Hennessey, Jeremiah

Jeremiah Hennessey was born in England on 1823.  He married Elizabeth Haney on October 13, 1849 in West Chester, PA.  He died on April 28, 1866 in Philadelphia, PA in his home at 1806 Washington Avenue.  He was originally buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery – also known as the Bishop’s Burial Ground – located at 7th & Washington in Philadelphia, PA.  The cemetery opened in 1824 and closed in 1893.  In 1905, the property was sold. In June/July of 1905, the Philadelphia newspapers ran postings that the cemetery property was sold and that if anyone wanted to claim any bodies from the cemetery, they could.  Any unclaimed bodies were to be moved to Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, PA.  There are no records remaining with respect to those who were buried there and there are no tombstones either.  On February 23, 1895, he was reburied in New Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA.

The children of Jeremiah and Elizabeth were:



James Humphrey





According to the PA State Archives, Jeremiah was 5′ 11″ tall, and had blue eyes, grey hair, and a light complexion.  He was a carpenter by profession and was also a volunteer fireman in West Chester, PA.

On October 21, 1861 (at age 37), he was mustered into PA 97th Regiment Infantry, Company E, the “Mulligan Guards” for a 3 year term.  He enlisted as a private and was appointed a Corporal on November 1, 1863.  He mustered out with the company on October 21, 1864 at the expiration of his term.  Apparently this company had a large amount of soldiers of Irish decent and perhaps that is where they got the nickname of Mulligan Guards.

Other Information

From The Chester County Archives:

Jeremiah Hennessey first appeared on the 1849 tax records in West Chester.  A Thoas Hennessey preceded Jeremiah on the tax rolls.  There may be a connection between Thomas and Jeremiah but it is not evident in the records.

The marriage of Jeremiah and Eliza took place in West Chester at a time when the county did not keep vital records.  There is no mention of the event in the newspapers.  Birth records were recorded between 1852 and 1855 and the birth of James Humphrey in 1854 is recorded  – unfortunately without a first name.

The 1850 census lists Jeremiah and his wife Eliza and son Henry.  At Jeremiah’s death, his son Henry must have been over the age of 16 since his is not listed on the pension application.

Margaret Hennessey ( on the 1860 census) – living next to Jeremiah – was not his mother.  She may have been a relative but in her will – proved in December 1860 – she named only her brother Timothy Denny.

Joanna/Johanna was the name of Jeremiah’s oldest daughter and it is significant that Joanna “Hennecy” is listed in West Chester on the 1860 census.  She was living with a Joanna Purtel/Purtal who was probably her daughter.

The records of the Board of Relief contain information on Jeremiah Hennessey although the voucher (#218), which contains detailed family information is missing.  Using payroll records of the Board it was determined that Eliza left West Chester after the receipt in October 1864.  It is noted that Joanna Purtal – who first appeared on the payroll list in March 1864 signed her mark regularly under Eliza Hennessey.

Jeremiah Hennessey served as a fireman with the Good Will Fire Company in West Chester, PA

May 8, 1866, West Chester, Pennsylvania Chester VILLAGE RECORD.

Memorial Pursuant to a call of the President, a Special meeting of the Good Will Fire Company was held at their engine house, Tuesday, May 1, 1866, when the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted.  to wit: WHEREAS, It has pleased God in the dispensation of His Providence to remove from amongst us our fellow member JEREMIAH HENNESSEY, who, be his qualities as a fireman and conduct as a citizen, had endeared himself to us all…

According to the Chester Co, PA Civil War Soldiers website

Jeremiah Hennessey was mustered into Company E, the “Mulligan Guards” on October 21, 1861 for a 3 year term.  When he enlisted, he was a 37 year old carpenter from West Chester, PA.  He enlisted as a private and was appointed a Corporal on November 1, 1863.  He mustered out with the company on October 21, 1864 at the expiration of his term.  Apparently this company had a large amount of soldiers of Irish decent and perhaps that is where they got the nickname of Mulligan Guards.  Jeremiah would have participated in the following battles (not necessarily in order) COLD HARBOR, PETERSBURG MINE EXPLOSION, STRAWBERRY PLAINS, NEW MARKET ROAD (FORT GILMER), WARE BOTTOM CHURCH, CHESTER STATION, SWIFT CREEK, SESSIONVILLE, PORT WALTHALL, DREWERYS BLUFF, AND FORT PULASKI


127.513 Eliza Hennessy, wid. Jeremiah, Corpl. Co. “E” 97 Pa Vol

Discharged Dec. 7, 1864

Died April 28, 1866

State of Pennsylvania

Chester County SS.

On this 24th day of May A.D. 1866 before me Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas in and for the county and state above mentioned personally appeared Mrs. Eliza Hennesy a resident of the City of Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania, aged 38 years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on her oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress approved July 14, 1862. That she is the widow of Jeremiah Hennesy who was a corporal in Company “E” commanded by Captain William McConnell in the 97th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers in the war of 1861, who was mustered into the United States service at West Chester Pennsylvania on the 27th day of October 1861 and who having been honorably discharged on the 7th day of April A.D. 1866 in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on accounting Pneumonia Consumption, caused and induced by Chronic Diarrhea while in the service of the United States and contracted while in said service.  She further declares that she was married to the said Jeremiah Hennesy on the 13th day of October 1849 at West Chester, Pennsylvania by John Loughlin, a minister of the Catholic Church, that her husband, the aforesaid Jeremiah Hennesy died on the day above mentioned and that she as remained a widow ever since that period as will more fully appear by reference to the proof hereto annexed.  She also declares that she has not in any manner been engaged in or aided or abetted the rebellion in the United States.  that the names and ages of her children under sixteen years of age at her husband’s decease and the place of residence is as follows:

1. Johanna Hennesy, aged 14 years +6 mos. lives with her mother.

2. (James –not written) Humphry Hennesy, aged 12 years +5 mos. lives with his mother.

3. Mary Hennesy, born December 4, 1856, lives with her mother.

4. Abby Hennesy, born May 31, 1859 lives with her mother.

5. Isabella Hennesy, born August 27, 1861, lives with her mother.

6. Thomas Hennesy, born December 21, 1865, lives with his mother.

She hereby appoints Charles H. Pennypacker of the Borough of West Chester her attorney with the power of substitution to prosecute her claim for pension and receive the certificates when issued.  That her address by P.O. is 1806 Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Signed, Eliza Hennessy

Also personally appeared at the same time Patrick McHale and John Riley, residents of the Borough of West Chester in the county of Chester and State of Pennsylvania persons whom I certify respectable and entitled to credit and who being duly sworn say that they were present and saw Mrs. Eliza Hennesy sign her name to the forgoing declaration and they further swear that they have every reason to believe from the appearance of the applicant and their acquaintance with her that she is the identical person she represents herself to be and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim, and they further swear that they were well acquainted with her and her husband before he entered the service and know that they lived together as man and wife and such was their reputation, that she has remained a widow ever since the death of the said Jeremiah Hennesy and is now a widow.  That the said Jeremiah Hennesy was well known to both of them more than twelve years last past respectively, and know that he was a perfectly sound man in every respect before he entered the army, but that while in the army he contracted the Chronic Diarrhea and a cold which settled on his lungs and finally caused his death.  That the above mentioned claimant has not in any way been engaged in or aided or abetted the rebellion but has always been true and loyal to the Government of the United States.  That they are able to state the foregoing facts from an intimate personal acquaintance with the family for more than 12 years last past.  That the names of the children of Jeremiah Hennesy under sixteen years of age at his death are correctly given.  That they are wholly disinterested in this claim.

signed: Patrick McHale  and John Riely

Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year first above mentioned and certify that I know the ??lanrant and affiants to be persons they represent themselves to be and that I have no interest in the prosecution of this claim signed: F. Haines, Prothy

W.N. Ashman, Attorney

Office, No 431 1/2 Walnut St. Philadelphia


State of Pennsylvania

County of Chester

Before me the Prothy of the Ct. of C. Please in and for the county aforesaid personally appeared Dr. Jacob Price a resident of West Chester Pa., whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being by me duly sworn, according to law, deposes and says I have no interest, direct or indirect, in the claim for pension of Eliza Hennessey, widow of Jeremiah Hennessy Co. E 97th and I am not a near relative of said claimant.  I attended said Jeremiah Hennessey professionally during the months of November and December 1862 and Jany, Feby, March and part of April 1863.  He came from the army in the later part of October, or first of November 1862, on recruiting service, at West Chester, PA where the regiment had been originally recruited.  He was suffering when he first came from the army, with enlargement of liver and spleen, the result of malarious fever contracted while in the service – (I knew him before he entered the service – he was then ?????, I knew free from disease) and so continued until April 1863, when he left West Chester, PA. with the squad intending to rejoin the regt.  He was utterly unfit however to do duty, and as I afterward understood and believe, never succeeded in reaching the regiment.  He was temperate in his habits

Signed: Jacob Price, MD


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