Monday, January 01, 2007

In Search of Liam, My New Year's Resolution

With every New Year's Day, many promises are made. This blog is no different than others. I have a new goal for 2007. My goal is to connect our family in Ireland with our family here in the USA, like everyone else. My goal is different in that our family was one of the very earliest families to come to this world, before the Pilgrims.

Liam Foley sailed by pirate ship from Dungarvan Ireland about 1605. His reasons for being on the ship, as a slave, are not honorable. He either broke a law, or was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and was sold into slavery by the lord of the Manor near Dungarvan, County Waterford, for one pound. He sailed with pirates for three or four years. When the ship arrived here in 1608 he reportedly ran away and lived with the Native Americans.

The Mayflower landed several years later and he made acquaintance of the Pilgrims. However, he ran afoul of their religious beliefs. He ran away with a daughter of the Pilgrims and they settled in lower Canada, probably Quebec. They had a family of three sons and two daughters. Their oldest son was William and their second son was Pat.

William had a son named William also. The Junior William married a French woman and had at least three sons. One son returned to France to become a priest: another was killed by an Indian, and one son, Pat, returned to Massachusetts.
(Editor's note: This part of the story is sketchy and the years that passed indicate that there may have been other generations of the family in Canada before their return to the US)

In any event, the Foley who returned to Massachusetts was named Pat. His daughter, Rose, married a man named O'Brien who was a ship builder. The O'Briens built some of the earliest ships for the United States Navy and one of Rose' sons became an Admiral in the Navy.

My New Year's resolution for theis blog is to find some documentary evidence of the early Foleys here in the United States or in Canada. Stay tuned!


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