The History of The Sheehan Branch Of My Family


Jeremiah D Sheehan was born March 17, 1827 in County Kerry, Ireland.  According to immigration records Jeremiah arrived in Boston on June 7, 1846 and applied for naturalization on January 18, 1859.  He was married to Mary Sullivan, who was born circa 1829 in Ireland. There is no indication as to whether they were married before or after his immigration to America, although “after” seems more likely.

Around 1860, Jeremiah had moved his family from the outskirts of Manchester into the main city.  Over the next few decades, they lived in several houses in Manchester.

  • 1860:  6 Johnson’s Block
  • 1864 – 1866:   4 Mitchell’s Block
  • 1871 – 1875:  5 Merrimack (opposite the square)
  • 1873:  Rear of 44 Merrimack
  • 1875:   62 Auburn Street, Manchester, NH
  • 1877 – 1886:   62 Auburn Street, Manchester, NH
  • 1886 – 1891:  186 Auburn Street, Manchester, NH

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 of the10th Regiment of the New Hampshire Volunteers. His Civil War history is as follows:

  • 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 August of 1870, Jeremiah was treated at the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Kennebec, Maine for his hernia that he developed during the Civil War.  It is not known how long he remained there.

Mary Sullivan Sheehan, Jeremiah’s wife,  died at the age of 41 on October 15, 1870.  She was buried at the old Saint Josephs Cemetery in Manchester, New Hampshire.  It seems entirely possible that she died while Jeremiah was rehabilitating from his hernia care in Maine.

Jeremiah D Sheehan died on 16 December 1891 in Manchester and was buried at the old Saint Joseph’s Cemetery with his wife and other family members.

Sheehan Gravestone  at St Joseph's Cemetery in Manchester

Sheehan Gravestone at St Joseph’s Cemetery in Manchester

Between 1856 and 1864, the Sheehans lived in the Boscawan area (Meredith, Warren and/or Holderness) of New Hampshire, where I believe most, if not all the children were born.  There are no birth records for any of them in the New Hampshire Archives, so their places and dates of birth listed below are based on death certificates.

Together Jeremiah and Mary had seven children.  The children of Jeremiah D. Sheehan and Mary Sullivan are as follows;

  1. Jeremiah Sheehan; b.1848 ; d.unknown
  2. Daniel (Danial) J Sheehan; b. May 5, 1851 in Meredith, New Hampshire; d.December 20, 1900 in Manchester New Hampshire; bu. St Joseph’s Cemetery, Manchester, NH
  3. Mary A Sheehan; b.1856, Warren, New Hampshire; d. April 8, 1932, New Hampshire.
  4. Hanora A Sheehan; b. September 27, 1858, Warren, New Hampshire; d. November 23, 1939, New Hampshire; bu. St Joseph’s Cemetery, Manchester, NH
  5. Margaret G Sheehan; b. December 4, 1860, Holderness, New Hampshire; d. May 22, 1930, Manchester, New Hampshire; bu. St Joseph’s Cemetery, Manchester, NH
  6. John Joseph Sheehan; b. January 12, 1864, Concord, New Hampshire; d. April 24, 1930, Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
  7. Catherine Sheehan; b. circa 1865; d. circa 1867

1. Youngest son Jeremiah, disappeared after the 1860 census. It’s possible that he suffered an early death, but it is also possible that young Jeremiah may have left the area after 1860. There is an 1870 Census record from Brighton, Sacramento, California with a Jeremiah Sheehan born in New Hampshire and about the correct age.

2. Second son, Daniel J Sheehan was a boilermaker according to the Manchester city directory. The 1870 US Census has him listed as working in a locomotive shop, probably working on boilers.  In fact, sometime before 1892, Daniel moved in with his brother in Brooklyn, New York and was working as a boilermaker there.  It appears that Daniel left Brooklyn sometime in the following years, before 1900,  and returned to Manchester.

Daniel died December 20, 1900 in Sacred Heart Hospital in Manchester, after suffering a signifiant accidental fractured skull. His cause of death is listed as hemorrhage – shock.  According to his death certificate, an accident occurred at 111 Amherst St., in Manchester. It certainly seems possible that his death was the result of his work as a boilermaker.  He was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Manchester. His name appears as “Danial” on the Sheehan gravestone.

3. First daughter, Mary A Sheehan, married Peter F Talty on Jan 30, 1882. Together they had at least three children: Catherine A,  Peter Francis and Margaret G.  I believe there are several cousins related to this branch of the family that are alive and well today.

4. Second daughter, Hanora A Sheehan, never married and lived to the age of 81. She spent much of her elder years living with her sister, Margaret Sheehan Simpson at 335 Central Street in Manchester.  She worked as a Milliner as part of a business called “Seaver and Sheehan”.  Sometime  after 1935, she found herself pretty much alone in Manchester, so she moved in with family to the house at 239 Summer Street in Woonsocket, RI.   She died just a few years later and was buried at St Josephs Cemetery in Manchester, NH with her older sister, Margaret.  The cause of death is listed as Coronary Thrombosis with secondary Arteriosclerosis.

Hannah Sheehan

Hannah Sheehan

Aunt Hannah Sheehan

An older Hannah Sheehan

Aunt Han with Claire & Andrea

Aunt Han with Claire & Andrea

The following is a transcription of her obituary found in John J Hayes’ belongings.

The funeral of Miss Hanora Sheehan was held at a 15 o’clock this morning from the home of her knees, Mrs. Jeremiah J Hayes, 239 Summer St., followed by a high mass of Requiem in St. Charles church at nine o’clock. Rev. Philip McKenna officiated. 

Music was under the direction of Mary Shaw, organist and “Cross of Christ “ was offered after the Mass. The bearers were John F Rice, Patrolman Frank J McKeon of the Woonsocket Police Department, J Noel Doyle, James R Kelly, JJ Hayes and William J McSweeney. Burial was in the family lot in St. Joseph Cemetery, Manchester, New Hampshire, where Rev. Father Clark conducted the committal service. There was a profusion of floral spiritual tributes.

5. Third daughter, Margaret G Sheehan, also lived in Manchester most of her life. In 1908 she was 48 years old and apparently married a man named Charles Simpson.  There is no marriage record for them, but the city directory and the 1910 census both confirm the marriage. Unfortunately for Margaret, her husband did not survive long after the marriage. According to the 1910 census taken just two years later, she is a widow and living with her sisters Hannah and Mary (Sheehan) Talty. She was a cook in a local hotel and had no children   When she died on May 22, 1930. She was 69 year old.    Her occupation was listed on her death certificate as “Pastry Cook”.   Her cause of death was Chronic Myocarditis and Chronic Nephritis.   She is buried at St Joseph’s Cemetery in Manchester with sister Hanna.

The three Sheehan daughters worked in a local Cotton Mill in their early years before going out and venturing life on their own.  It is believed that that Hanna and Margaret were both present for their niece, Margaret Sheehan’s, later marriage to Jeremiah J Hayes.

6. Third son, John J Sheehan, one of the primary focuses of this story (see below), lived in Manchester in his younger years but moved to Brooklyn, New York, presumably looking for something better.

7. Fourth daughter, Catherine Sheehan, lived to be just two years old.


In the 1880 United States Federal Census for Manchester New Hampshire, John J Sheehan appears as a 19-year-old apprentice to an iron molder. At that time, he was living with his father Jeremiah Sheehan and siblings Daniel, Mary, Margaret, and Hannah. They were living at 86 Auburn St., Manchester, NH.

John J Sheehan

John J Sheehan

Jeremiah Hayes, Margaret Sheehan. Ellen Flynn Sheehan and John J Sheehan

Jeremiah Hayes, Margaret Sheehan. Ellen Flynn Sheehan and John J Sheehan

Unknown Sheehans

Possibly Daniel Sheehan, John A Sheehan, John J Sheehan and Margaret Sheehan in Brooklyn. Circa 1895?

In an 1881 Manchester New Hampshire city directory, John Sheehan is listed as a Moulder, working at A. H. Lowell’s and living at 72 Spruce. In 1883 we find John still working at Lowells Foundry, but he has moved in with his father Jeremiah at 86 Auburn Street. Strangely, in 1884 we find John listed as a clerk in the Manchester city directory, still living with his father Jeremiah. Could it be that John was having trouble finding work as a molder in Manchester? John’s trouble finding work as a moulder seems to continue into 1885 where we find him listed as a laborer for a “depot” on the corner of Franklin Street.

Sometime that same year, John left Manchester for the big city of Brooklyn, New York, probably looking for work as an iron moulder. Our first indication of John’s presence in Brooklyn is a death certificate for John A Sheehan, age 4, who died July 3, 1890 in Brooklyn. Since 4 year old John A Sheehan was born in Brooklyn, we know that John made it to Brooklyn circa 1885.

Although the birth certificate for John A. Sheehan does not indicate who his parents were, it’s clear based on the father’s birthplace, the mother’s birthplace, and the place of death that this is the child of John J. Sheehan and Elizabeth Rose Kenny.

The Sheehan family lived at 158 Luquer Street in Brooklyn for several years and attended the Church of St Mary Star of The Sea which was right around the corner from where they lived.  John first appears in the Brooklyn City Directory in 1891 listed as a Moulder living at 158 Luqeer St.. One possible explanation as to his sudden appearance of the Brooklyn directories is that he was living with the Kenny family until he was able to find work and get enough money to get his own place.  Or maybe he just never bothered to be listed in the City Directory.

There is no record of the marriage between John J Sheehan and Elizabeth Rose Kenny in the New York City Archives, But that is not unusual. There seem to be many vital records missing or unreported in New York. For instance, none of their children’s birth records appear in the New York City Archives. But baptism records from St. Mary Star of the Sea church do appear for the children. Apparently about 10% of the population chose to not notify the authorities of births during those years.

Elizabeth Rose Kenny Sheehan died on March 6, 1898 in Brooklyn of Acute Appendicitis. Margaret Sheehan Hayes was just seven years old when her mom died. Elizabeth Kenny was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, with other Kenny family siblings. Two other Sheehan children who died early may also be buried with her.

Soon after her death, John Joseph Sheehan took his three surviving children and moved to Milford, Massachusetts. According to the 1900 census, John and children Margaret and William are listed as borders at 33 Sumner St. in Milford.  John continued his work as an iron moulder. Elizabeth does not appear in the census record for some reason.

In January of 1910, John married his second wife, Ellen Francis Flynn in Natick, Massachusetts. Ellen Francis Flynn is the daughter of John Flynn and Mary McQueeney. Ellen died at the age of 68 from Stomach Cancer in Woonsocker, RI.  She was buried with John in St. Charles Cemetery in Blackstone, MA.

By 1915, John and his new wife and three children moved to Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Together they appear in the 1915 Rhode Island State Census, living at 239 Summer St..  John appears to continue his work as a iron holder in a machine shop. Margaret is a milliner at a dry goods facility. William is a clerk in a machine shop. And Elizabeth is a timekeeper in a thread mill. In the same year Margaret also appears in the 1915 Manchester, New Hampshire City Directory as a Milliner working at 999 Elm Street. It appears she took the opportunity of the move to set out on her own, moving in with her Aunt Hanora (Han) at 315 Lake Ave.  Aunt Han, who for many years had been a milliner herself, now appears to be employed as a “masseur”.

John J Sheehan died in Woonsocket, RI on April 24 1930 of Chronic Myocarditis and Chronic Nephritis.  He was 66 years old.

Sheehan Gravestone at St. Charles Cemetery in Blackstone, MA

Sheehan Gravestone at St. Charles Cemetery in Blackstone, MA

The five children of John Joseph Sheehan and Elizabeth Rose Kenny are as follows;

  1. John A Sheehan; b. circa 1886 in Brooklyn NY; d. July 3, 1890 in Brooklyn, NY; bu. Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
  2. Margaret Mary Sheehan; b. February 7, 1891 in Brooklyn, NY; d. May 11, 1969 in Woonsocket, RI.
  3. Mary Sheehan; b. June 1892 in Brooklyn, NY; d. July 18, 1893 in Brooklyn NY; bu. Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
  4. William Edward Sheehan; b. November 7, 1893 in Brooklyn NY; d. May 30, 1947 in Woonsocket, RI. bu. St Charles Cemetery, Woonsocket, RI
  5. Elizabeth R Sheehan; b. July 29, 1895 in Brooklyn NY; d. January 30, 1971 in Framingham MA. bu. unknown

1.  First son, John A Sheehan, mentioned above live to be just 4 years old.

2. First daughter, Margaret Mary Sheehan, one of the prime focuses of this article eventually moved to Manchester, NH and married Jeremiah J Hayes.  It is not known how they met, although it is possible that Aunt Hanna Sheehan, whom Margaret moved in with, introduced them to each other.  Or maybe Jeremiah met Margaret while shopping for a hat.

Margaret was baptized at the St. Mary Star of the Sea Church on February 15, 1889 by the Reverand Thomas Carroll.  Her God Parents were John J Kelly and Mary F Durham.

Margaret Mary Sheehan at age 9 months
Margaret Mary Sheehan at age 9 month
Sheehan Tin Photos-7

Ellen Flynn or Elizabeth Rose Kenny with Margaret and John Sheehan

Margaret Sheehan

Margaret Sheehan

3. Second boy, William Edward Sheehan,  served his country in World War I as a member of the United States Naval Reserve Force on the U.S Naval base in Cardiff, Wales.  The base was established in September, 1918, and was tasked with duties to supervise the shipment of coal to France. The coal was used by American troop transports at the Le Havre, Breast and other ports on the Bay of Biscay. He was there with over 1,758 American officers and 4,101 American seamen. William was part of the effort that allowed the delivery of over 96,000 tons of coal utilizing 53 colliers operated by the United States Naval Overseas Transport Service

William Sheehan in the Navy

William Sheehan in the Navy

Young William Sheehan

Young William Sheehan


William Sheehan

William Sheehan

Williams death certificate indicates that he was a plant manager for some company at the time of his death.  Based on photographs we have of William, he appears to have been a plant Manager for General Motors.  William appears in the 1940 census as a resident of Detroit, Michigan which would be consistent with being a plant manager of an automotive company.

William returned to the east coast sometime in the years preceding his death.  William died in Woonsocket, RI at the age of 53.  He never married and had no children.

4. Third daughter Elizabeth R Sheehan, also known as Aunt Betty, became a sister of St. Joseph in June of 1927. She was known as Sister Susanna.  She died at the age of 75 on January 30, 1971 in Framingham, MA.  Jeanne Hayes remembers her as a kind and gentle person who came to visit the Hayes family in Chappaqua once.

Margaret and Elizabeth Sheehan

Margaret and Elizabeth Sheehan

Elizabeth Sheehan (Sister Susannah)

Elizabeth Sheehan (Sister Susannah)

Margaret and Elizabeth Sheehan

Margaret and Elizabeth Sheehan


During Margaret’s stay in Manchester, she met and married Jeremiah Joseph Hayes, the son of John Joseph Hayes and Jane B Kelty Hayes. They were married at the church of St. Ann on June 24, 1918, in Manchester.

A wedding with lots of family photographs took place at the house on Lake Avenue in Manchester.   The couple soon moved into a rented house at 35 Front Street.

Hayes - Sheehan Wedding

Hayes – Sheehan Wedding

Within a  year after the marriage, Jeremiah opened up the J. J. Hayes Novelty Store at 80 Front Street. After Andrea’s birth, Jeremiah gave up the Novelty store and began work as a salesman for a candle company.  The store served the residents of the area for close to 10 years.  It sat at the intersection of Front Street and Goffstown Road, now one of the main interchanges for Interstate 293.

Jeremiah J Hayes Variety Store in Manchester, NH

Jeremiah J Hayes Variety Store in Manchester, NH

The children of Jeremiah J Hayes and Margaret Mary Sheehan are:

  1. Margaret Hayes; b. May 27, 1920 in Manchester, NH; d. May 27, 1920 in Manchester, NH (died soon after birth)
  2. John Joseph Hayes; b. 1922  in Manchester, NH
  3. Andrea Hayes; b. 1927 in Manchester, NH

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.

Margaret Sheehan died at Woonsocket Hospital on May 11, 1969. Her cause of death is listed as Uremia.  She was also suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease.  Just a month earlier, she had fractured her left hip after a fall in the bathroom of her home. She had been recuperating at the hospice at St. Antoine in North Smithfield when complications apparently developed.  She is buried at St. Charles Cemetery in Blackstone, Massachusetts with her husband. She lived to age 78.


1 1892 New York State Census, Brooklyn, NY.  Page 19, 12th Ward, Election District 16.2 Death Certificate for Daniel Sheehan, Manchester, NH3 Obituary Cliipping; Unknown newspaper4 1870 & 1880 United States Census5 Talking about Naval History. By John B. Hattendorf, Naval War College Press (U S )6 Based on info from the back of a picture7 Massachusetts Death Index

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About the Author

Philip (Phil) Hayes is the CEO of Sirius Innovations, LLC. As CEO of Sirius Innovations, LLC, he served as a Technology Solutions Consultant and Web Applications Programmer for fortune 500 companies, large municipalities and hospitals. He is fluent in the SQL, ColdFusion, PHP and Javscript programming languages. He is also a power user of the WordPress Content Management System, commonly used for blogging. Phil's latest product development includes a service called 'Map The Past'. The advanced, yet easy to use functionality offered in this product will enable its members to "Walk in the Footsteps of Their Ancestors". Phil became a Genealogy addict when in 1998, his Uncle, Lloyd W Lewis, sat he and his wife down on the deck of his Uncle's Pennsylvania home and told them the story of his Great, Great Grandfather Henry W. Lewis, the Privateer. The story was so intriguing that Phil found himself yearning for more details. Hence…. Philip Hayes, the Genealogist was born. Leveraging his technology skills, Philip has grown and developed the family tree well beyond what his Uncle could have ever dreamed of. Combining the power of technology and the primary sources from historical documents, Philip developed his own family history web site, based on the Word Press Content Management System ( Upon publishing the site, it has inspired many people to develop interest in the family's history and has connected Philip to several undiscovered relatives and their family stories. Phil is a member of numerous historical and genealogy societies, including the Association of Professional Genealogists

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