I am a great-great-grandson of Daniel Tierney, c. 1798-1870(?), and wife Ellen Tierney, c. 1808-1870(?), both born in Ireland, but it is difficult to determine exactly when. We believe that Daniel’s family originally emigrated to Canada, where there were many Tierneys. We do not know where or when he and Ellen met and married, but we do know that they settled in Charlestown, Massachusetts, then separately incorporated as a city in Middlesex County. They appear in the 1850 Federal Census, as do the names of their five children, born between 1836 and 1846: Mary, David, John, Thomas and Margaret. Daniel, a laborer, and Ellen were both unable to read or write, according to the Census, and lived in Massachusetts for 35 or more years. For most, if not all, of that time they lived in Charlestown, as did most of their children. Census records identify a David Tierney, who moved from Massachusetts to California (1870), and that he was later joined by his sister Mary, both having been married and widowed. Personal data for both suggest that they were the children of Daniel and Ellen of Charlestown. See below. Daniel and Ellen also had up to 13 grandchildren. The 1870 Census, the latest one in which their names were recorded, showed Daniel and Ellen as 72 and 62 years of age, respectively. No record of the death of either has been found.
Mary Tierney, c. 1836-19__, is identified in the 1870 Census as living in Charlestown with the family members hereinbefore mentioned. She may have later married a man with the surname Burke. No record of marriage was found, except as may be inferred from a 1900 Census record reported in San Francisco. See below. No record of Mary’s death has been found.
David Tierney, c. 1840-19__, is also identified in the 1870 Census as living in Charlestown with the family members hereinbefore mentioned. He was said to be age 28 and employed in a foundry. There was a David Tierney, also age 28 and Massachusetts-born, listed in the 1870 Census as living in San Francisco. It was not that rare, given the nature of the reporting, for a person to appear in one Census year as residing at more than one address. In fact, David’s brother John was listed at two different addresses in Charlestown: at one address with his birth family, and at another with his new wife Annie. Perhaps John and David, each having recently married, were not considered to have left their parents’ household. Given the first-generation culture at the time, and the dependence of family members upon one another, it may have seemed odd to consider them as having left the family so abruptly upon marrying. In searching for San Francisco’s David Tierney, or any other David Tierney born in Massachusetts during the first half of the 19th century, several David Tierneys were identified living in Massachusetts, but Charlestown’s David Tierney was the only one reported to have been born in the state. In the years following 1870 through 1900 there is no record of death in any part of the country for any David Tierney, and no record of the existence of any other David Tierney other than the one reported to live in San Francisco.
Massachusetts-born David Tierney and his Irish-born wife Margaret Tierney are listed in the 1880 Census living in San Francisco with their two children: Mary and Daniel, both born in California. David is identified in the 1900 Census as a widower, residing with son Daniel at 23½ Dearborn Place in San Francisco, in the 34th Assembly District. David’s occupation was that of an engine fireman, and son Daniel was a shoe maker. Living with them was a childless widow, named Mary Burke, identified as the sister of David and “head of household.” The birthplace of both Mary and David was listed as Massachusetts. There was a Mrs. Mary A. Bourke (sic) listed in an untitled directory in 1889 working at 119 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, with her occupation designated “liquor saloon”. If Mary (Tierney) Burke was running a saloon in San Francisco in 1900, it is perhaps no surprise that she was head of the Tierney household.
No further information on San Francisco residents David Tierney or Mary (Tierney) Burke was found in post-1900 Census data, nor, it appears, is there any record of death for either. We know that David’s son Daniel, who lived with them in 1900, was married in 1903. The 1910 Census identified Daniel Tierney, still resident in the 34th Assembly District of San Francisco,living with Irish-born wife of 7 years, Julia (Buckley), and daughter Margaret at 612 Elizabeth Street. The year of Daniel’s death is unknown, but he appears to have died before 1930, since that year's Census identified wife Julia as a widow living with her widowed mother, Kate (Mahan) Buckley, on Castro Street. Julia died in 1952 and daughter Margaret Catherine (Tierney) McKenna in 1992. Daniel, probable grandson of patriarch Daniel Tierney, appears, even today, to have been the one and only descendant of his grandfather to bear his name.
An interesting question: Were David Tierney and his sister Mary (Tierney) Burke living in San Francisco at the time of the Great Earthquake and Fire in April 1906? The catastrophe was responsible for over 3,000 deaths, it was estimated. Most victims were never identified or otherwise accounted for. Of a total population of about 400,000 people in San Francisco at the time, 225,000 were made homeless. Over 28,000 buildings were destroyed. Dearborn Place, at which David and Mary were reported to reside in 1900, does not exist today. David was an engine fireman in 1900, and no doubt would have been called on to perform life-endangering work, if he was still in San Francisco in April 1906. Mary Bourke (sic), as early as 1889, worked in an establishment on Van Ness Avenue, which street was reportedly on the perimeter of an area that was devastated by the conflagration in 1906. It was stated that even millionaires, at the direction of city officials, destroyed their homes on Van Ness Avenue in an effort to slow down the spread of the fire, but to no avail when it became apparent that this entire residential district was doomed.
John F. Tierney, 1842-1918, and his wife, Annie M. (Leonard) Tierney, 1842-1875, who was born in New Hampshire, had three children: Mary J., 1871-1903, John F., Jr., known as Frank, 1872-19__, and Albert J. Tierney, 1874-1922. Albert was born in 1874, the year that Charlestown was annexed to Boston and Suffolk County. John F. Tierney was a boiler maker and owned his own home at 4 Hill Street, Charlestown. Annie died of phthisis (tuberculosis?) in 1875 at age 32. Mary never married and, like her mother, she died of pulmonary disease at age 32. John F. Tierney, Jr. and his wife Mary E. Tierney had three daughters, all born in Charlestown: Anna, Rose and Florence. Albert J. Tierney and his wife Mary E. (Connelly) Tierney, 1877-1965, lived in Malden with their five children: Charles A., Agnes J., Alice R., Albert J., Jr. (who died in infancy) and Mary T. Tierney. In 1941 Mary T. Tierney married Charles H. Smith of Boston, with whom she had eight children. Albert J. Tierney was a U.S. postal clerk his entire adult life, until his death in 1922.
Margaret, c. 1846- , the youngest of the children of Daniel and Ellen Tierney, was the first to marry when she married New York-born James Lee, with whom she had 3 children: James, Jr., Ellen and Rose. After James Lee died, Margaret’s brother John, himself then a widower with 3 young children, provided for Margaret and her 3 young children in his home at 4 Hill Street, Charlestown, MA.
After the death of his daughter Mary in 1903 and the marriage of his two sons, John F. Tierney, Sr. moved from Charlestown to Malden, MA, where he lived with Albert J. and his family at 7 Bryant Street. Prior to his death in 1918 John F. Tierney, Sr. moved back to Charlestown and lived out his days with John F., Jr. at 26 Tremont Street. John F. Tierney, Jr. moved his family to Quincy, MA after his wife and father died. John F. Tierney, Sr. appears to have been the last to survive of the children of Daniel and Ellen Tierney.
Thomas E. Tierney, c. 1844- , an upholsterer, and wife Alice G. (Flynn?) Tierney, also born in Massachusetts, lived at 88 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA. According to the 1880 Census, they lived there with their three children: John F., Agnes G. and Thomas W. Tierney, and an English-born “servant,” Annie Hansom, age 16. Two other children were born, but appeared not to survive infancy.
The 1900 Census showed Alice G. Tierney, then a widow, and her three children living at 174 Bunker Hill St, Charlestown. In the 1910 Census Alice, Agnes and Thomas lived at 2 Pearl Street, Charlestown, which may have been a rooming house with 16 households. In 1920 Alice, Agnes and Thomas were living at 208 Broadway, Somerville, MA. Veronica Tierney, identified as an 11-year old granddaughter of Alice, also lived there with them. In the 1930 Census Alice was identified living at 373 Broadway, Somerville, MA with Agnes and Thomas, neither of whom appear to have ever married. For occupations Agnes was employed as a milliner, and Thomas a clerk, and later a manager, in a grocery store. No record was found of their older brother John F. after 1900. The last surviving member of the generation of the children of Daniel and Ellen Tierney, including by marriage, may have been Alice G. Tierney, the age of whom was shown in the 1930 Census as 82. She may have become somewhat of a family matriarch as she lived out her days in Somerville.