(former USA Vice President)
his Irish Finnegan Ancestors.
USA - SOURCES.
US Civil War etc. Records.
There were a
number of emigrants who left the small Riverstown
Village area of Cooley Parish in County Louth,
settled around Ovid in Seneca County, New York, and
fought in the Civil War. Among them were members of
the following families.
Michael Woods and Anne
The village of Ovid.
In the 1860 US Census, above,
in the Village of Ovid were Michael Woods, his wife
Anne and some of their children stated to be born in
On the Cooley Parish Register Michael Woods and Anne
Malone married 5 February 1839. The baptism
entries of children found were:-
Peter baptised 28 December
Arthur (not located around 3
June 1844 - but, as stated above, part of the
register appears to be missing)
Anne baptised 24
February 1847, Riverstown;
Mary baptised 13 May
Since the next son John was stated to be born about
1853 in Seneca County then the family emigrated
sometime between 1849 and 1853.
In the 1870 US Census Michael Woods, age 57 years, a
tailor and labourer, his wife Ann, age 54 years, and
son John, age 16 years, were still residing in Ovid.
But in November 1879 Michael Woods, a tailor of
Ovid, died of consumption.
Could above Michael Woods be the witness to the
marriage, in 1839, of Owen Finnegan?.
From a US Record of Soldiers and Officers, in the
Military Service, Peter and Arthur Woods joined the
Union army (148th Infantry Regiment) during the US
Civil War. Both lived in Ovid, Seneca County, New
Peter was listed as born 29 December 1839, in
Ireland, and parents as Michael Woods, a tailor, and
Ann Malone. He joined the 29 August 1862 and later
was promoted to 1st. Lieutenant.
In the 1915 census Peter
Woods was still residing in Ovid Village. He may
have died about 1920.
Arthur joined the same day, 26 December 1863, as
Stephen Finnegan although in a different regiment.
The former's date of birth was listed as 3 June
1844, in Ireland, and parents Michael Woods, a
tailor, and Ann Malone and the latter as born 22?
May 1843, in Ireland, and parents as Owen Finnegan,
a shoe maker, and Jane Boyle.
The daughter Mary Woods had married a James Donley
about June 1868, and lived in Covert, Seneca County,
but died about 6 months later.
The other daughter
Anne/Annie Woods married a Thomas O'Hanlon, a boiler
maker and had family. They lived in Bristol St.,
Utica, New York and maybe the same family that was
listed in a trade directory as manufacturers of
There is an Family Tree on
for this family which shows her husband Thomas
O'Hanlon was also born about 1844 in Ireland
the son of Thomas O'Hanlon and Catherine Malone.
The baptism entries of
children of a Thomas Hanlon/O'Hanlon and Catherine
Malone found, in Cooley parish, were:-
Hanlon, 14 November 1823, Castlecarragh;
Hanlon, 3 April 1825, Riverstown;
Mary Hanlon, 1
May 1829, Riverstown;
John Hanlon, 21 October
Margt O'Hanlon, 8 July 1834,
Loughlin O'Hanlon, baptised 16 March 1837,
Thomas O'Hanlon stated born about
1844 (but this part of Baptism Register is missing).
Again it is likely some of the above Hanlon/O'Hanlon
boys fought in the US Civil War. Mustered out were a
Felix Hanlon born in Ireland about 1821 and also a
John Hanlon born in Ireland that enlisted in Ovid
and Romulus. Felix maybe the farmer listed, in the
1900 Census, as residing in Ovid.
William McCann and Mary
From the same
military record, as above, was listed 25 December
1863 in the 164th Infantry Regiment, John McCann of
Ovid, born 1838 in Ireland, the son of William
McCann, a labourer, and Mary Finnegan. He enlisted
the day before Arthur Woods and Stephen Finnegan who
also joined the same regiment.
John was stated to be killed instantly at Cole
Harbor on 3 June 1864. This was the same day as
Michael Finnegan of Ovid died (see headstone
inscription above in Ovid Cemetery).
There was a family of a William McCann and Mary
Finnegan in Cooley and Lordship Parishes. William
McCann and Mary Finnegan, of Riverfoot married 2
July 1835 in Cooley Parish. Only baptism entry of
one child found born in the 1830s. But other
children were born later:-
James McCann baptised 25 April
1839 in Lordship Parish;
Bridget McCann baptised
21 January 1844 in Lordship Parish
baptised 13 June 1848 in Lordship Parish;
McCann baptised 4 September 1850 in Lordship Parish
Elizabeth McCann baptised 17 March 1853 in
However, as already stated,
the Lordship Parish Registers only commenced in 1838
so maybe John McCann was born in late 1837.
In Griffith's Valuation, published in 1854, there
was a William McCann occupying a house and a small
garden in Mountbagnal Townland. Riverfoot was at the
south east of that townland along Dundalk Bay and
with the Castletown River, that separated the
townlands of Mountbagnal and Castlecarragh, on the
east. By the first Valuation Office Revision
Book, about 1860, William McCann was no longer
listed for this area.
In the 1870 US Census for the Town of Ovid there was
a William McCanne, a farmer, born about 1806 in
Ireland, his wife Mary born about 1816 in Ireland
and a son Michael McCanne stated to be born about
1851 in Ireland.
Mathew Donnelly (Donley)
and Ellen Toner.
James Donley of
Covert, Seneca County, enlisted 31 August 1864 in
the 148th Infantry Regiment. He was married, born
about 1844 in Ireland, the son of Mathew Donley, a
labourer, and Ellen Toner.
There was a Mathew Donnelly and Ellen Toner, in
Castletown Cooley Townland, who married 27 April
1836 in Cooley Parish.
baptism entry of a child found in that parish:-
Margaret baptised 17 September 1840, Castletown,
But, as stated, part of the
register, around the mid 1840s, appears to be
Bernard Feehan and Margaret
John Feighan of Ovid,
enlisted 25 August 1864 in the 148th Infantry
Regiment. He was stated to be born 15 April 1846 in
Ireland, the son of Bernhard Feighan, a farmer, and
A Bernard Feehan and
Margaret Carroll married in Cooley Parish on 6
The baptism entries
of children of above found, in Cooley parish, were:-
James baptised 16 July 1840,
Elener baptised 5 March
The Baptism entry of John around 15
April 1846 was not located.
Andrew McArdle and Mary
Peter McArdle of
Ovid, enlisted, 20 January 1864 in the 164th
Infantry Regiment. He was married and stated to be
born 23 January 1824, in Ireland, the son of Andrew
McArdle, a labourer, and Mary Donley.
There was an Andrew McArdle and Mary Donnelly in
Children listed on the
Baptism Register included:-
Margaret baptised 12 January
Ann, baptised 15
April 1819, Castlecarragh;
15 December 1821, Castlecarragh (per digital index,
Peter baptised 31 January
6? May 1826, Ballug?.
James McGee and Margaret
A James McGee of Ovid
enlisted in the 160th Infantry Regiment on 31 August
1862. He was the head of the family, a labourer, and
his wife? was Margaret McKone. He was born in
Ireland on 29 September 1820. The military record
stated he was wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek
on 19 October 1864 and died in Newtown Hospital, on
20 October 1864, of his wounds.
In Cooley Parish there was a James Magee and
Margaret McKeown residing in the Riverstown area.
Baptism entries of children included:-
Bridget baptised 2 August
1842, Riverstown (one of sponsors was a George
Patrick? baptised 7
February 1847, Castlecarragh (mother listed as 'Mary
Michael Toner, a mason, and
John Toner of
Ovid enlisted 31 August 1864 in the 9th New York
Artillery Regiment. He was stated to be born 25
January 1845 in Seneca Falls the son of Michael
Toner, a mason, and Mary Donley.
There was a Michael Toner and Mary Donnelly in
to above, baptised, there, was:-
Margaret baptised 29 July 1839, Castletown.
So family emigrated between 1839 and 1845.
A Michael Toner of Ovid, the above?, enlisted 18
December 1863 in the 148th Infantry Regiment, born
29 September 1802 in Ireland, the son of Hugh Toner,
a labourer, and Ellen Donely.
The Parish registers for Cooley Parish only
commenced in 1811 but after that date there are two
baptism entries of children to a Hugh Toner and
Patt baptised 24 December
1813?, Castletown, Cooley;
baptised 3 July 1821, Castletown, Cooley.
As seen from above, on Michael Toner, these US
records may provide information on an Irish person's
date of birth and names of parents that may not be
available in Ireland. In addition the occupation of
the father of the soldier can be listed. Again this
latter information, in a number of instances prior
to 1864 when civil birth registration began, may not
be found in records in Ireland.
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