Submitted by Gene and Sharon Printz
Patrick Donnelly m. Katharine Rodgers
Information on Patrick Donnelly and Katharine Rodgers was first found on the death certificate of their son Bernard. A notation on the back of the certificate listed Bernard’s date of birth 11 August 1828 and contained important information about his parents, as follows:
Father: Patrick Born in Ireland
Mother: Katharine Rodgers Born in Ireland*
*Spelling variations are common in old records and are not a cause for concern, e.g. Katharine/Catherine and Rodgers/Rogers.
The next piece of information was located in the New Castle, IN Courier Times, Sat. April 26, 1902. The obituary for Barney Donnelly indicated he was born in County Longford, Ireland.
With this information we contacted the Longford Museum and Heritage Centre, 1 Church Street, Longford County Longford, Republic of Ireland. Our first contact was with Goretti Donlon and she took the information and agreed to do an ancestor’s search. Goretti was able to locate baptism records for 4 children of Patrick and Catherine in the "townland of Briskil, parish of Newtownforbes." Church records for the parish began in 1829 (after Bernard’s birth), and the names listed were: ANN DONNELLY, bap. 10 April 1830, sponsors, Michael McVeagh and Bridget Rogers; THOMAS DONNELLY, bap. 5 March 1833, sponsors, Patrick Newman and Margaret Donnelly; JOHN DONNELLY, bap 24 June 1835, sponsors, James Kelagher and Bridget Sheerin; HUGH DONNELLY, Bap. 12 July 1840, sponsors, John McVeigh and Mary Rogers. Three of the four children were boys, and family tradition claims there were 21 children, and only one was a girl. Roman Catholic burial records for Newtownforbes shows PATRICK DONNELLY, 80 years old, of Briskil Bridge, buried 21 September 1871 – this would place his birth c1791 – no burial information provided for Katharine.
Information on County Longford: It is located within the central plain of Ireland, approximately mid way between the east and west coasts (about 75 miles NW of Dublin). It covers almost 257, 970 acres, and has frontage to two major river systems, the Shannon and the Erne. The County has a largely rural population of 31,000 people. There are five major towns: Longford Town, Granard, Edgeworthstown, Ballymahon and Lanesborough and a number of villages. Primary routes that pass through the County include the Dublin/North-West and the Northern Ireland thoroughfare to the West. Longford is situated in the heart of the midlands, close to great fishing districts.
All of the children of Patrick and Katharine can not be verified, but information on their son BERNARD "Barney" DONNELLY is provided below.
Bernard Donnelly m. Nancy Caroline Armstrong
Bernard "Barney" Donnelly, b. 11 August 1828 in County Longford, Ireland (per his death certificate), d. 22 April 1902 at New Castle, Indiana, and is buried at the Catholic cemetery. Other records show birth year as 1827 and this appears more reliable because he provided the information to a census enumerator. We can verify that Bernard was in Henry County, IN during the 1860s based on his daughter Kate’s obituary – she was born in New Castle c1861. An entry in St. Anne’s Catholic Church record states in part that Barney "settled at New Castle in 1861." Though he first married in Richmond in 1860 neither Barney or his wife appear on the census for that year in Wayne or Henry Counties.
Barney’s grandson, Paul Jarrett, said Bernard left Ireland and arrived in New York when he was 21. This would have been a difficult journey under the best of conditions, but even more so for a very young man unable to read or write (fact from 1900 census). Ship’s manifest records (1846-1851) indicates that many men named Bernard, or Barney Donnelly, arrived in New York during this period. There are seven volumes of records titled THE FAMINE IMMIGRANTS that contain names of Irish Immigrants arriving at the Port of New York. Focusing on the spelling "DONNELLY" and avoiding variations, i.e. Donaly, Donnelley etc… we carefully checked the published information as follows:
Volume I, page 40 One Barney age 40 at time of arrival – too old.
Volume II, page 314 Age 21, right age but with wife – eliminated.
page 423 Bernard 12 years old with a parent – eliminated.
page 479 Bernard eliminated – age 30 in 1848 – too old.
Volume III No Bernard or Barney in this volume.
Volume IV page 432 Most promising candidate. SEE BELOW.*
Volume V page 234 Too old (50) on arrival in 1850.
Volume VI page 18 Bernard age 20, arrived Port of New York on ship Reliance on 14 June 1850. Eliminated based on age. The Barney we
seek was born Aug. 1827 and would be 23, nearly 24.
page 193 Bernard age 15 – too young.
Volume VII page 35 Bernard age 35 arrived 1851 - too old and wrong date.
The only candidate that fits all of the known data on the Barney we seek is the passenger in Volume IV, page 432, but proof will be needed to verify the information shown below:
*Barney Donnelly On July 21, 1849, the ship Vandalia (72 passengers) arrived at the Port of New York from Liverpool, England. On board was a 20-year-old passenger, Barney Donnelly, occupation laborer. The Barney we seek was also 20 and would have turned 21 in August.
During the famine migration numerous ships (called coffin ships due to frequent overloading) carried desperate Irish men, women and families from Liverpool, Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Glasgow, London, Newry, Galway, Waterford, Greenock and Londonderry. Most came to the United States and Canada, but a significant number went to Australia and other countries. The following information is from the forward of Vol. VII of The Famine Immigrant:
Between 1846 and 1851, 2,227 ships completed 2,743 voyages and transported 651,931 immigrants to New York. This works out to an average of 237 passengers per voyage. Of the 2,227 ships, however, only 325 made more than one voyage, the largest number from Liverpool. This demonstrates the primitive and rudimentary nature of the ship passengers trade during the first half of the nineteenth century. In the multiple-voyage category, 164 ships made two voyages and only 108 made three voyages. The maximum number of voyages in any single year was seven, in 1849. But in the multiple-voyage category, only 25 ships carried more than 200 passengers, all embarking from Liverpool.
Paul Jarrett recorded that Bernard worked his way across country and "took a land grant at New Castle, Indiana." We have been unable to verify the land grant claim, but it is possible that his terminology did not refer to the traditional definition of "land grant" or "warrant." A railroad land purchase might be a possibility, based on Bernard’s probable knowledge of land sales through employment on the railroad. The History of Henry County provided some insight on the migration of Irish railroad men and indirectly described the circumstances which brought Bernard and other Catholics to New Castle:
"The railroad was completed in the latter part of the year 1853, and the first locomotive reached New Castle on Christmas day of that year." This railroad was first named New Castle & Richmond Road, then Cincinnati & Chicago, later Chicago & Great Eastern and in 1867 it became the Pennsylvania. Another comment, in reference to St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, said "Catholics began to settle in New Castle about 1851, when railroad building commenced."
The New Castle Democrat, Fri. April 25, 1902 reported that Bernard " . . . came here when the railroad was built nearly fifty years ago." As stated earlier he settled in New Castle in 1861, but it is possible that he may have worked there much earlier. The same article reported "For years he was the custodian of the streets of New Castle and his good nature and ready wit made friends of everybody." Census records list his occupation as day Laborer, and family tradition claims that he was also a brick layer and worked on the New Castle Courthouse.
As a railroad worker, Barney would have experienced the prejudice against Irish laborers which is apparent in the following editorial from the New Castle [IN] Courier, March 31, 1854. Spelling and grammar as it appeared.
Rail Road Riot
Quite a serious riot occurred on Wednesday of last week on the Central Railroad between Centerville and Knightstown. The particulars as we gather them from the State Journal on the 25th are as follows: On Wednesday night when the train going west reached Centerville a party of discharged Irish laborers got into the cars to go to Knightstown. In a short time the Conductor applied for their fare as usual and they refused to pay. The train arrived at Cambridge, where another party of Irish got on, swelling the number to about fifty. A pretty formidable array of gallant Patrick’s any how! The conductor desparing of collecting the fare on peaceable terms, determined on force work. With the aid of some friends on the cars application was again made to the Irish for their fare, and was stubbornly withheld, when an effort was made to put the men out by force, violent resistance and a regular pitched battle was the result, lasting three quarters of an hour. After a protracted struggle a portion of the refractory paid their fare, the balance were thrown off ‘on hard places’ it is supposed from the wounds and bruises they carried away. Thus ended, we trust, the Central Railway Mob.
Ruby (Jarrett) Link, a granddaughter, claimed that Barney had a home on the north side of B Avenue in New Castle, near the Nickel Plate Railroad (unverified). The 1900 census contains information that he resided at 453 Goodwin Street. The 1901 City Directory for New Castle listed Barney Donnelly’s address as 1524 S. 14th and also listed his wife and daughter, Ethel. Present day S. 14th Street does not have any house or building numbers in the 14 or 15 hundred series, and the numbering jumps from the 1300s to the 1600s. Local historian Ulysses E. (Bud) Bush, who coincidentally lives at 1611 S. 14th Street, reported that boarding houses once stood on the site, and speculated that the address may have been located where I Avenue now intersects with 14th. He believes the area was altered when Maxwell (later Daimler/Chrysler) moved to New Castle and I Avenue was extended to 14th Street.
Bernard’s first wife was Johanna Rady, and they were married before a Catholic Priest in Richmond, Indiana on 1 November 1860 (copy of marriage certificate is included with this record). The 1880 census shows their daughter Kate, age 18, born in Indiana and her mother in Ireland. Kate’s obituary reported that she was born in New Castle. Church records on Kate’s marriage at St. Anne’s Catholic Church claims she was 24 in 1883 (b. c1859) which conflicts with her age on the census, but the census information and her parents wedding date would have made her 22 (also her cemetery information shows birth year 1861). Bernard’s obituary verifies that his marriage to Johanna was in 1860. We believe that Johanna died sometime prior to 1870, but have been unable to locate a death certificate, an obituary or a burial site. Bernard and Johanna Donnelly’s daughter, Catharine, commonly called Kate, married Thomas McGrath. Kate and Thomas lived at 115 North Fourteenth Street, Richmond, Indiana. They had two children, Nellie and Frank, and there are no records that either were married. We have located a Barney
Donnelly in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1860 census. We can not yet verify that this is the same Barney, but the similarities between the 1860 and 1880 census suggests this is a strong possibility. A comparison of the two census reports is provided for information:
1860 Census, Ward 20, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Enumerated 21 July 1860 – Dwelling 790. 1880 Census appears later in this record.
Name of every person Age Sex Occupation Place of birth
Listed at residence
Barney Donnelly 35 M Laborer Ireland
Joanna [sic] 25 F Ireland
John 3 M Ohio
Mary 3/12* F Ohio * = 3 months
New Castle Barney Cleveland Barney
Age 50 1880 Census – 52 or 53 based on DOB. In 1860 32-33. Age 35 1860 Census. Variance not significant and could have been reported by a third party.
1880 Indiana occupation – Day Laborer. 1860 Ohio occupation – Laborer.
1880 Marriage certificate from Wayne Co. Indiana: 1860 Census:
Barney Donnelly m. Johanna Rady (born in Ireland). Barney living with a Joanna (born in Ireland).
Barney’s 1902 obituary stated that he had fathered 1860 Ohio census listed two children:
Eleven children, four living. His known children were:
1. Catharine (Kate) 1. John age 3, b c1857
after other siblings lost to death.
Five children are unaccounted for and could have died
at birth or as young children.
Bernard again married on 8 May 1870 to Nancy Caroline Armstrong [Henry Co. marriage records 1850-1920 A-K State Library General 977.201 H525u V.3]. Nancy, commonly called Caroline, was the daughter of George Armstrong and Delilah (Snead/Sneed) Armstrong. Caroline was born c1853 (per census of 1860), but her tombstone shows birth and death information as "1850-1921). She is buried beside Bernard at the Catholic cemetery in New Castle. An interesting entry regarding their marriage was found in the St. Anne’s Church records, and the priest emphasized his notes [the underlined words], "On May 7, 1885 I learned that Barney Donnelly married Caroline Armstrong, Protestant, before the squire." Caroline converted to Catholicism and records indicate that her "First Holy Communion" was 26 April 1874. The children of Barney Donnelly as shown on 1880 census:
(Where) (Place of Birth)
Name Age Occupation Born Father Mother
Donnelly, Barney 50 Day laborer Ireland Ireland Ireland
Caroline 25 Keeping house Indiana Virginia Iowa
Kate (by Johanna) 18 Keeping house Indiana Ireland Ireland
William 12 School Indiana Ireland Indiana
James 6 Indiana Ireland Indiana
Anne 2 Indiana Ireland Indiana
Daughter Mary was listed in another household as follows:
Nixon, Robert 37 Banker/Druggist Indiana N. Carolina Illinois
Calestinea (wife – white) 33 Indiana Penn. Ohio
Frank (son) 6 Indiana Indiana Indiana
Horace (son) 4 Indiana Indiana Indiana
Estella (dau) 9 mos. Indiana Indiana Indiana
Jesse (Father) 66 Druggist N. Carolina N. Carolina N. Carolina
Mary E. (Mother) 60 Illinois Penn. Penn.
Donnelly, Mary 14 Domestic Servant Indiana Ireland Ireland
The 1900 census for Henry County provided additional information on Barney Donnelly as follows:
Bernard and Caroline had one other daughter, ETHEL MERREA DONNELLY, born in 1889, and died in 1978.
Ethel Merrea Donnelly m. Harry Frank Jarrett
*****Ethel Donnely’s history continues with the Jarrett history*****