Friday, October 2, 2009

How They Came

Ellen Lynch Faunt and infant son William came to America in June 1969 on the ship City of Paris ahead of husband and older son Patrick. Ellen presumably had relatives to live with near New Jersey where we find the family in early 1870. but they have proved elusive.

A couple named Michael and Ellen Lynch are in Pennsylvania around the same time and the occupation, Greengrocer, fits with what I know of Ellen and William in Beverly NJ around 1880.
A big question mark for me is did the family "split up" or safety reasons or was it purely economics? Many Irish couples worked and saved and came one at a time but I am not sure this is the case.

William Faunt has a British Army pension and did not fit into a more typical profile of 19th century immigrants. The couple lived in Belfast after William was medically discharged from duty and he could do little heavy lifting so I am not sure he stayed behind to work his passage.
A second son also named William is born , and presumably dies in Belfast.Possibly Ellen is fleeing Ireland or the smoke of Belfast with her second William,her third son.

William Senior first is found as caretaker of Wall Rope Company in Beverly NJ and soon enough he and Ellen are listed as greengrocers.The family lived in rooms above the rope factory. Their oldest child, my great grandfather Patrick was not five when they came.Eventually he works in the rope factory and possibly helps his mother with the family greengrocer endeavor.Family lore indicates that Patrick's wife Mary Dugan is also a greengrocer.

Mary Dugan's uncle John Dugan comes to America first with his wife Rose Coyle.They are thought to have been childless and brought Mary and her brother Bernard to America one at a time.He seems to have been an entrepreneur although it is a little unclear in what capacity.A livery stable is a strong possibility. Possibly this is how the couple met as Patrick surely took the ferry to Philadelphia from the New Jersey side for his mother's produce.

The ship Alsatia when it sails in 1878 has a Sarah Coyle, possibly a cousin from Donegal on it so Mary does not come alone. Her brother Bernard comes several years later.Our speculation and that of an Irish researcher is that father Patrick Dugan is deceased by this time. Catherine McClafferty Dugan and the couple's last child James as well as other unknown siblings of Mary and Barney are still alive in the 1911 census.

William Faunt and his son Patrick do not live to grow old in America, victims of early heart attacks in 1889 and 1921. Ellen Faunt marries Charles Schneider, baker, in Beverly in 1890 and disappears from records after her American born daughters marry well.

Mary Dugan Faunt dies in 1902 of what sounds like a strangulated hernia possibly for the heavy lifting entailed in the produce business. Patrick raises six young children although tales abound of almost monthly evictions.The older siblings delay marrying until the two youngest boys have left home. Patrick fathers a son from a second marriage in 1918 but is dead in 1921.His son from that marriage George Patrick dies in Italy in WWII.

Don't we all think our family's emigration narratives unique and their struggles in America poignantly difficult? I surely do, but I am very grateful for their journeys.They did it for me and mine.

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