Catherine Rogers Murphy and her cousin, John Quinn

My great grand aunt, Catherine Rogers Murphy (my great grandmother’s sister), did not immigrate to the United States until three years after her sisters, Rose Rogers O’Rourke and Mary Rogers O’Rourke, according to records I have found online.
Instead, Catherine Murphy immigrated in 1910. She traveled from Liverpool, England on the ship Caronia with two of her children, Vincent and Norah Murphy. Vincent was 16 and Norah was 11. Her destination was Bellingham, Wash.

The Milestone
The Milestone, Newry, Northern Ireland’s first supermarket, founded in 1910 by John Quinn.

Two weeks ago, I wrote that she had immigrated with my great grandparents, but I could only find her husband’s name on the ship’s manifest. Catherine’s husband, John Murphy, traveled on the same ship that my great grandfather’s family immigrated to America.
John O’Rourke and my great grandmother Mary Rogers O’Rourke and their five children, came to America on the Teutonic in April 1907. Also immigrating at the same time was Rose Rogers O’Rourke, Mary’s sister and Rose’s daughter, Mary Catherine O’Rourke. My great grandfather John married Mary Rogers and his brother, Jim O’Rourke, married Mary’s sister Rose. It’s a little confusing, but Mary Catherine and John and Mary’s children were double first cousins. John Murphy was on that ship as well.

But Catherine immigrated in 1910. On the ship’s manifest she listed her closest relative in Ireland as a Mr. J. Quinn, The Milestone, Newry.

Dunnes Stores
The Milestone is Dunnes Stores today.

John Quinn and the Milestone

As I wrote last week, John Quinn was the owner of the first supermarket in Newry, Northern Ireland – the Milestone. He was born in Attical, a townland near Kilkeel. He lived in Liverpool for a time where he worked as a grocer. Many of his 10 children were born in Bootle (near Liverpool). He moved his family back to the County Down and where he opened The Milestone. He ended up being quite a successful businessman and opening several stores in Northern Ireland. One of his children, John (Sean) Quinn, was a member of the IRA and was killed in the Irish Civil War.

The elder John Quinn passed away in 1955 in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland and his funeral was attended by many dignitaries. The president of Ireland sent a representative. Also, Eamon de Valera, commander of the Easter Rising, third president of Ireland and founder of Finn Faill attended Mr. Quinn’s funeral. Mr. Quinn’s grandson is Ruairi Quinn, a recently retired TD in Ireland (equivalent to our Congressmen) and Labour Party leader.

Quinns Sports Bar
This is Quinns Sports Bar in Newcastle. It used to be Quinns Grocer. I took this photo when I visited Newcastle, Northern Ireland in 2013. Little did I know it once was owned by my ancestor.

Unfortunately, I cannot find the family connection between in any genealogical records between my great grand aunt Catherine and John Quinn. I only have the one reference in the ship’s manifest and Mary Catherine O’Rourke’s memories of playing with the Quinn boys during her summers in Ireland. I am certain they were related, but just how, I don’t know.
Catherine Rogers Murphy and her husband John ended up settling in Menlo Park, California. They had six children, at least four of them born in Birkenhead, England (near Liverpool). Their eldest child, Sarah Murphy, was born in Ireland. There other children were John (birthplace unknown), James, Josephine, Vincent and Norah. The elder John Murphy was listed as a grocer in the 1930 US census.
Catherine Rogers Murphy passed away in Menlo Park in 1946 and his buried with her husband, John and three of her children in Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park. John passed away in 1936.

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4 thoughts on “Catherine Rogers Murphy and her cousin, John Quinn

  1. Thanks, Lois, for another chapter in your family history quest!

    Loved discovering more about the Quinn’s! What a kick that you happened to snap a shot of a Quinn Sports Bar during your travels. How I wish I had known more about our family when traveling there in 2007.

    From my recollection, the “Quinn-Murphy” daughters are also buried at the same cemetery in Menlo Park; however, they have separate headstones noting their married names.

    Also, one of Ruairi’s cousins is a Senator in Ireland, And, another Quinn was relatively recently Lord Mayor of Dublin. Sense my political activism is indeed in my DNA???!!!

    Thanks, again.

    1. Oh, you most probably already know this, however, let me note, daughter, Josephine’s given name was “Margaret Josephine”.

  2. Just checked the final resting place for the daughters of John and Catherine (Rogers) Murphy. According to Find A Grave, daughters Sarah M. (Murphy) MacPhail and Nora C. (Murphy) Blain are buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery, in Menlo Park. And, according to her obituary, in the San Mateo Times, so is daughter Margaret J. (Murphy) McKeown. Sarah died in 1932, Margaret in 1944, and, Nora in 1974.

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