THE HISTORY OF THE McGINTY PIONEERS, OF AMERICA
Written by Daniel L. McCauley about 1926
From the collection of Family Histories at the Jennings County Public Library
The first of our family to come to America was Thomas McGinty, who came from Ballyerey, County Mayo, Ireland, with his
wife and children in the year 1836. He settled in Jennings County, west of the town of North Vernon, Indiana. His children were, Mary, Catherine,
Michael and James.
Mary married Michael Farrell to whom were born, fourteen children. Mary was the first woman to ride on a train in Indiana,
from Scipio to Columbus. It was a work train on its first trip to Columbus.
Catherine married Martin Duffy, afterward moving to Iowa.
Michael married a woman of his own name and one son, Thomas, is still alive and living in Indianapolis. (1926)
James married Mary Ginley, they had a son, Michael and a daughter, Mamie Sherer, living in Indianapolis.
With this first Thomas McGinty came a niece, Catherine, and a nephew, Patrick McGinty. Patrick worked on the old J.M.I.
Railroad from the start at Madison. It was the first railroad in Indiana and the first west of the Alleghanies. Catherine worked in Madison.
They both saved their money, and after seven years sent back to Ireland for their father, Michael McGinty and his wife, Ann, and family. The
family set sail on St. Patrick's day and after being on the ocean ten weeks, they hit a rock at Newfoundland. They were compelled to stay there
for three weeks, while the boat was repaired. Later they landed in Quebec, where they had relatives by the names of Gallager and McCaffery. Here,
also, the youngest child, Anthony, was buried, having died at sea.
This trip was tragic for this family, for when they were about a week out of Quebec, their little son, Anthony, age about
two years, died and the custom at that time was to throw the body overboard. They did not like to do that, so they hid his body in a featherbed
and when they landed in Quebec buried him there. After resting some time, their son, Patrick came on horseback from Indiana, to bring them to
their future home. The route was down the St. Lawrence River to the Lake Erie Canal, then on the Ohio River to Madison and then on to Jennings
County to their brother, Thomas.
This family consisted of Michael and Ann McGinty, father and mother, and their children: Hannah, Ellen, Michael Jr.,
Bridget, Ann, Patrick, Catherine and Margaret, Anthony, buried in Quebec and Thomas, who was born in Jennings County, after they arrived.
Margaret married a man named Cooney and stayed in Ireland, her children were married in to the Cooney's, Maddens and
Lynchs. The Lynch family's mother was a Cooney and is still living in Cleveland, she is about 92 years of age, (in 1926). (Some of these latter
came to Indianapolis.)
Catherine was married before the parents came, to a man named Patrick Duffy and was living on a farm near St. Ann's,
Jennings County. (Later moved to Clinton, Iowa.) (This farm is now known as Selmier Forest.)
Patrick married a girl named Sarah Costelip, who only lived nine months and was buried at St. Ann's, Jennings County.
Patrick later married Bridget McLaughlin to whom where born the following children; Patrick Jr., Michael, Thomas, Mary Ann, John, James and
Anthony. These children all lived to manhood and womanhood and there were several children wh died in infancy. All of this family have
passed beyond but Thomas, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
When the family was in this country about seven or eight months and living at Duffy's, Hannah, the oldest girl, married
John Dillon, who had entered land from the Government, just across the creek from Duffy's farm. After Hannah married Dillon, her father built
a home for them all on Dillon's land at a place called Denny Hill (Deercreek) and there his own, Thomas was born. To the union of Hannah and
John Dillon were born the following children; Mary, Kate, Thomas, Rose, Bridget, Annie, Ella and Margaret. The living children of this family
(1926) are Bridget Quinn, Annie Bolin, and Ella Horton. Before the Civil War, John Dillon died, after being a widow several years, Hannah
married a man named Bartley O'Hora and had two children, Michael and Henry. Michael is still alive.
After building his home on the Dillon farm, Michael went to Madison, Indiana, to work on the Hanging Rock Road, and in a
short time came home sick, and after a week's illness, died. It was for his paycheck that his daughter, Ann, with other children of the neighborhood
whose fathers also worked on the hanging rock road, walked the 20 some miles each month to Madison, staying overnight with friends and relatives
and walking home the next day. This Michael is buried at St. Catherine's Cemetery in the year 1846, beside his brother, Thomas, who died in
1844, having been killed by lightning while riding a horse through the woods in a storm. After some time Michael's wife married James Kane, and
taking Thomas, the youngest, with her, went to live on a farm in the flats. The next youngest (Ann) staying with her sister, Hannah.
At this time Bridget McGinty and Ellen McGinty, went to Madison to work, (I think for the Lanier's) and later to
Indianapolis. Bridget married Phillip Heinbo, to whom the following children were born; John, Henry, Annie Ella, Margaret, Michael, Kate,
Phillip, Joe and Rose. The living of the family are John, Ella, Michael and Rose.
Ellen married John Gallagher. They had no children. (The Gallagher Sister's of Madison were their nieces. They had
a Hat Shop there.)
Ann, my mother, married James McCauley at Madison, June 26, 1856. Their children were; James, Mary, Michael, Elizabeth,
John, Thomas and Daniel and Ellen. The living of this family are Michael and Daniel.
Michael McGinty, Jr., married a girl named Nellie O'Connor and the children were; James, Anthony and Annie, all are
Thomas married twice having a daughter, Annie, still living in Pittsburg by the first wife and George, a son, by the
This finished up the original family, as it was told me by my mother. Mother told the story of walking to Madsion to
get her father's wages for his family.
My grandfather, Michael McGinty, had three nephews come to this country from Ireland, named Daniel, John and Andrew.
Daniel married Kate Gilney, their children were John, Patrick, Daniel, Bridget and Mary. Andrew married Cicily, whose children were; John,
Michael and Bridget. These others I recall hearing about would number five hundred. John married and to my knowledge had grown children,
namely; Mary, Andrew, Daniel and Anthony.
There is also another family of McGinty's who were cousins of the original McGinty's whose children I knew, namely;
the McQuades, McManaman's and Noons, whose mothers were McGinty's.
The original McGinty families or the families who came to this country together with the older members born in this
country were known for their sterling characters, always strictly hones, honorable and self sacrificing, willing to help one another and
their neighbors, and also known for their sense of wit and humor. They were some of the Pioneers who helped to blaze the way for civilization,
and clear the lands of Jennings County, their adopted home.
The bodies of Thomas McGinty who came to America in 1836 and Michael who came in 1843, and several of the older
generations who died before the sixties, were buried in St. Catherine's Graveyard, about 5 miles southwest of North Vernon, the church at
that time being St. Catherine's, which has been out of use since the late 18 sixties.
Daniel L. McCauley
322 E. O & M Ave.
North Vernon, Ind.
There is another document in the McGinty file which does not have an author listed but states
During the early 1900's there was living in Indianapolis a McGinty family who may or may not be the one mentioned in the
original Dan McCauley history as follows;- "Michael (son of Thomas) married a woman of his own name and his som Thomas lives in Indianapolis,
James (also son of Thomas) married Mary Ginley and they had two children, Michael and Mary who still reside in Indianapolis."
The family referred to above was well known to the Andrew McGinty family as Mary Ginley was the sister of Mrs. Andrew
(Ellen) McGinty. However her husbands name was not James - it was Michael. The family lived at 1337 W. Ray St. in West Indianapolis and owned
considerable other property in West Indianapolis. The father (Michael) died fairly early in life, and left his wife Mary (my great aunt) with
four children - Mary (always called Mamie), Michael Jr., Maddie, and Ella. Also living with this family all the years I knew them was a cousin,
Thomas McGiinty. Maddie and Michael never married, nor did cousin Tom. Mamie married a man named Sheers or Scherer, Ella married a Cinti man
named Stohl. All are now dead, leaving no descendents and are all buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Indianapolis.
This same person also states - The following data pertains only to that particular branch of the McGinty family in the
United States founded by John McGinty and his wife Bridget who came to the United States in 1847 with their first born son Andrew, then three
years old. As with the other McGintys who preceeded tham, there origin was the County Mayo, near a small village called Ballyeroy. Their reason
for leaving Ireland was the failure of the potato crop, following the "Big Wind" of 1846 which caused famine and wide spread destruction throughout
Ireland. With John McGinty and his wife were two other young McGinty men, Daniel and Andrew by name, all three being nephews of the original
Thomas and Michael McGinty who had come to the U.S. several years earlier. John, Daniel and Andrew were brothers or cousins. The ship on which
they took passage from Ireland was scheduled to arrive at Philadelphia Penn. but long delay, storms at sea, and poor navigation brought the ship
to port at New Orleans rather than Phaladelphia. From there, the three young men worked their way up the Mississippi River in flat boats, and after
many months reached Madison, Indiana where they joined relatives and friends.
Any history of the early years of this branch of the McGinty family, should also include some references to the McGinley
or (Ginley) family to whom they were closely tied for several generation through friendship and considerable intermarriage. The original name is
"McGinley" but sometime before 1900 certain members of the family dropped the "Mc" because of it's similarity to McGinty and become known as "Ginley".
The first of this family recorded in the U.S. were Anthony and Mary McCaffery McGinley and some data concerning them is attached herewith, since
four of their daughters married into the McGinty family (family charts included with this record).
It would appear from the following pages that there is now only one direct male descendent of the John & Bridget McGinty
union, young enough to carry on the family name, this is young Michael McGinty, son of Henry James McGinty Jr., grandson of Henry James McGinty Sr.,
great grandson of Andrew McGinty and great great grandson of John McGinty of County Mayo, Ireland.
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