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Full Name:
Patrick McGroarty 1
Also known as:
Patt 1
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Race or Ethnicity:
Irish 1

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Stories

A Salem Story

Donegall Ireland


 My husband's father, William Thomas McGroarty was born in Salem, Massachusetts on October 8 1908.  William, or Willie as he was called, was inducted into the Army in June of 1942 to serve with the 549th Night Fighter Squadron. The Enlisted Record and Report of Separation from the United States Army describes him as having blue eyes, black hair, being approximately five foot seven and one hundred fifty five pounds. He married Anna E Callahan on December 21 1943 in Seabrook, New Hampshire.  William was thirty three years of age and Anna, a petite brunette, was just seventeen years old.  Anna's family had immigrated from Nova Scotia, Canada to Massachusetts before her birth in 1924.  Anna stayed in the McGroarty family home on Beckett Street in Salem until William's Honorable Discharge in 1945 and afterward they resided there together.  
 As early as 1946, Anna and Willie began to conceive and lose children. The first child being a live son delivered on December 20 of that year at Josiah B Thomas Hospital in Peabody and deceased the same day.  There were many miscarriages and stillborn babies over the next sixteen years, the result of Anna and Willie's conflicting Rhesus or Rh type blood. This Rh Factor caused the infants to suffer Hemolytic Disease, a condition which occurs when the mother's body litterally rejects the fetus.
 It wasn't until January 1962 that the doctors at Salem Hospital were able to perform the first ground-breaking and successful blood transfusions for an Rh Factor newborn.  Though the infant lived, he was given a very small chance of survival and the odds were high that he would never reach adulthood.  He was named William Thomas McGroarty Jr, called Billy, and the story of his birth was the subject of many medical research reports. The procedures that were used to bring the only child of Willie and Anna into the world, and keep him there, are still standard today.  Unfortunately, by 1965 when William Jr was just three years old, Willie was already suffering from the Pancreatic Cancer that would take his life within the year. He wouldn't get to know his only child, the son that the doctors had worked so hard to save. 
 Anna E Callahan McGroarty remarried Richard (Skipper) Reilly in Seabrook, New Hampshire on January 19, 1968.  Skipper was a very loving husband, stepfather and grandfather until his death in 1999.  Anna Callahan McGroarty Reilly died of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) on February 24, 2010 in Gloucester, MA at the age of eighty five.

  Willie McGroarty was the son of Patrick F McGroarty (III), a shoemaker and his wife Bridget Anne (O'Keefe) McGroarty.  Patrick F (III) was born March 11 1881 in Keelogs, Donegal, Ireland and arrived in Massachusetts in 1883 at just two years of age with his parents, Patrick (Jr) and Ann (McGroarty) McGroarty.  For a short time, the family lived in Peabody, MA before settling in Salem around 1892.  

 It is undetermined where or when Patrick F (III) and Bridget O'Keefe were married,  though it was most likely in Salem around 1901.  Bridget had been born in 1877 in Salem, though both her parents Patrick and Anna (Noone) O'Keefe were from Ireland, immigration year unknown. Patrick O’keefe and Anne Noone emigrated from the town of Cashel in the county of Tipperary, Ireland to South Carolina in the United States. Growing up in Ireland, his name was Padrigh O’Caoimh and her name was Anne O’Nuadhrin. They lived in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina. Their descendants (and perhaps Patrick and Anne themselves) lived on 86 King street, Charleston, South Carolina.
Patrick was a confederate solider in the civil war. He fought in the battle of Ghettysburg, sustaining only one injury – his toe was shot off. Anne Noone O’keefe was a lady’s maid. She and Patrick were in General Sherman’s march from Atlanta, GA to the sea at the close of the civil war. When Anne and Patrick came to New England, they settled in Salem and lived at the corner of Tremont and Mason streets. Patrick owned and operated a boot shop opposite the Salem armory, about 130 Essex Street. They eventually moved to Marblehead, 16 Central Street. He was at one time president of the Young Men’s Temperance Society. He and Anne are buried in St. Mary’s cemetary. They had 9 children,  of which Bridget was the sixth born.

 Patrick and Bridget purchased a home at 26 Beckett Street, Salem, which would stay in the family for many years.  Patrick F (III) and Bridget had ten children; Neal, John, Anna, George, Willie, Grace, Henry, James, Ruth and Dorothy.  
Patrick F (III), my husbands paternal Grandfather, died at home of the Spanish Influenza in 1917 at age thirty six, the year his youngest chid, Dorothy, was born.  Bridget died at age sixty six in Salem in 1943, shortly after their fifth child, Willy, went into the Army.  (From the stories of the few people still alive that remembered Bridget O'Keefe McGroarty, she was an exceptionally beautiful, pleasant, kind hearted woman.)

 Patrick (Jr),  born in Ireland in 1855 was listed as a laborer on Salem Census Reports and in the occupational directories of Peabody, Salem, Beverly and Lynn.  Patrick (Jr) and Ann (McGroarty) McGroarty had seven children, all born in Salem with the exception of the oldest child, Patrick F (III) (Keelogs, Donegal, Ireland).  Their children were; Patrick F, Neal, Mary, George, Katherine, Christina and Henry.
The second oldest child and first to be born in Salem, Neal D McGroarty was born April 1885 and died at the United States Naval Hospital on Mare Island, San Francisco on January 15 1907, presumably of service related injuries.  
He was just shy of twenty two years of age and a few days from being mustered out of the service.

 Ann McGroarty died of pnemonia after delivering a stillborn male child on December 1 1899.  She was just forty years of age. Not much information is available for Ann.  Her death certificate, the only vital record I have found to date, names her parents as Connell and Winnie Unknown yet list her surname as McGroarty. 
Patrick (Jr) would raise the remaining seven children in Massachusetts with the help of his oldest child, Patrick F (III), the shoemaker whose name would be listed below his father's in the occupational directories of several towns during his short life and career and until his death in Salem at the age of thirty six.  Ann is burried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Salem.

 Patrick (Jr), my husband's great grandfather died in Lynn, Massachusetts on Septembet 24 1915 at the age of 60 of toxemia from a perforated bowel.  He had been a widower for sixteen years and lived alone in Lynn, MA.  He is burried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Salem, MA.

 Patrick (Jr's) father, my husband's second great grandfather was Patrick McGroarty who was born in Donegal, Ireland around 1830.  He married a Catherine Gallagher.  At this time no further information is known...  

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