The Hunt branch of the Morley family tree grew from the marriage of Luke Morley's daughter, Maria, to William Hunt's only child, William, in 1883 in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Knock, County Mayo, Ireland. The couple made their home on the Hunt farm in Crockaunrannell, Cloonfaughna, Knock. Twelve children were born on the farm to William and Maria. A few years after the birth of the last child, Maria's sister-in-law, Bridget Morley died. Bridget's infant daughter went and lived with the Hunts until after she began school and then returned to her father, Luke Morley in Magheramore.
Magheramore is next to Cloonfaughna and is also in the parish of Knock. All the Hunt children were educated at Loughaunnaman School along with their Morley cousins from Magheramore. Although they were in the adjoining village of Lissaniska, the Murray branch of the family were in Bekan parish and attended Bekan School. Some of the Hunt children stayed in the area, others emigrated only to return to Ireland but half of them emigrated permanently to Chicago.
With 10 children in the Hunt house and another on the way, William set out for America. He arrived in Boston on April 24, 1902. From there he went to a cousin, Michael Morley, in nearby Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His sister Mary arrived in Boston on May 14, 1904 and joined her brother in Fitchburg. Mary was corresponding with Mike Morley of Lissaniska, a cousin of the Morleys of Magheramore. He and his sister had arrived in America on August 17, 1901 and the went on to Chicago where they had other siblings. Mike Morley encouraged Mary Hunt to come to Chicago. After saving up some money, Bill and Mary moved to Chicago thus starting a family tradition. Most of their cousins who emigrated to America went to New York, but the Hunts all emigrated to Chicago.
In 1905, William Hunt married Margaret Maggie Lyons from Spaddagh, Ballyhaunis in County Mayo. They had two sons. Maggie also had several siblings in Chicago. One of her sisters, Kate, married Jim Byrne in Bekan, County Mayo. Their son Jim was the proprietor of the famous Byrne's dance hall in Bekan. On the death of his wife ,one of Maggie's brothers, Luke Lyons and his 10 year old son Michael, came from Ireland in 1927. The two lived with the Hunts in Chicago. Maggie's brother returned to Bekan where he remarried. Michael did not return with his father but lived with his aunt and her husband in Chicago until he married after World War II.
After coming to Chicago, Mary found work as a live-in domestic. In 1910 Mary married Chicago police detective Mike Morley. Mike joined the Chicago Police Department on March 7, 1907 as a detective. He remained a detective until his retirement on October 1, 1942.. After the death of Mike in 1955, Mary went to live with her sister Bessie in San Diego, California for about a year before returning to Chicago. A few years later, she and her family decided to escape from the harsh winters in Chicago and so they moved near Bessie in San Diego.
Margaret Hunt faced physical challenges throughout her long life and always lived on the home place. Mary Ellen was born in 1888 but died as a child.
Celia 'Sabina' arrived in New York on April 21, 1909 with 12 other young people from her area of Ireland. She went to live with her brother Bill, his wife and children in Chicago. She disliked Chicago and after about 6 years returned to Ireland where she married Daniel Murray. Celia Hunt's aunt Celia Morley Murray was married to Daniel Murray's neighbor and cousin also named Daniel Murray. Sabina's husband's sister Catherine was a witness to the apparition at Knock. Sabina and Danny made their home in Tully, Lissaniska, Bekan. For more information on the Murray family see Michael Kelly's articles "The Murrays of Lissaniska " and "Visionary of Bekan, Catherine Murray", both of which are contained in the essay section of this web site.
John Hunt was the first member of the Hunt family to emigrate to Manchester, England. His daughter and 14 of his nieces and nephews would also emigrate there. After several years some of them would return to Ireland to live while others still make their home in Manchester. Tom Connery, his wife and daughter Marie had land up against a field belonging to Luke Morley in Magheramore. Tom was a blacksmith and had a small village store run by his daughter. His daughter Marie married James Healy and they bought the nearby Miles farm. The Healys had no children. They had a comfortable life until age caught up with them. The forge had gone bad and the good times were over for the store. After the death of her father and husband, Luke Morley convinced Marie that it would be a good idea for someone to look after her and the place. Having done that he and his brother-in-law, William Hunt, set about convincing John Hunt to return home and buy the place which he did. Marie Healy was so well thought of by John and his wife with whom she lived that they named their first child after her. After the death of his wife, John moved near his sister Kate and her family. He sold his land to his nephew, Johnnie Murphy, who still farms it today.
'Bessie" was named Elizabeth by her parents but her godmother, Mary Foy, did not like the name so she had her christened Bridget when she took her to church to be baptized.
Bessie "Bridget" arrived in New York on September 18, 1912. In Chicago Bessie found work as a nanny for Congressman Madden. She lived with the Madden family as they traveled between Chicago and Washington D. C.. Bessie married Bill Gallagher from Ballina, County Mayo. Bill served in the United States army under General "Black" Jack Pershing. Pershing became famous for chasing Pancho Villa into Mexico after Villa had raided some American border towns. The fame led to Pershing being named commander of the American troops in World War I. Bill did not go into Mexico or to Europe. He was left in Texas as a horse trainer for Pershing's cavalry during his entire tour of duty in the army. After his discharge from the army, Bill went to work as a streetcar conductor in Chicago before joining the police department in 1919. In 1929 while conducting a raid on a "Moorish" sect that was holding a dissident member against his will, detective Gallagher and his partner were shot and killed. Now a single mother with three small children to raise., Bessie went to work as a ticket agent on the elevated transit system. Her brother William's son, Bill Hunt, came and lived with the Gallaghers soon after the death of Bill Gallagher. He helped Bessie with chores around the house and helped look after the children. During the time he lived there, Bill was a student at DePaul University.
After her children had all left home, Bessie married Fred Barnes a neighbor and widower. Bessie and Fred soon retired to California. After Fred's death, Bessie moved to Texas to be with her daughter Marie, Sister Mary Liam. Marie had taken the religious name of Liam in honor of her father William Gallagher. Marie was tragically killed in a car accident in 1967. Then Bessie returned to Chicago where she lived for the rest of her life.
Luke and Ellen were twins. "Ellie" arrived in New York on October 29, 1916 with her cousin "Lizzie" Foy, 18, from Garryedmond, Claremorris. Elizabeth Foy was going to her sister Mary Mullin in New York. Ellen was going on to her brother in Chicago. Ellen was preparing to enter the convent in the spring of 1919 but she died in the world wide flu epidemic in the winter of 1918 that took the lives of millions of young adults.
Luke left home before the age of 15 to live and work on a farm in the area. With the encouragement of his brother John, who also paid for his ticket, Luke emigrated to Manchester. He left England after World War I arriving in America on his 23rd birthday. He went to live with his brother Bill in Chicago. Luke soon found work in Chicago installing carpet and other floor coverings, a trade that he worked at for over fifty years.
Luke married Lucille Doyle, a first generation Irish-American. Several years after the death of Lucille, Luke married Bernadine Gallagher a widow and long time friend of his sister, Ann. Soon after his second marriage, Luke and his bride and his sister Bessie returned to Ireland on an extended holiday. They also went to Manchester to visit all their nieces and nephews there. Luke would also return to Ireland again with his children after the death of his second wife.
In 1922 Kate and Ann had their American immigration papers and money for their passage. They planned to emigrate together the next year and join their siblings in Chicago. But their mother took sick and died. Kate stayed in Ireland to look after the home but planned on emigrating at a later date. Ann left with three other neighbor girls. They arrived in America on August 1, 1923. They actually arrived in New York earlier but the immigration quota for the month was filled and they were told that they would have to wait on the ship until the first of the next month to go through immigration. Every night while they waited, New York police officer Paddy Murray came to visit them and also took them to see the sights of the city. Among the four with her was Julia Murphy, 20. going to her sister Mrs. Michael Wynn in New York. In 1931 Julia's brother and sister would marry Ann's brother and sister in Ireland. Another one of the four was Mary McGuinness, 19, the daughter of Ann's first cousin, Mary Murray McGuinness. Mary was going to her Aunt Mrs. James Quinn in New Jersey. Neighbor Cecelia McDonagh traveled with them on her way to her brother Patrick in New York. Ann stayed in New York for a few weeks before joining her brother Bill in Chicago whom she had not previously met. The trade publication where Ann had worked in Chicago for several years relocated to New York during the depression. With the offer of a job in the new location, she followed the company there and lived in New Jersey with her cousin Annie Quinn for three years before returning to Chicago and marrying Pat King from County Limerick.
Ann continued to write to and receive letters from her New York cousins after returning to Chicago. This habit continued even as her cousins died. She would just start writing to the next generations in New York until the final years of her life. Ann was the one who kept the Hunts in Ireland, England, and America up on the news of their far flung relatives.
Martin Hunt stayed on the home place and married Nellie Murphy a nearby neighbor. Martin eventually replaced the original house with a larger one for his family and his sister and father who also lived with them. His son, Luke who inherited the place, operates a dairy farm there today. Luke has also replaced his parents home with a new one.
Kate never did get to emigrate to Chicago. Three weeks after Martin's wedding to Nellie, Kate married Nellie's brother Jack Murphy. Jack and Kate lived on the Murphy place near Martin and Nellie Hunt. Their son, Jonnie Murphy, trained as a carpenter in Ireland and then emigrated to England. After the tragic death of his brother Tommie in a construction accident Jonnie and his wife Dympna returned to Ireland and took over the Murphy farm. Jonnie raises cattle on the place today.
William Hunt and four of his children lived past the age of 90. But the passing of the first generation does not bring an end to the family history. On the contrary, the family history continues to grow and the family tree continues to flourish. In the first five years of the 21st century, over a dozen great great grandchildren and almost a half dozen great great great grandchildren were added to the family tree of William Hunt and Maria Morley Hunt
Greally Bekan Christenings & other information
Father Andrew Greeley, well known author and sociologist is likely a member of this family.
August 3, 1872 Bart Ignatious son of Bryan Greally and Margaret Greally. Sponsors Martin Fitzmaurice and Rose Waldron
February 10, 1875 Thomas, son of Brian Greally and Margaret Morly (sic). Sponsors Thomas Gribbin and Ellen Waldron
September 14, 1879 Mary daughter of Bryan Greally and Margaret Morly (sic). Sponsors Thomas Grogan and Sarah Murray.