Stephen Grant and his wife Mary Ann (nee Piper) had ten children. The two eldest, John (b.28/9/1838) and Charles (b.27/4/1840) were born in Towra, Shinrone Parish, Co Offaly. He must have moved by January 1843 because the next child, Richard (b.14/1/1843) was not born in Shinrone, neither were any of the other children. The great famine of 1846 and 1847 had obviously taken its toll as there were no surviving children for that period. We do not know where Stephen was living between 1843 and 1863, when his son John married and Stephen's address was Hill House, Garbally, Birr, Co Offaly. He then moved to Galway, where he first appears as a tenant of Lord Ashtown in 1868 at Woodlawn, Co Galway in 1868. He worked as a gatekeeper and landsteward on the estate until his death in 1886.
Gatelodge at Woodlawn
His eldest son John married Mary Ann Prettie (she born 1845) on 30th May 1863 at Killaughey Church, Mount Pleasant Estate, near Frankford. One of John's younger brothers Stephen (b.15/5/1848) married Mary Ann Prettie's sister Katherine in the same church in 1868. John and his wife moved to Co Durham in England in about 1865 and he was followed by his younger brothers Charles (b.27/4/1840) and Stephen (b.15/5/1848). After the famine emigration from Ireland continued at a high level throughout the century and the Grant family do not seem to have found a permanent home in Ireland. Of Stephen's (b.1811) ten children, only the two youngest, Robert and Elizabeth, both unmarried, remained in the west of Ireland. Besides the three brothers above, who went to Co Durham, two others went to Australia, two more to Dublin, and a sister to America.
John had various jobs in Co Durham. He worked first as a miller, then as a liveryman (he had many horses and wagons to carry miners from one coal field to another). He also operated coke ovens for the mines. In addition he owned a number of horses that were rented out. The 1871 census records him as a "coke filler". His Irish wife dies on 26 May 1879 at Branch End Cottages, Bywell, and he was later to remarry. When Mary Ann died their children were still young. They were all born in Bywell, and were John (b.11/11/1866), William (b.9/4/1868), Francis (b.16/7/1869), Charles (b.1870) and Stephen (b.1874). Two other children died in childhood, their first Stephen born in Killoughy on 22/3/1864 before they left Ireland, and who died of croup when aged two. And Anne Maria born in Bywell in 1877 and who died when only a few days old.
The family appears to have been split up on the death of their mother. Certainly William was sent to live with his grandparents in Co Galway from the death of his mother for about a year before he emigrated to America. The 1881 census below shows John and his new wife "Martha" living in Northumberland, but William is not listed among the children at home on the date of the census. Letters written by John in later life show that he , William and Francis were separated from each other at this stage and were brought up elsewhere.
The two younger children were brought up together, possibly with their father when he remarried. He married for the second time a widow called Black, who did not get on at all well with the Grant children, she was 10 years younger than he, and born in Co Derry, Ireland. He moved to Tow Law between the 1881 and 1891 censuses, and in 1891 is living near his brothers Richard & Stephen
She survived him by many years, and when she finally died in 1925, there was a long and acrimonious dispute over John's property. There were no children by the second marriage and John died aged 63 on 23rd March 1901 at High St, Tow Law, with his profession being given as Sexton.
The families movements over this period are quite complicated but can be followed on a map, and show how the family stuck together through the hardships that they faced
The two younger children appear to have died without issue. Stephen (b.1872) died aged 18 on 9/6/1886. (I am not sure of this fact, as a "Stephen Grant, son" is recorded in the 1891census, living with John & Martha, his job is "groom"). Charles (b.1872) who was known to be alive in 1900, was dead by 1909. These seem to have been almost as difficult times in Tow Law as in Ireland, with death and disease common. So it was that John (b.1866) set off for Ireland in 1886 or 1887 to visit his brother William and his grandparents at Woodlawn, Co Galway. Perhaps it was because his grandfather Stephen (b.1811) had just died in 1886, and things were difficult for his grandmother to continue looking after William. After spending about a year in Ireland, John left to seek his fortune in the USA with his brother William.
Their sister Francis, married a William Metcalfe. Many of their descendants are still alive today in England.
In America, William married Adalaide Goldsmith and became a steam fitter. He joined the Russell Engine Company in Akron, Ohio in 1891, and left when he was head steam fitter in 1907. His citizenship papers were dated 1894 at Massiblon, Ohio. He died in Akron on 1st December 1937. They had three children, Arthur (b.1896, d.1901), Robert (b.1903, d.1946 unmarried) and Ethel Irene (b.1898, d.1961) who married Roy Wilkins. Therefore the name Grant dies out among William's descendants.
John, meanwhile had settled in Chicago. He was described as a large man of powerful build. He joined the Chicago Park Police in 1900, and preferred to keep his Irish roots concealed, even to the extent that his descendants did not know that the family had been Irish. Perhaps in Chicago at the turn of the century it is not surprising that being of Irish origin was not considered to be respectable, and after all he had been born in England.
He married Matilda Lund on 23/7/1891 (she had emigrated from Sweden), and they had five children. Three girls, Madeline Sophie (b.1894), Francis Olga (b.1897 and Howard McNeil's mother) and Edna Olivia (b.1900). And two boys, John Robert (b.1895, m.M.Lange in 1921, d.1946 and who had no children) and Alfred William (b.1898, m.Margaret Smith in 1917, d.1964).
John retired from the police in 1940 with the rank of lieutenant. He died 31/1/1944 in Chicago. He was 77 years old when he died, and lived at 9976 Winston Av, Chicago. He was apparently big in free masonry, reaching the 15th degree.
His son John Robert (b.1895) had an interesting career in the US Navy. He won some 14 consecutive boxing titles in which he was either All Navy or Atlantic Fleet Heavyweight Champion. He served 20 years in the navy, but never turned professional boxer.
Therefore the Grant name was to continue only with Alfred William's descendants. Born 1898, he had two sons, Alfred William II (b.1920) and Kenneth Lloyd (b.1927) both these men have had sons with whom the name continued.
Alfred William I was the engineer in charge of building airstrips in the Pacific. He died in Hawaii. His younger son Kenneth Lloyd was an interior decorator. The elder son, Alfred William II, I met in 1990, when he holidayed in England a few months before his death.
And with Kenneth Lloyd's son John Drews (b.1953) who had at least one son.Alfred William II (b.1920, d.1991). During World War II, he was an airforce lieutenant, flying 67 combat missions as a B26 pilot. He had been selling insurance in 1954 when he opened Wonderburger. This was a burgers and fries restaurant, which is now run by his son Micheal. The elder son Alfred William III was unmarried in 1991. He had served in Vietnam, and now owned a number of bars in North Chicago.
Below is a photograph of William Grant (b 1868), his wife Adalaide Goldsmith and children Robert and Ethel. The photo is circa 1913. The Grant name now carries on only with Micheal's (b1959) children. He is married to Karen. He took over Wonderburger in 1988. They have three children, Megan, Micheal and Matthew
And also with Kenneth Lloyd's son John Drews (b1953) who had at least one son
Chart ACA - The descendants in the USA of John Grant (b.1838)