m. 29 Nov 1845
Facts and Events
Mary Cleary was baptised on 13th December 1846 at Monasterevin in County Kildare, the eldest of six children of a blacksmith named Maurice Cleary and his wife Alice (Ally) Dunne, who had married thirteen months earlier. The family lived at Coole, a hamlet on the border of the townlands of Coolnafearagh and Skirteen, immediately west of the town of Monasterevin but separated from it by the River Barrow. By the early 1850s the family was living at Skirteen, where Mary's father had his smithy on a narrow piece of land which was effectively an island, having the River Barrow to the east, the Grand Canal to the north and west and the lock linking the two waterways to the south.
Mary did not marry until she was 37 - quite late by the standards of the time. Her mother, Ally, died in 1872 when Mary was 25 - perhaps Mary had to look after her widowed father and younger siblings.
Mary was married on 10th February 1884 at the Catholic Church in Monasterevin to a mason and bricklayer called John Reid. He had been born at Dundalk in County Louth, whilst his family were travelling around extensively building the Irish railways. They had settled in Dublin by the early 1850s, which is where John claimed to have been born. It appears his family may have had earlier connections with Monasterevin - it seems likely that his grandfather had been the mason responsible for the construction of the Catholic Church in Monasterevin in the 1840s.
Mary and John had three sons - Joseph who died as a baby, then Michael and another Joseph. They settled at Coole, where Mary had been born, living just inside the townland of Coolnafearagh, but right on the border with Skirteen townland.
In 1898, Mary's sister Bridget gave birth to a son, John Maurice Doyle, but Bridget died shortly after giving birth. Mary's son Michael later recalled how he had been at school when he was summoned to see the headmaster. He found his mother with the headmaster - she'd received a telegram saying that her sister Bridget was gravely ill in Dublin and to come immediately. After Bridget's death, her three surviving sons (aged between about 8 and newborn) came to live at Monasterevin with Mary's unmarried brother and sister Thomas and Eliza Cleary, who were still living at the smithy in Skirteen. This being just up the road from Coole, the Doyle boys got to know their Reid cousins very well.
The 1901 census finds the family living at Coolnafearagh, in a two-roomed house with walls of mud or wood and a roof of thatch or wood and one out-house, which was a piggery. By 1911 they were in a similar house, but with three rooms and both a piggery and a fowl-house. Maybe they had extended the house, or maybe they'd moved.
Mary died in 1927, aged 80. John outlived her by less than a year. Both are buried at Passlands Cemetery in Monasterevin, along with Mary's sister Eliza, Mary's son Joseph and his wife Mary. The inscription reads: IN LOVING MEMORY OF / MARY REID. COOLE / WHO DIED SEPT. 30TH 1927 / AGED 80 / ALSO JOHN REID WHO DIED / 2ND SEPT. 1928 AGED 81 / AND ELIZA CLEARY WHO / DIED 31ST AUG. 1928 AGED 76 / MARY REID DIED 3RD MAY 1952. / JOE REID DIED 29TH OCT. 1953.