Born in Co Mayo, Bartholomew "Bartley" FORD (1812-1880) married Bridget MEARS or MEER in 1833 at the newly constructed St. Muredach's Church in Ballina. Witnesses at their wedding were Michael GERAGHTY & Fanny EDWARDS. In that same year B & B were baptismal sponsors for John, son of Pat REDINGTON + Ann LEACH Kilmoremoy Diocese. His parents were James "Jimmy" FORD of Lacken and Bridget NEALON of Ballina. Bridget's parents were Owen MEARS + Ann "Nancy" NAUGHTON, both born abt 1790. The MEARS lived on a small farm in Shanaghy neighborhood and in a small cottage in Bunree neighborhood. I would love to find more descendants or cousins of these families.
Bartley & Bridget emigrated mid-1830's to Quebec, Canada, then to Illinois, USA. First they lived in Lockport, headquarters for the I&M Canal being built to connect Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. Soon they had a farm where the Merchandise Mart is today, in the middle of downtown Chicago. They had a grocery and a boot and shoemaking business in Chicago 1840's, and lived at 83 Illinois St. They later traded the farm for land in Lakeview, where Evanston is today. Bartley died while traveling in Milan, Sullivan, Missouri where he was possibly visiting relatives. His body was returned to Chicago for burial at Calvary Cemetery, where most of the family are interred.
In Chicago Bartholomew was an election official, 1 of 9 police constables, and a member of the Parish Commission at St. Mary's (old) Church. The committee was convened in 1848 by Very Rev. Jeremiah A. KINSELLA for the purpose of procuring subscriptions for constructina a monument to honor Chicago's first Bishop, William QUARTER. While employed as a Constable, Bartley was also paid for the use of his house for city elections. In 1861 the city directory lists him as both Shoemaker & Grocer, with house at the same address.
The FORDs had 5 surviving children, James Muredach FORD, John Wilkes FORD, Ellen FORD (m William F LEWIS); Jane FORD a Milliner (m KEAN or McCHESNEY) & Mary Ann (m Pitt RICH). I am descended from their son James b 1836, who married Bridget Marie FOY, born 1829 Carramore, Co Mayo. The FOY family also lived in Rathkip neighborhood of Ballina. Bridget FOY's family came from Mayo to Waukegan Illinois in 1848 where her father Patrick FOY (1797-1860) was a farmer. Her mother was Catherine MANLEY or MUNNELLY b 1808 Moygownagh Parish (Ballina). James & Bridget lived on Seminary Ave. in Evanston where my mother was later born in 1907.