James McFadden 1825

James McFadden 1825

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James McFadden, my GG G/F, was born abt 1825.

He arrived in Philadelphia, PA in April 1847 sailing from Derry onboard the Susan B Howell. His brother John & sister Margery sailed with him. Also onboard were 8 other passengers with surname McFadden and his future wife Sophia Sharkey. In 1851 James married Sophia Sharkey at St Francis Xavier RC church which is still open today. They lived on Hamilton Street between 25th & 26th streets. Today, that area is the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. James & Sophia had 9 children of which 3 grew to adulthood.

James occupation was listed as a labourer and Carter. In 1863 he enlisted in the Civil War for the Union side but never served in battle. On US census, he was listed as owner of the residence while renting out the back of the home to either Irish friends or family who immigrated to Philadelphia. He purchased a burial plots in Old Cathedral Cemetery. In the plot he and Sophia are buried along with his deceased children, one nephew and 4 Irish friends or relatives.1 When James died in 1899 he had amassed ownership of 4 homes who he left to his surviving children and $500 in cash given to his 5 grandchildren.

I started my McFadden Family research after my father and his siblings all passed. Through research, I am confident that James & Sophia are from this parish. Lastly, I am truly amazed how James left his home of Donegal in the height of the famine and was able to achieve the success he accumulated.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1825  
Date of Death 8th Sep 1899  




  • Thank you so very much for sharing about your GG/GF James McFadden. Our ancestors were resilient. My GG/GM was Unity McFadden born either 1828 or 1835 in County Donegal. She was the daughter of Daniel McFadden and Briget Gallagher as well as the sister of Dominick McFadden. Unity emigrated to the USA circa 1850 with her mother Briget.  Unity married Charles Cooney  in 1854 at Saint John Evangelist Church in Altoona, PA. They settled in Munster, Cambria County, PA  and had 11 children many whom died while working on the PRR and one in a house fire. Unity herself died tragically on October 1913. I am very proud of my G/GM for her perserverance and strong religious faith. I am on Ancestry.com. My email is mojomc62@gmail.com if you'd like to contact me. Thank you. 

    MJ Carney

    Friday 15th February 2019, 02:06AM

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