Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Foleys by Generation in the United States

After a lot of posts I thought I should dedicate one spot to recap the family tree.
Our US history started in County Waterford Ireland in 1820 or 1821 when Michael Foley was born to parents William Foley and Bridget Fitzgerald. Michael would marry a lass also from Waterford, Bridget O'Brien, after both had arrived in Massachusetts. Their wedding was in Easton Mass on October 1, 1853. Perhaps they traveled here together to get married or they found each other as friends in the beginning of a new chapter in both of their lives.

Michael and Bridget started their family in Massachusetts and added to it in Illinois after moving to the Midwest. Their son Daniel Edmund Foley was the next direct line to today's Foleys. Daniel was born March 18, 1857. He worked on the Illinois Central Railroad and worked as a supervisor of a road crew. Daniel's oldest sister Mary married another railroad employee, James C. Hollingsed. Daniel married Margaret Ann Purtill in Illinois and his family included Louis Francis Foley my grandfather.

Louis Francis Foley married Helen Baillie and they raised their family of four boys and one girl in Carbondale. Louis Edward (Ned) was the oldest and became a pharmacist owning a pharmacy in Anna Illinois for many years.
My father was next, William Severn. Dad served in World War II and was a salesman for various boiler makers. Appropriate too because he liked his boilermakers. Daniel Bernard was the third son and he went to medical school and became a physician practicing in Carbondale and later in Edwardsville. Richard Emmett was the last son. Dick also became a salesman after a successful basketball career at Southern Illinois University. Helen, their daughter, was actually the oldest but was born to my grandmother's first marriage to a Mr. Druar. Helen Druar was legally adopted by my grandfather.

This gets us to me and the present. However, I have four sons and a daughter and the other Foleys also have many offspring. And I have a grandson too. Going back to where and when this started and continuing to my grandson, we now have an accounting for eight generations. And that is all since Michael came over from Ireland.

The most intriguing part of the story is part legend part true and the new goal of this blog. The legend is that a Foley was sold in slavery on a pirate ship and escaped when the ship landed here in the 1600s. He raised his family in Canada. One of his descendants decided to return to Ireland. The legend is that it was the very first name when I started this article, William. He had been born here but returned to Ireland and his sons came to the United States during the famine years.
The true part is that it is explained by his grandson in the family history that was handed down. So far, everything in that history has proven to be accurate and documents support the details. Is this part true? Or legendary? Or some of both?
Once a birth date and city for Michael Foley are found, the details of his parents will slowly emerge. That is our new quest.


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