Patrick Joyce

Patrick Joyce, my great great grandfather, was born in Belmullet, Mayo County in 1833.

His parents’ names are unverified at this point. I am working on the likelihood of them being Patrick Phillip Joyce and Mary McHale. He had four brothers, named Henry (b.1835), John (b. 1839), James and Peter (b. 1832).

At the age of 16 Patrick and his brothers John (age 11) and Peter (age 7) were listed in 1850 on the S.S. Bark Pacific as crew, travelling together with no apparent relatives accompanying them. They departed from Galway and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in June of 1850. I have often wondered what dire circumstances they had encountered. In my research only his brother James has not yet been accounted for.

Picture above: Townsite map of Erin Prairie from late 1800s, with three branches of family living near each other and many others from Ireland nearby.

Patrick married Catherine Monaghan, (born in 1834 in Belmullet) in 1856 in Wheeling, West Virginia. Catherine's father was named Patrick Monaghan and mother was Ellen. Her siblings included Julia (b. 1833), Mary, Michael (b. 1835), John, James, and Thomas. Catherine had also made the crossing from Ireland to America at age 19 on the Fidelia. Since she was also from Belmullet, I wonder whether Patrick and Catherine knew each other before landing in America. Her siblings are also not all accounted for in my family tree.

Patrick JoyceAfter marrying, they lived in Decatur, Green, Wisconsin in 1860, Patrick worked as a farmhand in a farming community with many other Irish families, including more Joyces, Monaghans, and Barretts. Then they all settled in Erin Prairie, Wisconsin, named because of the Irish settlers that came there to be together ,forming a strong community.

Pictures right: Illustration of 19th century American farmers

Patrick enlisted Sept 3, 1864, served during the Civil War in the 44th Wisconsin Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry and was discharged July 2, 1865 with pension and diagnosed heart disease. Anthony Barrett was also discharged at the same time.

Patrick and Catherine had eight children, four boys and four girls: Mary, 1857-1942, John, 1859-1909, James, 1861-1899, Henry, 1863-1944, Patrick 1865-1937, Nell (Ellen 1866-1958, Michael 1868-1888, Catherine 1873-1947, Julia A. 1876-1956)

Nell Joyce was the connection to my Barrett family, she married Michael L. Barrett (b.1860) . He was at various times a labourer, teamster, lumberman, contractor, sawmill operator, and farmer. He was a leader in the farm cooperative movement in Wisconsin, and was cited as "one of the most active residents of the entire region (Ashland) in movements looking toward the welfare of his fellow men." Michael was the son of Anthony Barrett (1832-1914) and Catherine Monaghan (1828-1867) (a different Catherine Monaghan than above) After Catherine died , Anthony married Sarah Gaughan (1840-1921) who was born in Ireland.

Anthony Barrett was the son of Francis Barrett who lived in Kilcommon, Mayo and Susan Alice Dougherty (1808-1882) They would be my third great grandparents, and as early as that part of my tree goes. Anthony had four siblings, Ellen (1835-1874), Rose (1840-1927) who married William Meath,, John Francis (1843-1925) who married Anna Clark and Susan (1847-1937), who married Ed Quinn.

In 1880 the three branches of my family were together again along with many others of the same Irish community in Erin Prairie Wisconsin, including two of my Barrett GG grandfathers, and possibly Monaghan great uncles. They all owned land in the farming community there, and there were many other names common to the Belmullet area who were neighbours in this community. See Erin Prairie townland map) Patrick and Catherine continued living there as farmers in 1890, and 1905, and Patrick died there in 1906. He is buried in Immaculate Conception Cemetery in New Richmond, St. Croix County, Row 14, grave 58 Zone J.

Patrick Joyce ObituaryPicture left: Newspaper article is from the New Richmond Voice, Nov. 29, 1905, the obituary for Patrick Joyce.

Patrick was survived by his wife and children John T. (who married Anna Padden) of Tower Minnesota, Henry E. of Richmond (who married Anna Meary) , Patrick W. of Erin (who married Mary Dixon) , Michael of Idaho (who married Catherine Gillen), Miss Mary Joyce of Richmond, Mrs. Michael L. Barrett (Nellie) of Ashland Mrs. W.M. Casey(Catherine) and Mrs. Ed Early(Julia) of Richmond and one brother , Henry, who was listed at the age of 71 as "uncle" living with Edward Early and Julia (Joyce) Early in 1905 in Richmond, Sr. Croix. Earlier in his life, at age 45, Henry was listed as a shoemaker in the 1880 census.

Reverend Father M.E. Boyce conducted the funeral service, assisted by Reverend father L. Trompeter of Turtle Lake

Friends and neighbors who were pall bearers:M.P. Early, Bryan Dean, T.E. Riley, N.T. Loomis, Pat O' Connell and John Gunning.


Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1833


  • Hello,

    I am wondering if my 3rd Great Grandmother Margaret Joyce Ball is somehow related to your JOYCE family.  I believe Margaret was born in Kilgeever parish County Mayo in 1825.  She married John Ball and they came to Boston then Hannover, Wisconsin  and finally New Richmond, Wisconsin.  Margaret passed away on March 4th 1880 and she and John are burried at St. Patricks cemetery in Erin Prairie.  I have not been able to find who her parents were and any help would be apprecitaed. Thank you.


    Ryan R Ball


    Thursday 29th March 2018 03:59PM
  • Ryan,

    I wish I could say that we have ancestors in common, but I so far, I think our ancestors were likely neighbors in Erin Prairie, I have a Margaret who married John Joyce, my Patrick's brother. She was born about 1830 and died before 1880 in St Croix, Wisconsin. They had six children, including a Margaret, born about 1856 in Wisconsin.

    I have a John M. Ball in my family tree, born 1824,but he is on my maternal side of my tree, from the southern U.S.

    My cousin and I visited the St. Patrick Cemetery four years ago, most of our Barretts, Joyces and Monaghans are buried there, or at Ashland, Wi. I have a picture of a graceful angel statue there that I can send you if you like.

    You are probably familiar with the list on the cemetery website. There you can see, on the list,right after your Margaret and John, and a Martin Ball, there are my Barretts.

    The Erin Prairie map I posted on the Ireland reaching out site has another part, and on it there is a property, 40 (acres?) near Pine Lake, that is owned by a M. Ball. I can send you a scan of that map also. It is from 1860  —on these maps you can see all sorts of family names familiar to the Belmullet area, I think they all must have been very happy to come to an affordable land base and to own their own farms.

    Last year at this time, I was just returning from my first visit to Ireland, and my cousin and I were shown the places where our great great grandparents lived in Belmullet area. And that is as far back as I have been able to find ancestors, over the last six or seven years.

    Good luck on your searches, Debra

    Debra Barrett

    Friday 30th March 2018 03:45AM
  • I have Monaghan and Monahan s in my family. We don't know exactly where they came from. Julia ann Monahan was my great grandmother. Her father was john. I have all kinds of info from the USA but going back we can't find info. There was a Catherine Monahan who married a Thomas Early.

    Lisa fox

    Friday 26th October 2018 07:46PM


    Dear Lisa,

    I always like to hear from Monahans, that part of my family tree fascinates and eludes me. We will have to exchange some time frames so we can see if we share ancestors.  I have a Thomas Early in my tree, without a spouse yet, but lots of siblings. He is the brother-in-law of my 2nd greatt aunt. He was born in 1891 in Wisconsin.  Much of my information about my Irish ancestors also comes from Erin Prairie, Wisc. U.S where they settled happily after emmigrating. And mnay other names from their home in Ireland are represented in the Erin Prairie community.

    My Julia Monahan, who was born in 1833 in Belmullat and is my 2 nd great aunt, had a brother who has escaped any info about himself except that his name was John. So he could have fathered your Julia Ann. If the time and place were a match. It was Julia’s sister Catherine (1834-1917) who is my 2nd great grandmother.  Their parents were Patrick Monahan (1806j and Ellen, lat name unknown as yet.

    I do have a contact in Belmullet, county Mayo where three of my GGgrandparents came from.  If I am not wrong, that family name, Monahan would be older to Ireland and clan connections than the other two of my family names.

    Are we getting any possible time and place matches, and what do you know about their Irish roots?

    Debra Barrett

    Saturday 27th October 2018 01:08AM
  • Every family branch has the same names so it makes it hard to find out who is who. My Julia married James haverty in N.Y. her father John is kind of a mystery. The last record I can find he lived with his daughter Annie and her husband in N.Y. I can't find birth records or when or how he got to the usa. Have you done your dna? where is your family tree? Ancestery has a message board for the family last name.

    Lisa fox

    Saturday 27th October 2018 03:07PM


      Lisa,  My family tree is on, and though I don’t have an active account right now, it is a public tree and you shou,d be able to look at it.

    My Monahans start so far at the two Catherine Monahans, born different years, (1834 and 1828)  and they are both my GG grandmothers. One married Patrick Joyce and the other married Anthony Barrett. I have the parents of Catherine who are Patrick Monahan (1806-..?) and Ellen .and siblings Julia, Michael, Tom, Mary, John and James

    The other Katherine (1828-1867) was the daughter , I think , of John Monahan and Mary Meade, with no siblings known.

    Yes, I had my cousin on fathers side send in a dna, hoping to get paternal reading, but only got autosomal results. I have not gotten comfortable enough knowing what to do with my DNA results yet, but I think on the barrett family tree haplogroup I am probably R-M269.


    Debra Barrett

    Sunday 28th October 2018 05:56PM
  • My great great grandparents also settled in Erin Prairie and are buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery and in Holy Rosary Cemetery in Cylon. They are McNamaras and Reddins and Heffrons/Hefferans and Nilands. My second great grandmother, Grace Hefferan, and her siblings left from Belmullet Pier to immigrate during the famine with their mother, Catherine Gherity/Garrity Hefferan. All of these families eventually owned farms on your Erin Prairie map or in neighboring Cylon and Emerald. Our ancestors were neighbors, which makes me happy. Here's an article about the farmers of Erin Prairie  from 1904 in The Irish Standard  newspaper:…




    MJ Thompson

    Sunday 4th April 2021 12:19AM

    MJ,  it pleases me to see that someone has read my post and shares commom thoughts if not the same ancestry names. Yes, friends and neighbours mean a lot and were especially important to the Irish immigrants in new lands.






    Debra Barrett

    Sunday 11th April 2021 06:19PM

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