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Ancestors of Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Replies: 22

Re: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy's cousin

Posted: 1039378016000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1156198761000
Hi Rita,
You said:
"...I have a Delia McGrath who is suppose to be Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy's cousin, and a Kate Fitzgerald.

My grandfather George Burke, b. Arlington, Ma. approx 1884, married a Catherine [Kate] Fitzgerald, b. Approx 1885 Ireland, immigrated 1886, Naturalized 1901. They raised their family in Cambridge, Ma. I cannot find any other records except for the 1920 census for this Kate Burke.

My Grandmother's side of the family has always insisted that My Great-grandmother Delia McGrath was 1st cousin to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Delia McGrath was born in Ireland, Married a John Henry Barrett. They had a daughter Mary Barrett, b. Roxbury, Ma. 1909, who married William Burke, b. Cambridge, Ma. 1908, [son of George Burke & Kate Fitzgerald above]...."
Well, forgive me for sitting here with my mouth open but I am gobsmacked that these relatives (who insist Delia is so closely related to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy) didn't also provide the particulars, such as Delia's parents' names. I mean, Rose's father, who would have been an uncle to Delia, served in the MA Senate as well as a member of Congress. He became one of the most famous mayors of Boston and even ran for Governor. Rose married one of the wealthiest men in the US (he was even named an Ambassador to Britain) and was the mother of a President and two Senators. We're talking world class famous here! Also, my impression has always been that Rose's people have always been very close knit, I mean her parents are 2nd cousins to each other.
Regardless though, if Delia is a 1st cousin of Rose's, then the information that she (Delia) was born in Ireland is obviously incorrect. After all, Rose, her siblings & 1st cousins are all 2nd generation Americans.
Rose's maternal grandmother, Mary Ann Fitzgerald, immigrated from Ireland and married Rose's maternal grandfather, Michael Hannon, also an Irish immigrant, in Massachusetts.Their daughter, Mary Josephine Hannon (born in Acton, Middlesex Co. MA) is Rose's mother.
Rose's paternal grandfather, Thomas Fitzgerald (1st cousin to Mary Ann Fitzgerald)(their fathers are brothers) also immigrated from Ireland and he married Rose's paternal grandmother, Rosanna Cox, also an Irish immigrant, in Massachusetts as well. Their son, John Francis Fitzgerald (born in Boston, Suffolk Co. MA.) is Rose's father.
Thus both of Rose's parents & all of their siblings were born in MA as 1st generation Americans & their children (Rose, her siblings & 1st cousins), in turn were 2nd generation Americans.
Now, if your Delia is a 1st cousin to Rose; she would have to be the daughter of a maternal aunt (one of Rose's mother's sisters), who would have married a McGrath. Otherwise Delia's maiden name would have been Hannon or Fitzgerald.
Rose's father did not have any sisters who lived to adulthood, just brothers, so all her paternal 1st cousins are Fitzgeralds.
Rose had at least 3 maternal uncles as well, but their children's surnames would be Hannon of course.
I wish I could tell you more about Rose's maternal aunts, but I can't. I just know from the 1880 census that Rose's mother had 2 sisters named Nellie A. & Emily G. They were single at the time of this census & I don't know who they eventually married. Perhaps someone else can fill in the blanks on these aunts for you.
If the link to Rose is a more distant one however (that Delia descends from a relative of one of Rose's Irish born grandparents instead, is actually a 2nd or 3rd cousin, etc.) I'm afraid you'll probably need to trace Delia's lineage back a couple of generations (early to mid-1800s) to find it. And be warned, Fitzgerald is a very old and common surname in Ireland and MA had it's share as well. Add this to the fact that the vast majority also shared a fondness for common given names and it's very easy to get families confused. For example, again looking at the 1880 US census for MA, of the 3000+ Fitzgeralds listed (of which about a third were Irish immigrants and most of the rest were the children or grandchildren of Irish immigrants) there were nearly 300 John Fitzgeralds, about 470 Mary Fitzgeralds and well over 200 assorted Kate, Kathleen, Catherine, etc. Fitzgeralds just in the little state of MA alone! Just imagine what awaits you in Ireland!
Also remember, if there is a could just as easily be via one of Rose's non-Fitzgerald grandparents; Michael Hannon or Rosanna Cox.
Good Luck with your search!
Bye for now,
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
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