Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Family History Writing Challenge Day 17

On Day 3 of the Family History Writing Challenge I wrote about Catherine Colgan, who married Michael J. Crusham in 1887. I also talked about her parents, Edward Colgan and Bridget McHugh, as well as Catherine's siblings. But I did not discuss the parents of Edward and Bridget.

Edward Colgan, my second great-grandfather, was born 31 December 1834 in Drumadoon, a townland in County Mayo, Ireland. From Edward's death certificate I knew that his father was Thomas Colgan and his mother was Catherine Carroll. Thomas Colgan was born about 1796 and he died on 10 February 1866. Catherine Carroll Colgan was born about 1814, but I have been unable to locate any death information on her. She was only 52 when Thomas died, so I wonder if she stayed in Ireland or came to the United States like her son Edward and his family did in 1867. I have not found any records of her in Cincinnati, so it is possible she stayed behind. So far I have not found any birth information on siblings for Edward. It is hard to imagine that the Colgans only had one child.

Colgan land
When we visited the Mayo history center in 1987 they were able to provide me with the location of the property where Edward was born and his dad died. Located near the village of Prison, Drumadoon is a beautiful area of Ireland. We actually were able to drive onto the property, and it is a lovely farm with rolling hills and a view of a mountain in the distance. The property at that time was owned by a man from England, who told us that he had just plowed under the remains of two houses a couple of years prior to our visit. Too bad! He certainly did not understand my enthusiasm in wanting to walk the property. For me it was a thrill to be able to gaze out on the lands that my ancestors saw every day of their lives.

Right down the road from Prison is the village of Cregg where Bridget McHugh, my second great-grandmother, was born in February of 1844. Her father was Peter McHugh, born in Cregg in 1805 and died in Cregg 1 March 1875. On 26 January 1843, Peter married Catherine Long. Catherine was also born in Cregg around 1820. Bridget was their first-born, but they also had the following children: Patrick, born in 1845; Catherine, born in 1850; Winifred, born in 1852; John, born in 1853; Martin, born in 1857; Thomas and Michael, born in 1859; and Peter, born in 1865. Following her husband's death in 1875, Catherine Long McHugh emigrated to the United States. While I have not found her passenger list, she appears in the 1880 census in Cincinnati as the head of household along with her children Catherine, Martin and Michael. Interestingly, they lived at 57 Mill Street - the same building that Edward and Bridget lived in. That certainly was a popular residence for my immigrant families!

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