Photo Album:
Mother Moriarty

Mary Moriarty with six of her nine children. Left to right: Aileen, John, Dennis (held by Mary), Steve and Daniel.
Mary Moriarty with six of her nine children. Left to right: Aileen, John, Dennis (held by Mary), Steve and Daniel. Photo Submitted by John Moriarty.

By John Moriarty, Irish America Reader
February / March 2012

Photo Album: Family Pictures

Mary O’Connell and her six siblings were born in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, Ireland. They were orphaned at an early age. Under the guardianship of their aunt Mary Hartnett Smith and uncle Rev. John Hartnett, pastor of St. Cecilia’s Church, they immigrated to San Francisco during the early 1920s. The young family finished their education at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing and San Francisco State Normal College.

Mary was to start a teaching career when she met Daniel Moriarty at a Knights of the Red Branch dance. He had recently emigrated from Killarney, Co. Kerry with his widowed mother and sisters. He was employed by the San Francisco Police Department, ultimately retiring as a police lieutenant. Mary and Dan married in 1919. Our mother gave birth to nine children, losing son Mickey, age 2 1/2 in 1935 to a childhood disease.

Our parents were devoted to the church, which was an important part of their lives. Education was equally important, and an excellent education was received by all under the auspices of the Sisters of the Holy Name, the Jesuits and the Madams of the Sacred Heart [those in the top tier of the Roman Catholic Womens Teaching Order].

We were blessed with wonderful parents. May they rest in peace.


– Submitted by John Moriarty on behalf of the Moriarty children.


Share your family photo with Irish Ameirca! Send a high resolution scan and a few lines/memories about the person it depicts to

5 Responses to “Photo Album:
Mother Moriarty”

  1. Bill Hamilton says:

    Great picture,John! Takes us back in time when families were the essence
    of society.Thank you for sharing.
    Best regards,

  2. Diann Murphy says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful Family.

    I am a former San Franciscan. Grandparents were from County Mayo!

  3. dan collins says:

    The Moriarty children are the fine result of Mr and Mrs Moriarty. They insisted that each child get a college education.

  4. george hayes says:

    from one Irishman to another — nice article John. My parents were also born in Ireland, married in San Francisco, and sent their kids to the Holy Name nuns and the Jesuits to enlighten, and round off the rough edges.

    Hope all going well with my old Fort Bliss compadre and that you are enjoying good health . Sold my property in Oregon and will be moving closer to the place of my roots.

    Will forward this article to my cousin Msgn. O Connor—a great fan of yours.

    A Reminder – If your lucky enough to be Irish ,Your lucky enough!! George

  5. Julian Kennedy says:

    Great story, one which was repeated hundreds of times by hundreds and thousands of Irish Familys over the years. Seeing as I am from Killarney I am curious to know if you have stayed in touch with your Killarney roots? if so I would love to know as Moriarty is a very prominent name in Killarney.

Leave a Reply


More Articles

Michael and Susan, c. 1890. See below for full-size image.
Photo Album:
Great-Grandpa Cole’s Legacy

My great-grandfather Michael Cole was born in Claudy, County Derry in 1860. His parents were farmers in the foothills...


Seton (left) and Stacy, already fitted with an arm, on her first birthday. (All photos courtesy of the author)
Photo Album:
The Shields Family

I’ve written about several Irish American mothers for this magazine – Eugenia Biden, Lorna Colbert, and Anne Meara...


John B. Hynes, Mayor  of Boston (first row center, with hat in hand), outside O'Dea's Hotel in Loughrea, Co. Galway with his uncle, Thomas Hynes (first row, third from right). On October 17, 1953, Mayor Hynes received  a Civic Reception from the Loughrea Town Commissioners.
Photo Album:
The Road to the Bright City

My grandfather John Bernard “Barney” Hynes and his brother Thomas J. Hynes emigrated from Loughrea, Galway, Ireland...


All three  O’Connor girls and their brother John at my Mom’s (Helen  O’Connor Cahill’s)  75th birthday party in  Northvale, N.J., in 2002. (Left to right) my mom Helen O’Connor Cahill, John O’Connor,  Madelaine O’Connor Brady, and Josephine O’Connor Reilly.
Photo Album:
“We Loved You, Mary Garvey”

My grandmother Mary Garvey was born on October 18th, 1894 in Farmhill, Claremorris, County Mayo. She was the oldest of...