Wednesday, March 5, 2008

James J Carroll and the Molly McGuires

When I made the acquaintance of my cousin Gerry last summer, she passed on several old photos to me.
One of these was a photo of the J.J. Carroll tavern :

If you click
here you can see another post on the tavern. A friend of my friend Rita, did some photo enhancing of this image.

I had just finished reading a book called "Making Sense of the Molly McGuires" by Kenneth Kenny.I highly recommend this book for anyone that has Schuylkill County ancestors and especially miner ancestors.Instead of doing an in-depth critique, I'am sending you to the following link to discover this book.Click HERE to see Making Sense of the Molly McGuires on Google reader.Some parts of the book may not be included, but this will give you the general feel for the book.

I think that Google reader is a nifty tool. Of course, not authors are available here, but it is nice to browse titles of those available.

I was reading the book to learn more about the who were the McGuires and exactly where the violence came from.Having miner ancestors in Shenandoah, I could not deny what a huge impact all this had on my family.

It was a "bonus" in reading this book, to finally learn who the saloon keeper James J Carroll was. A brief run down :

James Carroll was born towards 1837 near Wilkes Barre, in Luzerne County,PA. He was born of parents who immigrated from Ireland;His wife was a member of a large O'Donnell family of Wiggins Patch PA. In 1872, Carroll moved to Tamaqua. He took over the saloon in the photo.He was secretary of a society called the AOH, or the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, in Tamaqua.

He was one of 20 men who were executed for murder. In the case of Carroll, we was charged for the murder of Benjamin Yost, who was a Policeman. The murder of Yost was planned in Carroll's tavern.This took place on July 14,1875 in Tamaqua.

Carroll and four men named Thomas Duffy,Patrick McGehan,James Roarity, and James Boyle were charged with Yost's muder.This was thought up in the Carroll tavern in Tamaqua.
On May 4, 1876, the above mentioned men were set on trial in Pottsville, and on July 22 of the smae year, were found guilty of first degree murder.Carroll and the 4 other men were hung in Pottsville on June 21, 1877.

I encourage those with Schuylkill county ties to read through this book.

Objectively, I do not see a direct link between our Carroll family and James J Carroll. Although, one cannot rule other lines, including distant cousins that I may still ignore.

We do have a member of our family, the son of Andrew & Catherine Carroll, who was also named James ( Big Jim). To add to the confusion, he was said to be pro-Molly McGuire.You can read his biographical information here and find his photo here .

According to our family history, he fled for his(and his family's) life, to live far away in Chicago. What incident could have make him run away with his family ??

These remain our family mysteries...

Have a nice day and Happy ancestor hunting to all.


Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing about this book on the Mollie Maguires. It is a period in history which is not always easy to understand from our distant perspective, but as you've stated, was an important part of our Schuylkill County ancestors' world in the 19th-century.

Small-leaved Shamrock
A light that shines again
100 Years in America

barbara said...

Hi Leesa,
Thank you for your kind words.
It was a challenge for me to read through this excellent book. I learned much but of course, many questions remain !

Keep up your good work.