Matthew Shea

Matthew Shea is the most fascinating person in my genealogy because he was in both the Crimean War and the Civil War. He was born in Ireland and then came to the US. He is our direct connection to Ireland.

Location: Robertstown, Co Kildare
Parents: Patt Shea and Margaret Smyth (married Jan 7 1831, both of Allen, Ireland)
Birth Date: unknown date. Baptised Nov 27 1831 - See Birth / Baptism Letter
... baptism was witnessed by John Connor and Ann Quin
Note that the above date is 100% accurate. However, on other documents later on he claimed a birthdate of 1.9.1832, 11.8.1832, and 1836.

Map of Town Locations in County Kildare

Matthew Shea only had one sibling - a younger sister, Ann.

Crimean War, 1853 - 1854
trying to figure out which regiment

Arrived in US: Jan 31 1854, SS Halifax, Liverpool->Boston
Residence: Liverpool, England; Occupation: cooper
Citizenship says arrived in NYC, NY on Sept 16, 1855

Married to Caroline Kelley on May 13, 1861, Chicopee, MA
Married by George Stearns, Justice of the Peace, Chicopee
Living in Indian Orchard in 1861 at time of marriage. ("laborer" age 25)
Marriage Certificate Version 1
Marriage Certificate Version 2
(she died in 1908 in North Attleboro)

Union Civil War: Mass 3rd Infantry, Co F
Enlisted Sep 19 1862 -> Jun 26 1863
Enlistment record says 26 yrs old - weaver - from New Bedford

On Pension in 1895, John McGowan (30yrs - weaver - Westport) said he knew Matthew for 35 years (i.e. from 1860) and they served in the "War of the Rebellion" together.

Naturalized Oct 4 1876 (cert 82-177)
Citizen request page 1
Citizen request page 2

Pension: Jun 20 1891, was listed as sick, i.e. 'invalid'
Description from pension:
59 yrs, 5'6", brown hair, blue eyes. cataracts and loss of sight

D: Jun 14 1903, N Attleboro MA (arterio sclerosis, age 70 yrs 7 mo 6 day)
lived on Lyman St N Attleboro - as jeweler
Sun Chron missing Sun 6/14, no mention afterwards
Pension: Jul 11 1903, widow: Caroline Kelley
Caroline applied for money from his civil war efforts:
NARA cover letter
NARA page 1
NARA page 2
NARA page 3
NARA page 4
NARA page 5
NARA page 6
NARA page 7
NARA page 8

Bur: Jun 14 1903, St Mary's, N Attleboro MA
Small grave in old section: Mathew Shea, Co. F, 3 Mass Inf

Annie M Shea, 1863/4 (where? seems to be named after his younger sister) - married in N. Attleboro in 1889 - who?
Ellen L Shea, 1867 (where?)
John Patrick Shea, 1870, Attleboro Massachusetts
Agnes Shea, 1872 (where?) (never married)
Matthew L Shea, 1875, N. Attleboro - married Katherine Riordan
Daniel F Shea, 1878 (never married)

Find kids' births- asking Catholic churches in the area.
Find kids' marriages if in N Attleboro
Find newspaper write-up of mom's death

From Kathy - another descendant -

I have attached copies of the pictures I took this morning. The citizenship papers are really hard to read. The pictures of the tools are pretty good. The top of the canister reads M. Shea 87 MS. There are all kinds of etchings. The bottom of the canister also reads M Shea.

I have bad news about the civil war stuff. Steve says "Aunt Ag tossed all that stuff in the dump when they cleaned out the homestead. His gun and uniforms were there. He said that was a sore subject for years with John Patrick (Mathew's son).

He also says "The story goes" Matthew deserted in the Crimean War. Something about a fight and Matthew got the next ship out of England. The only ship I knew of was the S. S. Halifax you had noted on your site but I can't find any formal information to support that.

From a visitor: (IMPORTANT NOTE: These Sheas do not seem directly connected to "my Sheas" but as they're also in Chicopee I thought it worth including here, just in case. Maybe they are cousins or something.)

I am researching the Shea family that are buried in our family plot at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Chicopee Falls/Chicopee. Unfortunately the index card supplied by the Church has the names of those buried, but only two have the date of burial and nothing else. I have written several times to the mortuary and have had no response. The gravestone shows only:

John D. Shea 1890, wife Ellen Shea 1893

The index card:
Ellen Shea 1893
John D. Shea 1890
Joseph Shea
John Shea
Ellen Shea
Joseph Shea Jr. (child)
Mrs. John Shea

I wonder if anyone has run across them in their research? I am looking for a date of death so that I may order an OBIT and a DCT to connect all of them to our ggrandparents. My grandparents were John F. and Anna M (Shea) Nally Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!