Needless to say I’ve gotten behind in my blogging—my move, projects, work and such have derailed me a bit. I had fully intended to mark the 176th anniversary of the birth (and 95th anniversary of the death) of my 4th great grandmother, Mary Byrne Cunningham a couple of weeks ago. Better late than never…

Mary was born 21 July 1838 in North Burgess Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada to Owen and Ellen (Dowdall) Byrne. She married James Cunningham (formerly of County Armagh, Ireland) on 07 Jan 1863 in Perth, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada. The couple started their family immediately welcoming my 3rd great grandmother Ellen Cunningham in late October 1863. They relocated to homestead in Platte Township in Benzie County, Michigan in 1865—leaving Ellen with her Byrne grandparents. The rest of Mary’s children: Michael, John, George, James, Mary, Sarah, and Anna Clara, were born there. By 1884 Ellen had joined the family in Michigan and then married Cornelius Shea a year later in neighboring Manistee County.

Ellen Cunningham Baptism, 1863

As early as 1895 the Cunningham family had moved on to Antigo, Langlade County, Wisconsin—again with the exception of Ellen. The remaining children largely settled in Wisconsin. Mary was widowed in 25 January 1906. She then settled in with her youngest daughter, Annie (Cunningham) Nixon in Antigo, Wisconsin. Mary died 25 July 1919 in Langlade County, Wisconsin.

Happy hunting,

Jess

In honor of St. Pat’s, here is a view of the resort town and Galway suburb of Salthill in Co. Galway and the edge of Galway Bay taken during a study abroad trip in 1997. It was a beautiful day and an all around lovely trip… but I have no family from there that I’m aware of.

Salthill and Galway Bay from a Ferris Wheel, Summer 1997.

My known Irish ancestors include the Massy family from Rathronan in County Limerick, and the Byrne, Cunningham and Dowdall families who reported themselves from Armagh, in what is now Northern Ireland. I haven’t yet figured out where my Shea line originally hailed from in Ireland.

Ideally, I’d love to take a trip to research these lines.

Happy hunting & Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Jess

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