Saturday, March 12, 2011

Surname Saturday: Moran

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and Lowell's Irish Cultural Week I am featuring my ancestor, Michael Moran, for the GeneaBlogger's blogging prompt Surname Saturday.

Irish Cultural Week started on March 5th here in Lowell and ends on St. Patricks day. For more details you can see the calendar of events on the Irish Cultural Committee's Facebook page.

One of the events I attended as a part of Irish Cultural week was on Thursday night. I attended the the Archeological Dig Presentation held at the O'Leary Library at UMass Lowell's South campus. The presentation was lead by Dr. Colm Donnelly of Queens University in Belfast, Ireland, Dr. Frank Talty of UMass Lowell, and David McKean, Parish Historian and Archivist for St. Patrick's Church here in Lowell.. The presentation detailed the events surrounding a 4 week excavation project that took place on the front lawn of St. Patrick's Church last summer. Producing over 1300 artifacts, among those on display were: a set of iron nails; a small section of rosary beads; a few children's marbles, made of clay; cattle bones; a clay tobacco pipe bowl; some slag/clinker, and some oyster shells.  I didn't take any pictures of these artifacts, but Richard Howe did and he has posted a picture of them at his blog-post entitled "Archeological Dig Presentation."

I found Thursday night's presentation to be very interesting, as I am not all that knowledgeable when it comes to Lowell's Irish history. I learned about Hugh Cummiskey and his gang of Irish laborers who walked from Charlestown to Lowell to work on the canals. The Sisters of Notre Dame, who came to Lowell in 1852 from Cincinnati to teach at St. Patrick's School for Girls. The Know-Nothing Movement, a political group which was anti-immigration and anti-Catholic, and about the Smelling Committees, a group of men formed to sniff out, if you will, the alleged abuse that was going on in within the Catholic schools and convents. All in all, the presentation gave me a better understanding in regard to lives of the Irish immigrants that settled in Lowell during the early part of the 19th century, I really enjoyed it.

In my family tree I only have one ancestor, a maternal great-great-grandfather, whose parents came from Ireland or perhaps he was born there himself. I have yet to prove anything either way.  This ancestor, Michael Moran,  is first located (in my genealogical research anyway) in Lowell on 11 April, 1895, when he married a Rose Ann Kelley. Documented as being the son of John and Bridget he was born abt. 1867 in England.

The reason that I firmly believe this Michael Moran to be my great-great-grandfather is the Vermont marriage record I found for Michael's son, my great-grandfather, John. John Moran, son of Michael and Rose Kelley, married Yvonne Ferron 3 March, 1918 in the town of Rockingham Vermont. My Ferron line has already been researched and proven so I believe, short of a birth record, this record confirms John's parentage.

 The next bit of information I have finds who I believe is my Michael Moran in the town of Newmarket, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Enumerated on the 9th day of June 1900, he is the head of his family. A white male, who is 33 years old. He is documented as being born in March 1867 in Ireland, as are both his parents. He has been married for 7 years. What is most interesting to me here, is the fact that this census documents him as immigrating to the United States in 1888 and that he is naturalized.I've looked for an index card for petition but haven't found one that matches up with the birth information that is given.

Anyway, also in this 1900 enumeration of Newmarket, NH is Michael's wife, 'Rosa'. His daughter Rosa, and sons John and Robert. What throws me off here is that daughter Rose is documented as being born in Nov., 1894 (they were married in 1895?). However, if I do a search at I find reference to a Rose Moran that was born on 16, Nov., 1895 to a Michael and Rose Kelly, but this information doesn't state at which place the birth supposedly occurred. Also there is a John Moran, who died in Lowell on 3 July 1894 at the age of 3 months old, a son of Michael and Rose Kelley. So all of this isn't coming together as smoothly as I had hoped... I have more thoughts to share in regard to this 1900 census and the records that confirm and contradict the information contained within, but I think I'll skip to the next record that have for who I believe is my g-g-grandfather, Michael Moran.

My newest piece of information in regard to my research of Michael Moran is a Return of Death from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, City of Lowell. This record is for a Michael Moran who died on 15 Dec., 1906 at 32 Cross street, in the rear. I believe this address to be his home address. He was 39 years old, born in England, his father is unknown but his mother is documented as being Bridget Higgins (note the name of his mother from the 1895 marriage info) also born in England. It is documented that he is single, but yet if we look at who the informant was it states, "Wife." Buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery on 17 Dec., 1906.

I have yet to go out to the cemetery to see what information they hold for me there. The reason I believe this is my Michael is a 1910 census from Lowell which documents a Rose Moran living on Cross street...  Enumerated along with the widowed Rose are her children, Arthur, Rose, John, Robert, Francis and Della. It all seems a little weak right now, I know.. There is lots more to the story that I haven't covered here and more research to be had, but you get the jist of it. The purpose of posting all of this is the hope that maybe one of Michael's descendants will see this and contact me. It's cousin bait, if you will. So until next time.

Right now I am going to go get ready to go on a walking tour of the Acre neighborhood in Lowell. Hosted by David McKean, it should be a good, as I found him to be a most enjoyable speaker on Thursday night.

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