Mary Flood
(Born in Ireland before 1853; died in Ireland after 1884.)

My great grandmother, Mary Flood, had three husbands. They were firstly Patrick Mulvihill, then a Mr. Ryan, and thirdly John Doherty.

Mary had at least four children:

  • Jeremiah Mulvihill (b. circa Jan 1866)
  • Honora "Nora" Mulvihill (FitzMaurice) (13 Jan 1868 - 19 Mar 1951)
  • Margaret Doherty (Quinn) (1874 - Oct 1927)
  • Mary Agnes Doherty (McCarthy) (b. 22 Feb 1880)

Since Nora's daughter recorded in 1914 that she had only two aunts, Maggie Quinn and Mary McCarthy, it is unlikely that Mary Flood (Mulvihill) (Ryan) (Doherty) had more than three daughters who survived beyond infancy. The wide spacing between children, however, suggests that Mary Flood had other children who died in infancy.

The three daughters emigrated one-by-one to Chicago as the family gradually saved enough money for the trip.119 Nora, the oldest, went at age 16.

Some families by the name of Flood are of English extraction but in Ireland the name is mainly derived from the Gaelic Ó Maoltuile or Mac Maoltuile. Tuile means flood but probably it is here for toile, genitive of toil, meaning will, i.e. will of God. Thus, Maoltuile means servant of the will of God.

In parts of Ulster, Flood is used for the Welsh Floyd. Floyd is normally a variant of Lloyd which comes from the Welsh word LLwyd meaning grey.
In Munster, (including Limerick), however, Floyd is sometimes synonymous with Flood.

Since Mary Flood's eldest daughter, Honora, spoke "a little Gaelic", Mary herself probably spoke a little more. In the Gaelic-speaking community, Mary Flood would have been called Máire Ni Maoltuile.

31 May 1865 Patrick Mulvihill of Ballinlahane to Mary Flood.
Witnesses, Maurice Flood and Johanna Ryan.

Patrick Mulvihill was apparently illiterate since he used an X as "his mark" to sign the marriage register.

20 Feb. 1868, Ballinal ..., Ardagh, Hanora Mulvihill, female,
father Patrick Mulvihill of Ballinlehane, labourer.
mother Mary Mulvihill, formerly Flood.

16 Jan 1866 Jeremiah son of Patrick Mulvihill and Mary Flood of Ballinlahane.
Sponsors, James Flood and Margaret Mulvihill.

21 Feb 1868 Honora, daughter of Patrick Mulvihill and Mary Flood of Ballinlahane.
Sponsors, Brien Salmon and Helen Mulvihill.

Note: The date in the register of births is apparently the date of entry and not the date of birth since we know that Honora Mulvihill was born on 13 Jan.

The official spelling of Ballinlehane or Ballinlahane is Ballinloughane, derived from the Gaelic, Baile an Locháin, meaning "town of the small lake". The townland has an area of 195 acres and is situated 2-1/2 miles West of Newcastle. It is in the barony of Shanid, civil parish of Ardagh. The corresponding Catholic parish is also called Ardagh.214  A recent listing on the Internet213 says that Ballinloughane is in the barony of Shanid, civil parish of Dunmoylan, and Poor Law Union of Rathkeale.

(O)Mulvihill or (O)Mulvihil comes from the Gaelic name Ó Maoil Mhichil (devotee of St. Michael), the eponymous ancestor being so called because of his devotion to St. Michael. The sept was of the same stock as the MacBrannans, and located with them on the west bank of the Shannon in the modern county of Roscommon; both were styled chiefs of Corca Sheachlainn or Corcachlann. Ó Mulvihil and MacBrannan are eulogized together in O'Dugan's "Topographical Poem", written in the fourteenth century, but the Ó Mulvihils disappear from history at an early date - the last to find a place in the "Annals of the Four Masters" being Gillananaev O'Mulvihil, who was one of the leading men responsible for the assassination of the son and heir of the King of Connacht in A.D. 1189. In the census of 1659, the O'Mulvihils are recorded as among the most numerous families in Co. Longford. In modern times the representatives of this sept are scattered, being found in places so widely separated as Kerry, Donegal, and Wicklow, but nowhere in large numbers. The chief representative of the sept in 1874 was then seated at Knockanira, Co. Claire. The family acquired that property in 1712 from the Earl of Thomond. Doon, formerly Doonmulvihil, is a place in the civil parish of Inchicronan near Ennis, which indicates that the Mulvihil family of Knockanira, just referred to, was established in Co. Clare long before that date. Mulvihils are still in Co. Clare. Some members of the sept have changed their name to Mulville and Melville in Clare and Galway and to Mitchell in Ulster.

Circa 1980, I read a genealogical report from Ireland which stated that one branch of the Mulvihill families was known as "the black Mulvihills". In the U.S., we might assume that the word "black" (when referring to a person) described either skin color or moral character. In Ireland, however, the word "black" had many additional uses. The male name "Kyran", the name of at least five saints, comes from "Ciarán" which means Blackish or Blackie (as in Boston Blackie).

Honora Mulvihill [M2S] (13 Jan 1868 - 19 Mar 1951)

Nora came to the United States alone at the age of 16.119 During most of her working life, she worked for the School Department of the City of Chicago. Her job had something to do with caring for crippled children.

Although Nora had lived only 15 miles from her future husband's home in Ireland, they never met until after they had both emigrated to the United States.119

Nora married John Joseph FitzMaurice [M2] on 14 Sep 1892. They had three children:
M2.1 John Aloysius FitzMaurice (29 Jul 1893 - 27 Nov 1954)
M2.2 Mary Veronica FitzMaurice (14 Oct 1895 - 5 Aug 1984)
M2.3 H. Emmett I. FitzMaurice (28 Nov 1897 - 4 Dec 1937)

John Aloysius [M2.1] resembled his mother [M2S] while Emmett [M2.3] had a stronger resemblance to their father [M2]. Mary Veronica [M2.2] was a mixture.

Nora's Age

My sister Loretta said that our grandmother, Nora Mulvihill FitzMaurice, falsified her age in 1913 when applying for a job with the City of Chicago at age 45. Nora said that her age was 35, the maximum acceptable for a new employee. Nora worked 10 years beyond the normal retirement age of 65 in order to compensate for her earlier misstatement of her age. She retired at age 75 and died at age 83.
Loretta also said that Nora got the job through the patronage of Tom Curran. Nora's son John and Tom's daughter Laura married in 1919.

My sister Veronica told me that it is Nora Mulvihill and her ancestors who are responsible for the fact that I have no moons on any of my fingernails.

Nora was a religious woman who had no hesitation in acknowledging a miraculous event in her personal life. Circa 1930, she told me that she had left her window open one warm day and a dove flew in. Soon thereafter, she received a letter telling her that, on the very same day that the dove had flown in her window, her mother had died in Ireland. She had no difficulty assigning a connection to these events.

Nora was also a very modest woman. She once consulted a doctor concerning her knee. The doctor said, "Let me see your knee." Nora replied, "Can't I just tell you about it?"119

I remember that my grandmother cooked her meals on a wood-burning stove and always baked two or three loaves of bread when I stayed with her. This would have been in her home at 1105 Racine Ave. circa 1931. I have never tasted bread as good from any store or restaurant. Although I favored her raisin bread, I thought that all her bread was delicious.

I also recall helping her make a fruitcake several weeks in advance of Thanksgiving Day. My job was to mix the stiff batter. She covered the finished cake with cheesecloth and, at least once a week, poured a little whiskey over it to keep it moist until it was eaten.

Irish Hour
Nora never missed the Irish Hour on the radio. It had a mixture of news and music but less music than I would expect in a similar program today.

She had a Victrola on which she loved to play her favorite record, "When You and I Were Young Maggie".

Nora's life was not a bed of roses. It was far better than living in Ireland under English rule but it could not have been easy during the many years when her income had to support her disabled husband, herself, and their three children. During those years, she had to make most of the important decisions for her family. She was never able to break the habit. Twenty years later, she was still inclined to express forceful opinions on decisions that had to be made by her children. Not everyone received her opinions with gratitude.

In 1980, Nellie Curran (Cahill) remembered being visited by Nora three or four times while Nellie lived on the fourth floor at 18th Street and Allport across from St. Procopius Church in Chicago. Nellie recalled that Nora was a daily communicant. Nellie described Nora as being "very mild and even tempered".

Nora told Nellie that she spoke "a little Gaelic".

Photo Album
Nora had a photo album that was always to be seen in her living room. The album was two or three inches thick and had heavily padded covers. The pages might have been 8" x 10" or 8 ½" x 11" and 1/8" thick with about four photos on each side of each page. I don't think that there was a name or other identification associated with any of the photographs. The photos that I remember showed the upper part of the body down to a point about four or five inches above the navel. In each case, the subject was turned about 45 degrees away from the camera. I recall Nora pointing to photos of her parents and other relatives.
This treasure has now disappeared. It was probably inherited by Nora's daughter, Sister Mary Veronica FitzMaurice, BVM. Circa 1980, Sister Veronica told me that she had given all her photographs to my sisters Veronica and Loretta. They have both said that they do not have the album. However, Veronica has Nora's wedding photos.

Nora died on 19 Mar 1951 as a result of a fall.

Chicago Daily News, Mon., Mar. 19, 1951, page 23
Death Notices
FITZMAURICE - Nora Mulvihill Fitzmaurice,
beloved wife of the late John J., devoted mother of John A., Sister Mary St. Mildred, B.V.M. and the late Emmett, grandmother of Mrs. Dolores Laurie, Mrs. Loretta Martino, John, Veronica, Thomas, Francis, Emmett and Loyola Fitzmaurice, great-grandmother of five. Funeral Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. from chapel, 5911 W. Madison - st. at Mason - av. to St. Malachy Church. Interment All Saints Cemetery. Please omit flowers.
EStebrook 8-7500.


Descendants of
Mary (Flood) (Mulvihill) Ryan [M] and John Doherty [J]

Mary and John had at least two children:

JM.1 Margaret Doherty (1874-Oct 1927)
m. Patrick Quinn [JM.1S] (d. 1928) and had one child:
  JM.1.1 Born in 1914 and died as a baby.
JM.2 Mary Agnes Doherty (b. 22 Feb 1880)
m. Patrick McCarthy [JM.2S] in Chicago on 22 Oct 1898
and had five children:
  JM.2.1 Mary Ida McCarthy (b. c. 1902; lived 3 mo.)
  JM.2.2 Mary Ita McCarthy (b. 1903)
m. Mr. Bennis [M.2.2S] and had a son:
    JM.2.2.? Edward John Bennis
  JM.2.3 Edward J. McCarthy (22 Jan 1906 - Mar 1977)
Last Residence: Berkeley, Cook Co., IL 60163
Soc. Sec. No. 337-09-7314
  JM.2.4 Margaret McCarthy (b. c. 1908)
m. Mr. Sullivan [JM.2.4S] and had one child:
    JM.2.4.1 a child who lived 3 mo.
  JM.2.5 Ann Irene McCarthy (b. 1910)
m. Mr. O'Connor [JM.2.5S] and had two children:
    JM.2.5.1 Rev. Raymond E. O'Connor, CFM
    JM.2.5.2 Loretta O'Connor
m. John Page [JM.2.5.2S] and had two children:
      JM. Jack Page
      JM. Raymond Page

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