Thursday, September 22, 2005

Foley Family History Handed Down from Daniel Edmund Foley

One of the documents that ignited the search for information on the Foley family genealogy was dictated by my great grandfather, Daniel Edmund Foley prior to his death in the 1930s.
Before you read this, please remember wise Irish adage "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."

(As Told By Daniel E. Foley To Daughter, Margaret)
One of our ancestors was one of the company of Brian Boru about 1050 A.D. The people of his company scattered after Boru’s death; our folks going probably to Cork or Kerry in the hills.
The next record then was that one of our ancestors settled in Waterford in the south of Ireland; married and had a family.
A son was accused of stealing a sheep from a neighbor and at that time there were no penitentiaries but the punishment for stealing was deportation. He was held in a dungeon of the manor house awaiting to be shipped away. A vessel landed at Dungarvin, close by, manned by pirates, English, French, Spanish. Our ancestor, Liam Foley (O’Foley) was sold by the Lord of the manor to the pirates for one pound. He sailed the seas for three or four years. The captain of the vessel was English; and there our ancestor learned the English language, also Spanish and French.
They struck the coast of North America, believed to be the state of Maine, about the year 1608. The crew landed to get water and the Irishman deserted, going to an Indian camp. He roamed with the Indians for several years. While camped on the coast (Massachusetts) some years later a vessel came in (The Mayflower). William or Liam made the acquaintance of the pilgrims and was taken into the group as interpreter. After six months they disagreed because of religion and after declaring his faith he was thrown into jail from one Saturday to the second Sunday and still would not go to (their) church. He was put into stocks. Later, the daughter of one of the pilgrims released him at night and they deserted together to the Indians. They traveled north from one Indian settlement to another, to lower Canada, probably Quebec, and settled down, living there about 25 years. William’s (Liam’s) wife died there leaving three boys and two girls. The oldest son named William, the second, Pat; others unknown.
William’s son, William, married a French woman. One of their sons becoming a priest and going to France for his education. Another son was killed by Indians.
William’s son, Pat, returned to Massachusetts to his mother’s (Pilgrim) people. Found the grandparents dead but two sons and three daughters living.
One daughter of Pat’s married an O’Brien, a shipbuilder, and settled down in Maine. Their descendants built the first ships for the United States. One of them becoming an admiral.

About 1800 two boys went back to Ireland, one settling in Cork and one in Waterford.

The one who married and lived in Waterford ha
d two boys who came to the states about 1840, as grown men. They went into the Army during the war with Mexico. One returned to Illinois after the war and for his bounty from the government took a piece of land near Quincy, 320 acres. His descendants are at the present time still in that vicinity, one of whom is a priest.
The other boy died after the war and is buried in the soldiers cemetery at Springfield, Illinois, his is the first grave east from the entrance; his name is Patrick Foley. (Camp Butler Cemetery) Patrick 12/17/11865

My father’s father went back to Ireland, married a Fitzgerald. My father had an older brother, Patrick, Edmund; sisters, Bridget, Ellen, Mary.
Bridget married a man named Carey. William Carey, a first cousin came to Illinois, stayed a couple of years and went to Massachusetts. Carey had a brother who stayed in Ireland and studied maritime engineering. His son was captain of the vessel VESTRIS which sank so disastrously in 1927. (Captain Carey of Dungarvin, Waterford, Ireland.)
Ellen married an O’Donnel of Massachusetts.
Mary married in Massachusetts but died within a month and her married name is not known.
Michael Foley married Bridget O’Brien. Bridget had two half brothers named Daniel Hehir and Michael Hehir. Dan was a sergeant in the constabulary in Ireland (borne out of communications in 1871). Mike joined the army and died in Lajore, India. There were five sisters. One married a Cahill. A son was a member of the Irish constabulary (Witness: Picture in possession of family.)
Bridget’s parents had twenty acres of land, without deed, but granted to them as long as grass grew and water ran, for one shilling per year.
Bridget is buried at Teutopolis; Michael at Champaign.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Patrick Foley, Civil War Veteran UPDATE

This blog previously featured a story on Civil War Veteran Patrick Foley.
The National Archives has now provided his military records.

Patrick Foley was born in Ireland in 1815, making him 50 years old when he joined the Union Army in Alton Illinois in 1865. He worked as a farmer and the $100 bounty he was offered to enlist may have been the reason to join.
He joined Company H of the 150th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry on February 6, 1865. He had dark hair and gray eyes and was 5'7" tall when he agreed to a one year enlistment offered by Captain Collins.

On July 8, 1865, Patrick became sick while serving garrison duty in the Atlanta area and was sent to the Crittenden U S Army General Hospital in Louisville Kentucky. His diagnosis was encephaloid tumor of the neck and abdomen.

On October 19, 1865 Patrick wrote the following letter from the hospital to Brigadier General R. E. Wood, Asst Surgeon General U.S. Army


I have the honor to request a special transfer to the U. S. General Hospital at Springfield Ills.
Very Respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant,
Patrick Foley
Pvt Co "H" 150 Ills

Patrick's request was granted and he was transferred to the Camp Butler Hospital, presumably because it was closer to home, where he passed away on December 17, 1865.

Patrick only served in the military from February to July of 1865 and therefore only collected one third of his promised bounty. He was owed $70.50 for pay not received when he died.

Based on the Foley family history handed down, I believe that Patrick is the brother to Michael, this blog's namesake and my great-great grandfather. He would be my great-great uncle. I believe from family histories handed down that Patrick and Michael came to the United States together.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Michael, Bridget and Children Information Found

Pictured above, the Paxton Depot, home of the Illinois Central Rail Road Historical Society.
Today's mail from the Urbana Public Library filled information gaps about the namesake of this blog, Michael Foley.
His resting place
Saint Mary's Cemetery in Champaign was established by Father Charles Berry on the south edge of Champaign near the center of county section 24-19-8. It is bordered on the north and east by the University of Illinois and the University farm. It is situated on one of the high rolling ridges that extend through the south part of Champaign. It is smartly laid out, fenced and meticulously maintained. It is supported by assessment and a permanent care fund derived from the sale of lots and under the jurisdiction of a committee appointed by the pastor of Saint Mary's Church. There are 18 Civil War veterans and four World War veterans buried there.
The stone on Michael Foley's grave reads simply:
Foley, Michael
Born (blank)
Died Jan. 31, 1889
68 Years

His Daughters in Champaign
Michael died while visiting with two daughters in Champaign, Mary Hollingsed, and Alice Dunbar.
Both are buried in adjacent lots to his, as well as Mary's husband, James C. Hollingshed.
Mary has three different birthdays listed on various records: grave marker reads born 1863, her death certificate reads born December 12, 1860, and the newspaper article recounting her passing reads that she was born on December 12, 1861. She was born in Chicago and, in 1884, married James Clinton Hollingsed, a conductor for the Illinois Central Railroad. Mary and James had four children: James C. Jr., D. J. (I think this is David) and two daughters who married to a J A Welty in Chicago and a W W Findley in Los Angeles. She had two brothers who survived her, Daniel E. Foley of Carbondale and William Foley of Terre Haute Indiana. And two sisters who survived her lived in Chicago, Ellen and Delia Foley.
Mary died from heart failure. She came ill upon the death of her sister Alice Donahue just five weeks earlier. A full accounting of this was reported in the January 26, 1934 edition of the Champaign News Gazette.
James, born in 1853, passed away in 1902.

Alice Marie
Alice M. Foley was born 1854 and died that same terrible 1934 winter. Alice died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. H. T. Williamson in Clinton Illinois, where she had been visiting over the Christmas holidays. Alice was born October 20, 1854 in Massachusetts. She married twice, first to Patrick Dunbar, then to Charles Donahue. Surviving Alice were daughters, Mrs. Charles Clayborne, Peoria, Mrs. W J Ryan, 613 West Green Street, Champaign at whose home the wake was held, Mrs. A J Berbaum, also of Champaign, Mrs. Williamson of Clinton and one son C. R. (probably Charles) Donahue, North Coler Avenue Urbana Illinois.
The January 2, 1934 edition of the Champaign News Gazette provided these details.
One of Alice's children was Wilhemina Dunbar, born January 14, 1882 in Champaign. Alice's husband Patrick was born in Ireland and was working as a brakesman on the Illinois Central Rail Road at the time Wilhemina as born. This information from a birth registry kept by the County.

Michael married Bridget O'Brien in Massachusetts about 1850. Mary Hollingsed's death certificate, indicates that both Michael and Bridget were from County Waterford Ireland. Some time after Alice was born in Massachusetts in 1854, the family moved to Chicago, where Mary was born.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Michael, Bridget Foley Found!

Having never met my great-grandfather, Daniel Edmund Foley who was born in 1853, the likelihood of knowing much about his father were very rare. We knew his name was Michael and that he was born in Ireland, married Bridget. And we knew that he was buried in Champaign and Bridget in Teutopolis, both in Illinois. We only had a sketchy idea of even where they lived when alive

This week we found them both.

Bridget was rather easy in that Teutopolis was very small when she was buried and there is a good county historical society there. The State of Illinois has organized a project called Gen Web for the purpose of making historical records easier to trace online. An email to a former resident of Teutopolis now living in Arizona who maintains the county site got immediate answers. (Thank you Linda!)

There is only one cemetery in Teutopolis, named St. Francis Cemetery. It is a Catholic cemetery, associated with St. Francis Church in Teutopolis. The records show Bridget Foley is buried in Section 7, Row 5, grave #3. This is in the VERY old section of the cemetery. The stone reads died 2-27-1873 at the age of 52 years. There is no birth date on the stone but doing the math she would have been born sometime in 1821, probably not in Teutopolis. The town was founded in the early 1840’s. The cemetery was originally laid out in 1860. The stone does, however, state that she is the wife of Michael.

Michael was another story. I envisioned going to the cemeteries in Champaign until I found his headstone. The Urbana Free Library made that all unnecessary with two phone calls.

First, I learned from the archivist that there was a record of Michael Foley, born 1821 same as Bridget, being buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, another very old site. Incredibly, Michael's passing made the newspaper at the time, the Champaign Daily Gazette. Michael passed away on January 31, 1889. The Gazette story under a heading of "Local Brevities", tells of Michael Foley's passing away of rheumatism of the heart while visiting his daughters in Champaign, Mrs. J.C. Hollingshead and T. Dunbar.

Most interestingly, it indicates a familiar link, that Michael Foley was visiting from DuQuoin Illinois where he lived. This was an unknown. His son, Daniel, was born in 1853. A brief study of the history of DuQuoin indicates that the railroad was finished and the first depot built also in 1853.

Cousin Don remembers hearing the name Hollingshead in his youth. I can recall a lot of mentioning of DuQuoin Illinois from my father. We may have more cousins soon!