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Looking for any information on Patrick Dunn and his family.  Patrick was born March 17, 1825 in Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow.  Left for America 1850.  Don't know if he traveled by himself or with family member.  After landing (don't know the landing port), believe Patrick traveled to Calif. during Gold Rush. Since Patrick was single, wonder if he joined a family in a wagon train.  He stayed in the Gold Rush area for a couple of years apparently.  Lived in some kind of 'boarding house' with other men, I believe.  Have no idea if Patrick found some gold.  At some point, Patrick left Calif., via another wagon train?, and headed East.  If he traveled with a wagon train, I presume he arrived at indepence, MO, headed north and settled in Lockport, Homer Twp., Will Co., IL. (about 15 miles SW of Chicago) and began farming (cows, sheep, chickens, geese and grain).  Over the years, Patrick ended up accumulating 160 acres of farmland.  Patrick served in Civil War as Private, Ill.100th Infantry, 1862-1865.  i believe he was wounded 3 times, but not sure.  At the end of the War, Patrick may have been mustered out in Joliet, IL.  In 1868, Patrick went back to Ireland and brought back Johanna Duggan (b.Jan. 1, 1839) from Tipperary, and married in Illlinois, 1868.  May have been a civil ceremony, but both were Catholic.  St. Joseph Church and St. Dennis Church were located in Lockport but not sure which, or both, existed in 1868.  Patrick and Johanna had 2 children -- William Curtis and Mary Ann Cecilia.  Both baptized St.Dennis Church, Lockport, IL.    Patrick Dunn died Sept. 1, 1914 in Lockport, IL.  Johanna Duggan Dunn died Sept. 2, 1913 in Lockport, IL.  Both Patrick and Johanna are buried at Calvary Cemetery, Lockport, IL.     I am great granddaughter of Patrick and Johanna Dunn.   Our family has no other information than this.  Would appreciate any family information prior to Patrick's departure from Ireland.  What was Patrick's place of departure from Ireland?  How did Patrick get to ship's departure place from Leighlinbridge, what was name of ship, did parents give him money for passage or did he earn it, if so, what was his occupation?  Parents' & siblings' names, birth dates, death dates, name of family church, occupations, family illnesses, educational background on family members, information on Patrick's ancestors, i.e., grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.   Thank you for any help.  May God Bless You.  Barbara Nolan, phone 630-323-8895  email



Sunday 25th Feb 2018, 08:29PM

Message Board Replies

  • Barbara:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    The Leighlinbride RC records start in 1819 (there are also records 1783-1786)   I searched on Roots Ireland for Patrick Dunn baptismal records in Leighlinbridge. There was an 1820 record below and one in 1836. Many emigrants adjusted their age when they came to America. I also am somewhat suscpicious when I see a birthday of March 17th or December 25th. I'm not saying that your Patrick was not born on March 17th but many emigrants use that date. The parents of Patrick also had four later children: William 1822 John 1824 Catherine 1826 Mary 1828 They lived in Tomard townland in Tullowcreen civil parish. 

    Patrick left during the end of the Great Hunger and he could have journeyed down to Queenstown in Co. Cork or up to Dublin to catch the ship for America. Very few ship records exist from that time period.

    I also provided the 1836 baptismal record. It is possible that he came over with his parents in 1850.

    Have you considered autosomal DNA testing?

    Let me know what questions you have.

    Roger McDonnell


    Name:Patrick DunnDate of Birth:
    Date of Baptism:03-Feb-1820Address:TomarrdParish/District:LEIGHLINBRIDGEGender:
    CountyCo. Carlow
    Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Father:Thomas DunnMother:Anne LantryOccupation:
    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Michael MacDonnol Sponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Mary MacDonnol 

    Name:Patrick DunnDate of Birth:
    Date of Baptism:20-Mar-1836Address:ClogrennanParish/District:LEIGHLINBRIDGEGender:
    CountyCo. Carlow
    Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Father:Thomas DunnMother:Judith GrumlyOccupation:
    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Patrick Hughes Sponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Mary Dunn 

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 25th Feb 2018, 09:57PM
  • Reply from Barbara Nolan:

    Roger, I really enjoyed receiving your information on Patrick Dunn.  I'm hoping that he is my gr. grandfather, but I have a feeling that Patrick Dunn is like John Smith here in America.  There are a million of them!  The only information that I have to use in researching Patrick and his wife, Johanna Duggan, is from the cemetery stone, and I've always believed that that information is correct.  Now, I'm not sure.  The cemetery stone listed the birthdates and counties in Ireland.  That's it.  I have no written documentation and the only oral stories that were passed down was about panning for gold in California on his arrival, 1850, and returning to Ireland after serving in the Civil War for a bride, 1868.  [Johanna Duggan lived in Tipperary, though, which I don't think is very close to Leighlinbridge.  How did they meet or was the marriage 'arranged'?]  I am really at a disadvantage when it comes to researching, but I'm doing my best and don't want to give up.  I have been teaching myself the ins and outs of genealogy research for the past 15 years, plus I am technology-challenged, as evidenced above by not understanding how I can contact you directly rather than logging in each as a new contact each time with my questions.  I'm 71 years old, and computers were coming in when I was leaving the business world to start a family.  Writing letters and writing emails are about the extent of my technical knowledge.

    Anyway, I can't quite remember how I narrowed down Leighlinbridge, which is to say that that information may be wrong.  For some reason, though, I think it's correct.  I feel that Patrick's birth year and immigration date of 1850 are correct.  Until you mentioned that Patrick may have left 4 siblings in Ireland, I wondered if he had any siblings.  I came to the conclusion that Patrick traveled by himself and left all of his relatives in Ireland.  I don't know Patrick's father's occupation or Patrick's occupation, but I imagine that passage was expensive so maybe passage for one person was all the family could afford.  I know you mentioned the "Great Hunger", but we Irish Americans call it the "Potato Famine".  Besides food, I'm sure money was scarce.   

     I had no idea that Patrick's birthday may not actually be correct, but maybe close to the date.  I can see that an Irish Catholic family would like to lay claim to St. Patrick and March 17th.   I live about 20 miles southwest of Chicago, Illinois, and St. Patrick's Day is a BIG deal here.  Parades and (cold) green beer and green-clad people everywhere -- no matter their nationality.  The tradition started in the 1950s with Mayor Daley dying the Chicago River a bright green, and it's continued to this day.   

    I have taken's DNA test, but never heard of 'autosomal DNA testing'.  Is it more detailed? 

    I am so happy to hear from you and am looking forward to any information that you may be able to uncover for me and my family.   In case you'd like to use my email address, it's    Thank you, Barbara Nolan   


    Tuesday 27th February 2018, 12:17AM

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 27th Feb 2018, 12:49AM
  • Hi Barbara!

    I was nearly finished a long reply to you and I "lost" my message so we all have technical shortcomings.

    Patrick Dunn is a common name but nowhere near as common as Mary Kelly or Patrick Murphy which would be equivalent to a John Smith.

    I would treat the 1820 record as a "lead" until you can get confirming info. Adjusting your age by five years would not be that unusual for an Irish emigrant in the 19th century. Also, I don't think that Patrick went back to Ireland to get Johanna but likely he met her in Illinois.

    DNA testing is one way to confirm a lead. An autosomal Test tracks all of your maternal and paternal lines and the Ancestry test you took is autosomal. You should have received a number of matches ranked from strongest to least strongest and new matches are added as more people take the Ancestry DNA test and are found to have some DNA connection to you. The problem with Ancestry DNA (and I have taken their test) is that many people take the Ancestry test strictly to learn their ethnicity and they are not interest in their family tree or corresponding with a third or fourth cousin. Many of your Ancestry matches won't have a tree and others who have a tree, mark it private. Also in my experience, many matches do not respond to a message. If you do get a match to respond, you can try to determine which of your family lines the match occurs. What you are looking for are matches who have more info then you do on your Dunn/Duggan lines or any of you family lines. I have broken down some brick walls for some of my ancestors and also for my wife's connections.

    I grew up in Philadelphia and after college have lived near Baltimore since 1971. We always referred to the Potato Famine but in recent years as more and more literature has been produced the term An Gorta Mor or the Great Hunger has become more widely used. 

    I think I will sign off now and maybe add more later.


    Castlemore Roscommon

    Tuesday 27th February 2018, 01:31AM

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 27th Feb 2018, 01:38AM
  • Hi Roger,   What a surprise.  I had no idea that you are located in Baltimore, MD.  I just presumed you are located in Ireland.  And you've been here quite a while.  I was married in 1971 (to an Irish/American -- Ken Nolan, a Nolan/Enright).  Since I don't have any idea what I'm doing when it comes to researching my own Irish roots, I have not attempted to start a search on my husband's families.  His lack of Irish information is similar to mine, except he knows that his Enright family landed in Canada (somewhere) and crossed from Canada into the US (somewhere). In the end, they put down roots in Chicago, and, from that point on, he has family information.    However, like me, all those years between leaving Ireland and taking up residence in Chicago is a mystery.    I don't think has any information on his Nolan side of the family.

    Anyway,  I was glad to hear from you. Please excuse me if I'm replying a second time to your email.  I am not very computer literate so I may have responded to you a few days ago.  I thought I was pretty sure of my gr. grandfather's birth date (and gr. grandmother's) because it was inscribed on the cemetery headstone.  However, with this new information you've given, it just could be that Patrick's parents adopted the name and birth day to agree with the feast day of St. Patrick because their baby boy was born close to that feast and didn't go by the date on the calendar. Now, that's really religious. Thank you for telling me about old customs.  I've often wondered if it was a coincidence that my gr. grandfather was named Patrick because he was born on the actual feast day.  I may never know for sure since keeping track of births was dependent on the midwife years ago.  Eventually, I presume, the midwife would have reported her information to the church.  I understand that it was quite a bit later before the government stepped in and collected birth and death information, but there was no place that was 100% safe from fires, floods and civil unrest and some things have been lost forever.  Same for the US, but our American records don't go back nearly as far as Ireland's. But, a loss is a loss, and is regrettable.    

    I need to locate my DNA information.  I remember being disappointed with the amount of information they provided and probably just filed the paperwork.  I don't remember that Ancestry provided me with the names of possible relatives, but, if so, not much more was offered.  It didn't cause me to search.  I remember thinking that it wasn't worth the $100 and the wait time, which was close to 6 weeks. 

    Even though my relatives didn't write letters or keep records in a Family Bible, I have had pretty good luck by using the US Censuses in my American part of the search.  However, I have not been able to work backwards and get information on Patrick's Irish life, and his family's life, before immigrating in 1850.  As a starting point for my US search, I do believe he immigrated in 1850, then got himself to Missouri somehow.  Do you think he would have traveled via train or wagon train? And to where?  The East Coast (Maryland?) to Chicago?  I have no idea what means of travel would have been available at that time. He must have researched and found out that wagon trains left from  Missouri, probably St. Joseph, and headed West.   I understand that families joined wagon trains, but I wonder how single guys traveled.  I wonder if Patrick would have met and then traveled with a family, or if he would have just tagged along.  I believe he made it to the gold or silver mines in California, but don't know how long he stayed or how much (in money) he found.  Evidently, he found enough gold or silver because he traveled back East and ended up in Northern Illinois, settled in Homer Township (rural area near Lockport, IL), about 35 miles southwest of Chicago, and bought some farmland, which was in the family for 3 generations.  From this point on, I can find Patrick in the US Censuses and found him listed in the 100th Ill. Infantry from 1862 - 1865.  I'm very surprised that he joined and left the War as a Private because his unit saw quite a bit of action.  I'm thankful that he survived the War, but surprised that his rank didn't change after 3 years in combat, mostly in Tennessee and south.

    Well, I've filled you in on Patrick's later life in the US, but I would appreciate any information you can provide on his prior life in Ireland.  I'm hoping that the information you provided on possible family members might be correct.  It makes me feel good to know the names of his mom and dad and siblings.  Is Leighlinbridge a rural area or town with businesses?  What kind of jobs would people have then?  I envision that Patrick's dad was a farmer.  Would a farm consist of keeping sheep, cows, chickens, geese, a garden and some land for crops, like wheat?   I presume that farmers lived off the land and sold any excess. Did folks get around in horse carts on gravel roads?  When I watch the "Quiet Man", which I've seen quite often, I watch mostly for the scenery, clothes, manners, houses, etc. and try to envision my relatives living there.  What kind of education would people have during those times?  Could the common person read and write?   Patrick was Catholic, but would most of the families in his area be Catholic too?  What did people do for fun?  Was the pub  'the place' to go on Saturday nights?  Were women allowed in pubs?  Did the towns have festivals?  Saturday night dances?  I'm sure that the churches held religious festivals (like Christmas, Easter).  How did families get mail?  Delivered or did they go to the post office?   If they couldn't read/write, what could they do?  Did they have local banks?  Or, were most people fairly poor and not have enough to keep in a bank?  How did people go about acquiring a house or farm?  Was property passed down in families (to the oldest son?), or was it common for people to buy/rent a house or farm?  (Patrick owned his farm in US, which makes me wonder just how much money he was able to 'pan' in California.) 

    I could go on.  I will never make it to Ireland so I have a million questions.  I am sorry if I'm overwhelming you.  If you would like to contact me directly, my email address is  I thank you for whatever information you can offer.    Barb Nolan



    Friday 2nd Mar 2018, 12:17AM
  • Hi Barb!

    We like to keep our messages on the bulletin board and try not to e-mail private addresses. Patrick was a very common name so likely thatb is whay his parents gave him the name.

    Civil registration of births, deaths and RC marriages started in 1864 and many records are online at  Registration of Non-RC marriages started in1845.

    Patrick ship may have come into an East Coast port but many ships came into New Orleans. Likely he took wagon trains. Not sur how many trains were available.

    Leiglinbridge now is a small town  Looks like over 600 in the town and over 1300 in the surrounding townlands.The town mow would have pubs, small shops, grocery stores etc.

    Back in the 1840s, the town would have been smaller but probably a few shops but in general, most people had small holdings that they leased from a landlord. The main crop was potatoes. They may have had a few animals. National school were being established but most could not read or write. I was going to suggest that you contact the Co. Carlow library for suggested resources on life in the 1850 period but their web site   only shows phone numbers and I could not locate an e-mail address.



    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 4th Mar 2018, 07:39PM
  • Roger,  Thank you for letting me know the protocol on emails.  Did not realize that personal emails are not appropriate.   Very interesting to learn a little bit about Patrick's Irish life.  I had no idea that potatoes were the main crop, though.  Would there have been fields of potatoes that the farmers collected and sold at markets?   I can't imagine clearing all the rocks from the fields before planting, though.  

    Thank you for the website for civil postings.  I'll see what I can find for possible relatives of Patrick's.  By the way, what does "RC" mean?   I haven't gone to the Library's website yet, but maybe I can place a short phone call and see what I can find.  I would love to know what Irish life was like when Patrick was a boy and maybe see some photos.  I wonder if Patrick and Johanna ever learned to read and write.  Their son, William Curtis, went on to run the farm, but I don't actually know how far he got in school.  I do know that Williams children attended the one-room country school, the boys 'til 8th grade and the girls completed high school.   

    Time for me to do some work on my end.  Thank you for your information.

    Barb Nolan



    Monday 5th Mar 2018, 12:06AM
  • Barbara:

    RC is Roman Catholic.

    For poor tenant farmers, the potatoes were the main food for the family.

    At your leisure, you may want to get a book on the Irish famine or Great Hunger. It will give you a good perspective of life in Ireland in the 1840s. 

    One book,  I recently read was "The Graves Are Walking" by John Kelly.  It will give you a  good perspective on life in Ireland in the 1840s. I will warn you that some of the descriptions of the impacts of the Great Hunger are very graphic.



    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 6th Mar 2018, 01:41AM

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