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Civil War Monument and Headstones, Saint Bernard Cemetery, New Haven, CT ©2007 Janet Maher

Civil War Monument and Headstones, Saint Bernard Cemetery, New Haven, CT ©2007 Janet Maher

Thank you to the New England Historic Genealogical Society for announcing the publication of my book, From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley: Early Irish Catholics in New Haven County, Connecticut, in their current issue of American Ancestors. They are among several locations that own a copy for their library. I have begun to receive emails with questions about the cost and content of my book, so I’d like to take this opportunity to provide that information again here, as well as to announce my upcoming talk for the Naugatuck Valley Genealogy Club on Saturday, October 12 at the Naugatuck Historical Society, in Connecticut. This will follow a brief business meeting at 1 p.m., and it is open to the public.

My talk and Power Point presentation will include selections from the 363 images of people, places, details and maps included in my 400-page book, and I will discuss methods of finding illusive information when doing this kind of research.

From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley explores the history of Ireland through the perspective of religion and centuries of discord that led millions of Irish Catholics to leave their native land. It traces the origins of the Catholic Church in Connecticut, then to several Irish families whose personal stories extend to the present. It includes complete transcriptions and section maps of the first Irish Catholic cemetery in Naugatuck, Saint Francis. My research of particular families in the Naugatuck Valley has led me to the location in Ireland from which many of the early settlers and priests originated. More general information may be found throughout this blog (where the info is more specifically Maher-related) and on my Irish-oriented Pinterest site.

My book, which lists for $65.95, will be discounted for those interested in purchasing a signed copy on that day. Whether or not you can attend the talk, mention this blog posting to purchase it for $60 with free shipping in the U.S. throughout the rest of this year. (Makes a great Christmas present!) Send your check to me at P.O. Box 40211, Baltimore, MD, 21212, and let me know if you would like it inscribed.

Table of Contents 


I: Background Ireland; Arrival of the Normans; Conquest of Ireland; Rebellion; Thomas Francis Meagher; Some Potential Connections Between New Haven County and Ireland

II: Catholicism in New England; Catholic Churches; Christ’s Church, Saint Mary’s Church, New Haven; Immaculate Conception/Saint Mary’s Church, Derby; Catholic Schools in Early New Haven; Early New Haven County Cemeteries; Early Catholic Waterbury; Catholic Schools in Waterbury; Old Saint Joseph Cemetery

III: Catholicism in Naugatuck; The First Catholics; Saint Anne and Saint Francis Churches

IV: Vignettes of Selected Families: The Butlers; The Brennans; The Martins; The Conrans; The Learys; Some New Haven Mahers; Adelaide Maher Quigley, Thomas Maher, Matthew Maher, Michael O’Maher; Anthony Meagher, John Maher, Jeremiah Maher; Ireland and America Letters; Josephine Maher and Family

V:  Saint Francis Cemetery Transcriptions: Sections A & B; Sections C, G & Portion of H; Sections F & Portion of H; Sections E & Portions of D, H; Section H; Modern Section; Tombstones That Cite A Location in Ireland


Appendix: Selected Additional Photographs


Image Identification


I welcome anyone who has read and (I hope!) feels positive about my book to comment here, or add to the lovely review that one reader wrote on Amazon.com. Thank you all for continuing to follow and read this blog, and I look forward to sharing my labor of love with any who can show up on October 12!

©2013 Janet Maher / Sinéad Ni Mheachair

All Rights Reserved