(Maple Ridge, Martinsburg, Lewis County, NY)
From Moyaliff to Maple Ridge


McGrath Genealogy Upperchurch Connections   What's New?


Maple Ridge today is home to the Tug Hill Wind Farm. This was the only kind of farming that could succeed in this weather challenged area. Nearby Montague, NY has the largest snowfalls in the state.

The Black River Canal project was a draw for the early immigrants to the area. From Moyaliff, Co. Tipperary came Gleesons, Ryans and McGraths.  After several decades of farming the plateau, the folks began to leave and the children sometimes moved even further away. Some traditional farming is still done on Maple Ridge, assisted by royalty payments for allowing a wind turbine to be situated on the farm property. There is also a ski resort that takes advantage of the ample snow falls in the winter.



Copyright © 2006 - Michael F. McGraw

McGrath Genealogy

Upperchurch Connections
  What's New?




More Info

McGraths, Ryans and Gleesons in Lewis Co.  UPDATED - 02-26-24


The Ryan Family in Ireland and America (Revised 2005)    

by Father Thomas E. Buckley, S. J.


The Tarpy Families of Martinsburg, NY

03-14-24 - NEW


The Trail of James McGrath - 03-29-18

James McGrath - The DNA Story - 12-07-18

  NEW - The rascal is still as elusive as ever.


Thomas McGrath of Moyaliff - 03-30-20 - NEW


Finding Michael McGrath of Moyaliff


The McGrath Family From Moyaliff


Dunton Maple Ridge Cemetery List - NEW


Powlin Maple Ridge Cemetery List - NEW


Jane's Maple Ridge Pictures


First Catholics in Lowville Parish


St. Patrick's Church - 50th Anniversary


James McGrath Retirement Party


Lewis County Obits













The Families of Maple Ridge and the Upperchurch Connection













This first reference that I found to a McGrath in the Lowville area showed up on the McGrath Family Genealogy Forum back in 1999. This Michael McGrath didn’t fit in with any of the information I had at the time but I filed it away anyway. A couple years later I found some more information on the Internet on McGraths, Ryans and Gleesons in the Maple Ridge area of Lewis County. Lowville was just up the road from Maple Ridge and those McGraths might have been related to these new families so I also saved this new information. Still more information eventually surfaced over the last few years and connections were slowly being found between the Lowville and Maple Ridge families.


More Maple Ridge information was posted on a Tipperary Bulletin Board in Jan 2000. I was particularly interested in the information on the Ryans and McGraths because of their Moyaliff, Co. Tipperary connection. My gg-grandparents were Edmond McGrath and Mary Ryan. Prior to coming to America, in 1848 and 1850 respectively, they were living in Moyaliff and Upperchurch parishes.


According to Father Tom Buckley’s paper, "The Ryan Family in Ireland and America (revised, 2005)," the Gleesons and Ryans came from the townlands of Ballyoughter, Mealiff and Clareen in the civil parish of Moyaliff in the RC parish of Upperchurch. Patrick Gleeson was the first of the family to arrive in America. He arrived in either 1847 or 1849, the records don’t allow a definite determination to be made. It is assumed that prior to taking up the occupation of farming some of these Irish immigrants worked on the construction of the Black River Canal (1836-1855).


Moyaliff is in the parish of Moyaliff where my gg-grandfather, Edmond McGrath, had lived in Ireland. Ballycahill and Holy Cross are in the RC parish of Holycross that is located adjacent to the eastern boundary of the parish of Moyaliff. Holycross is where the Gleason church records were found. The Moyaliff connection opened the possibility that Edmond and his family might have spent time there in the Martinsburg area, but that turned out not to be the case.


There were five McGrath families living in Maple Ridge, in the Town of Martinsburg, at the time of the 1870 census. It was determined that three of those families were related. Thomas, Michael and John McGrath were siblings. They came from the area of Golden just outside Tipperary town in Co. Tipperary. Michael and his brother Thomas McGrath were living almost across from each other on French Road. John McGrath, the third brother, was living just west of his siblings also on French Road. These McGrath families are described in more detail in the paper “The McGraths, Ryans and Gleesons of Maple Ridge, Lewis County, New York.”


The last two McGrath families were headed by: James and Thomas McGrath. James McGrath and Thomas McGrath (the Elder) were originally thought to be brothers. Upon closer examination that relationship did not hold up. Thomas was known to be from Moyaliff parish, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. At this time James McGrath’s point of origin in Ireland is still not known. They were living fairly close together in Maple Ridge, however, that is just circumstantial evidence. The only relationship between James McGrath and Thomas (the Elder) McGrath that has survived is that established through marriage. Thomas was James’ uncle, through the former's marriage to James wife's Aunt, Catherine Gleeson.


By following a lead, found in Tom Buckley’s paper, to Onondaga Co., Thomas and James McGrath were discovered living on a farm in the town of Pompey in 1855, next door to James’ future wife, Bridget Ryan. Also living with them was Thomas’ father, the widowed Michael McGrath, and Thomas’ wife, Catherine Gleeson McGrath, the aunt of Bridget Ryan. Living nearby were Bridget’s brother Thomas, and Thomas McGrath’s sister Margaret who later married Richard Long. All of these people were from the Moyaliff area of Upperchurch and all participated in the Maple Ridge Migration that took place between December 1858 and August 1860. Two more of Thomas McGrath’s siblings were also in the area: Lanty McGrath and family were in the village of Fabius just south of Pompey and Edmond McGrath (my gg-grandfather) and his family were living on their farm on Morgan Hill in Cuyler just over the Cortland Co. border a few miles south of Fabius. The following links lead to a shorter and a more detailed version of that search:

The Story and The McGrath Family from Moyaliff Parish, County Tipperary


I still find it amazing that this bonanza of information was waiting at the end of a trail that had shown little promise of leading anywhere. Neither the information from Onondaga Co., nor the information from Lewis Co., was, by itself, sufficient to link Thomas McGrath to my family. That required the identification of the Thomas McGrath in Maple Ridge in 1860 as the same person as the Thomas McGrath in Pompey in 1855. Then everything fell into place. That happened while searching for James McGrath and Bridget Ryan in Onondaga Co based on an obscure lead in a paper that had not been widely circulated. I was doing a good deed and searching for someone else’s relatives when I found my own ggg-grandfather. Thank you Tom Buckley.