2 Replies to “St. Patrick’s Street, late 19th Century”

  1. Its strange to see these old photos of Cork. My great grandfather was from the Cork area. His name was William Patrick Roche and he was born on St Patrick’s day in 1940 I believe. His father was James Roche, a groom and tailor to the hunt. he used to make the red jackets the huntsmen wore but I don’t know which hunt it was. James’s wife died in the Potato famine and James couldn’t keep all the children so he sent William Patrick to sea as a boy sailor with the Royal Navy. he left Cobh in 1855 and never saw any of his family again as they emigrated to America. Poor William was at sea for the next 12 years ending up on the tea clippers sailing between UK and China.
    He spent his life trying to trace his family but never did. I am trying to finish the job but it is impossible even with Ancestry.
    Hey ho, your photos gave me a glimpse of his past anyway.

  2. My great grandfather, James Kenna (at the time, spelled Kennagh), was a potato famine refugee. Leaving his family behind, he ended up in Rahway, New Jersey, where he purchased an 1801 farmhouse (I don’t know where he got the money!), which he later gave as a wedding gift to to my grandfather, John Kenna, and his new bride, Catherine Dolan. I believe they sailed from Cork, some 20 years after James. John and Catherine had none kids. John became a skilled carriage builder by trade, Rahway, New Jersey, was a major supplier of carriages to the nation (until the rise of the automobile). He later went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad, until his death ca. 1915. My father, Joseph Aloysius Kenna, was born in 1892, in the old Rahway house–which remained in the family until torn down in the 1980s.
    I enjoyed the comment. Though only a young fellow myself (age 69!), I’m enthralled with the past, and its connection with the present. And the Cork photos–they elicit a yearning for the ancestral land I’ve never set foot in.

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