The Whelan and Roche Families of Camphire Townlands, Lismore and Mocollop, Co. Westmorland.

Mary Whelan (Phelan, in Church records) was born about 1785 and married Michael Roche about 1803. The baptism records of six of their children can be found in the Catholic parish records for Cappoquin, which begin in 1811 in published records. They had at least three children before then. The baptism record for one daughter, Janet, born about 1820, has not been found. The Irish church records are all from Cappoquin.

The children and their spouses are:

Mary, b. ca. 1804, married 1829 Patrick Knight, more below

Janet, b. ca. 1806, married 1832 James Knight

William, b. ca. 1810, more below

Thomas, baptised 1811, died young

Margaret, baptised 1813, married 1840 John Heffernan

John, baptised 1815, died young

Bridget, baptised 1817, more below

John, baptised 1819, more below

Ellen, born ca. 1820, no baptism record found, more below

Thomas, baptised 1823, more below

Michael Roche is named as an Occupier in the Tithe Applotment Book (1825) for the Camphire Townlands, assessed on 52 acres. There were thirty-eight lots listed, with other family names including Whelan (John, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, Patrick again and William), Carty, Meligan, Condon, Crotty, Hickey, Keefe and others, including the principal lessor, Arthur Ussher, Esq., tithed on a total of 227 acres.

The later Griffiths Valuation, which for Co. Waterford was completed in 1853, also has Whelan (Thomas, Catherine, Thomas Jr., John and Patrick. Family names in common with the Tithe Applotment Book include Carthy (if this is the same as Carty), Ahern (Hearn), Hickey (in Camphire Hill) and Noonan. Roche is not found.

Returning to the children of Michael and Mary, William, the oldest son, left his homeland for America before December 1835. He was in Philadelphia with an uncle, William Whelan, who owned a very large groceries and dry goods store in Philadelphia. Late in 1835 William Roche set out for St. Louis, Missouri, a trip made by coach overland to Pittsburgh, and then by river flatboat, arriving in St. Louis December 27, 1835. He was later joined there by his siblings Mary (and her husband Patrick), Bridget, John, Ellen and Thomas. A cousin, William Whelan, also came over. In St. Louis, William Roche operated his own groceries and dry goods store, frequently corresponding with his uncle in Philadelphia from whom he procured many of the goods he sold in his store.

Mary Whelan, wife of Michael Roche, had at least two brothers – William, who migrated to Philadelphia about 1805, and Thomas, who married at Cappoquin in 1810 Ellen Mason. Thomas and Ellen had at least six children, all sons. They were Michael (1811), William (1815, and possibly the cousin William that went to St. Louis), John (1820), Thomas Jr. (1822), Denis (1824) and James (1827).

It is presumed that Janet and James Knight and Margaret and John Heffernan remained in Ireland.

In his correspondence, William Roche mentions several acquaintances from Ireland: Thomas Melligan, Michael Keefe, Edward Ryan, Patrick and James Knight, Mrs. Ussher, Mr. Frederick, Mr. Keily, Mr. Shea., Michael Brown and Patrick Mulcahy.

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Additional Information
Date of Birth 1875  


Genealogy of 8 families who came to America USA VIEW SOURCE