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The 21 children of the McKessy family

The 21 children of the McKessy family

The following image from Getty Images taken 16 March 1926 shows Mrs. Thomas McKessy and ten of her 21 children, upon her arrival in New York on the SS Aurania.

mckessy

The caption with the image mentions that her husband arrived in New York in September 1925. The family were going to the Bronx

Thomas McKessy’s (14 May 1876 – 1945) married Sarah Collins (25 September 1880-1966) in 23 October 1897 when he was 21 and she was 17. They had a total of 21 children.

The 10 who arrived with their mother travelled vie Cobh and were named from left to right as :

  • Johnanna – 20 May 1909 – 1972, also called Joan
  • John – 26 May 1910 – 1987
  • Dennis – 1912 – 1930
  • Lizzie – 14 December 1913 also called Lillian
  • Katherine – 30 November 1914 – 2002, also called Catherine
  • Bridget – 19 February 1916 – 1989
  • Eugene – 31 March 1918 – 1998
  • Daniel – 9 September 1919 – 2005 also called Donald
  • Ita – 3 August 1921 – 1957, also called Ita Finbar
  • Cecilia (in her mother’s arms) – 22 November 1922 – 1993, died as Cecilia Mary Donnelly

By 1929 when Sarah was applying for her citizenship 5 more of her children were living in New York:

  • Thomas 30 June 1899 – 1980
  • Sarah 23 Jul 1902
  • Margaret 27 Aug 1903
  • William 19 Jan 1906 – 1982
  • Hanora 3 Feb 1907 – 1991

Only one of the McKessy children remained in Ireland:

  • Mary 1898 – married in 1923, Stayed in Ireland

Five had passed away:

  • Hannah 1901 – 1901
  • Margaret 1901 – 1901
  • Patrick  11 Mar 1908-1908
  • Unknown died between 1911-1926
  • Unknown died between 1911-1926

(The dates of birth for the children varied slightly on each record)

Father – In 1911 Census of Ireland – Thomas was a Tailor and Shop Keeper in South Quay, Newcastle West.

Mother – In 1901 Census of Ireland Sarah was living alone with her two eldest children, Mary and Thomas, in Maiden Street, Newcastle West.

By 1930 Census of America the parents and a number of the children were living in the Bronx and Thomas was working as a railway agent.

About The Author

Sharon Slater

Sharon Slater is the owner and operator of the Limerick’s Life website. She has been researching and collecting information regarding Limerick history and genealogies since her early teens. She obtained a Masters degree in Local History at the University of Limerick.

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About Limerick’s Life

This website is a personal project of Sharon Slater, born from a passion for Limerick and it's history. She maintains, updates and contributes to it independently and voluntarily. If you'd like to donate to keep Limerick's history online, please know that all donations will go directly into the costs of hosting the website and the time and travel to research and write the articles found on the site.


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