Monday, April 27, 2015

The Thomas Fay Family

Thomas Fay, my maternal 2x great grandfather, was born in Ireland about 1839 and immigrated in 1861.[1] On 1 January 1869, Thomas married Bridget McDermott in Trenton, New Jersey.[2] Employed as an Iron Founder, he became a naturalized citizen the following year.[3] Bridget, who was born in 1847 and arrived from Ireland in 1867,[4] would have become a citizen through her husband’s naturalization in 1870.

Thomas died on 8 April 1903 and Bridget on 3 March 1930. Both are buried in St John's Cemetery in Trenton.[5] I’ve been to this cemetery many times but was unaware of this couple. Two of their children appear to be buried with them including Emma, a child unknown to me.

Their oldest daughter, my great grandmother, Anna (Annie) Mariah Fay, was born in 1869.[6] She married Edward James Moore on 23 June 1892 at Sacred Heart Church in Trenton.[7]

Thomas and Bridget’s children also include James (b. 1871), Kate (b. 1873), Thomas T. (b. 1878), John J. (b. 1879), Charles A. (b. 1882) and May E. (b.1887).[8]

While preparing this post, it became clear that there is a great deal about this family in records held at the New Jersey State Archives. A research trip is planned and will focus on marriage and death records for Thomas and Bridget along with records for their siblings and the children of this marriage. I can’t wait!

[1] 1900 US census, Mercer, New Jersey, population schedule, Trenton, 11 Ward, p. 1, line 40, house 639, dwelling 8, family 8, household of Thomas Fay; digital images online ( : 14 October 2010) citing NARA publication T623, roll 983.
[2] New Jersey State Archives, State of New Jersey, Department of State, Marriage Records, May 1848 - May 1878, BG:466, marriage of Thomas Fay and Bridget McDermott, date of marriage 1 January 1869; searchable database online ( : 13 March 2015).
[3] 1900 US census, Mercer, New Jersey, Trenton, 11 Ward, p. 1, house 639, dwelling 8, family 8, Thomas Fay.
[4] 1900 US census, Mercer, New Jersey, Trenton, 11 Ward, p. 1, house 639, dwelling 8, family 8, Thomas Fay.
[5] : 22 April 2015.
[6] 1870 US census, Mercer, New Jersey, population schedule, Trenton City, 7th Ward, p. 62, dwelling 468, family 546, household of Thomas Fay; digital images online, ( : 14 October 2010) citing NARA publication M593, roll 872.
[7] Marriage Notice, “People We Meet,” Trenton Evening Times, Mercer, New Jersey, Sunday, 26 June 1892, p. 4, marriage of Edward Moore and Annie Fay, 23 June 1892; digital images online ( : 13 March 2015).
[8] 1900 US census, Mercer, New Jersey, Trenton, 11 Ward, p. 1, house 639, dwelling 8, family 8, Thomas Fay.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Decline of James Goodbody Kearney

The wedding of James Kearney and Lizzie McCarthy on 15 September 1892 appears to have been a true celebration. The guest list included many prominent people from New York and Trenton, New Jersey. The newspaper account lists a number of these guests. They are family members and close friends. I will explore their connections in future posts.

Miss Lizzie McCarthy, daughter of ex-Freeholder Florence McCarthy, was married Thursday morning at St. Mary’s Cathedral to James Kerney, of New York city. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Father Gammel, who also celebrated the nuptial mass. The bride was very tastefully attired, and carried a bunch of roses in her hand. Miss Mary McCarthy, a sister of the bride, acted as bridesmaid; T. Carroll, of New York, assumed the position of best man. Messrs. Augustus Gribbins and Matthew Gowan officiated as ushers.

The guests comprised many prominent people from New York and a select number of Trentonians. Among them were Mr. Kerney, father of the groom, and Miss Kerney, of New York; Miss Carroll, of New York; Superintendent B. F. Ford, of the State House; Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, of Calhoun street; Misses Mary and Jennie Mitchell, John Whelan and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. Roche, Misses Maggie Gribbin and Mary and Maggie Cahill, Misses Alice, Maggie and Laura Claffey, Misses Nellie O’Hara and Lizzie Gowan and Florence McCarthy. A great number of costly and beautiful presents were given the bride by her friends.[1]

A year later, the couple welcomed daughter, Miriam, into their family. She was born on 22 October 1893.[2] On 8 March 1896, Matthew Joseph, my grandfather, was born.[3] Both children were born in New York City. Within six months, the family appears to be living in Trenton, New Jersey in the house owned by Elizabeth McCarthy’s father, Florence McCarthy.

On 19 October 1896, James Kearney was arrested (drunken conduct) for safekeeping and discharged the following day.[4] His release on 20 October 1896[5] is the same day he was admitted to Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. He was accompanied by his sister, Sarah Kearney, and his sister-in-law, Mary McCarthy.[6] Elizabeth would have been caring for their young children. In four short years, this couple married, had two children and were separated by James’ mental and physical health. He remained hospitalized until his death in 1910.[7]

[1] Marriage Notice, “The September Weddings Happy Couples Joining Hands and Hearts until Death Do Them Part,” Trenton Evening Times, Trenton, New Jersey, p. 6, marriage of Lizzie McCarthy and James Kerney, date of marriage 15 September 1892; digital images online ( : 13 March 2015).
[2] U.S., Social Security Death Index,  1935-2014, New Jersey, Miriam Kearney, 142-03-9487, issued before 1951; online database ( : 13 March 2015). Date of death: November 1978.
[3] Certificate and Record of Birth, State of New York, New York County, City of New York, certificate no. 14135, birth of Matthew Joseph Kearney, date of birth 8 March 1896; photocopy held in file.
[4] Trenton Evening Times, Trenton, New Jersey, Monday, 19 October 1896, p 1, James Kerney, digital images online ( : 13 March 2015). James Kerney, of West Hanover street, was arrested for safe keeping, and was too drunk to answer for himself this morning.
[5] Trenton Evening Times, Trenton, New Jersey, Tuesday, 20 October 1896, p. 2, James Kearney; digital images online ( : 13 March 2015). James Kearney, charged by Patrolman Irving with drunken conduct, was discharged.
[6] New Jersey State Archives, Department of Human Services, Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Case Books [incomplete] 1848-1910, Book M [Men], 20 March 1895 – 13 January 1898, James Kearney, date of admission 20 October 1896; photocopy in file.
[7] New Jersey State Archives, Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Case Books [incomplete] 1848-1910, Book M [Men].

Friday, April 10, 2015

Is Timothy Sullivan related?

Looking at the people closely connected to one’s relatives often leads to more relatives and brick wall breakthroughs. While it hasn’t been determined yet, I hope that this is the case with Timothy Sullivan.

Timothy Sullivan appears closely connected to my 2x great grandfather, Edward Moore (1836-1915). Edward Moore’s mother was Nora Sullivan.[1] Timothy Sullivan volunteered in the same unit with Edward Moore during the Civil War.[2] At the marriage of Edward Moore and Mary Curtin, Timothy Sullivan was a witness.[3] In 1870, the families are enumerated next to each other in the census.[4] However, by 1872, Edward Moore’s family moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,[5] and by 1885, to Trenton, New Jersey.[6] Timothy Sullivan remained in Pottsville, Pennsylvania until his death in 1902/03.[7] 

Were these two men cousins? Perhaps Timothy’s father and Edward’s mother, Nora, were siblings. While a connection must still be determined, it is clear that Timothy and Edward shared a bond and I hope that they remained close even with a distance between them.

[1] New Jersey, Certificate and Record of Death, Edward Moore, 1915, photocopy from family files; Bureau of Vital Statistics, Trenton. 
[2] W.W. Munsell, History of Schuylkill County, PA, online transcription, New York: W.W. Munsell & Co., 1881, p. 116; ( : 10 April 2015).
[3] Marriage Certificate, marriage of Edward Moore and Mary Curtin, copy from pension file, Edward Moore (Pvt., Co. I, 16th Reg’t PA Infantry, Civil War), pension no. SC 569,600, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington D.C.
[4] 1870 US census, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Pottsville, p. 352, dwelling 30, family 38, Edward Moore; digital image, ( : 10 April 2015) citing NARA microfilm publication  M593, roll 1447.
[5] Letter dated 20 August 2010 from Lorraine Skelly, Holy Infancy Church, search of baptismal and marriage registers for Moore family, Honora Moore, date of birth 19 July 1872, date of baptism 27 July 1872.
[6] New Jersey, State Census, 1885, index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 April 2015), Edward Moore, Trenton, Ward 03, Mercer, New Jersey; citing p. , Department of State, Trenton; FHL microfilm. [7] Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, Pottsville, will of Timothy Sullivan, dated 12 September 1902, letters of administration filed 24 February 1903; digital images online ( : 9 April 2015)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Children of Matthew Kearney and Hannah Goodbody

With clues provided by several sources, the family of Matthew Kearney and Hannah Goodbody has been identified.[1] Matthew Kearney and Hannah Goodbody were married on 1 November 1839 in Mountmellick, County Queens (now Laois), Ireland.[2] Baptismal registers have been useful in identifying the children. However, daughter, Margaret, was listed in the registers as Margaret Carney while all of the other children were identified with the Kearney name.

My great grandfather, James Kearney, was the youngest of nine children born over a seventeen-year span. Edward, Sarah, Elizabeth and James immigrated with their parents in 1868.[3] Immigration records have not yet been located for the older children.

Margaret baptized 27 September 1840
Mary baptized 5 May 1842
Patt baptized 5 August 1843
John baptized 15 September 1844
Matthew baptized 23 August 1846
Edward baptized 23 December 1849
Sarah baptized 9 November 1851
Elizabeth baptized 30 July 1854
James baptized 1 November 1857

St. Joseph’s, Mountmellick R.C. Baptismal Records, Co. Queens, Ireland

Future blogs will follow each of these children with the exception of son, Patt [Patrick]. It is likely that he died in infancy. He was not mentioned as a child of Matthew Kearney in the letter written by James Goodbody nor has he been found any other records to date.

Katherine Hannah, who immigrated with the family, has not been identified through baptismal records as a child of Matthew and Hannah. She may be related but it does not appear that she is a member of this particular family.

Many records were used to identify the children of Matthew Kearney and Hannah Goodbody. Some of them appear in census and immigration records. Some appear in personal correspondence. Some are easily followed as they married and had their own families and some are not but they each have a story.

[1] Baptism of children of Matthew Kearney and Hannah Goodbody,  Mountmellick, Co Queens, Ireland Baptisms, FHL, film 926121, microfilm of original registers, St. Joseph's, dates of baptism: various; on site FHL : 1 February 2012.
[2] Church Marriage Record, Mountmellick, Co Queens, Ireland, marriage of Matthew Kearney and Hannah Goodbody, date of marriage 1 November 1839; online database, ( : 23 March 2015).
[3] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” entry for Matthew Kearney, date of arrival 20 March 1868, New York aboard the City of London; digital images online, ( : 18 February 2015).