It was April 14, 1861, just two days after the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, which ignited the American Civil War.
What was happening in your family history on that date?
For me, it was the marriage of my great-grandparents, Thomas Keating and Margaret McCarthy, who wed at St. Patrick’s Church, one of the oldest and most famous churches in the city of Chicago. It’s one of the few buildings in the city’s original business district to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
…It’s a church that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its history, architecture, and stained glass windows of traditional celtic design…
…a church that is steeped in the history and culture of Irish Catholics who immigrated to Chicago during the Great Potato Famine in the middle of the 19th century.
And that’s exactly when the McCarthys and the Keatings–immigrated from Ireland to start a new life in America for themselves and their descendants.
Happy anniverary to me!
For Further Information
To learn more about the history of Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and Irish Catholics in Chicago you may want to check out the following books:
- “At the Crossroads: Old Saint Patrick’s and the Chicago Irish” by Ellen Skerrett, Wild Onion Books, Loyola Press, Chicago, IL, c. 1997.
- “The Irish in Chicago” by McCaffrey, Skerrett, Funchion and Fanning, University of Illinois Press, c. 1987.
To view photos of Old St. Pat’s richly detailed stained glass windows designed by celebrated Irish artist, Thomas O’Shaughnessy, click on the Pinterest link below:
Copyright © 2015 Patricia Desmond Biallas