For St. Patrick’s Day 2021, MHHM remembers the Irish women who worked for the Macculloch-Miller family from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Although our hope is to learn more about them, at this point we know only their names, ages and occupations. The Irish women worked as Macculloch Hall as nurse, cook or maid. While each of their stories is unique, these women were a part of a large group of Irish immigrants who left Ireland to start a new life in America. The potato blight that caused The Great Famine from 1845 to 1851 is believed to have killed one million Irish people, and caused another two million Irish people to leave Ireland. They settled in England, Canada, Australia and the United States.
The neighborhood in Morristown, New Jersey, referred to as “Little Dublin” centers around Madison Street, Foote’s Lane, Catherine Lane, Green Street and Maple Ave. The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, consecrated in 1848, is within walking distance of Macculloch Hall. The close location of the church and the Irish community may have been reasons why working at Macculloch Hall appealed to Catherine Sheridan (age 27), Mary Mulhall (age 19), Bridget Brady (age 18), Margret Farroll (age 24), Mary and Julie Mushel (ages 18 and 24), and Mary Fitzpatrick (age 36). According to census records, these women were all born in Ireland and lived and worked at Macculloch Hall at some point from the 1850s through 1900s.
Guess & Go Story Time will include the story, Fiona’s Lace published in 2014, by American author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco. She has written and illustrated more than 100 books for children. This story is based on her own family’s recounting of the Irish immigrant experience when her father’s family left the County of Limerick.
Morristown’s ‘Little Dublin” neighborhood was officially recognized in 2019 with a ceremony and the unveiling of a historical marker. A publication by the Morristown and Morris Township Library is available and provides a walking tour of the neighborhood. https://patch.com/new-jersey/morristown/historic-dublin-neighborhood-dedication-morristown
To learn more about the resources about Irish genealogy https://mmtlibrary.org/nj-history-genealogy/guides-for-research-pathfinders/exploring-irish-american-history-genealogy/
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