Mary McGraw, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

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, 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.