Category Archives: Stephen Foley Family

Home to Knockanarroor – Pillowcase Photo

Dec. 6, 2011
By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Home to Knockanarroor – Pillowcase Photo
See the latest video posted on CNN iReport, complete with writiten story on my adventures of finding my Irish Roots. Click here to view video at CNN iReport.

Home to Knockanarroor – Pillowcase Photo
Missing photo gives hints to Irish history

I returned home to Knockanarroor, Ireland for the first time, but I have never been there before.

In April 2011, I traveled to Ireland, precisely where my Great-Great-Grandmother Ellen Brennan Foley, born May 15, 1820 in Killarney, Ireland, and died in Stillwater, Minnesota, lived in Knockanarroor Townland, pronounced “Knock-on-a-roar” in Irish Gaelic, meaning the hill of corn in English.

On a cold January 2011 day, a photograph, along with a hand-written card with hints of Ellen’s life, including her husband’s name, William Foley, were found tucked away in a pillow of treasures of my late grandmother Mary Jannet “Jennie” Foley Walsh, 1886 to 1985, of Murdock.

The unmarked country road my Irish roots were plucked from in the early 1840s, is located just east of the city of Killarney in County Kerry, in western Ireland. A milk lorry driver, a truck driver in the United States, Patrick “Pa” Brosnan of Muckross, in the Killarney area, pumping petro in the near by village of Barraduff agreed to guide me to the hidden location that is plain site.

Ellen’s parents, James Brennan and Mary Walsh, my great-great-great grandparents, from my grandmother’s family, called the townland home, as they worked the rented land consisting of what is referred to by residents as a “poorish land” of wetlands, surrounded by bogs. The peat or turf, decayed vegetation, is cut and dried for heating and cooking fuel today, just like my family did in the 1800s or earlier, with the smoke puffing out of cottages, producing a musty smell. My family most likely served as grooms, tending to the horses exchanged on the carriage route at the end of the road of Knockanarroor, on a major route to Killarney.

I traveled to Killarney in 1980, my late father, Martin J. Walsh Jr., in the 1950s, but it was not was not until 2011, I could say without a doubt Knockanarroor is home in Ireland for my family. My father and I traveled the same paths in the horse jaunting carts of what is called the old butter roads, the 1700s turnpike, but I might be the first to make the journey home to Knockanarroor.

I used hints from www.ancestry.com to stitch together my ancestral threads. Archivist Michael Lynch of Kerry Library, Ireland, along with free online Roman Catholic records from the Diocese of Kerry, www.irishgenealogy.ie, provided information that my family belonged to the Catholic Parish of Glenflesk, with Knockanarroor as their place of residence.

Although I did not find any living relatives in Ireland during my journey, learning about the people, their faith, village life and the beautiful Irish countryside, I was able to shine light on a period of obscurity in my family’s history.

My Great-Great Grandmother Ellen departed Knockanarroor, be it voluntary or forced, due to disease, food shortage or economic reasons. I returned Ireland to answer the questions of where my family roots were prematurely pulled from the Ireland.

See related video from Home to Knockanarroor Project

Home to Knockanarroor – An Introduction


More videos will be posted in December.

Jannet Walsh – I am looking for employment opportunites in the Willmar, Minnesota area. Please take a look at my professional profile.
Contact: Jannet Walsh at jannetwalsh@gmail.com

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Genealogy – Finding Civil Parish Aghadoe

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By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

With a little help from Munster Ancestors in Ireland, I have tracked down more information on my Irish ancestors.

I now know the civil parish my family is from called Aghadoe. It’s an area that over looks the town and lakes of Killarney, Ireland. Civil parishes were originally ecclesiastical divisions, but later evolved into the geographic units, according to the Irishtimes.com.


View the photo source and slide show of more photos of the civil parish of Aghadoe, located in County Kerry, Ireland.

Also from the area of Knockanarroor townland
Of the interesting facts, it is likely my Great-Great Grandmother Ellen Brennan Foley was from Knockanarroor townland, which is situated about 5 miles East of Killarney town. The relevant Catholic Parish is Glenflesk. A townland or bally is a small geographical division of land in Ireland.

Ellen Brennan Foley was born May 15, 1820 in Kilarney, Ireland the daughter of James Brennan, 1793-1863, and Mary Walsh, birth and death unknown.

My Great-Great Grandmother Ellen Brennan Foley
Birth May 15, 1820 in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
Death Jan. 18, 1883 in Stillwater, Washington, Minnesota, United States

Click to view tracing your Irish roots blog.

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Genealogy – Catholic colonization in Swift County

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By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Here is my latest stumble. I just found an online book from Google Books you can read online about the colonization in Swift County.

“On January 22, 1876, (Bishop John) Ireland announced the establishment of the Catholic Colonization Bureau of St. Paul. . . .” (see page 54)

I looked quickly at the book yesterday and found a reference about the Swift County land for the farmers was set aside for the poor and homeless, not for Minnesota farmers that already had land. They were talking about my family and the other Europeans during that period that needed land and place to call home. My family has been here since that time.

In the years 1875 and 1876 the late Archbishop John Ireland started a Catholic colony adjacent to Murdock and DeGraff, the very location my family still has a farm. A church was first built in DeGraff, St. Bridget parish. The people in Murdock did not have a way to travel to DeGraff, so a second parish was started as a mission church of DeGraff in 1894 in Murdock, now know as Sacred Heart.
Read more about this blog.

My family's farm in Dublin Township, Murdock, Minnesota. Photo by Jannet Walsh

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Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Genealogy – Knockanarroor townland, County Kerry, Ireland

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By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

I recently wrote Michael Lynch, Archivist from Kerry Library, located in County Kerry, Ireland for traces and clues about my family. Lynch was able to help me more than I could have dreamed. There are many missing links, but great clues to where my family originated from in Ireland with the help of Roman Catholic Records. The Diocese of Kerry in Ireland has a great online link, with church records surviving up to about 1900, are online and free.

Knockanarroor townland
Of the interesting facts, it is likely my Great-Great Grandmother Ellen Brennan Foley was from Knockanarroor townland, which is situated about 5 miles East of Killarney town. The relevant Catholic Parish is Glenflesk. A townland or bally is a small geographical division of land in Ireland.

Ellen Brennan Foley was born May 15, 1820 in Kilarney, Ireland the daughter of James Brennan, 1793-1863, and Mary Walsh, birth and death unknown.



Click here to see link of street level of Knockanarroor, Ireland.

Other facts and figures from Kerry Library, Ireland
James Brennan and Mary Walsh, possibly had children named John (16 July 1826), Daniel (30 August 1832), and Charles (1 November 1836).
An Ellen Brennan is listed as a sponsor to a baptism, and may be an elder sister to the child. The family address for this family is given as Knockanarroor townland, which is situated about 5 miles East of Killarney town.

The relevant Catholic Parish is Glenflesk, for which records survive back to 1820. However, all available records only give 13 entries for baptisms in 1820 in this parish, and Ellen Brennan is not among them. In fact, there are no Brennan baptisms recorded in that year for Glenflesk.
In relation to the other children recorded, there are a few anomalies between different sources:
The International Genealogical Index, IGI, and O’Kief parish record listings record the Charles in 1836 as James, with a baptismal date of 13 November 1836. The listed sponsors are again Ellen Brennan and Denis Sullivan. These listings also record a Daniel baptized on 18 July 1829. He must have died in infancy.
Glenflesk marriage records only date from 1831, so that there is no prospect of finding a record of the marriage of James Brennan and Mary Walsh.

Baptism of CHARLES BRENAN of KNOCKANAROOR

Area – KERRY (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation – GLENFLESK
Baptism of CHARLES BRENAN of KNOCKANAROOR on 1 November 1836

Name CHARLES BRENAN Date of Birth 1 November 1836 (BASED ON OTHER DATE INFORMATION)
Address KNOCKANAROOR Father JAMES BRENAN
Mother MARY WALSH Further details in the record
Child Denomination RC Father Occupation NR
Sponsor 1 DENIS SULLIVAN Sponsor 2 ELLEN BRENAN
Priest NR About the record
Book Number Page Entry Number Record_Identifier
N/R N/R 118 KY -RC-BA-253676


My Great-Great Grandmother Ellen Brennan Foley
Birth May 15, 1820 in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
Death Jan. 18, 1883 in Stillwater, Washington, Minnesota, United States

Click to view tracing your Irish roots blog.

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Genealgoy – Ancestral Valentines from Murdock, Minnesota

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By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Have you ever thought about the stories of your ancestors courtships?

The stories might be hard to find, but you might be able to find traces in the way of wedding records or photos.

Click here to follow my blog as I try to find out details of my ancestors from the old countries and at home in the United States.

(Right click to save poster.)

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Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Missed a blog post?

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By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Click on image to see a chart of the blogs from the past two weeks on Minnesota Native Daughter.

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If you have any additional information to add to this blog post, family information, Murdock related history or if you think you are related to me, contact me at jwalsh@wctrib.com.

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Genealogy – Identify photos

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By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

My second cousin Kay (Kennedy) Frederickson sent me an old family photo, possibly from 1895 – 1896, as the youngest daughter was born in 1895, appearing to be one or two years old. Kay and I share a set of great-grandparents Stephen Foley and Catherine (Meier) Foley, making us second cousins.

Photo tips
1. Share family photos
2. Try to identify the faces in the photos with the help of family.
3. Tell people you are trying to name the faces, by posting on a blog, Facebook, Twitter or one of the family tree sites, such as ancestry.com
4. Ask for comments from family, as there might be other information they have, that you do not.
5. Have fun! Yes, it’s work, but you are finding information of your past you can share in the future.
Right click to save photos below.

Original photo

Stephen Foley and Catherine (Meier) Foley Family

Notes on photo

If you have any additional information to add to this blog post, family information, Murdock related history or if you think you are related to me, contact me at jwalsh@wctrib.com.


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Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Robert A. Kennedy, Murdock native – altar boy, Mars researcher, college president. . .

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Snagged another relative with my blog!

My great-grandfather Stephen Foley, was born in Maine on Sept. 15, 1846, and has a great-grandson that is currently the president of The University of Maine. Do you know his name?

He’s Robert “Bob” A. Kennedy, Murdock, Minnesota native, currently living in Maine, but moving back to Minnesota, has kept a home for years in Minnesota. (Sounds like a possible new blog, maybe call it Minnesota Native Son!)
Read more about Robert A. Kennedy. . .


Robert A. Kennedy, President of The University of Maine
Photo Source

Second Cousins
I received a comment on my blog on Jan. 6, 2011, from Bob writing to tell me about our possible family connections on the Foley side of my family. My grandmother Mary Jannet “Jennie” (Foley) Walsh and Bob’s grandmother, Rose (Foley) Pothen were sisters. After doing a little checking and figuring, it turns out we are second cousins, meaning with have a common set of great-grandparents, Stephen Foley and Catherine (Meier) Foley.

Stephen Foley and Catherine (Meier) Foley Family

Read more about this photo!
(If you have details of the date the photo was taken, and identification, left to right, please email me at jwalsh@wctrib.com)

Few details on Great-Grandparents
Stephen Foley, born Sept.15 1846 and died May 3, 1913, born in Maine
Catherine Meier, born March 14, 1855 and died Jan. 4, 1921, born in Luxembourg, according to 1880 U.S. Census (Listed as Germany in earlier blog, but updated as Luxembourg, which also goes with stories I heard as a child.)
Marriage – about 1876

My parents’ wedding
As a teenager, Bob was an altar boy at my parents wedding, along with Mike Walsh, yet another relative, at the Cathedral of St. Mary in St. Cloud. If you check out his biography you will find a list of accomplishments that are out of this world, including his study of the technological and physiological impediments related to space flight to Mars.

What more could he do?
According to StarTribune.com, my second cousin Bob is a finalist for both an at-large and an Eighth Congressional District seat as a University of Minnesota’s Board of Regent
Read more. . .

Now I just need to meet my newly found relative!

If you have any additional information to add to this blog post, family information, Murdock related history or if you think you are related to me, contact me at jwalsh@wctrib.com.


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Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Grandparents wedding photo found

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Mary Jannet "Jennie" (Foley) Walsh and Martin J. Walsh Sr. Wedding, Nov. 4, 1915
Foley – Walsh

Martin and “Jennie” Walsh of Murdock

Mary Jannet “Jennie” (Foley) Walsh, 29, and Martin J. Walsh Sr., 28, were united in marriage Nov. 4, 1915, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock, Minnesota.

I just uncovered this photo of my grandparent’s wedding that is simply precious. They were married a the first Sacred Heart parish built in 1894, under the direction of the Rev. P. J. O’Connor, of De Graff, for the cost of $5, 137.70. The first public services, unknown if it was a Mass, was Dec. 8, 1894, according to Swift County history. Need to get the church history book that I understand should be available. See below for more details on Swift County.

My grandfather Martin, known to many at “Mart”, was born in Dublin Township, Swift County, on Feb. 19, 1887, in section 32, in a house that was later moved from De Graff. He died at age 101 on Jan. 15, 1998, at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. Understand my father Martin J. Walsh Jr. and my aunt Margaret Walsh were at his bedside when he died. They had apparent spent many nights sleeping at the hospital before my grandfather and grandmother passed away.

My grandmother “Jennie” was born March 23, 1886, in Louriston Township, Chippewa County. She was 100 years when she died at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar on Feb. 26, 1985. Learn more about my grandmother.


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Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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Foley family branches – Update

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

David and Kay Frederickson of St. Paul, formerly of Murdock. Kay is my second cousin from my grandmother “Jennie” Walsh’s family.

My blog reconnects branches on the family tree.

Shortly after I started my Minnesota Native Daughter blog in Sept. 2010, Kay Frederickson of St. Paul wrote to tell me of our family connections. If I have it charted properly, we are second cousins.


Sisters – Mary Jannet “Jennie” (Foley) Walsh and Rose (Foley) Pothen

My maternal grandmother Mary Jannet “Jennie” (Foley) Walsh, known to most as “Jennie” Walsh, was the great-aunt of Kay Frederickson. Rose (Foley) Pothen was the sister my grandmother “Jennie” Walsh.

Update with great-grandmother’s name
My Uncle Doug, that’s E. Douglas Larson from the Twin Cities, my godfather and family tree expert, just emailed me the missing information of my great-grandparents Stephen Foley and Catherine (Meier)Foley.

Stephen Foley, born Sept.15 1846 and May 3, 1913, born in Maine
Catherine Meier, born March 14, 1855 and Jan. 4, 1921, born in Luxembourg, according to 1880 U.S. Census (Listed as Germany, but updated as Luxembourg, which also goes with stories I heard as a child.)
Marriage – about 1876

Click here for the search link that was used for the information.

(See above for updated information – I am not sure of both first names of the parents of the Foley sisters, but Stephen Foley is the name of my maternal great-grandfather. If you know my great-grandmother’s first name, please update me if you have details.)

There is a stained glass window at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock of Saint Paul dedicated to the Stephen Foley Family, the family of my maternal great-grandparents. Kay and myself are great-grandchildren of Stephen Foley.

First cousins – Anne (Pothen) Kennedy and Martin J. Walsh Jr.

Kay’s parents were Jack Kennedy and Anne (Pothen) Kennedy from the Murdock area. Anne’s mother was Rose (Foley) Pothen, sister of my grandmother “Jennie” Walsh, the mother of my late father Martin J. Walsh Jr., along with his sisters Agnes (Walsh) Shopa and Margaret Walsh. This makes my dad, along with his sisters, first cousins with Anne.

Second cousins – Kay (Kennedy) Frederickson and Jannet Walsh

On Dec. 21, 2010, I blogged about Murdock’s native son David Frederickson’s appointment as the new Minnesota agriculture commissioner. I missed the connection that David is the husband of Kay Frederickson, but I’m glad Kay wrote to update me.


About my second cousin Kay
I think Kay looks like a Foley family member, hard to describe, but a good look. She wrote me how proud she is of her husband, David. They lived and farmed five miles north Murdock for about 24 years, and also raised two children Anna and Emelyn, both now in their 30s. (Anna and Emelyn would be my third cousins, right?)

Besides farming near Murdock, David was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 1986 and served until 1991. He was elected as president of the Minnesota Farmers Union for eleven years and was elected president of the National Farmers Union for four years. Most recently he worked Senator Amy Klobuchar as Agriculture Outreach Director.

I recently asked my aunt Margaret Walsh, age 93, of Murdock, what she recalled about the Frederickson family. She told me the family was very involved in politics and farming, but was considered to be very honest , which is good to hear.

It would be great to meet Kay and her husband David in the future. Maybe I can get a few agricultural pointers for a backyard garden!

If you have any additional information to add to this blog post, family information, Murdock related history or if you think you are related to me, contact me at jwalsh@wctrib.com.

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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