Other branches of our family tree



Patrick Dooley (Abt 1790 - ?)

Ellen Mary (surname unknown)

Our branch of the Dooley family has been traced back to the late seventeenth century in Ireland. Patrick Dooley lived in Galway County. The Dooley homestead then and now is in Menlough, a tiny village of a couple hundred souls, located near Tuam, northeast of the City of Galway on the road from Monivea to Castle Blakeny

Patrick and Ellen had six children:

   William Dooley   1818-1863 m. Catherine Duffy
   Patrick Dooley   1825-?    m. Mary Divan
   John Dooley      1830-1891 m. Alice Hartigan
   Laurence Dooley  1831-1865
   Martin Dooley    1830-1899 m. Bridget ?
   Margaret Dooley  1828-1895 m. William Higgins

The three older boys remained in Ireland, while the three younger members of the family emigrated to America and on to Canada in the mid-1800s.


William Dooley (1818 - 1863)

Catherine Duffy (1812 - ?)

William Dooley was born and died in the village Graigue, near Menlough, Galway County, Ireland.

My mother, Sabina Bodecker Singer told me long ago that her mother, Mary Dooley (daughter of William) came from "Menlough, Graigue near Galway." She said the parish was Wembley Parish and the the priest at the time of her departure for America was named Ramos (spelling uncertain).

In 1984, I wrote to the current parish priest in Menlough, and received a reply from Rev. Fr. Jariath Canney, P.P. dated 14 February 1984. Father Canney stated that he had searched the old church records and found the marriage record of William Dooley and Kitty (Catherine) Duffy dated February 1839.

Father Canney also wrote that the family now living at the old Dooley homestead is John Dooley (born 1915) and his wife Ann. John's parents were Michael Dooley and Margaret Staunton, also married in Graigue. While John may be my cousin in direct descent from William, I have no details on that.

William and Kitty had five daughters, no known sons:

   Mary Dooley      1849-1907 m. John Bodecker
   Margaret Dooley  1853-1893 m. James Merritt
   Sabina Dooley    1856-1923 m. John Shelley
   Ellen Dooley     1862-1888
   a daughter

The fifth daughter is unknown as to both her name and date of birth. In all references I have found, she is known only as "Mrs. Kennedy who remained in Ireland."

The Dooleys were part of the great migration of destitute Irish people who came to America during the famine years in the middle of the nineteenth century. The first of our family to arrive was Martin Dooley, brother of William. Martin came to America with the wave of new arrivals in 1850 or 1851. He was then about 19 or 20 years old. Because the surname Dooley was a very common one in Ireland, it has been impossible to identify our Martin's immigration records in (probably) New York.

Since he was so young, it is likely he came alone. Shortly after his arrival, he married Bridget (surname unknown) in New York, where he lived for a few years.

In about 1854 or 1855, seeking work, Martin and the family moved to Canada. The first known record of Martin is the 1860 Census of Welland County, Ontario, listing Martin (age 28) and his wife Bridget (29), both born in Ireland, with two children: Bridget, age 7 born in U.S.A. and Helen, age 5 born in Canada. He was now working for the railroad.

Martin's success in establishing a home in the new world prompted him to offer shelter and a start for his nieces, the daughters of William Dooley. Mary, the oldest daughter (my grandmother) was the first to leave, arriving in Canada in 1868. The 1871 Census of Welland County lists Mary Dooley, age 20, occupation servant. Mary Dooley was only 17 when she left her home in Ireland, alone, to find her future in the new world . . . a courageous step for a young girl in any time or place.

Mary's younger sisters, Margaret and Sabina came together in 1875, when Margaret was about 22 and Sabina 19 years old. They were followed by Ellen in 1883 when she was 21.

One must admire the courage of these young girls to face the strain of leaving home forever, knowing they would never see their parents again, of facing a long voyage over the ocean and of the uncertainties of a new culture. In thinking of this, one is also struck with the desperation that drove these people to undertake the great risks.

The 1881 Census of Welland County lists the three Dooley households of this history:

	Martin Dooley, his wife Bridget and niece Ellen, age 22.

	Margaret (age 28) and Sabina (age 26), occupation servants.
	They are recent arrivals from Ireland, and not yet married.

	John Bodecker, his wife Mary Dooley and four children:
	Adda (age 4), Martin (3), John (2) and Walter (1/2).


Mary Dooley (1849 - 1907)

John Bodecker (1854 - 1912)

For further information on this family, see the Bodecker section of this history.

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Updated 4-5-03