Quarry-Irish in Texas, MD

In the mid-19th century, a limestone quarry twelve miles north of Baltimore created a demand for unskilled workers. An Irish community emerged, apparently named “Texas” after the immigrants’ original destination. Stone from the Texas quarry was used for projects such as the Washington Monument and the State House in Annapolis.

Following up on my blog posting yesterday, I’ve done more online research regarding Quinn ancestors who lived in Maryland 1850-1855. “Our” Quinns came from County Roscommon although I’ve never been able to confirm their townland of origin. However, there’s an intriguing connection with the Texas quarry. More than half of the Irish quarry workers came from the townland of Ballykilcline in Roscommon.

Here’s an article from the University of Maryland’s Department of Anthropology: www.heritage.umd.edu/CHRSWeb/Texas_MD/Texas_Overview.htm

Tenants of Ballykilcline farms were evicted in 1847 and their fares to America paid by the Crown in a “state-aided emigration scheme.” A comprehensive website, www.ballykilcline.com/, tells the story.

The Texas (MD) area is now encompassed by the town of Cockeysville. St Joseph Catholic Church was built there by the quarry-Irish in 1852. As I noted yesterday, no births/marriages/deaths occurred in “our” Quinn family while they lived in Maryland so it seems unlikely their names would be found in church records.

The widowed Hanorah Quinn probably didn’t come from Ballykilcline; she and her sons didn’t leave Ireland until April/May 1850, but perhaps she knew about fellow Roscommon natives and followed with her sons to Texas, Maryland.

Another clue to follow.


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