Of my eight great-grandparents, seven of them were Irish. Of those that came to this country, when did they come to this country? As it turns out, I don't know. I do, however, have a idea of the approximate time.
Patrick Eagan and Mary Tierney
This set of paternal great-grandparents where in Medina, Orleans Co., NY in January 1853. This I know from the baptismal record at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Medina of their oldest child, Catherine Jane. My great-grandfather, Patrick, is not listed in the federal census for New York for 1850 but he is listed for 1860 living in Rochester, NY. The first census where persons when they came to this country was 1900 but for that year Patrick and Mary were listed on lines 99 and 100, the bottom of the page and the bottom of the page is smudged and most of the entries are unreadable. Fortunately, I do have a copy of the index card entry for them but emigration if not one of the items are not included on the card. My great-grandfather died in 1903 but by great-grandmother lived until 1917 and she is listed in the census of 1910. There the entry notes that she emigrated in 1847. If she came through New York, it would have been through Castle Garden and records from there are not as easily available as those through Ellis Island which did not open until 1892.
William Clarke and Anna Donnelly
I know even less about my other set of paternal great-grandparents. My great-grandfather is listed in the 1860 federal census for Ohio living in Cincinnati with his Mother, Elizabeth, and his twin sister, Mary. The entry notes that Elizabeth and two children were born in Ireland and, of course, no emigration questions were asked in 1860. 1860 is also the first year that any in the family were listed in the Cincinnati City Directory. Both William and his mother were apparently dead by the time of the 1900 census. Anna is listed as the head-of -family in 1900 but she was born in Ohio and I don't know who here parents were.
Francis Maloney and Sarah Weed
My great-grandmother Sarah Weed is my only non-Irish great-grandparent. Her father's ancestors where among Puritans coming to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 17th century. Jonas Weed, my 8th great-grandfather, came in 1630 with Governor Winthrop's fleet. Sarah's mother's ancestors were among the Palatines that came to New York's Mohawk River valley in the early 1710's.
Francis' family came from Corofin, Co. Clare, Ireland and were in Rochester, NY by at least 1854 as there is a baptismal record for Margaret Maloney, Francis' sister, for St. Patrick's Church in Rochester. She was born on 26 September in 1854 and Baptized on 1 October. In the Rochester City Directory of 1855 Anthony Maloney was listed as a grocer on State Street. Anthony's wife, Ellen, is listed as a widow in the 1870 City Directory. Francis died in 1872 in Leoni Township, MI so he is listed in no census where emigration is asked. However, two of his brother's were but unfortunately they are not much help. His brother, Michael, is listed in the 1910 federal census for New York in Rochester and there his listing notes that he emigrated in 1870 or possibly 1840. Although it may be 1840 it looks more like 1870 which is not likely. Michael died in 1914 in Greece, NY.
Francis' brother Thomas is listed in both the 1910 and 1920 census records. In 1910 it notes that he emigrated in 1865 and in 1920 it notes that he emigrated in 18_2. There is a smudge in the year! Unless not all of the children came with Anthony and Ellen Maloney came to Rochester when they were there in 1855, the 1865 date is incorrect. Keep in mind, the information in census records does not always come directly from the person listed. It may come from a neighbor or some family member.
Thomas Hanley and Catherine O'Connell
For these maternal great-grandparents the answer to the question as to when they came to this country is easy. They never did! Although seven of their children, including my grandmother Bridget Hanley, did come to this country Thomas and Catherine and four of their children never left Ireland.
I do have emigration for some of the Hanleys in Rochester and that will wait for another day.