email from Winnie – 6/14/2011

email from Winnie – 6/14/2011

I’ve found a lot of genealogical information lately, which I’m passing on.

In looking back over the census data in 19th c. PA, I noticed that in 1860 James J. Haggerty’s sister, Ann Haggerty McMullen, says that her first three children were born in Scotland. This led me to think that other members of the family too may have been in Scotland before coming to America. I had checked this years ago but had never been able to find a recognizable family group. Once I had found Alex and Ann (Haggerty) McMullen in the1851 Scotland census, though, I looked again and found Agnes HIGERTY with the following children: Patrick, Hugh, James, and Mary. James was the age of our great-grandfather, so I looked into it further.

In the 1841 Scotland census I found Agnes Higgerty, a widow, and these children: Ellen, Patrick, Hugh, Connel, Margaret, Anna, James, and Mary. At this point Ann (Anna) is only 10 years old. Apparently by 1851, some of Agnes’ children had married or gone off to work or died, and at least two, William and Connel, seem to have left for America.

While all Agnes’ children were born in Ireland, it’s possible that the family moved to Scotland shortly after the youngest child Mary was born, in about 1836. If that was the case, James would have lived in Scotland from ages 6 to 16 or so. And while he was a native speaker of Irish, he probably spoke English the way the Scots did at that time. This scenario might explain the odd reference I found in the 1920 US census, where Uncle Hughie said (apparently mistakenly) that his father James was born in Scotland but spoke Irish.

One good thing about the family potentially being in Scotland as of the late 1830s is that, mercifully, they weren’t in Ireland during the famine.

In addition to casting new light on our family’s past, the information in the Scotland censuses enabled me to reinterpret the PA census data I had examined. To make a long story short, I found that in 1860, Patrick, Hugh, Connel, Ann, James, and their mother Agnes were all in Schuylkill County in a small area, many with a Tuscarora PO address. The overlap between the names on the censuses in Scotland and PA convinced me that this was our family group. Until now, I had no evidence of James’ whereabouts in 1860. But in light of the Scotland information, I could recognize HECERTY as a loopy spelling of Haggerty, and could see that James’ mother ALICE was in fact Agnes. (The census taker got her name right in 1870.)

By 1870 Joseph is in the same area, as well as William. I think both are Agnes’ children.


Other Haggertys: In Hazle Township where James J. is living in 1870, there is an Andrew Haggerty b. about 1834, and an Owen b. about 1825. The latter is close to Connel in age, and like Connel, he has a first child b. in PA about 1854. Previously, in 1860, there was a Robert listed in the census, too. If these men are relatives, they are probably cousins rather than siblings. Here’s why: First, Agnes could have borne only so many children in the 1820s and 30s! And second, the names Andrew, Owen, and Robert never appear in data on other known members of our family.

Interestingly, in 1850 there were two Haggerty households in Cass Township: Daniel b. about 1825 and wife Ellen; and James and Timothy, b. about 1826 and 1833 respectively. South Cass Township was where both Patrick and Hugh were living in 1880. I believe Daniel could be another sibling, since Ann Haggerty named her first son Daniel. Alternatively, Daniel, James, and Timothy could be cousins of Ann and our great-grandfather James J. Haggerty. The latter idea is supported by the fact that two Haggerty men of the previous generation, Patrick and William (possibly Agnes’ brothers-in-law) were in Pottsville in 1840, and Patrick is in nearby East Norwegian Township in 1850. The younger men in Cass Township may be their sons, although the census data is too imprecise to confirm this.

Also interesting is that fact that Cass Township was the hotbed of violent Molly Maguire activity from the 1860s to 1879.

In a separate attachment, I’ll send you a chart I made up, showing all of Agnes’ children (that I know of) and their spouses and children. As usual, it was impossible to track the women other than Ann, both because I don’t know their married names and because their given names are so widely used: Ellen, Margaret, and Mary. I was able to identify Ann as a likely sister because documents from St. Patrick’s in McAdoo showed that she was Aunt Katie’s godmother and that her maiden name was Haggerty.

One last thing: I finally got hold of the volume containing Connel’s testimony in Nutting vs Reilly, the election fraud case in Schuylkill County, 1877. (Incidentally, Patrick Haggerty of South Cass Township was also sent a subpoena in this case, but either he didn’t testify or his testimony wasn’t included in the proceedings. As you’ll see below, Connel received a subpoena in another, similar case that same year, Fowler vs Felthoff.)


The point in calling Connel (and many other miners) to give testimony was to demonstrate that he voted without showing his naturalization papers (which the election officials were supposed to ask for); and that the Democratic party both paid his taxes for him and provided him with a previously marked ballot supporting the entire Democratic ticket. The fact that Connel, like most other men in his position, did not open the ticket and did not know for whom he had voted, was meant to show just how low the Democrats had stooped–relying on ostensibly ignorant, uninformed, and indifferent people and paying their taxes for them–in order to win as many votes as possible. It turned out that the Republicans had done exactly the same thing, so the fraud on both sides canceled each other out, according to the judge!


I live in Kline Township; I voted there at the last general election in November last; I did not pay any tax for 1876, but Mullen [the tax collector’s son] told me it was paid for me; I did not pay a State or county tax for 1875; I am past fifty years of age; I was born in Ireland; I got my naturalization papers over twenty years ago, at Pottsville; I have not got my naturalization paper with me; I lost or mislaid it previous to the election; I am about thirty years in this country; I declared to become a citizen before I got my naturalization paper; about three or four years before.

Cross-examined by counsel for incumbent:

I did receive a tax receipt for taxes of 1876 from young James Mullen; I do not remember the date of that receipt; the receipt has been left in evidence in the Fowler-Felthoff contest; I asked for the receipt, but [the court] would not let me have it; I consider my taxes for 1876 paid; Mr. Mullen told me that my taxes had been paid.


Question. For whom did you vote at the last election for member of Congress?

(Objected to by counsel for incumbent for the reason that the foregoing evidence proves conclusively that he was a legal voter at the last election.)

Answer. That is more than I can tell you; I did not open my ticket.

Q. From whom did you get your ticket?

(Objected to as immaterial.)

A. From James Gildea.

Q. Do you know what tickets he was giving out?

(Objected to as immaterial and irrelevant.)

A. I do not know what tickets he was giving out. his



My Irish pen-pal Martin Frain pointed out that typically Irish workingmen feigned ignorance in situations like this in order to avoid persecution, not to mention prosecution. In other words, they may have been reluctant to admit to voting for Democrats, since such as admission might implicate them in that party’s election fraud. I’m not convinced that this is what happened here, since Connel and others do acknowledge having their taxes paid by someone else in the months immediately preceding the election, which is fairly compromising.



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