Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surname Saturday: O'Farrell, then Farrell

Here's the next installment of Surname Saturday, the blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers! We're into the 2nd great grandmothers now and looking at the O'Farrell clan from Ireland who tossed off the "O" and became the Farrells in America, mostly.

The Farrells came to America between 1839 and 1840 but we've not found solid evidence of the ship or exact date of their arrival. Mom observed that Thomas Farrell and his wife Judah (last name unknown) were married when they arrived here and traveling with two small children to a very wild area of what would later become West Virginia, near the small town of Magnolia, and that most likely Thomas had a brother or uncle already here because there was one other Farrell/O'Farrell male nearby. It's disconnected info such as this, requiring more substantiation, that wants and begs to be woven together. Some days Mom and I feel as though the work has just begun!

1. Diane Kelly Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick " Pat" Kelly
(1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams, (living and loving it)

6. Cambria Williams (1897 - 1960)
7. Emma Susan Whetstone (1897 - 1956)

14. Joseph Hampton Whetstone (1858 - 1938)
15. Catherine Elizabeth House ( 1865 - 1947)

30. Samuel Albert House (1832 - 1917)
31. Mary Elizabeth Farrell (1835 - 1919)
I wrote a longish blog post about Samuel Albert House this week and his strange life which you can find here. It tells the story of various jobs and moving and finally settling in Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland. But this Surname Saturday we're interested in the grandmothers four generations back, so it's Mary Elizabeth we're wanting. She was born in Ireland in 1835, most likely in County Claire, and came over with her parents, Thomas and Judah Farrell about 1839 to 1840, more or less. More about this below.
She married Samuel Albert House 20 Aug, 1855 and they had a big bunch of kids. There's also an amusing post about two of them, the Counterfeiting Twins here, who were Rev. Edward Francis and Joseph Martin.
They had these 16 children:
James I. House 1844 - ????. He married Sara C. Wilson
John T. House 1855 - 1954. He married Sarah Dennison.
William H. House 1858 - 1907. He married Ada Elizabeth Garlitz.
Mary Amelia "Molly" House 1861 - 1949. She married John R. Davis.
Samuel T. House about 1862 - ????. He married Emma Siebert.
Garnet Soloman House 1864 - ????. He married Rhoda ?.
15. Catherine Elizabeth House 1865 - 1947
Rev. Edward Francis House 1868 - 1926. He married Martha Edith Dennison.
Joseph Martin House 1868 - 1950. He married Rose Praut and upon her death married Madge Cook.
George House 1870 - 1871.
Sarah Ellen "Sadie" House 1870 - ????. She married William Harvey Reckley.
Margaret Anna "Nan" House 1872 - 1968. She married Philip Long.
Sadie F. House 1873 - ????.
Charles Harley House 1875 - 1945. He married Blanch Perdue.
Michael A. House 1878 - ????. He married Lillian Meade.
Nora House 1879 - 1964. She married Denton R. Kaseycamp.

62. Thomas Farrell, formerly O'Farrell (1795 - 1851)
63. Judah LNU (last name unknown) (1815 - 1859)
Most likely born and married in County Clare, Ireland but the actually parish or town remains unknown to us at present. Pity, that.
Mom has searched for them for years because it was the Farrell line that originally got her started and interested in family history. All she really knew was she had been told as a child: that her great grandmother came from Ireland, from "where St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland." Hmmm. Not a lot to go on. Her foundational work and networking with other genealogists lead Mom to the County Clare clue, but it's still not proven absolutely. Quite a while back Mom corresponded with a researcher in Ireland and they ruled out County Longford... close but no cigar. So here we are at one of our fascinating brick walls! Do you know how many Farrells and O'Farrels there were in Ireland in the 1830s?! Too many!
Thomas and Judah, sometimes called Judy, immigrated between 1839 and 1840. Their son James was born in Maryland in 1841, so it seems that the couple landed there before coming on to Magnolia.
Why they immigrated is a curious thing because it was before the Irish Famine years. Perhaps it was that brother or uncle, the other Farrell/O'Farrell male in the area of Magnolia, who might have lured them here. In those years, work could be had on the railroad which ran right through where they settled. But it appears that Thomas was a farmer because of an indenture for the rental of land (a copy is in Mom's possession) and his occupation listed as farmer in the 1850 US census.
Interestingly, a couple of his sons fought in the Civil War on the Union side and remained O'Farrells throughout their lives. Remember, this is the part of Virginia that became West Virginia where neighbor's sons fought on opposite sides! Brothers, too. But the O'Farrell boys stuck together in war and by name.
Thomas and Judah had the following children, some of whom went to live with friends or relatives after the couple died, Thomas in 1851 and Judah in 1859.
31. Mary Elizabeth Farrell (1835 - 1919)
Catherine Farrell (about 1835 - before 1910), born in County Clare, Ireland and immigrated with her parents and sister, Mary Elizabeth and my 2nd GGM, she died in Magnolia, Morgan County, Virginia, (now West Virginia). She married James Edward Boxwell.
James O'Farrell (1842 - 1914). James was born in Maryland, and is age 9 in the 1850 census. He married Henrietta Michael in Morgan County, but they both died Mora, Pettis, MO. His son's kept the O'. James served in the Civil War on the Union side.
Thomas O'Fallell ( 1842 - ????) Thomas also kept the O'Farrell, and as did his brother James, enlisted in the Union Army to fight in the Civil War.
Ann Farrell (1845 - ????)
Ellen Farrell (1846 - ????)
Bridget Farrell (1849 - ????)
Sarah Farrell (1851 - ????)

Next Steps
I long to know more of this family. Their saga has enough elements that make for good story telling and that keeps me fascinated. Here's what I want to know:
1. Where did they come from in Ireland and what is the name of the town or parish?
2. Why did they come?
3. Did they land in Cumberland? Was Judy pregnant with James when they arrived in America? I'll look for them in St Patrick's Catholic Church records, Cumberland, Allegany, Maryland, and for James baptismal record. They have to be Catholic, right?
4. Why did they die? Guess I'll not find that out.
5. Where are they buried? There are only a couple of cemeteries in the area, that being Horn and Cherry Orchard. You'd think a person could find them, but the land is rough and the cemeteries overgrown. Some graves are no longer marked.

Three Women with the Same Face, Almost
Wanna see something cool? This photo right below was sent to me by Cousin Rich who visited Mom this week! We were marveling at the family resemblance of these related women!
Hey, Cousin Rich, do you have a photo of Katie Boxwell Kessler's mother, Catherine Farrell Boxwell? Now, wouldn't that be fun?

Catherine "Katie" Boxwell Kessler (1871 - 1953).
She was daughter of Catherine Farrell Boxwell (1838 - 1910),
who was sister to my 2nd GGM, Mary Elizabeth Farrell House.
Here's a photo of Catherine Elizabeth House Whetstone (1865 - 1947),
cousin to Katie Boxwell Kessler, above. Could be the same person!!

Here is a photo of Mary Elizabeth Farrell House (1835 - 1919), Catherine Elizabeth's mother. 
See a family resemblance? Mom and I do!
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