Patrick Martin: A clue?

Boston marriage 16 Apr 1891
Patrick Martin 1938
Patrick Martin 1938

We’ve been searching for information on Uncles Pat and Pete Martin, the mystery siblings of my great-grandmother Catherine Martin Dunne. We know that Pat lived in Boston, had two daughters who met Katie Dunne [Collins] in St. Louis before Katie returned to Ireland in the early 1930s, and visited St. Louis in 1938 to help welcome greenhorns Pat Dunne and John Coughlin to the U.S.

Yesterday, the data dragon at Ancestry offered this glint of possible gold: an 1891 Massachusetts marriage record between the immigrant laborer PATRICK MARTIN (parents JOHN and BRIDGET) and the domestic BRIDGET CREHAN (parents THOMAS and HONORA). (See image above.)

My thinking:

  • There were many Crehan families in Pat’s home village of Rushestown and the Crehan name is very specific to that little corner of eastern Galway. Marrying into families “from the old neighborhood” was very common.
  • It helps that JOHN and BRIDGET are the correct names for his parents — but how many millions of Irish Pats have John and Bridget parents?
  • At age 28 (b. abt. 1863), Pat fits the theory that he was an older sibling, born a couple years before Catherine (b. 1866). This would have made him about 75 in the 1938 photo we have.
  • Stretching… I came up with 1910 census data on a Patrick Martin. The data matches up, except his wife is listed as “Delia” — but that of course is a common nickname for Bridget. This Pat immigrated in 1883, age 18.
  • In 1910, among his six children, are two daughters who would have been a good age to have met Katie Dunne about 1930.

Seeing the Crehan connection was what really made me say YES! I’ve become a strong believer in the durable ties among the tiny townlands and our family’s new communities across the sea. The search will continue…