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Buffalo Irish Times. (Buffalo, N.Y.) 1992-current, April 01, 2002, Image 4

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4 PGRFORODANCe IRISH T1CDCS - APRlL-CDAy. 2002 Moroney Family Reunion in Miltown Malbay, County Clare By Kevin J. O’Brien On August 15, 2002 about 30 descendants of Thomas Moroney and Katie Conole will be making the trip to the land of their ancestors, on the Atlantic shores of West County Clare. This past summer I attended a Moroney family reunion held by the children of my Great Uncle Patrick Moroney and Great Aunt Nora O’Dea. I was hoping to complete some miss­ ing information and update the new births and deaths in our family. To stir the interest of my cousins, I brought along a few boxes containing family pictures, ship passenger lists, naturalization papers, Irish Civil Registrations records and vari­ ous genealogical related docu­ ments. The response was over­ whelming and soon my cousins were asking me when I was going to Ireland again. Then came the suggestion, that if I went over they would like to go with me so they would know where to visit and what to see and do. I hadn’t really consid­ ered making a trip any time soon as my oldest son just went off to college leaving the cookie jar a little empty; but the seed of adventure was planted. That night I had a dream (hat I was in Ireland acting as a tour guide to a large group of my cousins. I never remember my dreams but his one stayed with me. When I went to work the next morning I was thinking about the trip and realized this could happen. All I had to do was convince my wife, Joyce that this was meant to happen and how much fun she would have. I was ready to give a convincing argument but to my pleasant surprise she thought it was a great idea. The first thing I did was sit down and made a list of the places and areas that would be of interest to the family. The top of the list was graveyards. What would a trip to Ireland be without visiting a graveyard! Our family’s final resting place is about a mile out of town called Ballard Graveyard. I hope to have everyone at this special place and stand at the gravestone of Thomas Moroney for a family picture. This is the stone that validates our her­ itage. I can honestly say, yes it is written in stone! When 1 visit a grave, my thoughts turn to the people that stood there before me. They were here on this very spot contemplating life and death. I only wish I could wake them and ask them a few questions about the fami­ ly but 1 know to do this I will have to join them and I am not ready to do that yet. Second on my list was St. Joseph’s Church in Miltown Malbay. This is where the eleven children of Thomas Moroney and Katie Conole’s baptisms are recorded. The physical appearance of the church has not changed much and the original baptismal font is still being used today. This church was built in 1839 just 10 years after Catholic Emancipation. I have made arrangements to have Mass said for the family on Saturday morning at 10:30 am after we arrive. This is another place that gives me that warm feeling of being at home knowing my ancestors worshiped here under the same roof praying and ask­ ing forgiveness for their sins. Thomas Moroney, the son of a farmer was from the town of Ennistymon, County Clare. As a young man he worked as a laborer on the farm of Michael Conole in the Parish of Miltown Malbay. There he met his future wife the farmer’s daughter, Katie Conole. In Feb 1878 Thomas Moroney married Catherine Conole in St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Miltown Malbay. From this union came eleven children: Thomas born 1878, Mary Margaret and Bridget (twins) born 1879, Margaret born 1881, Anne born 1883, Michael born 1886, Catherine born 1887, Ellen born 1889, Patrick born 1893, Elizabeth born 1897 and Jane born 1900. Thomas and Katie lived in the village of Miltown Malbay and Tom worked as a car-driver. He transported baggage and passengers into town from the West Clare Railroad Station just outside the village with his small cart and horse. They rented a little house on Chapel Road that had a little yard for the horse to graze. Only two of Tom and Katie’s children stayed in Ireland. The oldest son, Tom worked for the local land agent on the large estate in Kildimo townland. Tom had the reputa­ tion as the best horse and dog handler in the parish. He mar­ ried Mary Fitzgerald late in life and they never had children. After “the troubles” he and Mary, a servant on the estate were given a home and two fields of the former estate and lived out their lives. Margaret tried to immigrate but was not allowed because she had epilep­ sy. Margaret never married or had children and died young in the early 1920’s. The other children all immi­ grated to America between 1900 and 1921 with Michael marrying Georgina Robinson and Bridget marrying Cuthbert Brogan. They raised families in the New York City area. Mary Margaret, Anne, Catherine, Ellen, Elizabeth, Jane, and Patrick all lived in Buffalo’s St. Monica’s parish. Three of the girls married men from the Miltown Malbay area. Mary Margaret (Molly) married John O’Brien, Ellen married Michael O’Neill, and Anne married Daniel Neylan. Elizabeth mar­ ried James Donovan of Ireland and Patrick married Nora O’Dea of Co. Clare, Ireland. Catherine died in a house fire in 1906 when she was just a young girl. Thomas died in May of 1927 leaving Katie alone in their small home on Church Street in Miltown Malbay. She lived there by her­ self until she died in 1944 at 89 years old. Not any of Tom or Katie’s children ever made the trip home to Miltown Malbay for a visit. Over the years the letters stopped and Tom and Katie’s children took their turn to Holy Two long-time favorites of many Western New Yorkers will return to Buffalo this spring in concerts which will benefit the Belfast Summer Relief Program. The Jimmy Carton Band, the renowned Irish music group, will return to Buffalo at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 3, 2002, at the Buffalo Irish Center, (The doors will open at 7:00 p.m.) Since last year’s appearance, which was the first concert appearance for the band in the Buffalo area in a number of years, Jim has recorded a new CD entitled “Macushla”. This evocative collection of timeless Irish music, inspired by the career of tenor John McCormick and done in similar style, was pro­ duced by Derek Harrington, another favorite of the Band’s long-time fans. Jimmy Carton, famous for his crowd-pleasing tenor voice, will be joined on stage by Derek Byrne, on piano and keyboard; Kevin Kennerney, on guitar and har­ monies,.will complete the trio. By combining the traditional ballads which Jim does so well with the songs that he heard growing up in Drogheda, Ireland, the concert promises to be an evening to remember! Advance sale tickets (reserved seating) for Jim ’s concert, at $12 each, can be purchased individually, or in tables o f eight or 10, and are available at the Tara Gift Cross in Lackawanna. It wasn’t until 1976 that the oldest grand­ son John S. O’Brien made the trip back to Ireland to see where his mother was raised. After spending a few days in the Miltown area John met a man in a pub that said he remem­ bered Katie Moroney and said that the house she had lived in was torn down and that a new building had been erected in it’s place. John went to the address with his camera to take a picture of the area where his mother had lived when she was a young girl. To get a good pic­ ture, John stepped into a door­ way of a house across the street from the building, when a woman asked him what he was trying to accomplish. John explained that he was a grand­ son of Thomas and Katie Moroney and he was told that this was the spot where Tom and Katie had once lived. The lady replied, “Yes I knew Katie well and she was alone by her- Shoppe, 250 Abbott Road, Buffalo,(7I6) 825-6700. Tickets at the door, if avail­ able, will be $15 each. For more information, to order tickets by mail, or to reserve a table, please call the Tara Shoppe or Jack and Maureen Fecio, Belfast Program Directors, at (716) 822-6626. Fiona Molloy, the extreme­ ly talented singer and gui­ tarist, who now calls Wisconsin “ home”, will return to Buffalo at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 7, 2002 at the Buffalo Irish Center.(the doors will open at 7:00 p.m.) Fiona’s repertoire is far-rang­ ing - encompassing Irish and American folk music - from sorrowful to hilarious- there’s little wonder why she has so many fans in the Buffalo area and beyond. The fact that she is from Derry, N. Ireland, (three of her sisters still live there) makes her a perfect fit with a Program that has assisted the children of Derry since 1983! Advance sale tickets for Fiona’s concert, at $10 each, can be purchased individually, or in tables of eight or 10, and are available at the Tara Gift Shoppe, 250 Abbott Road, Buffalo,(716) 825-6700. Tickets at the door, if avail­ able, will be $13 each. For more information, to order tickets by'mail, or to reserve a table, please call the Tara Shoppe or Jack and Maureen Fecio, Belfast Program self when she died and you are a grandson and she had many of them in America and never held one of you”. This shocked Uncle John as he stood there on the sidewalk in Miltown Malbay thinking that there were forty-five grandchildren born in America that never met their grandparents. Times were dif­ ferent then and all the Moroney children were busy raising fam­ ilies in their homes in America trying to give their children a better life than they had in Ireland. There just wasn’t the money to go back and visit or bring people over for a visit back them. I think that this story is one of the reasons I am so interested in family history and particular­ ly Irish History. Four times I have been drawn back to Clare to visit my ancestral lands. I hope my cousins on this trip have the same rewarding expe­ riences I have felt on these adventures. Directors, at (716) 822-6626. Both performances will benefit the Belfast Summer Relief Program — the non­ profit organization dedicated to bringing children from the strife-torn areas o f Northern Ireland to Buffalo for a six- week vacation. Since its founding in 1975 by Martha Harkin and her late husband, Tom, the Program has given more than 1300 children a new perspective on life and the realization that people can live together in peace despite their religious and/or political differences. Additional infor­ mation can be obtained by writing to: Belfast Summer Relief Program, P.O. Box 103, Ellicott Station, Buffalo, New York 14205 or calling Jack and Maureen at the number listed above. Irish Immersion Day April 27 is the date set for this Spring’s Irish Immersion Day at the Buffalo Irish Center. Join in between 10:00 and 5:00 and enjoy wonderful things Irish. The program will feature: 10:00 to 12:00 - mini workshops in Irish Conversation; 12:00 to 1:00- lunch; 1:00 to 4 :00-work­ shops in; Music, Poetry, Song, History, Bread Baking; 4:00 to 5:00-High Tea and a Ceili For more information, Call Margaret McGrath at (716)- 674-8569. Belfast Summer R elief Program Concerts By Carton and Molloy To Assist Summer Children’s Program

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