Our Family Forest
The Gorman Families

Our Family History Gorman Origins Data and Sources

Our Family History

While not direct ancestors, there are many Gormans in our family tree.  Patrick and Nancy Larkin Donley brought their family to Madrid, New York, on the Canadian border, in the 1820s.  Two of their daughters married Gormans there in the 1840s and '50s, adding scores of Gorman descendants to our family tree. I think it likely that these Gorman husbands were close cousins, though I still have not found a defninitive relationship. (Click here to read about the Donnelly family.)

Thomas Gorman and Family

Let's start with the first Donley-Gorman marriage.  Bridget Donley, born about 1822 in Ireland, eldest of Patrick and Nancy's nine children, married Thomas Gorman in the early 1840s. Thomas, born in Ireland in about 1813, was the son of William Gorman, born about 1785.  They immigrated to the US in 1834.  William passed away a few years after Thomas' marriage, in 1847, and is buried in Waddington (formerly part of Madrid). It seems likely that William and Thomas were part of a larger family that lived in Madrid/Waddington and, after William's death, mostly moved on to Columbia county, Wisconsin.  I find excellent agreement between this family's history, included in Margaret Hutcheson's "The Hutcheson Chronicles", what we know of Thomas and William in Waddington, and other historical records.

Ardbraccan Civil Parish (aka Bohermeen Catholic parish [pin location], County Meath.

According to this history, William and his wife, Catherine Miles, were married in Ireland and living in Ardbraccan parish, County Meath, where their children were born.  Catherine passed away in 1828, and in 1834 William brought his family, together with other relatives and their families, to Madrid, New York. (William is not mentionned among the children, but perhaps the Hutcheson genealogy was created from the Gormans later found in Wisconsin, whereas William remained in New York.) The other children were Patrick (b. ca. 1812), Michael (b. ca. 1810), Christopher (b. ca. 1819), a daughter (b. ca. early 1820s), John (b. ca 1824), Bryan (b. ca. 1826), and Catherine (b. ca. 1828).  William died in 1847 and is buried in the Original Catholic Cemetery in Waddington. Most of the kids moved to Columbia county, Wisconsin, shortly thereafter.

Staying in Waddington

Patrick married Jane in about 1841, and their five children were Catherine (b. 1842), Mary (b. 1843), William (b. 1844), Richard (b. 1845), and Ann (b. 1846). Married and with a family of his own, Patrick remained in Waddington until his wife's death in 1854, after which he moved with his children to Lowville, Wisconsin, joining siblings in the area. Thomas married Bridget Donley in the early 1840s, and their five children were Catherine (b. 1846), William (b. 1847), Michael (b. 1850), Mary Ann (b. 1852) and John (b. 1854).  They remained in Waddington where Bridget passed away in 1875, and Thomas in 1891.  One of their descendants still lives in their (renovated) farm house.

West to Wisconsin

Bryan married Mary Williams in Canada in 1848, then moved to Wyocena township, Wisconsin, where they raised their family.  Their children, all born in Wyocena, were William (b. ca. 1848), Catherine (b. 1850), Jennie (b. 1852), Christopher (b. 1854), John (b. 1856), Michael (b. 1858), Mary Ann (b. 1862), Harriet (b. 1864), Liza (b. 1862), and Lorena (b. 1868). Catherine married Luke Martin in 1851, in Wisconsin, and they raised their family in Springvale.  Their children were Mary Ann (b. 1852), Catherine (b. 1856), James (b. 1857), Elizabeth (b. 1860), Emma (b. 1862), Sarah (b. 1864), and George (b. 1870). In about 1854, John married Mary McNerney, probably in Wyocena, where several of their kids were born: Catherine (b. 1855), John (? died in infancy in 1857?), Elizabeth (b. 1857), William (b. 1859), Sarah (b. 1863), and Charles (b. 1864). John and Mary moved their family to Belle Creek, Minnesota in about 1865.  The rest of their children were born there: George (b. 1865), Henry (b. 1867), Ned (b. 1870), Nan (b. 1872), Therese (b. 1973), Frank (b. 1874), Joseph (b. 1876), and Ben (b. 1878).  Christopher married Jane in about 1855.  They raised their family in Wyocena, as well.  Born there were William (1856), Thomas (1858), James (1860), Christopher and Mary (?), (1862), Mary Jane (1864), and Henry (1866). I don't yet know what became of the remaining two Gorman kids, Michael and the daughter whose name we don't know.

Michael Gorman and Family

The second Donnelly-Gorman wedding was that of Kate Donnelly, born in 1833 in Madrid, another daughter of Patrick and Nancy Larkin Donley, to Christy Gorman, oldest son of Michael and Catherine Gorman.  Michael immigrated to the US in about 1818, when he was about 26 years old.  He married Catherine in about 1819, and all of their kids were born in New York: Ann (b. 1820,), Christy (b. 1827), Ellen (b. 1828), Mary (b. 1829), William (b. 1831), Michael (b. 1833,), John (b. 1835), Thomas (b. 1836), and Patrick (b. 1840). Most of this family remained in the Waddington area. Michael and Catherine passed away in 1845 and 1880, respectively, and are buried in St. Mary's Original Catholic Cemetery in Waddington.

Sometime between about 1858 and 1870, Ann married Patrick McGinnis, probably a widower, with four children: William (b. 1849, who married Ann's niece, Anna Gorman), John (b. 1851, m. Cecelia), Rose Ann (b. 1853), and Mary (b. 1858, married James Brannen).  Christy married Kate Donnelly in 1855.  It was their oldest daughter, Anna (b. 1857) who married William McGinnis, her aunt Ann's stepson. Their other six children were William (b. 1859, m. Anna Brennan), Michael (b. 1863), John (b. 1864, m. Anna Fay), James (b. 1867, m. Margaret McCall, then Honora Lynch, moved to Massachusetts, see my blog article), Christopher (b. 1870), and "Kitty" (b. 1871, m. James Akin, was a prominent Democrat). Ellen and John did not marry, and I believe they stayed on the family farm after their parents' deaths. In 1880, 9 year old Thomas McNally was listed as John's adopted son, and he lived with Ellen for many years after John's death. Going back to Michael and Catherine's kids, Mary married Patrick Duffy in 1870. I believe they had no children. William passed away when 19 years old. Michael married Mary Anne Desmond in 1871. (I have not researched their family.) Thomas married Anne Brady in the 1870s. Patrick passed away at the age of 23.

Connor Gorman and family

There were a few other Gormans in the Madrid area that I have not yet tied to William or Michael.  Connor Gorman, b. 1814, immigrated to the US, from Canada, in 1830.  He probably married there (St. Lawrence co., New York) around 1835.  In 1840 they were living with their son and daughter, born in the late '30s, in Madrid, where he was a farmer.  In 1848, a Connor Gorman purchased 80 acres of land in Dodge co., Wisconsin. Connor and Lucinda and their three children are living in Fairfield, Dodge co., in 1850.  Their ages are roughly a match.  This is the last I find of Connor. I cannot yet tell if this is the same Connor that was in Madrid. I suspect that since William, Michael and Connor were the first and only Gormans in Madrid in 1840, that they were all related.  Since they were born, as best I can determine so far, in 1784, 1792 and 1814, I doubt they are all brothers. In the 1840 census, Michael and William were just two farms apart, Connor much further away (at least, judging from the number of census pages between them). My guess would be that William and Michael are brothers, and that Connor, who would fit in a six year gap between some of William's kids, is one of William's sons.  Family oral history, from Agnes Gorman Dalton, says that four cousins named William, Michael, Patrick and Christopher emigrated together in 1828.  Although images of church records have come on line recently, those from the only parish named in the Gorman history, Ardbraccan in Co. Meath, unfortunately do not extend back before our Gorman emigration. So for now, my assessment is that William, Michael and Connor are simply closely related.

Other Gormans

The earliest Gormans, or similar names, in St. Lawrence co. do not appear in the census until 1840.  William, Michael and Connor are the only ones in Madrid. There was a thirty-something Bridget Gorman with two sons and a daughter, all under the age of five, living in nearby Oswegatchie. I haven't been able to find any other trace of Bridget.  Alien reports say a John Gorman immigrated in 1832 and was living in Oswegatchie in 1838.  Perhaps he was married to Bridget, and passed away before the 1840 census. I have no more information on these two.  By 1850, more Gormans are in the area.  Some are children of our families; others are new to the area.  At this point, I have no information to indicate any relation to our Madrid Gormans.

Recalling that the Gorman ancestors are not related to me, and that my interest is in establishing the relationship between Thomas and Christy Gorman, who married the Donnelly sisters, I doubt I will be researching Gorman ancestry any further.  I am interested in the Gorman descendants of Thomas and Christy (and Bridget and Kate Donnelly, respectively) to uncover my cousins, or in possibly finding a family history that may have been passed down that explains Thomas and Christy's relationship.

Gorman Origins

From SURNAMES in IRELAND, by Sir Robert Matheson, printed 1909:

The table "Surnames in Ireland having Five Entries and upwards in the Birth Indexes of 1890 ..." shows 140 Gormans born, spread throughout Ireland, roughly 40% in Leinster (including Cos. Meath and Dublin), 30% in Munster (including Co. Tipperary), 25% in Ulster (including Co. Antrim) and 5% in Connaught. (A note: In the alien reports, multiple Michaels are listed as Michael O. Gorman, leading me to wonder if their name wasn't O'Gorman.  The 24 O'Gormans were predominantly found, in Munster province, at least in 1890.  The estimated total number of Gormans in Ireland in 1890 was about 6200 out of a population of 4,717,959. (For comparison, the most common name was Murphy: 62,600 or 1.3% of the population.)

Data and Sources

The following are some of the data I have on Gormans who may be related to our own. Included are a great deal of information on Donnellys, some information on Grahams, and some information on other participating parties (buyers, witnesses, etc.).

NLI Church records: Unfortunately, records from Ardbraccan parish do not go back to 1828, the last event we would expect to find for this Gorman family before their emmigration.

Copyright © Michael Cushing.

gorman.shtm last updated 28 March 2016