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FredQuest Genealogy

Sharkey Family



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Four Sharkey siblings (Mary, Patrick, Bridget & Thomas) were all born in Ireland known to have immigrated to the United States and spent some time in Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio. Its not known when they arrived, or even if they came as a group, but it appears all three had arrived by 1850. Their parents identity and whereabouts remains a mystery but their home in Ireland was likely County Roscommon.

Patrick Sharkey (1821-1891) was living with his sister Mary Sharkey Moore in 1850 Conneaut. By 1860 he had married Rachel and had settled in Conneaut near his sisters. Patrick enlisted in the 82nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. His unit participated in a number of battles including Cross Keys, Port Republic & Bull Run. After the war, Patrick returned to Conneaut Ohio where he and Rachel can be found in records the rest of their lives. There are no known children.

Mary Sharkey (1818-1887) married Asa Moore (1805-1881) in the early 1840s. Their family was in Conneaut by 1850 but they may have met and married in a nearby Ohio county given their second son (John) was born in Newbury, Geauga Co., Ohio. They raised their children (James, John B., Catherine, Mary & Margaret) and lived out their lives in Conneaut.

Bridget Sharkey (1824-1900) married John Olson in November 1850 and spent their lives in Conneaut raising four children (Catherine, Mary E, Matilda, John). Bridget and her sister Mary are listed as "Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve" and Bridget also had the distinction as "the first Irish girl to come to Conneaut."

Thomas Sharkey (ca 1832-1882) appears to be the youngest known sibling and to have lived the most colorful life. He was in the U.S. Army for a number of years before the Civil War, stationed both in Newport, Kentucky and Kansas City, Missouri. His enlistment must have been up because he was in Conneaut Ohio when on 22 Aug 1862, he signed up with the 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served in a number of skirmishes and was seriously wounded at Chancellorsville on 3 May 1863 where he received a "shell wound through the left-shoulder carry away the bone and broke the breast bone." After spending some time in the Union Hospital at Chancellorsville, he returned to Conneaut and later to Kansas City. He again enlisted in the Army with the understanding he would be limited to "drilling with his company" and served from 1 Sep 1864 to 31 Aug 1865 with the 51st & 52nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry. On 3 Jun 1865, Thomas was promoted from Private to First Sergeant but reverted to Private shortly afterwards. Thomas appears to have been been married a number of times over the years and even his Conneaut relatives didn't appear to know how many (pension file affidavits). He was married to Mary Malloy while he was stationed in Kentucky and he mentioned to the relatives he had four children but Mary appears to have left with the children. Shortly before the Civil War, Thomas married Mary Murphy while stationed in Kansas City. They purchased a home in Kansas City but during the war, Mary moved up to Conneaut to be near his siblings. When Thomas was shot, she went down to nurse him in the Chancellorsville Hospital. Thomas was discharged and they returned to Conneaut. There must have been a falling out because she returned to the Kansas City home by herself. He followed but there was no further mention of Mary. In 1870, Thomas is a Peddler living up in Ionia Co., Michigan where he married again. This time to Sarah A. Morgan Blodgett who's husband Alonzo had been killed by Cholera while serving in the Army at Lookout Mountain Tennessee. Thomas & Sarah remained in Ionia Co. where they raised Sarah's three children from her first marriage. They had two known children (Thomas & Miles) who did not survive long and are buried with their mother at Otisco Township Cemetery, Belding, Ionia Co., Michigan.  It appears Thomas' life as a peddler kept him on the road and it was on trip back to Conneaut in 1882 when he was killed by a train while walking the tracks only miles before Conneaut.

Probable Connections

James Sharkey (ca 1829-1880) is very likely connected to the four Sharkey siblings of Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio.  James Sharkey was also captured in Conneaut in 1850 U.S. Census and is the right age to be another sibling.  James Sharkey married Alice Delaney (also of Conneaut) in nearby Erie, Erie Co., Pennsylvania Oct 1850 but returned to live in Conneaut where there first two children (Miles P, & Mary) were born.  Sometime before 1855 the family moved north to Ingham Co., Michigan where their remaining children were born and raised (Alice H., Catherine, James C. & Mary Ann).  James Sharkey fought in the Civil War as a Private in the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters where he was captured at Petersburg, Virginia on 30 Jul 1864 and sent to Anderson Prison.  He was moved to the prison at Camp Lawton, Millen, Georgia on 11 Nov 1864 and finally discharged on 14 Jul 1865. James lived out the remainder of his life in Michigan as a Peddler, Watchman, Railroad Flagman and Farmer.  James died in 1880 and his wife Alice five years later.

Additional circumstantial evidence links James to Thomas Sharkey (and his siblings).  James' 1860 household includes a Thomas Sharkey of the right age who can not be found elsewhere.  Thomas did move to Michigan and can be found in 1870 in Ionia Co., Michigan.  Both James and Thomas were peddlers and named a son, Miles Sharkey.


Gorman and Doepker Genealogies Website (Timothy Gormon)   Includes information on James & Alice Delaney Sharkey who married and settled in Ingham Co., Michigan.  Their daughter Catherine (Kate) Sharkey married William Gorman.   [last checked Jan 2015]