Survival in the New Land

In the ante-bellum time, how did the Irish survive in this new land? One family, the Price family, encountered numerous obstacles in America. The patriarch, George Price, was said to have been a leader in the 1798 rebellion in County Wexford. He came to Louisville, Kentucky sometime before 1836. By 1836, he was engaged in land speculating in Louisville. He was buying and selling land. He had five daughters and three sons:

  • James
  • Edward
  • Ellen (b. 1816 Ireland)
  • Anastasia (b. circa 1818 Ireland)
  • Frances “Fanny” (b. 1822 Ireland)
  • Catherine (b. 1823 Ireland)
  • George (b. 1828 Ireland)
  • Theresa (b. 1831 Ireland)

George, Sr.’s eldest daughter, Ellen, married Clement Kennedy in Jefferson County (Louisville) in 1831. The record of their marriage indicates Ellen’s parents, George and Mary were then in Ireland. Clement was a grocer in Louisville. Just a few years later, he was listed as a drayman in the 1838 New Orleans City Directory. In early New Orleans, the Irish quickly took over the lucrative dray business. The draymen were those who drove the wagons between the New Orleans docks and the warehouse. It was a well-paying job. The Irish largely squeezed out the free blacks from the dray business.

This connection between Louisville and New Orleans marks the Price clan. The second oldest daughter, Anastasia, married Martin Maurice Creane/Crane of Co. Galway. Martin spent much time in Louisville. His son, George, was born in 1840 in Louisville. But, Martin’s and Anastasia’s daughter was born in 1842 in New Orleans. Anastasia married Martin at St. Patrick’s Church in New Orleans in 1836. She was underage. So, Clement had to be appointed her curator, to grant permission for the marriage. George and Mary were in Louisville at the time, according to the Succession records. The Succession records state Anastasia’s age as “about 20” when she married, but she could have been as young as 16 and was more likely 18 years old.

The eldest son, James had a grocery store in Louisville. He was a partner with a man named Aiken. James is also named in a few of the deeds of sale with his father, George. He appears to have been involved in the land business with George. Martin appears in no directory, whether Louisville of New Orleans. Neither does he appear in any census records. We can only assume he too was working with George in the land business. James died in late 1836. Since, during the extended succession proceedings for Edward Price in New Orleans, a John Sinnot records that James died in 1836. This record is dated in 1838. James left a widow and two young daughters.

The next oldest brother in the Price clan was Edward. Edward had a store in New Orleans selling corn and hay. Edward was not mentioned in the marriage or curatorship for Anastasia in 1836. He died on July 14, 1836, just two days before Anastasia and Martin married.

One Crane family story is that Mary Price came to the US in 1825 with small children. It does appear that James and Edward, the two older children, came before the rest of the family. Tragedy was striking the Prices. The unfortunate events would continue.

Thomas J. Crane, History of the Crane Family, (Privately published 2016)

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