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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:21 pm
Posts: 1

I was wondering if anyone could direct me to help with finding criminal records of an Irish ancestor. His name was James Maloney, son of Denis Maloney and Mary Casey. Somewhere around 1881 he was caught running guns, tortured by the British and deported from Ireland to Boston. He was a baker and born around 1851. The story is that they broke his legs and told him he could go to America or Australia, but that if he returned to Ireland they would kill him. I believe the story is probably true. It came to me from a great-aunt who came from Ireland and knew him when he was living. I know he came from Clare, but not the town.

Any help would be appreciated.

Kathy Caslin USA

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:43 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am
Posts: 226
Hi Kathy,

Thanks for posting such a fascinating story! Initially I thought many such tales of escaping Ireland from the threat of British violence are told in the Irish pubs of Boston especially this time of year with St. Patrick's Day next week. Plus James Maloney is a very common Irish name and since you provided very few details, I thought there was zero chance of verifying the story told by your Great Aunt.

Fortunately, I found a few more clues in posts you made in other genealogy forums over 10 year ago. You told a similar story that James Maloney worked as a baker and was a rebel and was caught by the British running guns when his shop caught on fire. He was forced to leave Ireland under threat of death and immigrated through Boston 1880 to 1882. But in these posts you provided additional detail: that James Maloney lived in Millbury, Massachusetts and his wife was Bridget Hanlon / Hanley.

Before searching in Irish records, it would be best to find as many records as possible in USA records.

In the 1910 federal census at Millbury, Worcester County, Massachusetts is your James Maloney and his wife Bridget with 7 children. James appears to have followed the Irish tradition of naming the eldest son Dennis after his father. According to the census Dennis was born about 1877 in Massachusetts. And the immigration year for James Maloney was listed as 1868. There was lots of violence in Ireland in the early 1880's associated with the land wars, but James had already left Ireland by that point. But perhaps there is still some truth to your story as James Maloney could have participated in the Fenian Rising of 1867 and been forced to immigrate from Ireland in 1868?

Since James immigrated in 1868, he would also be in the 1870 federal census. A 19 year old James Malony is a baker living in Worcester with another baker named Denis Malony (aged 26) and Margaret Malony (age 28) both born in Ireland. Relationships aren't provided in the 1870 census, but it would be a safe assumption that James was living with his brother Denis and sister-in-law Margaret. The fact that their occupations were both bakers fits well with your story.

But where in Ireland are James and Denis Maloney from in Ireland? Fortunately, if Dennis and Margaret were married in Ireland it could possibly be in a period when marriages were indexed. First some more clues from excellent Massachusetts records: when the widow Margaret Maloney died on 19 April 1907 in Worchester, her spouse's name was listed as Dennis Maloney and parents names were Paul Keating and Margaret Shanahan:

From Family Search query, it was easy to find the 21 October 1865 marriage of Dennis Malony and Margaret Keating in Rathkeale, County Limerick. You can also find the record in the National Library of Ireland records here:

Your story stated that James Maloney was from County Clare. But apparently it is not uncommon for Limerick and Clare to be interchanged by Irish immigrants in America. You'll want to verify with the baptism records in Rathkeale if you can find the Maloney children with the parents Dennis Maloney and Mary Casey.

The interesting point about Rathkeale in relationship to your story is that Rathkeale is only about 6 miles from Ardagh, County Limerick. Ardagh was a flash point in the Fenian Struggles of 1867. For the 100th anniversary of the 1867 struggles, Edward Keanan wrote an article in the North Munster Antiquarian Journal about the Fenian Rising in Ardagh. The second name in the listing of those who were arrested was an 18 year old James Moloney:

Source: "Active Fenians in Co. Limerick as listed in the Crown Solicitor’s brief", by Edward Keanan, North Munster Antiquarian Journal 10/2 (1967) pages 169–72 ; transcribed by Padraig O Gealagain on rootsweb Ireland / Limerick:

The evening of Shrove Tuesday, March 5, 1867 was the planned time for the Fenian Rising in Ireland.

In Ardagh, William Upton, who lived only a few doors from the R.I.C. barracks (manned by five men) seems to have been the leader of the local Fenian Centre. A carpenter by trade, it was he who fixed the wooden handles to the iron pike-heads - likely made by one of the Quinlivan's who were blacksmiths by trade - and distributed them to the men according as they arrived. This was done in Cosgrove's cabin.

Having about twenty-four pikes and no guns, some of the men scoured the neighbouring countryside and managed to acquire about 8/9 shot guns ( fowling pieces) .

Finally the group, about forty men in all, who had assembled at Cosgrove's were directed to a place called Massy's Grove, where an officer named Captain John Murray, assembled them into line, shot-guns in front, pikemen behind, and outlined his plans for the attack. They then marched to the barracks, the time being close to midnight.

Earlier that day a "tipsy' (drunk) man had told one of the local constables of the planned attack, and so the Sergeant just armed his men, bolted the only door, and shuttered the barred windows.

A sledge hammer and a ladder were used with a cart-wheel as a battering ram to break in the door when the police refused to surrender. On rushing in the police opened fire and Stephen Ambrose was wounded in the arm - this caused the attackers to withdraw, and though Ambrose urged them to press the attack, the majority felt they could not succeed and dispersed, still firing at the barracks.

The next morning, several pikes, a scythe and a pitch fork were found by the police outside the barracks.

Many of the men went home and were arrested within the next few days. Captain Murray was arrested at Adare. Others escaped arrest, including William Upton, who went into to hiding west of Ardagh and eventually made it to America - he returned home some years later and wrote a book describing the terrible poverty of the landless people and the impoverished small farmers of the area.

Listed in the brief on behalf of the Crown, prepared by William Roche, Solicitor, the following were arrested and charged:

Pat Collins, 27 James Moloney, 18
Michael Connell,21 James Moore, 18
Joseph Connors, Kilscannell, 27
Patrick Murphy, Ardagh, 40
John Conway, Rathreagh, 22
Capt. John Murray, 33
Cornelius Cremin,27, Garrynacoona, Effin
William Nash, 18 William Danaher,28
William Naughton, 21, Reens.
William Duggan, 19 John O'Brien, 50
Joseph Kennedy, 31 John Quin, 18
Michael Liston, 19, Coolybrown.
Daniel Quinlivan, 20, Ardagh.
John Magner, 22, Cahermoyle.
John Reidy, 18. James Mahoney, 18
James Sheahan, 18.
George Massy, 40, Ardagh.
Patrick Ward, 17, Ardagh.

Among those who took part in the attack but who succeeded in avoiding arrest were Robert and Stephen Ambrose of Dunganville, Con Enright of Ballyrobin, John Shaughnessy of Ballincally, Michael Neville of Reens, John Connors of Kilscannell, James Hennessy of Glenville, and Tom Bridgeman.

Those who were arrested were brought before a Special Commission which commenced by adjournment on the 11th. June, 1867. But after the Kilmallock and Kilteely trials, the Ardagh prisoners were remanded to the Assizes - no record has been found of their appearance in any court subsequently.

James Maloney/Moloney is a very common name, but the age fits perfectly with James who arrived in 1868 in Massachusetts. I think there is a very good chance that this is your man. You'll want to do additional research in the Rathkeale records for baptism records, see if you can find his immigration records of 1867/1868 for further clues, and also any local records in Worcester. Not sure you'll have any luck finding Irish prison records, as Edward Keanan states that the "Ardagh prisoners were remanded to the Assizes - no record has been found of their appearance in any court subsequently."

Most likely the story told by your Great Aunt had elements of truth that got confused into one single story. James Maloney was a baker in both the 1880 and 1900 census for Worcester, a bakery fire wouldn't be uncommon in those days. Perhaps a bakery fire about 1881 in Worcester got mixed in with James Maloney's involvement in the Fenian Struggles of 1867?

And perhaps it was just luck of the Irish that you posted your query on the Clare Past Forum on March 5th, the 149th anniversary of the 1867 Fenian Rising in Ireland!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:00 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am
Posts: 226
Happy St. Patrick's Day

To highlight how common the name James Maloney is in Ireland, there were 950 listed (including common name variations) in the Ireland Prison Registers (1790 - 1924):

I did find in the Limerick prison registry the James Moloney who is listed by Edward Keanan in his article "Active Fenians in Co. Limerick ...". His 1867 offense was "Levying War against the Queen and Attacking Ardagh Barrack". This James Moloney was born in 1849 in Newcastle, Limerick. There is a town named Newcastle West which is only 4 miles south of Ardagh.

I had a quick look at a few other men listed and found their names in the same Limerick prison registry book. Both John Magner and Michael Liston were born in Coolcappa; Daniel Quinlivan in Ashgrove; and Joseph Kennedy born in Glin. All these birthplaces are very close to Ardagh, Limerick.

The original prison records are available on the website for a subscription fee, but can also be viewed for free at a Mormon family history center. There is one near my house so will check to see if any more information is provided on the families of these men and whether or not they were released.

Although the name is very common, the local newspaper records of Worcester Massachusetts provide some evidence that James Maloney of Worcester could possibly be a Fenian rebel of 1867 who had immigrated from Ireland in 1868. In 1872 the city of Worcester had its largest St. Patrick's Day celebration to date. Large crowds assembled to watch the parade which consisted of three groups: (1) Father Matthew Mutual Benevolent Total Abstinence Society, 192 men; (2) American Society of Hibernians, 100 men; (3) Ancient Order of Hibernians, 374 men. See below excerpt from National Aegis (Worcester) newspaper of 23 March 1872.

Each group in the parade was led by one marshal and several aides. The aides were selected by vote from the society members. For the Ancient Order of Hibernians, one of the aides selected was James Maloney. Was James Maloney chosen for this place of honor in the 1872 St. Patrick's Day parade due to his being a veteran of the Fenian Rising of 1867? His baptism records in Ireland and immigration records from 1868 might provide further clues.

St. Patrick's Day in 1872 fell on a Sunday. Unlike most cities in America that year, Worcester decided to hold their celebrations on the Monday. For the annual St. Patrick's Day banquet, I'm not sure why since it was a Monday but the article stated that Lenten practices were followed and no meat was served. If you are eating corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick's Day you'll be very jealous of the Worcester menu from 1872 - see below.

The newspaper also gave a summary of the long speeches, and here is a list of the songs during the festivities:

"St. Patrick's Day in the Morning"
"The Wearing of the Green" (crowd favorite)
"The Harp that Once Through Tara's Halls"
"Kathleen Mavourneen"
"Believe Me If all those Endearing Charms"
"The Last Rose of Summer"
"The Ring My Mother Wore"

St Patrick's Day (Worcester, MA) National Aegis 23 March 1872.jpg
St Patrick's Day (Worcester, MA) National Aegis 23 March 1872.jpg [ 225.98 KiB | Viewed 9773 times ]
St Patrick's Day (Worcester, MA) National Aegis 23 March 1872 supper menu.jpg
St Patrick's Day (Worcester, MA) National Aegis 23 March 1872 supper menu.jpg [ 100.57 KiB | Viewed 9773 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:32 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:31 pm
Posts: 1071
Location: USA
Maloney, Dennis, St.jpg
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I probably should have posted this when the discussion involved Dennis as father and brother of James the suspected Fenian. The local gen. group maintains a website with contributions from its members, including a cemetery survey showing that Dennis (but not his brother James) rests in peace at St. John's. That is a modern, large grounds with unmarked burials from an earlier RC cemetery in the Tatnuck neighborhood (the few Clare burials are in a posting of mine). See the attachment, which has a curious reference to Dennis being haunted during his lifetime, perhaps a reference to the passion felt by Fenians for their cause. The link is

Sharon Carberry

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:45 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am
Posts: 226
Well spotted, Sharon, thanks for posting the headstone information for Dennis Maloney. Interesting that he was born in Newcastle West and the birthplace of Fenian James Moloney in the 1867 Limerick Prison Register was listed as Newcastle. I think you are right that Dennis Maloney being a "true haunted Irishman" is related to the Fenian cause. Unfortunately, the genealogybank newspaper archive skips the year 1877 for all Worcester newspapers so couldn't find his obituary. But there are other clues that Dennis Maloney was involved in the 1867 Fenian Rising:

For the 1871 St. Patrick's Day parade in Worcester, Dennis Maloney is listed as a Marshal leading the 250 men of the American Order of Hibernians (see below).

And then in August 1876, Dennis Maloney in Worcester spoke to a "meeting of Irish Democrats opposed to the nomination of Charles Francis Adams for Governor..."Mr. Dennis Maloney briefly stated the gathering to be of one growing out of a determination on the part of some, who could not forget a wrong turn: to oppose the official advancement of Charles Francis Adams, who had been instrumental in leaving men who claimed to be American citizens to be hung in English jails when a word from him might have saved them. He closed his remarks, amidst applause, by calling upon all with the true Irish spirit to oppose Adams first, last, and always, and called for nominations to effect an organization of the meeting." Another speaker stated "Now the party leaders throw out as a feeler the name of a man who congratulated the British government on their success in quelling the Fenian insurrection by the holocaust of Manchester". ("Anti-Adams. The Meeting at Turnhalle Last Night", 26 August 1876, National Aegis, Worcester, MA).

Many of the Fenians were veterans of the American Civil War, and thus would claim to be American citizens as mentioned in the above speech. Could Dennis Maloney be an American Civil War veteran? Born around 1844 he would be the perfect age. In 1874 at the dedication of the Soldier's Monument in Worcester dedicated to those soldiers who died in the Civil War, Dennis Maloney is listed as a Side Marshal for the Ancient Order of Hibernians (18 July 1874, National Aegis). Perhaps he completed his 3 years of military service in the Union Army through 1864, returned to Limerick in 1865 to marry Margaret Keating in Rathkeale, and then been involved in the 1867 Fenian Rising?

There is a possibility that Dennis Maloney might be the "Denis Mulowny" of Moore Street, Dublin who was arrested in 1867 for treasonable practices and imprisoned at Kilmainham Gaol. The birth year of 1845 is within one year of his age at the 1870 census as well as his 1876 headstone. However, the birth place of Dublin is incorrect and the name is fairly common, so doubtful he is the Dennis Maloney of Worcester.

Another Dennis Molony born in Limerick was listed on the Limerick Prison Register as a victim of an assault on 8 July 1867:

Next time I'm at the Mormon library will have a look at the actual prison register for the above two men. Last week I obtained copies of the Limerick Prison register for James Molony and the other men arrested during the 1867 Fenian Rising in Ardagh, Limerick. His occupation was listed as a baker (see below), the same occupation as the suspected Fenian living in Worcester in the 1870 census. James Molony was arrested on 23 March 1867 and discharged on 20 July 1867.

Celebration of St Patrick's Day, 24 Mar 1871, Massachusetts Spy (Worcester).jpg
Celebration of St Patrick's Day, 24 Mar 1871, Massachusetts Spy (Worcester).jpg [ 125.19 KiB | Viewed 9671 times ]
James Maloney, Baker, age 18 (Limerick Prison Register).jpg
James Maloney, Baker, age 18 (Limerick Prison Register).jpg [ 12.35 KiB | Viewed 9671 times ]
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:02 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am
Posts: 226
Went back to the Mormon library this week and checked a few more Irish Prison Register records from the website.

The Denis Molony of Limerick was on the public road on 8 July 1867 near Roxborough and was violently assaulted by William Hehir. But no details were provided (birthplace, age etc) that would link him to the Dennis Moloney of Worchester, Massachusetts.

The Fenian Denis Maloney who was sent to Kilmainham Gaol that I mentioned in last post as a remote possibility is definitely NOT the "true haunted Irishman" living in Worchester. I believe here is the 1909 obituary for the Dennis Maloney of Dublin:
One of the Old Guard Dead.

There passed away on Nov. 1, at his residence in Chancery Street, Dublin, Denis Maloney, well known in Fenian circles in the sixties. The late Mr. Maloney served a term of imprisonment for his principles, previous which he had been in the American Navy, being a sailor aboard the Kearsarge when that vessel sank the Confederate privateer, Alabama off Cherbourg. Mr. Maloney had been in failing health for some time and his death was not unexpected.

Source: Irish American Weekly, New York City, 20 November 1909, newspaper archive.

At least I was correct that Denis Maloney was a veteran of the American Civil War, but just had the wrong man! Here is the Dublin Fenian with his wife and 3 sons in the 1901 Irish Census living on Chancery Street:

The history of the USS Kearsarge and the "Battle of Cherboug" off the coast of France is pretty interesting:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:37 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:53 pm
Posts: 740
Location: Внешняя Громболия
[/quote]The history of the USS Kearsarge and the "Battle of Cherboug" off the coast of France is pretty interesting:[/quote]

Indeed, Jimbo. Thanks for that link and for plumbing yet another depth of my ignorance. Most interesting reading. I had no idea that the American Civil War was also fought on this side of the Atlantic.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am
Posts: 226
An Irish ghost story for this Halloween and All Soul's Day:

The grave of Dennis Maloney of Worcester states that he was a "A True Haunted Irishman, May His Soul Rest in Peace". This appears to be a reference to his Fenian activities of 1867 as evidenced by his later campaigning against Charles Francis Adams for governor of Massachusetts. When Charles Adams (son and grandson of two US presidents) was U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, he did nothing for the 1867 Fenian Heroes of Irish birth but American citizenship who were in British jails.

While Dennis Maloney appears to have had a narrow escape from John Bull in Ireland in 1867, his American born nephew and namesake Dennis Maloney had a narrow escape from a Cow in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1895:

Dennis Maloney came very nearly being dragged to death by a cow, Saturday evening. Dennis went out into the meadow to milk the cow, and she objected, and ran around him and wound him in the rope by which she was secured. Finally the stake became loosened and the cow went through bushes and mud-holes, dragging the unfortunate Dennis, heels first, after her. His cries for assistance were unheard, and if he had not finally become untangled, his life would not have been worth much. As it is, both legs are badly cut by the rope and his hands and face are badly scratched. (Worcester Sunday Spy, Massachusetts, July 14, 1895)

Perhaps Irish folklore would provide better symbolism for the Cow than John Bull?? The young Dennis entwined by the rope of the cow was fortunate indeed to become untied. And hopefully the manly soul of the true haunted Irishman can now rest in peace:

How oft has the Banshee cried,
How oft has death untied
Bright links that Glory wove,
Sweet bonds entwined by Love!
Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth;
Long may the fair and brave
Sigh o'er the hero's grave.

Thomas Moore

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