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...