THE FIRST US GENERATION OF SHEEHANS
Jeremiah D Sheehan was born circa 1826 in Ireland. He arrived in the US sometime around 1845, although no concrete details about his immigration have been found yet. He was married to Mary Sullivan, who was born circa 1829 in Ireland. Together they had six children.
- Jeremiah Sheehan, (b. 1848 in Vermont or New Hampshire)
- Daniel J. Sheehan (b. 1851 in Vermont or New Hampshire)
- Mary A Sheehan (b. circa 1856 in New Hampshire)
- Hanora A Sheehan (b. 1859 in New Hampshire)
- Margaret G Sheehan (b. 1860 in New Hampshire)
- John Joseph Sheehan (b. 1864 in New Hampshire).
Based on the fact that the two youngest children have conflicting census information about where they were born, it is possible that Jeremiah and Mary may have initially settle somewhere in Vermont, before making New Hampshire their home. Between 1856 and 1864, the Sheehans lived in Boscawan, New Hampshire where I believe most, if not all the other children were born. There are no birth records for any of them in the New Hampshire Vital Record Archives.
Around 1860, the Sheehan family moved to Manchester, New Hampshire. Over the years they lived in several houses.
- 1860: 6 Johnson’s Block
- 1864 – 1866: 4 Mitchell’s Block
- 1871 – 1875: 5 Merrimack (opposite the square)
- 1873: Rear of 44 Merrimack
- 1875 – 1886: 62 Auburn Street, Manchester, NH
- 1886 – 1891: 186 Auburn Street, Manchester, NH
Mary Sullivan Sheehan, Jeremiah’s wife, died at the age of 41 in 1870 and was buried at the old Saint Josephs Cemetery in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Jeremiah D Sheehan was a proud member of several New Hampshire Volunteer Regiments during the civil war. He enlisted as a Private on 25 July 1861 at the age of 38. His grave proudly indicates that he was a member of Co. K 10th Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers.
- Enlisted in Company C, 3rd Infantry Regiment New Hampshire on 23 Aug 1861.
- Received a disability discharge from Company C, 3rd Infantry Regiment New Hampshire on 19 Oct 1861 at Annapolis, MD.
- Enlisted in Company K, 10th Infantry Regiment New Hampshire on 5 Sep 1862.
- Received a disability discharge from Company K, 10th Infantry Regiment New Hampshire on 28 Apr 1863.
- Enlisted in Company C, 11th Regiment U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps on 4 Jan 1864.
- Received a final disability discharge from Company C, 11th Regiment U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps on 2 Dec 1864 at Point Lookout, MD.
In all census records between 1860 and 1880, Jeremiah is listed as a general laborer. The 1870 census lists his son Daniel as working in a locomotive shop, while the three girls were listed as working in a Cotton Mill, in Manchester. In 1880, the three girls continued their work at the Cotton Mill but were now joined by their brother Daniel. John began his apprenticeship as an iron moulder.
Jeremiah D Sheehan died on 16 December 1891 in Manchester and was buried at the old Saint Joseph’s Cemetery with his wife. Jeremiah jr. disappeared after the 1860 Census. He most likely died at an early age although it is possible he moved out of the area. As far as I can tell, he is not buried at the family plot. Daniel (or Danial as the headstone indicates) died 20 Dec 1900 in Manchester and is buried at the family plot with his mother and father. Mary A Sheehan also disappeared after the 1880 census. She may have married or also died.
THE SECOND U.S. GENERATION OF SHEEHANS
Hanora Sheehan (Aunt Han) never married and lived to the age of 81, She died in 2 November 1939 in the Manchester area. She spent much of her elder years living with her sister Margaret Sheehan Simpson at 335 Central Street in Manchester. Margaret’s husband Charles Simpson, died a year or two after they married. Margaret and Charles had no children. Hanora worked as a Milliner while Margaret worked as a cook in a hotel. I believe both were present at the later marriage of their niece, Margaret Sheehan. Margaret Sheehan Simpson died 22 May 1930 and is buried at the family plot.
John J Sheehan, my Great Grandfather, finished his moulder apprenticeship around 1890 and left Manchester for the big city of New York. He may have done this looking for work. There, he met his first wife, Elizabeth Rose Keeny (Kenney) and were presumably married there in Brooklyn, New York. They lived at 158 Luquer Street in Brooklyn and attended the Church of St Mary Star of The Sea which was right around the corner from where they lived. There is no marriage certificate filed with the City of New York. Together they had three children.
- Margaret Mary Sheehan (b. 1891 in Brooklyn, NY)
- William Edward Sheehan (b. 1893 in Brooklyn, NY)
- Elizabeth R Sheehan (B. 1896 in Brooklyn, NY.)
There are no birth registrations filed for any of the three children in the City of New York either, but all three were recorded as baptized at Saint Mary Star of the Sea. Failing to register births with the City was not necessarily uncommon in New York. Apparently about 10% of the population chose to to not notify the authorities of births during those years.
Elizabeth Kenny Sheehan, mother of three young children, died 6 March 1898 at the age of 29. According to her death certificate, she died of appendicitis and was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY. When I called the cemetery, they told me that they have no record of an Elizabeth Sheehan being buried there. So as of today, we know nothing about her except what is indicated in her death certificate. I have not been able to find a birth record for her or connect her with a family in the 1880 Census.
Born: Brooklyn, NY (between March 6 1868 and March 6 1869)
How long a resident of New York: Lifelong
Lived in a three family house on the third floor.
Father was born in Ireland
Mother was born in Ireland.
By 5 June 1900 , John J Sheehan had left Brooklyn, NY was living in Milford, Mass. The 1900 census shows just two children, William and Margaret, with him. Elizabeth was not listed, nor could I find her anywhere else in Census records.
On 2 January 1902 – John J Sheehan married his second wife, Ellen Francis Flynn in Natick, Massachusetts. By June 1910, the new Sheehan family moved to Woonsocket, Rhode Island and bought their first house at 239 Summer Street.
John J Sheehan died at his home at 239 Summer Street on 24 Apr 1930 and is buried at St Charles Cemetery in Blackstone, Massachusetts.
THE THIRD U.S. GENERATION OF SHEEHANS
Somewhere around age 22, Margaret Mary Sheehan decided to leave Woonsocket and her father and move to Manchester, New Hampshire. She may have been seeking work. She moved into an apartment at 276 Central Street in Manchester and began work at 999 Elm Street which is where her Aunt Han worked. In 1915 Margaret moved in with her two Aunts, Margaret Simpson and Hanora Sheehan and lived with them for several years. Together they lived at a house at 315 Lake Avenue. Margaret soon met Jeremiah J Hayes, who she married on 24 June 1918. A wedding with lots of family photographs took place at the house on Lake Avenue. The couple moved into a rented house at 35 Front Street. Within the year after the marriage, Jeremiah opened up the J. J. Hayes Novelty Store at 80 Front Street.
By 1920, the couple were expecting their first of three children.
- Margaret Hayes (b. 1920 in Manchester, NH – died soon after birth)
- John Joseph Hayes (b. 1922 in Manchester, NH)
- Andrea Hayes (b. 1927 in Manchester, NH)
After Andrea’s birth, Jeremiah gave up the Novelty store and began work as a salesman for a candle company. In 1924, Jeremiah and Margaret moved to Woonsocket, RI and moved in with Margaret’s widowed step mother, Ellen Sheehan at the house at 239 Summer Street.