Anna Cahalan McInerney
Note: to conserve effort and provide continuity, this article draws on material from a previous entry, on James and Mary Mulfany Cahalan. All quoted source material is reproduced as faithfully as possible, including original textual errors.
The most complete account we have of the children of James (1808 - 1883) and Mary Mulfahy Cahalan (1819 - 1902) exists in a letter (referenced in full in a previous entry), dated 6 March 1963 from Marion Cahalan, their granddaughter, to her cousin, John McInerney. Marion seems to have been asked by John, James and Mary’s great-grandson (and so Marion’s cousin), to provide information about the family tree. This letter [page one, page two] exists in three xeroxed manuscript copies and two typed transcripts, one by Joseph Cahalan, James and Mary’s great-grandson and my grandfather, who added the following introduction:
This is a partial history of the Wyandotte Cahalans prepared by Marion Cahalan in 1963 at the request of John McInerney. Some of her dates are wrong--she states that the family came to Wyandotte in 1857. Actually it was 1853. [As noted in previous entries, this is contradicted by census information.] Also she states that her father John C. [Cahalan, Sr.] was born in 1858. Actually it was 1859.
Marion’s letter reads in part:
James & Mary Mulfahy Cahalan of Nenagh, Tipperary Ireland had seven children: John, Catherine, Anna, Bridget, James M.D., Richard and John C.
Grandfather Cahalan and his eldest son John came to America in 1849 [as noted in previous entries, this date is probably inaccurate] to get work & earn enough money to bring the rest of the family to America.
Anna married Patrick McInerney & had five children--John F., Jimmy who was deputy sheriff of Wayne County and May and two small children who died of scarlet Fever and your father nearly died of it too.
As recorded in Marion’s letter (with dates from a family tree chart produced by Joseph Cahalan in 1986), the children of James and Mary were John (born circa 1838 and died before 1857, as can be inferred from Marion’s letter and a correction to it described in a previous entry; though no record of his birth or death is currently known), Catherine (1841); Bridget, (1845); Anna (1846 - 1916); James, (1850 - 1903); Richard, (1852) - 1909); and John Charles (1859 - 1939).
The present entry is devoted to Anna Cahalan McInerney (1846 - ?), born in County Tipperary, Ireland, probably in the village of Borisokane, near Nenagh, which family tradition names our place of origin. The location of her grave is currently unknown to the present author. Anna’s birth date is found in census records located through Ancestry.com.
No record is known of either James and John’s, or Mary and the remaining children’s separate crossings, but Anna accompanied Mary in 1857 or 1858, traveling with her siblings, Catherine, Bridget, James and Richard. The family had been separated for four or five years, in which time her older brother John had died and the youngest (Richard, now about six) would have likely forgotten much about his father. (This John is not to be confused with his younger brother, John C. Cahalan Sr., born in America in 1859 after the family had been reunited the previous year, and who was James and Mary’s last child.)
Because they traveled between federal census years, and because their first establishment in Wyandotte probably saw them living as unsettled laborers in rooming houses or other provisional accommodations, there are no census records of the family before 1880. Similarly, we do not know if the decision to move to Wyandotte was made before or during (or, given what was ostensibly a poor climate for employment, perhaps because of) the family’s brief stay in New York. It is clear, however, that the promise of work for James at the E.B. Ward Rolling Mill prompted the need to relocate. So, if Anna was born in 1846, she arrived in Wyandotte with her family at the age of 11 or 12.
Our principal source for the McInerney branch of the family is a list of names and dates--not quite a family tree, but information that could be used to construct one, as I have at Ancestry.com, which is used subsequently here for reference. The list consists of three handwritten legal pages, and was in the possession of Joseph Cahalan at his death. It seems to have been compiled from information given by Mary Elizabeth McInerney of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (whose motherhouse is in Monroe, Michigan), the former Sr. Mary Florentia. She was Anna and Patrick’s granddaughter.
It should be noted that the list is not in Joseph’s handwriting (though it is attributed to him in the Site Bibliography, for convenience’s sake), and some later dates on this list are in a different hand, possibly Sr. Mary Elizabeth’s. An addendum is made at the end, under the caveat “Lest Jo [sic] forget,” which would seem to indicate that Joseph was working with someone else not present during his visit with Sr. Mary Elizabeth, someone who had written out the original list. The latest date on the list is 1977.
This list, which concerns only the descendants of Anna and Patrick’s son John F. McInerney, omits all personal information aside from dates of birth and death and the names of spouses and children. Therefore, we do not currently know the circumstances of Anna’s marriage to Patrick McInerney, though the comment is made that “[s]everal children died in childhood.” Anna and Patrick’s other children, May and James (the Jimmy mentioned by Marion, Deputy Sheriff of Wayne County), are omitted from this source (which might indicate that it was prepared by, and for the descendants of, John McInerney, Marion’s correspondent).
Marion also mentions “two small children who died of scarlet Fever,” which corroborates Sr. Mary Elizabeth’s comment. Otherwise, we learn from the list that John F. McInerney married Florence Gerardin (5 January 1873 - 12 August 1958) on Valentine’s Day, 14 February, 1900. Their children are James Edmund (19 November 1900 - 8 February 1905), Mary Elizabeth (born 11 August 1902, though it is also noted that she entered the IHM order on 30 June 1926), and Cyrilla (born 25 June, 1905), John Richard (born 3 July 1908), Loretta (9 September 1910), and Joseph Leo (23 June 1914 - 9 August 1942).
It is worth noting that Anna was pregnant with Cyrilla in 1905 when she lost her first-born, James.
Unfortunately, this is all of the information we currently have at hand about Anna Cahalan McInerney and her husband Patrick. We do not know where they are buried, nor do we have a reliably-attributed photograph of either Ann or Patrick, though one must exist among the photographs on this site. No doubt more information will turn up in the notebooks kept by her brother, John C. Cahalan, Sr. as they are scanned and uploaded, and while the scope of this site does not allow the present author to continue beyond James and Mary’s great-grandchildren--the children of John F. McInerney listed above--further information may be found in the Site Bibliography or the link to the list file, above.
First published 7 December 2009; last revised 21 December 2019.