Ellen Mahoney Collins

Ellen Collins.JPG, originally uploaded by marystrain.

This past winter I spent some time researching my family history. One ancestor that I discovered had been right under our noses all along, buried in the family plot, sharing a grave marker with three of my grandmother’s sisters who died as infants. You can see her name at the bottom of the little marker – Ellen Collins. This is probably the first gravestone they could afford. Later when they became more prosperous they got the impressive Celtic Cross.

The family erected this Celtic Cross monument later
The family erected this Celtic Cross monument later

Born Ellen Mahoney in Boherbue, County Cork in Ireland in 1820, she married James Collins and gave birth to a son, Richard, in 1847 in Ireland. Richard immigrated to America in 1872. Ellen came with him or followed him here, probably as a widow. She appears in the 1880 census as a member of his household in Springfield, MA. That’s where I found her.

Yesterday, I was in Springfield, Massachusetts and I visited our cemetery plot. I hadn’t been there since my grandmother died in 1968. I was touched when I saw the Ellen Collins’ name there on the stone and knew who she was – my great-great grandmother.


2 thoughts on “Ellen Mahoney Collins”

  1. I am wondering if this Ellen Collins is the same one listed on the UK 1871 census as being at 6 Dyers Place, Newington, Surrey. She is recorded as a widow, and also as a cousin to presumably Caroline Mack mother in law of Maryann Walker (Mack) and Charles Walker. The reason I think she is Caroline cousin is that they were both born in Ireland.

    According to the census she was born approx.1819. She does not seem to be on the 1881 census and this could be her?

    Would love to hear from you.


  2. Hello Anita,
    I have looked at the record you are referring to from the UK census a number of times and wondered if that Ellen Collins is my great-great grandmother. She could be, but I don’t know how to make a definite connection. It would be interesting if we could.

    Here’s what I think I know about her. Her maiden name was Ellen Mahoney. She married John Collins in Ireland and had four children with him there; Ellen, James, Richard and Mary. This information comes from the Irish Records Extraction Database.

    Sometime in the 1870s, they came to America. They do not appear in the US census of 1870. I have not been able to find them on any ship record. Richard, along with his mother Ellen, his wife Mary and two small children are listed in the US census of 1880. In later census records Richards gives 1872 as the year he arrived in the United States. The US Census of 1890 was lost in a fire. Ellen is gone by 1900.

    Ellen’s son Richard had a good trade. He was a boilermaker. He worked on the railroad. He seems to have had that trade when he came to America. The fact that he had this trade could indicate that he had lived in England. The rest of my male ancestors who came directly from Ireland did not have trades and worked as laborers.
    Mary Ann

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