Foley is an old Irish surname about which some confusion has arisen because there is an important family of Worcestershire called Foley, which is usually regarded as English, though Bardsley thinks it was originally Irish. for example it is the arms of this English family which are often erroneously ascribed to Gaelic Foleys. In this article these English Foleys can be disregarded, though it is not unlikely that a few of them came to Ireland at various times as settlers. The Irish Foleys are very numerous and this name is among the sixty most common in Ireland with an estimated population of about ten thousand souls. Most of these are found in the original habitat of the sept, viz. Co. Waterford, and they have spread across the southern part of the country to Counties Cork and Kerry. The name is presumably derived from the Irish word foghladha meaning a plunderer, and is written O foghladha, being anglicized more phonetically than the usual Foley as Fowloo in some places in Co. Waterford, and sometimes grotesquely as Fowler. The name is never seen with its prefix O nowadays. The surname MacSharry has been anglicized Foley in some parts of Ulster in the mistake belief that it is derived from the word searrach - a fool. John Henry Foley (1818-1874), sculptor, many of whose statues adorn the streets and squares of Dublin, attained international fame in this sphere; his brother Edward Foley (1814-1874) was also a talented sculptor. Rev. Daniel Foley (1815-1874), of Dublin University, compiled and published an Irish Dictionary . Samuel Foley (1655-1695) was another prominent Protestant ecclesiastic. The Catholic church has an eminent bearer of the name in Maoliosa O'Foley, Archbishop of Cashel, who died in 1131. In modern times Alan James Foley (1835-1897) made a name as a singer under the pseudonym of Signor Foli. Source: Edward MacLysaght, Irish Families, Dublin, 1991, page 89.
Margaret Henneberry Foley (1823-1905)
Margaret Henebry born August 4, 1823. She was baptized in Galbally, County Limerick, Ireland on November 7, 1823 at the Church of Christ the King. The sponsors (Godparents) were James (brother of David) and Elizabeth Henebry. She married John Henry Foley on Jan. 20, 1845 probably in Galbally. They came to America aboard the Effingham (from Cork) on May 30, 1849 with two children, William and James. Margaret is the daughter of David and Jane Henebry. It would appear they settled in Grundy or Will County Illinois close to other members of the Henneberry Family who arrived in 1848.
Arrived in New York on May 30, 1849. Ship
Effingham, Port of Embarkation: Cork.
John Henry Foley, Sr.: born June 6, 1818 in County Limerick, Ireland, died June 22, 1898 in Dalton City, Illinois. Parents: William Foley and Ellen English Foley.
Along with her brothers, James, Patrick and Francis Henneberry, Margaret and John and their family moved to Moultrie County, Illinois in 1875.
In the 1880 Moultrie County census, Margaret, age 56, and her husband John (William in the census data), were living on a farm next to her brother James in Dora Township with their children: William age 38, James age 28, John age 18, Jane age 23, Margaret age 20, Frank age 16, Ellen age 14, and Elizabeth age 12. There were three other Foley families and two Jeffries families living in Dora township in 1880.
1900 Moultrie County Census, Dora Township
At the time of John and Margaret's death they were living with their
daughter, Lizzie, in Dalton City, IL.
This was published in the Bethany Echo newspaper on Friday, 1 Dec 1905. Bethany, IL
"Margaret Henneberry Foley was born Aug. 4, 1823 in Galbaly Limerick
County, Ireland. She departed this life on Nov. 24, 1905. She was married to
John Foley Jan. 20, 1845. They came to the United States in 1848, locating in
Will County, Illinois, afterwards moving to Moultrie County in 1875, then in
1890 to Dalton City living with their daughter, Mrs. Lizzie Wehmhoff until their death.
Obituary of John Henry Foley:
Old Resident of Dalton City Passes Away
John Foley was born in the parish of Galbally, County Limerick, Ireland June 4, 1818 and departed this life at his home in Dalton City, Ill, June 22, 1898, aged 80 years and 18 days. He was married to Margaret Henneberry January 20, 1845. Twelve children was the result of the happy union, ten of whom are living. They are William, James, David, John and Frank and Mrs. Jennie Donnelly, Mrs. Mary Mallon, Mrs. Margaret OBrien, Mrs. Nellie Vollmer and Mrs. Lizzie Wehmhoff, all of whom were at his funeral.
Mr. Foley moved to America in 1849 and settled in Grundy county, Illinois. Eight years later he moved to Will county where he remained engaged in farming until 1875 when he moved to Moultrie county where he again engaged in the same pursuit accompanied by an industrious family most of whom are still living in this locality and who by their industry under his judicious management have provided good homes for their families. He retired from the farm in 1890 and purchased a fine home in Dalton City where he enjoyed the remainder of his life with his wife and youngest daughter, Mrs. Lizzie Wehmoff.
He was a faithful affectionate husband and father, a good citizen and neighbor and a faithful Christian. The last years of his life were devoted wholly to his church and God. He lived an honest upright and religious life, and had the confidence of all who knew him. He had the blessing of dying as he lived, in peace; receiving the last rights of his church and passing from this to the eternal life in a peaceful sleep with the expression of contentment and happiness on his countenance and kind words from his lips, with his loving wife and children at his bedside to administer to his wants.The funeral services were held in the church of the Sacred Heart in Dalton City, conducted by Rev. Father ORourke where a large number of friends congregated to pay their last respects. The remains were taken to Decatur and laid to rest in Calvary cemetery.
to Helen and Emile Foley for the photo and information.)
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