By John Cassidy
The oldest known Drumbar Cassidys are the brothers John and William. John married Kitty McGinty and moved to Clogher. William was born in 1799. We do not know his wife’s name and the only child we are aware of is son Francis, who was born in the 1820s or 30s. Francis married Rose McGilloway of Glenfin. They had at least two children, Kitty and Francis (1844-1888). Francis married Annie Kelly of Drumanus. The following information is about Francis and Annie and their descendents.
Annie Kelly Cassidy
They had eight children.
Edward John, born in 1886, married Bridget McNulty of Altilow, Donegal. They eventually settled in California. They had four children, Francis, Patricia, Ann and Regina. See John Edward Cassidy
Note- recently we received an e-mail from Katherine O’Callahan Payne, who is the granddaughter of Edward John and Bridget. She lives in the San Francisco area and is a dedicated family historian.
Edward John Cassidy
Date of Birth: July 7, 1884
Place of Birth: Drumbar, Donegal Town, County Donegal, Ireland
Date of Death: September 6, 1952
Place of Death; Glen Ellen, California, USA
Spouse: Bridget Christine McNulty
Date of Marriage: May 28, 1917
Place of Marriage: St Peter’s Catholic Church, San Francisco, California, USA
Children: Patricia Mary Born: March 17, 1918 Died: August 1, 1989
Francis Joseph Born: October 11, 1919 Died: June 30, 1989
Anne Born: July 26, 1923
Regina Delores Born: April 7, 1927
Father: Francis Cassidy Born: Circa 1820’s – 1830’s Died: unknown
Anne Kelly Born: 1859 Died: 1919
Notes: Edward John was born on July 7, 1884 at the family farm at Drumbar, in Donegal, Ireland. He was the second child to Francis and Anne Kelly. As a child he was called “Eddy” by his eight siblings. All the children helped on the farm, cutting turf at the bogg, baking, knitting, and were well cared for, but had a frugal existence. They gathered kelp from the sea to use as a natural fertilizer for raising potatoes. On their 90-acre farm, they raised dairy, oats, barley, hay and flax and had six paid day-laborers.
Eddy attended the local school and only attended four years of formal education, equivalent to eighth grade in the United States. Eddy had a constant thirst for knowledge all of his life, always asking questions, and could recite poetry without pause.
Edward John set sail for a new life in America in 1912 and was unable to find work in New York. “Irish Need Not Apply” signs were well posted. He made his way to Macom, Georgia to find his friend, Andy McGinty, who had several bars. Edward worked in the industry and owned several bars, though he never imbibed. After saving some money he made his way to San Francisco, where his cousin, Annie (Cassidy) and her husband, Pat Loftus and family resided.
After he had saved a little money and felt he could support a wife and family, he gave it considerable thought. A mutual friend, Con Murray, suggested the lovely young Bridget McNulty, who was currently working in Philadelphia at the time. Ed had met Bridget in Ireland at one of the dances. First Edward corresponded to her family in Ireland, asking permission to “court young Bridget” then correspond back and forth with the lovely Bridget. He proposed and sent the Tiffany set diamond ring through the mail. Bridget came by train to S.F. and they were married on May 28, 1917 at St. Peter’s Church in the Mission District of S.F. For their honeymoon they borrowed a car and made a trip to the top of Twin Peaks in S.F!
Ed had a bar in the Mission District but when Prohibition came along, he closed the bar and made a living as a Pinkerton Man, riding the Southern Pacific train from S.F. to San Luis Obispo. A few years later, as his family of four children, were growing up, he bought The Independent Laundry and later in years joined partners in The Cadillac French Laundry. He helped run this business until poor health interfered and he sold his share. He owned an apartment building where he resided. After raising his family, he and his wife, Bridget, retired to a little cottage in the small town of Glen Ellen.
In 1948, Ed and Bridget made his only trip back to the family farm and helped rebuild the stone shed (cow barn). Just a few short years later, in 1951, Ed was diagnosed with an aneurysm of the aorta. No surgery procedure was yet available. It was a painful illness and he died on September 6, 1952.
Back Row: Bridget Christine (McNulty), Francis Joseph, Anne
Front Row: Edward John Cassidy, Regina Dolores, Patricia Mary
Circa: 1938 San Francisco
Hugh Cassidy was another son of Francis and Annie. He married Bridget Martin and had seven children. Some of their descendants still live in Drumbar.
Hugh Cassidy (1920-2001, the son of Hugh Cassidy and Bridget Martin) married Mary O’Donnell. They had two sons Gerard (b. 1965) and Fr. Peter Joseph (P.J) (b. 1968).
Gerard married Catherine (Kaye) Dempsey and had two children, twins Aoife & Ronán (b. 1995). Catherine died in 2007 and Gerard remarried Brenda Meates in 2015.
Joseph (b. 1928) joined the Cistercian Order and became Brother Peter, based in Mount Melleray Abbey in Waterford. He died in 2015.
In addition, Teresa (b. 1925) joined the Sisters of Mercy and became Sr. Lucia Therese. She was based in the Convent of Mercy in the Mater Hospital in Dublin. She died in 2008.
The following outline shows all of the descendents of Francis and Annie known to the author (John Cassidy).