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Hylands of Verona, Oneida, NY - PART II
Posted by: Bud Schafer (ID *****7055) Date: February 06, 2007 at 17:21:22
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The Genealogy of Thomas Hyland and sons, of Clunsast, Kings County, Ireland and his emigration to America, would not be complete without first referencing "Deering" and his historical sketch of "The Mission at the Ridge".

The following quotes are taken from the 1888 publication: "St. Patrick's Church and Society of Oneida, N.Y. An Historical Sketch. With Brief Biographies Of Its Pastors." By John T. Deering. Copies of the entire publication are available at the Historical Society in Oneida, Madison County, NY and as well, I'm certain, at other repositories. This particular copy has handwritten on it: "A. S. Hyland, Durhamville, Oneida Co. NY. Nov. 24 1892 Mother."

I mention the following list of officers only because "Kellys" have married "Hylands", although to date I have not identified a "Thomas Kelly". St. Patrick's Cemetery is located in Oneida while St. Mary's ("The Ridge") is in the town of Verona (on Irish Ridge Road), both, at one point in time, being under the direction of St. Patrick's Church in Oneida.

Officers of St. Patrick's Cemetery: "Rev. James A. Kelly, president; Thomas Kelly, vice president; Rhoda Toher, secretary; T. A. Devereux, financial secretary; L. Kenna, treasurer; and the following business committee: Michael Doran, Neil Duross and Charles Mullen."

"THE MISSION AT "THE RIDGE"....That the duty of establishing this mission was well performed, no one can doubt. The names of the Ennises, the Hylands, the Harrisons, the Sullivans, the Kennedys, the Dempseys, the Tierneys and at a later period the Cassidys and Deerings, are all remembered and awarded the credit to which they were so justly entitled. ... The history of this mission is so strongly intertwined with the history of St. Patrick's that we may regard them as almost identical, with the single exception of seniority, in which St. Mary's of The Ridge leads, ante-dating by several years the existence of any church in Oneida."

"Prior to the completion of the old Erie canal in 1825 (enlarged and finished in 1836) Thomas Ennis, an exile or refugee from Ireland during the rebellion of 1798, was engaged as a surveyor by the State for the purpose of laying out that water course. He was a man of extensive learning, and came from a highly respected ancestry. Taking in part payment for his services rendered the State, the "Pagan Purchase", consisting of some nine hundred acres of land was the foundation of the Catholic mission known as "The Ridge".

"Being extensively connected in Ireland, Thomas Ennis, upon his receiving this vast tract of land, revisited his native country for the purposes of colonization. He induced William, Patrick, Thomas and John Hyland, Elizabeth Sullivan, Mary Kennedy, and Catherine Green, of Kings County, Ireland, to come to this country, and to whom he gave respectively forty acres of land and one hundred dollars additional to enable them to build their little habitations. This little colony increased in numbers and material progress from year to year. The first comers brought from their "native heath" all those who had an inclination to settle in the New World, as well as those who, lacking ties of relationship, had the courage to cross the sea, at that time no mean qualification, it taking from five to eight weeks for the sailing vessels to accomplish what is now done by the steamers in less than seven days."

"The little hamlet thus became important, the faith of its people demanding expression and the necessity for a church was imperative. The Christian people whose names we have mentioned, and others equally worthy, met this necessity. The land now occupied by the church and cemetery was given without price, save the lawful consideration of one dollar, by deed dated in or about 1833 to John Hughes, at that time the Rt. Rev. Bishop of the Diocese of Albany. This property consists of three-quarters of an acre of land, one-half acre of which was donated by John Hyland and the remaining quarter by Patrick Sullivan. The deed was ... witnessed by Mrs. Abigail Healy, nee Abigail Hyland, at her residence, in the presence of her Uncle John Hyland and father Quarter. Of the official record of this deed we have no positive information beyond the assurances of this good woman whose memory regarding dates we have, by research and comparison, found reasonably authentic."

"The church was framed and partly completed about the year 1831, through the endeavors of those named in a previous page, and was one of the first mission churches of the State. Prominently identified with the erection of this church, and affectionately remembered by its people, are the names of William Hyland, who died October 11, 1865, and his brother John Hyland, whose remains were laid at rest among the first interments in the little graveyard, about 1833."

It is possible that the John Hyland (d. abt 1833) mentioned above was the son of Patrick (nephew of William) and not the brother of William as stated above. The 1835 census states that Patrick lost a son shortly before the 1835 census.

The following are exerpts from a Aug. 10, 1931 Oneida Daily Dispatch newspaper clipping. Much is a repeat of Deering:

"St. Mary's ... Ridge Church Will Observe Its First Centennial Aug. 22" St. Mary's is the "Oldest of Catholic Churches in this section of the state ... The history of St. Mary's of the Ridge begins with the story of Thomas Ennis, a refugee from Ireland during the revolution of 1798. He was engaged as a surveyor by the State for the purpose of laying out the course of the old Erie Canal. As part payment for his services he received about 900 acres of land which was called the "Pagan Purchase". Mr. Ennis then returned to his native land and persuaded a number of his relatives to come back with him and make their homes here. He gave each colonist 40 acres of land and $100 to help them build their homes. Among the first settlers who came mostly from King's County Ireland are found the following names: Ennis, Hyland, Harrison, Kennedy, Dempsey, Cassidy, Sullivan, Tierney and Deering.

... The Church was built in 1831 ... The altar from old St. Patrick's Oneida was .. placed in the Ridge Church. ... a modern heater was installed. This was a donation from Frank Shattuck of New York. Mr. Shattuck's ancestors were former residents of this vicinity and he has always shown a great interest in the welfare of St. Mary's."

NOTE: Frank Garrett Shattuck was the son of Garrett Lansing and Catherine Marie Dunn Shattuck. Catherine was the granddaughter of Walter Dunn who came to Verona with his children and grandchildren in 1844 from Ireland. Walter, his wife Mary and their grandson Dennis were resided with his daughter and son-in-law Thomas C. and Bridget Dunn Hyland in Verona in 1855 according to the state census for that year. Frank died on March 15, 1937 in Tampa, Florida. Bud

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