The Immigration Mystery: Thomas Francis Meechan

In trying to trace my 2nd great grandfather back to Ireland, I had been searching for his parents John and Susan as well. In talking with my cousin, Eugene Patrick Meechan, he gave me the version of the immigration story that he’d heard…

According to this version of the immigration story, Thomas came to the U.S. with a brother [possibly named Hugh] and a sister [no guess on the name]. Thomas had a ticket but his brother did not. The story went that some thought Thomas was a stowaway, however, this version indicates that it only looked like Thomas was a stowaway but it was his brother who actually stowed away.

Ireland

When I asked what happened to the sister and the brother, Gene told me he thought the sister ended up in Cleveland and that the brother perhaps went out West.

At the time of our conversation, I didn’t ask Gene where this version of the story originated and I have to remember to ask when we talk again.

Other things I don’t know:

  • How old were the siblings?
  • Were there others left behind? If so, how many?
  • Did the sibs keep in touch? If not, why?

The first version of the immigration story I’d heard was that Thomas came from County Cork as a stow away. My research suggested that perhaps the departure location may have been Cork, however I couldn’t records that would have indicated residence. Further, the broader surname research I’ve conducted thus far (including historical origins of the name and migration patterns) seems to suggest that the family probably came from Clare, Galway, Leitrim, Sligo and/or Tipperary. [I’ll expand upon that research in another post.]

Hmmmm…I’m going to document my research into the immigration question thus far and adjust my focus to take into account the new version of the story. It’s been helpful to be able to review my research notes so I don’t duplicate efforts (which I’ve done from time to time…oh well).

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2 thoughts on “The Immigration Mystery: Thomas Francis Meechan

  1. Cori, not sure how much it will help, but I remember my great-grandma Gert had a map of Ireland with last names all over it. On that map, she pointed out Meechan and it was in County Leitrim. I’m not sure what happened to the map though.

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    1. Hi Justin,

      Oh yes, cool! I have that map and have collected a great deal of information on the ancient origins up through the 1700s, with the gap being from 1700’ish to 1860’ish. The map points to the chiefs and their respective domains. While O’Meighan is not formally recognized clan (http://www.clansofireland.ie/baile/) some historians have indicated informal recognition as such.

      I’m putting the rest of my information into a blog post as I’m realizing I have more information that I’ve not yet shared. (Sharing my research is a huge challenge but I think it’ll help get all of us on one page in terms of answering the questions “So what do we know…what do we not yet know?”

      Stay tuned and thank you so much for your comments. I believe that collectively we can solve this (says The Eternal Optimist!).

      Best,

      Cori

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