Lacey and Faherty Family Story

Lacey and Faherty Family Story by Mary Lydon Simonsen


I saw on the Clifden/Connemara site that you are interested in emigration stories for those who went to North America as part of the Tuke’s Emigration Scheme. This is my family’s story.


My great, great grandparents, Michael and Bridgit Mulkerin Lacey were born on Omey Island, Galway in the 1830s. In 1879, they moved to Dumbarton, Scotland, near Glasgow to work in a shipyard. Traveling with Michael and Bridgit were their children Mary (18), my great grandmother, Bridgit (10), and Owen (14). According to the 1881 Scottish Census, Michael Faherty (20) was boarding with them. In 1881, Mary Lacey and Michael Faherty married in Scotland. Their oldest daughter, Bridgit, was born in Dumbarton in 1882.

I believe that the Laceys and Fahertys returned to Ireland for the specific purpose of taking advantage of Tuke’s Emigration Scheme. They sailed from Galway on April 22, 1883 on the Scandinavian. Those traveling were Michael, Mary, and Bridgit Faherty and Michael and Bridgit Mulkerin and their three children, Patrick, Owen, and Bridgit.  They arrived in Quebec on May 3, 1883. The last page of the manifest states: “All Tukes Passengers.”

From Quebec, they made their way to Minooka, Pennsylvania, a village just south of Scranton. Bridgit Mulkerin had a sister, Ann Mulkerin Ryan, living in Minooka. Jobs in the coal mines were plentiful, and all the men were able to find employment as laborers working under the direction of a coal miner. Michael Faherty eventually became a coal miner. Everyone who arrived in Minooka, stayed in Minooka, and no one worked in any industry other than the coal mines. Michael Lacey, Owen Lacey, and Michael Faherty bought houses and paid them off by the time of 1900 census.

Michael and Mary Faherty’s grandson, Paul Lydon, my father, was the first person in the family to graduate from college. He attended the University of Scranton on a scholarship. During World War II, my father scored so high on the civil service exam that he was brought to Washington, D.C. and became one of Franklin Roosevelt’s Whiz Kids. In two generations, my family had gone from the poverty of Omey Island to FDR’s Washington. Paul’s daughter, Mary, is a published author and the beneficiary of her ancestors’ labors.

 Mary Lydon Simonsen, 

Peoria, Arizona


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