Passaic, New Jersey 1883-1884

Hugh Patrick Immigrates To the USA


 1. Hugh Patrick is Born in Ireland

2. Hugh Immigrates to the USA

3. Hugh Montague and Son Contractors, Jersey City New Jersey

4. Hugh Starting a Family

5. Hugh Patrick’s Life 

6. Hugh’s Succeeding Generations-Grandchildren

7. Information on Succeeding Generations

8. Open Questions

If your name is Aker, Alberti, Barba, Berry, Bracken, Carey, Crawford, Crilley or Crowley, Francke, Gallagher, Garrity, Getchius, Gould, Handzo, Healey, Higgins, Kalemba, Krajeski, Lynch, Mallon, Mann, Mitchell, Moore, O’Brien, Pugliano, Quinn, Rowland, Russell, Soop, Sniatkowski, Streichert, Verderame, Wadbrook or Whelan we might be related.

Indeed the branches of the family have expanded from Hugh Patrick and Sarah’s roots in County Derry, Ireland to their home in Passaic New Jersey to many locations in New Jersey plus California, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.  Much of the information you see in this chapter is from a direct descendant of Hugh Patrick-indeed Hugh’s great grandson Rick Wadbrook.  Thank you Rick!

Section 1. Hugh is Born in Ireland

Hugh Patrick Montague was born in County Derry Ireland October, 1863 and stayed in Ireland until he was 20 years old.  Here is a recap from Chapter 2 of Hugh’s family tree in Ireland:

 Why did Hugh Patrick leave Ireland we do not know?   There are always multiple reasons for such a life altering event but they are not known to us.  We can speculate it involved Irish politics since Hugh was keenly involved as an American citizen in Irish politics.  His obituary talks about Eamon de Valera and William Cosgrave both senior officials-Prime Minister and President of Ireland.    

Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1922. For almost all of this period, the island was governed by the UK Parliament in London through its Dublin Castle administration in Ireland. Ireland faced considerable economic difficulties in the 19th century, including the Great Famine of the 1840s. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a vigorous campaign for Irish Home Rule. While legislation enabling Irish Home Rule was eventually passed, militant and armed opposition from Irish unionists, particularly in Ulster, opposed it. Proclamation was shelved for the duration following the outbreak of World War I. By 1918, however, moderate Irish nationalism had been eclipsed by militant republican separatism.

County Derry where Hugh Patrick was born is in the Province of Ulster where the clash was severe.  We can put Hugh Patrick in the militant republican separatism category.  The Clan-Na-Gael (in modern language family of the Gaels) was an Irish republican organization in the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries.  Hugh was part of this organization along with its long time President John Kenny (1847–1924).  It supplied support to the rebels in Ireland, culminating in the Easter Rising in 1916.  John Kenny spent a great deal of his life living in New York.   Under the cover of personal and business trips, he served as liaison between the "Home Office" (the Irish Republican Brotherhood in Ireland) and the Clan-Na-Gael.  No doubt he and Hugh Patrick knew each other well.  We do find an article from December 3, 1885 from The Morning News in Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland Involving the Irish National league.  Hugh Patrick was in America at this time but it seems several of his relatives were active in Ireland and he soon would be active in America trying to over throw British rule of Ireland:

 Errigal-Kiekan Branch (Ballygawley). On Sunday, 29th, immediately after last Mass the first meeting of this branch was held in the spacious green in front of' St. Kiernan's new church, Ballymacelroy. The Rev. B. Daly, P.P., was called on to preside. Having briefly returned thanks for the honour conferred on him, the rev. gentleman proceeded to explain the object of the meeting. The first business transacted was the appointment of officers. Rev. B. Daly, P.P., was unanimously elected president r the branch. It was proposed, seconded, and duly carried "That Mr. Patrick Martin be our vice president." It was next moved by the chairman and carried by acclamation "That Mr. John Montague, ' merchant, Garvagliv; be appointed secretary to' the Errigal Kieran (Ballygawley). Branch of tho Irish National League." Mr. Hugh M'Caffrey, Tumi, skea, was chosen, as assistant secretary ; Mr Patrick Campbell treasurer. Tho following were unanimously elected members of the Executive Committee : Messrs. Hugh Lynch, Clonally ; Bernard M'Crory, Turniskea ; Hugh Montague, Alcloghlin ; Patrick M'Girr, Kilgreen ;. Joeph M'Fadden, Glencull ; Daniel M'Qinn, Ravogan ; James Hughes, Ballymacelroy ; Patrick M'Girr, Shantarney ; Patrick M'Keuna, Feddin ; Frank O'Neill, Ballygawley. A large number of new members were enrolled, and instructions given as to the proper filling of voting papers. A hearty vote of thanks brought a very successful meeting to a close. The Executive Committee will meet next Friday at 3 o’clock p.m. in Mr. James Farrell’s. 

As background to the following article, Eamon de Valera was a prominent statesman and political leader in 20th-century Ireland. His political career spanned over half a century, from 1917 to 1973; he served several terms as head of government and head of state. He also led the introduction of the Constitution of Ireland. De Valera's political beliefs evolved from militant Irish republicanism to strong social, cultural and economic conservatism. Here is an article from the May 21, 1954 Passaic Herald News remembering the Irish Political leader Eamon de Valera shown in picture to the left: Passaic Remembers de Valera

The news that Eamon de Valera’s party has lost the elections in Ireland to a coalition of parties headed by John Costello recalls several occasions when the old mathematics professor who led the Irish Independence Movement visited Passaic-once when there was a price on his head. 

John Earls remembers him, having been his taxi cab driver when the American born statesman of Spanish-Irish ancestry was Hugh Montague’s guest, hiding at 127 Autumn Street in Passaic. Thomas A Hopkins is one of the few living Passaic members of Cla-Na-Gael who met with the Prime Minister in those days nearly 4 decades ago when Dev was in and out of prison and crossing the Atlantic as a stowaway.

Between the 1916 Easter week rebellion and 1931, when he came from Philadelphia for Hugh Montague's funeral, there were 3 times when the American-born leader of the Irish Freedom movement was an oversight guest in Passaic.In the Gallagher, Dolan, Diffily, and McPartland families his name is still a household word. De Valera’s day in politics is done as he is 71 years old and almost blind. His uncompromising determination to make Ireland united and free was only half realized but-more than most men who have influenced history-he can reflect that the gains made under his leadership will endure. And in John Costello, a younger man of practical outlook, the Irish have a leader in whom they can have confidence.

Read more about Hugh Patrick Montague!