Thomas Francis Meagher 1823

Thomas Francis Meagher 1823

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One of the main rebels in the Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848 was Thomas Francis Meagher.  Thomas Francis was born in Waterford, Ireland in 1823.  His parents were Thomas Meagher and Alicia Quan Meagher. 

Thomas Francis’ father was a merchant and politician who was once mayor of Waterford city and a member of Parliament.  Thomas was one of four siblings, but only he and his sister, Catherine survived to adulthood. 

Thomas was educated in Ireland and England, and it was his return to Ireland and to Dublin in 1843 that he became involved in the Repeal association, which called for the repeal of the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland.  His involvement with this group evolved into the Young Ireland movement where he would lead the “Battle of Ballingarry” with Terence MacManus, William Smith O’Brien and Patrick O’Donoghue which led to his arrest.  Meagher was subsequently arrested, tried and convicted of treason and were sentenced to execution. 

Due to the outcry from within Ireland and abroad, his sentence along with the others was commuted to transportation to Australia.  He lived there for several years where he married and started a family.  However, he decided to leave to go to the United States in 1852.  It was there that he remarried after his first wife and child had died and raised a family while studying the law.  Meagher lived in New York until the Civil War.  

Meagher formed the Company K of the 69th Regiment which became known as the Irish Brigade for the Unionist side of the American Civil War.  This brigade became known as the “Fighting 69th”. 

MyHeritage has several source documents which detail Thomas’s life after he emigrated to the U.S.   In addition to U.S. Census records, military records, family trees, there are publications such as “The Memoirs of General Thomas Francis Meagher 1823-1867”, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1892 which details letters that Meagher wrote during his Civil War career with the Irish Brigade. 

Memoirs of Thomas Francis Meagher

Picture below: An excerpt from the Argus Star relating to a proposed statue in his honour. Image courtesy of MyHeritage

Daily Argus News 1901 @ MyHeritage



Additional Information
Date of Birth 3rd Aug 1823  
Date of Death 1st Jul 1867  


Memoirs General Thomas Francis Meagher 1823-1867 USA VIEW SOURCE


  • Each December members of the Fredericksburg, Virginia Thomas Francis Meagher AOH division honor the members of the Irish Brigade. We place a wreath at a plaque near the City Dock where General Meagher spoke to his troops before the Battle of Fredericksburg.

    john hogan1940

    Saturday 28th July 2018, 04:14PM
  • Thomas Francis Meagher is quite famous in Montana.  He has a county named after him, as well as the AOH division in Helena.  There is a statue of him on the front lawn of the capital building, there.  As the territorial governor, he called for the territory's first constitutional convention, unfortunately, not enough residents voted for statehood at that time.  He was either killed or died falling overboard a steamboat near Fort Benton, Montana.  His body was never found.



    Sunday 29th July 2018, 08:46PM
  • Hi Elaine
    Do you have any Roscommon (Ireland) connections

    Patrick O'Flynn


    Monday 30th July 2018, 07:00AM
  • Hi Elaine
    I do know of a Patrick Flynn and Margaret Green whose first child Miles recorded was born 1819 last 1838 seems Patrick was in the Molly Mcguires and was with others raiding houses for guns when the owner was killed. This was in 1845 and he was hanged in Roscommon in 1848



    Monday 30th July 2018, 11:08AM
  • Some extra reading on the work of Irish freedom workers that you may find of interest:

    "John Devoy's Catalpa Expedition" ed Philip Fennell and Marie King (New York Uni Press 2008) gives details of the rescue from Fremantle gaol in 1876. It is based on many primary sources.

    Keneally, Thomas: "The Great Shame' (Random House Australia 1998) has details of Thomas Francis Meagher and others associated with those working for irish independence.


    Anne Maye

    Anne Maye

    Thursday 2nd August 2018, 11:01PM
  • Thanks Anne Maye and others. I read another great book last year about Thomas Meagher titled "The Immortal Irishman" by Timothy Egan  Published by Houghton Miffllin Harcourt, 2016.

    John Hogan



    john hogan1940

    Saturday 4th August 2018, 08:22PM
  • Thanks John for the extra reading. An important thing to remember is that the fight for Irish Independence was not just a religious one. It was about Irish Independence and if we look carefully at the people involved we find that there were lifelong connections and collaborations between people of all faiths, as well as some who fought on opposite sides in the American Civil War but who remained committed allies to the Irish cause.

    Anne Maye


    Anne Maye

    Saturday 4th August 2018, 09:23PM

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