Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In brief: Summary of the life of Patrick Tierney 1841-1900

The August 7, 1900 edition of the Quincy Daily Ledger newspaper published a City Brevities section. The fourteenth "brevity" down the page is as follows:
J.P. Tiery of Quincy avenue passed away yesterday after an illness of several years. A widow and seven children survive him.
A brevity, to be sure. I was struck with amazement when I read this little obituary.

This was a man (my great-great-grandfather Patrick J. Tierney) who had been born in 1841 in County Tipperary, just prior to the Great Famine in Ireland. He survived and at age 17 immigrated to the United States, married, became a United States citizen at age 35, made a life for himself with various odd jobs, and left seven children.

Most people will never overcome the odds that Patrick Tierney had to overcome in his lifetime. Most people will never need half the courage that he must have had to muster to face each day of his childhood during the Great Hunger, his trip over the ocean to a new land, and his daily work as a laborer, trader, peddler and grocer struggling to make ends meet in Boston's Irish north end during the late 19th-century.

And the newspaper didn't even get his name right.

Source: “City Brevities: J.P. Tiery…,” Quincy Daily Ledger, 7 August 1900, p. 3.

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