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Good afternoon! I am excited to say that I have finally booked a trip to Ireland! I will be arriving on July 9 into Dublin, spending a short time in Galway and then doing some exploring south of Dublin. I am set to return home on July 19.

I have been researching the ancestry of my maternal great-great-grandfather, Patrick J. Gray. I am particularly interested in identifying Patrick’s parents, whom I believe are Thomas Gray and Julia Gray nee Keeffe. Below is the information I have acquired to date:

Patrick J. Gray

DOB: February 1882

Place of Birth: Queens County

DOD: February 28, 1964

Place of Death: Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA

Immigrated to US: 1898-1899 (this document says he was from Leitrim?)

Naturalized in US: September 25, 1907

As best I can make out, Patrick was one of 8 children (7 boys and 1 girl) born to Thomas Gray and Julia Keeffe in Queens County. I found their names on Patrick’s marriage certificate. I compared the names that my mother remembers to census documents and Births Registered and found the following:

Patrick, 1882, District of Ballylinan, Union of Athy, County of Queens (Birthplace listed as Ballinree)

James, 1884, District of Ballylinan, Union of Athy, County of Queens (Birthplace listed as Kilmoroney)

Thomas, 1886, District of Ballylinan, Union of Athy, County of Queens (Birthplace listed as Ballinree)

John, 1888, District of Ballylinan, Union of Athy, County of Queens (Birthplace listed as Kilmoroney)

Peter, 1890, District of Ballylinan, Union of Athy, County of Queens (Birthplace listed as Kilmoroney)

William, 1892, District of Ballylinan, Union of Athy, County of Queens (Birthplace listed as Kilmoroney)

Michael, 1894, Athy, (Died in 1895 at one year old)

Elizabeth (Lizzie), 1895, District of Ballylinan, Union of Athy, County of Queens (Birthplace listed as Kilmoroney)

Thomas and Julia’s names were on each of these birth registrations.

The 1911 Census states there were 8 children born and 7 living. Julia was listed as 64 years old (So born in 1847), and Thomas was 80 years old (Born 1831) and deaf and blind. BUT the 1901 census says Thomas was 62 and Julia was 44, which means he would have been born in 1839 and she in 1857.

I do not have much information at all for Thomas or Julia. They may have married on December 21, 1879. It is my understanding that Julia emigrated to America at some point, did not like it, and returned to Ireland. She was a midwife. My mother remembers a photograph of her smoking a pipe. :))

 

I would very much like to see the area where they lived and know if there are any remaining members of the family living. I know that Patrick emigrated to America, and Peter, William, and Elizabeth followed. I am unsure about James, Thomas and John.

MaryBeth

Sunday 22nd May 2022, 03:45PM

Message Board Replies

  • Mary Beth:

    I located the marriage record on the subscription site Roots Ireland and it was on December 21 1879. The marriage was in Athy RC church and it was shown as Co. Kildare.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athy

    Father of  Thomas was James Gray. Father of Julia was Pierce and the surname was transcribed as Keffe. Both the bride and groom were from Kilmorony.  I did not locate the civil marriage record.

    Julia was born March 2 1853 and baptized March 3 at Athy. Father Pierce Keeffe mother Betty Duff.

    There is a Thomas Gray baptismal record December 1 1853 in Mountmellick RC parish in Co. Laois. Father James Gray mother Ellen Murphy. I would treat this record as a lead.

    Kilmorony townland is in Tankardstown civil parish in eastern Co. Laois on the border with Co. Kildare.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Roger McDonenll

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 22nd May 2022, 04:32PM
  • Roger - thank you so much for the speedy reply! My question relates to the birth date for Thomas as the Ireland census records from 1911 and 1901 list Julia and Thomas as being quite far apart in age: 16 years and 18 years respectively.
    How can I go about connecting with a local volunteer once I arrive in Ireland?
    MaryBeth

    MaryBeth

    Sunday 22nd May 2022, 04:53PM

    Attached Files

  • Mary Beth:

    Ages for adults in the 1901 census were generally understated. Ages and year of birth were not that important in the 19th century and into the first part of the 1900s. However, in 1908 the Old Age Pension Act was passed that provided a pension to those 70 and over as long as their income was not too high. This created an incentive for accuracy relating to ages so in the 1911 census, you can see ages that may be 20 years older than the age in the 1901 census.

    I alerted our HQ in Ireland about your trip. There is a volunteer in the next parish over. I assume our HQ will contact him to see if he is available.

    Roger

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 22nd May 2022, 07:14PM
  • Roger - Thank you for your help! Looking forward to coming over.

    MaryBeth

    MaryBeth

    Monday 23rd May 2022, 02:01AM