cork. His brother James died with him.

Regan, Timothy. Able Seaman, age 33. Son of Jeremiah and Mary Regan, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork.

Roche, John Michael. Stoker First Class, age 21. Son of Nicholas John and Margaret Roche, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork.

Russell, Denis Augustine. Stoker Second Class, age 20. Son of Jeremiah and Catherine Russell, Cork. Denis was born in Cork City in 1919.

Stack, Thomas. Petty Officer Stoker, age 36. Son of Michael and Hanna Stack, Youghal, Co. Cork. In 1911 the Stacks lived at 4 Foxes Lane, Youghal. Thomas was (incorrectly?) recorded as a 2-year-old boy living with his father Michael, a 34-year-old general labourer, his mother Johanna (30), sisters Mary (3) and Ellen (1).

Thornhill, John. Able Seaman, age 19. Son of John and Mary Thornhill, Watergrasshill, Co. Cork.

HMS Ardent (Imperial War Museum FL870)

HMS Ardent (Imperial War Museum FL870)

HMS Ardent

Hegarty, Michael John. Able Seaman, age 28. Son of Michael and Anne Hegarty of Castletownshend, Co. Cork.

Lucey, James Joseph. Leading Seaman, age 26. Son of Denis and Mary Lucey of Cork.

HMS Acasta (Wikipedia)

HMS Acasta (Wikipedia)

HMS Acasta

Kiernan, Francis Augustin. Supply Assistant, age 25. Son of Francis R. and Margaret M. Kiernan of Cork. Francis was born in Cork City in 1914. 

Kevin Myers has noted that 65 men from the island of Ireland died as a result of the sinkings of Glorious, Ardent and Acasta. Aside from the 22 Cork men outlined above, I have identified a further 15 men from the the 26 counties who perished on that June day. Their names are recorded below. (2)

The Gneisenau (German Federal Archives)

The Gneisenau (German Federal Archives)

Other Irish Casualties

Byrne, Patrick William. HMS Glorious. Stoker Second Class, age 23. Son of Peter and Mary Byrne, Dublin.

Collins, James. HMS Glorious. Stoker First Class, age not given. Son of Michael and Mina C. Collins, Kilnaboy, Co. Clare.

Doyle, Benedict Leo. HMS Glorious. Able Seaman, age 24. Son of Michael and Mary Doyle, Dublin.

Duggan, Dermot Harry Tuthill. HMS Ardent. Surgeon Lieutenant, age 27. Son of Captain George Grant Duggan (Royal Irish Fusiliers) and Dorothy De Courcy Duggan, Foxrock, Co. Dublin. Dorothy not only lost her son in World War Two, but her husband in World War One. George, an Irish international cross-country runner, was killed in Gallipoli on 16th August 1915 and is remembered on the Helles Memorial.

Fogarty, Marcus. HMS Glorious. Leading Sick Berth Attendant, no age given. Son of William and Ellen Fogarty, Killenaule, Co Tipperary.

Forsyth, John Thomas. HMS Glorious. Able Seaman, age 20. Son of John and Amy Forsythe, Sandycove, Co. Dublin.

Keogh, Patrick Kevin. HMS Glorious. Able Seaman, age 19. Son of Mary and Jane Keogh of Dublin.

Koyce, John. HMS Acasta. Stoker First Class, age 21. Son of Patrick and Hannah Koyce of Limerick.

Langan, Maurice. HMS Glorious. Stoker First Class, age 33. Son of Peter and Anne Langan, Tarbert, Co. Kerry.

McGhee, Edmond. HMS Glorious. Ordinary Seaman, age 18. Son of John and Elizabeth McGhee, Kilkenny

Pearse, George Passmore. HMS Glorious. Surgeon Lieutenant, age 31. Son of Charles Perrin Pearse and Ellen Gertrude Pearse, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.

Pender, John. HMS Glorious. Ordinary Seaman, age 19. Son of Mrs. C. Pender, Gorey, Co. Wexford.

Porter, William. HMS Glorious. Able Seaman, age 26. Son of William and Mary Porter, Annamore, Co. Wicklow.

Stuart, Francis. HMS Glorious. Petty Officer Stoker, age 31. Son of James and Alice Stuart, Marino, Co. Dublin.

White, William Patrick. HMS Glorious. Able Seaman, age 27. Son of Christopher and Catharine White, Dermotstown, Delahasey, Co. Dublin.

(1) Howland, McMurtie; (2) Myers;

References

Howland, Vernon M. Loss of HMS Glorious

McMurtie, Francis E. 1946. The Tragedy of HMS Glorious

Commonwealth Wargraves Commission

Myers, Kevin., 9th June 2010, Irish Independent. Let Us Not Forget Irish Deaths in Calamitous Events of 1940. 

Categories: 20th Century | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Cork Men Who Died at Dunkirk & in the Fall of France, 75 Years Ago

On 10th May 1940, 75 years ago, the German army swept into the Low Countries and France. It was a campaign that culminated in Operation Dynamo– the famed evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk a little less than a month later. The Irish Free State remained neutral during the conflict, but despite this large numbers of Irishmen served in Allied forces during the war. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary we have been looking at local men who were involved in the 1940 fighting, and also taking a wider look at the impact of the Fall of France on Cork families.

The Commonwealth Wargraves Commission records 14 men with Cork connections who died during the campaign. There are undoubtedly many more– if you have details of any please pass them on to us. They include Private John Cashman of the Leicestershire Regiment, formerly of 12 Railway Terrace in Midleton. He was killed in action on 26th May 1940 and is remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial. Another is Stoker Patrick Stanton of H.M.S. Havant, from Rostellan. He was killed during a Stuka attack on 2nd June 1940. It is worth sparing a thought for these and the other Cork men who lost their lives trying to stem the Nazi onslaught in the summer of 1940, 75 years ago.

British troops wading out to a destroyer to evacuate at Dunkirk © IWM (HU 41240)

British troops wading out to a destroyer to evacuate at Dunkirk © IWM (HU 41240)

2nd Class Aircraftman (Wireless Operator) Patrick Aherne, 110 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Age 20. Son of William Aherne and Bridget Aherne (Shanahan) of Youghal. Died 14th May 1940. Buried Sedan-Torcy French National Cemetery. Patrick served on a Bristol Blenheim light bomber and died when his plane was taken down while attacking German forces around Sedan. You can find more details on his plane here.

A Blenheim of 110 Squadron in August 1940 © IWM (HU 104641)

A Blenheim of Patrick Aherne’s 110 Squadron in August 1940 © IWM (HU 104641)

Private Patrick Daniel Foley, 7th Royal Sussex Regiment

Age 21. Son of Richard and Hanna Foley of Cork. Died 20th May 1940. Dunkirk Memorial. Patrick served in A Company, and died in the battalion’s first encounter with German troops. You can read about their experiences facing German tanks and infantry on 20th May in the battalion War Diary here.

Flying Officer (Pilot) Francis Derek Bird, 59 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Age 23. Son of John Bowyer Bird and Elizabeth Mary Bird of Buttevant. Died 22nd May 1940. Winner 440 yards and equal first in the Long Jump, Inter Services Athletic Meeting, 1937. Francis’s father John appears on the 1911 Census living as a boarder in the Nice residence at 150 Davis Street, Mallow. He was a Detective Inspector in the R.I.C. Like Patrick Aherne, Derek flew a Bristol Blenheim. His aircraft was shot down near Fricourt.

Blenheims of 59 Squadron taking off in France in 1940 © IWM (C 1166)

Blenheims of Francis Bird’s 59 Squadron taking off in France in 1940 © IWM (C 1166)

Guardsman Brian O’Flynn, 2nd Irish Guards

Age 20. Son of William and Kate O’Flynn of Cork. Date of death unknown, but between 23rd May and 4th June 1940. Buried Outreau Communal Cemetery.The 2nd Irish Guards were particularly heavily engaged around Boulogne. You can read more about that engagement here.

Fusilier William Joseph Steele, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers

Age 20. Son of William and Annie Steele of Cork, husband of Kathleen Josephine Steele of Spangle Hill, Cork. Died 26th May 1940. Buried Dunkirk Town Cemetery.

The 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers in France, 1940 © IWM (O 159)

Joseph Steele’s 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers in France, 1940 © IWM (O 159)

Fusilier Michael Keating, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers

Age 22. Son of Michael and Christina Keating of Carrigrohane. Died 26th May 1940. Buried Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.

Men of the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers manning a French anti-tank gun in France, 1940 © IWM (F 2149)

Men of the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Michael Keatings regiment, manning a French anti-tank gun in France, 1940 © IWM (F 2149)

Private Timothy Patrick Cronin, 2nd Dorsetshire Regiment

Age 27. Son of Stoker 1st Class Christopher Cronin, Royal Navy and Christine Cronin of Cork. Died 26th May 1940. Dunkirk Memorial. Christine Cronin not only lost her son at Dunkirk– her husband Christopher had also died on active service while serving on H.M.S. Swindon on 30th November 1919. He is buried in Lyre Catholic Churchyard. You can read about the Dorsetshire actions along the La Bassée Canal where Timothy was killed here.

Inspection of men of the 2nd Dorsetshires in France, 1940 © IWM (F 2572)

Inspection of men of the 2nd Dorsetshires in France, 1940, the regiment in which Timothy Cronin served © IWM (F 2572)

Private John Cashman, 2/5th Leicestershire Regiment

Age 31. Son of Thomas and Margaret Cashman of Midleton. Died 26th May 1940. Dunkirk Memorial. The 1911 Census shows the family living at 12 Railway Terrace in Midleton. Then 3-year-old John was living with his sisters Mary (7) Margaret (6), mother Margaret (30), father Thomas (40) who worked as a carrier, and grandfather John (70) who was a retired groom. You can see a photo of John and details of his service here.

Stoker 1st Class William John O’Shea, H.M.S. Pangbourne

Age 28. Son of Dennis and Maria O’Shea of Drishane. Died 31st May 1940. Dover (St. James’s) Cemetery. The 1911 Census shows William’s parents Dennis (34), a farmer, and Maria (22) living with Dennis’s brother Cornelius (26) and parents William (69) and Margaret (68) at 13 Drishane More. William died as a result of wounds inflicted during a Stuka dive bomber attack on his vessel as part of the evacuation. For an extremely graphic account of this attack and its impact on Pangbourne click here.

HMS Pangbourne © IWM (FL 17237)

HMS Pangbourne, the vessel on which William O’Shea suffered his mortal wound © IWM (FL 17237)

Able Seaman Harry Vincent Hazeldene, H. M. Tug St. Abbs

No age given. Son of William and Elisabeth Hazeldene of Blackrock. Died 1st June 1940. Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Harry lost his life when the St. Abbs was sunk by German aircraft off Dunkirk during the evacuation. You can see details of where the St. Abbs now rests on the seafloor here.

Leading Stoker Patrick Stanton, H.M.S. Havant

Age 40. Son of Patrick and Bridget Stanton of Midleton. Died 2nd June 1940. Plymouth Naval Memorial. Patrick was killed when Stukas bombed the Havant during the Dunkirk evacuation. The 1911 Census records Patrick aged 12 living at 21 Ballynafarsid, Rostellan with his parents Patrick (42), a coachman, mother Bridget (43) and large group of siblings; Margaret (17), Bridget (14), Sarah (11), Christina (7), Daniel (6), Richard (5), Thomas (4), William (3) and baby Francis. You can read about the Havant here.

HMS Havant (Wikipedia)

HMS Havant, on which Patrick Stanton died (Wikipedia)

Sapper John Healy, 2nd Stevedores, Royal Engineers

Age 46. Husband of Ellen Healy of Spangle Hill. Died 3rd June 1940. Buried Ste. Marie Cemetery, Le Havre.

Sapper David Fox, 2nd Stevedores, Royal Engineers

Age 40. Son of Patrick Fox and Catherine Fox (Helleher) of Cork, husband of Mary Fox (O’Connor) of Cork. Died 3rd June 1940. Buried Ste. Marie Cemetery, Le Havre. The 1911 Census shows 12-year-old David living in an apartment at 41 Boyce’s Street in Cork with his mother Kate (54), laborer brothers William (23) and John (21) and sister Bridget (15). It is interesting to note that David served in the same unit as John Healy, they died on the same day, and are buried in the same cemetery.

Lance Corporal Robert Allen, 1st Supply Base Depot, Royal Engineers

Age 26. Son of John George Allen and Susan Allen of Cork. Died 17th June 1940. Dunkirk Memorial.

Royal Irish Fusiliers in France, 1939 © IWM (O 758)

Royal Irish Fusiliers in France, 1939 © IWM (O 758)

Categories: 20th Century | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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