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Boyle/Keeney/McGill/Earley families from Donegal to PA and NE Pennsylvania

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  • #8074
    Joe Hunter

    Hello to all of the fine folks in Glenties and County Donegal!

    I have been researching these families who emigrated from County Donegal to Philadelphia and the coal mining towns of Northeastern Pennsylvania during An Gorta Mor. My Boyle/Keeney family left County Donegal around 1850 and worked in the coal mines in Eckley (near Freeland) and Wilkes Barre, PA before moving on to Philadelphia. Many of my Boyle’s and Keeney’s are buried in St Ann’s Cemetery in Freeland, PA. This small cemetery and the gravestones located there read like a phone book from Glenties: Boyle,Gallagher,Ward, Sweeney, McGill,Molloy, O’Donnell, McCole, etc….every single name on this message board appears on a stone in this small cemetery. Both Glenties and Freeland are such small towns, it is an amazing connection!

    I am not certain my family is from Glenties. There are very few records in this area recording the family origins at St Ann’s as the cemetery and Church records were destroyed in a fire. So many gravestones mention Donegal and Glenties. I am wondering if any of the local historians in Glenties have any newspaper records or old letters from these families which record the story of how the families settled on this location. Surely there is a connection.

    Although I may never be certain of their origin, the quite whisper from those who have gone before tell me this is home. I would be glad to hear from anyone from my wave-washed Donegal!

    I hope to visit some day soon…..

    God Bless you all!

    Joe Hunter


    Hi Joe –

    I am an American descendant of Patrick Earley buried in Freeland Cemetery. I’m not sure if you are still researching the family tree; I have some information. Feel free to contact me if you wish, and perhaps we can exchange some information.

    Best Regards,
    Chris Muller

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