Our Family's Journey Through Time
While researching the ancestors of my paternal great grandmother, Elizabeth Rheuhama Barry, I came across information of the Barry family with their very beginnings in America.
Our ancestor is James Barry. He came from Femroy, Cork County, Ireland. In a letter from Pedro O'Neill dated 16 Oct 2001 he tells of information he researched while living in Lisbon, Portugal.
"On the evening of 22 May 1781 in Lisbon at the Santa Catarina Church, Diogo (James) Barry married Joana (Joanna) Gould. James Barry was born in the parish Fermoy in County Cork. He was the son of Robert Barry and Mary Connell. Joanna Gould was born in County Cork, in the parish of Watergrasshill. She was the daughter of George Gould and Ann O'Brien. Signed as witnesses were Gerard or Garrett Gould, Johanna's brother, and father Dennis O'Driscol, both living in Lisbon."
"James Barry may have come to Portugal because of his merchant business or because in the 18th century Ireland was very poor and terribly oppressed by England. So Catholic Portugal, rich with the gold from Brazil was a natural haven for many of these poor Irishmen. This is just before they started to discover the new world in the Americas. Many of them where merchants from Cork who started commercial connections between that port and the ports of Coruna and Cadiz in Spain and Lisbon is where ships from Brazil and India arrived. Between 1740 through the 1780's Lisbon received many of those merchants, sailors, priests, soldiers and men of fortune from Ireland. Some of them still have generations here, but only a few."
With this in mind, the Barry story continues in Washington D.C. where James and Joanna Gould Barry come to live. There are many articles about the growth of Washington in the late 1700's which mention our early Barry family in America. One article of interest was written by Anna Watkins for the Catholic Historial Society of Washington Newsletter The article was given to me from Pauline Hartsfield Oshie who was my helper and reseach companion on many occasions. She was the 3 x great granddaughter of James David Barry who is mentioned in the article of Barry's Chapel revisited.
In this article by Anna Watkins talks about the Barry Family in early Washington D.C., their family, business ventures and social life. And of course why this article was written regarding a little chapel built by James Barry.
This second article by Anna Watkins is most interesting. She talks more about James Barry and his business ventures, his associations with important people in the City of Washington, his family relationships and his treasures. The mention of his family and their relationship is of particular interest as it brings us closer to knowing about our direct line.