Thomas J. Fitzpatrick (1849-1926)

Thomas J. Fitzpatrick, the second child of Mathew Fitzpatrick and Mary Lynch, was born on 19 July 1849 in Haverstraw, New York. In the 1850 Federal Census, he and his older brother, John can be are identified as members of the household and still living in Haverstraw in Rockland County. He is once again found in the 1860 Federal Census still living in Haverstraw with his parents and siblings.

At some point between 1860 and before 1878, Thomas moves to Chicago, Illinois and he is recorded as getting married to Johanna Powers on 28 May 1878 in the Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index. Very little is known about Johanna Powers except that she was born in Ireland. She can be first found on a New York Passenger list on 21 September 1874 at the age of 16 years on vessel that originally departed Liverpool, England with a stop in Queenstown, Ireland where she presumably embarked on the vessel.  She is traveling by herself at the young age and lists her occupation as “servant.”  It must take great courage for a 16-year-old poor girl to leave her home by herself and immigrate to a new country!

In the 1880 Federal Census, Thomas is found living on 577 State Street in Chicago with his new wife and a new son, Mathew who is one year old.  The household also includes his younger brother Matthew, his sister Ellen and his mother Mary.  Thomas lists his occupation as saloon keeper.

He is next found in the 1900 Federal Census living at 4208 5th Street in Ward 29 of Chicago.  The census states that he owns the house free and clear of mortgage.  Other members of the household include his wife, Johanna and their children, Matthew (21 years old), Morris (19 years old), Thomas (16 years old), Margaret (14 years old), Mary (13 years old) and Agnes (5 years old).  He lists his occupation as carpenter but that he has been out of work 8 months in the last year.

Martin and Mary (Fitzpatrick) Kennedy with Thomas J. Fitzpatrick (c1921)

Martin and Mary (Fitzpatrick) Kennedy with Thomas J. Fitzpatrick (c1921)

In the 1910 Federal Census he is still living at 4208 5th Street in Chicago.  The members of the household list almost all of their children including Matthew, Morris (spelled Maurice in this census), Margaret, Mary and Agnes.  The only one who has left the home is Thomas, the father of the Omaha Fitzpatricks.  He lists his occupation as being a “county clerk” in the county offices.

At this point little, he is difficult to find with certitude.  There are at least three surviving pictures of him with members of the family that are not dated.  The adjacent picture shows him with his daughter Mary and her husband Martin Kennedy.  There is another photograph from that same day with his granddaughter, Helen Marie that will be included in a later post.  This photograph is most likely from around 1921 based on his appearance and the appearance of the young married couple that does not depict any of their children.  The next photograph which is also undated shows what appears to be an older Thomas with two of his children, Matthew Fitzpatrick and his wife and Mary Kennedy with her daughter Mary who was born in 1923, so this photograph can be safely dated as being between 1923 and 1924.  The photograph appears to be taken from an unknown rural area or farm.

1924 circa- Thomas J Fitzpatrick, Mary Fitzpatrick Kennedy holding baby Mary, Mary Luella Fitzpatrick, Matthew Fitzpatrick- 1a

Last known picture of Thomas J Fitzpatrick with Mary (Fitzpatrick) Kennedy holding baby Mary, Mary Luella Fitzpatrick and Matthew Fitzpatrick – c 1924

Thomas J. Fitzpatrick died on 20 July 1926 and is buried at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery that is located on 2755 West 111th Street in Chicago, Illinois.  His wife, Johanna (Powers) Fitzpatrick probably died before 1921 but her death certificate and site of burial have never been identified but she is most likely buried at the same cemetery.  Their children which will be the topic of the next blog were:

  • Matthew T. Fitzpatrick (born 1979)
  • Morris Fitzpatrick (born 1880)
  • Thomas J. Fitzpatrick (born 1884)
  • Margaret J. Fitzpatrick (born 1885)
  • Mary A. Fitzpatrick (born 1887)
  • Agnes V. Fitzpatrick (born 1894)

Mathew Fitzpatrick (1807 – c1869)

As discussed in the previous blog, Mathew Fitzpatrick, is most certainly the ancestor of the Omaha Fitzpatricks.  As noted earlier, Ellen (Ryan) Fitzpatrick (she is buried in Mt. Olivat Cemetary in Chicago, Illinois), who we know to be the younger sister of Thomas J. Fitzpatrick, lists his birth place as Waterford, Ireland on the information from the Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index.  We do not know when he immigrated to the United States but we do know that it was not before 1843 as his oldest son, John is born in Ireland.  We also know that it was before 1849 as his next oldest son, Thomas (our ancestor) is born in 1849.  He married Mary Lynch (1819 – c1887) who was from Limerick, Ireland in an unknown location in Ireland and had one son, John, who was born in 1843 in Ireland.

He most likely arrived in New York with his wife, Mary and  his son John.  Although, we cannot prove it, in 1844, a “John Fitzpatrick” placed a notice in a Boston newspaper looking for his brother, Mathew Fitzpatrick (with one T) who has a last known residence of Brooklyn, New York.  Although there is no way to prove this with certitude, this is a highly likely match for the known facts and this most likely represents his younger brother who immigrated separately and is trying to find his older brother.

In the 1850 federal census, we can find Mathew Fitzpatrick and his family living in Haverstraw, New York which is in Rockland County on the Hudson River above New York City.  Haverstraw, which was known for its brick industry, had a large influx of Irish immigrants in the middle of the 19th century.  The 1850 census, lists a household that includes his wife Mary in addition to John (age 7) and Thomas (age 2) in addition to a second family consisting of his younger brother, John Fitzpatrick (age 29) and his wife, Mary (Foley) Fitzpatrick (age 30).  Mathew lists his occupation as shoemaker.

In the 1860 federal census, Mathew Fitzpatrick and his family are still living in Rockland County although he is now identified as living in township of Warren.  His name is spelled “Matthew” in this handwritten census; this is the only time that this spelling is used.  His occupation is still listed as being a shoemaker and the household includes his wife Mary, the two older boys John and Thomas but there are now two daughters, Mary (age 7) and Ellen (age 5).

The Fitzpatricks make a move from Haverstraw, New York to Chicago, Illinois somewhere between 1860 and 1869.  In the 1869 Chicago directory, a Matthew Fitzpatrick, a shoemaker, is listed as living at 288 4th Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.  Also living in the household is his son, Thomas Fitzpatrick, who is a carpenter.  At this point, the record goes cold and we do not find him listed in the 1870 federal census and his wife Mary is now listed as head of the household and we assume that he died between 1869 and 1970.  His burial place is also unknown but a likely starting point would be Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Chicago.

What happened to his wife, Mary Fitzpatrick?  We know that she moved with her husband to Chicago between 1861 and 1869 as we can find her living on 228 4th Avenue in Chicago in the 1870 Chicago Directory where she is listed as the widow of Matthew Fitzpatrick .  She can also be found in the 1870 Federal Census where she lists her occupation as “keeping house” with a estate worth $900.  Also living in the house are Thomas (apprentice to a house carpenter), Mary Ann (appears to say dress maker), Ellen (apprentice to possibly a dress maker) and Matthew (age 9 years).  In the 1880 federal census, she is the household of her son, Thomas where she is curiously listed as a boarder.  The  exact date of her death has not been identified but she does not appear in the 1890 census.  Her burial place has not been identified but it is reasonable to presume that she is buried in Chicago.

The number of children is known to be at least 5 children that survived.  Their children are as follows:

  •  John Fitzpatrick (1843 or 1844- ?) – in the 1860 federal census his occupation is listed as a laborer.  It is likely that he also moved to Chicago around 1868 as 1870 Chicago Directory lists a John Fitzpatrick living at 333 4th Avenue which is one block away from his mother is widowed.  He has a wife born in Ireland and two children, named Mary (2 years old and born in Haverstraw, New York) and a second daughter who is not yet one and she is born in Illinois.  He works in a freight depot.  John has 12 children of which 8 survive.  He eventually become a policeman and dies sometime after the 1900 census.
  • Thomas J Fitzpatrick (1849 – 1926) – our ancestor who will be the topic of the next blog
  • Mary Ann Fitzpatrick (1853 – 1911) – she is believed to have married a man with the last name of Lawler and is buried in Chicago, Illinois.  We do not know if she had any children.
  • Ellen Fitzpatrick (1860 – 1938) – she married Timothy Ryan, who was born in Ireland in 1883.  While she was born in Haverstraw, New York, she lived most of her adult life in Chicago, primarily in Ward 32.  This union produced six children, James, May L., Anna, Thomas J, Timothy and John.  She is buried in Mt. Olivat Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Mathew (also Matthew) Fitzpatrick (c1861- c1909) – the 1870 federal census lists him as being born in New York while the 1880 federal census identifies him as living in the household of his older brother Thomas J. Fitzpatrick.  His occupation is listed as being a grocery clerk.

The Fitzpatricks Come to America

Family stories relate that the “Omaha Fitzpatricks” came to the United States sometime in the middle of the 18th century.  Family legend on the Mathew Fitzpatrick side of the family including one verbal source (my father Edward Fitzpatrick) stated that there were three brothers and that they may have even killed a British soldier.  A second verbal source (Betty Hawman) was also independently told that there were three brothers and they had “biblical” names.  This has subsequently been confirmed by multiple lines of research on and Bobbi McCaffery, who has married in to the David Fitzpatrick side of the family.  She has been doing research on the Fitzpatrick brothers and has amassed an amazing amount of genealogical research on the Fitzpatrick family.

Genealogical research from multiple sources now confirm that all three brothers immigrated from and were probably born in County Waterford in IrelandThere is strong family historical and even some documentation that they came from Dungarvan which is a coastal town in County Waterford. There are now a number of documents that prove that “Fitzpatricks of Omaha” are all descended from Mathew Fitzpatrick (c1807 – c1869) and Mary Lynch (1819 – 1887) that will be discussed in more detail in a later blog.

The middle brother, David Fitzpatrick (1815 – 1893), is known to be born in County Waterford in Ireland where he married Catherine Foley (c1805 – 1894) in Dungarvan.  In the genealogic records, her date of birth is highly variable depending on the source and could be anywhere from 1796 (unlikely since that would make her 19 years older than her husband) to 1810.  One document identifies her as being 10 years older than her husband which would make 1805 a likely birth date.  They had three children that were all born in Ireland, Catherine (died at age of 3 in Ireland before 1852), John W. also known as “Big John” (1844 – 1893) and Patrick D. (1849 – 1932) also known as “Big Pat”.  Patrick is known to have been born in Dungarvan in the County of Waterford.  David is known to have arrived without his family in New York 15 March 1851 on the ship George Green that sailed out of Liverpool.  He got a job in construction working on the Illinois-Michigan Canal and eventually sent for his family.  He waited in New York for his wife and children but the ship was delayed and he needed to return to work.  He arranged for an unknown relative to be on the alert and meet his family but the plan went awry and Mary Fitzpatrick arrived with John (3 years old) and Patrick (1 year old) on the ship Kossuth on 29 March 1852 in a new country and no one to meet them.  In the confusion, John wandered off and disappeared further compounding Catherine’s misery.  According to family stories, Catherine was found holding baby Patrick and crying on a doorstep by an Irish policeman.  The story has a happy ending as this policeman, found suitable lodging, food for the family, the missing John and the relative that was supposed to meet them.  Great story!  David and his family moved to Peru, Illinois by 1860.  They were known to have taken in boarders.  Of interest, Michael Foley and other members of that family that are surely relatives of Catherine Foley are found in an adjacent dwelling.  The Fitzpatrick and Foley families appear to have been very close.

John Fitzpatrick (1821 – died between 1864 and 1870) was born in Dungarvan in County Waterford.  He married Mary Foley (1820 – 1884), who is also thought to be born in Dungarvan.  She is most likely the sister or close relative of Catherine Foley and Michael Foley (see above). Their exact date of arrival in the United States is not known.  In the 1850 federal census of Haverstraw, New York, which is in addition to listing Mathew Fitzpatrick as head of the household, it also lists a second Fitzpatrick family, composed of John and Mary Fitzpatrick who are also from Ireland and are most certainly the younger brother and his wife.  She is known to have died on 9 June 1884 in Walton, Lee, Illinois and is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Campus, Livingston, Illinois.  They known to still be in Haverstraw, New York in 1853 as they have two sons, John H. Fitzpatrick, known as “Little John” and Patrick Joseph Fitzpatrick, known as “Little Pat” that are both born in that year in Haverstraw.  There is no documentation to indicate whether or not they are twins.  Sometime between 1853 and 1864, they move to Livingston County in Illinois.  There are numerous known descendants of this branch of the family, particularly in Illinois.

In the next blog, we will start to expand on what is known about our direct ancestor, Mathew Fitzpatrick.