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

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.

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