Though we named her for her two grandmothers, Mary Jane and Margaret Joan, our Mary Margaret (called Molly) also shares her name with a fascinating figure in family lore whose heroism some 125 years ago continues to intrigue.
Around 1890, Mary Margaret (called Molly) Mackey gave up her passenger ship ticket to her sister, Bridget Mackey, who used it to flee an arranged marriage.
The ticket allowed Bridget to travel from Gouig, Castleconnell in Limerick, Ireland to Chicago without her parents’ permission.
Years later, in Chicago, Bridget met Hugh Kennedy of Tipperary, Ireland and the two wed. Following the birth of their oldest two children, Bridget suffered a period of depression and her doctor told her she should return to Ireland and reconcile with her father. Bridget Mackey Kennedy took her two children with her to Ireland. After renewing ties with her parents she recovered from her depression and returned to Chicago, where she had four more children, including a namesake daughter, Bridget Kennedy.
The second Bridget Kennedy, who did not care for her first name and legally changed it to Cecilia, wed Raymond Bauer and had two children, including the Outlaw Mary Jane, for whom our daughter originally was named.
Maybe, if you’re following along, you’re wondering what happened to the selfless Molly Mackey, who not only gave up her ticket to America, but also stuck around Gouig, Castleconnell to bear the wrath of her angry father.
So are we.
Tomorrow Mary Margaret (called Molly) Biskupic heads to Ireland with the Appleton North choir. They’ll travel from Chicago to Dublin, just like Bridget Mackey Kennedy did a century ago (albeit by plane instead of boat.) Still…
The choir performs a lunchtime concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on June 11; sings at the 11:00 mass at the Abbey Presbyterian Church in Dublin on Sunday June 14; performs a concert at the Kylemore Abbey in Connemara at noon on June 15 and sings with the students at Colaiste Connacht in Galway on June 16.
Should you be in the area and claim any relation to Mary Margaret (called Molly) Mackey of Gouig, Castleconnell in Limerick, Mary Margaret (called Molly) Biskupic would like to say, “Thanks.”