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

6 Comments

  1. Wonderful family story, Mary. Thank you for sending it in.
    Let’s hope it will encourage other descendants of Tuke emigrants to pass on their family stories.

  2. Donal Leader says:

    What a great story! Just a few weeks ago a group I was with held a memorial ritual at the Famine Memorial in Salthill in Galway where the ships that left from the port of Galway are named. It is wonderful to be able to link a personal story with one of those ships.

  3. Mary Simonsen says:

    Thank you, Donal and Kathleen. I’m pleased my story resonated with you.

  4. marcus lydon says:

    Great story .Thanks.

  5. Fiona Robinson says:

    I have Lacey ancestors who lived in Dumbarton at that same time. My ancestor was Ellen Lacey, born in Clifdon, Co, Galway, Ireland to Anthony Lacey and Winifred Berry. Ellen stayed in Dumbarton and married Patrick Conroy and is my great-great grandmother. Her older sister, Mary went to Canada though.
    I’m also researching another line, my ggg grandmother was Bridget Faherty, married James Tierney and also lived in Dumbarton at that same time.

  6. Very interesting. I am a Lacey from Dumbarton. Brigit Lace features in my tree too.
    Fiona Robinson there are Tierneys and Conroys in Dumbarton too who may be linked to you.

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