Hallorans of St Louis, Missouri

Timothy D. Halloran (frequently spelled Holloran) was born in Ireland around 1845. If Timothy followed standard Irish naming traditions, then his parent’s names were probably William and Mary. Most likely, he came from Tullamore, King’s County (now Ofally County). The name Halloran means “overseas stranger”.

Timothy married Catherine Tracey, the daughter of Michael Tracey and Mary Delaney, on October 7, 1861 in Tullamore Parish, King’s County, Ireland. A baptismal record for Catherine has been found in Kilcormac Parish, King’s County. She was baptized on December 1, 1842. Two of their sons were born in Ireland, William and Michael. William was baptized on July 20, 1862. Michael was baptized on February 6, 1864. Both were baptized in the Tullamore Parish, King’s County, Ireland.

The family immigrated to America and settled in St. Louis by 1865. Timothy and Catherine must have left Ireland first, leaving the young children, William and Michael with their maternal grandparents. We find Catherine’s father, traveling with William, age 10 and Michael, age 8, on a ship called the Canada. They arrived in New York on July 16, 1872. It must have been very difficult for Timothy and Catherine to leave their young sons behind in Ireland.  Perhaps they needed to save money to bring the children to the U.S.

The year Timothy and Catherine emigrated from Ireland is unknown. In the 1910 census, Catherine indicates that she emigrated in 1867. But her son Thomas was baptized at St. Lawrence O’Toole’s in 1865, so this date cannot be accurate. A City Hospital record for Timothy states that he had spent 27 years in the City of St. Louis, which would put his immigration at 1859. This also seems inaccurate, since William, Timothy and Catherine’s oldest son was born in Ireland in 1862. If we narrow down the possibilities, it seems likely that Catherine was pregnant with Thomas when they left Ireland in 1864.The first record of our Hallorans in St. Louis is the baptism of their son, Thomas J., who was born on June 1, 1865 and was baptized at St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church on June 8, 1865. It is not yet known how the family reached St. Louis.

Their fourth son, Frank Halloran, always stated that he was born in Louisville, Kentucky, yet we have baptismal records for all his siblings in St. Louis. Recently, I discovered the Hallorans in the 1870 census, listed in Jefferson County, KY, Louisville, ward 10. They are also listed in St. Louis, ward 11. The Kentucky census is dated June 1870. The St. Louis census is dated August 1870. So the family must have moved from Louisville to St. Louis between June and August 1870. On both censuses, Thomas is listed as 5 years old, Frank as 2. Neither Tim nor Catherine can read or write. On both census Tim is listed as 28 years old and Catherine as 25.
According to Frank’s death certificate, he was born on May 6, 1870. However, the year of his death is certainly incorrect, as he appears on both 1870 censuses (St. Louis and Louisville) as a 2-year-old. As yet, a baptismal record has not been found for him.  Every one of Frank’s siblings was baptized at St. Lawrence O’Toole church, with the exception of William and Michael who were born in Ireland.
Timothy Halloran began to appear in the St. Louis City directories (like an old-fashioned white pages, which listed place of residence and occupation) in 1870. He was usually listed as a marble polisher.

It seems likely that other members of Timothy’s and Catherine’s families had immigrated to St. Louis. By 1880, Catherine’s father, Michael Tracey, lived with the family. In the second St. Louis census of 1880, Catherine’s brother, John Tracey, also lived with the family.  In addition, there is a Mary Halloran buried in the Halloran family plot, who was 85 when she died in 1877. Perhaps she was Timothy’s mother.  There are a number of families that reappear over and over again in Halloran baptisms and marriages, and who are neighbors in the federal censuses. These families are Edward and Mary Hardy, Thomas and Katherine Donohue, Thomas and Bridget Egan, Maurice and Margaret Griffin, and Richard and Mary Halloran. According to baptismal and marriage records gleaned from Catholic churches in St. Louis, all the wives in this list had the maiden name of Halloran.  Perhaps these women were Timothy’s sisters and/or cousins. (Almost certainly Mary Halloran Hardy and Bridget Halloran Egan were Timothy’s sisters. This information has been corroborated by a descendent of Edward and Mary Hardy.)

Timothy and Catherine had at least 10 children, all born in St. Louis with the exception of the oldest 2 boys and probably Frank. In the 1900 census, Catherine states that she has had 11 children. So apparently, there is one child we don’t know about, perhaps who died in childhood in Ireland. The children and their birth dates follow:

William                   born about July 1862
Michael                  born about January or February 1864
Thomas J.               born June 1, 1865
Frank (Francis A.)   born about May 1868
Mary Catherine       born February 22, 1871
Rose Anna              born January 4, 1874
Joseph M.               born November 18, 1875
Catherine               born August 4, 1878
John Timothy         born January 14, 1883
James                     born September 30, 1885

Timothy Halloran died on July 6, 1896 at the approximate age of 50.  He died of acute tuberculosis. His funeral mass was held at St. Lawrence O’Toole’s and he is buried in Calvary Cemetery. His obituary states that he was a member of the AOUW (the Ancient Order of United Workmen, a fraternal order, which offered its members an early form of life insurance).

Catherine continued to live with her younger children. She died on January 6, 1916 of chronic bronchitis. Her funeral mass was held at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church and she is buried with Timothy at Calvary Cemetery. Unfortunately, there is no headstone at Calvary. Nor are there any known photographs of either Timothy or Catherine.

The Life of Frank Halloran

Frank Halloran’s life is shrouded in mystery. Which may be why he is such a fascinating ancestor, despite the poor reputation that has survived him.

Frank Halloran’s place and date of birth is unknown.  His death certificate says he was born on May 6, 1870 in Louisville, KY.  This information came from hospital records (not an “informant” like a family member). Undoubtedly, the year is incorrect, because Frank appears on the 1870 U.S. Federal Census as a 2-year-old. His older brother, Thomas, was born in St. Louis.  It seems unlikely that Frank’s mother Catherine (Tracey) Halloran would have traveled to Louisville between 1865 (the year Thomas was born) and 1868 (the year Frank was probably born).  The one piece of evidence that seems to corroborate the story that Frank was born in Kentucky, is the fact that no baptismal record can be found for him in St. Louis.  Most of the Halloran children were baptized at St. Lawrence O’Toole’s.  In fact, most of all of the family’s baptisms, marriages and funerals were held at St. Lawrence O’Toole’s.  Clearly, the Hallorans were faithful and observant Catholics.  It seems unaccountable that they would leave one child unbaptized.  In addition, Frank’s marriage was also held at St. Lawrence’s.  Clearly, the priest would not have married Frank if he had not been properly baptized. In addition, Frank listed Kentucky as the place of his birth on both the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census.

Little is known of Frank’s youth.  Apparently, he did not get much schooling, because the story that he was unable to write seems to be correct. He signed his marriage certificate with “his mark”.  However, his bride, Catherine O’Connell clearly signed her name.

Frank and Catherine O’Connell married on May 17, 1889 at St. Lawrence O’Toole’s Catholic Church. The witnesses were Michael and Anne Connell.  Perhaps this couple was Catherine’s aunt and uncle.  Their surname is listed as “Connell”, but the priest might easily have omitted the “O”, because he also made the mistake of listing Catherine’s surname as “O’Connor”.  (Her name is correct on the marriage certificate issued by the City of St. Louis.) Tragically for us genealogists, the priest also omitted the names of the parents of the bride and groom. 

Their first son, William Francis Halloran, was born on July 7, 1889, which indicates that Catherine was about 7 months pregnant when she married Frank. 

In the St. Louis City Directories, Frank is generally listed as a shoeworker or simply as a laborer.  He is completely absent from the city directories between 1890 and 1893. This absence coincides with the fact that Frank and Catherine’s second child, Margaret, was born on April 30, 1892, approximately 3 years after William. At a time when there was no birth control and children were frequently born in 1-2 year intervals, this seems somewhat unusual.  Perhaps Frank went to another city for work.

The Halloran family appeared to move frequently between the years of 1889 and 1900.  In 1902, they appear in the city directory as living at 1517 N. 15th Street. They lived at this address for the next 10 years. In 1900, it looks like Catherine’s mother, Margaret (Moriarty) O’Connell, came to live with the family.  She is listed in the city directory as a widow at the Halloran family address.  She appears again in the 1906 city directory. (She died in 1917, but it is doubtful that she stayed with the family until her death).

Frank and Catherine Halloran had at least 11 children:

William F.                            Born July 7, 1889

Margaret Mary                     Born April 30, 1892

John Clifford                        Born July 17, 1896

Leo Thomas                         Born May 31, 1897

Mary Myrtle Loretta              Born August 14, 1898

Francis Aloyisus                   Born October 9, 1900

Marie Catherine                   Born January 11, 1903

Rose Halloran                      Born August 3, 1905

Celestine Gertrude Irene      Born February 16, 1908

James Joseph                       Born June 26, 1910

Virginia Jean (Jeannie)          Born January 12, 1914

(All dates of birth were extracted from baptismal records.)

Frank’s wife Catherine died on July 25, 1914. The cause of death on her death certificate is listed as Tuberculous Meningitis. Family tradition states that Frank abandoned the family at Catherine’s death. In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Leo Halloran is listed as the head of the family. Loretta was next oldest sibling living with the family. Margaret married John Hamilton MacKay in about 1913.

The 1920 census lists the siblings’ address as 2616 Howard. Apparently, Frank went to live with his brothers.  In 1916, he appears in the city directory with his brothers John and Thomas. (This is the same year his mother, Catherine, died. She too was living with John at the time.)  In 1919, he again appears living with his brother, John. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate Frank in either the 1920, nor the 1930 censuses.

Frank Halloran died at the City Hospital on November 8, 1936. The cause of death was listed on his death certificate as heart disease. His place of residence says “Swan House” at 6th & Delmar.  I have not been able to determine what “Swan House” was, perhaps a shelter or convalescent home of some kind.  

Frank’s funeral mass was held at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church. He is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery. Bob Niemeyer recounted for me the story that his paternal grandfather, Louis Niemeyer, Sr., had just bought a family plot at Memorial Park and he offered the gravesite to Loretta (his daughter-in-law). Thus Frank Halloran is buried with Bob’s grandfather and father, Louis Niemeyer, Jr. who died in 1935.

My grandmother, Marie Halloran Murphy, despised her father. I can remember even as a child, asking her about him and grandma always got a look of revulsion on her face and said that he was a drinker.  Catherine Halloran, on the other hand, was a saint in my grandmother’s memory.

My grandmother had very little tolerance for drinking. Sometimes, in the summer, my parents would drink a beer, out in the backyard.  Grandpa, (Rob Murphy) would join them.  But grandma would go immediately into the house and start making coffee.