Elizabeth Lawler, Kilkenny to Cleveland

Elizabeth Lawler was born about 1838 in Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, Ireland, the daughter of Michael Lawler and Mary Curran. Elizabeth was married on November 27, 1855, in Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada, to John Kerwin. John was born about 1835 in Ireland, the son of Peter Kerwin and Mary Kerwin. At the time of their marriage, both their fathers were deceased. John's mother was living in County Monaghan and Elizabeth's in Kilkenny.1,2

Elizabeth and John had at least five children born in Montreal: Peter (1856), Michael (1858), Mary Anne (1861), John (1863), and Elizabeth (1866). Michael was buried in Montreal in 1860.3

By April 1868 the Kerwins were living in Cleveland, Ohio, when their son George was born. They had at least four more children in Cleveland: William (1874), Edward (1876), James (1879), and Nellie (1883). Nellie seems to have died before 1900.4

John Kerwin is found in the 1869 Cleveland City Directory at 429 Hamilton. The following year they moved to Newburgh, living on Marble Street. They spent most of the rest of their lives at 2371 Spafford or thereabouts, which is about 7800 Spafford the way the streets were numbered after 1906. John was working at the Cleveland Rolling Mill in 1876.5

Elizabeth (Lawler) Kerwin died October 2, 1903. John died, I believe, on April 29, 1905, and is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Cleveland.6

There are 16 Lawlers on the Tithe Applotment Books (1823) in Castlecomer, Kilkenny, including two named Michael. There are no Michael Lawlers on Griffith's Valuation of Castlecomer, taken in 1853, but there is a Mary Lawler on Chatsworth Row, Town of Castlecomer, that might be Elizabeth's mother. 7,8

At the Killkenny section of rootsireland.ie, there is a match for an Elizabeth Lawler born to a Michael Lawler and Mary Curran in Kilkenny in 1835. This record could be Elizabeth's.9 the Irish parish records are online at http://www.nli.ie/. They might have an image of Elizabeth's baptism record.

I didn't find any Kerwins in County Monaghan on either the Tithe Applotment Books or on Griffith's Valuation. Perhaps John Kerwin's family was displaced by the famine or other events and his mother ended up in County Monaghan by 1855.


  1. Elizabeth's death record
  2. Drouin Collection, Church Records, Quebec.
  3. Drouin Records
  4. Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and Ohio birth records, familysearch.
  5. Cleveland City Directory.
  6. Ohio Death Records, familysearch, and the Cleveland Necrology File.
  7. Tithe Applotment Books, National Archives of Ireland at http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/search
  8. Griffith's Valuation at askAboutIreland.ie
  9. http://kilkenny.rootsireland.ie/