Mr Papa's World Genealogy

Michael Coyne

Male 1853 - 1907  (~ 88 years)


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  • Name Michael Coyne 
    Born Between 1819 and 1853 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1907 
    Notes 
    • It was in 19th century Ireland that Michael Coyne, Honora Joyce and their families were born and raised. To better understand their lives, it is necessary to know something of the time in which they lived.

      To prevent the Irish from repossessing their lands or enabling themselves through education or political activity to challenge British rue, the English enacted a series of laws aimed against the Catholics. The Penal Laws were in effect for over a hundred years, but were enforced with varying degrees of severity and were eventually phased out.

      Catholics were excluded from voting until 1829 and could not hold office. Owning
      firearms or a horse worth more than a few dollars were forbidden. Teaching, going to university or going abroad to be educated were also illegal. Teh receive an education, Catholic youths attended "Hedge Schools" taught by "Hedge Teachers". Classes were held out of doors in isolated places while watch was kept for strangers and the authorities. By mid-century, national schools were being established, but classes ere taught only in English. (At one time it was illegal to even speak Gaelic).

      Until 1869, when the Catholic and Presbyterian Churchs were legally recognised by England. Mass was forbidden and priests were often hunted. People still managed to gather at 'mass rocks' in remote fields or caves to hear Mass while others watched for the authorities. One such rock was located in a field in Seeauns. If caught, all present could be tortured or killed. There was also the problem of 'jumpers', people who would attend Mass only to disrupt the proceedings.

      Most land was owned by Protestants, many of whom were absentee landlords who rented to Catholic tenants. There were all sorts of problems with unfair rents, short term leases, evictions and rent collectors. It was not until this century that the land problems were finally resolved.

      By 1841, Ireland's population of over eight million made it the most densely populated country in Europe. Life was difficult. There was wide-spread unemployment, poverty, overcrowding and a shortage of farmland. Most farms in Connemarra were under five acres, barely enough to support a family and to pay the rent.

      Famines occured periodically, the the Great Famine of 1845-47 had a lasting impact on the Irish people. It is estimated that a million people died of starvation and another million emigrated. Mass evictions took place. The pattern of young people emigrating for jobs and opportunity begain after the Famine and continues to this day.

      Prior to this time, early marriages were common, afterwards, marrying later in life became the norm. Ireland's population is now about half of what it had been in the early 1840s.

      Another major result of the Famine was the elimination of the Irish language along with its legends and stories in favor of English. Gaelic was all but forgotten except in a few isolated areas of Connemarra. It was not until the end of the century that there was a serious attempt to revive the language and its many legends.

      As you will see, the lives of the Joyces and Coynes relected the time in which they lived.

      One well known 'cousin' we cannot overlook is Adolphe Menjou, a film star of the 1930 and 40s. Born in Pittsburgh, his mother was Nora Joyce who was originally from Ungwee. (Her photo appears in the second edition of PITTSBURGH; THE STORY OF AN AMERICAN CITY by Stefan Lorant). His father Henry Menjou owned a restaurant in the Hill District where relatives would work as they arrived from Ireland.

      While everyone remembers being told Adolphe was a cousin, no one knew how he was related. Based on a few clues from letters, my guess would be the Nora Menjou's father, Patrick Joyce, may have been a brother of our Peter Joyce, making Nora and Honora first cousins. Coynes were also supposed to be related by marriage to Nora's mother Mary Faherty. Michael Coyne's sister married a Faherty

      There is lots more credit to be given to Debby, but I have so many other things to record that I must get on with my own research.

      This documentation was written by Debby Rabold of Pittsburgh, PA. And all info on the early descendants of Michael Coyne and Honora Joyce are also her credits.
    Person ID P690  Klasen Family Tree
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 

    Family Honora Joyce,   b. Between 1827 and 1854,   d. 1932  (Age ~ 105 years) 
    Married Between 1845 and 1889 
    Children 
     1. Hannah Coyne,   b. 23 Jan 1885,   d. 1957  (Age 71 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F192  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart


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