Monday, June 23, 2014

Mary (Archer) Hennessy- Wife of Patrick Hennessy - Mother of Joseph, Thomas, Henry & John

Mary (Archer) Hennessy (abt. 1869- abt 1907) is my great grandmother.  She married Patrick Joseph Hennessy (1874- ) sometime before 1898.  While I have not been able to confirm the year of their marriage nor the year of Mary's birth or death, I have confirmed that she was Patrick's wife and the mother of his first four children.

Patrick and Mary lived first in Brooklyn, NY and then in New Rochelle, NY.  Patrick worked as a Coachman or Chauffeur.  They had four sons:  Joseph Hennessy (1898 - ), Thomas Hennessy (1899-1954), Henry Hennessy (1901 - ) and John (Jack) Hennessy (1906-  ).  Mary died sometime between the birth of John in 1906 and 1910 when Patrick Hennessy is listed as a Widow on Census records.
Premium Point, New Rochelle -  
Northern shore of Long Island Sound 

I have located only one census record in which Mary Hennessy appears - the 1905 NY census that has her residing in  Premium Point, New Rochelle, NY with her husband Patrick and three sons at the time - Joseph, Thomas and Henry.  Based on the location, names and ages of the children, approximate ages of Mary and Patrick, as well as Patrick's occupation and country of origin, I am certain this is the correct Census record for Mary and Patrick.  However, not all the details are accurate.   Patrick's age is given as 29, but he would have been 31 (1874); plus the census has him immigrating to the US in 1890 when, in fact, it was January 11, 1894 according to his naturalization record.  Mary is listed as born in Ireland and coming to America in 1890, same as Patrick. Mary's age on the census is difficult to read, but appears to be either 31 (1874) or 36 (1868).  I believe 36 would have been her correct age.
  • The 1905 NYS census relied on information provided verbally by any family member or a neighbor. It was not uncommon to assume a wife's information was the same as her husbands. Age information of adults was often an approximation or even a guess.
Its certainly possible Mary and Patrick were married in Ireland and came to the United States together or happened to arrive the same year, but I have not found any record to prove or disprove this.  All of their children were born in the US, with the oldest born 4 years after Patrick arrived.

The only other definitive record I found belonging to Mary, is the birth record of Henry in Pittsfield, MA in 1902.  Although Henry was born in Massachusetts, the record lists Patrick and Mary's address as Brooklyn, NY at the time which appears consistent with other records as both Joseph and Thomas were born in Brooklyn.   Henry's birth record also indicates Patrick's occupation as a Coachman, identifies Mary's maiden name as Archer and her middle initial as possibly J and states both Patrick and Mary were born in Ireland.

I have been unable to find any other information that I believe conclusively identifies Mary. Presumably, Mary is buried somewhere in Westchester county as is Patrick Hennessy, but I have not been able to find either of their graves.  Patrick remarried and remained in the Premium point neighborhood of New Rochelle with his second family at least until 1940 as documented by the Census of that year.  Keep in mind, that all of the names I am searching- Mary, Archer & Hennessy- are incredibly common, particularly for immigrants coming from Ireland or England during that time period.  There are hundreds of records of both Mary Archer and Mary Hennessy as well as Patrick Hennessy.  I have concluded that the vast majority of these records are not related to our family.

 All of this brings me to a tale of the one and only lead I have into the roots of Mary (Archer) Hennessy....


On October 1, 1875,  Sarah (Andrew) Galloway Archer (1831-1912) arrived in New York Port with three of her children,  Hugh, Matilda and Mary.   They had come aboard a ship called, "The State of Virginia," sailing from Glasgow, Scotland.   The New York port was just a stop along the way to their destination of Philadelphia where they joined the rest of their family, including  Richard Archer Sr. (1830- aft 1895) and Richard Archer Jr.  The two Richards had come to America in 1872.

 15 years earlier, Sarah Andrew Galloway and Richard Archer were married on September 5, 1860 in Ballymena, Ireland according to Ireland's Civil Marriage records.   Sarah was the daughter of James Andrew and the widow of David Galloway.  She had three children from her first marriage - Jane, Hugh and Matilda- when she married Richard.  The oldest, Jane Galloway (1855-1897) married in 1872 and remained in Ireland when the rest of the family emigrated to America in 1875.

Sarah had two more known children with Richard.  Her son, Richard Jr. was born in 1862 and Mary was born in November of 1867.  The family moved to Dundee, Scotland sometime prior to Mary's birth.  They are documented in Dundee on the 1871 Scottish census record which gives ages as follows:  Sarah Archer 35,  Jane Galloway 16, Hugh Galloway 13, Matilda Galloway 10, Richard Archer 9, Mary Archer 3. These ages make more sense since Hugh and Matilda were from Sarah's first marriage and are older than Richard. Once in the USA, Hugh primarily assumed the Archer surname, while Matilda may have continued to use Galloway until her marriage.
  • Unfortunately, I can't share this census as the Scottish government has released information but not the original census images.  The record is detailed, though, as it gives full names and ages, as reported by the family, of all persons in the home on that day as well as their place of birth.

Bridge to Dundee Scotland
 According to the Scottish census and civil birth records, Mary was born in the city of Dundee,  Forfarshire/Angus County, Scotland on Nov. 5, 1867.  Both her parents and siblings were born in Ireland so it is likely that Mary considered her nationality to be Irish.  Even, the ship passenger list above indicates her place of birth as Ireland along with the rest of her family.  

The Archer family settled in Philadelphia, residing at 535 Charter St. in 1880.  Richard Sr. was working as a carpetweaver as were his sons Hugh (22) and Richard Jr. (18).  Matilda was 20 years old and worked in a woolen mill while Mary was 11 and attended school. 

2676 Martha St. Philadelphia PA- built in 1875
According to Philadelphia city directory for Richard Archer Sr., the family resided at 535 Charter St. Philadelphia until 1890 when they moved to 2136 Charter St.  In 1894 and 1895 Richard and Sarah were residing at 2676 Martha St. Philadelphia.   That is the last record for Richard Archer Sr.  He died between 1895 and 1900 when Sarah is documented as being a widow on the Census.  

In 1900 Sarah was residing with her son, Richard Jr., his wife Maggie and his 4 yr. old son Richard,
at 2676 E. Lehigh Ln Philadelphia.  Sarah was 68 years old, widowed and the mother of 9 children, 4 of which were still living.  Her oldest daughter Jane passed away in 1897.  The other children we know about- Hugh, Matilda, Richard and Mary - were all living in 1900.  There must have been another 4 children that died prematurely.  

In 1910 Sarah was living at 3243 Joyce St. Philadelphia in the family home of her daughter and son-in-law, Matilda and Charles Seiler.  At this time,census records state only 3 of Sarah's children were still living which is consistent with her daughter Mary (Archer) Hennessy having passed away prior to 1910.    Regarding Sarah's other childrenMatilda and Richard both died after the 1920 census, but Hugh's date of death is unknown.  

Sarah Archer passed away on Sept. 27, 1912 in Philadelphia at the age of 81.  She had survived the death of two husbands and six of her nine children, resided in three countries and on two continents, traveled across the atlantic and as a mother, grandmother and  great grandmother had grown a new branch of her family in America.   Her Death certificate confirms her age as 81, that she was widow, born in Ireland, the daughter of James Andrew and buried on Sept. 30, 1912 in Philadelphia, PA although the name of cemetery is unknown.  Richard Archer's place of burial is also unknown.

Richard probably had a brother, George Archer (1834-1905) who also emigrated to the US and settled in Philadelphia with his wife Mary (McKnight) Archer.  George is buried with his wife at  Greenmount 
Cemetery, 4301 North Front Street Philadelphia PA.   It is possible that Richard & Sarah Archer are buried there as well. 


Mary's siblings:

Richard and Margaret (unknown) Archer had at least 1 son, Richard Archer Jr. (b.1890) who  potentially could have been first cousin of Hennessy boys (Joseph, Thomas, Henry & John)
  • Richard Archer Jr. had four children - possible 2nd cousins 
    • Clare (Archer) Williard (b. 1918 -2000) 
    • Private (b.1920)
    • Private (b.1921)
    • Mary (Archer) Gubicza (b.1922 -2009) 
      • Private - 4 children living
      • Michael Gubicza (1958-2009)
  • Hugh Galloway Archer -  unknown if married or had children
  • Matilda (Galloway) Seiler and had 5 children who also could be potential first cousins.
    • Elwood Seiler (1886-1921 )
      • Private (1913-) 
      • Private (1919-)
    • Lilly May (Seiler) Dunn (1888- 1936)
      • Florenc M. Dunn (1911 -1992)
      • Cecil W. Dunn (1914-1971)
      • Alexander R. Dunn (1919 -1990)
      • Grace Dunn (1926-1997)
      • Howard Dunn (1929-2006)
    • Florence (Seiler) Doran Pewters (1891 -1973)
      • Lilly May (Doran) (1909-
        • Private - 6 children living born from 1927 - 1938
    • Private (1898-
    • George Seiler (1901- 1969)
George and Mary Archer had 7 children - William, Annie, Margaret, Sarah, Mary Elizabeth, Thomas & Martha - who may have been Mary (Archer) Hennessy's first cousins. 

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