O’Leary Letters from Adrivale #1 of 3

Patrick O’Leary from Louisville, Kentucky, USA has very kindly been given us three letters that are nearly a century old, sent by his Great-Grand-Uncle Patrick O’Leary of Adrivale, Millstreet to his Great-Grandfather in the USA.
Below is the first of those letters (4 pages) from March 16, 1919 where Patrick talks about the end of WWI, Patsy who was a soldier in the war, President Wilson, the 1916 rising in Dublin, and Sinn Féin.
The Patsy in the letter was his Grandfather Patrick John O’Leary. He was born in Ohio 1894 and he served in WWI. The Sister Mary Francis in the letter is his Great Aunt that was a nun.

1919-03-16 Letter from Adrivale 01

1919-03-16 Letter from Adrivale 03

1919-03-16 Letter from Adrivale 02

1919-03-16 Letter from Adrivale 04

The second and third letters will be published soon

=== TEXT ===
Dear Brother
I received your lovely letter after a very long time.  i am delighted to know you are well and in good health.
Well dear brother there is many a change since your last letter the World’s war is over I am glad that Patsy took a man’s part in it
But I am still more pleased he was not fighting. It was Sister Mary Francis that told me the first week of November that he was in France. I could not describe how i felt. I would sure go in his stead to spare him but it was over in a few days thanks be to God.
I received two nicely written letters from him the last one was dated February 4th. I asked him to come to see me before he would go back to the States, I am sure there is none of them left come to Ireland. I should have a letter from him by this time if he is in France. He expects to be leaving the first of this month. I will know he can tell many a storyto you when he gets back after his voyage.
I hope he will keep his promise that he will come to see me when he gets back to the states. It would only take a few days from France to come here. He was very ancious to get home well that is natural for every one is the same. home sweet home. There is no place like home.
I do hope that he will go safe to his dear father.
Well now about the war and the winning of it. I must answer a few questions for you. Ireland sent more men to France than England. All the Irish Regiments went out and the english brought over to every town in Ireland when they should be fighting the Germans did they pick the United States for Irish that went earning their living the last three years that was denied at home.
No Irish need apply they past conscription for Ireland but did not put it in force. They would have a little to do then. Home Rule was put in the Statute Book and it will stay there. England claims the winning of the war but I claims it was the Irish and the Irish in America that won the war.
I am not a Sinn Feiner. I am a Home Ruler. It do not matter very much they are expecting that Wilson will do something for Ireland. H was invited to Dublin but he did not come there.
I am sorry I did not send you a paper at the time of the rising in Dublin two years ago. The Sinn F made a great stand.
I must say that the Germans were cruel and did very savage work. You must excuse this writing. With fondest love and best Wishes for you & your dear son.
I remain yours fond Brother
— write soon —

13 thoughts on “O’Leary Letters from Adrivale #1 of 3”

  1. I find this letter of very real interest as my own mother was Mary Ellen O’Leary of Adrivale and must have been related to the writer of this quite fascinating letter. Sincere thanks to Patrick for alerting us to this important historical item.

    1. Sean,

      The Patrick that wrote the letter had a sister named Mary – I think. That is what my records show. I think she married Jeremiah Kelleher. Patrick and Mary’s brother, John, was my Great Grandfather. Their parents were Patrick O’Leary and Johanna Sullivan.
      I am very interesting in finding out anything about my family. I was in Ireland in 1988 but had not completed any research at that point.


      1. HI Patrick,

        I may have a connection to your family — I am trying to determine whether my great grandfather Thomas O’Leary (b 1860 in Ireland) was actually a Thomas W. Leary who married a Margaret Shine in Boston in 1879 and whose parents were Patrick O’Leary and Johanna Sullivan, these latter two whom i know had a daughter Margaret baptised in Millstreet and Cullen, Cork, in Sept 1858.

        Thomas and Margaret O’Leary raised a family in Boston, and he died in Nov. 1918. I currently don’t know his Irish origins but am trying to find them!

        Does any of this ring a bell?

        It’s best to reach me at <email>.


  2. Thank you for the kind words. I think the Patrick that wrote the letter had a sister Mary. I am currently researching my family history.

  3. Patrick…My grandfather’s name was Cornelius O’Leary of Adrivale and my grandmother was Julia O’Keeffe with roots in the Shrone and Kilcummin areas in Co. Kerry. In time I hope to do some family research but at a later stage.

    1. Sean, I just found this morning amongst my Grandfather’s papers a memorial card for “Dr. Cornelius J. O’Leary, Spiddal, Co. Galway, who died on the 5th january 1944 aged 48 years”. My Grandfather, Cpt. Dan Dennehy (IRB centre, Irish Volunteers, Rathmore O/C) was from Clounts, Rathmore next to Srone. Not sure if it is your grandfather or not.

  4. Sean,
    Thanks for the reply. I have not run across those names during my research. Please contact me if you discover a connection during your research.


  5. Hi! Thank you so much for posting these letters. My great-great Grandmother was Hanora O’Leary Denehy. Her sister was Johanna O’Leary who was Sister Mary Francis. Hanora was born in Millstreet but died in Ohio, USA, where my great grandfather and grandmother were born.

    I would love to share and gather any information! I can be contacted at perringenealogy at g mail dot com!

  6. I am the Great Great Grandaughter of Daniel Patrick O’Leary who hailed from Cork and died in Hamilton Ohio near his sister Mary.

    1. Susan,
      I am currently in Millstreet, Co. Cork on vacation. My Great Grandfather John Patrick O’Leary was born in Millstreet but came to America in the 1880’s. He died in 1924, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He did live in Wilmington, Ohio for most of his life in America.
      There are a lot of O’Leary’s from County Cork. Last weekend I attended the O’Leary Clan Gathering in Inchigeelagh, Co. Cork.
      It you have more details about your GG Greatfather I might be able to help. I did hire a guy that helped with my research. He is very good with people from County Cork.
      I live in Louisville, Kentucky

      My email is <email>

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