Grandfather Sheehan in Mechanicville?

Grandfather Sheehan was the last of our ancestors to emigrate to the US, arriving at Ellis Island on St. Patricks Day, 1901. Ironically, he and Grandmother Sheehan, who arrived a few years before him, have been the most difficult to find records of. It’s not just that we don’t know much about his origins, save for the assumption that he was originally from Dungarvan in County Waterford. We also don’t know much about how he got from Ellis Island to Worcester.

The passenger manifest from the Campania, which records his arrival at Ellis Island, lists his destination as Mechanicville NY. It says that his passage was paid by his sister. The form then asks whether the immigrant is “going to join a relative, and if so, what relative, their name and address.” There seems to have been some confusion on the part of whoever filled in Grandfather Sheehan’s information. “Brother Nicholas” is crossed out, then “Sister Maggie”, and finally “Sister Mag Sheehan Mechanicville” remains. Mom remembers Grandfather having relatives, and specifically a sister Maggie, in Mechanicville.

This week, I was able to examine a 1903 directory from Mechanicville. It lists a Nicholas Sheehan living at 65 North Main St., occupation “Fireman”. Grandfather’s occupation in the earliest Worcester City directories is also given as “Fireman”. (There is a Nicholas Sheehan in the 1903 Worcester City Directory, living at 26 Ward St. This seems to be a different Nicholas, however. In the 1904 Directory, he’s still there, but there is also a new listing, for a Nicholas F. Sheehan, occupation fireman, residing at 2 Milton Place. Milton Place doesn’t show up on Google maps, but the Worcester City Street Listing says it is a one hundred foot long private road running southwest from 9 Milton St. Milton St. runs from North St. near Grove to Millbrook St.)

Grandfather and Grandmother Sheehan must have arrived in Worcester some time prior to March 13, 1903, the date that Uncle Frank was born there. That birth-date would presumably place their marriage sometime before June 13, 1902. Given that he appears in the 1903 Mechanicville directory, it seems likely that the marriage took place in Mechanicville rather than Worcester.

There are a number of Sheehans resident in Mechanicville around this time, though I haven’t been able to track down if (or how) they might be related to us. The most intriguing possibility is the family of John Sheehan, described as a “Mason and Contractor” in the 1903 directory. Their address is 58 Round Lake Ave., which just happens to a couple hundred feet from the Rail Road St. address where Maggie Sheehan lives, as servant, in the 1900 census. And the street that connects Rail Road St. and Round Lake Ave? Sheehan Street!

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