Captain John Lonergan
(1837 - 1902)
Medal of Honor
John Lonergan was born in
Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary on April 7, 1839
to Thomas Lonergan and
Mary Lonergan (nee Nolan). John
was the oldest of the six children. The three oldest
were born in Ireland, the others in the United
John's father, Thomas, was a cooper by trade who worked in or whose business was
dependant on the local slate
There is no information
readily available regarding Lonergan's early education.
it would be reasonable to assume that
he attended one of the local primary schools
1831 shortly after the easing of
the Penal Laws.
In 1845, when John was six years old the
first sign of blight
appeared on the potato stalk.
The tuber underneath was mushy - it had rotted away.
It was inconceivable, at that time, to contemplate
and horror that would befall the people of
Ireland during the subsequent five years. John
Mitchel summed it up best in his book "The Last
Conquest of Ireland" published in 1861 in which he accused England
of "deliberate murder" for their actions during the
"Famine" years of 1845 to 1850.(1)
1848 the Lonergan's emigrated to the Unites States. The
famine, or more accurately the Great Hunger, was a
contributing factor to their exile. Its also possible that the
Young Ireland Rising of 1848 may have
contributed as Ballingarry, not
far from Lonergan hometown, was the locus for that abortive
but, nonetheless, significant event in Irish history in that
it demonstrated continued resistance to British rule in
Ireland. The only clue that the failed Rising may have been
a factor was that a John Nolan who lived on the same street
as the Lonergan's was arrested for forging pikes. Its
possible that John Nolan was related to John's mother who
maiden name was Nolan.
After all Tipperary, particularly south-east
Tipperary, was the breeding ground for many of Ireland's
greatest patriots. John, as he later demonstrated, followed
in their footsteps by answering the call of freedom in
Ireland and America.
Lonergan's on arrival in The United States settled in
reason they choose Vermont was due to the availability of
work in the slate quarries concentrated in
the Taconic Mountains region of
Vermont and New York, known as the "Slate Valley".
Another reason why they choose Vermont was to be with
former friends or
neighbors who had settled there earlier and who could assist
them in finding shelter and work.
finished school he joined his father's coopering business.
cemetery AND grave location
Saint Joseph Cemetery PHONE NO.
ADDRESS: Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont, USA
image to read headstone inscription