Arthur Hannigan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Arthur Hannigan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1943 Letter from Dungarvan, Waterford,
to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 1943, Mr Arthur Hannigan of 3615 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a letter from from Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland. Does the Hannigan family have roots in County Waterford?

The Hannigans of Tipperary, Waterford, and Philadelphia

When I first saw this cover on the Jim Forte Postal History website, I decided not to write an article about it because it was too easy. But I owed myself an easy job after the last postal cover, Mary Belle Lemon, Clermont County, Ohio, so here it is.

The 1940 Census of Philadelphia shows an Arthur Hannigan at 3615 North 11th Street, the address on the envelope. He was a 50 year old carpenter born in Maryland. Also in the household was John Hannigan, 58. Arthur was renting a unit in his house to a Thomas E Quigley.

These three men can be found in the 1910 household of John Hannigan at 3640 Percy Street, Philadelphia. John was a carpenter age 50. He and his wife Anna were born in Ireland. Their family included two children born in Ireland: Mary, age 16, and Joseph 12.

Looking at the Irish Civil Birth Registers we find Mary Agnes Hannigan born August 10, 1893, in Old Pike, Dungarvan Registration District, County Waterford. Joseph was born June 19, 1897, in Garranbane, also Co. Waterford. Their parents were John Hannigan, a carpenter, and Anna Hannigan, formerly Terry. As a bonus we get the name of Anna's sister, Bridget Terry, the informant for both births and identified as the aunt of Joseph.

David Kelley's Family Tree at informs us that Arthur's father, John Hannigan, was born December 26, 1859, in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, and was married on May 5, 1879, in Waterford. John's father Jeremiah died in Dungarvan, Waterford, in August of that year.


Undoubtedly there are other records that would cement this trace-back more solidly, but I think we've found enough to say that Arthur Hannigan's family was from Waterford. The only question left is who sent him the letter? The return address might be on the back of the envelope, but we might never know for sure, because it has been sold since I first saw it. But someone in Dungarvan probably knows.


The image of the envelope to Arthur Hannigan is used by permission of Jim Forte Postal History.

Most of the information here is about my family or my wife’s, or about families with ties to Cleveland, Ohio, or the area near Rostrevor and Kilkeel in County Down, Ireland. There are also some unrelated families included that I came across. Whatever the case, I hope the material is helpful in your own efforts.
-- Ed Hamilton