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, 1900 US Census

Over the twenty years since the 1880 US Census, John's wife, Bridget, died  (May 3, 1900); his son James was married in 1893; and, his son Martin died (May 7, 1898).  Even though his youngest daughter, Lillian, married in 1886, by 1900 she is again living with her father and now has a son, William Vallely, age 13.  On the census, her last name is listed as Thomas, which might be an indication she is divorced.

The family is living at 3802 Parnell Street, Chicago.  John is still listed as a laborer.  As in the 1880 US Census, it states that John cannot read nor write, i.e., he is illiterate.  His birth date is given as August, 1831 and that the home in which they live is rented.  Also, on John Thomas' entry, it states that he immigrated in 1865 and that he is a Naturalized Citizen.  I have not yet located his naturalization papers.

Lillian does housework, perhaps in the home and her son, William, is a messenger boy.

1900 US Census
Image courtesy: Elaine M. Beaudoin

John Thomas, 1880 US Census

The 1880 US Census places the John Thomas family living at 2626 Portland Avenue, Chicago.  Living with John and his wife Bridget are their sons James, age 20 and Martin, age 17 and their youngest daughter, Lizzie (Lillian) age 11.  Their oldest daughter, Bridget, married in 1878 and Mary Ellen married in 1877.  Their son John, born in 1867, died on January 1, 1879, the year prior to the census.

John Thomas is still listed as a laborer and Bridget is listed as keeping house.  James and his brother Martin are both working in a packing house, most likely in or near the Chicago Stockyards. Lizzie is currently attending school.

There are two other "families" living at 2626 Portland leading one to believe the Thomases are living in and renting in a two or three flat building.

Images courtesy: Elaine M. Beaudoin

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Origin of Thompson and Reidy Names

This famous name is one of the patronymic forms of the name Thom or Tom, diminutives of the male personal name Thomas. The given name is of Biblical origin, being an Aramaic byname meaning "twin", borne by one of Christ's disciples; in England the name Thomas was found only as the name of a priest before the Norman Conquest of 1066, but thereafter became one of the most popular male personal names, generating a wide variety of surnames. The patronymic forms from diminutives, such as Thomson (the Scottish form) and Thompson, found mainly in England and Northern Ireland, appear in the 14th Century, the first recording being from Scotland. The intrusive "p" of the English and Irish forms was for easier pronunciation, although there are two old wives tales that the 'p' meant 'prisoner', or in Ireland 'Protestant', both are incorrect. Examles of early recordings include John Thompson in the Charters of the Abbey of Whitby, Yorkshire, in 1349, and Thomas Tomson, who married Elizabeth Harris at the church of St Jon the Evangelist, Dublin, on December 12th 1631. The earliest Coat of Arms is probably the following granted in Yorkshire in 1559. Per fess silver and black, with a fesse embattled between three falcons counterchanged, belled, beaked and jessed in gold. The crest is an arm holding a gold truncheon . One of the very earliest settlers in the New World, was William Thompson recorded as 'living at Elizabeth Cittie, Virginea', before February 16th 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Thomson, which was dated 1318, in the "Annals of Scotland", during the reign of King Robert 1 of Scotland, known as "The Bruce", 1306 - 1329. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax.

Source The Internet Surname Database accessed July 20, 2010

The name has been recorded as REIDY,RIEDY, REEDY, and READY . These surnames are derived from the Irish name O'RIADA.

O'Reidy, Mulready.  Members of the Dalcassian sept of O'Riada are to be found in considerable numbers in all the three counties of west Munster, particularly Clare and Kerry; in 1659 the "census" enumerators found them chiefly in counties Kerry and Limerick. The Four Masters under date 1129 describe the chief of the sept as king of Aradh, a designation applied to the O'Donegans up to 1100 and to O'Brien in the fifteenth century.

Matheson states that in 1890 Reidy occured in birth registrations as a synonym of Roddy (q.v.), though there is no relation between the names.  Reidy, however, does not appear ever to have been treated as interchangeable with Reddy or as an abbreviation of Mulready, which is a rare name belonging to a sept of the Ui Maine, located in the southern part of Co. Roscommon bordering that part of east Galway known as Keogh's country, from which in fact they were gradually displaced by the MacKeoughs.  They are still to be found in that part of Connacht and in Co. Clare.

Source: MacLysaght, Edward.  More Irish Families.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, pg 180.

John Thomas (Thompson) c1831-1904, Death Certificate

John Thomas, born c 1931 in Ireland, died in Chicago on May 21, 1904.  At the time of his death, he lived at 1338 W. 49th Place.  His death certificate states he was 71 years old, giving him a birth date of around 1833.  However, in the 1900 U.S. Census, his birth year is given as August, 1831.  He was a laborer and died of lobar pneumonia.  John was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Chicago on March 23, 1904 along side his wife Bridget who died four years earlier.  As of 2010, there are no grave markers.

The grave is in section 41, lot S112 of Mt. Olivet.  GPS coordinates: N 41 degrees, 41 minues, 11 seconds; W 87 degrees, 41 minutes, 38.8 seconds; Altitude: 636 feet.

Chicago Daily Tribune, May 23, 1904, via ProQuest

Death certificate image courtesy: Elaine M. Beaudoin

Bridget Reidy Thomas, c1839-1900, Death Certificate

Bridget Reidy Thomas died on May 3, 1900 at her home located at 3802 Parnell Avenue, Chicago.  She was born in Ireland and her occupation is listed as housewife.  She died of pneumonia but this cause of death was contributed to by heart failure.  She was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery on May 5, 1900.

There is no grave marker on the grave in section 41, lot S112 as of 2010.  GPS coordinates: N 41 degrees, 41 minues, 11 seconds; W 87 degrees, 41 minutes, 38.8 seconds; Altitude: 636 feet.

Image courtesy: Elaine M. Beaudoin

John J. Madigan Letter, 1972

John J. Madigan, son of Patrick Madigan and Bridget Thompson, wrote a letter to his nephew, Thomas A. Sullivan, on December 18, 1972.  In the letter, John responds to a request from Thomas' grandson, John Sullivan, who had requested some genealogical information on John Madigan's parents.

I have reproduced the letter, from a copy received from John Sullivan, in its entirety. I received the copy sometime in the early 1990s.  Twenty years later, John Madigan's memories have all been verified!

Note that two children of John Thomas and Bridget Reidy, Patrick and Marian/Mary Thomas, are not identified in the letter as they died as children, most likely in Ireland.  This letter also is posted on the Madigan/Thompson Genealogy Blog.

Image courtesy: Elaine M. Beaudoin