Martin O'Malley

M, #48, (c 1825 - est 1890)

Relationship=Grandfather of Geraldine Getrude O'Malley.
Last Edited=11 Jul 2009


RelationshipEnd-of-Line Ancestor
Martin O'Malley was born about 1825 in Ireland.1 He married Anna Kirby about 1841. He died (est.) 1890 in Minnesota.

He immigrated about 1840 to Canada. He emigrated about 1855 from Canada.2 He was a Farmer in Minnesota in 1860. He and Lizzie O'Malley may have been related. as granddaughter and grandfather. The O'Malley name is Norman in origin and dates back at least to the time of Henry II of England (grandson of William the Conquer) and the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1170 AD. It was the Norman conquerors of the British Isles that introduced the widespread use of family surnames. The name means literally "son of the hammer" and probably descends from a Norman lord that ruled County Mayo in the 12th C. Probably the most famous (or infamous) O'Malley in history is the Irish female pirate, Grace O'Malley (Granuaile).
There is little doubt that the family of my grandmother came from Ireland, but from where exactly in Ireland is not known. We know that they came to America by way of Canada; my great-grandfather, Patrick O'Malley having been born near Montreal, Canada around 1851. The family most likely came to the Americas in the late 1840's as a result of the potato famine that devastated Ireland from 1847 to 1849. It has been said that a million Irish died and that a million Irish left for America during the famine. The population of Ireland in 1845 was 2 1/2 million. We know that the O'Malley family eventually settled in Minnesota and this most likely was in the late 1860's, after the American Civil War and the pacification of the Sioux.
They settled in or around the city of Rochester, Minnesota and worked either as farmers or railway men. The O'Malleys probably settled in the St Bridget Catholic Church area, about 6 miles south of Rochester. From the 1900 census record we learn that Patrick O'Malley was born in Canada and emmigrated to the U.S. 45 years earlier. If the family came to the US in 1855 they should appear in the US census record in 1860. I did not expect to find them in Minnesota as earlier as 1860 and in fact I do not find them there in that year.
A search of the 1860 census records for the O'Malley family turned up a few possibilities, but nothing that I found really matched what I had recorded in the way of names, ages, and place of birth. Candidate families were found in Chicago, Boston, up-state New York (Chatauqua), and New York City. It was most likely that by 1870 they were in Minnesota, but a search of the 1870 census for O'Malley and variations of the surname did not find them. There was an indication that parts of the census of Minnesota in 1870 were either missing or not readily available. Some of the daughters of Patrick O'Malley were born in Iowa in the 1880's and the family had settled in Kansas by the early 1890's; however I was not able to locate the family in the census records prior to 1900.
In January, 2006 I was able to locate the family of Martin and Anne O'Malley in the US Census of 1860 in Brooklyn township, Mower Co., Minnesota. Brooklyn township is now Windom township and this would place them in the area of Rose Creek. Further research possiblities include St. Peter's Church records and St. Peter's cemetary (both in Rose Creek). Also found Martin and Anne in same place in 1870 and found Peter O'Malley here, as well, in 1900.


1860Austin PO, Brooklyn Township, Mower County, MinnesotaMartin O'Malley and Anna Kirby appeared on the census of 1860 in Austin PO, Brooklyn Township, Mower County, Minnesota, - listed in the same household: Peter O'Malley, Michael (William?) O'Malley, James (Matthew?) O'Malley, Katherine O'Malley and Patrick A. O'Malley.3
1870Austin PO, Windom Township, Mower County, MinnesotaHe and Anna Kirby appeared on the census of 1870 in Austin PO, Windom Township, Mower County, Minnesota, - listed in the same household: Lizzie O'Malley.4
My Ancestors
Ancestors of Geraldine O'Malley
Descendants of Martin O'Malley

Children of Martin O'Malley and Anna Kirby

  • Peter O'Malley+ (1842 - 1904)
  • Michael (William?) O'Malley (c 1845 - )
  • Katherine O'Malley (c 1848 - )
  • James (Matthew?) O'Malley (c 1849 - )
  • Patrick A. O'Malley+ (1851 - 1925)


  1. [S12] Letter from Corrine Reinhart Sandberg (Minnesota) to Mike DeBacker, 1986; unknown repository (unknown repository address).
  2. [S135] 1910 United States Census, Omaha, Douglas Co., Nebraska (Washington: National Archives And Records Administration) ,.
  3. [S258] 1860 United States Census (Free Schedule), Brooklyn, Mower, Minnesota (Washington: National Archives And Records Administration) ,.
  4. [S259] 1870 United States Census (Free Schedule), Windom, Mower, Minnesota (Washington: National Archives And Records Administration) ,.