During my researching of my family's genealogy, I have always been on the look out for a priest in the Tierney/Delaney branch of the family. I remember my grandmother, Isabel Tierney Moore mentioning a priest but I never asked his name. I found this priest, Thomas A. Sharkey with his family from the time he was born until his death. I am very surprised we never met him or that he wasn't ask to be at any of our family gatherings. It was probably because my mother died early. A lot of family gatherings just didn't include her side of the family.
I had been searching the Delaney family on Ancestry.com looking for a nephew that had appeared in the 1880 Census living with Michael Delaney and his family. There was a document dated 1914 for the son, also named Michael. It is a Record of Inmates at the N.Y.C. Farm Colony, Staten Island, NY. It lists his parents names, Michael and Mary Malloy Delaney and his last address He gave a family reference as Joseph Sharkey his brother-in-law. I had never come across that family name before.
The earliest census I had for the Delaney family was the 1880 census. In that census the children were Maggie, Kate, Alice and Michael. I knew that Maggie married John Tierney, and Kate never married. I never found anything about Alice, could she be the wife of Joseph Sharkey?
I looked at the 1900 census for the Delaney family and found that Alice was missing and figured she must have gotten married between 1880 and 1900. I did look for marriage records during that time frame but could not find anything in Brooklyn where the Delaney family lived during that time. I looked for a Joseph and Alice Sharkey in Brooklyn in the 1900 census and didn't find them. I did find a Patrick J. Sharkey with a daughter Alice at 10 years old, with brothers Thomas, Joseph, and Frank. They also were living with cousins Albert and Mary Ann Summer. In the same household were other cousins Catherine and Mary Ryan and an Uncle Thomas Sharkey. I began to think that Alice Delaney Sharkey died and the family was living with relatives. I wasn't sure this family was connected though.
I then checked the 1892 census to see if I could find Joseph and Alice Sharkey with a family. I found a Patrick J. Sharkey, wife Alice with daughter Alice 3 year old and Thomas age 1 with father of Patrick, Thomas aged 64. Could this Patrick J. also be Joseph? I think so.
I couldn't find a marriage record so I got the birth record of the child Thomas. He was born 16 February 1891 of Alice F. Delaney and Patrick Sharkey. They lived at 142 16th St., Brooklyn, NY. The youngest child in this family was Frank and he was born 14 May 1894 at the same address. Unfortunately the 1892 census doesn't give addresses so I couldn't verify that this is the same family but I couldn't find another family in Brooklyn with the same family members.
I then searched for a death record for Alice Sharkey. I found she died 21 April 1896 of heart failure at 142 16th St., Brooklyn, NY.
I am sure that the family in 1900 living with the Summer's family is the family of Alice Delaney. I will keep looking for the marriage record for her and Patrick J. Sharkey to confirm her parents names.
I have followed the Patrick J. Sharkey family through the years with census records, birth and marriage records and newspaper articles. Thomas A. Sharkey entered the priesthood in 1915 and became Rite Rev. Monsignor Sharkey by the time he died in 1965. He was the pastor of several parishes in Brooklyn and was the first pastor of the Seminary in Huntington, LI, NY.
There came about several family connections in all the researching I did following this Sharkey family. I will continue with that story in the next post on this blog.