Tom Gallagher met Catherine Riley in Sedalia in 1920. By 1922 they were engaged to be married.
Before they marry, we’re going to take some time to meet Tom’s family.
Tom Gallagher had moved to Sedalia in 1920 to open the new Cole’s Women’s Shop. He moved from Junction City, Kansas, where he had been working for Cole Brothers Dry Goods. He was originally from Missouri, not too far from Sedalia.
Tom had grown up in Lamar, Missouri.
Tom’s parents were Michael Gallagher and Ellen Dugan Gallagher. Tom had two brothers, Henry and Jim, and a sister Nell.
Tom’s mother Ellen was born in Ireland. His father Michael’s parents were both born in Ireland.
This leads to an inescapable conclusion.
Our Gallaghers were from Ireland
We can trace our family history to Ireland in the 19th century, and certainly many earlier generations lived in Ireland.
Ireland and Northern Ireland
Today the Emerald Isle consists of two countries – Ireland and Northern Ireland.
During the 19th century, many in Ireland wanted “home rule”, independence from Britain. The demand for home rule was granted by the British Parliament in 1912, but it took another decade and a Civil War to sort it all out.
Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, creating a devolved government for the six northeastern counties. The majority of Northern Ireland’s population were unionists, who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom.Northern Ireland – Wikipedia
Today there’s the independent country Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom country Northern Ireland.
The Irish Civil War
This is the 100th anniversary of the Irish Civil War. And it affects us today. Read on.
The stately Four Courts building in Dublin was constructed during the 1790s, and was the center of Irish government, home of the high courts, and repository of the national records.
In April 1922, 180 British loyalist troops had taken over the Four Courts building. On June 28, 1922, the opposing Free State troops demanded the occupiers give up the building and surrender. When that didn’t happen, they began to bombard the building on June 30, destroying it with artillery and fires.
That was the beginning of the Irish Civil War.
The Four Courts destruction hinders our search
That’s right. We are hindered in our search today because the Four Courts building complex included the Irish Record Office, the equivalent of the National Archives.
Many records dating back centuries were destroyed. The censuses of 1821, 1831, 1841, and 1851 were victims. These are precisely the years we would search before our families left Ireland around 1850. These are the years we could have found home and marriage records.
Here’s a 60-second video that shows the destruction of the building and explains the records loss.
This loss makes Irish genealogy very difficult. But let’s try.
We’ll consider one Ireland
For our search, we’ll consider Ireland before the partition. Our families emigrated in the 1840s. They knew one Ireland. Ireland was part of Great Britain.
Ireland quick facts
Ireland is similar in size to South Carolina. The population today is about 7 million, compared to South Carolina’s population of 5 million.
Ireland has 32 counties. The county is the best-known land division. We’ve all heard of County Cork and County Kerry. Our families were from County Donegal and County Kilkenny.
We’ll travel back to the Ireland of the early 1800s and visit these counties.
- Map – Commissioners official railway map of Missouri – State Historical Society of Missouri – https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/Maps/id/150/rec/103
- Gallagher family tree – ancestry.com
- Map – Map of Ireland showing the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – Wikimedia – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Ireland%27s_capitals.png
- Map – Ireland Counties – The History Chicks – http://thehistorychicks.com/episode-109-grace-omalley/map-and-counties-ireland/
- Map – South Carolina Counties – familysearch – https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Template:SCimagemap2
- Photos – Irish Civil War and Four Courts Building – Irish Posters – http://irelandposters.com/dublin_city/four_courts/
- Video – Four Courts Explosion – Public Can Access Documents Destroyed During the Civil War – The Irish Times – https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/public-can-access-documents-destroyed-during-civil-war-1.4291969
- Quote – Northern Ireland creation – Northern Ireland – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Ireland#:~:text=Northern%20Ireland%20was%20created%20in,remain%20within%20the%20United%20Kingdom.
- Photo – Record Treasury Interior – 1914 – Ireland National Archives – https://www.nationalarchives.ie/our-archives/collaborative-projects/beyond-2022-irelands-virtual-record-treasury/
- Drawing – Four Courts Building – Ken Welsh – Library Ireland – License granted by Karl Whitney (email@example.com) – https://www.libraryireland.com/SceneryIreland/VI-8.php
- Music – The Old Blackbird Hornpipe – Finbarr Dwyer – Seamus Connolly Collection – SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/connollymusiccollection