Denis Mahony 1812

Place of migration:
Migrated to/Born in USA

Denis Mahony & 2 gr grandmother, Margaret Grimes were md.  Feb. 7, 1839 in Schull East, Cork, IRE in the parish of Cork & Ross parish.  Their 1st child, Jeremiah, was Christened May 3, 1840.  Shortly after, they left Schull and all three settled in Auburn, Cayuga, NY abt. 1844 when my gr grandfather, Patrick, was born.

I was surprised reviewing the church records that very few women were sponsors for marriage and baptism.  About 98% of the sponsors were men.

A Dennis Mahoney was naturalized on March 22,1856 in Sessions Court, Auburn, NY.

Dennis married Margaret Grimes, a daughter of Co. Dublin, Ireland. Although there is no record of their marriage, they were married in Ireland according to NY 1845 and USA 1850 census.  Their first born, Jerry (Jeremiah most probably) was born in Ireland in 1840 according to Auburn census records.  The family's name was written "Mahanny" on 1850 census, and a William Buck who was born in New York was also living with them,

Dennis worked for the Rail Road all of his American life.  From Thomas T. Taber, Administrator, of the Railroad Historical Resource Center in Muncey, PA we learn the following:

"There were originally the Auburn and Syracuse RR and the Auburn & Rochester RR.  They merged in 1850 to form the Rochester and Syracuse RR.  This later became part of the New York Central's main line Albany to Buffalo.  There was the Buffalo & Rochester RR formed in 1850 as a merger of the Tonawanda RR from Rochester to Attica, organized 1832 and opened in 1843, and the Attica & Buffalo RR formed in 1836 and opened in 1843.  Another railroad, the Buffalo and State Line RR, built toPA in 1852 and a railroad was built from State Line to Erie and the to Ohio in the early-mid 1850s.  Another company built to Cleveland.  These railroads were all separate companies so that your ancestor was not transferred.

"The two Auburn railroads were very early.  The A&R was chartered in 1836.  As your [grandfather] shows up in Toledo, I suspect that he worked only on the railroads that later formed the New York Central between Cleveland (or Erie) and Toledo."

Although we do not know of Dennis' ancestral heritage, we may know who three of his relatives were.  On the 1850 Federal census Jeremiah (b. 1828 Ireland) & Margaret [Hurley] Mahoney (b. 1828 Ireland) with son, Vincent [sic] (this should have been Dennis) b. 1849 NY, were enumerated with her parents, Jeremiah (b. 1790 Ireland) and Ellen (b. 1790 Ireland d.o.d. 11/9/1862) Hurley, and Timothy Mahanaey (b. 1826 Ireland) and Dennis Mahanaey (b. 1827 Ireland). They were listed in the Auburn 4th Ward only a few blocks away from the Dennis & Mgt. (Grimes) Mahanny's.   WhenJeremiah Mahoney married Margaret Hurley at Holy Family parish in Auburn, N.Y., a Dennis Mahoney and Eliza Swiftin witnessed the ceremony on March 4, 1847.  When Dennis & Mgt. (Grimes) son, John, was born, Timothy and Margaret (Sullivan) Mahoney were his godparents at his baptism on July 6, 1850.  It is very likely that Dennis was a cousin or uncle to Jeremiah, Timothy and Dennis, especially when one looks at the similarity in their children's  names.

A Dennis Mahoney was the godfather to Daniel Coggin s/o David Coggin and Elizabeth Coughlin at Holy Family Church, Auburn, NY ca 1847.  Anna O'Brien was the godmother.

My grandfather told my father that some of our family worked on the Welland Canal.  Significant building periods for the canal were 1829, 1871, and 1932.  The 1871 period was most likely the period of time when our relatives worked on the canal.

On the 1860 census, Dennis (40) and his family were living in Amherst, Lorain Co., OH which was at the northern part of OH.  Included on the census were: Margaret (37), Patrick (16 NY), Darius [probably Dennis misspelled] (12 NY), Catherine (8 NY), John (5 OH), Edward (2 OH).The baby John born in 1850 was not included so he most likely died before the 1860 census.  There was a Mary Mahoney (14 OH - could be a census error) working as a domestic for the Seldon Finey family in Amherst, Lorain Co., OH.  There was a Jerry Mahannah (20 IRE) living in Liberty, Highland Co., OH working as a farm laborer, but it does not seem probable that he is our Jerry since Liberty is in the South West part of OH.

By 1864, Dennis and family moved to Toledo, Ohio.  They lived in the Catholic parish of St. Francis de Sales when they lived on Oak, but in1867 they moved to Middle Street where they became members of Immaculate Conception parish.  His second eldest son, Patrick, is mentioned in the directory from 1870-72.  Denis, Jr. is listed with his father from 1870-76.  Kate is living with her husband, James Lunney in Toledo at 56 Sumner in 1878, Segur in 1879, 37 Middle St. in 1879-80, and 90 Jervis starting in June, 1880-82.  Edward is mentioned at 37 Middle in1878, and in 1880 he is living at 90 Jervis with his sister Kate.  Timothy is mentioned at 37 Middle St. in 1879; 553 37th St., Chicago with brother, Patrick, and back at 37 Middle St. in 1881.

On the 1870 census, Dennis, Sr. was listed as a laborer.  Margaret, his wife, was enumerated at 50 years of age.  Their children were listed as follows:  Patrick, 26 yrs, Railroad switchman; Denis, 19 yrs., Railroad brakeman; Mary 21 yrs, a domestic; Kate 17 yrs, a domestic; Edward & Timothy were students, 12 & 8 years of age respectively.  Jerry and John were missing from the family.  Jerry was 30 at this time so he could have been married and out of household.  John would have beena little too young at 20 to be out on his own, but that is a possibility.  It is more probable John b. 1855 was dead.  By the time, Denis died in 1888, however, both Jerry and John were dead as neither were listed in his obituary.

Grandfather Denis Mahoney died on March 23, 1888 at 10:20 p.m. at the age of 76, a widower and invalid, at his daughter Kate's home, 4052 Butterfield St., Chicago, IL.  His death certificate lists his cause of death as old age and exhaustion.  He had been a resident of Chicago for six years.  He was buried at Mount Olivet in lot 60, block 32, his plot having been purchased by his son Timothy on March 25.  Two of his granddaughters, Dora and Mary C. Mahoney who were Tim's daughters,are also buried in the same plot.  His obituary in the Daily Inter Ocean on Saturday morning, March 24, 1888 read as follows:

"Mahoney - At the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. James Lunney, No. 4052 Butterfield street, Dennis Mahoney aged 76 years, father of Patrick, Edward, and Timothy Mahoney, and Mrs. Catherine Lunney.

Funeral to-morrow at nine o'clock sharp to St. Elizabeth's Church, thence by cars to Mount Olivet from the thirty-ninth street depot."

So little is known about our immigrant ancestor, Dennis.  We have no sense of his personality, his loves, or his pet peeves.  We do know that he outlived his wife, Margaret, his daughter, Mary, and his sons, Jeremiah, John, John and Denis, he must have suffered many a broken  heart.  Lives in those days were often peppered with such tragedies which were an accepted part of life.  But the fact that his wife and daughter died within a few months of each other, and his son, Denis, was murdered in downtown Chicago less than two years later, it must have been a bit more than one should have to endure.

From William Wade of Florida; Former Auburn Resident:
"Years ago . . . maybe during the 60's or 70's . . . there was ongoing articles in the Auburn newspaper, the Citizen, about a very small street which runs from VanAnden St. to Seymour St. (just west of Washington St.).  They were trying to figure out if the correct name was Mahaney or Mahoney.  Mahoney must have won out as that is the name which appears on the map that I have.  As little as the street is, another one, Guilfoil Ave., runs from Washington St. to Mahoney Ave.  The map is not dated but it isn't much more than 10 years old.  Funny how somethings stick in your mind.  I grew up with a Bill Mahaney . . . the family owned a grocery store at the (north) foot of Owasco Lake, on Owasco Road.  At the south foot of the lake is the Village of Moravia, which is the home of one of our earlier presidents, Millard Fillmore; andit is the boyhood home of John D. Rockefeller. . . ." - Bill Wade

Additional Information
Date of Birth 15th Jan 1812  
Date of Death 23rd Mar 1888  


  • Thank you for sharing the details of your Denis Mahony. I wonder if our ancestors are connected. I descend from Ellen Mahony, born in 1814 in Cork to Denis Mahony and Mary Swanton. Her Baptism record from Cork and Ross (RC) Schull East, on 9 October 1814.

    Ellen's father Denis Mahony was married to Mary Swanton 8 Feb 1812 • Schull East, Co. Cork.

    Ellen Mahony moved to New York. She married Daniel Sullivan (in some records as O'Sullivan). 

    We have seen the Mahony named spelled Mahoney, Mahony, and Mahanney.




    Red Ringlets

    Friday 24th July 2020, 11:43PM

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