James McCafferty







Between 1863-66 in Northern Ireland; father William, mother Nancy Harrison

January 25th, 1893 to Catherine Garvey in Cleveland, Ohio

April 9th, 1931 in Cleveland, Ohio

April 13th, 1931 in Calvary Cemetery Section 9 Lot 1275

Written Records

International Genealogical Index

On February 16th, 1866 William James McCafferty was born in Antrim County in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  His parents names were Nancy Harrison and William McCafferty.  Although we are not positive, there is a strong possibility that this is the correct record.  It was not uncommon for boys to use their middle name, especially if their father’s name was similar.


Cleveland Directory

Listed at Alger, beginning 1890-91 and again 1893 through 1902.  Is listed at 32, 70 and 72 Alger.  In 1906-7 the street was renamed W. 67th.  He lived on Bernard Avenue with his son, Patrick, from about 1923 on.


Census Records

1900: Born April, 1865 in Ireland, is 34 and married 7 years, immigrated to the U.S. in 1886, able to read and write, owns a home and is a day laborer.

1910 & 1920: Did not find record.     



·         Declaration Paper filed on Oct. 24, 1894 states that he arrived in U.S. Feb. 16, 1886.      

·         Application Petition: born in Ireland in 1863, arrived in U.S. Feb. 16, 1886. Is a laborer, living at 72 Alger. 

·         Became a citizen Oct. 27, 1896.


Marriage Record

To Catherine Garvey at Immaculate Conception Church on January 25th, 1893.  Witnesses were James Moran and Delia Welch and officiating was Rev. George F. Murphy.


Death Records

Died April 9, 1931 from complications from disease.  Was waked at home and buried from St. Ignatius Parish.  He is buried in the Garvey plot in Calvary with Catherine (wife), Ellen Garvey (mother-in-law) and Patrick Garvey (brother-in-law).


Death Certificate

States he was 67 at the time of death, was born 5/9/1863, had not worked for the last 10 years (laborer) and had kidney problems.  The father's name is listed as William, mother unknown. 


Probate Will

Is dated May 8, 1931.   His son, Patrick McCafferty is appointed Executor and heir.  Interestingly, he lists two aliases for himself: James Scoot and James Scott.  He states that one name is for an account in the Union Trust  Company (W. 65th and Detroit containing $506.84) and another with savings at the People's Branch of the Cleveland Trust.


Cemetery Records

The cemetery office lists his age as 68.  There is no tombstone, but he is buried next to his wife Catherine and mother-in-law Ellen Garvey.


“McCAFFERTY; James, April 9, beloved husband of the late Katherine (nee Garvey), formerly of W. 67th St., father of Patrick J., at residence of his son, 10902 Bernard Ave.  Funeral services from St. Ignatius Church, Monday, April 13, at 9 a. m.”


The Person

James McCafferty was from Donegal, Derry, or Antrim Northern Ireland.  It was said in the "old" Irish neighborhood that "they" wouldn't even sell groceries to a northerner.  His nickname was the "Dandy"; a mark of respect or derision?  He was also called the man from Donegal.  He may have come to the U.S. through Canada.  It is thought that he had several brothers, some of whom died fighting the Black and Tans in Ireland around 1919.  Others may have gone to Wisconsin, Alaska, or Philadelphia.

It is difficult to trace his whereabouts in Cleveland since there were several James McCaffertys and we cannot pinpoint him, if indeed he is even living in Cleveland after 1904.  He is listed on Alger for a few years and then, in the 20’s, he is listed on Bernard Avenue.  The Alger address becomes important in trying to track his whereabouts.  In addition to being a laborer, James was also a driller, stevedore, carpenter, bricklayer, and worked on the railroad.   At times he also worked on the loading docks.   He could read, write, and speak English and owned his own home.  His signature can be seen on his naturalization papers.

At the time of his wedding to Catherine, the seminary serviced Immaculate Conception Church, and Fr. Murphy was at the seminary at the time.  Catherine and James had two children: Mary Ellen (died at 6 1/2 months and buried in St. Joseph Cemetery) and also Patrick.  He came twice a year (apparently after 1903) to pay taxes to Ellen Garvey(?).   Ellen Garvey is said to have raised Patrick under the name of Packey Garvey; he resumed the name McCafferty in his teens.  In the 1928 Cleveland directory, James is listed as James J.  At one point after his death, mail came for him addressed to James C. McCafferty.

He was quite a braggart; "one shot killed 12 ducks"!.  He would often raid the wine and beer cellar and would sit in a rocking chair in the basement with Pat Garvey.  He had a corn cob pipe, and was very popular with the kids when he would bring home candy (pariels).  He carried the hod for the building of the Bernard houses.


¨       IGI Birth Records

¨       Cleveland Directory

¨       Census Records: 1900

¨       Naturalization

¨       Marriage Records

¨       Obituary

¨       Death Certificate

¨       Probate




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