accounts over the years:
- Quigleys at Inishowen in Donegal
- Father James Quigley
- Quigleys in Monaghan and Fermanagh
- Robert Quigley of Quigley’s Bridge
- Captain Aaron Quigley in the Revolutionary War
- The Quigleys of Beech Creek
Quigleys at Inishowen in Donegal
were at one time numerous on the Inishowen peninsula in county
Donegal, reportedly the fifth most popular surname in the area.
Quigley family has traced itself back to Robert Quigley who was born in
Buncrana in 1801. Another Quigley family,
recorded in Clonmany in the 1820’s, may have subsequently emigrated to
Quigley’s Point (Rinn Ui Choigligh) is a
village in Donegal on the eastern shores of Inishowen overlooking Lough
Father James Quigley
Quigley (sometimes Coigley) was ordained as a Catholic priest in Armagh
1785. A United Irishmen, he worked at improving Catholic and
relations. He traveled often to England
and Paris where he was involved with a group called the United Britons.
traveling to France, he narrowly
escaped capture and execution by the French Revolutionaries. He was, however, apprehended by the English
four other United Irishmen, one of them being Arthur O’Connor,
a leader of the rebels of Leinster. Upon his arrest, the English authorities
discovered a letter by the United Britons, addressed to the French
Revolutionary Government calling for an invasion of England, hidden in
permission for a Catholic priest. His
jailers delivered a ‘Castle-Catholic’ reverend, one loyal to the
British Crown. They
ordered him to refuse the last sacraments to Quigley unless the rebel
would give details concerning the United Irishmen.
Father Quigley would not talk and the visiting
priest left with no sacraments dispensed.
Quigley was hanged on Penenden Heath in Maidstone
on June 7, 1798.
Monaghan and Fermanagh
town and parish of Clones spans western Monaghan and county Fermanagh
is now Northern Ireland. The
Quigleys were at
one time the erenaghs at Clontivrin in Clones.
But there has been no substantial recent Quigley presence in the
family history began in the
early 19th century with Michael and Jane Quigley of nearby Roslea in
Fermanagh. Their son John, born around
1825, was recorded as the head of a Quigley family there in the 1901
censuses. Seamus Quigley is now a star
turn with the Roslea Shamrocks and two of his brothers also play for
Robert Quigley of Quigley’s Bridge
Robert the son was the companion of his father James Quigley. Born fourteen years after his parents had
on a wild tract of land along Condoguinet Creek in Pennsylvania, he
learned to wield the axe, fell the forest trees, and follow his father
plow. In the summer he harvested the
grain, ranked the wood in stacks for winter use, cleared the land of
stubble, and built fences, bridges, and laid out roads.
His boyhood days were also days of
peril. Year after year he heard of
blood-thirsty advances in the valley, hundreds falling beneath the blow
tomahawk, and learned with infant lips to raise the cry of danger, and
eye of infancy to pick the trail of the Indian.
His encounters with the Indians and practice in the shooting of
made him a skilled marksman. During the
Revolutionary War many a redcoat fell beneath his unfaltering aim and
was a large, powerfully built
man. Among the early generations of the
family, blue eyes, brown hair, and strong vigorous constitutions
predominated. A mixture of red hair and
eyes was noticeable in some of his children and is seen in descendants
the present day.
Captain Aaron Quigley in
recorded this incident on June 5, 1782 during the
Quigley, in a small boat, with three men, left Elizabethtown on
evening, the 22nd May. and, after landing on Staten Island and carrying
boat across it (near four miles) about two the next morning, in sight
of a 20
gun ship and a fort on the island, boarded and took a brig, lying at
bound to Halifax, laden with salt, pepper, tobacco, china, queenware,
&c. After securing three people (all
on board) and cutting her cable, they brought her off and conducted her
Egg Harbor. This prize is said to be
worth near four thousand pounds.”
Captain Aaron Quigley came from a Quigley family which had settled in
Burlington, New Jersey in the 1730’s.
Philip Quigley, described as a stave-getter (converting timber
into barrel staves), had married Mary
there in 1733.
The Quigleys of Beech Creek
Quickel and his wife Fronica had come to Pennsylvania from Germany in
1736. They took the Irish name Quigley in
maybe because of the existing Quigley presence in Pennsylvania. However, the name often came out Quigle or
Their son Michael was born in
Lancaster county in 1777. He married
a local girl, Mary Clark, and settled in Bald Eagle township in what
was to become Clinton
county. In 1814 he built a grist mill
which his son Cline took over after Michael’s death in 1839. The small town that sprung up around the
grist mill was first called Quigley Mills and then in 1850 became Beech
Creek. As a result, Michael Quigley is
usually credited with being the founder of Beech Creek.
Possibly related to Michael were John and
Nicholas Quigley, likely father and son tailors in the area in the
1800’s. By the 1870’s there were
numerous Quigleys in the town, enough to provide five players to the
baseball team. However, few Quigleys
have remained there.
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