Please note: Because of the general destruction of early records in Ireland, there are some bits of information here
that cannot be backed up with a hard copy source. However, my family was and still is very good at keeping our history
alive by handing it down verbally. Our generations today are now writing it down once again to preserve it for our futures.
ALL sources within the United States, however, CAN be backed up with hard copy sources. And because of extreme
luck, quite a bit of the Ireland information can also be backed up with at least some written records still surviving in various
archives - including Trinity College, Donegal Heritage Centre, PRONI, and various Catholic and Presbyterian Churches
located throughout Northern Ireland.
Here's a brief history of all that we have found so far concerning John Quinn (my great great grandfather.)
John Quinn rented 10 perches of land in Rafoarty from Alexander Hamilton, who in turn rented 54 acres from the Provost
and Fellows, Trinity College.
In 1844, John moved the family into a house in Ballintra that was built by Mr. Hamilton. At this time, several
children left for America. We have not yet been able to positively determine whether it was 4 sons, 3 sons and a daughter,
or 3 children and their cousin.
Upon arrival, one of the boys left immediately for New Jersey to work in an uncle's bar. We have not yet located
this person's name. Once we do this, we will be able to find this branch of the family!
At least two of the boys stayed in Boston for several years. The 4th person very possibly left for the area of
Recent information surfaced that determined some sisters of the boys came over sometime between 1845-1850 and settled
in the Philadelphia area. A new connection may soon shed light on these ladies.
JAMES QUINN, my great grandfather, stayed in the Boston area for several years. He lived in the area of Charlestown,
On the 10th of October 1851, James married CATHERINE ANN OVERN at St. Mary's Church in Charlestown. They had three
sons - John, George, and James M., all born in the Boston area.
Sometime between 1857-58, the family migrated west to Minnesota. They were part of a settlement party headed by
Gen. James Shields, himself a Donegal native. James and his wife Catherine stayed in the Minneapolis region for the
rest of their lives.
One other item that has been uncovered concerns James and his cousin, Patrick Quinn. Patrick was a milkman in Boston,
and apparently James helped him at times. One day, while trying to untangle the reins of the horses, Patrick slipped
and fell from the back of a horse, hitting his head. It killed him instantly.
There's a quick overview of what we know so far. For the actual statistical details of the family, please go to
My Quinn Family.