Thursday, July 5, 2007
A happy day in 1874: The wedding of Patrick & Catherine (Kennedy) Tierney
On August 16, 1874 Patrick Tierney and Catherine Kennedy, both of Boston, were married. To the left is a transcription of their marriage record from the Massachusetts archives. At the time of their marriage, it had been twenty-nine years since the first year of famine and sixteen years since Patrick had arrived in the United States. It must have been a very happy day for Patrick and Catherine.
The couple's marriage took place at St. Stephen Catholic Church on Hanover Street.. Plans for the church had started in 1802 and the famous Boston born architect Charles Bullfinch (the nation's premier architect) had designed the building. (The church is the only Bullfinch church to survive the Boston fire of 1872.) The church is now part of the famous Freedom Trail in Boston.
The building had originally housed the New North Congregational Church. The Unitarian congregration gave way to the Irish Catholic population during the Civil War and in 1862 the Catholic Church bought the church building for $35,000 and dedicated it to St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
According to the couple's marriage record, Patrick's parents' names were Michael & Mary (O'Neil) Tierney (Mary's maiden name is listed on Patrick's death record). Catherine's parents' names were Ralph & Bridget Kennedy. I have not yet been able to find any further information about either of these couples (Patrick & Catherine's parents), even whether or not they emigrated from Ireland along with their children. Were they able to watch as their children marry that day in 1874, or did they remain behind in Ireland when their children left for America in search of a better life?