Author Topic: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo  (Read 11327 times)

Offline ssmmac

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Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« on: Sunday 28 August 11 14:23 BST (UK) »
Looking for missing sisters...

Parents:

-Anthony Berry
-Sarah Cain / Keane
(may never have left Ireland)

Known children:

-Catherine  b. 1823 IRE, m. 1851 Patrick Mohan in New Orleans,  d. 1921 in ILL

-Bridget  b. 1825 IRE, m. 1/ Thomas Prendergast in IRE (he d. 1852 in ILL) , 2/ 1854 Michael Prendergast in LaSalle Co. ILL, d. 1912 in ILL

-Michael  b. 1842 IRE, m. 1870 Katherine Manion in LaSalle Co. ILL, d. 1903 in ILL

-Margaret  b. 1843 IRE, m. 1864 James B. Walsh in LaSalle Co. ILL, d. 1912 in ILL (my grgrgrandmother)

Michael's 1903 obit indicates there were 3 other living sisters, but no mention of where they lived. As the 3 listed above were all local to LaSalle & Livingston Co. ILL, as was Michael, it is assumed they lived elsewhere.

Michael & Margaret's baptisms are listed in the Parish of Claremorris, Co. Mayo.

All 4 siblings immigrated to US at different times.

The 3 listed sisters are buried in Lostlands Cemetery, Eagle Township, LaSalle Co. ILL.

Would like to find the rest of the sisters--and any other relatives.

Thanks,
Steph





Offline brynfarr

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Re: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 06 November 11 00:06 GMT (UK) »
I'm not sure my Berry ancestors are related to yours, but they share a surname and a lovely country cemetery, so there ought to be some connection. Most of my maternal ancestors are buried in Lostlands Cemetery, Eagle Township Illinois, U.S., and they include many members of the Berry, Kennedy, and Prendergast families. My great-grandfather Anthony Charles Berry (1838-1923) is not "the" Anthony Berry you mention, however, as his children are: John, Richard, Frank, Mary, Tom, Agnes, and Joseph. (Joseph was my grandfather, 1884-1948.) Anthony's wife (mother of these seven mentioned above) was Ann(e) Prendergast (1840-1922).

I'll go backwards in time for a minute: Anthony Charles' father was Charles Berry (1804-1872) of County Mayo, I believe; he was married to Penelope ("Nappy", poor woman) Prendergast (1804-1876). They emigrated from Ireland around 1850, and were landowners in Eagle Township by 1860. They had five children: John, Anthony Charles, Mary, Patrick and Dora. I don't know if all left Ireland with them.

In the Lostlands cemetery there are gravestones for "Bridget, wife of John Prendergast, died Feb. 24, 1861"...John is probably there, but I didn't find his marker last time I was there...also "Thomas Prendergast born Jan. 13, 1839 Co. Mayo Ireland, Died May 24, 1905 LaSalle Co. Ill" Don't know if these are related to your Bridget who married a Thomas Prendergast. I do know there are graves for Mohan family at Lostlands, so your Catherine who married Patrick Mohan might have wound up here. (In fact, my Aunt Lucy Kennedy married a Joseph Mohan in Eagle Township, so there might be a family connection there, too.)

I may have a possible clue for the Bridget you are seeking: in the historical materials about the Annunciation of the B.V.M. church at Eagle, the land for the new church (dedicated in 1884, though the parish goes back to the 1830s) was given by "the two Michael Prendergasts"--and one of them might have been Bridget's husband who died in 1912.

I don't know if this is helpful or confusing. I live 800 miles away from Lostlands, and have no local family there any more. But I will keep your posting, and the next time I travel to Eagle Township will see if I can match these names with grave markers. I wouldn't be surprised to find them--I was on the trail of my own Kennedy/Berry family, and only photographed some of the stones and markers.

The first Annunciation church in Eagle stood right next to this cemetery, but was abandoned when a new church was built south along an east-west highway that had become the main route into Streator, the nearest large town. The "new" church of 1884 and the old cemetery are less than a mile apart, but it's still odd to have them separated. Some of the locals used to call this "Annunciation Cemetery" but it's almost universally known as Lostlands now. (My mother says the older church burned, but I haven't been able to find any record of this. At any rate, it has vanished, and a farmhouse and barn are on the site now, next to the cemetery.)

Best of luck in your search, Steph. This is my first posting on roots chat, so I hope this reaches you. I don't have a trip to Illinois planned at the moment, but when I do, I will look around at Lostlands for the both of us! Jan 

Offline ssmmac

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Re: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 06 November 11 08:23 GMT (UK) »
Hi Jan,

I know your Berry family very well from Lostlands. I live a few hours north, so have made some research trips there. I've also wondered if the two Berry families aren't related and so have compiled info from some of your Berry's probates just in case.

My grgrgrandmother Margaret Berry Walsh's two sisters Bridget Berry Prendergast & Catherine Berry Mohan are both buried in Lostlands (as are both of Bridget's husbands, Thomas & Michael, and Catherine's husband Patrick). I can stand between Bridget's and Catherine's stones and see over to Margaret's. Their brother Michael is buried in Peru, where he lived.

The LaSalle County Genealogy Society has a transcription of Lostlands' burials and a map of plot locations, which you might want to get a photocopy of if you don't have them. I'm not sure how the other Bridget Prendergast fits in, but I have been in contact with descendants of the two other Berry sisters and compared notes. Catherine Mohan's death certificate was key in providing their parent's names: Anthony Berry & Sarah Cain.

The Irish who lived in Eagle Township are perfect examples of group and chain migration, as many came from around Claremorris, Co Mayo.

Once I had their parent's names, I was able to find Margaret and Michael Berry's baptism records in 1843 &'41. They are in the Catholic parish of Claremorris in the civil parish of Kilcolman. Sarah's last name is spelled Keane in Irish records (& misinterpreted in the transcription). I used the transcription at  http://www.irelandgenweb.com/~irlmay/records.htm and then ordered the LDS microfilm. Significantly, Charles and Nappy appear as parents in the same parish's baptism records for John in June 1836 and Pat in June(?) 1844. I also noted some other Berry baptisms, assuming possible relationships, but haven't been able to positively link any of them beyond geographic proximity.

Awhile back I contacted Richard Foy about his Foy website that includes Berrys from Claremorris and Eagle Township. Looking it up just now, I see he has added family tree branches earlier this year! I see some things we might update for him, but this is a very exciting development. His chart seems to suggest that your Charles and my Anthony are brothers. Hey cousin! Here's the chart, but I bet you'll enjoy lots of his info:
http://academic2.marist.edu/foy/clan/baum.htm

He cites a Berry Family History Report as one of his sources, which I'd sure like to see sometime. His Berry/Foy ancestors are from the townland of Garryredmond, but I haven't been able to narrow my Berry line down to a townland yet. In Griffith's Valuation in Garryredmond there are several with the name "Bury"which is worth exploring.

My great grandparents moved from Illinois to Iowa when they married in 1896 (following yet another group and chain migration pattern), so I have never had any personal connection with any Illinois relatives--until I started doing reverse genealogy to track down other descendants to see what they might know. Of course many of those relatives are now as far flung as I am, but I do enjoy visiting that area of Illinois.

Sounds like we'll have more to talk over in the near future! And I'll try and get back in touch with Rich Foy.
Steph











Offline heywood

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Re: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 06 November 11 08:35 GMT (UK) »
A warm welcome to you both to Rootschat.
Your information looks very interesting and has lots of promise.  :)
Jan, when you have posted three times, you will be able to correspond by personal message with Steph or other rootschatters and they with you. It's a useful tool for anything which may be private.

best wishes to you both
heywood
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Offline brynfarr

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Re: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« Reply #4 on: Monday 07 November 11 19:45 GMT (UK) »
Thanks, Steph!

I went on the Foy's Marist site and printed out parts of his chart. And yes, I can definitely fill in much of the missing information about Charles Berry's descendants. The site didn't seem to have a way to contact Richard Foy, but I expect I can find him independently if I poke around a bit.

How nice to see that "your" Anthony and "my" Charles were brothers! Our part of the family were in Eagle and/or Streator/LaSalle from the 1850s on, though many of us moved to California, Florida and Texas just following WWII. There is a "Centennial Farm" marker on the Berry farm where my mother grew up (I think it dates from the late 1960s). The last of Charles and "Nappy's" grandchildren died about 1950; my mother and aunt continued to own some of the land and have it farmed for them until they sold it in the 1980s, I think.

I'm not sure you can get into Annunciation Church without special arrangement (unless you happen upon the one Mass), but it's very lovely, if you haven't seen it already. I'm afraid the bishop in Peoria is planning to knock it down in the general church massacre going on in the Streator area; but I'm 900 miles away and don't know that I can do much to prevent it!

Welcome, cousin--I'm very glad I happened to find your post!  Jan 

Offline brynfarr

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Re: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« Reply #5 on: Monday 07 November 11 20:10 GMT (UK) »
One other note: I wanted to add that my great-aunt Lucy Kennedy married an Eagle boy named Joseph Mohan; don't have date, but it would have been about 1900, I expect. I wonder if Joseph might be related to Catherine (Berry) & husband Patrick Mohan.

That would be a Berry connection from two sides: Charles Berry's grandson Joseph M. Berry (b. 1884) married Lucy's sister Mabel Clare Kennedy (b. 1886)--and we've alway "mushed" the Kennedy and Berry lines together as one family, anyway....

I'm completely confused about the Prendergast connections--they seem to come in from several angles. My nephew recently married a lovely girl from New Orleans whose family name was Prendergast, and my mother kept saying, "I hope they're not too related!" (and she was only half-kidding!).  :)

Best wishes--Jan

Offline ssmmac

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Re: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 09 November 11 11:36 GMT (UK) »
Hi Jan,

I'm thrilled you found my post too. I had the same experience, doing a general google search and getting a hit on rootschat.

I've emailed Rich and he will figure out the best way for us to fill in blanks on his site, for ease of updating. He lists 2 emails on his very extensive website, but this is the one he checks most often: (*)

Here's a bit from him how he connects to the Berry family:

"My immediate connection to the Berry family is that the Foy family took over the farms in Garryedmund, Claremorris, Ireland from Anthony and Martin Berry in 1884 and 1885 when these men took their families to Kansas.  Martin's wife was Bridget Foye, my grandaunt or greatgrand aunt.  My cousin John still farms the land, one field of which is called Anthony's field!  A breakthrough for me was to discover that Anthony Berry settled first in western Kansas (Prairie Dog) rather than eastern Kansas.  When the Prairie Dog venture fell through, his children backpedaled to eastern Kansas.  Martin's life was easier to trace."

It really sounds like we might have a tie to the townland of Garryredmond (the spelling varies). The fact that Bury is a variant of Berry makes the listings in Griffith's Valuation worth exploring. By the 1901 census there are no Berry/Bury listings in that DED at all, so perhaps they had all either immigrated or died. There are still some Keane listings in 1901 & '11 (Anthony Berry's wife Sarah's maiden name) and some Prendergasts.

It looks like Anthony &/or Sarah possibly died in Ireland, so I am wondering what death records info there might be. Apparently not parent's names, but the informant's name(s) might be useful. Maybe I can find out more about Sabina. I wonder if she is one of the 3 missing sisters from her brother Michael's obit, or possibly an additional sister who did not live to adulthood (if her name came from baptism records, though I never saw her).

I feel better knowing that the Berry sisters Margaret, Catherine & Bridget had their uncle and aunt Charles & Nappy there with them. That's so cool about the Berry Centennial Farm. Can you give me the current address so I can put it in my gazetteer for my next genealogy jaunt down there? Margaret & James Walsh's farm was in Livingston County but right on the county line; they bought it from Michael & Bridget Prendergast in 1875. They bought more land in 1888, across the road, but in LaSalle County. The original farmhouse is gone, but the foundation is there and matches the aerial view in John Drury's 1954 book This is Livingston County; unfortunately he didn't do one for LaSalle Co.

The Irish families are very intermarried. I have Prendergasts in 2 generations. In Illinois around Wenona & Streator it was a common name, but in Iowa they really misspelled it in obits. Since I started my research with the more recent generations I had so many funny spellings for it. The Prendergast descendents are doing DNA and trying to connect in Ireland.

But I also know some of the same name families are not related at all; there are multiple Walshes and McGraths that I can find no connection for. No surprise since they are common Irish names and that whole area attracted so many Irish immigrants. I also assumed my Irish ancestors came to work on the I&M canal, but no.

I've spent lots of time disproving a relationship with the "other" McGraths, that lived in the Wenona & Streator area and also moved to the same Adams County area of Iowa as mine did. The other McGraths finally switched to using Magrath in Iowa, which led to speculation of a family rift. When as an adult I met my great aunt Veronica McGrath I asked her about the other family. She so emphatically denied any relationship I wondered if she meant she was tired of hearing that all her life... or maybe there was a connection.

Here's the marriage listing from the LaSalle County Genealogy Guild website search:  829    MOHAN, JOSEPH F.   KENNEDY, LUCY E.   Jan 15, 1907; you can request a copy of the license for $5 from them.  Catherine & Patrick Mohan's youngest child was Joseph L. who married Lucy Comisky.  They may be related another way though.

Have you ever had any luck finding immigration records? The only one I've found is Bridget Berry Prendergast's with her family and extended family of Solons in 1847 via Philadelphia. Since Catherine & Patrick married in New Orleans I assume they may have come through that port.

I've never been inside any of the churches. I tend to go down on days I can do research at LCGG, libraries & courthouses.

I think we are 2nd cousins, twice removed. Sounds like your family has all sought warmer climes: California, Florida & Texas. I went to college in Arizona, but despite my best efforts to stay out West, ended up getting a job in the Midwest and have stayed. But it is easier to do genealogy research in state!

Steph

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Offline ssmmac

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Re: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 09 November 11 11:59 GMT (UK) »
p.s. Jan,

Did you see the photo gallery on Rich Foy's website? There is a photo of Charles and Anthony's younger  (and apparently only) sister Mary (Berry) Curry (1828-1901) taken late in her life.

I was hoping maybe her death certificate would name her parents, but Kansas didn't start requiring them till 1911. Denis might be the youngest sibling, since his 1st child was born in 1859, but he may have stayed in Ireland.

I have no family photos in this lineage beyond just a few of my McGrath grandfather (he and my grandmother divorced in the 1920s, so sadly I never got to meet him) and none of any earlier generations, so I was thrilled to see a photo of my grgrgr grand aunt Mary! Do you have any of Charles & Nappy?

I also saw a Toepfer family tree on ancestry that lists many of our Berrys (and they pulled stuff off Rich Foy's website). They list a circa 1774 birth date for Charles & Anthony's father. I wonder if that's based on conjecture or something more concrete? I sent a message via ancestry but I've waited as long as 9 months for a reply!

Steph

Offline brynfarr

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Re: Berry family, near Claremorris, Co. Mayo
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 09 November 11 17:30 GMT (UK) »
Hi, Steph: Interesting photo of Mary Berry Curry! Her birthdates are somewhat varied, but the fact that a daughter was married in Streator in the late 1870s argues a connection, doesn't it?  I also retrieved Richard Foy's e-mail address, so should be able to contact him. And no, I have never tried to look for immigration records--I'm just getting started with all this, really.

I think I mis-spoke a bit about the historical marker: there was one, but probably is NOT one now. My mother says the marker for the Berry Centennial farm probably came down when she and her sisters sold the last of the land in the 1980s--and in fact, she's right that I don't remember noting it last time we drove down the road. I believe we applied for it just after the program began in 1972, so it may have only been "up" for about 10-15 years. I may contact the state group that grants the markers and see what becomes of them if the original "line" of owners is no longer there.

However, I can tell you where the land is, and who owned which farmhouses. Drive west on Hwy 18/N. 13th Rd. from Streator. Keep going west past the Annunciation church at corner of E. 12th, and continue to E. 11th Rd. Turn right (north) and drive up to Hwy 44/N. 14th Rd. (There is a slight left-turning curve at that intersection.) In the next quarter mile or so, you will see three farmyards. The first on your left (south side of Hwy 44) belonged to my grandfather Joseph M. Berry (1884-1948). The second on the left belonged to my great-grandfather Anthony Charles Berry (1838-1923). The third farmhouse, on the right (north) side belonged to my great-uncle Thomas Berry (1879-1947). (You can make this trip virtually via satellite maps--it shows the slight curve of the road and the three farmhouses very clearly.)

Anthony had several older sons who didn't choose to farm with him (the Berry land was originally 640 acres both north and south of Hwy 44) and he built "twin" houses for Tom and Joe as a way to persuade them to stay home and farm with him in Eagle Township. (By the way, Tom married a Gertrude Prendergast who was killed when their Model T was hit by a train coming through the cornfields in 1920; Tom survived, but was badly injured.)

That's about all I have for now. Just in passing re a couple of names you mentioned: the very nice older gent who cares for Lostlands is Ed Comisky (don't know if he's a Lucy descendant)--their family farmhouse stands basically across the highway from the Annunciation church, and the Solon family (as you probably know) still operates a funeral home in Streator.

My mom or my Aunt Irene may have older Berry photos; until now, I was on the trail of Kennedy family, but I will see if I can persuade them to look around for the Berry things. I'll let you know if I come up with something--Best, Jan