Thursday, 4 October 2007

JFK's Bruff connections

Thomas Fitzgerald

Bruff, County LimerickThomas Fitzgerald was JFK�s great grandfather on his mother�s side. He was reportedly born in Bruff, County Limerick in 1823. He was a farmer and so probably lived in a rural part of the Parish or Townland of Bruff, but the exact location is unknown.

The map on the left shows the town of Bruff, which lies at the heart of the Parish and Townland of the same name, as it was in 1840.

Although the Fitzgerald farm was affected by the Great famine, Thomas managed to keep it going until finally, in 1854, he was forced to leave Ireland and headed for the U.S. Like the Kennedy�s he also settled in Boston, Massachusetts and in 1857 married Rosanna Cox who had arrived in Boston from County Cavan, Ireland. One of their children, John Francis Fitzgerald (Honey Fitz), JFK�s grandfather, eventually became Mayor of Boston.


North View from St. Mary's Convent, Bruff, County Limerick,showing Monastery
Click on Picture to enlarge

Postcard "Main Street, Bruff

Click on Picture to enlarge. Postcard, b/w, Photo J.J. Hurley "Main Street, Bruff, Co. Limerick. Posted 1910

Postcard, b/w, matt; wide white margin across the bottom in which, printed in red, is the title "Main Street, Bruff, Co. Limerick." at left, with "Photo. by J.J. Hurley." at right. View along a row of six or seven shops; in centre foreground an open top small car is parked against the kerb with two men sat in it looking at the camera; the car is outside Healy's shop and outside it three boys hold bicycles, while a boy a girl and a bearded man look on; an by an upper window of the shop is a sign for Ariel cycles and a partially legible sign in a downstairs window shows that the shop sells bicycles; it also sells pitchforks and shovels bundles of which lean against the window, further down the street two women look out of a shop doorway and further again are some barrels on the pavement. Reverse printed in brown; at centre top "Post Card, with a short underlining and short vertical line which has been continued in ink to the base of the card by the sender; to left of centre "This Space for Correspondence only; to right "Address only here"; box for stamp at top right largely obscured by stamp. Red one penny postage revenue stamp of Edward VII . Circular black cancellation "Kilmallock/ 10 PM/ DE 17/ 10" with a small part of the same stamp repeated below. Addressed to Mr. John Carroll, c/o Mrs J.G. Wilson, 304 West 144th St., New York City, America, from M. Hogan Holycross 17.12.10, wishing a happy Christmas. Pencil dealer's marks "Lim" at top left, "L. Post '89" above address, and "£20 at bottom to right of centre.