Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Quigley Kids Are All Accounted For


     I very recently discovered, quite by accident after browsing DNA results, that my great-great-grandmother Maria McGarr O'Hora's younger sister Anne McGarr Quigley had emigrated to America just like her three older sisters Maria, Bridget and Catherine.  Those accidental finds are the best, they stop you dead in your tracks and what a rush, genealogically speaking.

     Anna was enumerated in the 1892 New York State census, living in Rochester, NY with two of her sons; that along with subsequent research proved she was who I believed her to be.  Using census records, and obituaries found at the Old Fulton Postcards site, I was able to locate all the Quigley children who appeared in the baptismal registers of Baltinglass Parish in County Wicklow; the microfilm of which I had rented a few years back from the LDS.  All of them except Sarah that is.  

     The 1900 census noted that Anna was the mother of five children who were all living, so Sarah was alive and well and out there somewhere.  But being the curious sort I wanted needed to know where!  Did she come over with her mother, brothers and sisters, or was she still in Ireland?  Late last night I was running some newspaper searches for Mary Deyo, the married name of one of Anna's daughters, and a grainy obituary from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle popped up, it read:

Friday morning, April 25, 1907, at her home 65 Champlain St., Sarah, widow of Martin Tobin.  She leaves her mother Mrs. Anna Quigley; three sons George Raymond, John Elmer and Martin Francis Tobin; two sisters, Mrs. Anna Hennessey of Kansas and Mrs. Mary Deyo of Rochester, and two brothers John and Daniel Quigley.

     Bingo! I had proof the entire family, except the father James Quigley who died in Ireland, had emigrated.  I'm sure I didn't find Sarah's obituary earlier because the print quality was so poor that previous searches for her mother and brother's names did not bring it up.  Finding Sarah's married name of course meant that I needed to find her in census records, passenger lists, other news articles, etc. etc.  No wonder I'm always sleepy.  I learned that Sarah married Martin Tobin at St. Patrick's Cathedral on 24 June1885, just a few years after her arrival in America.  But where was St. Patrick's Cathedral?  I've lived in Rochester suburbs all my life, there is no cathedral named St. Patrick's.  Our cathedral is Sacred Heart.

     Running another search, I soon discovered St. Patrick's was the first Catholic parish established in Rochester, before it even was Rochester, and St. Patrick's Cathedral was the last in a line of ever larger churches built in that steadily growing parish.  The property was purchased by Kodak and the cathedral was demolished in 1937.  Being from the area, I found the article fascinating.  You may not, but I include the link if you'd like to read more.  Actually, it's very interesting just as a short study of an early Irish Catholic parish even if you're not a local, so maybe check it out.

     See what I mean about accidental discoveries?

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