Friday, February 24, 2012

Patrick Moran: Where in Ireland was he from?

Immediately, after finding the death record and obituary of Daniel Moran, I searched for the obituaries of his sisters, Catherine Moriarty and Mary Haley, both of whom had lived in Ware.  (Catherine had been misidentified in Patrick's obituary, but was correctly named in the obituary for Daniel, and Mary had died in the years between Daniel's death and Patrick's death.)  Catherine's obituary said that she had been born in Killcooler, Ire.

Another person in our group located Dingle, as being part of Kerry County.  I had had success before with a Kerry County family using Irish Genealogy, a free web site with transcribed church records from Kerry County; as well as Carlow, Cork and Dublin.  I went back to the site and located the possible birth/baptismal  record for Patrick Moran of Killcooly.  It seemed to match the information we had gathered, although the birth month was different from the one on the Naturalization Index Card we had found.  I also found possible Baptismal records for Daniel, Catherine and Mary Moran of Kilcooley and a marriage record for their parents on this site in the Parish of Ballyferriter, in County Kerry.   It appeared we had located the place of Patrick's birth in just a matter of minutes after finding the death record of his brother Daniel.

Much of the remaining part of that afternoon was spent on the County Kerry Genealogy website where we read about the civil and Roman Catholic parish divisions in County Kerry, and gained some knowledge of the history and geography of the area.

We almost certainly had found the homeland location, but our research was not finished ...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Patrick Moran: The Continuing Research Story

Patrick's obituary, written in May of 1919,  was really a rich source of information.  Names of his surviving children, and sisters were provided.  Patrick's Civil War service and his membership in GAR Post 10 were mentioned.  Two sons who served during the Spanish American War, (one of whom died upon his return),  and three grandsons who served during World War I were also mentioned.

The obituary also provided some wonderful insight into Patrick's political view by stating that he belonged to the "Friends Of Irish Freedom" and had hoped to see the day when Ireland had self-determination.

Our little research group continued to quickly find information about Patrick's children, and grandchildren; as well as, the living siblings mentioned in the obituary.  The volume of information and the speed at which it was being found was sometimes difficult to manage, but we continued on, collecting obituaries of descendants, and trying to trace the family members found in that 1865 census in Ware.  We found death records of Patrick's parents in Ware vital records at  Sister Angela, at All Saints Parish in Ware, helped with Old St. William Cemetery Records.  We looked at census information from Winchendon, where two of Patrick's sisters had raised families. 

The Moran family tree was filling out nicely, but we knew we were not at all finished.  Then one day, while searching Moran vital records from Ware, a member of our group came upon an interesting death record.  It was a death record for a Daniel Moran, born in Dingle, Ireland, who had died four years prior to Patrick's death, and who had parents with the same names as Patrick's parents. Was this a brother?  Quickly, an obituary was found on, and our suspicion was confirmed.  Now we had a location in Ireland, more siblings, and much more work to do.

To be continued ...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Patrick Moran: From Ireland to Worcester

One month ago, I received an email from a descendant of Patrick Moran asking for information.  Beginning with what this California resident knew, and collaborating with others, we were able to find a large volume of information in just a few weeks.  We even discovered what Irish American researchers value most - the location of the homeland in Ireland. 

Patrick lived in West Brookfield from about 1876 until about 1882.  Information from this time period,  proved to be very helpful in our research.  Four children were born to Patrick and wife Kate (Waters),  Kate died, and Patrick remarried during these years.  West Brookfield vital records from these events yielded the names of Patrick's and Kate's parents, and their county of origin, as well as information about Patrick's second wife, Mary (Canty). 

What did we find next?

We were able to find the family quite quickly in the 1900 census in Worcester, because Mary Canty's brother William was living in the household.  By this time there were more children.  Now we concentrated on Worcester Vital Records, census information, and burial plot information.  We continued using online resources, such as,, and others, but also contacted via telephone and email, the Worcester City Clerk (for vital record information not yet online), the St. John's Cemetery Office, for burial plot information, and some local researchers with access to newspaper obituaries from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Meanwhile, we found promising online information that we thought was probably connected to Patrick and his family.  The 1865 Massachusetts census, in Ware, some birth records in Spencer, a possible Naturalization Index Card, and Civil War Service information.

Patrick Moran's obituary turned out to be a wonderful find.  It was lengthy and detailed.  Siblings were named, his Civil War service was detailed.  Now we had confirmation that he had indeed lived in Ware, and Spencer, and that he had living siblings. 

To be continued...