The Dennis Clifford and Johanna Diggens Family of St Joseph County, Indiana: An Analysis of Their Migration from County Kerry, Ireland, Journey aboard the Ship Andrew Foster from Liverpool to New York and Settlement in South Bend, St Joseph County, Indiana

Dennis Clifford and Johanna Diggens arrived in New York aboard the Ship Andrew Foster from Liverpool on October 11, 1856 with children Mary, Jerry and infant Kate. Johanna, a genealogist who is a direct descendent of this line, has been doing extensive research on their origins and was gracious enough to share her findings with me. I have found them in the 1860-1880 South Bend, Indiana Census records, but Johanna has uncovered an 1857 Baptismal record for John Joseph from the Sacred Heart Church records which documents their earlier arrival in the South Bend area.

Their origins in County Kerry, Ireland is supported by the South Bend obituaries of both Dennis and wife Johanna Clifford obtained by Johanna. Although the information presented in an obituary is not an official confirmation of their origins in Ireland, it was clearly definitive in the minds of those who presented the information to the South Bend Newspapers.

The objective of this compilation is to try to establish the earliest possible evidence of this family in the United States through all available resources.

This will most definitely be a work in progress and all findings I speculate on would have to be proven for accuracy with Ireland and U.S. marriage records, church baptismal records and death records among other genealogical resources. Please use this information with that caveat in mind so that nothing is assumed and no stones are left unturned to assure it's your family and the connection is accurate. Please contact me if you feel that you are descended from this South Bend Indiana Irish family so that we can share information, see if there were common migration trails followed and delve further back into their origins in Ireland!

According to the obituaries that Johanna obtained on Dennis Clifford and wife Johanna Diggens, Johanna Diggens Clifford died June 14, 1894 at home after a week long illness of "Congestion of the lungs" According to the obit, she was born in County Kerry 68 years prior and came to South Bend about 1854. Her funeral took place at St Patrick's Church in South Bend. Dennis Clifford died January 26, 1895 from Congestion of the Bowels. He was born in County Kerry, Ireland around 1825, came to South Bend in 1857 and worked for the Studebaker Manufacturing County most of his life. They were both buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame.

The following is a brief summary of what I have discovered about their children thus far:

  1. Mary Clifford married Joannes Boyle of South Bend on May 2, 1867 in Sacred Heart Church, Notre Dame (by A Granger, Catholic Priest). This family was present in the 1870 and 1880 South Bend Census and were clearly members of St Joseph Church in South Bend. There is a specific page on this family covering additional details.
  2. Jerry (Jeremiah) Clifford married Bridget Delaney on August 7, 1872 in St. Joseph County, Indiana. They were living in the second ward of South Bend, District 162 at 16 Laurel Street when the 1880 Census was conducted with children Margret (6), Mary (2) and Daniel (5) all born in Indiana. His wife Bridget Delaney was born in Canada. Jerry appears to have worked for Stud'r (possibly Studebaker). Johanna has evidence of Jerry's death on February 13, 1883, with subsequent burial at Cedar Grove Cemetery at Notre Dame. I haven't seen a burial record for him in either the Sacred Heart of St Joseph Church records thus far.
  3. Kate Clifford appears to have been infant (age 4 months) when she made the journey with her family on board the Andrew Foster out of Liverpool in 1856. I have no evidence of what became of her after this arrival.
  4. John Joseph Clifford. According to Johanna, he was baptized in Sacred Heart Church, Notre Dame, on April 29, 1857. I have yet to find this record in my search of the microfilm. He was noted on the 1860 South Bend Census as John age 3, but disappears in the 1870 census which would seem to indicate his death sometime before 1870.
  5. Patrick J Clifford Married Maggie Butler in St Joseph County, Indiana on July 21, 1886. I have an Sacred Heart Church excel sheet notation of a birth of a Patricii on March 10, 1860 to a D Clifford and J (it appears to read Regan?) of Hibernia with baptism on March 218, 1860 with Bridget Quinlan Sponsor which may indeed be him based on the 1860 census that indicateds he was 3/12 when the census was conducted on June 13, 1860. I have been unable to find this record again to confirm its accuracy. I believe that he was living with his sister Hannah E and brother in law Harry Lundy at 118 South William Street in 1910 (a married Real Estate Agent) and then again in 1920 at 226 South William Street (a divorced City Inspector living as a boarder with a German family). Johanna shows his death on June? 27, 1927 and burial in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame.
  6. Hannah E. married Harry A Lundy on February 15, 1898 in St Joseph County, Indiana. In 1900 they were boarders living on Michigan Street in Portage Township, South Bend (Harry employed Dry Goods born September 1869, Hannah born August 1866). When the 1910 Census was conducted they were living on 118 S William Street (Harry was a Retail Merchant Clothing and brother in law Patrick J was living with them). In 1916 they were living at 839 N Colfax in South Bend, Mishiawaka, Indiana and Harry worked for Crown Service Company. By 1919 Harry A Lundy is living alone on 418 W Wayne Street in South Bend. Johanna has evidcenc of her death January 3, 1917 in St Joseph County, Indiana with subsequent burial in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame.