Jeremiah D Sheehan was born in County Kerry, Ireland, on March 17, 1827. According to immigration records, Jeremiah arrived in Boston on June 7, 1846, and applied for naturalization on January 18, 1859, in Manchester, NH.  

He was married to Mary Sullivan, born circa 1829 in Ireland. There is no indication of whether they were married before or after his immigration to America, although “after” seems more likely.  It seems likely that Jeremiah found Mary in Boston, and together, they headed north to the wilderness of Central New Hampshire.

Between 1856 and 1864, the Sheehans lived in the Boscawen, Meredith, Warren, and/or Holderness areas of New Hampshire, where most, if not all, the children were born.  There are no birth records for any of them in the New Hampshire Archives, so their place 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

Around 1860, Jeremiah 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 38.  His grave proudly indicates that he was a member of Co. K of the 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 developed during the Civil War.  It is not known how long he remained there.

Mary Sullivan Sheehan, Jeremiah’s wife,  died at 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

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 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.  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.

Possibly Daniel

Daniel died December 20, 1900, in Sacred Heart Hospital in Manchester, after suffering a significant 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 resulted from 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 several cousins related to this family branch are alive and well today.

4. The second daugAa81. She spent much of her elder years living with her sister, Margaret Sheehan Simpson, at 335 Central Street in Manchester.  She worked as a Mileehan, never married, and lived to age liner as part of a business called “Seaver and Sheehan.”  Sometime after 1935, she found herself 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’s 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 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 married a man named Charles Simpson.  They have no marriage record, but the city directory and the 1910 census 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 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 years 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 her sister Hanna.

The three Sheehan daughters worked in a local Cotton Mill in their early years before going out and venturing into life on their own.  It is believed 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 moulder. A moldmaker or molder is a skilled tradesperson who fabricates moulds for use in casting metal products. At that time, he lived with his father, Jeremiah Sheehan, and his 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 had trouble finding work as a moulder in Manchester? John’s difficulty finding work as a moulder seems to continue into 1885 when we see 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 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 for his sudden appearance in 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 appear for the children. About 10% of the population chose not to notify the authorities of births during those years.

Elizabeth Rose Kenny Sheehan died in Brooklyn of Acute Appendicitis on March 6, 1898. Margaret Sheehan Hayes was just seven years old when her mom died. Elizabeth Kenny was buried with other Kenny family siblings at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. 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 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 68 from Stomach Cancer in Woonsocket, RI.  She was buried with John in St. Charles Cemetery in Blackstone, MA.

By 1915, John, 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 seems to continue his work as an 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. The same year, she appeared in the 1915 Manchester, NewDirectory as a Miller Hampshire City working at 999 Elm Street. It seems 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 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.  Their First son, John A Sheehan, mentioned above, lived to be just four years old.

2. Their 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 unknown 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

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 supervising 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’s death certificate indicates that he was a plant manager for some company at the time of his death.  Based on our photographs 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 an automotive company plant manager.

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 1927. She was known as Sister Susanna.  She died at 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


Margaret Mary 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 many 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 working as a candle company salesman.  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, with Margaret’s widowed stepmother, Ellen Sheehan, at 239 Summer Street.

Margaret Sheehan died at Woonsocket Hospital on May 11, 1969. Her cause of death is listed as Uremia.  She also had 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 recuperated at the hospice at St. Antoine in North Smithfield when complications developed.  She is buried with her husband at St. Charles Cemetery in Blackstone, Massachusetts. 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 Clipping; 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.