John Clancy and family in Portland, Maine, 1828-1831? and likely in 1835.

John Clancy &

Elizabeth Mary (Ahearn) Clancy.

On my mother’s side of my own Bruce surname family John Clancy was my 3rd great-grandfather and Elizabeth Mary (Ahearn) Clancy was my 3rd great-grandmother.

They emigrated from Ireland to Brazil in 1827, and came to Portland, Maine, in late 1828, where they resided until about 1830 to 1832. They moved to Freedom, NH, about 1830-1832 to about 1835, and farmed there until John's wife died in about 1835. The remaining four returned to Portland, Maine, and Nancy worked in the York cotton Mill in Saco, Maine, while John went to sea and was never heard from again.

1. John Clancy, c1800-c1835. Husband.

2. Elizabeth Mary (Ahearn) Clancy, c1799-c1835. Wife.

They were likely both born in or near Waterford, Munster, Ireland. They likely married in or near Waterford, Ireland, in c1820.

3. Nancy (Clancy) Burns, 1822-1917, was born in Waterford, Ireland, on 4 Feb 1822. Daughter.

4. Her sister, Francis Ellen (Clancy) Matthews, 1825-1909, was also born in Waterford, Ireland, on 3 Feb 1825. Daughter.

5. There was a son, born ?-died?

6. There was another daughter, born ?-died before mid-1830, in addition to Nancy Clancy and Francis Ellen Clancy.

The son and daughter were also likely born in Waterford, Ireland, but I have no idea of their names, or when, or of their birth order. Newspaper interviews with Nancy (Clancy) Burns helped fill in many of these Clancy family details.

The Clancy family were six people among the many who were "falsely lured" by one Colonel William Cotter, born?-1833, to move to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This recruiting happened from late 1826 until well into 1827. England’s and Ireland’s newspapers covered all those and more related events and their aftermaths in considerable detail.

Colonel Cotter promised them all a stipend, food, clothing, shelter, farm land, and even a little bit of militia training.

Most of those eager emigrants were from northern County Cork, and specifically the towns of Mallow, Carrigeen, Buttevant, and Doneraile, each of which was named in an 1827 newspaper story. How our Waterford Clancy people found out about it I do not know, but assume that the invitation to Brazil was more widely publicized than just in northern County Cork.

A total of 3,169 Irish undertook the risky voyage, and all ten ships set sail from Cove of Cork between 04 August 1827 and 03 October of 1827. The ships were: 1. Retrieve, 2. Combatant, 3. Elizabeth/Eliza/Elisa, 4. Arcurus, 5. Clarence, 6. Edward, 7. Promise, 8. Charlotte and Maria aka Charlotte and Mary aka Charlotte.. 9. Euphrates, and 10. Camden, as per several newspaper articles.

The Clancy brother, 5.,would die of yellow fever off the African coast, and the Eliza or Elisa, Captain/Master Searchwell, would wreck on the African coast.

The Clancy family were among those who shipwrecked in route, and most likely aboard the Charlotte and Mary aka Charlotte and Maria, aka Charlotte Maria aka Charlotte? Captain/Master Bancroft, and sometime in November of 1827. After being cared for by natives near Cape Frio, Brazil, the survivors were eventually rescued likely arrived in Rio in December of 1827 or in January of 1828.

It was only the two shipwrecked vessels, Eliza and Charlotte and Maria, whose passenger lists would survive and to this day in the Brazilian archives. See newspapers and the wikipedia shipwreck list for November 1827. See especially the Ex-Combatentes Irlandeses em Taperoa book.

There was a “Clancy, John, [#]245” on the Charlotte and Maria passenger list, and I think that was our John Clancy, and his family. On arrival in Rio John Clancy "had" to join the Brazilian army. All of the Irish and the German mercenaries were badly treated by the Brazilians and that lead to much unrest and major trouble.

A few of the Irish mercenaries, along with most of the German mercenaries, revolted in Rio from 9 through 13 June, 1828, and after the revolt was crushed, almost all the Irish were kicked out of Brazil by Emperor Dom Pedro I. They were sent back to Ireland and/or to England, and at Brazil’s expense. Numerous books and other varied sources detail the events leading up to the bloody uprising, the short-lived revolt itself, and its tragic aftermath. The older books can be found at The Internet Archive online at Look especially for The History of Brazil by John Armitage, vol. 1 of 2, and Notices of Brazil in 1828 and 1829 by Robert Walsh.

Our Clancy family came instead to Portland, Cumberland county, Maine, USA, and arrived there late in 1828, most likely.

John Clancy apparently had two brothers already in Maine, as recorded on a John Clancy ancestry sheet. I did find a David Clancy in Dresden, Lincoln county, Maine, and another David Clancy in Richmond, Sagadahoc county, Maine, in the 1830 US census for Maine, but I am not sure one way or the other as to their being related to our John Clancy.

A “John Clancey” did appear in the June, or sometime thereafter, US Federal Census of 1830 for Portland, Cumberland, Maine. Note the extra “e” in Clancey.

1. Male [age range] 0-5, 1 [Michael Albert Clancy, son.]

2. Male [age range] 20-29, 1 [John Clancey, husband.]

3. Female [age range] 5-9, 1[Nancy Clancy, daughter.]

4. Female [age range] 5-9, 1 [Francis Ellen Clancy, daughter.]

5. Female [age range] 30-39, 1 [Elizabeth Mary (Ahearn) Clancy, wife.]

Yes, Elizabeth Mary (Ahearn) Clancy was older than her husband John Clancy, according to the census. It would be both parents first and only US census.

The third sister, 6., died after they reached Portland, but before the 1830 census was begun, I presume.

John Clancy appeared again and in the November 1830 Portland, Cumberland, Maine, city directory as: “Clancy, John, laborer, King street.” And that was his entire entry of just five words, which was typical for a city directory.

I think that both the 1830 US census and the 1830 city directory entries were/are our very own John Clancy and his family. Early on in the USA Clancy was not a common surname. That would change after the Great Famine, 1845 to 1849/1850/1851.

Any and all help as to their years in Ireland from about 1799 and into 1827, when they departed for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be most appreciated.

Also any help on their living in Portland, Maine, 1828-1831?; Freedom, NH; 1831?-1835?, and back to Portland, Maine, in about 1835, would be appreciated. Nancy Clancy worked in Saco until 1838, when all three surviving children, Nancy Clancy, 1822-1917; Francis Ellen Clancy, 1825-1909; and Michael Albert Clancy, 1829-1903, moved to Dover, NH.

Don Bruce

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