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Some time between these two dates, my grandfathers left Ireland for England, Tim Gerrity in his teens and Jim Johnson of an age unknown.
Both came with their parents and siblings so contact with the home country faded away quickly.
... They moved to Salford in about 1887, to the town that was probably more Irish in its population than any in England ...
Jim's uncle Hughie had been a soldier with the Connaught Rangers and was involved with them in the capture of Cetawayo, king of the Zulus, during the Zulu Wars. At least, that was the story. His family came to England to find jobs and settled into sheet-metal work, a natural consequence of having been tinkers a generation before.
Tim's family was very different. They were engaged in Ireland in illegal political activities, probably with the Fenians, and believed that it would actually be safer for them to live in England. They moved to Salford in about 1887, to the town that was probably more Irish in its population than any in England and the place where the actual Fenian Rising had been planned. It's possible that Fenian contacts told them that they could settle safely here.
Tim had 10 children and Jim had two. They both continued with the catholic faith into their late teens but became Communists and then lapsed from that.
No records of either family exist in Ireland. We assume that the shelling of the Four Courts during the Civil War, destroying vast quantities of records, got rid of my families' too.
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