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James Smith was born in Stradone, County Cavan ~1795, he maried Margaret Brady (or Bradley) of Cavan. He later moved his family to Collon and ran a business manufacturing linen. He died in 1852-1853, and his widow and two sons Charles and Hugh emigrated to Newark New Jersey USA. Daughter Maria had married Thomas Callan in Collon in Jan 21, 1852 and also emigrated to Newark.There was also a son James but there is no information regading emigration. Family was Roman Catholic. 

Some interesting family detail is found in the following article about (son) Hugh Smith in Newark NJ:

Author: Shaw, William H. Title: History of Essex And Hudson Counties, New Jersey, Vol. I
Publication: Name: Everts & Peck; Location: Philadelphia; Date: 1884;

Mr. (Hugh) Smith is of Irish lineage, his grandfather, Charles Smith, having resided in Collon, County Louth, Ireland, where he was engaged in the manufacture of linen fabrics. He married Mary Smith, and had children, James, Thomas, Philip, Rose, Bridget and Susan, James, who is the father of Hugh Smith, was born at Stradone, in County Cavan, and succeeded to the business of his father, which was established both at Collon and in County Cavan; he also engaged in agricultural pursuits. He married Margaret, daughter of Hugh Bradley and Mary, his wife, and sister of Rev. Hugh Brady, of Larah. Their children are Charles, James, Maria (wife of Thomas Callan), Hugh and a number who died in childhood. Hugh Smith was born Feb. 2, 1840, in County Cavan, Ireland, where his early childhood was spent. He subsequently removed with his parents to Collon, and there received a substantial English education, after which he devoted his energies to the acquirement of a technical knowledge of the trade of a linen manufacturer, and became assistant to his father in his various business enterprises. Mr. Smith's death occurred in 1853, when the interests he conducted were for a while continued by his widow. Various depressing influences, however, occurred to make them less profitable than formerly, and the business was eventually abandoned, Mrs. Smith, with her growing family, meanwhile embarking for America. They landed in New York in 1854, and came direct to Newark, where Hugh Smith was actively employed for two years, after which he became an apprentice to the trade of a currier and leather manufacturer. During the two years which succeeded the completion of his trade he had husbanded sufficient capital to invest in business in connection with his brother Charles. Together they, in 1862, built in Newark a small factory, and began the manufacture of leather. This venture was from the first successful, and received a marked impetus from the increased demand for their commodities during the progress of the war. The firm, which remained for five years Hugh Smith & Brother, was, in 1867, dissolved by the retirement of Charles, with a view to the establishment of a separate branch, after which Hugh Smith continued and still conducts the business, making a specialty of patent, enameled and fancy colored leathers. Mr. Smith was, in 1862, married to Miss Mary, daughter of Patrick McCabe. of Durnakash, County Cavan, Ireland, and niece of Revs. James and John Callan, of Newark and Paterson. The children of this marriage are James T., Hugh E., Charles T., Mary Ann, Ellen M., Maria T., Henrietta L. and three who died in childhood. The death of Mrs. Smith occurred in October, 1883.

Ken Smyth

Sunday 12th Nov 2017, 11:07PM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear Ken:

    Many thanks for posting this interesting article about your ancestors to the Ireland Reaching Out message board.


    Would you also be willing to create an Ancestor Profile for James Smith and some of his family for the XO Chronicles?  It would be a great addition to the Ancestor database and also be a good resource for others who may be researching the same family.  The link to create an Ancestor Profile is below:


    If you have any difficulties, please let me know at:

    The very best of luck with your research and thank you for your interest in Ireland Reaching Out!

    Kind regards,



    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Monday 13th Nov 2017, 10:38AM
  • Hi Ken

    that is very interesting. I volunteer in Drogheda about 10 miles from Collon and a lady from Canada has visited twice over the last few years, I discovered a book on the history of Collon written in 1984 but sent it to her as a keepsake of our meeeting so I cannot refer to it. It was published by the County Louth Archiology and History Society but I think I may have purchased the last copy, they are here and I am sure would be interested in your message, I will forward the link of your information to the secretary, their website is here but there is little on it but under publications there is a contact email, also an interesting site about all things Louth is here 

    There is also a mid Louth History group which would cover Collon (Pronounced locally as Cullon) 

    I wll also email the lady in Canada and see if there is a mention of your family in the book, it was not a large volume. 

    If I receive any updates I will post them here.

    Good Luck


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Monday 13th Nov 2017, 11:45PM
  • Jane and Pat,

    Thanks very much for the quick replies! I will try and organize my family information for posting on the XO chronicles as suggested. I have been digging into the geneology for the last 10 years or so and have been a little frustrated by the lack of Irish records. If it wasn't for that article I came across I would have no clue where in Ireland my family came from.

    I'd be interested in your insight regarding the spellings Smith & Smyth, in the article I posted about Hugh Smith his brother, my great grandfather Charles is mentioned also. My confusion is that Hugh used the "Smith" surname and Charles used "Smyth". Were those two spellings interchangable? Maybe Hugh changed to Smith to better fit in in America - mystery!

    It's likely their father James died in Collon - is there an old Catholic graveyard there?  Charles Smyth was born in Drogheda on Christmas Day 1835, would there be parish records in Drogheda?

    Thanks again!



    Ken Smyth

    Tuesday 14th Nov 2017, 01:19AM
  • Ken I fired off the emails as I but no replies as yet. Something in my mind tells me the mill in Collon burned down but I will have to refer to some more research, in the 1800s that is. The two parishes in Drogheda are St Peters, diocese Armagh and St Marys in the Meath diocese, anyone from Collon is most likely in St Peters if Drogheda but registers for 1835 have no birth to match see St Marys records at far too late. I will try and see if I can find out more about the RC Church in Collon, by the way there is a really interesting documentary about a Smith man Cootehill in Cavan (assuming Protestant but guessing) may be a relation as near Drung but either way an enjoyable listen here

    I have Cavan ancestry myself but no one famous. A rule of Thumb is Smith is RC and Smyth is Church of Ireland or Protestant but that is not scientific at all, I will check McLysaghts Surnames of Ireland to see if there is an explanation, by the way from the Gaelic it is McGowan as in the above documentary.

    Must get beauty sleep but will add any info I can gather on Collon and your family, the political family there were the Fosters, John Foster being the last speaker of the Irish Parliament, lived in Collon House, also know as Lord Masserene. In the 1850s the family paid the passage of about 30 families to the US but from nearby Collon rather than Collon, I can attach the list if you are interested. Also Google Old Mellifont Abbey which is near Collon. New abbey is in Collon.


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Wednesday 15th Nov 2017, 12:40AM
  • Hi Pat,

    Thanks for your reply. I listened to the RTE story of Eric Dorman-O’Gowan, he seemed like quite an interesting fellow. I was aware of the derivation of Smith from Mc Gowan and have been running with the assumption my Smiths decended from that group based on:   

    As they were VERY Catholic I never thought they could have been English or Scottish transplants. I did a DNA test with Ancestry and I came up with 52% "Irish in the north midlands" which makes perfect sense as that map includes Louth & Cavan.I had placed a (paid) inquiry with Cavan Geneology about 10 years ago looking for info on my ancestors Smith/Smyth and Brady, but they were not able to supply anything of use. Understandable as apparently Smith an Brady are huge sunames in that county.

    I did find a record through Ancestry regarding the marriage of Maria Smith (my great-great aunt) and Thomas Callan on 21 Jan 1852. Maybe a hint to  the parish where the family worshiped?

    Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915

    Catholic Parish Registers, The National Library of Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Microfilm Number: Microfilm 05597 / 04

    Name Maria Smith
    Gender Female
    Event Type Marriage
    Marriage Date 21 Jan 1852
    Marriage Place Collon, Meath and Louth, Ireland
    Diocese Armagh
    Household Members Name Age
    Thomas Callan
    Maria Smith

    I see there is Catholic church in Collon today, Church of Mary Immaculate,  but it was built in 1860. Curious if the same parish existed prior to that or Catholics attended mass in another town.

    I have read a bit about Collon on the web including the Fosters as you mentioned. I'd like to visit thre one of these days and see some of the historic sites. I've been to Ireland five times, but mostly in the south and west. I hadn't discovered where my people were from by my last visit else I would have definitely explored Louth & Cavan. It's on my "bucket list" !

    Thanks again!





    Ken Smyth

    Wednesday 15th Nov 2017, 04:13AM
  • Hi Ken

    I heard from my Canadian friends and the book is Heritage of Collon the linen industry is mentioned the Smith family is not mentioned. I looked at McLysaghts and the name is given both ways and if not English is from McGowan as it is almost in all cases in County Cavan, nothing else is said.

    Fosters house is now in use as a bed and breakfast in the village, called Collon House and has a website by that name. I live about 10 miles away. There is a big effort to raise funds for the Protestant church in the village, new roof required. This is the Protestant church but I think as was common enough Catholics were buried there too. Apparently as it was once the established church in Ireland it was responsible for all burials, not sure when this ended but often family were buried in Protestant graveyards for long after. 

    Public transport is available to Collon from Dublin, not sure about Drogheda, however a car is probably necessary. There is not a lot in the village that a day or two would not cover but it is close to a few tourist attractions including Bru Na Boinne or just google Newgrange Passage Graves. 

    I attend various talks in the area and collect local history books so if I see anything I will let you know, meanwhile feel free to ask anything you like. (Legal of Course). Also there is a Facebook page for Dunleer Historical Society which I think covers Collon, do not think genealogy interessts them but there might be info on the mill, it is a closed group but you just sent a request, also it is not most active, there used to be websites for both Dunleer and Collon but they have migrated to FB.


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Thursday 16th Nov 2017, 12:04AM
  • Ken

    was searching something else and came across a site with Collon grave entries and saw this one, there are a number of Callan entries also.

    Smith, Letitia, d. 30 Aug 1850, age: 74yr, w/o James, [AR] 


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Saturday 25th Nov 2017, 12:16AM
  • Interesting to read about the linen industry in Collon.My great great grandmother's 2nd husband,, Nicholas Flinn,Linen merchant and mill owner of Drogheda carried on a business there(Collon)in the 1860s and 1870s..I believe he lived at the Bleach, probably Bleach House, down the School Lane in Collon where he died in 1878. He may have been a successor to the Smyth family. The property Nicholas Flinn had seems to have been rented from  a Skeffington. There is a piece on which came up when searching Skeffington and Bleach House Collon which mentions money owed to a Mr John Callan of Heanstown and judgements he got against Foster and against Skeffington in the 1820s.Seemingly debts owed may have been related to Bleach House and the linen factory as well as developing the estate at Collon.

    I believe there was some land  there too on which Nicholas Flinn farmed cattle.Bleach House is a bed and breakfast that can be found on the internet.

    Monday 15th Jan 2018, 08:57PM
  • Hi Ken & Shaysusmw

    I have received a pdf of the part of the book on the linen industry in Collon, no Smith mentioned but interesting piece if you are that way inclined. I do not want to post it as it is 6 pages and maybe subject to copyright but is at least someone elses work. I you would like to read it you can email em at the site address here, 


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Sunday 18th Feb 2018, 11:27PM
  • They produce one of the best quality linens all over the world.


    Monday 14th Feb 2022, 09:16AM

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