Sunday 21 July 2019

Gerard tracks new US ambassador's roots to Gneeves, Boherbue

Ambassadors family links have been traced by 'amateur genealogist'

Maria Herlihy

An 'amateur genealogist' has cracked the link between the newly appointed US Ambassador to Ireland, Edward F Crawford, and Duhallow.

Newmarket native Gerard Murphy of Inchintotane, now calls Waterford home and lives with his wife Caroline and three children. 

Gerard told The Corkman that when he first heard that Edward F Crawford was going to be appointed US Ambassador to Ireland, he became interested to know who exactly his family were, and especially so to try and pinpoint the Duhallow link. 

He sat at his PC and said he found the bulk of his answers on along with Google. 

"What I found from the genealogical research was that Edward F Crawford's mother was Kate (Kay ) Crawford nee Healy, who was born in 1911 and died in 1986 in Cleaveland. She was originally from  Gneeves in Boherbue and her parents were Jeremiah Healy and Mary McCarthy," said Mr Murphy. 

After a further search, he found two graves in Cleveland, one of which he said contains the remains of Kate Crawford (nee Healy) who died in 1986. He said he also found another grave, which contains James Richard Crawford who died in 1966 - when he was just 26 years old. 

They are buried at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. 

"James Richard Crawford would have been a brother to US Ambassador to Ireland Edward F Crawford," said Mr Murphy. 

"I also found that Edward's father's name is Roy Crawford but, so far, I haven't been able to find anything on him. Edward F Crawford also has a brother, Jerry, but, again, so far I don't know much about him," said Mr Murphy. 

During his search, he also found that Kate (Kay) Healy left Boherbue when she was 18 years old and went to Cobh, where she boarded the Carmania ship which was bound for New York. She arrived on April 20, 1930 and was going over to America to her uncle, Daniel Healy. 

Edward F Crawford who is 80 years old and is a long time Republican party donor and is the chairman of Park-Ohio Holdings, which is a Nasdaq listed manufacturing and supply chain company which has operations across the world - including Cork city.

In 2016, Park Ohio had revenues of €1.3 billion and it employed 6,000 people. It owns and operates manufacturing and industrial businesses in 20 countries. 

During Mr Murphy's search, he also said that Edward Crawford's grandfather, Jeremiah Healy, was born in Glashakinleen and he was the son of John Healy and Ellen Donohue.

"This is confirmed by the death record of his grand uncle, Daniel F Healy, who sponsored Kate Crawford nee Healy on the ship manifest," said Mr Murphy.  

Edward F Crawford's aunt, which many in Boherbue will remember was the late Cecilia Healy of Gneeves, passed away in 1996. 

When it was put to Mr Murphy that many in Duhallow have been scratching their heads over the past week to put together the link, he said with a smile that he was an 'amateur genealogist' but really enjoyed his work. 

"I have been doing this for about 13 years and I would help people out at home and also people from overseas who contact me prior to them coming to Ireland. I get a lot of information on and, of course, Google," he said. 

Gerard is the son of Donie and Kathleen Murphy.  He said his interest in genealogy stemmed from his father, Donie, who is a known local historian who wrote 'The Men of the South'   and other local history books.

"So perhaps, that is where my interest in genealogy has sprung from. I started researching my own family tree in 2005 and since then have traced my own to all corners of the world," he said.