Peter CASSIDY and Margaret (FARRELLY?)
County Cavan, Ireland to Carleton County, Canada and to Illinois, USA
October 12, 2002:
I found your site doing an Internet search on the history
of Bureau County, Illinois. The connection was the name
SKEFFINGTON. I recognized the name although it wasn't
what I was looking for. I searched the Bytown site and
found my ggg-grandfather Peter CASSIDY and some of his
children, although not his daughter Catharine, who was my
Peter, his wife Margaret, sons Patrick and Philip, and
some of their children, Margaret and Terrence were listed
in the birth register of St. Phillip's Church in
Richmond. None show up in the marriage index. Is it
possible to get the spreadsheet from which the birth
register list came? I would like to get the details.
Besides being parents, several of the family members are
shown as godparents. Here is a rundown on the Cassidy
From the "History of Bureau County, Illinois" edited by
H.C. Bradsby, 1885; "Peter J. Cassidy, Westfield, was
born August 4, 1845, in North Gower, Canada West, to which
place his grandparents, Peter and Margaret Cassidy, came
at an early day. They were natives of Ireland and soon
became successful farmers in Canada. In the fall of 1847
they came to Bureau County, Ill., where they bought and
entered thirteen eighties of land..They became quite
well-to-do farmers, and eventually removed to Ottawa, La
Salle County [Illinois], where both died."
"They reared a family of nine children: Philip, Patrick,
Margaret, Peter, Ann, Mary, James, Catharine and
Terrence. Of these, Patrick Cassidy was born 1819, in
County Cavan, Ireland..He was married in Canada to Joanna
Cochlin / Coughlin, born September 29, 1823, in County Cork,
Ireland. She is yet living and is the mother of five
children, now living: Peter J., our subject.."
Here is the Canadian generation of the family as we had
it prior to finding your site:
Peter Cassidy, Sr., born abt. 1790 in Ireland
+ Margaret (unknown, possibly Farrelly), born abt. 1795
---- Philip Cassidy, born abt. 1813 in County Cavan,
-------+ Margaret PHELAN
---- Patrick Cassidy, born abt. 1819 in County Cavan,
------- + Joanna COCHLIN/COUGHLIN
---- Margaret Cassidy, born abt. 1826 in Canada
-------- + Owen COOK
---- Peter Cassidy Jr., born abt. 1828 in Canada
---- Ann Cassidy, born abt. 1831 in Canada
--------- + Patrick CORRIGAN
---- Mary Cassidy, born abt. 1832 in Canada
---------- + Lawrence WYLER
---- James Cassidy, born abt. 1834 in Canada
---------- + Joanna WHITE
---- Catharine Cassidy, born abt. 1834 to 1836 in Canada
---------- + Patrick McDONALD
----- Terrence Cassidy born abt. 1838 in Canada
Before the family left for Illinois, two of Philip's
children were born in Canada: Margaret A., abt. 1844, and
Peter, abt. 1845; and one of Patrick's: Peter J., in
The rest of the Cassidys were born in the USA. Other
"Bytown" families found with the Cassidys in Illinois and
Nebraska are: SKEFFINGTON, McEVOY,
COUGHLIN / CONKLIN / CONKLING, LAWLER / LAWLOR, RYAN, COAKLEY,
MULVIHILL. There are probably others.
Philip was one of the early settlers of the Nebraska
Territory, showing up in the 1855 census, the year after
the Territory was opened for settlement. Eventually
sisters Ann and Catharine also went to Nebraska. All but
Catharine settled in what became South Omaha, owning land
that became part of the city and the Union Stockyards.
The Cassidy children who didn't move to Nebraska remained
in Bureau and adjacent La Salle counties in Illinois.
When Philip's wife Margaret (Phelan) died in Omaha in
1887, the "Omaha Bee" newspaper reported that her funeral
was "one of the largest ever held in the city." The next
year Philip died, and both the "Bee" and the "Daily
Stockman" reported that his funeral procession was over a
mile long. Philip and Margaret were buried in what was
originally Cassidy Cemetery, but became St. Mary's
Catholic cemetery after the Catholic Church forbade
Catholics from being buried in non-Catholic cemeteries.
St. Mary Magdalene and Graceland Park cemeteries are also
on land originally owned by the Cassidy's. All three
cemeteries are still in use today.
Catharine and Patrick McDonald settled in Lancaster
County, Nebraska. For the most part, this branch of the
family remained farmers or worked on the railroad. When
Catharine died in 1914 in Omaha, her only sibling listed
as a surviving relative was her sister Ann (Corrigan).
Catharine, Patrick, most of their children and several
grandchildren are buried in Calvary Cemetery in Lincoln,
Lancaster County, Nebraska.
I'd like to share information with other researchers on
the families, and am particularly interested in finding
out more about the Cassidys in Canada.
January 27, 2005:
See also the Thomas Cassidy page and the James McEvoy page.
August 5, 2005:
(Jim Rosse is researching the McEvoy and Cassidy connections in Gloucester
Township and in Nebraska, USA). His correspondence is on the James McEvoy page.
February 18, 2006:
I was at your Bytown site and found that my last posting needs updating.
My email has also changed.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org (incorporated in the list below ... Al)
Here is a long overdue update to the Peter Cassidy information I posted in 2002.
Peter, wife Margaret and sons Phillip and Patrick are listed in the 1821
Irish census in the Townland of Keenagh, Parish of Crosserlough, Barony of Castlerahan,
County Cavan; page 69, house #27 (LDS film # 0597155).
On his US naturalization papers filed in Bureau Co., Illinois in 1847, Peter
listed his age as 57 and birthplace as Parish Munterconnaught, County Cavan
(LDS film #1688508).
Peter signed many documents himself, usually spelling his name Cassady. In his
will, the name is spelled several different ways. With time, and among his
children, Cassidy became the most common spelling.
Marilyn Cottrell's transcripts from St. Philip's Church in Richmond provided a
wealth of information. The records include a translation from "Le diocèse d'Ottawa,
1847-1948", by Rev. Hector Legros, that says records weren't kept at the church
until 1836, though it was established in 1818.
Both sources transcribe Peter's wife Margaret's maiden name as some variation of
Heery or Hiary. Their daughter Anne's marriage record, from Illinois in 1854,
clearly shows her mother's name as Margaret Heery. My original message had her
surname as possibly Farrelly.
Of Peter and Margaret's nine children, only the birth of the last, Terrence, is
recorded in St. Philip's, on December 24, 1837. Census records, biographies and
other written histories (all from the US) list six of their other children as
being born in Canada, some specifically in North Gower. The first of these six
was born about 1825-26. Given that the family was in the 1821 Irish census,
we can put the family's arrival in Canada in the early to mid 1820s.
Eldest son Phillip Cassidy married Margaret Phelan in St. Philip's in 1843.
There are other Phelans (Whelan) and McEvoys in the church records. Whether
these connect to Jim Rosse's family I don't know, but these same surnames show up
on the westward migration from UC to Illinois to Nebraska. We know the McEvoys
in Illinois and Nebraska are the same family.
Patrick Cassidy was also married in St. Philip's, to Joanna Coughlin in 1842.
Their first two children, as well as the first two children of Phillip and Margaret
were baptized in St. Philip's. In what had to be confusing, all four children
were named after their grandparents. So there were 3 Peters and 4 Margarets
in the family by 1846. The tradition continued with other children being named
after Peter and Margaret. In his will, Peter (the elder) left extra land and/or
money to all his Peter descendants.
All Cassidy references in St. Philip's records from the beginning in 1836 to
the baptism of Peter, son of Phillip and Margaret on March 12, 1846, refer to
members of Peter's and his sons' families. This baptism is the last Cassidy entry
in the church records until October 15, 1848, when the abjuration and baptism of
Elinor Cassidy, daughter of Michael Cassidy and Ann Keys was recorded. The arrival
of Peter's ever growing family in Bureau County, Illinois in the spring of 1847 is
well documented, so we know they were gone by 1848. No connection has been made
between Michael and Peter Cassidy. Additional Cassidy references are found into
the 1900s when the transcribed records end.
The Patrick and Nora Stackpole Skeffington family mentioned elsewhere on the site
also moved to Bureau County and became associated with the Cassidys. In 1857 their
daughter Maria was listed as the female witness to the marriage of Patrick McDonald
and Peter's daughter Catherine Cassidy. Peter Cassidy is one of the witnesses who
signed the citizenship affidavit of Patrick Skeffington in 1858. In 1862 their
son Patrick Skeffington married Margaret Cassidy, daughter of Patrick and Joanna
Cassidy. Margaret's gravestone notes that she was born in North Gore (sic) Canada.
There are two references to Skeffingtons in St. Phillip's records, but I don't
know their connection to the others. John Skeffington is listed as a member of
the Total Abstinence Society of Richmond in 1842. There are 478 people on the
list including all the Cassidys. The other is Mary Skeffington, who is listed,
along with James Dacy / Darcy, as a sponsor at the baptism of Hugh, son of
James Johnston and Mary Dewan, on February 19, 1854.
... Mike McDonald
January 16, 2007:
I just happened to be on the Bytown site and saw your update from Feb 2006,
which mentioned Patrick & Nora (Stackpole) Skeffington. My email address has
changed since my postings on that site. It is now email@example.com,
if you'd like to note that somewhere.
(e-mail address updated in the list below ... Al)
November 12, 2008:
Hello, my name is Jeffery Cassidy. I've been researching my family
history and have reached Peter Cassidy, Sr. The article I read on
bytown.net had the most detailed information I've ever found on my
family. I hope I'm e-mailing the right people, but I'm wondering if
any further information has been discovered on the family.
Thanks in advance for your help, and I'm more than happy to share any
information I have.
... Jeff Cassidy
E-mail Mike McDonald, Taylor Kennedy, Howard Skeffington, Jim Rosse, Jeff Cassidy and Al Lewis
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