Kate Tearney Walsh

Notes on Kate's Father [Edward Tearney]
  • Edward Tearney is referred to as “Sheriff” in multiple articles in the Shepherdstown Register. I have reached out to the Sheriff's department for a list of past Sheriffs for the county.
  • The Shepherdstown Register, June 18, 1859 edition reports that an employee of Edward’s was killed the prior Friday at Harpers Ferry. The employee, Thomas Cunningham, was excavating a pit in the Tilt Hammer Shop when a large rock fell on him. Another employee, Mr. Savan, was also severely crushed, but survived.
  • “Ed Tearney” was a delegate from Bolivar township, as reported in the July 7, 1868 edition of the Shepherdstown Register.
  • Edward Tearnery and J.G. Cockrell were appointed Justice of the Peace of Bolivar January 16, 1871.

Birth of Kate

Kate was born about 1847 to Edward and Jane Tearney. She was the second child and second daughter of the couple. Various records point to her birthplace as Virginia, and then later West Virginia, likely placing her birth at her home in the Harpers Ferry and Bolivar town areas of Jefferson County.

1850 Enumeration

Three year old Kate Tearney is enumerated in her parent’s household (household #1845) in Harpers Ferry, Jefferson, Virginia on October 11th, 1850. Her father’s occupation is listed as UNSURE . Mr. Philip Baker, presumably a boarder, has the vague occupation of laborer.

Could Philip Baker be kin of the Daniel Baker family, who was responsible for the "founding" of Bakerton?
Edwan Tearney30MIreland
Jane Tearney26FPennsylvania
Mary J. Tearney8FVirginia
Kate Tearney3FVirginia
Mary Carlile14FVirginia
Philip Baker30MVirginia

SOURCE: "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8D4-KHG : 12 April 2016), Edean Tearney, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson, Virginia, United States; citing family 1885, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Birth of Brother

On April 4, 1860, there is a record of the birth of Thomas Tearney, born in Harpers Ferry to Edward and Jane Tearney. Edward lists his occupation as contractor.

SOURCES: Jefferson County, West Virginia, "Birth Register", 1860, Thomas Tearney, 4 Apr. 1860; digital image, West Virginia Archives & History, "Births" (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=1453142&Type=Birth : accessed 25 October 2018).

1860 Enumeration

On the September 26th, 1860, the family of Jane and Edward Tearney are enumerated in Bolivar, Jefferson, Virginia. Edward’s occupation is listed as government contractor. No others in the household have claimed an occupation.

Notice that the name “Kate” is not listed in the enumeration. Rather, we have a 13 year old Laura C. in the location where we would expect our Kate. Perhaps Kate’s birth name was Laura Catherine? Another important item to notice is the differences of enumerated ages of Mary J. Tearney. In 1850, she was enumerated as an 8 year old. This leaves a 3 year difference in the enumerated ages.

Edward lists the value of his real estate at $382.00. The value of his personal estate is enumerated as 1840. Mary, “Laura C.”, and Eliza all attended school within the year.

Edward Tearney40MIreland
Jane E. Tearney37FPennsylvania
Mary J. Tearney15FVirginia
Laura C. Tearney13FVirginia
Eliza Tearney8FVirginia
Joseph P. Tearney6MVirginia
Edward M. Tearney3MVirginia
Mary Moriority20FVirginia
John Redmond*15MVirginia
Jane Piper*9FVirginia

*The race of John Redmond is listed as Mulatto and Jane Piper as Black.

SOURCE: "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M41C-WVY : 12 December 2017), Edward Tearney, Bolivar, Jefferson, Virginia, United States; citing family 1719, NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

1870 Enumeration

23 year old Kate was enumerated in her parents’ household on June 24th, 1870. Her father, Edward, no longer lists an occupation, but her mother lists “keeping house” as her occupation. Ellen Fields is enumerated as the family’s domestic servant (of black race), and John Violet lists his occupation as a farm laborer.

John Violet is the only member of the household who can neither read, nor write. Lizzie, Joseph, Edward, and George all attended school within the year.

Edward lists the value of his real estate at $500.00, and the value of his personal estate at 5000, also noting that both he, and his parents, are of foreign birth, although he is a citizen of the United States.

Edward Teirney52MIreland
Jane D. Teirney47FPennsylvania
Jenny Teirney25FWest Virginia
Kate Teirney23FWest Virginia
Lizzie Teirney17FWest Virginia
Joseph P. Teirney16MWest Virginia
Edward Teirney12MWest Virginia
George Teirney10MWest Virginia
Albert Teirney6MMaryland
Mary Moriaty30FVirginia
Ellen Fields24FNorth Carolina
John Violet19MMaryland

SOURCE: "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZ42-D61 : 12 April 2016), Edward Teirney, West Virginia, United States; citing p. 61, family 482, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,188.

Marriage to John Walsh

On February 9th, 1871, Kate L. Tearney married John Walsh at St. Peters Roman Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry with the Reverend John J. Kain officiating. John, an Irish-born merchant of Cumberland, Maryland and a son of John and Sarah Walsh, was 34 years old. Kate, daughter of Edward and Jane Tearney and Harpers Ferry native, was 23 years old.

SOURCES: Jefferson County, West Virginia, "Marriage Register", 1871, John Walsh--Kate Tearney, 9 Feb. 1871; digital image, West Virginia Archives & History, "Marriages" (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=10720988&Type=Marriage : accessed 23 October 2018).

"Partially Restored Marriage Register of St. Peter's Church, Harpers Ferry 1857-1914", pg. 275, John Walsh--Kate Tearney, 9 Feb. 1871; St. James Roman Catholic Parish, Charles Town, West Virginia.

Death of Kate

According to a memorial in the Shepherdstown Register, October 18, 1873, died October 8th, 1873. Here is the full memorial:


Died, October 8th, 1873, after a long illness, KATE L., daughter of Edward and Jane E. Tearney, of Harper’s Ferry, and wife of John Walsh, of Cumberland, Md., aged twenty-six years.

The trite phrases of obituary notices would fail to convey an adequate idea of the feeling elicited in this community by the death of this estimable lady, for her character was one of extraordinary amiability, and the sympathies of her many friends and acquaintances are excited to a corresponding degree by her early death. The favorite child of exemplary and indulgent parents, her training from childhood was such as to develop the natural excellence of her character, and never, perhaps, were the advantages of early moral and religious teachings more forcibly illustrated than in her pure life and edifying death. Surrounded from her infancy with all the comforts and elegancies of life and educated in all the accomplishments known to the day, she exhibited in her manners a rare christian humility which made her the idol of her acquaintances-- snatched at an early age by death, from the happiest surroundings and the ministrations of the most devoted parental and conjugal love, she manifested a perfect christian resignation.

The services at her funeral were singularly impressive. Every thing combined to make them peculiarly touching. The exalted characters of her parents and husband-- her youth, beauty and accomplishments-- but above all her many eminent virtues gave an additional pathos to the solemn ceremonies of the Church. From the silver-haired priest who officiated at the altar to the child of tender years, the assembled multitude were melted into tears and an air of indescribable sadness has ever since pervaded this whole community. Her worthy parents and estimable husband have the unbounded sympathy of all, but their greatest consolation is that THEIR temporal loss is HER eternal gain.

She is gone to the land of spirits blessed To Him who “gives his beloved rest,” And soonest takes from the world of care His most beloved and happy there.

No cloud obscured the October sky To darken the path to her home on high, And Heaven’s bright sun with effulgence shone, -- A type of the glory to which she is gone.

The matron staid and the maiden fair, The care-worn man with grizzled hair, The old and the young their tribute gave Of tears to moisten our darling’s grave.

God’s holy minister wept with them As he chanted the solemn requiem, And his plaintive voice had a saddler tone, Though he knew her soul had Heaven-ward flown.

The tears we shed were not those of pain-- They fell like the gentle summer rain. Our Father smote, but we kissed the rod, For we knew our loved one was with her God. Requiescat in pace.

AMISCUS. Harper’s Ferry, October 13th, 1873.”

SOURCE: "Kate L. Tearney Walsh," memorial, Shepherdstown Register (Shepherdstown, West Virginia), 18 October 1873, pg. 2, col. 5; image copy, Chronicling America (https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026824/1873-10-18/ed-1/seq-2/ : accessed 23 October 2018).

According to a "Jefferson County in the Past" article, in which notices were taken from past papers, Kate died at her home in Cumberland, Maryland (see further reading section below).
Death of Daughter

On October 16, 1873, John and Kate lost their 7 day old daughter in Charles Town, cause unknown. The little girl’s name appears to be transcribed as “Nathan”, and it is noted that she was born in Maryland. The informant is listed as Ed Tearney, grandfather.

SOURCE: Jefferson County, West Virginia, “Death Register”, 1873, Nathan Walsh, 16 Oct. 1873; digital image, West Virginia Archives & History, “Deaths” (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=4598976&Type=Death : accessed 23 October 2018).

The October 25, 1873 edition of the Shepherdstown Register also reports the girl’s death:

“HATHUN WALSH, infant child of John and Kate L. Walsh, died at the residence of its grandparent, Mr. Edward Tearney, in Charlestown, on Thursday, October 16th--- aged 1 week.”

SOURCE: "Hathun Walsh," Deaths, Shepherdstown Register (Shepherdstown, West Virginia), 25 October 1873, pg. 2, col. 5; image copy, Chronicling America (https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026824/1873-10-25/ed-1/seq-2/ : accessed 23 October 2018).

According to various other newspaper reports from the time period, Ed had just moved into the “new jail” in Charles Town, taking up that place as his residence.

Marriage of Sister

Kate's sister, Elizabeth A. Tearney, married J. G. Hurst in Charles Town on May 19, 1874. According to the marriage register, both parties were single, and both born and currently residing in Jefferson County at the time of their marriage. Lizzie's groom was 27 years of age, while she was 21. The wedding was officiated by Rev. John Kain.

SOURCE: Jefferson County, West Virginia, "Marriage Register", 1874, I. G. Hunt--Eliz A Tearney, 19 May 1874; digital image, West Virginia Archives & History, "Marriages" (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=10722137&Type=Marriage : accessed 25 October 2018).

1880 Enumeration

Almost seven years after her death, Kate's parents are enumerated in Bolivar town on June 4, 1880. Edward lists his occupation as farmer. Almost empty nesters, Edward and Jane only have one child remaining at home -- their eldest daughter, Mary Jane. Also in the household is longtime boarder, Mary Moriarty, domestic servant Laura Smith, and servant Albert Johnson.

NameAgeSexBirthplaceFather's BPMother's BP
Edward Tearney63MIrelandIrelandIreland
Jane E. Tearney55FPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvania
Mary Jane Tearney27FWest VirginiaIrelandPennsylvania
Mary Moriarty30FMarylandMarylandIreland
Laura Smith15FWest VirginiaWest VirginiaWest Virginia
Albert Johnson*17MWest VirginiaNorth CarolinaWest Virginia

* Albert's race is enumerated as black.

SOURCE: "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6R5-QXX : 25 October 2018), Edward Tearney, Bolivar, Jefferson, West Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district ED 2, sheet 17D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1404; FHL microfilm 1,255,404.

Marriage of Brother

Kate's brother, Joseph, took Miss Belle J. Burton as his bride on September 14, 1887 in Frederick, Virginia. At the time of their marriage, Joseph was 32 and his bride was 23. Both parties are listed as single, never before married.

SOURCE: "Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XRH6-XXQ : 11 February 2018), Joseph F. Tierney and Belle J. Burton, 14 Sep 1887; citing Frederick, Virginia, reference pg 326; FHL microfilm 31,459.

1900 Enumeration

Edward Tearney is enumerated in Bolivar town on June 6, 1900. He lists himself as a widowed capitalist, and owns his home free and clear of mortgage. His grandson, Eddie, is currently attending school.

NameAgeSexBirthplaceFather's BPMother's BP
Edward Tearney (Head)82MWest VirginiaIrelandIreland
Jennie Tearney (Daughter)48FWest VirginiaWest VirginiaPennsylvania
Bertie Tearney (Son)34MWest VirginiaWest VirginiaPennsylvania
Leo Tearney (Brother)73MMarylandWest VirginiaPennsylvania
Mary Moriarty (Boarder)55FMarylandIrelandIreland
Eddie Tearney (Grandson)10MWest VirginiaWest VirginiaGeorgia

SOURCE: "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9CG-98B : accessed 25 October 2018), Edward Tearney, Harpers Ferry & Bolivar towns, Jefferson, West Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 43, sheet 15A, family 304, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,761.

Death of Father

Kate's father, died at 84 years of age on February 2, 1901. The cause of death is listed as "old age". Edward's son, George, is listed as the informant.

SOURCE: Jefferson County, West Virginia, “Death Register”, 1901, Edward Tearney, 2 Feb. 1901; digital image, West Virginia Archives & History, “Deaths” (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=4600093&Type=Death : accessed 25 October 2018).

Further Reading

  • "J. G. Tierney, Marble Dealer, Hagerstown, M'd Advertisement," Spirit of Jefferson (Charles Town, [West] Virginia), 12 Nov. 1850, pg. 4; image copy, Newspapers.com (newspapers.com : accessed 26 October 2018).
  • "Church Plans for Cemetery," Cumberland Sunday Times, October 5, 1930, pg. 3, col. 4; image copy, Newspaper Archive (https://newspaperarchive.com/cumberland-sunday-times-oct-05-1930-p-3/ : accessed 26 October 2018).
  • "Jefferson County In The Past," Spirit of Jefferson Farmer's Advocate, 22 October, 1943, pg. 5, col 3; image copy, My Heritage (http://myheritage.com : accessed 26 October, 2018).