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I will be coming to Ireland with several first cousins. Our surname is Lavelle and we are searching for information on our great grandmother's (Margaret T. King) family. I have been searching for some time and this is what I have: 

Margaret's father, Michael J King was born in 1820 in Galway, Ireland. His wife was called Bridget Connelly (spelling is uncertain and appears in various form on records). It appears they left Ireland in the wake of the great potato famine and settled in what was Virginia the early years of 1850. The first record I have found is the 1860 United States Federal Census in which Michael  and Bridget were living in Harrison, Virginia with 4 children, all boys: Martin, John, Bernard and Patrick listed as born in Virginia. The oldest, Martin was six at the time, placing Michael and Bridget's arrival before 1854. I have not found them on any ship manifesto. Interestingly, West Virginia became a state in 1863 following the Wheeling Conventions, at the start of the American Civil War. Delegates from the Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia, which also included secessionist counties in the new state so their children's birth places vary in census records between VA and WV, which is now Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia. The 1860 Census shows the Michael King family living next to a slew of kinsmen. Michael and Bridget were listed as 32 at the time. His neighboring heads household share the King surname and are: Bryan (60) and his wife Mary (32) another Michael aged 35 and his wife Mary (27)with a son who was born at sea in 1857. The other adult King males listed are : John (23), Festus (37) (presumed wife Honora-36)  Michael went on to have seven sons and three daughters with Bridget Connelly between 1848 and 1871. He died on January 16, 1876, in Harrison, West Virginia, at the age of 56, and was buried in USA.

of the Lavelles

Sunday 4th Dec 2022, 05:23PM

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  • I found this baptism at RootsIreland. I hope it's helpful.

    Baptism: 04-Jun-1838
    Parish, RC: CLIFDEN, Co. Galway
    Father: Michael King
    Mother: Bridget Coneelly
    Sponsors: Andrew Joyce
    Bridget King


    Sunday 4th Dec 2022, 09:46PM
  • Thank you! It looks like our John King was not born until 8 APRIL 1855 • Harrison County, West Virginia. Such common names has been what has stonewalled me!

    of the Lavelles

    Sunday 4th Dec 2022, 09:57PM
  • Hi Best of luck with your research. I did research a few years back on a Bridget King born in the Headford area of Co Galway. Her parents were Margaret and Edward King! See link below.… It can prove very difficult to trace in the period between 1800 - 1860, the ship manifests dont give enough detail. regards Paula

    Paula Kennedy

    Sunday 15th Jan 2023, 07:12PM

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