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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Letters To / From USA

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1930 Looking for Relatives.

Surnames: Flanigan,  Nolan, Kelly, Devereaux &, Kelly

The following was transcribed by my new secretary Selina Lawlor, from documents in the Pat Purcell Papers.

In 1930 the law firm of Eugene Flanigan of 100 State Street, Albany, New York requested help from Pat in tracing a beneficiary of the unclaimed estate of Catherine Grimes who had died in Albany, New York.

Catherine Grimes died intestate, without issue or descendants at Albany in 1907.

She was married to Philip Grimes in the city of Albany in 1856.

Her maiden name was Catherine Nolan from Aclare, Myshall, Carlow and she had a half-sister named Mary, who likewise lived in the City of Albany.

Catherine Nolan had an uncle at Newtownbarry who kept a grocery, this uncle was childless and Catherine went to live with him when she was 12 years old. She lived with him till the 6th October 1853 when she left for Liverpool to travel to the United States to join her sister Mary, who had paid her passage over.

The following two statements were sent to Pat Purcell to try help identify relatives who might have been alive in 1930. -

Statement of Nicholas Devereaux of 59 Bassett Street, Albany, New York.

I was 80 years of age on the 15th of August, 1907; have resided in Albany since 1857, always resided in the south end of the City, and have been a communicant at St. Johnís Church since practically the time of my coming to this country;

I was born about a mile from Newtownbarry in the County of Wexford, Ireland, and lived there until I came to this country. I being at that time about 28 or 30 years of age; I knew Edward Nolan who lived at Newtownbarry and conducted a general store there, selling groceries, meal, hardware, etc; he was married but had no children; I knew Catherine Nolan who was a niece of Edward Nolan and who resided with him for about 4 years at Newtownbarry, and was a member of his family during that time; I was employed in a Mill in Newtownbarry during the time she resided with her uncle and I remember her frequently coming to the mill, and doing errands for her uncle; when I first knew her I should judge her to be a girl of 16 or 17 years; I spoke with her frequently; she told me came from Myshall, County Carlow; I do not remember that she ever spoke to me about her brothers and sisters; I recollect the time of her leaving Ireland, and was at her uncleís house at Newtownbarry the day she left; it was on the 6th of October 1853; as I remember it now she left Newtownbarry for Liverpool  to sail from Liverpool for New York; I did not hear from her after that; about two years after my arrival in Albany.

One Sunday evening while walking on Broadway, near Taylorís Brewery, I saw two women walking together, one of them I thought I recognised; I walked past them and then retraced my steps and looked again, and asked the woman who I thought I recognised, if she was not Catherine Nolan and if she was not the niece of Edward Nolan of Newtownbarry; she recognised me at the same time; she told me that she had married then as I recollect, about two years; she told me she had a child.

She was a tall slim girl, and bore on her face pock marks; I saw her frequently after that; she called at my house with her husband, and we called frequently on her as neighbours; when I first called on her she lived in a small house in an ally off Westerlo St, between Church and Dallius; of my knowledge she had at least two children; both died before she did; her husband died some years before her;

I met a woman named Mrs. Kelly who kept a saloon on the corner of Arch and Church Street; I saw Catherine Nolan in her saloon one day; I understood she was a relative of Catherine Nolan, but whether a half-sister or whole sister, I cannot tell.  She came direct from New York to Albany, her sister being in Albany at the time; I heard that her sister sent for her to Ireland to come to Albany; during the time she was at Newtownbarry she was always employed in her unclesí store.

(signed) Nicholas Devereux.


Borris , Carlow, June 1906

Statement of James Nolan of Borris, Carlow.

I reside at Borris, County Carlow; I am the son of John Nolan who died at Borris, County Carlow, Ireland on January 27th, 1908; I am unmarried and am [ ? ] years of age; my occupation is labourer;

I live with my mother; the only issue of the marriage of my father and mother were myself and two brothers, Patrick who died many years ago unmarried, and Edward;

Edward left Ireland about 16 years ago to enlist as a soldier in the English army; I have never seen him since, nor have I heard directly from him, nor did my father or mother to my knowledge; I have heard several times from friends that he was in the Boer war, what happened to him I do not know; he was not married when he left Ireland; my father was a labourer;

I know that he came from Myshall over 50 years ago from conversations and talk, I have had with him, and that he was born at Myshall or Knockbrack, both parishes adjoining each other, in County Carlow, Ireland; my grandfatherís name, on my fatherís side, was James Nolan; I have many times heard my father speak of having an uncle named Michael Nolan, but donít know as I remember him saying where he lived; I never saw him, as he died, I was told by my father, before I was born; he told me that this uncle had children; some of whom had gone to America;

I never knew any of them; he never talked much about Michael Nolanís children until the summer of 1907, when Mr Law of Carlow informed my father of the death of a Catherine Nolan in America Albany; many times after that and up until his death I heard him talk of his cousin Catherine, and his cousin Mary, both of whom he said went to the United States, and that Mary had gone first, and that Mary sent money for Catherine to pay her passage; he could not remember the place they went to; but said that Catherine had gone to America more than 50 years ago.

(signed) James Nolan.

Source: Michael Purcell c.2012


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