Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Rosses & Meenatotan Boyle Clan Updates

From: Greg Boyle

To: Peggy Cox (a Grandaughter of Michael L. Boyle, the bootlegger)
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 9:23 PM

Subject: The Boyles

All –

Here’s some more about the Boyles of the Rosses and Boyles of Meenatotan. The families are very entwined in America, so I apologize for any confusion. Here’s what I’ve pieced together over the last several days with help of Tim Tahaney, Kieran O’Leary and Angela Kirk (in Ireland).

The Rosses Boyle family:

More and more, they seem to have their roots in and around Burtonport, but the Boyle Masters moved from school to school confusing the research. Indications are that the Rosses Martyrs (Neil Plunkett & Owen Boyle) were cousins of some sort. The problem thus far has been to establish exactly who Michael’s brothers actually were!

We’ve have located more information on the teacher, Cornelius Boyle whom I think was Michael’s brother. (My grandmother, Cecelia considered Cornelius’s son, Manus, the priest, her ‘cousin’ which would make Cornelius her uncle and the brother of Michael.) Cornelius taught at perhaps 4 different schools, beginning on one of the Islands off Burtonport, going to Annagry, Dungloe and finally Doochary..

In 1914, Cornelius’s daughter, Anna Boyle, (sister of Manus) left Doochary, & headed to her “Cousin Anna” at 369 Broadway Bayonne. That address has turned out to be a building that housed at one time or another both sides of the Boyle family and some other Boyles from Donegal. In 1914 whatever “cousin” Anna Boyle was there already remains a mystery. We located one Anna from the Burtonport area that came to Bayonne a few years earlier who must have been the same person, but in 1910 that Anna was living as a governess several blocks away. Apparently she then moved to 369 Broadway.

In 1910, 369 Broadway had no Boyles living there. There was a Gallagher family that came from Donegal and 3 other Irish immigrant families.

In 1914, 369 Broadway had a cafĂ© run by Michael Boyle (“Uncle Leo”, later a bootlegger). Patrick & Cecelia lived there, too. My father would have been 5 then. (In 1910, Patrick & Cecelia had lived on 22nd Street. By 1920 they lived at another address on Broadway. In 1922 they were on 51st St.)

In 1920, 369 Broadway housed a Charles & Ellen Boyle (& children Agnes, James and Cornelius). I still have no idea where they fit into our family and wonder if the Agnes is the same woman from Bayonne who used to visit us when I was a kid. No Anna lived with them in 1920. It turns out Charles & Ellen were related to Angela Kirk who has been helping me from Ireland!

The Meenatotan Boyle family:

We already knew that my grandfather Patrick came to the US; his brothers Con, Dennis, Neil and James had gone to Scotland and Mary (Minnie) remained in Meenatotan (later the grandmother of the Campbells who are still in Meenatotan.) We finally located sisters Fanny Boyle and Anna Boyle.

Fanny born in 1876 remained in Meenatotan. The 1911 Census shows Fanny as 33 years old, married just 2 years (1909) to John Duffy in Oughtmeen. John was also 33 and they were living with Connell Duffy, a farmer, then 72. Fanny & John had no children in 1911 but if they did later, there are probably some Duffy cousins somewhere.

Anna, born 1875 left Meenatotan. She married a Pat Doherty in Belfast, soon went to Scotland to her brother Neil’s home in Broxburn, where their first child (another Patrick) was born. By 1911 they lived in Shankill, Belfast – a predominantly Protestant neighborhood with 3 additional children. It seems unlikely they would have stayed in that neighborhood where, as Catholics, they were surely not welcome. But I don’t know where they went. It does however, suggest there are some Doherty cousins around somewhere. One possibility is Pat Doherty, a MP and the VP of Sinn Fein, the ‘right hand’ of Gerry Adams. Pat’s bio says “Pat Doherty was born and educated in Glasgow where his parents had migrated to from Donegal in search of work.” Not proof, certainly, but an intriguing idea. (There were a fair number of Doherty families in Donegal – but I didn’t find any named Patrick other than the husband and son of Anna Boyle.)



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