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Shanahan Family Research - Ireland to America - 1856

Updated June 19, 2001

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Searching for Descendants of the following Family:

Thomas (or Henry) Shanahan and wife Bridget Luby, who were born born and died in Ireland (during the famine years). Their children:

Denis Shanahan (eldest? son)
Michael William Shanahan,
(b. 29 Sept 1841 Ireland, d. 26 May 1887 MS)
Margaret "Maggie" Anne Shanahan (no dates)
Henry Shanahan (b. Ireland, d. Ireland (drowned as a young child)

All of the above children except for Henry immigrated to the US. The first to come to the US was Michael--known to have entered in the Port of New York, briefly to have boarded at Kerrigan's Boarding house there and then to have traveled (via train) to Senatobia, MS. Denis and Margaret "Maggie" apparently also immigrated to the US sometime after Michael. Dates from old family letters narrow the dates of Denis' immigration to between 1856--4 July 1864. Dates of Margaret/Maggie's immimgration are not yet known. Denis, like Michael entered in the port of New York.

Facts about Michael W. Shanahan are well known and documented, for further details please visit:

Not as much is known about Denis and Margaret/Maggie but here are a few brief facts:

Denis Shanahan wed an Ellen Kerrigan, whom he met at Kerrigan's boarding house in New York City sometime after 1856 and before 1865. Denis and Ellen had at least three children: (1) Patrick Henry Shanahan (who died as an infant) (2) Margaret Anne Shanahan and (3) Thomas Shanahan. Denis either lived in New York City or in Jersey City, NJ around 1865/65. He worked as a bucher of Poultry in the Washington Market in New York City.

Margaret/Maggie Shanahan was known to have wed....her husband's first name might have been "Lee". She is known to have been in Kentucky in 1868 and we also know that she had at least one daughter by that time. Sometime later Margaret/Maggie Shanahan returned to either New York City or the Jersey City, NJ area as she died in that vicinity. We do not know where she was buried or any dates. However, a gentleman was said to have paid for her funeral, tombstone, masses, etc. This gentleman's name was John B. Dick and he resided on York Street in Jersey City, NJ.
We know that he was not her spouse, but other than that we do not know the relationship between John B. Dick and Margaret/Maggie Shanahan.

The third son of Denis Shanahan & Ellen Kerrigan, Thomas Shanahan wed "Lizzie" last name unknown and had at least 3 children: (1)Johnnie Shanahan (2) Henry? Shanahan (3) Elizabeth/Lizzie Shanahan. Thomas resided in Jersey City, NJ where I believe most if not all of these 3 children were born. He is known to have lived on W. 10th street and also on York Street in Jersey City, NJ. At one point, Thomas worked as a stevedore for the Cunard Shipping line in Jersey City, NJ.

We are currently searching for any Shanahan's from New York or NJ who may be descendants of Denis Shanahan and Ellen Kerrigan or of Thomas Shanahan and Lizzie ?. If you think you have any POSSIBLE connection, please contact me, Kathy Rhodes, at

The origins of the Shanahan's in Ireland are pretty "Misty" at this point. Civil War Records for Michael W. Shanahan indicate that the family was from County Limerick, although, we have yet to unearth any records for them in Ireland as yet. We would be interested in sharing notes from anyone researching the LUBY or SHANAHAN surnames from County Limerick.

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