My great-great grandfather, Martin Russell, was born in 1831 in Kilkerrin, a townland of Labasheeda, County Clare. In the 1850’s, he immigrated to the U.S., likely with the Howard family, his relatives. John and Mary (Russell) Howard traveled to Canada, then down across the border to New York State in the 1852-1854 time period. They initially settled in the area around Niagara Falls and Buffalo, then traveled to Illinois, because of the railroad work available there. My great-great grandad is listed on an 1865 Illinois state census, for Fayette County. Listed just above him is his uncle-by-marriage, John Howard.
Martin Russell died on July 2, 1866, and was buried in an Irish Catholic cemetery called St. Anne’s, in Effingham County, Illinois. His Howard relatives were buried beside him.
Standing in front of his gravestone, after looking for Martin for so long, was an incredible experience.
I traveled to Labasheeda with my cousin in the spring of 2016, and I’ll be going back again.
|Date of Birth||1st Jan 1831|
|Date of Death||2nd Jul 1866|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||Martin was married to Elizabeth McCarthy, also from County Clare. She was about nine years younger than he was, and she was widowed when their son was three years old.|