|My Harrington ancestors lived on Ballycrovane
Harbor of Coulagh Bay, Trachallee Townland, Beara Peninsula, County
Cork, Ireland. (Pictures) Their original church parish was
which is now in ruins and was incorporated with the Eyeries
Parish. The early parish records were in the possession of Riobard O'Dwyer, a genealogist from
Eyeries. The records were lost or destroyed but fortunately
Riobard had copies of them. On one of our trips to Ireland, I met with Riobard and obtained all the
available church records for the
Harrington (Duve) family and their
Many surnames in Ireland are very common and in such cases they may adopt nicknames to distinguish one clan or lineage from the other. My family's nickname was Duve (Dubh in gaelic) which means black and likely refers to black hair. The Harringtons could be descended from Spanish immigrants which came to the southwest of Ireland centuries ago.
I previously thought that there were no other Harrington (Duve) descendants left in Ireland, only descendents of Mary Harrington Crowley. (I met a couple of my Crowley cousins.) However, I have since heard from a Daniel Harrington who lives near London, England whose father was from Ardrigole on the other side of the Beara penninsula. He says there were three brothers nicknamed Duve (black), Ban (white), and Caisce (= Causkey = Easter). I have not determined if we are related or not or if, perhaps, the Harrington Dubh brother migrated to the Eyeries area at some point or vice versa. He did state that his grandfather Timothy Harrington (Caisce) worked in the copper mines of west Cork.
The name Harrington is actually English. When the British
occupied Ireland they attempted to wipe out everything Irish, including
music, dance and culture, and make everyone into Englishmen. This included anglicizing their Irish
|The Harrington crest consists of a knot or net indicating they may have been fishermen.|
|Formerly, Harrington was
O'Hungerdell (the English spelling of the
gaelic O'hIongardail -pronounced o-urdle); but this form, which is found in documents about the time when English came
to be used for legal business, is now obsolete. The Harringtons of
this sept are numerous in southwest Cork and Kerry - almost ninety percent
of the births registered for Harrington were from that area fifty years ago
and a comparison with voters' lists and directories of today shows that this
is still substantially the case.
The land of the Beara penninsula was owned by a family named Puxley and the people who lived there were tenant farmers. The book Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier is based on the Puxley family history. Puxley Manor, located west of Bearhaven, was previously in ruins, having been burned out in 1921 by the IRA, but restoration has recently begun. (Note: the video is mislabeled as Dunboy Castle - the ruins of which is located on the same grounds.)
The southwest of County Cork is riddled with copper mines and my Harrington ancestors worked the mines in the Slieve Miskish Mountains between Eyeries and Allihies. They were also farmers. The Harringtons made it through the Great (potato) Famine of 1845-1849 although some of their children may have died (see Denis below). They were likely able to supplement their diet with fish and were not totally dependent on potatoes like so many others. Plus, they were gainfully employed in the mines. Riobard O'Dwyer relayed a story that the potatoes that were grown in Inishfarnard Island near the Harrington home site were not affected by the potato blight so perhaps they were able to obtain food from there.
I do not know how my ancestors could have afforded ship passage to America in 1849 but one possibility is offered by Cecil Woodham-Smith in his book The Great Hunger - Ireland 1845 - 1949. Landowners were taxed by Britain for each person living on their lands. If their tenants could not raise enough food to feed themselves and pay their rent then the landowners could not pay their taxes. Consequently, many landowners paid their tenant's passage just to get them off their tax rolls.
Colors below indicate generations, bold type indicates my direct ancestors.
Bridget Harrington's descendants were provided by g-grandson Dennis Swift.
|I. Dhoncha (=Denis) Harrington, born abt. 1750 and ???? Spouse|
| the author's g-g-g-grandparents. They had at least
|III. Denis Harrington, 1810-???? and Julia O'Sullivan, 1820-1867|
g-grandparents, were married on February 18, 1843 in the Cahirmore Parish,
near Allihies, County Cork, Ireland where Julia was from. There are no
church records or any other data for the Sullivan either in Ireland or the
worked in the mines near Allihies but he lived on a farm that his
wife inherited from her grandfather Marcus O'Sullivan who raised her. After Denis
and Julia emigrated, his half of the farm reverted to his sister to Mary
who married Cornelius Crowley (see above). The
land is not currently owned by the family. They had four children while in
Harrington (1843), no further records
This family disappeared form the parish records by 1850 so I am assuming that Denis and Julia emigrated to America about 1849, near the end of the Irish potato famine. They settled in New Diggings, Lafayette County, Wisconsin and lived on Penny Benton Road where Denis worked in the lead and zinc mines in the area. I do not know if all these children accompanied their parents to America or if they died during the Great Famine or on shipboard. The 1850 US Census lists Dennis, Judith (Julia?), Dennis (2) and John (2 mo.) which would tie them back to the parish records.
While in Wisconsin they had nine more children. The 1860 US Census lists Dennis (50), Julia (25), Johny (12), Patrick (10), James (8), Julia (8), Margaret (1), and Ellen (5 mo.). The 1880 US Census which lists John (29), Patrick (28), Ellen (17), Bridget (16), Hanna (15), Quin (13), and grandmother Ellen (64). Note, the age for (daughter) Ellen does not fit with the previous census but then census data are notoriously error-ridden.
Harrington (1850), no records beyond 1880
The 1905 State Census lists Patrick (54), Julia (40), Maggie (Margaret, 30), and Hanna (28). The ages do not quite fit with other censuses but that may be recorder's errors. The 1920 US Census lists Pat (69), Julie (Julia, 65) and Hannah (49).
There are no cemetery records for Dennis or Julia. There is a State record of a Denis dying in LaFayette Co. in 1879 of consumption. He may have been sent to a sanitarium in Madison, Wisconsin or Dubuque, Iowa. Did Cornelius, Michael and Mary die in the Great Famine? Did John and James die or did they go west to some other mining area? Many people from the Beara peninsula settled in Butte, Montana.
Two of Denis and Julia's children (John and Patrick) were baptized at St. Augustine Church in New Diggings (still standing) by Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, a Dominican priest who served pioneer communities and built over twenty churches from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin to Muscatine and Iowa City, Iowa. In 1852 the New Diggings Parish was taken over by St. Patrick's in Benton.
|IV. Quinlan Joseph Harrington, 1866-1936 and Stella Cecelia Rowe, 1886-1969|
Quinn and Stella's Wedding, 1905
the author's grandparents, were married in 1905 in Benton, Wisconsin. Stella is of Cornish descent (Redruth, Cornwall) and is the daughter of James Rowe, Jr. and Mary Ann Bennett, born in Benton, Wisconsin. The Rowes are listed in the 1905 State Census as living in Belmont, Wisconsin. Oddly, her first son's birth certificate lists her middle name as Pricilla but her tombstone lists her name as Stella C.
Quinn worked for the mining company as a teamster. They had four children in New Diggings, Wisconsin:
Laverne Harrington (see below)
All Quinn and Stella's children moved to
Davenport, Iowa at various times and Quinn and Stella followed them sometime before 1936.
They weren't there very long before Quinn died. They are both buried
in Benton, Wisconsin.
|V. John Laverne Harrington, 1908-1977 married (1) Elaine Welsh, (2) Unknown, and (3) Ida Marie Jehring|
John and Ida
|While John was living in New
Diggings, he married Elaine Welsh, the daughter of Thomas Welsh and Bridget
Sheridan of Benton, Wisconsin. She died at at age
20 and is buried in Benton, Wisconsin. They had one
Harrington (1929) married (1) Lewis Timmons (four children), and
John moved to Davenport, Iowa and worked in the International Harvester Farmall Plant in Moline, Illinois building farm equipment. He married a second time and was divorced. He married Ida Jehring in 1940, the daughter of Harry Jehring and Maria Vieths. They had two children:
(3) Michael Lloyd Harrington married Judy Ann Freeman and has two children:
VI. Patricia Jane Harrington (1946) married (1) Kenneth Kloss (one child) and (2) Gerald Bade (no children)
Patricia and Gerry
Kimberly Marie Kloss married (1) Michael
Thompson (one child) and
(2) Brian Jennings (no children)
Chloe Marie Thompson
Patricia worked as a homemaker and health aide with the Mahaska County Visiting Nurses Association, the Scott County Visiting Nurses Association, and Genesis Visiting Nurses. Her hobbies include dancing, genealogy, history and culture. With husband Gerry, she founded the Quad Cities Céilí Club in 1998, an Irish social dancing organization. She served as treasurer, vice president, president and dance instructor. She was involved with numerous Celtic events in the area, including Irish Heritage Day, Rock Island Erin Feis, Celtic Highland Games, Peoria Irish Feis, the Dubuque Hooley, and the Céilí Club’s dances and dance workshops. She was a member of the Eastern Chapter of the Polka Club of Iowa, the German-American Pioneer Society, American Schleswig-Holstein Historical Society, the St. Patrick Society of the Quad Cities, and helped form the Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois Cornish-Welsh Society. She and Gerry received the Gilhooly Award from the St. Patrick Society for their efforts in promoting Irish culture in the Quad Cities area.