The Irish From the Upperchurch Area of Co. Tipperary  
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This is a view from the Sky Top Pavillion at Highland Park State Forest in the Town
of Fabius, Onondaga County, NY.  This picture was taken looking north over Route
80 which runs east and west, with the Town of Pompey in the distance. The rolling
hills of Central New York bear a striking resemblance to those found in Co.
Tipperary, Ireland. Perhaps that was part of what attracted the Irish to this area.
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In the Beginning

 

Several years ago a list entitled The Ryans of Central New York was circulated on the Internet.  Since that time more families have been found and more connections established.  Although Ryan is still the most numerous surname the organizing theme has been broadened to one on the Upperchurch area of Co. Tipperary.  One by one all of the families on that list have been traced back to the Upperchurch area.


They arrived over an extended period of time but they all settled in the tri-county area in central New York State where the counties of Onondaga, Cortland and Madison come together.  The list of names is growing and it currently includes:
BURKE, CAREY. DUGGAN, DWYER, GLEASON, HAYES, HEFFERNAN, KENNEDY, LEE, LONERGAN, LONG, MALONEY, McAULIFFE,
McGRATH, PHELAN, SHANAHAN, SHEAHAN and RYAN.


On this site families are grouped together with children’s families included with their parents.  Sometimes a son or daughter was the first arrival with family members  following later.  Over the subsequent years brothers and sisters and their families would join the original relative and settle in the same area.  Eventually even the parents would sometimes be brought over to America.


In addition to the Upperchurch families other tri-county area families are to be found on this site. These were either neighbors or friends whose lives became intertwined with the Upperchurch folks.

 

The various families are labeled by a location. This label will describe either where they initially settled, where they resided for the longest period of time or sometimes the location that was their point of origin in Ireland.  The family documents are linked in several ways and can be accessed through the links in the sidebar on the left.

 

The Ranking of First Arrivals

The numbering scheme [the number (#N) associated with an individual] refers to the individual's ranking in the "First CNY Upperchurch Arrivals" paper. Included in the rankings are only individuals that were old enough to make their own decision to travel to the tri-county area. Husbands and wives arriving together were counted as one unit and would share the ranking. If either was traveling alone only the first to arrive was counted for ranking purposes. The trailing spouse was not counted in the ranking, neither were children under the age of 16 because they were too young to decide on the destination of their emigration. The order of the family group listings is based on the earliest arrival of a member of the family group.

 

The rankings were determined from a variety of different sources. Not all of the sources were equally reliable or consistent. In some cases only the latest possible year of arrival could be determined. The sources consist of: letters from descendants, census records, marriage and baptismal records, history books, land transactions,  maps, newspaper articles and sometimes just plain old family oral traditions.

 

Why Did They Come?
 

The rankings of the first arrival times started as an attempt to discover why all of these people from the Upperchurch area would choose to come to this same small region of CNY. Chain migration can explain much of the immigration once the first few Upperchurch folks have made the trip and settled in. But the question remains: Why did a bunch of Irish Catholic farmers travel across the ocean to an area that was basically British and Protestant to take up farming, an occupation that had not served them very well during the Great Famine in Ireland (1845-1850)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2006 - Michael F. McGraw

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