Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2006-04 > 1143922383

Subject: Reposting Interests
Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2006 20:13:03 +0000


My Irish connections in Chicago are numerous:

My MORRISSEYs came from Ireland. According to my family history, my gr gr gr
grandfather, Joseph MORRISSEY, came from County Limerick. He emigrated to St.
John's, Newfoundland. There he married Ellen Kearney in ~1830. Ellen was from
County Kilkenny. They had two (possibly four) children. Bridget was the
eldest. She married a WHITTEN.

My gr gr grandfather, John MORRISSEY, was next. He married Elizabeth
HENNESSEY. They had 2 children - Ellen and Hannah (my gr grandmother). John
died at sea, according to my family history in ~1870. Elizabeth remarried
Patrick LEDWELL in ~1871 and moved with her two daughters to Chicago, Where
Hannah married my gr grandfather, John Joseph O'TOOLE.Elizabeth's sister,
Johanna moved to Chicago. Johanna married a DOOLEY. Hannah HENNESSEY, her
mother, also moved to Chicago, probably after Edward died in 1874.

According to my family history, Joseph had an infamous brother, John
MORRISSEY. Uncle John was an enforcer for the Tammany Hall bosses in New York.
He was immortalized in the film "Gangs of New York". Leo DiCaprio played Uncle
John. Not well typecast, as Uncle John was about 6' tall and weighed about
350 pounds. Uncle John was also a 2 time world bare-knuckles boxing champion,
so all of his fingers were broken and disfigured.

Uncle John was given a gambling hall in New York and another in Saratoga, New
York by the Tammany Hall bosses. He is credited with bringing gambling and
prostitution to Saratoga, New York. He also started race horsing to Saratoga.

He was also a politician. He was a 2 term New York State Senator and a 2 term
Congressman from New York. At the end of his life, Uncle John reportedly had a
religious experience and died in the arms of priest.

My O'TOOLE line is a dead end. My grandfather was Edwin Columbus O'TOOLE. He
was the son of Hannah Morrissey and John Joseph O'TOOLE, Sr. John Joseph was
the son of John O'TOOLE and a girl named Catherine (surname unknown).

John Joseph was born in Dublin on 2 February 1865, but not sure if it is the
County or the City. Also, on the Irish Times website it indicates the O'TOOLE
name was more prominent in County Wicklow. Is there a connection out there to
break down this wall?

I am also looking for connections to my KERR/MCEVOY relatives. I recently
received my gr grandmother's and gr grandfather's death certificates. It
states her birthplace as being County Louth, no other information regarding
the place of birth. However, a subsequent obit indicated Dundalk.

My gr grandmother was Alice (nee MCEVOY) KERR was born ~1862. She emigrated to
Chicago, IL. in ~1882, which would make her about 20 when she came over to the
States, if she came straight to Chicago.

My gr grandfather was Thomas KERR. His death certificate has no information,
other than he was born in Ireland, as were his parents. However, it does
indicate that he came to Chicago in 1889 and that he was 43 years old when he
died in 1909. This would make him 23 when he came to Chicago.

However, an obit from my uncle stated that he was on his way to visit Renfrew,
Scotland. I am thinking that Uncle Tom KARR was attempting to trace his roots -
no proof, just speculation. He was killed in a plane crash in 1950 in Mill
Hill, outside of London, England.

Together, Tom & Alice had 12, possibly 13 children. The oldest six or seven
died of a plague in Chicago. Speculation again, but the "plague" was possibly
the Spanish Flu Epidemic. I cannot locate their names. I am not sure that this
Thomas is yours, but it is interesting anyway.

My grandfather, Peter KARR (the baby of the family), changed his surname from
KERR because he did not want to be misconstrued as being of German descent
during the war, as the story goes.

I have a photo of my gr grandmother and gr grandfather, Mary (nee FITZPATRICK)
and Michael MCDERMOTT. As best we can determine, the photo was taken in 1911.

Michael was originally from County Mayo, then emigrated to Clayton-le-Moors,
County Lancashire, England. It is there he met Mary FITZPATRICK. They married
in Blackburn, County Lancashire, England on 25 April 1881.

Michael was born in 1855. His father, according to family history, was also
Michael MCDERMOTT. Michael Sr., married Mary MCHUGH, also according to family
history, in County Mayo in 1847. One report states it was in Adderggole Parish
where they married.

I am looking to break down this brick wall and looking for relations to my gr
grandparents (William WALSH & Margaret BRADY WALSH). All I have about William
is his name and that he died sometime before my granduncle, William WALSH,
Jr., who died in 1918.

What I have on Margaret BRADY WALSH is that she was from County Mayo, Ireland
born on 31 May 1873. She died 16 Feb 1950 in Chicago. I have Margaret's obit
from the Trib and her death certificate from Cook County. According to the
1900 census, Margaret emigrated to the US in 1889, making her 16 when she
arrived on our shores. Would she have come alone or with her parents?

William & Margaret had four children: William (born 23 Jan 1896), Catherine
O'CONNOR (1899), Margaret (born 1898) O'TOOLE, & Thomas (born 1900). Thomas
died at an early age from the records I have before his brother, William, who
died in 1918, at age 22 in WWI onboard the USS Von Steuben on his way to
France. I have William Jr.'s obit from the Trib. I have no obit for William
Sr. I have nothing on the BRADYs.

I have William's and Margaret's marriage certificate from 1895 in Chicago. She
was 22 and he was 35, making him born in 1860. The marriage certificate
indicates his name as William WELCH and lists her's as Maggie BRADY. In the
1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses, the surname is Welch. It also indicates that
William the younger was born in 1859 in Illinois, not Ireland as previously

William the elder was born in Ireland as was his wife, Catherine (no maiden
name given). William the elder died sometime betwen the 1880 census and the
1900 census. By the 1910 census, William the younger was deceased and the
surname changed to WALSH.

I know that WALSH is pronounced WELCH in the brogue and that Maggie is short
for Margaret, so I am 99.9% sure this is my gr grandparents. Any help would be
greatly appreciated in breaking down this wall further. Interestingly, in the
1860 census, there is a sibling to William the younger named Michael. Any
connections out there?

Bill Karr in Peoria, IL., USA

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