For Starters I decided to write about my 3rd great grandmother, Rosa Kerrott Smyth. Rosa was the first of my grandmothers from this line to come to the United States, thus she was the "starter".
Rosa was born on the 14th of October in 1814 in County Down, Ireland to John Carrott and Catherine Fegan. John Carrott was a farmer. At this time, I have identified two siblings for Rosa: William Kerrott, born in 1810, and Edward Kerrott, born about 1813. In 1833, Rosa married Patrick Smyth, the son of a neighboring farmer. At the time of their marriage, Rosa was 18 years old, and Patrick was 23 years old.
It appears that Rosa was the first of her family to leave Ireland. Patrick and Rosa left for the United States the day after their wedding! They landed in Albany, New York. Rosa's brother William emigrated to Canada in 1835 and her other brother, Edward, emigrated to Canada around 1845. After about 20 years in Canada, William moved to Minnesota and lived there until his death in 1897. Edward remained in Canada and died in 1888. It is interesting to wonder if Rosa ever saw her brothers after she left Ireland.
Patrick and Rosa stayed in Albany for 13 months, and then went to Trumansburg in Tompkins County, New York. There Patrick worked as a laborer. Their first son, Francis, was born in New York in 1835 and the following year, their daughter Mary was born. Sadly little Francis died in 1837. The next year Patrick, Rosa and Mary left New York and came to Kickapoo, Illinois, and in the fall of 1838 they purchased their first home. Their daughter Catherine was born that year. Another daughter, Anna, was born in 1839. Again, sadness struck when little Catherine died in the fall of 1839. Following the death of Catherine, Patrick and Rosa went on to have 11 more children, for a total of 15 children born to them.
Rosa and Patrick's last child was born in 1858 and three years later, Patrick died. When he died, he and Rosa owned about 284 acres. Rosa was 46 years old when Patrick died. The 1860 Census show that 12 of the children were living with Rosa and Patrick. When Patrick died the following year, his sons Frank and Jack were ages 21 and 19, so then probably managed/ran the ram for Rosa. Patrick did not live to see any of his children married.
In 1870, seven of Rosa's children were living with her on the farm. And by 1880, 4 of their children were listed in the census with her, along with 1 grandson.
Rosa Kerrott Smyth died on the 14th of April in 1882 and is buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Kickapoo. She was 67 years old when she died. She had lived 21 years past her husband's death. She must have been a force to reckon with to have raised all those children and manage the farm! She had 66 grandchildren. She saw 3 children of her own die before her (Mary died in 1879).
I consider Rosa a starter because she was the mother of my great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Smyth. Elizabeth married William H. Murphy and that was the start of my direct line to the Murphy family!