William Joseph Quinn and Susanna Murray


William Joseph Quinn and Susanna Murray came to the United States from Ireland in the 1920s.  They came at separate times and probably came for different reasons.  William was from Kinvara, in the western portion of the parish of Galway. Susanna was from New Quay, on the Burren, in the parish of Clare. Although in different parishes, their homes were in relatively close proximity.   It has been said that they knew each other prior to arriving in the United States and information about previous generations indicate that there may have been family ties.

William Quinn was born on May 30, 1894 in the townland of Caheravoneen, Parish of Kinvara, County Galway, Ireland. His parents were William Quinn, a small farmer, and Bridget Brannelly. William was the sixth of eight siblings; Peter, John, Mary Anne, John Patrick, Margaret, Cecily, and Bridget

According to family friend, Michael Fahy , William Quinn was a member of the Old IRA and was arrested and taken prisoner by the British in 1916. He was deported to England where he stayed from April to August.  Although the Easter Rising occurred in Dublin, from Michael’s comments, it is thought that William may have participated in some action against some local Barracks in Kinvara.  In 1920, William left for Dublin.  He later spent time in Galway and then emigrated to the U.S.  The original Quinn family home was on farm land in Caheravoneen just outside of the town of Kinvara.  On February 11, 1921 the original home was burned by the “tan”.  They were looking for William Quinn, but were unable to find him. After burning the house, William’s younger brother, Peter, was dragged more than a mile to the town of Kinvara while tied to the back of a wagon.  The Quinn family lived in a barn for a few years before building and moving into a two story residence outside of Kinvara.  After leaving Ireland, William came home for a visit only twice, first in 1929 and later in the 1930s.


Left - The Quinn family House outside of the town of Kinvara.

Right - Michael Fahy in his home at Caheravoneen, in the Parish of Kinvara, County Galway. Next to Michael's home was the foundation of the Quinn home that had been burned by the "tan."

Pictures taken in 1981 by William Joseph Quinn (4th generation)

It has been said that William Quinn came to the United States under an assumed name. Under the circumstances of 1921, it would have been a wise decision. William Quinn departed on the ship, the S. S. Celtic, from Liverpool, England using his own name.  It is not known how he arrived in Liverpool and may have used another name to leave Ireland. He arrived at Ellis Island on April 25, 1921.  William paid for his own passage and had $25 in his possession.  He was going to join his brother John Quinn at 58 West 106th Street in NYC.  He was uncertain of how long that he would stay and was in good health.  He was described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a dark complexion, black hair and brown eyes. He was 25 years old, listed his occupation as labourer, and could read and write.  He listed his last residence as Ballinsaloe. He named his mother Mrs. B. Quinn as the nearest relative in Ireland.  She lived at Caheravoneen in Kinvara, Ireland.

William Joseph Quinn (2nd generation)

An article about William Quinn and his part in the War of Independence was said to have appeared in the Irish Echo soon after William arrived in the United States. Unfortunately, issues of this newspaper can only be viewed on microfilm after 1936. Earlier issues were burned in a fire.

The only other record found before his marriage was his that of his Declaration of Intention dated July 22, 1921.  It was reported that he was a labourer living at 58 West 106th Street. He gave his age as 27 years and stated that he had come to the United States from Liverpool on the Celtic in February 1921.


Susanna Murray was also called Susan and Susie. On most documents, she used the name Susan.  For the remainder of this report she will be known as Susan. Susan was born on February 06, 1896* in the Parish of New-Quay, Townland of Ballyvelaghan, Co. Clare Ireland. She was the youngest of eleven children. Her parents were James Murray and Celia Linane. 

Susan came to the United States, through Ellis Island, on September 4, 1921.  She sailed on the S.S. Carmania from Liverpool.  Susan listed her father, J. Murray of New Quay, as her closest living relative in Ireland. She was single, a domestic, and planned to permanently in the United States.  Her final destination was the home of her sister, Kate Murray, in Westchester, New York.

On November 9, 1921, Susan completed her Declaration of Intent. She was single and resided at the Morris home on 925 Park Avenue where she was employed as a domestic.  She was described as 5”6” tall with a weight of 140 pounds.  She had fair skin, brown hair, and blue eyes.   She stated that she was born in County Clare on Feb. 7, 1899* and that her last foreign residence was Dublin, Ireland.

On February 14, 1926, William Joseph Quinn and Susan Murray were married at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Park Ave. and 84th Street in New York City. Witnesses were Patrick Gahan and Mary Tammon.


Picture courtesy of Mary Margaret Meaney Weber   April 2007


In 1930 the Quinn family, William, Susan, and two daughters were living on West 174th Street along with a boarder, Jack Saunders.  William was a chauffeur for an auto company.  William and Susan had three more children. In the 1940s and until his death, William, drove a bus in New York City.  William Joseph Quinn died on February 21, 1959 in New Jersey.  Susan Murray Quinn died on November 14, 1994 in Newport News, Virginia.  They are buried in Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Tenafly, New Jersey.
*A variety of birthdates were found for Susan Murray. Church records, found in County Clare,  indicate that Susan Murray was baptized on February 6, 1896. In Ireland, this usually occurred on the day of or the day following a birth. . Her birth was registered on February 15, 1896 so it can be assumed that the year 1896 is correct. On her Declaration of Intent, her birthday is listed as February 7, 1899. Her application for a social security number has a birthday of  February 16, 1906 and her granddaughter, Kathy, remembers celebrating her birthday on February 10th.

William Joseph Quinn is a name used for five generations. Left is a pictures of William Joseph Quinn (3rd generation) with three of his sisters (Helen, Kathleen, and Patricia). He stated that the girl to the far right was a neighbor.

Below, left are William Joseph Quinn (2nd generation), his wife Susan Murray and many grandchildren. The crying child on his lap is William Joseph Quinn (4th generation).

Below, right, is Susan Murray Quinn with two of her great-grandchildren. The child in her lap is William Joseph Quinn (5th generation).



Before I began looking for family, my husband and his siblings had his grandparent's names added to the American Immigrant Wall of Honor at Ellis Island. We visited New York City in 2003 and took the following pictures of the wall.

Click on the pictures to see a larger version.



Click on the links below to see additional Quinn - Murray Family Pages

Quinn - Murray Family Page

Quinn Family Outline of Descendants

The Family of James Quinn and Catherine Fahy

The Family of William Quinn and Bridget Brannelly

The Family of Andrew Quinn and Margaret Flanagan

Murray Family Outline of Descendants

The Family of Patrick Murray and Mary Roarke

The Family of James Murray and Cecilia Linane

Quinn-Murray Photographs


Home e-mail   Table of Contents