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Francis, son of William Arthur of Limerick

 

Francis was born in Limerick in about 1814.He was the eldest of a large family consisting of 9 boys and one girl. He was the son of William Arthur and Margaret Considine and a brother of Joseph William Arthur of Ennistymon. He was a manager in the large firm of Quinn LTD Limerick who were wine and spirit merchants.. He married a Limerick lady whose name is unknown at present. Of this marriage there was a large family and these children were born in New York. He arrived in New York on the 28th. July 1847 when he was 25 years of age aboard a ship called Eagle. In 1956 on the 18th. September Francis became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1855 he was living in Kings County, Brooklyn and in 1865 he was still living in Brooklyn, Ward 4, District 2, King , New York, his wife Mary was dead by 1865  and he was raising 7 children ranging in age from 14 to 1. They were called Mary A. Arthur 14 years old, Kate Arthur 13 years old, Anna Arthur 11 years old, Frank A. Arthur 9 years old, William Arthur 7 years old, Emma Arthur 5 years old and lastly John Arthur 1 year old. In 1865 the property where he lived was valued at $3,000 and as this was after the civil war the value of his property had gone down from the $4,500 it had been in 1855. By 23 April 1866 Mart Francis first wife was dead as there was a piece in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle asking anyone who had a claim against Mary Arthur his late wife to bring them forward. In 1870 he is recorded as having brought a case against a Gideon Gates for defamation of character.By 1880 Francis had married another Irish lady called Mary ( we do not know her surname) but all the children of the first marriage had moved out and they were on their own until their children arrived. In 1930 there were two sisters living together in ward 16 in New York working as seamstresses who may have been two daughters of Francis Arthur their names were Mary A Herring and Margaret Arthur.

 
An advertisment for Whites hardware etc. store where Francis Arthur's daughter married the owner and Francis had an interest in.
 

Francis carried on business as a dry goods merchant in company with his son-in-law, a Mr White. This Mr. White carried on a drapery business or as New Yorkers termed it, a “dry goods store” it seems to have been at 208 Fulton, corner of Pineapple Street, Brooklyn. h. 170 Livingston. In 1879 Francis was living in Butler St, Brooklyn. Francis Arthur’s first wife had died when his children were young.So after a short time he married again, of this union there were 2 children, a Francis and a girl who later became a Mrs White. In 1887 on the 28th. of September Amy/Emma his daughter from his first marriage got married to a Mr. Frank J McHale.  Francis was short and stout in appearance. He dressed in typical Yankee style, wearing a moustache. He seems to have died on the sixth of November 1891 and is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery Kings County Brooklyn New York. We knew little more of this Francis Arthur as he communicated little with his brother Joseph William in Ennistymon. He must have been well off as he is recorded as having servants in several places.

The other sons of William Arthur of Limerick died either as young boys or in early manhood. These were Edward, Walter, Harry, Patrick and Jemmy. Edward seems to have lived on in his grandfathers house (Patrick Arthur of Ennistymon) until his death. He does not seem to have married or have had any children and had a business in the town of Ennistymon. It is thought that after his death that Patrick Arthur's house passed into the hands of his sister Margaret's family who had been living there also. One daughter died young, and of her we have no record.

 

  These are the only two photos containing Minnie Arthur that are known.  

Minnie Arthur

 

Minnie Arthur was the eldest daughter of Joseph William of Ennistymon, born in 1862. She grew up a very beautiful girl and was educated in the local convent of Mercy. Although a good and devout girl she never displayed any predisposition for the religious life in her early years. At the age of 18 she was sent by her parents to Limerick to learn about the confectionery trade at the establishment of a Mrs. Kent. Upon the completion of her training in this business she obtained a post in Clonmel at another confectionary establishment owned by a Mrs Kiely. She kept this position for 5 or 6 years where she became a favourite with all her acquaintances.  About the year 1888 she left Ireland rather suddenly for the United States for some reason or other. Perhaps to save her parents grief or for some other motive she never made reference to. She left without telling her parents and this was a great blow to them. It is believed that she obtained a post in a hospital in that great city. She must have felt very unhappy in a strange land among strangers without a friend.

At her first opportunity she went to Meriden to visit her sister Margaret, then a young professed nun in the Mercy Convent there. We can visualise how this must have been after a 4-5 year separation. They must have shared their innermost thoughts with each other; they spoke of the old home in Ennistymon, of their parents and of their younger brothers and sisters. The visit came to an end and the sisters said goodbye. Minnie took the train back to New York. The visit seems to have made a very deep impression on her. She contrasted her life in New York with that of her sister in the peaceful convent. She now saw the world as she had never seen it before, an inward voice surely urging her to leave all things and follow Him.

Before long Minnie Arthur was in communication with the Rev Mother of the Sisters of Mercy in Brooklyn New York and when arrangements were compiled, she entered the community of that Convent as a novice. She made her perpetual profession 3-4 years after her entrance. After a short time her superiors sent her to take up position among the orphan children of the Guardian Angel House, Brooklyn. In this institute Sr. Mary Augustine as she was now called spent her time working with the orphan children.  She had always enjoyed robust health but in the beginning of Jan 1911 she contracted a severe cold. Her life was drawing to a close and she died at an early age on Jan 6th 1911. 

A few years after her death a gentleman entered the establishment of John Arthur her brother in Clonmel. He approached one of the boys in the house saying “pardon me, sir, I have been attracted by the name Arthur at the front of your shop. John asked him his business and the man said that he was wondering if he knew a Minnie and in a few moments the man produced a photograph of Sister M Augustine as a young professed nun. There she stood arrayed in the immaculate habit of the Sisters of Mercy.” It is indeed Minnie,” John said with great emotion. “Where is she now?” “In heaven I hope” replied the man. The stranger drew his hand across his face, leant over the counter and wept like a child. He left as abruptly as he had entered the establishment giving neither name nor address.

Sister Mary Augustine is buried with her sister in Religion in the Sisters of Mercy Plot in the public Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

 

Madeleine Arthur

 

Madeline was the youngest daughter of Joseph William Arthur of Ennistymon. Born in the year 1880 she was a strong built child up until her 7th or 8th year, when she contracted a serious disease that increased as the years went on. In her 13th or 14th year she fell and broke a hipbone, an accident from which she never recovered. She now became completely bed-ridden, and to the eternal honour of her sister Catherine who remained at the bedside as a faithful and constant nurse. It was thus that one sister sacrificed her future well being and happiness for the comfort of her afflicted sister. Madeleine’s life was a martyrdom. She suffered intensely at times. At last about 1909 she died in a hospice in the charge of the Sisters of Nazareth in Belfast.

  

 

John Arthur with some of his family.

 

 

 

John J Arthur, Clonmel

 

John married Margaret O’Donnell of Kilrush who died on 29th. September 1926 aged approx. 60 years and John died on 30th. June 1951 aged approx. 84 years old.. Their children were John, Joseph, William, Charles, May, Francis and Adelaide, Kathleen (died as a child) as did William. Of this family

John was the first to go he went in 1915 and by 1920 he was married to Marye Franklin and living at 201 east 92nd. Street New York and  was working as a carpenter in a shipyard. Alice their first daughter was born on 20 December 1920 and she got married to Joseph Anthony Falson in 1946, their daughter Joanne is now living in North Carolina got married in 1968 and she has a son called Kenneth Michael Patrick Falson, a daughter one granddaughter Alexandria (called Allie) and a grandson.. They also has a son called John Falson and a daughter called Margaret (10-6-1931) known as Peggy who married a man called Landy and they had a daughter called Donna May whose married name is Jacobellis. Joseph Falson died in 1997 and Alice died in 2014 and they are both buried in the Calverton National Cemetery. By 1930 John was an inspector with a Board of Education. There is a record of John and family sailing from Cobh to New York in 1924. Mary and Alice sailed second class on board the White Star Ship, Baltic from New York to Ireland in 1923 arriving on the 7th. May and they seem to have stayed at Wellington Street, Cahir which is where Mary his wife was from .

Joseph married Edith Louise Chapman on the 30th. January 1922 in Clonmel before emigrating first to Toronto Canada where they went to be with her brother Arthur Henry Chapman. The Chapman family were from County Clare as far as I know and thgey were Anglicaan so Edith Louise became a Catholic when she married Joseph. Then they went to the U.S. in 1926 where they had two 2 girls, Alice and Margaret. Joseph lived at 2804 Wellman Avenue, Bronx, New york. Joseph died on Mary.12th. March 1967 aged approx. 74 years and his wife died on 8th. August 1969. Joseph like his father worked as a photographer when in Ireland but Joseph did return to retire in Cork. Mary Johns wife was one of the two people who signed Josephs petition for naturalization as a witness in December 1930 and at this time Joseph was working as a stockman.

 
This was Joseph  Arthurs shop before he emigrated to New York.
 

Charles Gabriel Arthur was the last to go to New york, he sailed from Cobh on board the ship SS Republic which departed on the 22nd. September 1929 and he seems to have worked as a collector for a while. In 1935 Charles petitioned for naturalization and again one of his witnesses was Johns wife Mary and he is down as living at 2804 Willman Avenue , Bronx New York. Charles married a lady called Mary Love. By 1940 Charles was working as a handyman in an apartment complex and had three daughters called Margaret born 1936, Bernadette and Patricia. In another place his occupation is listed as porter. Charles came home to visit on a number of occasions in his latter years. While not certain it is thought that Charles died in New York on January 1984.

 

 

    

Mai Arthur/Keogh    

 

      


                                          

 
On top a sign from John Arthurs shop in Clonmel and the place where it was shown in the photo of the shop below
Helen Keogh aged twelve.


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May married Patrick Keogh of Clonmel; they had two children one child Helen was born in 1924. May died on 1st. May 1928 giving birth to Helen's brother Arthur who unfortunately also died. Patrick died on 18th. June 1940. Helen married Mick Kelly and they had four sons James, Paul, Michael and Joseph. James has one daughter Niamh and two sons Conall and Daire. At the time of writing one of James children Conall has a child born in Jamaica where he used to live but now he has returned to be a lecturer in Mathematics in UCC.. Niamh works in I.T,s and Daire works in information technology as a corporate problem solver in England. Paul works in the University of Limerick in the I.T. department. Paul has not married and has no children. Michael was a Primary school teacher and principal and is now retired. He has one son Cormac who works as a CGI artist in Dublin and twins who died in infancy. Joe has two sons Colm who went to Trinity College where he studied law and then to England for further study and has now qualified as a barrister and Briain who has just finished college. Helen died on 19th March 2007, Mick has also unfortunately now passed away and they are buried together in St. Patricks Cemetary,Clonmel

Frances married Edward Francis White and had 2 children, Gabrielle who died aged 12 and Frances who married Tom Bourke. Francis and Tom have fourteen children all of whom happily are alive at the time of writing. Francis White has the distinction of being the only person to be elected Mayor of Clonmel for five years in succession sadly he was to die during his fifth year in office.

Adelaide married William Waldron of Clonmel. Adelaide and William never had any children. William died on the 27th. Of July 1974 and Adelaide died on 1st. of February 1991 and she was approx. 88 years old when she died.   

 John Arthur married for a second time, a Margaret Leonard of Navan but there were no children from this union. Margaret died in the early 1970’s. She is buried with Joseph John's son and his wife Louise. John's shop passed to a niece of Margaret Leonard John's second wife unfortunately she died within months of her aunt and her husband cleared out the shop and dumped nearly everything (untold numbers of old photos must have been lost) he then auctioned the shop and it was bought by the Clonmel Nationalist.

Francis Arthur

 

Francis married Mary Walsh of Gorey. Their children were Charles and Marie. They lived at "Sancta Maria" Taylors Hill Galway. It was used as a boarding house for students during the winter and a holiday home for the Christian Brothers during the summer Br. Charles (Firmin) possibly had something to do with this.

Charles was a doctor, and he married Fionnuala Monaghan of White Hall Dublin. They had 3 children, one called Jonathan. Charles eventually went to England where he practiced as a doctor. Charles died and was buried in Watford, Hearts .

Marie married Donie Donovan from Limerick, a lieutenant in the Army and they had 2 children, Francis & Helen who lived their mother and grandparents after Donie went to New York where he died around 1990 in Montauk island. To the best of my knowledge Marie obtained a Church annulment of her marriage to Donny Donovan. She then married Paul Keenan a New Yorker and Vietnam veteran. They lived at Rockaway Point on Queens NY for five or six years. Gabriel Arthur met  Paul in Dublin on one occasion. When Paul passed away Marie returned to Galway and had nice flat on Nuns Island in Galway City. She sold the Arthur home , Sancta Maria on Taylors Hill before she re-married. Marie's son Frank now lives in Cork with his wife Fionnuala and they have three grown children Fiona, Jonathan and Simon sadly Fiona died about 15 years ago and Jonathans Daughter got married  in 2017 in Dorset. Helen is now called Helen Chambers but she was married to Des McInerney first and she lives in Blackrock in Dublin, She had three children from her first marriage Carol, Adrian and Dave as well as having grandchildren.

 

 

Catherine Arthur

 

Lived at Deerpark House Ennistymon and never married. It is thought that Catherine may have also entered a convent but she must have decided that the life was not for her. She took care of her sister Madeline until she died in 1909.

 

Margaret Arthur (Sister Mary Aquin)

 

Margaret was the third child of Joseph William and Catherine Cooney. She was born in Ennistymon in 1869. She was a very beautiful child and if any character was outstanding it was that of her generosity. As a child and girl it was her delight to share whatever she possessed with her brothers & sisters. When only 5 or 6 years old, through the carelessness of a servant a vessel of boiling water fell on her head. It was thought that she would be disfigured for life, but a local woman knowledgeable in herbal cures made a remedy, one of the ingredients being laurel leaves. The result was that in a very short space of time little Margaret was cured. Not a trace or the slightest mark was left.

Margaret was sent to school to the local Convent of Mercy. She grew up a most virtuous girl, and after passing through the usual curriculum of that school, she became an assistant teacher to the nuns. For a short time Margaret acted as governess to the daughter of Dr William Arthur of Brighton who was her Uncle. Margaret returned briefly to Ennistymon to say goodbye to her beloved ones there. At the beginning of 1886 she made arrangements to enter the convent Meridian in the diocese of Hartford, Connecticut USA.

She had only been a few days at sea when a terrible storm swept the Atlantic from Ireland to America. Tempestuous weather & mountainous seas prevailed. Huge waves broke over the ship and even old sailors on board thought they were in imminent danger of floundering. Margaret was very frightened, but a De La Sale brother on board acted as the Good Samaritan and helped to allay her fears. She entered the convent on 15th December 1886 being in her 17th year. She went through the usual postulantship and after the allotted time received the religious habit, the White veil and name Sister Mary Aquin. The life of a white novice in religion is a very uneventful one, she rose at the first strike of the bell in the morning, made her prayer and meditation, heard holy Mass, taught the children to love God, took part in daily recreations, read spiritual books, examined her conscience, did some study and said her rosary. This was one day in the life of a Sister of Mercy.

Sister Mary Aquin was appointed to teach in St Roses School, Meridian in the Primary grade. She was enthusiastic for hard work in St Rose’s her efforts were crowned with success. Her zealous labours were continued in Derby, New London, Rockville and Torrington. With her pupils and ex pupils she was an exceedingly great favourite. Some of her ex pupils would travel hundreds of miles to see her. Letters she received from her sisters in religion breathed sentiments of the most cordial affection.

She was only 4 years in the States when news of her father’s death reached her. It was a fearful trial to the young nun, but she bore it bravely. She provided spiritual help to her family by the beautiful letters of condolence she sent them. Her mother’s sudden death eleven years later was a stunning blow, but perhaps the greatest trial was the death of her beloved sister Minnie, Sister Augustine in Brooklyn. Minnie was her only known relation in America and great was their joy at their occasional meetings.

On 1930 Margaret was re-appointed to Torrington after an absence of twelve years In September that year an offer made by her brother to send some photographs from Ireland she responded “I think better not to send the album, not but I’d be glad to see it, but life is so uncertain, if I died it would be lost." She was in perfect health when she wrote that sentence, but 3 weeks later she had died.

 

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