About PetersPioneersThomas and Mary Tracy Foy

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Formerly entitled Four Foys from Castlebar. Nora Kerrigan Brady, Jack Carr, John D. Carr, Margaret McCarthy Czervienke, Lars Dalstrom, Fr. Frank Fahy, Sharon Gibbons, Gail Kniewel Johnson, Julianne Pierce Joyce, James Kane, Charles Kerrigan, Margaret Kelly Kerrigan, Margaret O'Brien, Marla Prante, Barbara Kniewel Ritchie, Ellen O'Brien Ronan, Patricia Donahue Schwake, Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, Patrick Tracey, and Michael Walsh contributed to this family history.

Thomas and Mary Tracy Foy (Hunt) and Their Six Children

Foy in MacLysaght
From The Surnames of Ireland by Edward MacLysaght, Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1969.
Foy in Woulfe
From Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Dublin,1923. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co. in 1967, 1969, 1993.

Thomas was born in County Mayo, north Connacht, Ireland, sometime around the year 1795 or 1800. He married Mary Tracy (based on daughter Margaret's death certificate) sometime before the year 1820 and lived on The Foy Farm in Derreennascooba. The townland of Derreennascooba is in County Mayo, situated on a hillside in the Partry Mountains, just south of Killavally (also called Killawala) and eight miles south of Castlebar, the county seat of Mayo.

They say that the name Foy comes from the ancient Irish word for raven and has been anglicized as Hunt. In the 1833 Tithe Applotment for the Parish of Ballintubber, page 20, the name of the lessor of the Foy farm is given as Thos. Hunt. The farm at that time consisted of 589 acres owned by George H. Moore (280 acres untitheable).

George Henry Moore (1810-1870) owned the Foy farm from at least 1833 until his death in 1870. In 1835, George Henry Moore, a Catholic, contributed substantially to a new church, St. Mary's, near Moore Hall in Carrownacon (also called Carnacon), which is part of the Parish of Burriscarra & Ballintubber, along with Ballintubber Abbey and St. Patrick's Church in Killawalla. It is said that no one died on the Moore estate during the famine and no evictions were ever recorded. In 1846, George Henry Moore ran a horse called Coranna in the Chester Gold Cup in England. When Coranna won the cup, he used much of his winnings to alleviate the suffering of the poor in the area. A portrait of Coranna hangs in St. Mary's Church in Carrownacon. In 1847, George Henry Moore brought 4,000 tons of maize from America to County mayo to alleviate the famine. George Henry Moore was a Member of Parliament from 1847 to 1857, representing County Mayo. See The Foy Farm in Derreennascooba.

Thomas and Mary had six children born 22 years apart in Derreennascooba. Four children emigrated to Chicago, and one stayed on the farm in Derreennascooba. Of the four Foys who emigrated, two married in Ireland and then emigrated. The other two emigrated while still single and married later. All six had children. Two had spouses who died young, and they remarried.

  • Dominick Foy, born in 1820, married Anne Walsh in 1843, emigrated in 1849, married Mary Breen in 1850, married Ellen Graham in 1856.
  • Bridget Foy, born in 1820-1825, married Thomas O'Malley, emigrated in 1871.
  • Thomas Foy, born in 1830, emigrated in 1850, married Mary Higgins in 1855.
  • John Foy, born in 1836, married Bridget Gibbons in 1858, stayed in Derreennascooba. Two of their children emigrated: Mary (O'Malley) to Boston and Dominick to Philadelphia.
  • Catherine Foy, born in 1840, married John Higgins, stayed in Devleash West, County Mayo. Four of nine children emigrated.
  • Margaret Foy, born in 1842, emigrated in 1864, married Thomas Tracey in 1866, married Cornelius Conway in 1869.

Dominick Foy

Derreennascooba, 1820-1849. Dominick Foy was born in 1820 and married Anne Walsh in Kiltarsaghaun on February 21, 1843. Witnesses were Thomas Walsh and Mary Foy.

Dominick and Anne had two children born in Ireland: Patrick Foy in 1847 and John Foy in 1848. Patrick died young because he did not appear in the 1850 U.S. census.

30-Star US Flag 1848-1851Nunda, 1849-1853. Dominick was the first of the four Foys to immigrate. He immigrated around 1849 at age 29 with his wife, Anne Walsh, and their one-year old baby, John. The U.S. flag had 30 stars, the most recent one being for Wisconsin. The President was Zachary Taylor. Dominick and Nancy settled initially in Nunda, which is in Western New York State. Two construction projects were underway at that time: the 100-mile Genesee Valley Canal connecting the Erie Canal with the Allegheny River, and the Erie Railroad connecting New York City with Buffalo.

Dominick could not read or write in the 1850 census, but he could do both in the 1900 census.

Anne Walsh Foy died in 1850, and Dominick married Mary Breen. They had one child in New York, Mary Foy (1851-1911).

Chicago, Near North Side, 1853-1871. Sometime between 1851 and 1856, Mary Breen died, and Dominick married Ellen Graham (1830-1900). They had three children, all born in Chicago: Bridget Foy Rowland (1857-1936), Margaret Foy Kane (1859-1910), and Thomas Foy (1862-1907). The 1866-70 Chicago directories show Dominick living in Holy Name parish on the Near North Side of Chicago at 56 Ohio Street (377 W. Ohio Street after 1909) in Chicago and working as a laborer. This area was in the path of the Chicago Fire that started at 9:30 p.m. on October 9, 1871, on the Near West Side, just north of where Dominick's brother Thomas lived, and spread north and east. By 7 a.m. the next morning the fire reached the Near North Side where Dominick and his family lived. Holy Name cathedral was destroyed. During the nine months that followed, the Relief and Aid Society provided assistance to virtually half the population of Chicago.

Chicago, Bridgeport, 1871-1901. Sometime around 1871, probably as a result of the Chicago Fire, Dominick, Ellen, and their four younger children moved four miles south to St. Bridget's parish in the Bridgeport section of Chicago. This area had not been affected by the Chicago Fire. There they purchased a one-story house at 216 Main Street (2925 S. Throop Street after 1909). The house is still there.

Ellen died in 1900 and Dominick in 1901. Both are buried at Calvary Cemetery in a plot purchased in 1867 by Dominick’s brother Thomas (Section D, Block 6, Lot 28).

Death Certificate-Ellen     Death Certificate-Dominick     Cemetery Record

Chicago Daily News Obituary, January 8, 1900
FOY—HELEN (nee Graham), beloved wife of Dominick Foy, at her residence, 2925 Main-st. Funeral Tuesday, at 9:30 a. m., to St. Bridget’s church, where high mass will be celebrated, thence by carriages to Calvary.
Chicago Daily News Obituary, December 26, 1901
FOY—DOMINICK, beloved husband of the late Ellen Foy, father of John, Thomas, Mary, Mrs. Rowland and Mrs. Kane. Funeral Friday, at 9 a. m., from his residence, 2925 Throop-st. (formerly Main-st.), to St. Bridget’s church, where high mass will be celebrated, thence by carriage to Calvary.

One of Dominick and Anne Walsh Foy's great great grandchildren, John Foy Coverdale, would become a Professor of Law at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and a lay member of Opus Dei. Professor John Coverdale specialized in federal and state tax law and in the interplay of law and catholic social thought. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from the Lateran University. He received his M.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Navarre and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. From 1971 to 1983, he taught History at Princeton and Northwestern Universities. In 1984, he received his J.D. from the University of Chicago, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and was an Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. After law school, he clerked for Antonin Scalia, who became Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was an attorney with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson, Washington, D.C., before going to Seton Hall in 1993. He published in the area of 19th and 20th Century Spanish history as well as in taxation, administrative law, catholic social thought, and just war theory.

One of Dominick and Ellen Graham Foy's great great grandchildren, Rev. John P. Minogue, C.M., would become President of DePaul University from 1993 to 2004. During his tenure, DePaul also became the largest Catholic university in the nation. Under his leadership the university created the School of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Systems. The Princeton Review named DePaul’s students the happiest in the nation not once but twice during his presidency, an achievement he often described as one of his proudest moments.

2925 S. Throop
Home of Dominick and Ellen Graham Foy, a one-story house in the Bridgeport section of Chicago at 216 Main Street (2925 S. Throop Street after 1909). Photo in 2000.
Maggie Foy Kane
Margaret "Maggie" Foy Kane 1859-1910, daughter of Dominick and Ellen Graham Foy, married Patrick Kane 1864-1892.
John, Joseph, and Helen Kane
Children of Patrick and Maggie Foy Kane: John, Joseph, and Helen Kane. Helen Kane 1888-1976 married Rufus Minogue 1885-1935, and they are grandparents of Father Minogue (below).
John Foy Coverdale
John Foy Coverdale, Professor of Law, Seton Hall University. Great great grandson of Dominick and Ellen Graham Foy.
Rev. John P. Minogue, C.M.
Rev. John P. Minogue, C.M., president of DePaul University from 1993 to 2004. Great great grandson of Dominick and Ellen Graham Foy.

Bridget Foy

Ireland, 1820/25-1871. Bridget Foy was born in Derreennascooba. The year of birth was 1820 based on her death certificate and 1825 based on the 1880 and 1900 U.S. censuses. Bridget married Thomas O'Malley in Co. Mayo. They had six children in Ireland: Mary O'Malley (b. 1840), Michael O'Malley, John O'Malley, Anne O'Malley (1852-1929), Margaret O'Malley, and Catherine "KKitty" O'Malley (1857-1930).

37-Star US Flag 1867-1877Chicago, Near North Side, 1871-1902. Bridget was the last of the four Foys to immigrate to Chicago. She immigrated in 1871, in the year of the Great Chicago Fire. The U.S. flag had 37 stars, the most recent one being for Nebraska. The President was Ulysses S. Grant. Bridget was age 46 when she came to Chicago, with husband and children. She had married Thomas O'Malley in Castlebar. Thomas was a laborer.

Bridget could read and write.

In the 1880 census, Bridget and Thomas lived on the Near North Side at 43 Ontario Street (432 W. Ontario Street after 1909). This was in Holy Name parish.

Thomas O'Malley died in 1890.

In 1900 census, Bridget lived a few short blocks north at 57 E. Superior Street (440 W. Superior Street after 1909), where she was running a boarding house.

Bridget Foy O'Malley died in 1902. Her death certificate said she was age 82, indicating a birth year of 1820. The 1880 and 1900 censuses, however, indicate a birth year of 1825.

Death Certificate     Cemetery Record - One     Cemetery Record - Two

Chicago Daily News Obituary, March 21, 1902
O’MALLEY—BRIDGET, at residence, 57 E. Superior-st., beloved mother of Michael, John, Annie, Marguerite and Kitty O’Malley; sister of Thomas Foy and the late Dominick Foy and Mrs. Conway. Funeral notice hereafter.

After Bridget's daughter Catherine died in 1930, The Little Sisters of the Poor sent Emily Foy Biggins the deed to the cemetery plot at Calvary where Catherine, her sisters, and her mother Bridget were buried. Emily was Catherine's first cousin, once removed. The Little Sisters of the Poor had an old people's home in the building next the the University Apartments on Sheffield Avenue, which the Biggins family built and where they lived.

Bridget Foy O'Malley
Bridget Foy O'Malley (1820/25-1902) in Chicago around 1900. Sister of Catherine Foy Higgins. Photo courtesy of Sharon Gibbons, great granddaughter of Catherine Foy Higgins (1840-1920). On the back of the picture it says “Bridget Foy O’Malley, Kitty O’Malley’s mother”.

Thomas Foy

30-Star US Flag 1848-1851Chicago, Near North Side, 1850-1861. Thomas was the second of the four Foys to immigrate to America, arriving around 1850. He was age 20 and single. The U.S. flag had 30 stars, the most recent one being for Wisconsin. The President was Zachary Taylor.

In 1855, Thomas married Mary Higgins (1833-1907), who had been born in Ireland and immigrated to Chicago in 1851. Thomas and Mary had two children: John Foy (1857- ) and Thomas Foy (1859-1876) before moving to Sycamore, Illinois. The 1860 census shows Thomas and his family living on the Near North Side in Holy Name parish in Chicago's 7th Ward. The 7th Ward at that time was bounded by Fullerton on the north, LaSalle on the east, and the Chicago River on the south and west.

Thomas could not read or write, but Mary could.

Sycamore, Illinois, 1861-1864. In 1860 or 1861, Thomas and Mary moved to Sycamore, Illinois, 70 miles west of Chicago. There they had two more children, James Aloysius Foy (1862-1943) and Patrick Foy (1863-1931).

Chicago, Near West Side, 1864-1878. In 1864, Thomas and Mary moved to 17 O'Brien Street (620 W. O'Brien Street after 1909) on the Near West Side of Chicago, just south of 12th Street, west of Jefferson Street and the Chicago River, where Thomas worked as an ostler (groom). They were in Holy Family parish. The church was at 1080 West 12th Street (now Roosevelt Road). The church was built from 1857 to 1874.

O'Leary house, after fire
O'Leary house, after the Chicago Fire.
Lars Dalstrom, great grandson of Thomas and Mary Higgins Foy, relates that Thomas and Mary were friends of Patrick and Catherine “Kate” O’Leary. The O’Learys were fellow parishioners at Holy Family parish and lived only a few blocks north. The O’Learys had five children, the oldest a girl, age 14. They lived in the rear of the small house at 137 DeKoven Street (558 W. DeKoven Street after 1909), just north of 12th Street and east of Jefferson Street. The house was on the north side of the street. There was a barn in back where the family operated a neighborhood milk business with six cows, a horse, a wagon, a harness, two tons of coal, and two tons of hay. The barn was lost to the fire on Sunday night, October 9, 1871. But the wind spread the fire north and east, saving the house and the O'Learys. Kate O’Leary testified before a board of Chicago police and fire commissioners that she and her family were asleep in bed when the fire struck around 9 p.m. There was a widespread rumor that Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern and started the fire, but the board was unable to conclude what caused the Chicago Fire.

Thomas and Mary had the last four of their eight children while living on O'Brien Street: John D. Foy (1867-1950), Stephen F. Foy (1869-1942), Mary A. “Mayme” Foy (1873-1857), and Catherine Ann “Kate” Foy (1877-1951).

The 1877 Chicago city directory shows an Edwin Foy living with the Foys. This is believed to be the famous vaudevillian Eddie Foy who, according to an August 24, 1935 Chicago Daily News article, shortened his name to Foy from Fitzgerald based on his association with the Thomas and Mary Higgins Foy family. See How Eddie Foy Got His Name.

Dawson, Iowa, 1878-1900. Around 1878, Thomas and Mary Higgins Foy moved to a farm in Dawson, Iowa, 370 miles west of Chicago and 45 miles northwest of Des Moines. All except their two oldest children went with them.

Chicago, Bridgeport, 1900-1902. In 1900, after 22 years in Iowa, they returned to Chicago and lived in Bridgeport at 3602 S. Union Avenue. Their son, John D. Foy, however, had married and stayed in Iowa with his family.

1152 Wesley
1152 Wesley Avenue, Oak Park, 2000.
Oak Park, 1902-1903. Later Thomas and Mary Higgins Foy and their grown children, Stephen, Mayme, and Kate, moved to St. Luke's parish in River Forest. Their address was 1152 Wesley Avenue in Oak Park.

Thomas died in 1903 and Mary in 1907. Both are buried in a plot at Calvary Cemetery that Thomas had purchased in 1867 for the burial of his sister Margaret’s husband (Section D, Block 6, Lot 28).

Cemetery Record

Chicago Daily News Obituary, September 24, 1903
FOY—Thomas, aged 73 years, beloved husband of Mary Foy (nee Higgins), native of Castle Bar, County Mayo, Ireland; father of the late John and Thomas Foy, James, P. J., J. D., S. F. and Mary and Katy Foy. Funeral from residence, 1152 Wesley-av., near 12th-st., Oak Park, Ill., Friday, Sept. 25, 9 o’clock sharp, to St. Luke’s church at River Forest, thence C. & N. W. R. R. to Calvary.
Chicago Daily News Obituary, August 24, 1907
FOY—Mrs. Mary Foy (nee Higgins), aged 74 years, beloved wife of the late Thomas Foy, mother of James, Patrick, John, Stephen, Mary, Catherine and the late John and Thomas Foy; native of County Mayo, Ireland. Funeral from residence, 1152 S. Wesley-av., near 12th-st., Oak Park, Ill., Monday, Aug. 26, at 10 a. m., to Ascension church, thence by carriages to Calvary.

In 1907, Ascension parish was carved out of St. Luke's parish to serve the south section of Oak Park.

One of the children of Thomas and Mary Higgins Foy was James Aloysius Foy. He married Bessie Nora Murray in 1889. They had five children, one of whom was Frances Foy. Frances, and her husband Gus Dalstrom, were well-known Chicago artists. In 1938, 31 years after the death of Mary Higgins Foy, Frances painted the mural pictured below under a commission by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Section of Fine Arts. The mural is entitled "Advent of the Pioneers, 1851." The mural is 15'x5' and hangs at the east end of first floor of the Main Post Office at 433 W. Harrison Street in Chicago. See Mural in the the Chicago Main Post Office. It was originally hung in the Chestnut Street Post Office in Chicago. The October 10, 1943 edition of the Chicago Tribune contains a nice article about Frances Foy and Gus Dalstrom entitled "Art, Marriage Double Ties for North Side Pair."

Frances Foy's husband, Gus Dalstrom was an artist in the Department of Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago. Gus did the drawings for Digging into History, a book on archeology in New Mexico published by the museum in 1959.

Bessie Foy
Bessie Foy, 52.
Photo from 1922 passport.
Frances Foy
Frances Foy, 31.
Photo from 1922 passport.
Gus Dalstrom and Frances Foy
1923 wedding photo.
Frances Foy Mural
"Advent of the Pioneers, 1851"  Mural 15' x 5' painted in 1938 by Frances Foy, second cousin of Emily Foy Biggins. In East Lobby of Chicago Main Post Office, 433 W. Harrison Street. Commissioned by U.S. Department of Treasury, Section of Fine Arts, for the Chestnut Street Post Office, where it hung opposite a mural entitled "Great Indian Council, Chicago—1833" by Gustaf Dalstrom, husband of Frances Foy. Photo by Mikal J. Sutherlin, U.S. Postal Service, Chicago District. Large image.

John Foy

Derreennascooba, 1836-1918. John Foy was born in Derreennascooba in 1836 and married Bridget Gibbons in 1858. They remained on the Foy farm in Derreennascooba. John and Bridget had five children in Derreennascooba: Mary in 1860, Dominick in 1863, Patrick in 1866, Thomas in 1869, and Catherine in 1871.

Mary Foy married Anthony O'Malley. They lived on a farm in Killadeer, not far from Derreennascooba. They had six children, two of whom, Mary and Kate O'Malley married Carr brothers and emigrated to Boston. Mary O'Malley Carr is the remarkable woman of Proud Daughter of a Remarkable Woman, written by her proud daughter Margaret Carr Shea. It is the story of Mary's 1926 immigration to America and her earlier immigration to work for Carmelita Hinton, who started The Putney School in Vermont.

Dominick Foy emigrated to Philadelphia, married, and had eight children.

Patrick Foy stayed on the farm in Derreennascooba and married Mary Gibbons. They had one child, Mary "Maisie" Foy, who married Thomas Kerrigan in 1929. In 1918, Patrick replaced his father as tenant of the Foy farm. In 1939, Patrick became the owner of the farm. In 1970, ownership of the Foy farm was transferred to Thomas and Mary Foy Kerrigan. In 1970, ownership was transferred to their son, the late Thomas Joseph Kerrigan, husband of Margaret Kelly.

Old Foy House
At the The Foy Farm in Derreennascooba, circa 1940: three children of Thomas and Mary "Maisie" Foy Kerrigan: Mary, John, and Norah. The building in the background is the stone cottage with thatched roof where our Foy ancestors were born in Derreennascooba. Source: Charles Kerrigan.
Catherine Foy Coyne
At the The Foy Farm in Derreennascooba, circa 1966:
-Pat Tracey, grandson of Mary "Maisie" Foy Kerrigan
-Catherine Foy Coyne, daughter of John and Bridget Gibbons Foy
-Mary "Maisie" Foy Kerrigan, granddaughter of John and Bridget Gibbons Foy
Source: Charles Kerrigan.
Mary O'Malley Carr
Margaret Carr, Mary O'Malley Carr 1896-1995 (granddaughter of John and Bridget Gibbons Foy), John D. Carr, and James F. Carr (standing). Source: Charles Kerrigan.

Catherine Foy

Derreennascooba, 1840-1856. Catherine Foy was born in Derreennascooba in 1840 and married John Higgins in 1856.

Devleash West, 1856-1920. They lived on a farm in the Townland of Devleash West, which is which is west of Killawalla. Catherine and John had nine children: Mary in 1857, Michael in 1859, John in 1862, Bridget in 1866, Patrick in 1868, Charles in 1871, Margaret in 1874, Catherine in 1877, and Thomas. Catherine's husband John died in 1918. Catherine died in 1920.

Information on this family was provided by Sharon Gibbons starting in 2018. "In the 1901 and 1911 census Catherine Foy Higgins and John Higgins are living in Ballintubber Parish, Townland of Devleash West, DED (District Electoral Division) of Tawnynagry, County Mayo, house #3 and #11 respectively. The 1901 Census shows Catherine as age 70, John as age 75, Patrick age 30, Katie (my grandma) age 22. I believe my grandma went back to Ireland several times before she settled in America. In the The 1911 Census Catherine is 76, John is 86, daughter Bridget is 40, and son Patrick age 38, granddaughter Bridget Staunton age 6. Catherine and John are married 54 years in 1911 census."

"According to our family Catherine Foy and John Higgins came to America to visited likely more than once. We have family photos of them in Chicago and later Detroit. A family story passed down was that John Higgins woke up one day and put on his best suit and his top hat. He told family that he was going on long journey and proceeded to lay down on the couch and passed away. He was 105 years old. John and Catherine Foy Higgins 9 children."

Bridget Higgins
Bridget Higgins (1866-1938) in Chicago. Daughter of Catherine Foy (1840-1920) and John Higgins (1813/18-1918). Never married. Came to America and returned to Ireland in 1902.
Catherine Foy and John Higgins
Catherine Foy (1840-1920) and her husband John Higgins (1813/18-1918) on a visit to Chicago from Ireland around 1900.
Catherine Higgins Gibbons
Catherine Higgins Gibbons (1877-1974) after her arrival in America from Ireland on the steamship Lucania in 1895. Daughter of Catherine Foy (1840-1920) and John Higgins (1813/18-1918). Grandmother of Sharon Gibbons.
Veronica Gibbons (1920-2014). Died in Dearborn, MI. Porcelain plate painted by her second cousin Frances Foy was inherited by her niece Sharon Gibbons.
Plate painted by Frances Foy. Diameter 7.75 inches. Obtained by her second cousin, Veronica Gibbons.
plate label
Label on back of plate made by in Vienna, Austria, and painted by F. M. Foy.

Margaret Foy

Derreennascooba, 1842-1864. Margaret Foy was born in Derreennascooba in 1842.

34-Star US Flag 1861-1863Chicago, Near North Side, 1864-1914. Around 1860, Margaret married Thomas Tracey in Ireland. In 1861 they had a daughter Mary in Ireland. In 1864 (based on Margaret's death certificate), the family emigrated to Chicago. In 1866-67 they had a son John in Chicago. Thomas Tracey died in 1867. Margaret’s brother Thomas Foy purchased a plot at Calvary Cemetery to bury her husband Thomas (Section D, Block 6, Lot 28).

Around 1869, Margaret married Cornelius Conway (1826-1891). Cornelius was born in Ireland, immigrated to Pennsylvania, married, and had at least four children in Pennsylvania from 1852 to 1863: Peter, James, Cornelius, and Anthony. In Chicago, Cornelius worked as a day laborer and an express man. In the 1870 census, Margaret and her family were living on the Near North Side in the 18th Ward of Chicago, which is bounded by the Chicago River on the west and south, by Division Street on the north, and by Franklin Street on the east. In the 1880 census and the 1890 voter rolls, they were living at 59 Erie Street (430 W. Erie Street after 1911).

Margaret and Cornelius could neither read nor write.

Margaret and Cornelius had three children: Mary Ann Conway LaVelle (1870-1918), Catherine Conway O'Brien (1872-1948), and Honora Conway (1879- ).

Frances Foy
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels. Source: Fordham University.
In the 1880 census, and in 1891 when Cornelius died, they were living in Holy Name parish on the Near North Side of Chicago at 59 Erie Street (430 W. Erie Street after 1909).

In 1900 Margaret was living on the Near North Side a few short blocks north at 95 Townsend Street (825 N. Hudson Avenue after 1909 and a street name change).

In 1904, Margaret became a member of St. Dominic parish, which was carved out of Holy Name parish. In 1910, Margaret was living two blocks east at 355 W. Chicago Avenue. When Margaret died, she was living a block east at 876 N. Franklin Street.

Cornelius Conway died of bronchitis in 1891 and was buried at Calvary cemetery. Margaret died in 1914 and was buried at Calvary Cemetery in a lot purchased in 1867 by Evan T. Rees (Section B, Block 5, Lot 19). Also buried there are her daughter Mary Ann LaVelle and Mary Ann’s husband John, both of whom died in 1918.

Chicago Tribune Obituary, June 10, 1914
Margaret Conway, nee Foy, June 8, 1914, at her residence, 876 Franklin-st., beloved wife of the late Cornelius Conway, mother of Mrs. John LaVelle and Mrs. Edward O'Brien. Funeral Thursday at 9 a.m. to St. Dominic's church, where high mass will be celebrated, carriages to Calvary. Member of Holy Name court No. 10, W. C. O. F.
Chicago Fire Dept.Two of Cornelius and Margaret's great grandchildren would achieve some notoriety:
  • Charles J. Pierce (1919-2000), would become Deputy Fire Commissioner of the City of Chicago in 1978.
  • Margaret O'Brien, would become an author and be editor of Commonweal from 1988 to 2002. Her husband Peter Steinfels would become an author and be religion columnist for The New York Times from 1990 to 2009. Peggy and Peter also would be founding co-directors of the Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture in New York.

Thomas and Mary Tracy Foy: 6 children, 39 grandchildren, 66 great grandchildren

Dominick Foy 1820-1901  m. 1843 Anne Walsh 1820-1850
  • Patrick Foy b. 1847
  • John F. Foy 1848-1936  m. 1872 Mary Stanton 1848-1920
    • William J. Foy 1873-1902  m. 1897 Catherine McCaffery 1873-1966
    • Emily Foy 1878-1967  m. 1900 Leslie Biggins 1877-1959. Leslie met Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini circa 1906
    • Mary Louise "Molly" Foy 1879-1962  m. 1907 George Robert Donahue 1879-1958
    m. 1851 Mary Breen d. 1851-56
  • Mary Foy 1851-1911
    m. 1856 Ellen Graham 1834-1900
  • Bridget Foy 1857-1936  m. 1884 Thomas Rowland 1841-1906
    • William F. Rowland 1885-1951  m. 1917 Lillian King 1894-1980
    • Cecelia Rowland 1888-1977  m. 1912 Charles E. Jackson 1881-1953
    • Mary Ellen Rowland 1890-1984  m. 1912 Joseph A. Conway 1873-1960
    • Gertrude Rowland 1891-1964
    • John Rowland 1894-1916
  • Margaret Foy 1859-1910  m. 1887 Patrick Kane 1864-1892
    • Helen Margaret Kane 1888-1976  m. 1913 Rufus Minogue 1885-1935
    • John Kane 1890-1983  m. 1929 Bridget Agnes Dougherty 1897-1989
    • Joseph Patrick Kane 1892-1958  m. 1918 Marie Uttich 1895-1985
  • Thomas Foy 1862-1907
Bridget Foy 1820/25-1902  m. Thomas O'Malley 1807-1890
  • Mary O'Malley b. 1840
  • Michael O'Malley
  • John O'Malley
  • Anne O'Malley 1852-1929
  • Margaret O'Malley d. 1917
  • Catherine "Kitty" O'Malley 1857-1930
Thomas Foy 1829-1903  m. 1855 Mary Higgins 1833-1907
  • John Foy b. 1857
  • Thomas L. Foy 1859-1876
  • James Aloysius Foy 1861-1943  m. 1889 Bessie Nora Murray 1868-1946
    • Frances M. Foy 1890-1963  m. 1923 Gustaf O. Dalstrom 1893-1971
    • Alice M. Foy 1892-1983
    • Grace A. Foy 1892-1974
    • Clara A. Foy b. 1901  m. 1923 Benjamin T. McCanna b. 1900
    • John Murray Foy 1908-1933
  • Patrick J. Foy 1863-1931  m. 1891 Jeanette Foley 1870-1931
    • Mary Foy b. 1894  m. 1917 Thomas Monroe b. 1893
  • John D. Foy 1867-1950  m. 1892 Margarete A. 1873-1957
    • Thomas L. Foy b. 1893  m. 1922 Grace M. b. 1901
      • Donald Leo Foy 1923-2001  m. Earline
      • Gordon Foy b. 1933
    • Ellen N. Foy b. 1895
    • Francis Foy b. 1898
  • Stephen F. Foy 1869-1942
  • Mary A. "Mayme" Foy 1873-1957
  • Catherine Anne "Kate" Foy 1877-1951
Catherine Foy 1840-1920  m. 1856 John Higgins 1813/18-1918
  • Mary Higgins 1857-1935  m. 1892 Thomas McMahon 1861-1940. They immigrated to Chicago, where they were married
    • Catherine Isabelle McMahon 1895-1973  m. 1923 Larry Hyde 1894-1962
    • Mary Jane McMahon b. 1898  m. Edward Doyle 1904-1964
    • Ellen Frances McMahon 1901-1991 m. Albert Beaudein 1888-1963
  • Michael Higgins 1859-1951  m. Carolyn Aldred b. England, d. 1940. They immigrated to Aurora, Illinois
    • Mary (May) C. Higgins
  • John Higgins 1862-1922  m. Mary Heraty. Immigrated to Chicago Illinois.
    • Johnny Higgins
      m. Kate McHale Purcell b. 1872
    • Michael Higgins
    • Kate Higgins Daniels
    • John Higgins
    • William Higgins
    • James Higgins d. age 7
  • Bridget Higgins 1866-1938. Never married. Went to America and returned to Ireland in 1902.
  • Patrick Higgins 1868-1951  m. 1914 Margaret Gibbons 1888-1920, sister of Walter Gibbons. Stayed in Shraughasken, County Mayo. They are both buried in the Aghagower Cemetery.
    • John Higgins d. 1998
    • Michael Higgins d. 1983
    • Mary K. Higgins 1918-2006  m. John Murphy 1912-1993. Immigrated to Detroit about 1940 and lived with her uncle and aunt Walter and Catherine Higgins Gibbons
  • Charles Higgins 1871-1877
  • Margaret Higgins 1874-1945  m. Thomas Staunton 1856-1946. Remained in Ireland and lived on Mill Street in Westport, County Mayo
    • Thomas Staunton 1898-1978  m. Nora Kelly 1915-2006
    • Michael Staunton b. 1899
    • Mary Staunton Cote b. 1901. Immigrated to Montreal Canada
    • Bridget Josephine Staunton  m. Landusky b. 1899. Immigrated to Wisconsin
    • Kathleen Staunton 1909-1957
    • John Staunton b. 1910
    • Margaret Jane Staunton  m. Tunrey
    • Annie Staunton  m. McNally. Immigrated to England
  • Catherine Higgins 1877-1974  m. 1905 Walter Gibbons 1878-1939, brother of Margaret Gibbons married to Catherine’s brother Patrick Higgins. Both emigrated from County Mayo, Catherine first arrived in America on Lucania Ship June 8, 1895. Her destination was Chicago, Illinois. Walter came on the Teutonic Ship May 17, 1900, destination Detroit, MI. He stayed with his Brother John at 403 Mackenzie Ave. Detroit, MI. Walter eventually found work as a Locomotive Engineer for the New York Central Railroad. They married in Detroit and resided there at 5854 Romeyn Street in Holy Redeemer Parish
    • Catherine Gibbons 1907-1989
    • Loretta Gibbons 1909-1975 (Sister M. Celestine, IHM, died in Monroe, MI)
    • Walter Frances Gibbons 1911-1974  m. Florence Doody 1912-2001
    • Michael Alphonsus Gibbons 1913-1990  m. Mary O’Grady
    • John Joseph Gibbons 1917-1980  m. 1949 Marie Mulvihill 1927-2008 in Holy Redeemer Parish, Detroit. Marie Mulvihill’s parents immigrated from County Clare.
      • Maureen Gibbons  m. Ken Kaneko, live in Michigan
      • Rosemary Gibbons, lives in Tennessee
      • Sheila Gibbons, lives in Michigan
      • Carolyn Gibbons  m. Larry Weber, live in Michigan
      • Sharon Gibbons, b. 1960, lives in Michigan
    • Veronica A. Gibbons 1920-2014 (died in Dearborn, MI, had porcelain plate painted by Frances Foy, inherited by niece Sharon Gibbons)
  • Thomas Higgins d. infant
John Foy b. 1836  m. 1858 Bridget Gibbons b. 1835   1911 Census
  • Mary Foy 1860-1940; m. O'Malley b. 1861
    • Margaret O'Malley b. 1891
    • Peter O'Malley 1893-1978
    • Bridget O'Malley b. 1895
    • Mary O'Malley 1896-1995  m. 1924 James Francis Carr 1883-1979. Came to America on the ship Samaria in 1927
      • Mary Bridget Carr 1925-1987. Born in Ireland
      • Anne Theresa Carr 1927-1968. Born in America
      • Margaret Frances Carr 1928-2018  m. Emmett A. Shea. Author of Proud Daughter of a Remarkable Woman
      • Virginia Rita Carr b. 1933
      • James Francis Carr b. 1935
      • John DeValera Carr b. 1938
      • Robert Emmett Carr b. 1940
    • Kate O'Malley b. 1899  m. John D. Carr
    • Michael O'Malley
  • Dominick Foy b. 1863  Emigrated to America
  • Patrick Foy b. 1866  m. 1907 Mary Gibbons b. 1879   1911 Census
  • Thomas Foy b. 1869   1911 Census
  • Catherine Foy 1871-1958; m. Martin Coyne
Margaret Foy 1842-1914  m. 1860 Thomas Tracey
  • Mary Tracey b. 1861
  • John Tracey/Conway b. 1867
    m. 1869 Cornelius Conway 1826-1891
  • Mary Ann Conway 1870-1918  m. 1892 John LaVelle b. 1868
    • Frank LaVelle b. 1893  m. 1918 Genevieve Guilfoyle
    • Helen LaVelle b. 1895  m. 1914 Charles Pierce b. 1895
    • Anna LaVelle b. 1899  m. 1920 Paul A. Rose
    • Margaret LaVelle b. 1901
  • Catherine Conway 1872-1948  m. 1896 Edward O'Brien 1872-1919
    • Margaret O'Brien 1898-1970  m. 1921 John P. Deal b. 1894
    • Edward O'Brien 1900-1900
    • Julia O'Brien 1902-1946
    • Edwin O'Brien b. 1904  m. Ann Westerdahl
    • Cornelius O'Brien 1908-1999  m. 1938 Mary Catherine Buchmann 1911-1992
    • William O'Brien b. 1910
    • Catherine O'Brien b. 1914
    • John O'Brien 1916-2003  m. 1940 Mercedes Steinbach 1915-2004
  • Honora Conway b. 1879

4th Cousins

Thomas and Mary Tracy Foy and Selected Descendents

Thomas Foy b. circa 1795/1800. Married Mary Tracy before 1820
Lived on The Foy Farm in Derreennascooba.
Dominick Foy (1820-1901)  m. 1843 Anne Walsh (1820-1850),
Emigrated with son John in 1849 to Nunda, New York.  m. 1851 Mary Breen d. 1851/56
Moved circa 1851/1856 to Chicago  m. 1856 Ellen Graham (1834-1900)
Thomas Foy (1829-1903).
Emigrated in 1851
m. 1855 Mary Higgins (1833-1907)
Catherine Foy (1840-1920)
m. 1856 John Higgins (1813/18-1918).
Lived in Devleash West
John Foy b. 1836
m. 1858 Bridget Gibbons b. 1835
Lived on The Foy Farm in Derreennascooba
Margaret Foy (1842-1914)
m. 1869 Cornelius Conway (1826-1891).
Emigrated in 1864
John F. Foy (1848-1936)
m. 1872 Mary Stanton (1848-1920). John Foy was present at the Golden Spike Ceremony at Promontory Point, Utah, in 1869
Margaret Foy (1859-1910)
m. 1887 Patrick Kane (1864-1892) who emigrated in 1880
James A. Foy (1861-1943)
m. 1889 Bessie Nora Murray (1868-1946). Eddie Foy adopted James Foy's name
Catherine Higgins (1877-1974)
m. 1905 Walter Gibbons (1878-1939)
Mary Foy (1860-1940)
m. Anthony O'Malley b. 1861
Patrick Foy b. 1866
m. 1907 Mary Gibbons b. 1879
Lived on The Foy Farm in Derreennascooba
Catherine Conway (1872-1948)
Emily Foy (1878-1967)
m. 1900 Leslie Biggins (1877-1959). Leslie met Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini circa 1906. Their Sheffield Square Apartments are now part of DePaul University
Mary Louise "Molly" Foy (1879-1962)
m. 1907 George Robert Donahue (1879-1958)
Helen Margaret Kane (1888-1976)
m. 1913 Rufus Minogue (1885-1935)
Joseph Patrick Kane (1892-1958)
m. 1918 Marie Uttich (1895-1985)
Frances M. Foy (1890-1963)
m. 1923 Gustaf O. Dalstrom (1893-1971). Murals in the Chicago Loop Post Office
John Joseph Gibbons (1917-1980)
m. 1949 Marie Mulvihill (1927-2008)
lived in Detroit, Michigan
Mary O'Malley (1896-1995)
m. 1924 James Francis Carr (1883-1979)
Mary "Maisie" Foy (1908-1983) m. 1929 Thomas J. Kerrigan (1894-1980)
Lived on The Foy Farm in Derreennascooba
John O'Brien (1916-2003)
m. 1940 Mercedes Steinbach 1915-2004
John Alfred Biggins (1910-1979)
m. 1937 Jane Marie Drueke (1914-1998)
Kathleen Biggins (1902-1986) m. 1930 Philip Coverdale (1908-1978) Vincent DePaul Donahue (1911-1983) m. Genevieve Gier (1915-2010) Gregory J. Minogue (1914-1990)
m. Alice O'Shea (1915-1981)
Gerald Minogue (1916-1990)
m. Dolores Tahney (1918-2012). Dolores was godmother of Sarah Biggins Kelzenberg
Joseph Patrick Kane (1922-2006)
m. 1948 Margaret Berkel (1923-2010)
Lars Michael Dalstrom (1931-2015) Sharon Gibbons b. 1960, lives in Michigan John DeValera Carr b. 1938 Thomas Joseph Kerrigan b. 1946
m. Margaret Kelly
Margaret lives on The Foy Farm
Mary Kerrigan
m. Patrick Joseph Treacy (1922-1997)
Margaret O'Brien, editor of Commonweal, 1988 to 2002
m. Peter Steinfels, religion columnist for The New York Times, 1990 to 2009
Peter Biggins b. 1939
m. 1964 Marilyn Carroll (1940-2020)
John Foy Coverdale b. 1940, historian, law professor, author, member of Opus Dei Patricia Donahue Schwake Rev. John P. Minogue (1946-2019). President of DePaul University 1993-2004 Mary Anne Minogue
m. Thomas Cargill
John F. Kane

James Kane
Troy Dalstrom John (Jack) Carr Pat Tracey
b. 1959
lives in Westport

John F. Foy (1848-1936) was a building contractor in Chicago after the Chicago Fire. In 1893, he built two two-family two-story apartment buildings on Altgeld Street that shared a common wall. Peter's grandmother Emily Foy Biggins and her sister Molly Foy Donahue had apartments there after they married. Peter's father was born there. One of the two buildings was still standing when Peter and Marilyn went snooping around in July 2004. They saw the name Donahue and rang the bell but no one answered. When they got back home, Peter called and made contact with Patricia Donahue Schwake who still lived there. Pat and Peter are third cousins. In 2005, Peter visited with Pat and her mother Genevieve on Altgeld Street. In 2007, their building on Altgeld Street was torn down and replaced by a three-story condominium. Pat and her family moved a couple miles away.

In 1910, John's sister Margaret Foy Kane, a widow at age 45, died leaving three children: Helen Margaret, age 21; John Patrick, age 19; and Joseph, age 18. The children's father, Patrick Kane, had died in 1892 at age 29, shortly after they were born. The 1910 census shows Helen living with her uncle and aunt, John and Mary, and John and Joseph living with their cousin Molly and her husband George--all on Altgeld Street. Helen went on to marry Rufus Minogue in 1913 (their grandson Rev. John P. Minogue would become president of DePaul University). Joseph married Marie Uttich in 1918. John married Bridget Agnes Dougherty in 1929.

Peter remembered his father talking about Kanes and Minogues and thought they might be related. After a cold call to a survivor listed in a Minogue obituary Peter found online, he discovered that they were my third cousins. The timing was good. In July 2004, Peter and Marilyn I attended the first reunion of the Kane and Minogue families in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

In 2018, Sharon Gibbons found this page and provided all the information on the Catherine Foy branch of the Foy family, including several excellent photographs.

In January 2015, Peter got an email from John (Jack) Carr, age 50, saying he was distantly related. It turned out, they are fourth cousins. Jack had visitsd Charlie and Theresa Kerrigan in Killadeer, who referred him to this website. Later that year, Jack stopped by in Darien to meet with Peter and Marilyn. They had dinner at Rory's and Jacl gave Peter a copy of Proud Daughter of a Remarkable Woman, which his aunt Margaret Frances Carr 1928-2018 (m. Emmett A. Shea) had written about her memories of her mother Mary O'Malley Carr.

In March 2008, I mentioned to a friend who teaches economics at Fordham University, Fred Campano, that I had a third cousin (once removed), Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, who was also a director of the Center on Religion and Culture there. She and her cousins had found me by Googling their name on the Internet. A week later, Fred invited me to a Fordham function where Peggy was speaking, and I was able to meet her in person.

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