Eileen Quinn, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Eileen Quinn, 1922

Eileen Quinn,

This website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland. My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the young lady on our far right in the back row as Eileen Quinn. There was a Eileen Quinn living in the area, described below, who is probably her.

Eileen Quinn was born August 10, 1913, in Cleveland, the first child of John Joseph Quinn and Agnes May Francis.1 They had married on August 17, 1912. Eileen was followed by four more children: John "Jack" born 1914, William (1917), Kathleen (1918), and Allan (1921). William died in 1918, but the other children lived to adulthood. In 1930, the family was living at 7808 Goodman Avenue on the southeast side of Cleveland.

On May 9, 1938, Eileen married Reginald G James in Cuyahoga County, and the two were living in Garfield Heights in 1940. Reginald died May 30, 1992. Eileen survived her siblings, including Allan who died in 2006. At that time she was living in Raleigh, North Carolina. I don't know when she died or if she and Reginald had any children.

Agnes May Francis

Agnes was born in the second quarter of 1884, in Mitcham, London, England, the daughter of William Francis and Mary Matilda Mihill. The Kevin Fairley Family Tree at ancestry.com provided Agnes' ancestry back two generations to William Francis and Mary Jane Mead on her father's side, and William Mihill and Mary Giles on her mother's. There is no point in my rehashing it here.

Agnes arrived in the United States June 23, 1912, aboard the SS Campania, which had left Liverpool 8 days earlier. She listed her father's residence as 174 High Street, Tooting, London. Interestingly she said her destination in America was her friend, J Quinn, at the Cleveland State Hospital, in Newburgh. This was one of many hints I needed to trace John's movements before his arrival in Newburgh back to his homestead in Ireland.

In October 1919 Agnes made a trip back to England with her three children, evidently to visit her parents. She was accompanied by her brother in law, Patrick Quinn, 36, a watchman. She and the children returned to Cleveland in June 1920. I didn't find any more mention of Patrick in Cleveland, so he must have remained in England. The Fairley tree says he died in Putney, which was near Tooting, London.

Agnes (Francis) Quinn died February 5, 1958, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery.

John Joseph Quinn

My effort at researching John Quinn's ancestry was a good example of starting at both ends and working toward the middle, a strategy that doesn't usually work. The Fairley tree gave me his mother's maiden name, Bridget Fair, early in my research, and John's death record in Cleveland, on December 27, 1945, provided his father's name, Michael.

Conagher Townland

"Fair" is an unusual Irish name, so I figured I'd just throw the parents' names into a search engine and see what came out. I turned up five children of the couple, including a John and a Patrick, all born in Conagher Townland, Dunmore Civil Parish, Galway. This turned out to be the right family, but the only trouble was that their son John's date of birth was February 28, 1878. On all but one of his American records, including his naturalization papers, John Joseph Quinn insisted that he was born in 1883.

Fortunately for the genealogist, John gave the date February 28, 1878, when registering for the United States WWI Draft. And when he and Patrick arrived in Montreal September 3, 1911, en route to Cleveland, they said their closest relative in Ireland was their father Michael in Conagher. Although, from what I can tell, I think they meant "brother", or maybe they were misunderstood. At any rate on Patrick's first trip to the US, when leaving Queenstown on August 28, 1907, he said his mother Bridget Quinn was in Conagher, Tuam.

Agnes Francis' immigration destination, "a friend J Quinn, Cleveland State Hospital" made me realize they knew each other before she arrived. I looked for John in that area of London and found an Electoral Roll of Tooting Ward that included

John Quinn
Place of abode: Tooting Bee Asylum, Tooting Common

John, as mentioned, worked at the asylum in Cleveland until about 1917, so this listing seems to fit.

John's parents, Michael Quinn and Bridget Fair, were married in Kilcommon and Robeen Parish, County Mayo, on February 4, 1869, which probably explains why the Fairley Family tree says that the family was from Mayo.

The indexed information to the civil registration of the marriage, in Ballinrobe Registration District, says Bridget's father's name was John. The image is not yet online, but the certificate if obtained should list Bridget's townland at the time of her marriage. This would help identify which of the two John Fairs in the area was her father.


Sources and more details on the families covered in this article are in the Ohio Families section of this site. If you are descended from Eileen Quinn, you are welcome to download the picture of the 1922 second grade class, or contact me for a larger version which might have better resolution.


^1. Her exact date of birth comes from her father's Petition for Naturalization, but he was a bit off on two of the other children's dates, at least according to their Social Security information.


The image of the townland sign for Conagher, Galway, is used courtesy of the Milltown Heritage Group.

Mary McGraw, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Mary McGraw, 1922

Mary McGraw,

This website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland. My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the fifth young lady from our right in the back row as Mary McGraw. There was a Mary McGraw living in the area, described below, who is probably her.

Mary McGraw was born May 6, 1913, in Cleveland, the first child of John McGraw and Mary Kelley. In 1920 the family was living at 8002 Goodman Avenue. In the household beside Mary and her parents were: her three younger siblings, William, Ruth, and Rose Rita McGraw; her mother's children from a previous marriage: Edward, Timothy, and Katherine O'Malley; and her aunt, Katherine Kelley.

John McGraw died in 1926. On the 1930 Census, Mary's mother, the three younger McGraw children, and Katherine O'Malley were at 4962 East 85th. Mary herself was at the Sisters of the Good Shepherd home at 30th and Carnegie.

On February 28, 1933, Mary McGraw married Walter A Royer, very likely at Holy Name Church. They had two children by the time of the 1940 census. Mary died April 15, 1989, and is buried in All Souls Cemetery, Chardon.

The McGraws and the Burns

John McGraw was born March 4, 1876, in Cleveland, the youngest of four children of David McGraw and Mary Burns, both of whom were born in Ireland about 1841 or 1842. David McGraw died in 1878, and his widow Mary, her children, and her mother, Bridget (Sheridan) Burns were at 2575 Bluff.

I didn't find Bridget Sheridan's husband, Patrick Burns, on the records, but their son Matthew was also in Cleveland. He lived at 16 Division from 1874 until at least 1880. In 1880 there was a Michael Burns at 18 Division, but I never proved to myself that Matthew and Michael were brothers.

I thought that with two, possibly three Burns siblings and both parents' full names I might find them in the Irish parish registers, but I didn't. So that was the end of the line for the McGraws and the Burns.

The Kelleys

Mary McGraw's mother, Mary Kelley, was born June 10, 1876, in Cleveland, the fourth known child of Peter Kelley and Bridget Hunt, both born in Ireland. Her first marriage was about October 2, 1897–the date the license was issued–to Timothy O'Malley. Timothy died of smallpox in 1902. Mary's three children were all in orphanages in 1910, and Mary herself was living and working as a cook at the Cleveland city infirmary. After Mary's marriage to John McGraw in 1912, they were evidently reunited, all being in the McGraw household in 1920.

I found nothing more for Bridget Hunt's origins, and only know that Peter Kelley's father was named Patrick.

The O'Malley's

Having gone 0 for 2 on Mary McGraw's lineage, I thought I might as well take a look at Timothy O'Malley's family, even though he wasn't her ancestor. Fortunately there was only one Timothy O'Malley in Cleveland at the time.

Timothy was born "on or about 17 January 1872" in County Mayo, according to his naturalization records. He arrived in the United States aboard the SS Adriatic on May 25, 1888, having boarded in Queenstown. In the 1892 Cleveland City Directory he is listed at 75 Main, along with Patrick O'Malley, a saloon keeper, and Edward O'Malley, a stonecutter. If Patrick is the man who died at 44 East River on June 7, 1903, then he was old enough to be of Timothy's father's generation. But Timothy arrived in the States alone, so the connection to Patrick and Edward is unclear, at least to me for now.

You would think that with an approximate date of birth, I would have been able to find Timothy in the birth records at irishgenealogy.ie, but not so. There are three Thaddeus Malleys born in Mayo between 1870 and 1874, but none of them in January. (Thaddeus is another name for Timothy.) One of them might be Timothy, but I can't say which.

Mayo is a big county but at least we narrowed down Timothy O'Malley's county a little better than the McGraws', Kelleys', etc.


I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't establish a Irish county of origin for at least one of Mary McGraw's lines, but that's the way it goes. I have a difficult time with Irish families that arrive that early in the US, say the 1870's and before. The passenger manifests have very little information, and the naturalization records usually only say "Ireland". Timothy O'Malley's might have been an exception. And the individuals don't usually live long enough for their death records to require their parents' names.

I got a taste of a different Irish settlement in Cleveland, though, besides the one in Newburgh. Most of Mary's ancestors spent their lives in the Flats, and I hope to do some background reading on the area and the time period soon.

Sources and more details on the families covered in this article are in the Ohio Families section of this site. If you are descended from Mary McGraw, you are welcome to download the picture of the 1922 second grade class, or contact me for a larger version which might have better resolution.

My Paternal Old Ohio Home

(reworked from an older article)

My father told me that when he moved to Cleveland in the 1930's he first lived in a boarding house run by Fred and Dorothy Goodsmith. All the boarders gambled and bet on horses. My father said that when they played gin rummy and Fred was about to go gin he would always give it away by starting to whistle the same tune every time.

One day my father went for an eye examination, but the rest of the boarders thought he went to the track. When he came home he said, "Great news! I had 20-20 vision!" Someone looked up and said, "Oh yeah, so what did he pay?"

painting of a horse race

In 1930 Fred and Dorothy were at 2310 Selzer Ave, but this didn't ring a bell with me. However in the 1939 to 1943 city directories, their address was 1917 E. 75th. This was the area of town that I associated with my father's early years in Cleveland. So it was with some satisfaction that I found that address in the 1940 Census and saw that the whole crew was living there: my father, Fred, Dorothy, and an old racetrack friend of my father named Bill Middaugh.

The Goodsmiths

Fred was born in Newburgh on Oct 9, 1884, the son of F.J. and Catherine (Delfing) Goodsmith. Dorothy Jacobs was born October 25, 1893, in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of August Jacobs and Susan Taylor. Fred had two children by his first marriage to Gertrude Egert. They appear to be separated by 1918 and were divorced in February 1921. Fred and Dorothy were married that June. They had no children.

By 1918 Fred was in the restaurant business, working as a proprietor for an Anthony Cartwright at 12814 St Clair. He apparently remained in this line of work until his death; all records call him an employer, proprietor, etc., and list his places of business as lunch rooms or restaurants. Occasionally on the records, he or Dorothy gave their employment address as their residence.

Fred was still at 1917 East 75th in 1942 when he registered for the World War Two Draft, but died in Georgia on 8 Oct 1944. Dorothy died "suddenly in Florida," her death notice appearing in the Cleveland Press on Dec 17, 1952. She is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Bedford Heights. I couldn't find Fred's burial location.


My thanks to the maintainer of the garym28 database at rootsweb, for pointing me toward Fred's death date.

The horse racing drawing is courtesy of debspoons at freedigitalphoto.net.

Vincent Hurley, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Vincent Hurley, 1922


This website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland. My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the fourth young man from our left in the third row as Vincent Hurley. There was a Vincent Hurley living in the area, described below, who is probably him.

Vincent was born June 9, 1912, in Ohio, the second of two sons born to Michael J and Anna (Donovan) Hurley. His older brother, Francis Joseph, had been born March 22, 1911. Vincent's childhood must have been a bit of a struggle–his mother died when he was eight, and I didn't find Vincent on any records until the 1940 census, when he was living with his mother's sister, Mary (Donovan) Toohig's family, at 4139 East 119th. Vincent enlisted in the US Army on May 8, 1942, for the duration of the war. He was living in East Cleveland when he died June 7, 1970, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery. He never married.

And that's all I know about Vincent. As for his family . . .

The Hurleys

With a lot more effort than usually required, I managed to find out something about Michael J Hurley and his family. Michael was born May 15, 1872, in Cleveland, the oldest son of Timothy Hurley and Ellen Gibbons. He was married twice, outliving both wives. His first family was with Ellen Lee, whom he married October 30, 1895, most likely at Holy Name Church. They lost a son 3 days old in 1896, then had a daughter Coletta and a son Emmett before Ellen died October 25, 1900. Coletta's records were about as scarce as Vincent's. She, Francis, and Vincent may have been in foster homes for a while. Only Emmett consistently showed up in the records.

Michael waited more than nine years before remarrying. He and Anna Donovan were wed on January 11, 1910, again probably at Holy Name. They had two children as mentioned, Francis and Vincent. Anna died April 18, 1920, of "insanity at menopause." Contributing to her death were "anemia and exhaustion." She and Michael were not living at the same address when she died, so it doesn't look like her dying was easy on anyone.

There were two Hurley families in Newburgh in the 1880s and early 1900s, but they might not have been related as I first suspected. The death record of Michael Hurley's sister Mary (Hurley) Broderick said that both their parents had been born in County Cork. For the other family, who said they were from Mayo, see Bernice Hurley, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland.

The Donovans

The Donovans were a family you dream about researching. The earliest American record for Anna Donovan, the 1880 census of her parents's household, said she was born about 1870 in Wales. I clung to that birthplace, despite later records saying things like "Mannershire, England" and "Ireland." And sure enough, she was born in the first quarter of 1871, in Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire, Wales, the first child of Garrett Donovan and Bridget Rice.

Ballymacoda, East Cork

Ballymacoda, East Cork

Bridget's death record (Cleveland, Ohio, July 9, 1925), said she was born in Cork, Ireland, the daughter of Percy Rice and Mary Murphy. That was close enough to the truth to find her baptism record in Ballymacoda and Lady's Bridge parish, Diocese of Cloyne, County Cork, on January 6, 1851. Her parents were not Percy and Mary, but Pierce Rice and Johanna Murphy. Pierce and Johanna were married February 25, 1843, in the same church.

When you find a few lone parish records like that, though, you always have a lingering doubt that there might have been two couples with the same names that had daughters named Bridget—and you found the other one. I have learned the hard way that no matter how unusual the name, there are usually two people living in the same place at the same time with the same name.

But not this time. I found the Rices and Donovans in the same household on the 1871 Census of Ebbw Vale, Wales: Pierce, Johanna, four children including Bridget, Garrett Donovan, and daughter Johanna. Pierce's surname on most of the records in Wales was spelled "Rees." I wonder if that was Welsh for "Rice." At any rate, there they were. The 1861 Census even identified the Rices' birthplace as Balymacody, Co. Cork.


Although Vincent Hurley had no descendants, I know that he had Toohig cousins who did. And I'm not sure about his brother Francis or his aunt Cecelia (Donovan) Mahon. At any rate, I'm sure there is someone out there who would appreciate learning their Rice-Donovan home parish in Ireland.

For sources and more details on the Hurley, Donovan, and Rice families, see the Ohio Families section of this website.


The picture of Ballymacoda was taken by John Finn, of Ballymacoda. It can be found on flickr at Ballymacoda, and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 License.

James Colgan of Loughtown, County Kildare, and Cleveland, Ohio

James Joseph Colgan was born January 5, 1871, in Loughtown, County Kildare, to Patrick Colgan, a gentleman farmer, and Letitia Cleary. Other children in the family were Laurence Joseph (1858), Ellen Mary (1861), Letitia Joanna (1863), Catherine (1865), Walter Joseph (1866), Mary Elizabeth (1867), Joseph Ignatius (1872), Lucy Mary (1873), and John William (1876). The head of the family, Patrick, died March 25, 1887, of complications from diabetes. Letitia died August 8, 1895.

SS Etruria

SS Etruria

When James was naturalized, he said that he arrived in the United States in August of 1889. He might be the James Colgan arriving at New York aboard the SS Etruria on August 12, 1889. If so, he embarked at Queenstown carrying one piece of luggage, and said that he was from County Dublin.

He first shows up in Cleveland in the 1891/1892 City Directory as joint proprietor of the People's House and Supply Company, an "installment dealer" located at 973 Payne. I imagine that installment dealers were businesses that sold items on the installment plan, but I'm not sure. James next tried his hand at running a saloon, first at 200 Erie, then at 542 Union. After that, he settled into the field of sales, being called an agent, salesman, furniture agent, and commercial traveler on various records.

Installment Dealers in City Directory

On January 15, 1895, James Colgan married Mariam Murphy at Immaculate Conception Church on Superior Avenue. They had one son, Walter, born February 18, 1904, who died of epilepsy at the age of 13.

Somewhere along the line James developed a problem with alcohol, it and might be reflected in his stated residences on the records. While he and his family were at 167 (now 723) Prospect from 1899 until 1906, after that things look shakier. James is listed at The Frontenac in 1906, then on Neal Terrace in 1908. On the 1910 census, the family is at 8807 Superior. When Walter died in 1917, Mary was at 1325 East 92nd, but James was at 115 Lakeside. In 1918, Mary is again at 1325 East 92nd, but called the "widow of James." James still had 5 years to live.

On April 19, 1923, James Colgan was found dead at 1000 Hamilton, his residence was 9000 Hamilton and that of his wife Mary was 3478 East 105th. He died of chronic nephritis and old tuberoles of the lungs; a contributory cause of death was insanity due to alcoholism. James and his wife, who died December 17, 1944, are both buried in Calvary Cemetery.


James Colgan's story has been rather a hard story to tell. I debated whether to write it up at all. I came across him on a census record and, because of his surname, thought he might be from Kilkeel, the same area as my grandparents. He isn't a relative, but he is somebody's relative and someone somewhere is probably wondering what happened to him after he left Ireland. I hope this helps them find him.


  • Irish Civil Registrations
  • Parish Register, Kilcock Parish, Co Kildare, at nli.ie
  • Familysearch.org:
    • Cleveland Deaths
    • US Federal Censuses
    • Ohio County Naturalization Records
  • Ancestry.com:
    • New York Passenger Lists
  • https://catalog.hathitrust.org/
    • Cleveland City Directories
  • Cleveland Public Library
    • News and Necrology file (obituaries)
  • https://sites.google.com/site/faqcuyahogactyresearch/
    • Cleveland pastors and their churches