Posted By:Dan
Subject:Hugh McGeehan, the Molly Maguire
Post Date:November 27, 2000 at 08:25:24
Message URL:
Forum:Mcgeehan Family Genealogy Forum
Forum URL:

Does anyone have any real evidence concerning the lineage of Hugh McGeehan, the supposed Molly Maguire hung for murder in 1877? Just about every McGeehan I have encountered claims to have heard rumors of relationship but so far I have heard no solid evidence. Does any exhist? Is there anyone who prove a connection?
       After a lot of searching, this is what I know:
       Hugh was born c. 1852 in Glenfin, Co. Donegal, Ireland. He emmigrated to the US fairly early in his life with the rest of his family, but I have yet to discover a record of him in either the 1860 or 1870 Census. He resided in Summit Hill, Carbon County, PA. At some point in time he joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH).
       Standing 6" tall, Hugh first made his living as a miner for the Lehigh and Wilkes Barre Coal Company. He appears to have turned his attention to labor activities and for that he was blacklisted, supposedly by Landsford mine boss John P. Jones. However, William D. Zehner, Superintendent, testifies at Hugh's trial that he discharged McGeehan "before we resumed work after the strike."
       During this time he resides in a boarding house run by Mrs. Boyle (later Burns). McGeehan roomed with John Burns. Pat Breslin and Con. Shovlin lived there as well.
       On the night of July 05, 1875, Officer Benjamin Yost is murdered in Tamaqua, PA.
       On August 9, Pinkerton detective James McParland joins McGeehan and Alec Campbell at the Ambrosher's saloon for a drink. Campbell tells McParland he is there to help Hugh McGeehan get a liquor license to open a saloon.
       On August 14, Hugh McGeehan opens a tavern in Summit Hill in a building leased from Nathan Clouse and sponsored by Alex Campbell. That night, McGeehan reportedly informs McParland that he, McGeehan, shot and killed Officer Yost.
       On January 9, 1876, Hugh McGeehan marries Maria Duggan, St. Joseph's Church, witnessed by James Walsh and Maria McGee.
       On February 5, McGeehan is arrested for Yost's murder.
       On July 24, after two trials, he is found guilty.
       On June 21, 1877, McGeehan is hung.

       I have been told that "McGeehan's descendants include a former chief of Bayonne, NJ; a high ranking official in the Pennsylvania state government; and a deputy sherif in western Pennsylvania." However I question whether they are true "descendants" as McGeehan and Duggan were married less than a month after their wedding and no McGeehan births were recorded at St. Joseph's in 1876. Perhaps these are distant cousins or nephews/neices?
       Does anyone have anything to add to this?