THE HEALY FAMILY
Here is what we know so far about our Healys.
They come from Cork but exactly where in Cork we have not yet determined. A letter from Elizabeth Healy pins down her location for the latter part of 1896 and the first half of 1897 in Ballincollig, a market town in Cork five miles west of the City of Cork on the Killarney - Macroom road just south of the Lee. The letter indicates that she is in touch with her father and her brother Batty (Patrick), so we can assume that they lived nearby at that time but not necessarily in Ballincollig. In the Fall of 1999 HAJ spent a week in Ballincollig but could not document the existence of our Healys there.
Family legend has it that our Healys were so poor "they went barefoot in the snow." Mater Conley died (shortly?) before 1892. Denis reported in a document that she died of typhus. Pater (we don't know his or her first name.) remarried (a rich? woman), too quickly to suit the children in Cork at the time. Perhaps this together with the return of Denis from British military service in Burma (2nd Bn, Royal Munster Fusiliers) prompted the emigration to New York (to say nothing of the generally depressed conditions in Ireland).
Perhaps it also had something to do with the recent death of Parnell, October 6, 1891. Family legend has it that Hannah Bone's sister, Tygeen, worked for Parnell as a bodyguard, running along behind his coach. She was a large woman, well over 6 feet tall. In any event, Mary, Katie and Denis came to New York on 12/15/1892. We don't know what ship brought them or what the port of entry was.
We do know that Batty came later. In fact, Elizabeth's letter tells us he was still in Ireland in June 1897. The Ellis Island database has a record which may be for our Batty. It shows a Bartholomew Healy arriving on the Lucania on July 21 1900, gives his age as 30, status as single, port of embarcation as Queenstown and last residence as Ballylandas, Limerick, a town about 30 miles north of Cork, also known as Ballylanders. It is on the southern edge of Limerick right on the border and adjoins Cork. This description fits what we know about the rest of the family and would give a birthyear for Batty of 1870, making him younger than Mary (1867?) and Denis (3/14/1869?).
We should check the BDM Indexes of Ireland for Healys in Ballylandas, especially births in 1866,67,68,69,70 and 71; deaths in 1890,91 and 92; and marriages in 1890, 91 and 92.
There are two family legends that might fit particularly well with Ballylandas as a family origin. One is the story of Denis walking to Tipperary on his 15th birthday to take the shilling and enlist in the British army. Starting in Ballincollig would make it a very long way to Tipperary but starting in Ballylanders makes it much more believable. I estimate it as about 15 miles by road and maybe only 10 miles offroad. On the other hand, experts have advised that it was not necessary to walk a great distance at all to enlist. One had only to go to the local police / army barracks to start the process. So, this particular story may have evolved somewhat from the original facts.
The other is the unvarying claim in tradition and on documents that the family was from Cork. Ballylanders is not in Cork but Limerick...or is it? The civil parish of Ballylanders (C. of I.), and maybe the R.C. parish as well, because of the perverse nature of the boundary lines of civil and R.C. parishes, Poor Law Unions, etc., actually extends down below the county border into Cork. (See the exchange at this RootsWeb site, quoted below.)
"The Civil Parish of Ballylanders is part of Mitchelstown which is a Poor Law Union; Mitchelstown itself is in Co. Cork; but there's no reason for Ballylanders Catholic parish not to belong to the Diocese of Cashel & Emly. Ballylanders RC parish doesn't even have to take in the whole area of Ballylanders Civil Parish....which is in theory supposed to equate to the Church of Ireland Religious parish - if there was/is one, and which may actually not equate to that Civil parish."
While this doesn't prove my hypothesis that the portion of Ballylanders cited by Bat Healy in Ellis Island as his origin was in Cork, it suggests the possibility. Accepting this, it is then not difficult to imagine the people living in that little section of Ballylanders being very emphatic about living in Cork to distinguish themselves from all the Limerickers. Of course, there are many other ways to explain the traditional insistence on Cork as their origin (e.g., they were from the heart of Cork) but I find this one intriguing. And, it gives us a specific place to look.
An undated letter from Batty from Sanford, Maine, possibly in 1901, indicates that Hannah Bone had not yet arrived. She eventually joined him as his wife some time after that in Sanford, where he worked in a "plush" mill where simulated persian carpets were made. Why Maine? Perhaps they knew some friends or relatives who were already there? Was it a coincidence that the bishop of Maine at the time was a Healy?
They may have also been in Boston for a time, later, before returning to Maine. Harry told a tale of a family trip to Boston as a young teenager. Bored with his family's company in Boston, he allowed the door to close on the elevated train with him still on the platform. Then he went off to see the sights of Boston that he was interested in, returning later to their lodging, no doubt to catch hell from his mother. Assuming Harry was 15, this event may have happened about 1922. Someone was in Boston they knew: Bat? Kate? Dennis? Someone else? (By this time Waldemar Jensen was almost certainly in the US.)
In the US Denis served in the US Army and then the US Navy, seeing action - if only in the engine room - on the USS Amphitrite in Havana Harbor and Puerto Rico in the Spanish American War and also on the USS Brooklyn in the Phillipine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion. Both Katie and Denis appear to have had a drinking problem. Both Mary and Katie worked as domestics when they first arrived.
Mary met Charles Jensen while working as a domestic in (or living in) a boarding house on Court Street in Brooklyn.
Per HFJ some children in Ireland died as infants and were not named. Per EJ Elizabeth married an Englishman named Martin and went to Liverpool. We know from her letter that she had at least two children: Daniel, who died in January 1897 (perhaps as an infant) and Patrick, who died in March 1897 (probably as a toddler between 1 and 2 years of age).
Pater Healy b---d--- m Mater Conley b---d1892?
. . . . Katie >NY b---d--- Did not marry.
. . . . Mary Bridget >NY 5/1/1865?-4/3/1940 m Charles Jensen 1855- 1926
. . . . . . . . 6 children. See Jensen family.
. . . . Denis Francis >NY 3/15/1867? - 6/6/1945 Did not marry.
. . . . Patrick (Bart?) >NY 1900>ME b1870?d--- m Hannah Bone b--- d---
. . . . . . . . no children
. . . . Elizabeth >LIV b---d---m Martin >LIV b---d---
. . . . . . . . Patrick b1895? d 3/1897
. . . . . . . . Daniel b1896? d 1/1897
. . . . Margaret . . twin?
. . . . Florence
. . . . Theresa
. . . . Girl
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