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Four Farrell brothers and a sister came over to the USA. The family is thought to have had money more than the average Irish immigrants.

My second great grandfather, Thomas Farrell, age 17, arrived in New Orleans 6 Nov 1848 on the Ship Lord Seaton from Liverpool. In 1850 he was listed as a laborer, age 18, boarding in New Orleans in Representative District 3.

His future wife Catherine McKenna arrived 9 Nov 1848 aboard the George Evan from Liverpool. She also resided in Representative District 3 in 1850, employed as a laundress, age 18. They were married in March 1852 upriver in Yazoo City. Thomas died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1853, a few days after his only child, Thomas. was born.

The second brother, William Farrell, arrived in New Orleans on board The Gypsy from Liverpool on 26 Nov 1849. He was also married in Yazoo City in 1852, to Bridget Down, who had arrived in New Orleans aboard the Holyoke from Liverpool on 29 Nov 1848. William also died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1853 after the birth of his first son, William.

John Farrell settled in Galveston. He married Mary Ann Riley. I could find no trace of him there before his appearance on the tax roll of 1859. He, Mary Ann, and two daughters are shown in the 1860 Census, with him listed as a tailor. I could find no trace of him after the 1861 Galveston Tax roll. His wife and daughter lived in Galveston until after the hurricane of 1900. Wife and one daughter were seamstresses, the other daughter a school teacher. They moved to San Antonio after the storm, where all three are buried. Neither daughter married.

James Farrell and his sister went on to California. James never married. He owned a soda manufactory in Grass Valley, California, He died in 1874 at age 51, leaving the manufactory to his business partner. James' grave marker in the Masonic cemetery in Grass Valley California says “Native of Dublin.”

The sister, whose name is not remembered, married in California and went with her husband to Australia.

Would appreciate any clues about this family or where to begin my search for them in Ireland.


Larry Mallette

Tuesday 8th Nov 2022, 12:04AM

Message Board Replies

  • Larry,

    Have a look at church records for Dublin on the free site If you find baptisms for the brothers, you should find parents' names.

    Then you can look for the parents' marriage record and then for their baptismal records.


    That will get you started.



    Tuesday 8th Nov 2022, 12:46AM
  • do you have estimated years of birth for William and John - might help narrow down the possible matches ?

    The surname Farrell and variants (Farrall, Farrel, Farrol, O'Farrel etc) is very common, in the mid 1800s most common in counties Longford, Dublin, Roscommon and Kildare, but also spread all over Ireland. 

    A search for Catholic baptisms for a Thomas Farrell 1833 +- 5 years (reported ages are not always accurate) in Dublin City or County shows about 70 possible matches... there are quite a few parishes in the city and county and while most of the city parishes have early records there several county parishes that dont have records for the 1830s.

    Have you managed to locate marriage or death certs for any of these Farrell brother in the US ?

    These can include names of their parents, which could help narrow down the search.

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 9th Nov 2022, 01:12PM

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