Where does the Kirby ancestry begin? I have found that the Kirby’s originated in Queenstown (formerly Cove of Cork) Ireland. My grandfather James Thomas Kirby was born in the late 1880’s or early 1890’s and immigrated as either a child or young adult to the United States passing through Ellis Island or Boston at the turn of the century. He resided in Chicago, Illinois and was a railroad worker. He was married to Alice Elizabeth Keegan in 1910 also from Ireland so I think from the interviews done and she was a housewife. Alice passed away in February 1917 and they had one child James Ambrose Kirby in 1913. My grandfather remarried and had two sons, Edward and John. My father was about three when his mother passed away and he was raised by his mother’s family the Keegans on the south side of Chicago.
My general outlook on my family history before doing this research and interviewing was that we originated somewhere in Ireland and immigrated to the United States not knowing what happened to my relatives after they arrived here. I had a problem getting information on my mother’s side of the family because some family indifferences. This experience of not being able to communicate was frustrating to me as I want to know more about my family history and not just back to my grandmother but as far back as I can explore. My sister was the only one during this research and interview process that was cooperative and she gave me extensive information on my grandfather and father’s genealogy. My sister has been doing a family genealogy for the past several years and that helped with certain information regarding location of where the families started.
As I did my interviewing I noticed similarities in my ancestry and what was discussed in class during the study of Irish immigration. My family was hard working and family oriented. They were staunch democrats also. I learned from my sister that one of my uncles got...