Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Honoring his service: James O'Farrell 1842-1914

The name of James O'Farrell inscribed on the War Memorial
across from the Morgan County (West Virginia) Court House.
Notice that it's spelled "O'Ferrall."

While working on the Thomas and Judah Farrell DNA project I wrote about their son James a couple of times which you can see here and here. Must admit that I was so impressed by his life and the way he survived the Civil War that I had to blog about it a couple of times, and probably spent a bit too much time on him. But there is a moment when it's past time to move on, and so I did. However on my recent trip to see Mom (who is an avid genealogist and just turned 96) we swung by Berkeley Springs and checked out the War Memorial to see if we could find his name inscribed on the Civil War side of it.

Guess I should mention that James' parents were Thomas and Judah Farrell who came to the United States from Ireland about 1840. Most likely fleeing unfortunate economic times in their native land, the couple left with their two oldest daughters, Mary Elizabeth (Farrell) House 1835 - 1919, and Catherine (Farrell) Boxwell 1838-1910. Once here, they had two sons and four more daughters and the line up for their children born here looks like this:

    James O'Farrell (1842-1914), who used the O' convention for the rest of his life
    Thomas Farrell (1843 - ?), who just disappears from the records
    Ann Farrell (1845 - ?), she also has disappeared as far as we can tell
    Ellen Farrell (1846 - ), she disappears as well
    Bridget Farrell (1849 - ?), and she disappears from view too,
    Sarah "Sallie" (Farrell) Wageley, who married John W.

Strangely, just before I set off on my trip, I heard from one of Mom's DNA matches who mentioned the War Memorial! I found out what I could and tried to google a good photo of it to see if it was worth the trip but the images weren't what I needed. Well, it was located right on the way after lunch, so Mom, Brother and sis-in-law all went in search of the memorial and hopefully to find Thomas' name.

We pulled up and all piled out when we saw it. It's an large imposing affair with a big bronze spread eagle atop. Mom waited in the car as it was on a small incline and surrounded by a couple of steps. "Not on this side. It's for WWII." "Not over here either. Wrong war." Then: I found it! Just happened to be on the right side for me. Everyone swarmed the good side and looked for names. James Snider and his brother William Hutchison Snider were found under those who returned and survived the war, which we found very curious as James died early on in the war.

So there's his name in the image up top. It was a thrill to see it there. He earned the right to be included on this war memorial roll over 150 years ago. And here we stood looking and paying respects.

Worth the trip? Oh, yes!

The War Memorial in front of the Court House in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

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