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Family geneaology is an interesting and often time consuming undertaking. For me, the search for my ancestors has consumed thirty-years of my life and is still ongoing. Needless to say, the McCarthy surname is so common in Ireland, and in particular, West Cork, many years of research have been lost because leads proved to be erroneous and I wound up following the wrong family lines. This was caused because the names John and Daniel were so widely used by the various McCarthy families. In many cases I had to use the wifes maiden name to be sure I had the right person. Due to illiteracy this was no easy task because written records didn't exist and quite often a lucky break had to occur to ensure I was on the right track.

In search of this information, I visited Ireland four times between 1991 and 2000. During that time I made contact with some distant relatives who were only to happy to meet us. Unfortunately, most of the leads they gave me were vague and I had to employ a professional genealogist to assist me. Although my search is by no means finished, most of what follows is a direct result of information provided by other family members, in particular Mr. Lionel Barker who is married to my cousin Catherine Galligan, and my own personal investigations. Hopefully within the next year my research will be more complete. For now here is what I know:

In doing research into the McCarthy surname I found that there are at least ten different septs of McCarthy families in West Corberry, or West Cork. All are descendants of the McCarthy Reagh. The largest was McCarthy Mor which incorporated much of the province of Munster, but not of West Cork. "Of the hereditary nicknames we may look at some attached to the McCarthy Reagh are: Rabagh (overbearing, generous), Crimeen (descendants of the daughter of O'Croimin), Spawnach (Spanish - had spent some time in Spain), Mucklagh (? Much-fhialach - hospitable in pigs), Cawsca (of Easter), Sowney (Samhna, of all Hallowtide), Cunic (of the hill), Tollin (a t-salainn of the salt), Bawny (bo bhaine, of the white cow), Forshing (Fairsinn, i.e., generous), etc."

My tenth great grandfather was Cormac McCarthy, His wife was Catherine Barry

My ninth great grandfather was Tiege McCarthy, his wife was Catherine McCarthy Reagh

My eighth great grandfather was Donal 1X McCarthy, his wife was Eleanor Butler

My seventh great grandfather was Callaghan Og McCarthy, his wife was Elizabeth Fitzgerald

My great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was Jeremiah McCarthy, his wife was Elizabeth McDermott

My great-great-great-great-great grandfather was Owen McCarthy who married Catherine Moynihan. They had three children that I know of Owen, Ellen & Timothy.

My great-great-great-great-grandfather was Eoghan (Owen) McCarthy, His wife was Ellen Dwyer and they were married in St. Finbarr’s South in Cork. Although I have no proof of all their children, I do have the baptism record of Timothy McCarthy from February 7, 1795. Although it is hard to read it appears his godfather was Callaghan McCarthy. Could this be Timothy’s brother or father as well? I am still investigating this theory.

My great-great-great-grandfather was Timothy McCarthy who married Margaret Maloney. Their children were Catherine, John (my ggg) Ellen and Dennis.

My great-great-grandfather John McCarthy was born to Timothy McCarthy and Margaret Maloney on June 24, 1824 in Kildee, Parish of Kilmeen, County Cork Ireland. John was married to Margaret O'Leary and very little is known with the exception that they had six sons, Timothy ?, Dennis 1838, Daniel 1845 and Jeremiah 1846, John 1848, & Michael 1857 and daughters Catherine 1843 & Mary Ellen 1856 that I know of. My research has uncovered that the Tithe Applotment records for 1851 show that John and Timothy McCarthy held quite a bit of property and the name Samhna/Sowney or Sawney appeared after their name. A Genealogist informs me that this a popular secondary McCarthy name or agnomen used in County Cork and is a subdivision of the McCarthy Reagh Clan that ruled the West Carberry region of County Cork, and has nothing to do with the McCarthy Mor who ruled the rest of Munster including Cork and Kerry. I have received some answers to the name Sawney, one of which is not very flattering, but I am awaiting more information from Ireland. It would appear they may have been Pig Farmers which would explain how they got through the Famine which was so prevalent in County Cork, and in particular Clonakilty which is in close proximity to Kildee and Ballinascarthy.

I have just found information on Daniel and Jeremiah’s sister Catherine. She apparently emigrated to America shortly after her marriage to a Mr. James Coleman. Her husband had joined the military and was stationed in Fort Sully South Dakota. They apparently came over after the Civil War ended because all their children were born in Fort Sully between the years 1870-1889. Their children were Charles June 1870, Robert March 1872, Polly September 1879, Mary October 1880, Larence Nov. 1882, Nora June 1884, and Edward Oct. 1889.

Catherine passed away in Sully South Dakota on May 16, 1912 and her husband James died June 11, 1921 also in South Dakota.

Jeremiah who remained in Ireland and Daniel F. McCarthy who emigrated to America, are the persons upon whom I am building my research.

Daniel and Mary were married in St. Anne's Chapel in Clonakilty, County Cork on December 19, 1867. At the time of their marriage Daniel lived in Garraneard Parish of Kilnagross, and Mary resided in Kildee parish oif Kilmeen. Their marriage was witnessed by John Clarke and Anne Carty and a Jeremiah Donovan. The priest who married them was Fr. Patrick Madden.

Daniel immigrated to New York on April 1, 1869 on board the steamer SS. City of New York, and eventually made his way to his destination in Pennsylvania and secured employment with the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. His wife Mary,(nee Wolfe) and infant daughter Elizabeth apparently accompanied him in 1869 however, their is no record of them in the ships passenger list. Based on the passenger list their were two other male McCarthy's, James and Patrick. Whether or not they were related to Daniel is unknown since I have no list of Daniels other siblings other than Jeremiah and Catherine. If they were not his siblings they were probably Jeremiah's sons.

I feel Mary must have accompanied Daniel since their second child, John was born in 1870 in Pennsylvania, so it is easy to assume they arrived with Daniel or shortly thereafter, perhaps with Daniel's siblings or nephews and Mary's two sisters (who may also have been married). We know they also immigrated around the same time.

The McCarthy's settled into their first home in Girard Manor, Schuylkill County where they eventually raised all eight of their children, 5 daughters and 3 sons. Some family records indicate there were a total of 15, ten boys and 5 girls born to the couple, however, based on census records, only a total of eight are listed over the period of twenty years. It is quite possible that more children were born to the couple since they had apparently moved several times living in Schuylkill, Northumberland, and Columbia Counties.

Daniel actually became a U.S. Citizen in Danville, Columbia County on September 11, 1875. His naturalization papers indicate his name as Daniel Karty, a mistake not uncommon in those days due to illiteracy. Names were phonetically spelled out by recorders causing variations in surnames.

Although I never knew my great aunts and uncles, I was raised with William with whom we lived most of my first 20 years. I have some information that was passed down from family stories and recollections. Please find listed below the family records for each of Daniel's children as I know them. I invite anyone with additional information, or corrections to the records to contact me at

The first and oldest of the children was Elizabeth born May 21, 1868 in Ballyneen, Dunmanway, County Cork Ireland, married Thomas Sullivan in 1884 and resided in Mount Carmel, Columbia County, Pennsylvania. Aunt Lizzy, as she was affectionately called, had six children, Mary, Hannah, John, Margaret, Rosallie, and Thomas.

The second child was John Born 1870. John married Mary Brooks who passed away in 1927. He lived in Catawissa with their two daughters and four sons. John had remarried, unfortunately no information is available to verify his second wife's name. The names of their six children are: George, James, John, Joseph (the only one I remember meeting as a child when they came regularly to visit my grandfather), Anna and Mary.

The next child was Mary Born 11/28/1872. She married James Sullivan on July 1, 1892 and lived in Girard Manor and later in Mahanoy City. It is not known, but rumor had it that Elizabeth's husband Thomas and James were brothers. They had ten children, 5 boys and 5 girls; James, Mary, Bill, Dan, John, Rose, Sarah, Margaret, Edward, and Anna.

Next was Ellen McCarthy Born November 1874. A Spinster, she lived most of her life working for the wealthy of New York. (It is not known is she worked as a domestic or housekeeper) She returned to Mahanoy City in 1949 a the age of 75. She lived to the ripe old age of 97 passing away in 1971.

the fifth child was Sarah Born May 1877. Very little is known of "Sadie" as she was called other than she married John High and lived in Harrisburg. They had three daughters, however, nothing is known of them other than Sadie was very ill being bedfast for the last ten years of her life.

Daniel F. II was born August 1879. Better known as "Dirty Dan" married Margaret Hurley on December 20, 1900 and fathered eight children. Margaret died in 1917 leaving Daniel with five young boys to raise. The children's names were: Joseph, Mary, Daniel, Twins Theresa & Margaret(both died between the ages of 18mos and 2yrs.)John Kenneth, Michael and Sylvester.

Daniel married his second wife Anna Lenahan on September 15, 1919, however, they had no children together. Daniel passed away at the age of 50 while on a fishing trip with his sons in Girard Manor. Like his father he too worked as a Foremen for the Reading Railroad as did most of his sons.

William was born 4/20/1882. My grandfather with whom my parents resided for most of my first twenty years, was the only direct descendant of Daniel that I remember. He married Bridgett Theresa "Tess" McManaman on November 26, 1901 and settled in Mahanoy Plane, Pa. where he worked for the Reading Railroad. They reared a total of 18 children, outliving all by five of them. A photo journal of some of the children and their families is attached.

The children's names were:
Daniel although born with Infantile Paralysis he had remarkable skills. He is shown in photo with a replica of Holy Rosary Church in Mahanoy Plane, built by himself, exact in every detail. (Please note his crippled hands and the leather pads on his knees that he used to get around.) Photo of Daniel taken while in St. Francis Home in Upper Darby just before his death
Anna,(click here for photo of Anna and brother Joe on a visit to Ireland May 1973)
William A. photo taken as a young boy
Gloria & Maria.

The last of Daniel's children was Rose, born December 1883. She married Joseph Brown and settled in Mahanoy City. Although childless, she raised Joe's niece Blanche Cox who was sickly and passed away at age 17.

Finally, I come to my own family records. My father Joseph Sr.(see above), married Rosemary Carlin on June 29, 1940 at Holy Rosary Church in Mahanoy Plane. There were four children (see family photo taken recently)born to them ,Joseph Jr born 4/26/1941, Mary, born 02/13/1944, Eugene, born 05/03/1950, and Thomas, born 05/10/1957.

My Father passed away on October 26, 1986 and Mother passed away on July 12, 2003. They are both buried in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Lebanon County Pennsylvania , see grave marker, a wish of my father's.

My father was quite the entertainer in his younger days. As a child growing up in Mahanoy Plane, his favorite past time was singing and entertaining the neighborhood. And why not, among his neighbors were none other than the Dorsey Brothers, Tommy and Jimmy. Their father Tom Sr., lived next door to Tess and Bill McCarthy and my father remembered vividly how they would be made to practice. He knew Tommy better than Jimmy because they were close to the same age, and after the Dorsey's made a name for themselves, Tommy would always return to Mahanoy Plane to meet old friends when they were in the area, namely Lakewood Ballroom in Barnesville. My father often related how Tommy would stand on the porch of the row-house they lived in before moving to Shenandoah, and play for the locals.

I guess the music of those good old days was in his blood because my father soon got the bug and began traveling around the coal regions often playing the lead in Minstrel Shows or joining with a band. In many cases he would be recognized in the audience, and once he got the floor, he was good for a few songs, jokes or comedy routine.

As a young man, I remember my father's friends, Bill Morgan, Tom Barrett, Joe Gallagher, Butch O'Brien, Walter Roland, and others just breaking out in a tune when ever they got together. To a man, they all agreed, they enjoyed singing and never, never, wanted to be paid for doing something they enjoyed. The group even had a try-out for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts Show. They almost made it, in fact they made it through the auditions and were to go back for the final try-out when one of the men got ill and they had to cancel. Over time all the voices were silenced and their era of the big band sound ended all too soon. The club they formed, "The Rum-Dum's" is still in existence today and many remember the men who had the foresight to begin the men only organization in the Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

To the very end, Joe Sr., loved to entertain. Even after two open heart surgeries, he tried to sing the songs he loved so well. At times I can still hear his Irish Tenor voice belting out his favorite song, "The Rose of Tralee". My Father passed away on October 20, 1986 following two open heart surgeries and a final heart catherization in Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.