52 Ancestors: #1 Johanna Donoghue

Amy Crow over at No Story Too Small had a great idea to encourage family history blogging: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Posts can be anything (stories, pictures, etc…), just focus on one ancestor. I hope to meet the challenge.

My first post is on my 2nd great-grandmother, Johanna Donoghue (1849-1922). She left the family farm in Shroneboy, Ireland in 1871 and came to America with her cousin Elizabeth Mahoney.

The view from Upper Shronaboy, the O'Donoghue family farm.

Upper Shronaboy, the O’Donoghue family farm. O’Donoghue’s still live there today.

In 1875, she married James Edward Lucey in South Groveland, Massachusetts. They had 10 children, three of which died young of diphtheria. They made their home at 66 Church St in the Gonic section of Rochester, New Hampshire where Johanna planted lilac bushes (her favorite) and they built a lawn-tennis court.

Johanna and daughter Agnes circa 1905

Johanna and daughter Agnes circa 1905

Shortly after she died in 1922, the following appeared in the Rochester Courier.

By the death of Mrs. James E. Lucey, which was announced in the Courier last week, Gonic loses one of its most highly respected ladies. She had a very pleasant disposition and always looked on the bright side of life and well does the writer remember, when he was a boy playing with other boys around the Lucey homestead, making much noise and doing many tricks we ought not to do, Mrs. Lucey would not scold us but approach us in a bright and cheerful mood and kindly asked us to be good boys, and we would always mind her. She was honored, respected and beloved by all who knew her and is a big loss to the community. She was a loving wife and a devoted mother and her husband and children have the heartfelt sympathy of the whole village in their great loss.

johannafuneralcard

Funeral Card Friday – Johanna Donahue Lucey 1922

Johanna Donahue Lucey, my 2nd great-grandmother, was born in Upper Shronaboy, Glenflesk, County Kerry Ireland on the family farm. There are still Donoghue’s living there today! Her father John wrote her this letter from Ireland in 1896.


This was published in the Rochester Courier the week after her death.

Amanuensis Monday – 1896 Letter

Transcription of a letter from my 3rd Great Grandfather, John Cornelius Donoghue to his daughter Johanna (wife of James E Lucey). Johanna had been in America about 25 years at the time of this letter. Transcribed by me from a photocopy of the original letter.

Shronaboy Jan 7th 1896

Dear Daughter,

             I received your welcome letter and xmas present in due time for which I am more than thankful for.  I suppose I have not deserved as much from you as I never gave you anything but you know I thought more of you than any of the others and I tried to keep you with myself. 

            Johannah I am very glad to know that yourself, husband and family are in good health and going well a blessing which I hope you all will enjoy for many years to come. Now as for my going to America, I am too old and I suppose I would not live to reach you so I think it would not be worth my while to carry my old bones to a foreign country as I have not long to live, at best I am 80 years old.  I am thankful for your kind offer and there is nothing would please me better than to be with you but it is to(sic) late now.  I was glad to here (sic) that Hagerty is getting on well now.  I was sorry he should have met with any difficulties he was always kind to me and never forgot me.

            Now about your sister’s children the ages of Kate’s are from 20 years down to 9 and Norah’s about the same.  I will send you a more accuret (sic) account of them the next time I write you.  They are getting on nicely and if anything don’t occur that I am not aware of they will for some time to come.  This was a very good year for the farmer’s they had very good crops and a fair price for cattle and sheep butter is low but is bringing a better price lately. The country is the same as when you left is the people generally live better but everything else about the same.  Potatoes 2 shillings 6 pence per peck of 147lbs butter 1 shilling per lb meat 8 pence per pound for beef and mutton pork 6 pence flour 21 shillings per 224 lbs meal 15 shillings per bag of 280 lbs the prices of the different things are gon down and in many instances the rents are reduced some but not enough to corispond with the fall in prices.

            Now I cannot think of any more to tell you this time, hoping those lines will find all of you enjoying the New Year in good health and spirits

            I remain your fond father

                        John C. Donoghue

                        Shronaboy, Glenflesk, Co. Kerry Ireland

(Good bye write soon)