Christina O'Rourke, Killowen to Chicago

Continued from Some Children of Michael Rourke and Alice Cunningham.

Besides the children we mentioned in the last article, Michael Rourke and Alice Cunningham had two other sons and another daughter listed in the Kilbroney Church Records. they are:

John Rourke, baptized December 5, 1844, sponsors: Murtagh Cunningham and Sarah Chronicle
Mary Rourke, baptized November 27, 1845, sponsors: Bernard Rorke and Ann Sloan
William Rourke, baptized September 30, 1847, Patrick Chronicle and
Catherine Cunningham.1

In turn, this William Rourke married Margaret McVeigh and had three children listed on the Church Records:

Michael Rourke, baptized May 1, 1877, sponsors: James McVeigh and Margaret Rorke
John Rourke, baptized September 19, 1878, sponsors: Richard Rorke and
Selina McVeigh
Mary Ann Rourke, baptized January 27, 1880, sponsors: John Fearon and Mary

Did William and Margaret have any other children?

As we saw in the first article, William's son Michael J O'Rourke emigrated to Cleveland and was living with his aunt Annie (O'Rourke) in 1900. A posting on Genforum in 2004, said the following:

"At the time of his death (1919) Michael had a sister living at 5603 Princeton Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. There are very few pieces of correspondence, and none of them mention this sister's name. She is simply referred to as sister."2

Another posting in 2005 said:

"Looking for any info on Thomas Flood, born 1883 in County Mayo, Ireland died in 1942. Also any info on Christine O'Rourke born 1885 in County Down, Ireland whom he was married to. We are also trying to find any info on John Flood, a merchant who aided in the Cherry mine disaster in Illinois."3

Putting the information from both posts together, we can look for a Thomas and Christina Flood living in Chicago. Could this be Michael's sister?

Well yes, it is. In 1920, Thomas and Christina Flood were living at 5603 Princeton Ave, Chicago, with three children: Thomas (age 6), William (4), and George (2).4 By 1930 they had three other children: Margaret, Maurice, and Michael. In 1930 and 1940 they were living at 5530 South Shields Ave.5
Christina died in January 1970 and is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.6

Did Christina have any other siblings? It seems so, at least one more anyway. Christina is on the 1901 Census of Dunnaval (Mourne, Down) in house 22 with her grandfather, a sister, and a cousin:

Residents of a house 22 in Dunnaval (Mourne, Down)
Mc Veigh, John, 88, head, widower, Farmer
O Roarke, Johanna, 10, grand daughter, scholar, single
O Roarke, Christina, 16, grand daughter, farmers Gr. Daughter, single
Doyle, James, 26, grand son, labour, single

All were Roman Catholic. All were born in Co. Down. None spoke Irish. All but John McVeigh could read and write. He could do neither.7

Note the spaces in the surnames. I think that affected how they were indexed.

The birth or baptism records for Christina and Johanna would have to be consulted to be sure, but for our purposes here I think it is safe to say that they are sisters. They would both be daughters of William Rourke and Margaret McVeigh.

Unfortunately, the only other record I could find for Johanna O'Rourke was an indexed reference to a death record of a 21 year old woman by that name who died in the first quarter of 1911 in Kilkeel.8 This would match her age and last known location. Again, the record might provide more information.


Look back up at the baptismal records and you will see the name Selina McVeigh as godmother to Margaret McVeigh's son John in 1878. Remember that name—next stop is the McVeighs.

Continued in Selina (McVeigh) Kelly, of Kilkeel and Chicago.

Edited March 2018

With the civil birth registrar online, I found records of more children of William and Margaret. The records confirmed that Christina and Johanna were part of the family, as well as Francis (b 1882), James (1885), and Margaret (1887). And that was their daughter Johanna who died in 1911, January 28 to be exact, of diphtheria. So we reached the right conclusions, in a round about way.


  1. Kilbroney Church Records, transcription of Rourkes, received from researcher in 2009.
  2. Patricia Patterson, August 31, 2004, "Re: Michael James O'Rourke of Rostrevor b. 1877" in O'Rourke Family Genealogy Forum.
  3. Debra Flood, September 19, 2005, "Thomas Sieford Flood/ Christine O'Rourke" in Flood Family Genealogy Forum.
  4. "United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Nov 2013), Thomas Flood, Chicago Ward 31, Cook (Chicago), Illinois, United States; citing sheet , family 151, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1820348.
  5. "United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Nov 2013), Thomas S Flood, Chicago (Districts 0501-0750), Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0653, sheet , family 148, NARA microfilm publication .
  6. Social Security Death Index, and Chicago Tribune, February 1, 1970, "Death Notice of Christina Flood." at
  7. National Archives of Ireland,
  8. "Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 Nov 2013), Johana O'Rourke, 1911; citing vol. 1, p. 441, General Registry, Custom House, Dublin, Ireland; FHL microfilm 0101605.