Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in USA

My Irish American Family and the Potato Famine


I have evidence of my Irish family ancestral line dating back to the 1700's. I know much more than is written here, but I've chosen what I think is most notable. 

William James Reade was my 2nd great-grandfather. 

William's parents Edward Reade and Ann Davis

Married at St. Canice’s Chuch in Kilkenny on February 16, 1817.  My grandfather, Willam James Reade, was the youngest of their five children: 

John Reade

Baptized 16 June 1820 at St. Canice’s Church, Kilkenny. Sponsors Stephen Kehoe and Judy Read

Anne Reade

Baptized 18, Nov 1822 at St. Canice’s Church, Kilkenny. Sponsors Thomas David and Fammy Shortall

Frances Theodosia Reade

Baptized 8 June 1826 at St. Canice’s Church, Kilkenny. Sponsors Rev. John Gorman and Catherine Murphy

James A. Reade

Baptized 13 Mar 1830 at St. Canice’s Church, Kilkenny. Sponsors James Kelly and Margaret Reade

William James Reade

Baptized at SS Michael & John 16 Nov, 1833. Sponsors were William Dowd and Lelia Kenny. 


Loyal National Repeal Association, Kilkenny Citizen’s Club

I found an article in The Freeman’s Journal of Kilkenny dated August 29, 1840 which included a letter from the members of the Loyal National Repeal Association written by Joseph Hacket of the Kilkenny Citizens Club. This letter was written on behalf of 265 Kilkenny Repealers, including immigrants- my second great grandfather, William, his two older brothers John and James. Their father Edward was also a signer. The group contributed a total of 351£ To the effort. The letter was addressed to Daniel O’Connell, Esq. 

Immigration to the United States

All three Read brothers left Ireland around 1848. I do not have any record of their passage to the United States. But they are confirmed by US census in Fall River, MA in 1850. At this time they resided with Patrick and Mary Whelan, and Mary Conway Read, (John Read’s wife) born November 1824, Kilkenny. As it turns out, three Reade brothers married three Conway sisters. 

John Read married Mary A. Conway, born 1824, Kilkenny

James Read married Martha Conway, born 1834, Kilkenny

William Read married Anna Conway, born 1836, Kilkenny

Willam and Anna married on 5 May, 1856 in Tiverton, Newport County, Rhode Island. 


Interesting Facts Post Immigration

All three Reade brothers changed their names to Read then Reed. 

All three Reed brothers joined the Union Army and fought in the Civil War, which is when I lose track of their whereabouts. They cease to show up in the US Census after the Civil War. At some point, their wives are recorded in various census reports as "widows of...". 

The children of William Reed née Reade, and Anna Conway Reed included Sister Mary Cecilia Reed, born in Chicago in 1859, (died in 1961). Sister Reed's obituary states she was related to Bishop Thomas F. Hendricken, born in Kilkenny. He became the first Bishop of Rhode Island. 

Lawrence J Reed, (born Chicago 1866) was William and Anna's youngest son. Lawrence and Richard Charles Conway (Anna's brother), were in a book titled "Chicagoans, 1902", as well, was William C Foley, my other great grandfather. 

Lawrence Reed had five children. The Reeds, Conways and Foleys were notable Irish families in Chicago. Lawrence and Helena Reed, née Quirk, had 5 children including my grandfather Richard Joseph Reed. Richard fought for the US army in Europe on WWI. 

Richard and my grandmother Hazel Foley, (Foley grandparents born in Mt Uniacke Cork), had two sons, the youngest of whom was my father, William Lawrence Reed, born 1922, Chicago. 

My father William L Reed, fought in Asia in WWII, where he met my mother. 



Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1833

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