Mary Ann Fahy was born in the townland of Cappagh, in the the District of Portumna, County Galway, Ireland on November 3, 1857. She was baptized on November 5, 1858 in Killimore and Tiranascragh Parish to the north of Portumna. Mary Ann was the first of ten children born to Patrick Fahy and Mary Campbell. One of her siblings died at an early age, while seven would follow her to America. One sister, Catherine, remained behind and married Michael Melody of Tiernascragh, Eyercourt, Co. Galway in 1896. A second sister, Annie also remained behind and married Michael Bligh of Killmor, Glenmaddy, Co. Galway in 1904.
Mary Anne Fahy, at the age of 16, landed in the port of New York, aboard the vessel “Scythia” on June 16, 1875. She travelled in steerage, and was listed, apparently due to her “ripe old age” as a Spinster. She worked, we are told, as a "Living out girl," presumably a maid, or as was a common term in those times as a “Bridget.” With her earning, she was able to return money to Ireland to assist in bringing her brothers and sisters over one at a time. How it is that she came to West Orange, NJ is not known, but she appears to have been the anchor as all of her siblings also settled there. Her last two brothers to arrive did so in 1897.
On October 17, 1883, she married James Henry Burns in St John the Evangelist Church in Orange, and immediately set about creating and raising a family. Her first child, Joseph Edward was born on August 6, 1884. At that time, she would have resided with her husband and his mother on Burnside near Washington in West Orange.
By the time of the 1900 U.S. Census, she and James resided at 182 Watchung Avenue in West Orange, NJ along with their eight children.
Her husband, James passed away in 1921.
Not much is known about Mary Ann, but photographs show her to be a petite woman. Her granddaughter, Virginia Burns recalls that she was a “wonderful woman who had a lot of grandchildren.” One recollection of one of her son Joe’s monthly visits, found her up on a ladder, repairing some roof shingles, so she was apparently no wilting flower.
Mary Ann passed away on June 17, 1941 at the age of 82. She is buried with her husband in St. John the Evangelist Cemetery in Orange, NJ.
|Date of Birth||3rd Nov 1857|
|Date of Death||17th Jun 1941|
|Townland born||in the townland of Cappagh, in the the District of Portumna, County Galway, Ireland|
|Place & Date of Baptism||on November 5, 1858 in Killimore and Tiranascragh Parish|
|Number of Children||10|
|Names of Siblings||Catherine, Annie|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||James Henry|
|First Child||Joseph Edward|
|Place of Death||St. John the Evangelist Cemetery in Orange, NJ|