Friday, March 14, 2014

'Tis a Wee Mystery: The Short, Work, and Larimer Families in Ireland

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My hubby has a number of Irish ancestors:



·    William Smith and his wife, Jean, from Limerick - 5th great-grandparents

·    Rober Larimer and his wife, Mary O’Gallagher, both from the North of Ireland - 5th great-grandparents

·    John Shehen and his wife, Mary, from somewhere in Ireland - 2d great-grandparents

·    Halbert McClure and his wife, Agnes, were born in County Donegal and moved to Virginia in the late 1700s (although the McClure family is originally from Isle of Skye) - 5th great-grandparents


Now, just in time for St. Patty's Day, a wee mystery: According to the Goshen (Ind.) Midweek News of September 1, 1903, which reported on a reunion of the Larimer-Short-Work families, these folks were cousins and all were originally of Scotch-Irish descent. That's the mystery.

The article says the Larimers originally settled in Maryland and then went to Pennsylvania. Actually, the first to set foot in America was Robert Larimer, who was shipwrecked on his way from Ireland and then spent years as an indentured servant to repay his rescuer. Maybe this Larimer ancestor was serving his master in Maryland, maybe not, but he then got to Pennsylvania on foot to continue his saga.

According to Sons of the American Revolution documents, Samuel Work--the original Work ancestor to arrive in America--was born in County Antrim, Ireland and died in Fairfield county, Ohio. 

As for the Short family, the patriarch was James Short and matriarch was Francis Gilbert. Both were born in Ireland (where?) and came to Ohio, according to a biography of their grandsons, Dr. W.H. Short and Dr. J.L. Short. 

The Short and Work families intermarried with the Larimer family over the years. So were they cousins in Ireland? All were Presbyterian, one clue to a possible Scots-Irish connection.

'Tis a wee mystery! Happy St. Patty's Day.
 

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