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

Monday, July 26, 2010

John Thomas, 1870 US Census

John and Bridget are listed in the 1870 US Census as living in the 6th Ward of Chicago.  All six of their children are also listed with the first four noted as being born in Ireland and the two youngest as being born in Illinois.  Since there is no value of real estate listed, it implies that John was renting his home/apartment.  And, since there are two other families in the same dwelling, it is assumed that the Thomases lived in a 2 or 3-flat apartment building. His personal estate is listed as having a value of $200, approximately $3,500 in 2009 currency.  John's occupation is laborer, with Bridget keeping house and the two oldest children, Bridget and Ellen working in a factory. The 1870 US Census does not record the address where the individuals are living.


However, in the 1871 "Merchants' Chicago Census Report" sometimes referred to as the "Edward's Directory" which is similar to the Chicago City Directory and was taken immediately after the Chicago Fire (October 8-10, 1871), notes that a family that meets the description of the Thompsons lived at 36 Finnell [Today, this would be 22nd Place, 200 to 350 West].  It further notes that John was born in Ireland and is a laborer, living in the 6th Ward with four males and four females in the household.  This address on Finnell is most likely where/or close to where they were living at the time of the 1870 US Census.


There is no John "Thomas" listed in the 1871 "Merchants' Chicago Census Report" which tracks the same size family and distribution of males and females.

Images courtesy: Elaine M. Beaudoin

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