Please excuse the length of this posting but I am trying to include all pertinent information. I am desperately seeking information on the parents and siblings of my great grandfather, John Patrick Fahey born March 25, 1870 in Ireland, most likely Galway. His last known residence was in Indiana. John was completely estranged from his family and there is no concrete information available as far as his family background. All information I have comes either verbally from accounts from my 90 year old grandmother (the only surviving child of John), or from 2 documents: 1. His death certificate and 2. His Petition for Naturalization. I have located him in the Indiana 1910, 20 and 30 census records but was unable to obtain any new information from them since the answers he gave the census taker were flat out lies. More to come on this. I cannot find him listed anywhere in the 1900 census, although I believe he may have been living at that time in Kentucky. He met my great-grandmother in the western coal region of Kentucky in the late 1890’s and they were married in Indiana in 1902. My great grandmother never met any of John’s family, and apparently knew very little about them. (or at least she never told her children about what she knew). John had only shared with his family that he was born in Galway (the children could only remember the Gall part of it), that he immigrated to the US as a young boy, that his mother’s maiden name was O’Connell and that he grew up in Ohio. Now, let me preface this by saying that John was well known to be a great fibber and teller of tall tales and that there is very little that he has shared that can be 100% believable. My grandmother does not know the first names of either of his parents, or any of his siblings. His death certificate lists the names of Mary Kathleen O’Connell as a mother and Joseph Fahey as a father. However, this information was all provided by my grandmother’s oldest brother as John was preceded in death by his wife. So, therefore, the brother could only provide what he knew told second hand from his mother and father. Although I think there might be some reliability to the information, I don’t believe it to be 100% accurate. John’s full name was John Patrick Joseph Fahey, so I think it is reasonable to believe his father’s name was either Patrick or Joseph. My grandmother was named Kathleen, and her sister named Mary, so that could be on track with the mother’s name as well. But, what leads me to believe the information on the death certificate to be suspect to reliability is that birthplace is listed as “Gaul County, Ireland” and the birth date is listed as March 25, 1874 (He died in 1954 at the age of 84, so obviously, that date provided is mathematically incorrect).
John filed his petition for citizenship in 1939. Prior to this in every U.S. census he had told the census taker his birthplace was either Ohio or Indiana. Eventually things started to catch up with him regarding his lack of official citizenship and he filed the proper papers. Before I go any further, let me say that this paperwork is absolutely full of errors and typos. There is more incorrect than correct, including the birth dates of most all his children, so once again I take this information not as the gospel. It is stated that he was born in “St. Reamsport, Ireland” March 25, 1870 and that he emigrated from Queensport, Ireland through Philadelphia, PA in May 1873 on the vessel “unknown”.
I have found only one possible match in the 1880 census and that is a Patrick and Mary Fahey living in Missouri with a son, John, born 1870 in Ireland. The next sibling was born in 1874 in Missouri, so that fits with the family timeline. However, there has never been any mention of Missouri in the family lore. Ohio has been the place that I was always told his family was from. Now, I guess they could have gone from MO to OH, but I cannot find that Patrick and Mary in later Ohio census records. Also with Patrick and Mary being the two most common Irish Fahey names, it is so hard to distinguish one from the other.
In regard to his religious background, he observed no religion that my grandmother can remember, although she does say that she believes that he was raised Catholic.
If anybody has any clues or suggestions they would be so greatly appreciated. I do not want to give up this search, but with so little solid information to go on, I’m afraid this just may remain one of life’s mysteries.