Katherine McNamara was born in the townland of Annaghneal, in the Kilnoe Parish and baptized on February 16, 1866. Her birth was recorded in the district of Tulla on March 1, 1866. Her parents were Michael McNamara and Winefred Gallagher. The source for this information is Ancestry.com; Ireland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1620-1911 and Catholic Parish records of Kilnoe. The land they farmed was associated with the 14 building on the 1901 census in the townland of Annaghneal
Michele McNamara was a farmer in Annaghneal and it appears as if his father Thomas McNamara was a farmer that leased the land before him, based on Griffith Valuation in 1855.
Michael and his wife Winefred had at least 11 children: Thomas, Michael, Mary, Katherine, Patrick, Nora, Anne, Matthew, Stephen, John and possibly another daughter with the name Catherine might have been Anne Catherine.
All of the girls left and went to Chicago, Illinois from about 1885 to 1900. Katherine went sometime between 1885 and 1888.
Katherine married John Downey of Chicago, Illinois on November 9, 1889. His parents were Thomas Downey of Kerry, Ireland and Alice Murphy of Northern Ireland.
Katherine McNamara Downey had three boys, Michael Myles Downey, Joseph John Downey – my grandfather (listed in other places as John Joseph), and Cornelius Downey. Her husband, John Downey, left Chicago sometime around 1900 and 1901 and went to Alaska (Valdez) looking for gold during the Valdez gold rush and never returned. Katherine began identifying herself as a widow in 1901. She died in Chicago on August 27, 1924. The source for this infomatioon comes form personal family information and records on Ancestry.com- Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947; also acopy of original death certificate.
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