Early Life in St. Louis

Life in St. Louis, Missouri

The first documentation we have of him is his marriage to Elizabeth on 2 Jun 1856 in St. Louis City, Missouri.1)Marriage Register, Immaculate Conception Church, St. Louis, Missouri, 2 Jun 1856, James Morrissey and Elizabeth Keenan, by Rev. J. Bannon, witnesses James Kelly and Mary Gaffney. The reverse side of the marriage record notes both sets of parents. Elizabeth is the daughter of James Keenan and Bridget Barry. James is the son of Michael Morrissey and Catherine King.

A Family Bible states that by Jul 1857, Elizabeth has given birth to twin girls, Mary (1 Jun 1857 – 21 Jun 1857) and Elizabeth (1 Jun 1857 – 1 Jun 1857), neither of whom survive the month.2)James Morrissey Family Bible Records, 1856-1949, The Holy Bible (New York : Thomas Kelly Publisher, 1878), “Births” privately held by Jean Morrissey Sanner, [address for private use], Virginia, 2016, from the Bertha Morrissey collection. [There are 5 photocopied pages including the title page of the bible. There are 2 distinct sets of handwriting and ink. The first set was probably written at one sitting. This handwriting does not match other samples by James Morrissey. The second set of handwriting appears much more recent and is consistent with samples by Bertha Morrissey.]

John Patrick is the couple’s first son, born in St. Louis in Mar 1858. He was baptized by Father Edward O’Regan and sponsored by Patrick McGlinn and Mary Keenan at the French Catholic Church.3)Drouin Collection, Gabriel Drouin, compiler, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Institut Genealogique Drouin; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Oct 2016), U.S., French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954, Baptisms, 1857-1874, St. Louis, Missouri, 26 Dec 1858, John Morrisey.

James is listed in the 1860 St. Louis City Directory as drayman (a wagon cart driver, probably for beer and alcohol) and living on Walnut with his business near Pratt and Beaumont Aves.4)Kennedy’s 1860 St. Louis City Directory, Surname M, James Morrissey; database listing, Bob Doerr copyright (http://www.rollanet.org/~bdoerr/1860CyDir/1860CD-M.htm#M : accessed 28 Oct 2016), no title page available at this time for correct attribution.

The family has moved to Richmond, Virginia by 15 Aug 1861 when their 4th child, daughter Mary Ellen is born.5)Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics, 15 Aug 1861, Mary E. Morrissey, transcript of birth record dated 7 Jul 1983.

Questions: How did James and Elizabeth meet? What relationships did the couple have to the witnesses and sponsors? Why did the family leave St. Louis? Why Richmond? Did they have family or friends in Richmond?

Next: The Morrisseys move to East Coast.

References   [ + ]

1. Marriage Register, Immaculate Conception Church, St. Louis, Missouri, 2 Jun 1856, James Morrissey and Elizabeth Keenan, by Rev. J. Bannon, witnesses James Kelly and Mary Gaffney.
2. James Morrissey Family Bible Records, 1856-1949, The Holy Bible (New York : Thomas Kelly Publisher, 1878), “Births” privately held by Jean Morrissey Sanner, [address for private use], Virginia, 2016, from the Bertha Morrissey collection. [There are 5 photocopied pages including the title page of the bible. There are 2 distinct sets of handwriting and ink. The first set was probably written at one sitting. This handwriting does not match other samples by James Morrissey. The second set of handwriting appears much more recent and is consistent with samples by Bertha Morrissey.]
3. Drouin Collection, Gabriel Drouin, compiler, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Institut Genealogique Drouin; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Oct 2016), U.S., French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954, Baptisms, 1857-1874, St. Louis, Missouri, 26 Dec 1858, John Morrisey.
4. Kennedy’s 1860 St. Louis City Directory, Surname M, James Morrissey; database listing, Bob Doerr copyright (http://www.rollanet.org/~bdoerr/1860CyDir/1860CD-M.htm#M : accessed 28 Oct 2016), no title page available at this time for correct attribution.
5. Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics, 15 Aug 1861, Mary E. Morrissey, transcript of birth record dated 7 Jul 1983.