JOHN JOSEPH CAREY, SR.
John Joseph Carey, Sr.
John Joseph Carey was born in about 1839. He came from County Limerick in Ireland. A letter from John's daughter, Anne, says "Don't know much of Father's people, other than that they came from Knock near Limerick".
John's parents are Richard Carey and Johana Cullinane, who were married in Mahoonagh, County Limerick in 1826. After a thorough search, a marriage for Richard and Johana was located in Mahoonagh, County Limerick, Ireland. Land records place Richard in the townland of Common or Commons in County Limerick
John had an older brother, Patrick, and a younger sister, Margaret. Patrick was born in Mahoonagh in 1838, and married a woman from Ballingarry. Margaret married a man who was born in Mahoonagh. The Mahoonagh parish registers are known to have gaps in the late 1830s. Land records place Richard Carey in the nearby parish of Ballingarry in 1849, in the townland of Common. This townland is near Knockfierna, "the hill of truth" and the tallest hill in County Limerick. This is most likely the Knock mentioned above.
John's parents moved from Mahoonagh to Ballingarry between 1838 and 1849. They lived on a four-acre lot with John's grandparents, Patrick and Bridget Carey, and uncles Jeffrey and John Carey, and worked the land. Richard had inherited the land in 1827, and the Careys had lived in the area since before the records begin. The Careys lived on Lot 10. A Carey descendant lived there until the 1970s. The land was beautiful and green, and the hill of Knockfierna was in their backyard. There was a large commonage area on the heights of Knockfierna. Commonage was common land, and anyone could live there.
was raised in a little stone cottage with a thatched roof. The
house was 21 1/2 feet long by 15 1/2 feet wide. About 88
families lived in Common townland, in properties around the base
In the 1830s, the commonage area became a refuge for evicted tenants from the Cox estate in Ballynoe, about nine miles to the west of Knockfierna. About 130 families moved to the commonage area and built cottages of stone. "Knockfierna, the highest point in County Limerick at approximately 950 feet, was common land so anyone could live there. It was to this place that many of the dispossessed went to live during the Famine years. Some had been evicted because they could not pay their rent; most had no place else to go because there was no work." (Remembering the Great Famine; thesilvervoice.wordpress.com) These families were hard-hit by the Great Famine, as they tried to grow potatoes on the rocky land on the hilltop. The ruins of these cabins are still found on the hill today, and a famine memorial has been created there.
The potato famine had a major impact on the area, and 1847 was the hardest year. John was only about eight years old at the time. The family owned their farm, and other family members lived nearby in the townland of Ballinaha. What kind of an impact did it have on the young boy to see the suffering of those families on the nearby hillside?
Richard was still shown as the landholder in Common townland in 1862, shortly before his emigration.
to the United States as a young man, and settled in Chicago in
about 1862. His sister, Margaret emigrated in 1862. John
worked as a laborer for the railroad. Richard, his son Patrick,
and his brother, Jeffrey emigrated in 1862, and he must have
died in Chicago. The first of the Carey family to appear in the
Chicago city directories was Johana, widow of Richard, in 1865
at 128 Bunker Street. Johana, John, a laborer, and Edward,
a sewer builder, are shown at 130 Bunker Street in the 1865-6
Chicago City Directory. Edward died in 1868, at the age of 27,
and is buried in the Carey family plot.
Mary Harrigan on July 13, 1866 at St. Mary's Church in Chicago.
John was 27 years old, and Mary was 18 years old. They had
fourteen children, all baptized at Holy Family Church in
Chicago. They were Richard (1867), James (1868), Anna
(1870), Edward (1871), Joanna (1873), Mary (1874),
Margaret (1875), Mary (1877), John (1878), Patrick (1880),
Thomas (1882), Joseph (1884), Anne (1886), and William (1888).
Twelve of the children lived past infancy. The sponsors at the
children's baptisms included Patrick Carey, Edward Carey, James
Carey, Thomas Carey, Margaret Carey, and Mary Carey.
1870 census, Chicago
the 1870 federal census, John and Mary are shown in Ward 8, with
children Richard, age 3, James, age 1, and Ann, 3 months. Bunker
Street was one street over from DeKoven Street, where the
O'Learys lived when the Chicago Fire of 1871 started, so the
Great Fire must have been a memorable event for the Carey
family. Fortunately, the fire blew in the opposite direction
from the Carey's house.
In the Chicago City Directory of 1873, John and his brother Patrick both lived at 158 Bunker Street. They are both shown with the occupation of laborer. John and Patrick's mother, Johana was shown in the 1872 Chicago City Directory at 158 Bunker Street, and this is the address listed as her residence in cemetery records. John and Patrick are still shown at 158 Bunker Street in the 1874-5 city directory.
1880 census, Chicago, first page
1880 census, Chicago, top of next page
the 1880 census, the family was still living at 158 Bunker
Street. John's brother, Patrick and his wife Bridget also lived
there. It is interesting to note that John couldn't read and
write in the 1870 census, but has learned to read and write by
the 1880 census.
The family moved in 1881. John is found in the Voter
Registration rolls for 1888. He is shown living at 640 21st
Street, and was naturalized with papers filed in 1886. His son,
Richard, was also registered at the same address. John's
sister-in-law, Bridget died the next year, in 1889, and her
address was also given as 640 21st Street.
The family moved again in 1890. John is found in the Voter
Registration rolls in 1890 and 1892. He was listed as living at
237 Ewing Avenue. In 1890 he states that he has lived at that
address for four months. In 1892, he states that he has lived in
the county and state for 30 years, making his arrival in Chicago
in 1862. John's brother Patrick is shown at 247 Ewing Avenue,
and he had also lived in the county and state for 30 years.
June 12, 1897 at the age of 56. At that time he lived at 250
Ewing Avenue, in Chicago. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery on June 15,
of John Carey (Chicago Tribune, Sunday, June 13, 1897):
at his residence, 250 Ewing St., beloved husband of Mary
Carey, nee Harrigan. Member of St. Aloysius Court No. 27,
I.O.F. Funeral notice later.
If you have additional information about this family, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.