19 March 2008

Irish Heritage

A very special
Saint Patrick's Day Tribute
to my dear, sweet Irish ancestors!

laura adella murphy 1859-1911
(And a very early ATC made in Sept 2006 for a swap about Ireland! )

(Husband below) Laura's father, Samuel T. Murphy was the Mayor of Gloucester City, NJ in 1872, when she was 13 years old. There's no doubt that she's Irish... I am still tracing her origins!

joseph edward farquhar 1856-1926

(my maiden name) This branch of my father's family tree, has been traced 6 generations (I am the 7th) to 1777 in Ballinahinch, County Down, Northern Ireland. Joseph's father, Thomas, was born in Ireland in 1811 and along with his wife, Elizabeth, three daughters and two sons, sailed to this country from Glasgow on the ship "Ticonderoga, of the Cape." They eventually had 17 children, sadly, many of them did not survive. His first residence was in Philadelphia where he established a distillery and a shawl weaving mill. He later had a bakery across the street from his home. Next he moved his family to Gloucester, NJ as the Civil War began, purchasing a double lot & frame house where he conducted a bakery & carpet weaving mill.

My lovely aunt Laura, our family historian and matriarch, has just turned a robust 91 years old this month! Happy Birthday, dear aunt and fellow Piscean! She is her grandmother, Laura Adella Murphy Farquhar's namesake and I mention her here for two reasons. Through tireless research, she has provided our family with all of the historical data for these two individuals AND because she recently presented me with a Farquhar-family heirloom: a 71" x 68
wool paisley shawl beige, red, black & grey)
that belonged to Thomas. It may have been made in his weaving mill or it may have accompanied him on his voyage to America approximately 140 years ago! Not knowing it's age or origin, it could be from his parents in Ireland or more distant ancestors from Scotland, where this family of Farquhars are documented weavers. I will soon begin the search for a textile historian to help me uncover the truth!

EDIT: great-grandfather had a rebellious streak!
An excerpt from a booklet commemorating the 125th anniversary of the First Methodist Church, Gloucester City, NJ (1839-1964)
"From old records: Leaders in 1854 - Samuel T. Murphy. Admitted to Membership: Susanna Murphy in 1854 (joseph's future mother & father-in-law, laura's parents). JOSEPH FARQUHAR in 1859 (age 3)."
And the best part: "At Leaders and Stewards meeting December 28th, 1873, JOSEPH FARQUHAR (at age 17) was allowed to withdraw from the church, he being determined to attend a dancing school."
My rebellious streak has been traced!!

rebecca brown 1866-1941

From my mother's branch of the family tree, Rebecca was born in Coleraine, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. I have inherited a gorgeous,

white linen tablecloth
that Rebecca brought with her to America. It's covered with shamrocks and celtic harps!

An Irish Blessing

"May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
May the sun warm the land,
May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty."


kathy mccreedy said...

What a wonderful post! You are SO fortunate to know so much about your family history... and to have such lovely treasures from your ancestors! Oh, my, I am SO envious! Thank you SO much for sharing your history with us, all my best! Kathy
PS: Thank you for leaving such a kind comment on my site!

bockel24 said...

Loved your story, Vicki, thanks for sharing!

Aimeslee said...

Hey, Vic. Catching up, what an awesome post! I love geneaolgy, even when I'm not related! I can't wait for your next installment, girl. Erin go Bragh!

I'm not Irish but I am Dutch and English and Scottish.