For those doing family history research it is particularly helpful (and gratifying) to find the grave of someone whose life you have been studying. Research may, thankfully, lead one to the correct cemetery where an official government soldier or sailor’s stone may be found. Someone killed in a war may have been buried in the state where he died. Those who survived a war were usually buried where they later settled and managed to continue on with their lives. Some with notable distinction in American wars were buried in the United States’ Arlington Cemetery. In Ireland, noted individuals are buried in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery.
In some instances veterans who could have been included in either of these cemeteries might, instead, have been buried with family. One of The Forgotten Ten, Irishman Patrick Maher, of Limerick, who was convicted of helping to rescue Sean Hogan in 1921, was one of these. He was among the ten executed IRA Volunteers who had been buried in the grounds of Mountjoy Prison since Ireland’s final war for independence from Great Britain. In 2001 these men were exhumed and honored with a public motorcade-led funeral and the reburial of nine of them in Glasnevin Cemetery. Maher was brought home to his family’s plot in Limerick. The nine men buried at Glasnevin were Kevin Barry, Thomas Whelan, Patrick Moran, Frank Flood, Patrick Doyle, Bernard Ryan, Thomas Bryan, Thomas Traynor and Edmond Foley.
Since data is readily available about veterans, it becomes an important means of learning about some individuals. Those who may not wish to study war or issues about religion may nonetheless need to delve into these aspects of someone’s life. Nineteenth century or earlier “brick walls” in Irish family history research might well have had something to do with religious conflict that led to death or emigration, and emigration often went hand in hand with serving in the military in some regard.
There is a great deal of interest in the phenomenon of the overly large number Irish who served in the American Civil War. Irishman Damian Shiels has been researching this topic for many years and maintaining an excellent blog (see posting below). He has announced that he will soon be publishing a book on the subject, titled after his blog, Irish In the American Civil War. In Connecticut, Bob Larkin has a special Facebook site about the notable Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers in the Civil War, also worth the visit for those interested.
When I studied the graves of Saint Francis Cemetery in Naugatuck, Connecticut, I wondered if the soldiers or the native Irish buried there might have been individuals sought currently by families out of town. Might a relative not be aware of their person’s final resting place in this small borough? Complete transcriptions and many photographs from this cemetery are included in my book, From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley: Early Irish Catholics of New Haven County, Connecticut. For this posting I have excerpted the names of those veterans and native Irish whose graves are in this cemetery:
Naugatuck Veterans in Saint Francis Cemetery
Flags are replaced each year on known veteran graves in Saint Francis Cemetery, although no list exists for the original set of names. Those whose tombstones cited their war involvement included:
- James Adamson, Civil War, Co. B, 20th Regt., Connecticut Volunteers
- George T. Anderson, WW I, EM3C, U.S. Navy
- Edmund P. Belletti, WW II, Cpl., U.S. Army Air Corps
- Frank B. Buckmiller, WW II, M Sgt., U.S. Army
- James J. Claffey, WW I, Co. B, 113th Inf.
- John P. Coen, Civil War, Co. F, 9th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers
- Michael Coen, Civil War, Co. K, 20th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers
- Lionell H. Cote, WW II, S2, U.S. Navy
- Daniel Cullinane, Grand Army of the Republic insignia
- James R. Dalton, WWII, Sgt., Field Artillery Rep. Dep.
- John R. Deegan, WW II, PFC, U.S. Army
- William M. Dolan, WW I,1st Cook, U. S. Army
- James Duffin, Civil War, Co. D, 158 Inf., New York Volunteers
- Thomas Ford, Civil War, Co. H, 15th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers
- Michael Fruin, Civil War, Co. H,15th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers
- Thomas P. Harper, WW I, 152D Dep. Brig.
- Horace E. Jones, Civil War, Co. H, Second Connecticut Volunteers, Heavy Artillery
- Arthur Keefe, Civil War, Co. E 2 Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers
- Bernard J. Leahy, WW II, RDSN, U.S. Navy
- Thomas Maher, Civil War, Co. E, U.S. Artillery
- John A. Martin, WW I, U.S. Navy
- John William McCarthy, WW I, MM1, U.S. Navy
- Terrence McLaughlin, WW I., Co K, 53rd Inf.
- William J. Neary, Jr., WW I
- John O’Donnell, Civil War, Co. E [7th], Connecticut Volunteers
- James Thomas Patterson, WW II, Maj., U.S. Marine Corps.
- Peter A. Reilly, WW I, 301st M.T. Co.
- Patrick Ruth, Civil War, Capt., Co. B8, Connecticut Volunteers I
Irish Citations in Saint Francis Cemetery
While there are many more native Irish buried in Saint Francis Cemetery than those whose tombstones cite their original home, these are the stones that do:
- From County Cork: James Walsh
- From County Kerry: James Carroll, Cornelius Shea
- From County Kilkenny: Nicholas Brennan, John Cuddy, Roland Dalton, John Doolan, Martin Gibbons [likely], Julia Lannen, Patrick McCarthy, William Purcell, Charles Talbot
- From County Laois: Michael Coen (elder), Eliza Grant, Matthew Maher
- From County Leitrim: Elizabeth Mulvey, Cornelius Splann
- From County Limerick: Margaret Burke, Mary Hanley, Julia Quirk, Robert Reardon
- From County Meath: Ann Murray
- From County Monaghan: Michael Martin
- From County Tipperary: William Fruin, Mary Kiely, James Kirwin, William Powers, Maurice Quinlan
- From County Waterford: Johannah Foley
Looking for a Christmas present for someone interested in Irish history, Connecticut Irish, New Haven County, Waterbury and/or Naugatuck? My book may be obtained locally at: Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT; Naugatuck Historical Society, Naugatuck, CT; and Quinnipiac University Bookstore, Mount Carmel Branch, Hamden, CT. Online it may be purchased from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and from me via Paypal or by check (P.O. Box 40211, Baltimore, MD, 21212).
I wish everyone much happiness throughout the holiday season and offer prayers for peace throughout the world in the new year!
©2012 Janet Maher/Sinéad Ní Mheachair
All Rights Reserved