Old King John's Castle

Old King John's Castle
A view of King John's Castle from the River Shannon. Behind the castle turret is the end of Convent Street where Bridget and John's daughter, Mary, was born in 1865, just before Bridget left for America to join her husband John. Photo July 2011.

About John Thompson (Thomas) and Bridget Reidy

About John Thompson/Thomas and Bridget Reidy

John Thompson/Thomas was born in Ireland c 1831 and married Bridget Reidy (Riedy/Ready) c1851 in Ireland. Bridget was born in Ireland c1831. They used the Thompson and Thomas surnames interchangeably, but settled on Thomas prior to coming to America. In 1866 the family immigrated from County Limerick, Ireland, to Chicago, Illinois. They had eight known children, six born in Ireland and two born in Illinois. Bridget [Madigan/Thompson Genealogy] the oldest was born 1852 in or near Limerick City, County Limerick and died in Chicago in 1935. The other children born in Limerick include: Mary Ellen (c1855-1906); Patrick (1857-b1866); James (1860-1932); Martin (1862-1898); and Marian/Mary (1865-b1866). The two youngest children John (c1867-1879) and Lillian Marie (1869-1928) were born in Illinois, most likely, Chicago. The mother, Bridget, died of heart failure and pneumonia on May 3, 1900. Father, John, died of pneumonia three years later on May 21, 1904. They are both buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Martin Thompson, c1863-1898, Death Certificate

The third child of Bridget and John Thomas, Martin, was born c1863 in Ireland and died single at age 35.  Although the death certificate states he was born in America, both the 1870 and 1880 US Census states he was born in Ireland.


His place of death was 3802 Parnell Avenue, Chicago and he was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetey, Chicago in the same grave as his parents which is section 41, lot S112.  GPS coordinates: N 41 degrees, 41 minues, 11 seconds; W 87 degrees, 41 minutes, 38.8 seconds; Altitude: 636 feet.  There are no markers on the grave.

Document image: Courtesy of Elaine M. Beaudoin

Sunday, March 3, 2013

John Thompson, c1867-1879, Death Certificate

John Thompson, fifth child of Bridget and John Thomas, was born c1867/1868 in Chicago, Illinois, and died January 1, 1879.  He died at 304 21st Street, Chicago.  Cause of death appears to be bronchitis and congestion of the brain.  He was buried at Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Illinois.



Document image: Courtesy of Elaine M. Beaudoin

Sunday, February 3, 2013

James Thomas (1863-1932) and Bridget Kennedy (c1864-1939), Death Certificates

James, fourth child, died of acute dilation of the heart, or a heart attack, at home.  He had had a cerebral hemorrhage on August 12, 1930, nearly two years prior to his death.  The informant on the death certificate is his son, John Thomas, who was living with his father at 5725 S. Fairfield Avenue, Chicago.  James had been a superintendent of a cold storage meat packing company.  His son provided the information that James' parents were from County Limerick, Ireland.


Bridget Kennedy Thomas died June 13, 1939 at her home located at 5725 S. Fairfield, Chicago.  Three weeks before her death, she fell in her kitchen, fracturing her left hip.  She had a history of myocarditis.   Her son, John Thomas, is the informant on her death certificate.  At the time of her death he was living on S. Ellis Avenue and most likely married.  Even though her death certificate states her birthday was January 22, 1875, I believe she was born 1864.  She is the baptismal sponsor for her nephew, Alexander Sullivan, in 1880.  It is unlikely she was a godparent and only 5 years old. She is buried with her husband at Holy Sepulchre, Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.


Bridget Thomas [nee Kennedy], beloved wife of the late James, darling mother of John and Patrick, sister of Mrs. Ellen O'Leary, Mrs. John Kennedy, and the late Patrick, Mrs. Thomas O'Shea, Winifred and Cornelius Kennedy.  Funeral Saturday, 9:30 a.m., from late residence 5725 S. Fairfield avenue, to St. Clare of Montefalco church, 55th and Talman.  Solemn requiem mass will be celebrated.  Interment Holy Sepulcher. Information, Haymarket 0365.  Chicago Tribune, June 16, 1939.

The grave markers are side-by-side at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery.  Bridget's prayer card was located in Nell Sullivan's missal.




Images courtesy: Elaine M. Beaudoin

Sunday, January 6, 2013

James Thomas and Bridget Kennedy, Marriage, 1893, etc.

John and Bridget's fourth child, James, born c1860, and Bridget Kennedy, born c1864, applied for a marriage license on October 14, 1893 in Chicago.  James is listed as being 30 years old and Bridget is listed as being 29.


On October 22, 1893 they were married by Rev. P. O'Dwyer of St. Marry's Catholic Church in Chicago.


On page 412-413 of the Marriage Register of St. Mary's Church it lists James Condon and Annie Kennedy as witnesses to the marriage.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mary Thomas, born 1865

Bridget Reidy and John Thomas (Thompson) appear to have an additional daughter, Mary/Marion.  She is registered as born on September 12, 1865 while her mother was living on Convent Street in Limerick City and her father was in America.  Mary and her mother were living in the district of St. Munchin's at the time of her registration.  It is noted that Bridget Reidy could not sign her name on the registration as it shows an "X" and states "mark" where Biddy Thomas' name is entered as mother.

Second entry is Mary Thomas' birth registration.  Click on image to enlarge.

Source: Irish Birth Records, St. Munchin's, County Limerick, Ireland, vol 20, page 393, no. 29.  FHL# 101119.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Convent Street, Limerick City

When Bridget Reidy Thompson gave birth to Mary/Marian Thompson, her sixth child, in Limerick City, she was living on Convent Street per the birth registration for Mary/Marian.  In July 2011 I took a video of Convent Street.  It had been revitalized in 1996, but as you look around the area, older buildings from the 18th century and earlier can be viewed.






The plaque that is on the far wall of the new housing complex:


A view down Convent Street as it appears in 2011:



Older buildings surrounding Convent Street, in particular St. John's Castle:


A view of St. John's Castle from the river, note the modern entrance way in the rear of the photo that was also seen at the end of Convent Street in the video above:


Photos: Elaine Beaudoin, July 2011, Limerick City, Ireland

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bridget Reidy Thomas and Family, Passenger List, 1866

Bridget Reidy Thomas and her children, Bridget, Ellen, James and Martin sailed from Queenstown, Ireland arriving at Castle Garden, New York City, New York on September 8, 1866.  It is believed that two other children, Patrick and Marian/Mary Thomas died in Ireland prior to the family's immigration.  Bridget's husband, John Thomas, is not on the passenger list.  On the 1900 US Census, it states he immigrated in 1865, possibly to establish a home in the US prior to the rest of the family arriving. 

Passenger List Heading from September 8, 1866, page 1



On page three of the 13 page passenger manifest, the Thomas Family is listed:

SS Virginia, September 8, 1866, page 3


The ship they sailed on was the SS Virginia, part of the National Shipping Line.  It was built by Palmer's Shipbuilding and Iron Co., Newcastle, England.  The ship had three masts and one funnel, an iron hull and a clipper bow.  In 1872, the ship was renamed Greece.  The following is a photo of the ship from 1863 with the name it would eventually get in 1872.


The entire passenger list of approximately 630 passengers on the sail that arrived in New York harbor on September 8, 1866, was steerage.  About one quarter were Irish and the rest were mostly English citizens.

If you double click on any of the images, they will open in a larger window.  Click again and they will be full size.