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Francis Balfe
of Taunton, Mass.
Submitted by Nancy Bagge Sullivan

NOTE: If you have any additional information or a connection to this family, please contact Nancy.

Francis J. Balfe was born April 16, 1836 in County Meath (Dublin?), Ireland, the son of Francis and Julia (___) Balfe. It is not known at this time if he had any brothers or sisters. He married sometime before 1863 in either England or Ireland, Ann Brown. They arrived in New York October 23, 1874 aboard the The City of Montreal. He is first listed in Taunton in 1876 living at Bay st. near Britannia and working as a fireman (boilertender). He became a United States citizen in September of 1880 at the Superior Court of Taunton. His sponsors were Michael M. Mahon and John J. Coady. The records show that he was a Taunton resident for more than five years. He died September 1, 1905 of acute obstruction of the bowels (7 days) and he was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Taunton.

The following is his obituary as it appeared in the Taunton Daily Gazette of September 2nd, 1905:

In the death of Francis Balfe, which occurred yesterday, the city has lost one of the staunchest devotees of the Irish cause that ever left the old country to settle here, and also one of its best citizens - a man who was admired and esteemed by all who knew him for his high character and sterling qualities of manhood. The deceased came here about a quarter century ago from England, where he had gone from his native country, Ireland, and where he occupied himself as a miner. 

After coming here he went for a time to Pennsylvania, and was employed there in the coal fields but later returned to this city and took the position of fireman, which he afterward relinquished to become engineer at the same plant. He remained in that capacity at the mill until her retired from active work about two years ago. The deceased was throoughly conversant with the chief events of history in general and Irish history in particular and was exceedingly well read in various forms of literature. He was a member of the Clan-na-Gaels and was always active in promoting its welfare. He is survived by one son Frank Balfe, and four daughters, Mrs. Thomas Brady, Mrs. Frank Twiss, Mrs. Edward Tracy and Mrs. John L. Bagge. Death came after only a weeks illness and was due to a complication of diseases. The funeral will take place on Monday.

Francis and Ann had five known children:
1) Mary A. born about 1863 in England, married Sept. 18, 1884 Thomas Brady
2) Katherine F. born about 1866 in Ireland, married Apr. 29, 1890 Frank Twiss
3) Julia A. born about 1869 in England, married June 4, 1895 Edmund Treacy
4) Francis Henry born about 1874 in England, married Jan. 14, 1914 Katherine (nee Long) Laffan
5) Ellen Agnus born about 1880 in Taunton, Mass., married Oct. 30, 1899 John J. Bagge

Francis, it has been told, was transported in the night to England by the British for his political activities. He may have been involved in the Finian Revolt of 1869.