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Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Co. Mayo representation in Chicago
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 02:40:18 +0000


County Mayo had the largest concentration of emigrants in the Holy Name (Cathedral) parish on the northside of Chicago, far out of proportion to their representation elsewhere in the city. The parish's marriage records for the period 1908-1913 reveal that 36% of the parties involved were born in Co. Mayo, and the percentage of Chicago Daily News funeral notices reveals 46% of the Holy Name parish decedants were from Mayo. Mayo people were also the leading county group in Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Belmont ave.

They were less prevalent west of the Chicago River on the northside. For instance, Annunciation parish's largest group were Clare immigrants who took employment in the North Chicago Rolling Mills early in the city's history. In St. Stephen's parish south of Goose Island founded in 1869, it was Kerry immigrants that made up the leading class as a percentage. And this group was also well represented in the parish of St. Columbkille's just west of St. Stephen's boundaries.

Of County Mayo parishes and towns, Crossmolina, Kilmeena, Killedan, Killasser, Islandeady, Knock, Ballintubber, Aghagower, Louisburgh and Glenisland were noteworthy for the number of people that came to Chicago, along with the Unions of Westport, Castlebar and Newport.

The Chicago Citizen commented about the frequency of Mayo people in the city in its edition of 10 February 1894:

"Mayo people and their descendants simply swarm in Chicago. They originally abounded on the northside section still called "Mayo," but they are now omnipresent and not only with regard to locality, but to nearly every rank and profession including Judge Dick Prendergast, Judge Tom Moran, Richard Hooley, the father of John M. Smyth, the furniture merchant, "Bad Jimmy" Connerton, Mike McGurn, the parents of John P. Barrett, city electrician....and also the paternal relatives of Mayor John P. Hopkins.

An army of 42,368 emigrants steamed out of Mayo during the decade 1881-1891, the greatest exodus since the famine decade. Back rents, bad crops and general hard times were the prongs that drove the people out. Among other distinguished Chicagoans who were born in Mayo or whose fathers were, may be mentioned ex-Alderman John and Michael Sweeney, Thomas McCormick, Coroner McHale, Thomas H. Cannon, High Secretary of the Catholic Order of Foresters, and the late Col. James A. Mulligan, and Ald. J. J. McCormick...."

Co. Clare immigrants, the fourth largest county group in the city, were concentrated primarily in three parishes--Annunciation (29%), Sacred Heart (27%) and St. Bridget's (24%). Here fully one third of the total Clare population lived, representing, the north, west, and southsides respectively. Of Co. Clare districts, the greatest emigration was observed from the districts of Carrigaholt, and Kilrush.

Similarly, in the parishes of Holy Angels and St. Thomas which were located in the adjacent neighborhoods of Oakwood and Hyde Park, County Tipperary origins seemed to be slightly more prevalent here than elsewhere in the city. When one examines the parish records of St. Thomas, Tipperary seems to be the largest county group represented. From this county large scale emigration to Chicago occurred out of the districts of Nenagh, Newport, Thurles, Emly and Clonmel.

The sixth largest county group being those from Co. Cork were evenly distributed as a group throughout the city with no discernible pattern. Cork emigrants tended to be from the districts around Mitchellstown, Cork City, and Charleville.

People from Wexford, however; were predominantly northsiders according to the Chicago Daily News funeral notices. They were the second most predominant county in the parishes of St. Stephen's, Immaculate Conception, and also in Mt. Carmel, all northside parishes. They were also the second largest county group in St. Jarlath's on the westside which was founded in 1869. Of Wexford emigration, New Ross Union provided the most emigrants, followed by Enniscorthy.

Immigration and Settlement after 1871
[from Chicago Irish Families 1875-1925, Ancestry.com, 1993]

--Tom Cook


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