IRL-WICKLOW-L ArchivesArchiver > IRL-WICKLOW > 2007-11 > 1194205943
From: "William Fox" <>
Subject: Re: [IRL-WICKLOW] WICKLOW UPDATE
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2007 11:52:23 -0800
Cara: Here's my Fox story.
ROBERT FOX, b. circa 1830-40 probably in Rathnew, County Wicklow was a
laborer residing and working in Ballinapark townland just a short amble from
the Fitzpatrick's pub in Rathnew. His father was William Fox b. circa 1815,
a land steward, who may
have worked for the Tighe family. ROBERT had at least 2 brothers who lived
nearby; William in Ballinlea and Francis also of Ballinapark.
On 23 Jan 1869 ROBERT married Mary Brien of Ashford but only after his elder
brother William had
married her sister, Sarah circa 1864.William and Sarah had eight children
between 1865-1883: Sarah, William, James, Joseph, Thomas, John, Catherine
and Elizabeth each of whom was baptized in the Catholic church at Ashford.
The Brien/Bryan sisters' parents were James Brien and Mary Brangan of
The circumstances of ROBERT's wedding were such that the marriage took
place out of town up in the Catholic Church near Bray
and just 4 months before the first of 8 children, a son named Arthur,
appeared on the scene.
Brother Francis somehow got hooked up with a
established church girl, Catherine Slator, whose father John was a
bricklayer in the
village of Newrath Bridge, just down the road from Ballinapark. This
marriage on 18 Aug 1868 took place in the CoI church of St. Patrick's on
Wicklow town but his three sons (William, John and Charles) were all
baptized in the RC church in Ashford.
One of his sons, John Fox, later became head gardener at Mount Usher
Gardens, Ashford, and held the job for more than 40 years.
But back to my direct line from ROBERT FOX. Robert and Sarah lived mostly in
Ballinapark where he worked as a farm laborer; at some point he lived at
Tinakilly(Tinakelly) on the estate of Captain Robert Halpin as a caretaker.
while living here that their fourth child WILLIAM FRANCIS FOX was born in
1875. As a
boy WILLIAM FRANCIS and his brothers (Arthur, Robert, James and maybe little
worked in the Halpin grounds but must have had plenty of time to play Gaelic
football. WILLIAM FRANCIS, Robert jr. and Thomas were members of the Rathnew
had some very successful matches in 1895-1900.
Arthur the oldest had left for America in 1887 and came to settle in an area
of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
which was still rural farmland. He became a horse dealer and eventually
owned a horseriding school and stable in Philadelphia's tony mainline area.
He had seven children.
Brother James left his job as a coachman in Glenealy in 1893 and sailed for
New York City which he quickly left to join Arthur in Philadelphia. James
made his living as a gardener working on the estates of several Philadelphia
magnates; he latter opened a nursery and florist shop in Jenkintown, just
north of Philadelphia. It's still in business as Fox's Flowers of
Jenkintown. James had eight children.
In July 1901 ROBERT and Sarah along with WILLIAM FRANCIS, Robert jr.,
and daughters Mollie(Mary) and Sally(Sarah) left Queenstown aboard the steam
ship Waesland bound for Philadelphia. Arthur had prepared a house for them
Robert jr. eventually was a butler in the prominent Elkins Family of
Philadelphia. Robert jr. had three children
Thomas managed (owned?) a bar in Philadelphia. He had one child.
WILLIAM FRANCIS was employed as a coachman on the Stetson (of hat fame)
estate; in 1908 he
married Mary McDermott, a native born American of Mayo roots, who was a maid
in the Stetson household. WILLIAM was naturalized US citizen June 1914. He
and Mary had 5 children: Mary, William F. jr.,Robert, JOHN CLEMENT and
Margaret. WILLIAM FRANCIS and Mary won an Irish Sweepstakes prize about
1920(+ or -3 years) which they used to buy and furnish their home in the Oak
Lane section of Philadelphia. WILLIAM was a chauffer for most of his working
life. In 1936 JOHN CLEMENT FOX b. Sep 1913, my father, married Mary Sheridan
b. May 1916 of Philadelphia. Their children were WILLIAM CLEMENT, Michael,
Honora Mary and Lillian Claire.
ROBERT FOX and MARY BRIEN FOX's many decedents fared very well in America. A
large number are university graduates and are found in professions closed to
their Irish born ancestors including medicine as doctors and nurses, CEO of
a multibillion dollar financial institution, US Navy captain, master
machinist, et alia.
William C. Fox
Bonita, CA USA