Thursday, March 29, 2007

Margurite Sweeney's Immigrant Great-Grandma

Margurite Sweeney came to Orlando in 1931 as the bride of Mike Moran. 1 She was from the well established Catholic community of Irish and Germans who had settled north and west of Orlando in Lewis, Gilmer and Doddridge counties.2

Margurite's 2nd cousin once removed, Trudy Ware, shares stories about their several-great grandmother, the immigrant Margaret Dorey3, and her husband John Hushion.

Left: Margurite Sweeney as a young girl.

During the potato famine the Dooreys/Doreys came to America from County Galway: Peter and Mary Dorey and their children Peter, Mary, Michael and Margaret. They settled in Fink, Doddridge County WV, next farm over from the Hushions, another newly immigrated family.

Map of Ireland has County Galway highlighted.

Margaret, who was called Norah, married the boy next door, young John Hushion, around 1849. John and Margaret had six children4 in their short time together. John went with other Lewis County men to look for work around 1860 in the Parkersburg area, according to old family story. He traveled on a small boat and forgot to take his luggage off the boat. Not realizing the boat had pulled away from the dock, he stepped too near the edge and was swept into the river. He drowned and his body was never recovered.

Some years later, Margaret/Norah married a Conroy. By him she had three more children: Ella (Conroy) Eagen, Agnes (Conroy) Tierney, and Tom Conroy.

Trudy Ware's grandmother, Gertrude (Maybury) Aman, remembered her own grandma, Norah Dorey, well. She told Trudy that all the Maybury cousins called Norah Dorey "Little Grandma" and remembered that Little Grandma loved to smoke her clay pipe. The "Little Grandma" moved in with her son John and stayed with him until her death in early 1900's. She was buried at Fink, WV.

1. More on Mike and Margurite (Sweeney) Moran can be fount in the Feb '07 entry Michael Vincent Moran – Gentleman Undertaker.

2. In the first half of the 1800s the Irish potato famine immigrants and Catholic German immigrants blended into a community in central West Virginia. A far-southern edge of this community was the mission church of St. Michael. This community included the Griffin, Moran, Feeney, Tulley, Dolan, Greene, Sweeney and Carney familys, among others. The Roman Catholic mission church of St. Michael defined this most southern edge of the community. St Michael 's original building had been located on the Griffin farm near Fleshers Run, but in the early 1900s the St. Michael community moved to a new building in downtown Orlando. For more on St Michael Church see the May '07 entry St Michael's Church

The other group that made up Orlando, called the "colonials" by one of the priests of the time, descended from the origial settlers of the Oil Creek watershed. This group included the Riffle, Blake, Skinner, Posey, Heater and Williams families, among others. "Colonials" is probably not a bad name for them, as their families had immigrated to the colonies before the Revolutionary War. This group was overwhelmingly Wesleyan Protestant: Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant, United Brethren. The members of Orlando's mission of Reformed Latter Day Saints were the only members of the "colonials" that were not Wesleyan.

For a period of about a century these communities lived and worked side by side in Orlando but remained distinct, with separate beliefs, separate cemeteries, separate heritages and rarely did their children intermarry.

3. Norah Dorey was the distaff immigrant ancestor for both Margurite (Sweeney) Moran and our reporter, Trudy (Shearer) Ware. By "distaff" I mean she's their mother's mother's mother's... etc...mother: 1) Norah's daughter Katherine married James Faulkner and their daughter Mary married John Charles Sweeney. Their daughter was Margurite (Sweeney) Moran. 2) Norah's daughter Bridget married John Thomas Maybury and thier daughter Gertrude married Samuel Aman and their daughter Marie married a gentleman named Shearer and Trudy (Shearer) Ware is their daughter.

The six children of Margaret/Norah Dorey and John Hushion are:
. . . . John who married Mary Cullen
. . . . Mike who never married
. . . . Honora who married Jim Tierney
. . . . Mary who married Martin Birmingham
. . . . Katherine who married James Faulkner
. . . . Bridget who married John Thomas Maybury.

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