Tuesday, August 30, 2005

John Patrick Foley, Mexican-American War Veteran

John Patrick Foley, from County Mayo, Ireland, was the only Foley from Illinois to enlist during the Mexican-American War. He was 5'7 1/2" tall, with black hair and blue or dark hazel eyes.

He was 21 years old when he joined Company D of the 16th Regiment of the United States Infantry. His occupation was listed alternately as Laborer or farmer. and he was born in St. Clair County Illinois. He was signed up by Captain L. McKenney at Dixon Illinois on April 8, 1847, received a six dollar signing bonus to risk his life for our country for 353 days.
Before being accepted he was examined by Dr. Gregory who signed an affidavit before the Probate Justice of the Peace, Lorenzo Wood, for the County of Lee, State of Illinois, that:
"I certify on honor that I have minutely examined the recruit, John P. Foley, previously to his enlistment, and that he was entirely sober when enlisted: that to the best of my judgment and belief, he is of lawful age".

His place of birth clearly says Saint Clair County, Illinois, but his Country of origin is listed just as clearly as Ireland and County Mayo. It may have been necessary at that time to establish citizenship in order to enlist.

The real question is "Is he one of our ancestors?"

A written history of our family was prepared by Daniel E Foley sometime before his death. He indicated that a Foley had joined the army during this war and was given a land grant for his service. That being 320 acres in the Quincy Illinois area. Now we seem to have a name, a location and approximate age. More research to do, but an interesting story no matter whose relation he is.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Helen Foley, Jack Howell and Helen Druar

The two ladies to the right are Helen Bailie Foley and her daughter from her first marriage , Helen Druar. Helen Bailie married a Druar who past away shortly after. Their only child was Helen Druar.

Helen Bailie Druar, the mother on the left, was my paternal grandmother. For her second marriage she wed Louis Francis Foley who then adopted Helen Druar as his own daughter.

The younger Helen to the right married Winton Walkup and I knew them as Aunt Helen and Uncle Winton. There is a street named after Winton in Carbondale Illinois and it is still found today in Google: Walkup Street, just a few blocks from where the Foleys all grew up.

The little guy in the back is Jack Howell. Helen Bailie Druar Foley, let us just say Gram from here on, had a sister Cleta who married a man named Howell. He would have been a first cousin to the four Foley brothers and Helen Walkup. Tough times fell upon the Howells and Jack came and lived with Gram for a while. He had one a "Most Beautiful Baby" contest and from this picture it is evident that Jack was a real cutie.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Patrick Foley, Civil War Veteran, buried at Camp Butler

The stones line neatly up, smart and ready to march. The rotunda sits gently to the left and one can imagine that Abraham Lincoln stood on that platform.
In searching for more information for this blog, I found myself standing in the National Cemetery at Camp Butler, Illinois, just outside Springfield. National Cemeteries inspire a tremendous amount of patriotism, especially when you look down and see your surname and the year, 1865. This was the case for my son and I as we found Patrick Foley's resting place, Section 2, plot 239. The Camp Butler National Cemetery had only been dedicated months earlier. It now holds the remains of both Union and Confederate soldiers and is still being put to use as a resting place for veterans.
Patrick Foley was in Company H, 150th Regiment, Illinois Infantry. His unit was mustered in shortly before the end of the war and had occupation duties across the south. The regiment lost 58 men to disease that year before being mustered out in 1866. More on Patrick later when his military records arrive from the National Archives.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Three Foley Boys of Carbondale 1920 Lake Michigan

Pictured from left to right in front are Louis Edward Foley (Ned), William Severn Foley (Bill),
Dr. Daniel Bernard Foley, and in the back their first cousin Jack Howell. Richard Emmett was not born at this time.
This was taken during a vacation to Lake Michigan about 1920.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Daniel Edmund Foley, Margaret Ann Purtill and their children Circa 1886

To the left is one of the most interesting members of our family tree, Daniel Edmund Foley. He was born March 18, 1857, in Boston Massachusetts. He died February 24, 1938 in Carbondale, Illinois. He is pictured with his bride and children. Margaret Ann Purtill married Daniel when she was sixteen.
Margaret was born May 16, 1864, only 22 years old in this photo. Margaret died on January 19, 1930.
The oldest child is Louis Francis Foley. Louis was born in Centralia Illinois September 15, 1881.Daniel and Louis are pictured again together on this blog nearly 50 years later.
The second oldest is Ella Foley, born November 4, 1883 in DuQuoin Illinois. Ella died November 1, 1959 in Harlingen Texas.
The infant is Mattie Agnes who was born April 27, 1886 and is likely the reason for another trip to Wheatley Studios in DuQuoin.
The reason for the family's relocations around the state was the railroad. Daniel was a supervisor of a road gang. Although only 5'7" tall, he was supervising the gangs that laid tracks. In those days these were known as rowdies. And the boss had to be able to physically stand up to any challenges. Fistfights were common.
Daniel dictated our family history to his daughter Margaret, not yet born in the picture above.Margaret typed it and we still have it. Some of this is hard to document but that is the quest. The Purtill family history is well documented by a genealogy project that was done in 1965.
All of this information has been provided by Don Foley, Clearwater Florida who has been the gatherer of this information for the last thirty years.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Michael McCarty writes home after the Civil War Battle of Belmont Missouri

The two images above are the front and back of a letter written by Michael McCarty three days after the Battle of Belmont Missouri. There is also a mini-family tree written many years ago to establish the provenance of this letter by Louis Edward (Ned) Foley.
McCarty was in the Illinois 31st (Nicknamed the "Dirty-First") Regiment fighting in this and other battles until he was injured near Atlanta. I believe he was injured in the Battle of Bennington, the last significant fight by Confederates in the war. Michael was one of thirteen Union soldiers from the Third Division, 17th Army Corps under the direction of Major General Frank P. Blair, Jr.He died in a Civil War Hospital and is buried in Mariettta National Cemetery plot # G 7220, Marietta, Georgia. He was the Grandfather of Helen Bailie. A complete transcription of this letter is below. It was provided by Brendan Foley who would be his great great great grandson. (Thanks Brendan!)
From more information supplied by Don and Brendan Foley: Michael McCarty Marries Ellen Bradly at Salem, Mass. She is 20, he 25. Only lists his birth place as Ireland. Married by a Catholic Priest.

In Michael McCarty's words:

Camp McClernand and Cairo Illinois
November 10, 1861
My dear wife, I take my pen in hand in order to let you know that I am well and I hope this may find you enjoying the same. No doubt but that you have heard of the great battle, which was fought on last Thursday the 7th. I was there and done all I could for my adopted country. The battle was fought in Missouri at a place called Belmont opposite Columbus on the Kentucky shore. The gunboats began the battle about 9 o’clock in the morning and we infantry a little before 11 o’clock, which lasted until night. I can not give you a full account of whole fight as it would fill several sheets of paper but this I know that I never saw such a time in all my life and I hope that I may never see such another. But if I must, I must and therefore am ready. I escaped unhurt, but how it was God only knows for I am sure that I don’t. Cannon and musket balls flew around me as thick as hale. Cutting down trees bushes and tearing up the ground in every direction. Others of whom there were many were less fortunate and met a soldier’s doom – Death. The Sesh were badly cut to pieces losing a great many more than our side, but ours is bad enough and who the victory belongs to it is hard to tell but it is claimed by the Union troops. We captured and spiked their guns but had to retreat to the boats hotly perused by the enemy who were reinforced by many thousands from Columbus. We lost a considerable of clothing. Consisting of coats and other equipments.
I would have written to you before but was expecting to get paid off every day and will write to you again when we get paid, we are looking for it every day. Write to me how you and the children are getting on. No more at this time, but remain yours
Michael McCarty

A complete report on the Battle of Belmont was written by Brendan and can be provided by contacting the blogger.

The Bailie Kids

Pictured here are Tom Bailie, Helen Bailie and Cleta Bailie. This was taken in Wheatley Studios in DuQuoin Illinois about 1890. A fourth sibling joined them later, Winnie Bailie.
Many new spellings of this name have shown up in later documents, the most common being Bailey.

The Foleys of Carbondale Illinois

Helen Bailie Foley, Daniel Edmund Foley and Louis Francis Foley
taken about 1930

Pictured here are three important figures in our family history.

On January 11, 1905, Helen Bailie married Louis Foley after her first husband had died. Her daughter from her first marriage, Helen Druar, was adopted by Louis. Louis called the older Helen, "Ella", and they had four more children, all boys. Louis Edward (Ned), William Severn, Daniel Bernard and Richard Emmett.

Between them is Daniel Edmund Foley, born March 18, 1857. Both Daniel and Louis worked their whole careers for the Illinois Central Railroad in downstate Illinois, Little Egypt.

Louis and Ella were Gram and Gramp to me and they both passed away when I was very young. I never knew my great grandfather. They lived in Carbondale Illinois most of their lives.

Ella, Louis and Daniel, Foleys that brought our family history to life for me.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Foleys

The Foley family has a very interesting story to tell and there is much yet to learn. Our first goal is to establish this blog so that we can post the information that we already have amassed. Don Foley, Clearwater Beach Florida has beeen gathering information for thirty years; has been to Civil War battlegrounds and cemeteries in the US and in Ireland. Our quest is to connect our roots all the way back to the "old sod" and we are very close.

We'll try to tell the stories one at a time for the readers who are interested in the immigration and nationalization of the immigrants from all over the world who came here and built a country.

We will give you the legends and the stories which are documented, with the documents, photos and other official records.

Stay tuned for an interesting blog.