Looking into the eyes of my ancestor – Patrick McTygue!

Patrick McTygue/Tigue born 1838 Shrule, Mayo died 1924 Eddyville, Dawson County, Nebraska.

Patrick McTygue/Tigue born 1838 Shrule, Mayo died 1924 Eddyville, Dawson County, Nebraska.

On December 31st I received a package in the mail from my mother. What a surprise! It was full of “McTygue” family pictures. Most of them I have copies of, but a couple of them were real gems! Thank you Muriel Shea for passing on the photos!

Patrick McTygue, my great-grandfather, was the person who started me on my genealogy journey. Patrick was born in May of 1838 in Shrule, County Mayo. Patrick traveled to America with his family about 1849. The first record I can Patrick in America is the 1860 Census. Patrick is living with his mother and siblings in Killingly, Windham, Connecticut.

I just discovered that Mary O’Connor who Patrick married in 1864 both used the same Post office at West Killingly in Killingly Connecticut. Mary was the daughter of Timothy O’Connor and Mary Kennedy. Mary was born in Rome, New York in 1844.

Patrick fought in the Rhode Island Light Artillery. After the war Patrick and Mary McTygue moved to Wisconsin where their daughter Julia was born in Aug of 1868. It was a member of Julia McTygue’s family who sent the package of photos to my mother. Julia had married Richard Shea.

Patrick’s mother Bridget Tygue née Purcell and brother Michael Tighe remained in Clinton, Rock County Wisconsin. Patrick and Mary were in Saline County Nebraska by 1870.

Patrick and Mary both died before my father was born in 1924, so my dad didn’t have any memories of them.

When we would visit my grandparents on Sunday we had to take a nap after Sunday dinner. I finally figured it out – that was the only way the adults had time to visit!

On one of those Sunday afternoons I found a small piece of paper in the McTygue family bible. On that piece of paper was  a story about Patrick coming to America and fighting in the Civil War. I had to find out more! I did my first genealogy interview! I sat down with my grandfather and asked him about his dad! My first genealogy mistake….I didn’t ask any questions about his mother – Mary McTygue née O’Connor.

My grandfather died in 1964, I was about 12 years old when I did that interview, but I still have that piece of paper over 52 years later! I have learned so much about Patrick and his family. I have found that the family has spelled their surname many different ways: Tigue, Tygue, McTygue and Tighe. Other people have added their variations of our surname: Tygne, McTygur, McTague and more! This is just one of the ways Irish genealogy is so much fun!

It was a real thrill to open a package last week and find a picture of Patrick McTygue! I know of only 3 other photos of Patrick. I have e-mailed a copy of his photo to members of my family.

The last thing I have learned about genealogy….It is so important to share what you know and love with the rest of the family!