Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Katherine Carr (1865-1951) who emigrated from Ireland

Katherine Carr (1865-1951) aka Kitty Carr; Immigrant from Ireland to USA between 1888 and 1890 and Indentured Maid in Rooming House in Brooklyn or Bronx, New York (b. January 18, 1865, Hollygrove, Athleague, Killeroran, County Galway/Roscommon, Ireland - d. February 20, 1951, 5915 Liebig Avenue, Riverdale, Bronx County, New York City, New York, USA)

Katherine was born in Hollygrove, Ireland to Thomas Carr and Bridgette Conboy.

Sarah Jane Carr (c1866-1950) aka Sadie Carr, who emigrated to the United States and married Patrick J. Norton (1856-1905); Thomas Carr II who stayed in Coalpits and married Mary Kelly (1873-?) but had no children; Mary Carr (1873-?) who stayed in Coalpits in Ireland; James Carr (1874-c1950) aka Jimmy Carr, who emigrated to the United States after 1901 and was a bartender in Brooklyn or the Bronx; and later a chauffer in Manhattan in New York and he never married; and Andrew Carr who may have emigrated to Australia.

She emigrated between 1888 and 1890 with: her sister, Sarah Jane Carr (c1863-1950) aka Sadie Carr, who married Patrick J. Norton (1856-1905); and a cousin, Margaret Agnes Conboy (1866-1951) aka Maggie carr, who married Owen McLaughlin (1863-1931). All three worked in a rooming house in Brooklyn or the Bronx where they were maids until their passage to the US was paid back. Other family members had emigrated including her brother, James Carr, who worked as a speakeasy bartender and later a chauffer in New York. There were also several Hogans and Conboys who emigrated. Some of the people who emigrated were: Jane E. Hogan (1864-1949) who married Martin Matthew Gelchion I (1858-1899) aka Matthew Gechion, who was a gardener in Jersey City or Bayonne; Catherine Mary Hogan (1864-1941) aka Mary Hogan, who married Thomas Morrissey I (1863-1928) who was a shipping laborer; Margaret Hogan (c1865-?) aka Maggie Hogan, who married a Gannen; Winifred Hogan (c1870-?) who married John Healy I (c1870-bef1920); Patrick Conboy (1864-1927); James Conboy II (c1865-?); Thomas Conboy (c1865-?); and their father James Conboy I (1837-1902).

Katherine Carr married James Joseph Kennedy (1870-1926) in the Bronx around 1897. Possibly they were married on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1897 in Manhattan, where a "James J. Kennedy" married and has certificate number "2555" in the index.

Together they had seven children: Kathryn Kennedy (1897-1974) aka Kitty Kennedy, aka Sis Kennedy, who married Joseph O'Malley (1893-1985) who was an uncle to Walter Francis O'Malley, who was the owner of Brooklyn Dodgers; Mary Frances Kennedy (1898-1982) who married Walter M. Hill (1893-1965) the taxi driver and movie projectionist; Josephine Kennedy (c1900-c1902) who died as an infant; Thomas Kennedy (1901-1972) who married Gertrude Reed (1898-?); James Gerard Kennedy I (c1904) who died at birth; Joseph Edward Kennedy (1905-1983) who married Beatrice McDermott (1904-1970); James Gerard Kennedy II (1907-1997) aka James G. Kennedy, Sr. who was the founder and owner of the construction company in New York that bears his name, who married Antoinette Granato (1916-1942) and then later married Rita Masset (1924- ).

In the year 1900 James and Katherine were living at 8th Street in Harlem in Manhattan, New York City and in 1920 they were living at West 160th Street in Harlem. Eventually the family moved to 5915 Liebig Avenue in Riverdale, in the Bronx.

Death of Husband:
Katherine's husband, James Kennedy died in 1926 at the site of the Chrysler Building where he may have been working as a plasterer.

Hollygrove, Ireland:
Kate and her sister Sarah traveled back to Hollygrove, Ireland on one or more occasions. Ann Elizabeth O'Malley (1933- ) writes: "On September 28, 1982 Fred and I drove to Roscommon in search of Catherine Carr’s birthplace. We asked the postmaster for directions to Holly Grove or Coal Pits. Before leaving the U.S., I spoke to Joe Kennedy, Catherine Carr’s son, who suggested that we speak to Postmaster Flannigan in Roscommon. Unfortunately he had been transferred to another office. In Athleague, the closest town of any size to Coal Pits, we asked the first elderly man we saw if he had ever met Thomas Carr. He said if it is the Thomas Carr who married Mary Kelly then he had. That was our lucky day. He directed us to the Holly Grove/Coal Pits area. We stopped in front of a two story granite house and asked a middle aged man if he knew whether this was the former residence of Thomas and Mary Carr. As luck would have it, once again he said that it was not, but that he owned the old Thomas Carr estate. His name was Mr. McCann and he said that the property had been divided and the Rourkes had built a house on a portion of the original property. He stated further that the house was in bad condition because no one was living in it and that cows had roamed through it. He also said that the house was hard to spot because it was very far back from the road. Mr. McCann also said that his mother would love to talk with us but unfortunately we could not find her house. We drove back and forth several times and finally saw an elderly woman who had known Tom and Mary. She said that they frequently cycled into Athleague. The neighbor also said that Mary loved children and often gave them sweets. We turned the car around and spotted the house high on the hill. It is hard to say how much property was originally with the house. It might be as little as twenty acres or more than one hundred. It would have been an interesting question to ask Mr. McCann. At the entrance to the property there were two stone posts. We walked approximately 600 feet straight ahead and then turned to the left and continued up a slight grade approximately 200 feet. It was a stone house with a door framed in an interlacing pattern of diamonds and ovals. There were quoins on the two front corners of the house. The front door was boarded up so we climbed through a back window into the kitchen which still had only a mud floor. At the front entry hall there was a staircase straight ahead and a hallway to the left of the staircase leading to the kitchen. There were two large rooms, one on each side of the entry hall both with interesting fireplaces. A stairway with nicely carved banisters, still intact, led to the second floor. The second floor like the first consisted of two large rooms, both with a fireplace. To the left of the house was a stone shed. There was also a spring on the property and someone said that many years ago it was used as a community spring. It was a great thrill to see the house where my grandmother was born and grew up. If only the cows had not roamed through it and destroyed the floors it would still be a picturesque house on a hill. After dinner that evening we went to a general store in Athleague and mentioned that my grandmother, Catherine Carr, was born in Coal Pits. They said that Mary Kelly’s sister, Mrs. Haughey, was still alive and lived in Athleague right next to the church. We also learned that there were Carrs in neighboring Fuerty Parish. We went to see Mrs. Haughey the next day and her son came to the door and said that his mother was very low. He asked if we could come back later. Unfortunately our schedule was tight and we reluctantly headed for Donegal."

Katherine died in 1951. This was a year after her sister, Sarah, died.

Kate was buried in Saint Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.

Katherine Carr (1865-1951) was the great-grandaunt of Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ). She was the grandmother of Ann Elizabeth O'Malley (1933- ).