Nicholas Fehan1

(10 September 1811 - 4 November 1883)

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Relationship3rd great-grandfather of The 3 Tracys
Family Group:Weygand
Trees14 Generations of Our Ancestors
Our Weygand Family Pedigree

Some Background

Nicholas Fehan was also known as Nicholas Finn. His surname is also found spelled, variously, Feehan, Feahan, Fane, but most frequently in Taunton, Massachusetts, as Fehan.3,1
FatherWilliam Fehan2

Birth - Marriage - Death

ChildNicholas Fehan was born on 10 September 1811, in Ireland. The 1873 registration of his death in Taunton, Massachusets, gives his age as 72 which would mean he was born in 1811. However, ages he has given on census returns indicate a birth year of 1818 or 1819.4,3,5
GroomCirca 1840, in Ireland, Nicholas Fehan married Catherine (Kate) Roche. This year is calculated based on the date their eldest child was baptised, 28 Feb 1841.3,1,6
DeceasedHe died on 4 November 1883 in Taunton, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, at the age of 72. His age given on the death register is 72 years old.7,8
InterredHe was buried in Saint Francis Old Cemetery, Taunton, Bristol Co., Massachusetts; Section 2, Lot 301.9

Children with Catherine (Kate) Roche:

Immigrant Ancestor

In 1871, Nicholas Fehan and Catherine (Kate) Roche arrived. If this year was indeed the year they came to the U.S., it could explain the absence of a 1870 U.S. Census return for the family, as well as the lack of an 1871 Cenus return in England.
There is no direct evidence of which of their children accompanied them, but in 1900 Catherine was living with their daughter Mary and Mary's family, and Catherine and Mary said they had come to the U.S. in 1871 (so did Mary's husband John Murphy and one of their sons).
Nicholas' and Catherine's youngest daughter, Margaret, was living with them at the time of the 1880 U.S. Census (when she said she was 21 years old) and she probably came with them as well. Various years have been given for Margaret's immigration... but the Family Tradition story is that she came to the United States as a young girl. Census returns give different years for both Margaret's birth and her year of immigration - with variations of up to 4 years: the 1861 census for her whole family in England shows her to have been born in 1858, the earliest date yet found for her birth; the 1880 U.S. census indicates 1859; her own 1900 census entry shows she was born in 1862 and immigrated in 1865... but the 1862 birth date is not possible (that 1861 census in England and the 1880 census in the U.S. disprove it) so she would have been about 6 or 7 years old in 1865; her mother's (and sister Mary's) 1900 census shows they immigrated in 1871, and Margaret would have been about 12 or 13 years old; Margaret's 1910 census return shows she came to the U.S. in 1875... when she would have been about 16 or 17 years old. She might be considered a "young girl" at any of those dates, especially 1865 or 1871. Later census returns: 1920 shows 1880... about 22 years old (and that she became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1887); and 1930 shows 1884 when she was probably at least 26 years old. The last two dates would seem to disagree with the idea that she was a young girl at the time of her immigration. And she actually did marry in 1884, (according to town records) when she said she was 22 years old (but may have been 26 years old or older). The 1871 date seems the most reasonable one to be connected with the idea of her being still a "young girl"... about 12 years old... probably 13 years old.
Just to complicate things further, in 1910 Mary said she immigrated in 1870... but that would still be consistent with Margaret having been a young girl of about 11 or 12 years old when she immigrated.10,11,3

Residences and Censuses

Nicholas Fehan and Catherine (Kate) Feehan appeared on the Census Returns for England and Wales which were taken as of the night of 7 April 1861. They were living on Common Side Road, Mitcham, Surrey, England. Their family name was rendered as "Fane." The enumeration forms for this census were given to the head of each household a couple of days before the census night and the completed forms were collected the next day. If the head of the household had any problems completing the form (e.g. was illiterate) the enumerator would help as necessary. Later census returns (in the U.S.) indicate that Nicholas could read and write English which would suggest that he was able to complete the form for this census himself. So, risking the assumption that he had completed the forms himself, and that he would have clearly been aware of the data he was providing relative to ages, relationships, and places of birth, one might accept the accuracy of the information provided by this census... and it is perhaps the most accurate information, that has been provided by the family itself, available. (Keep in mind that spellings of surnames had not yet been entirely standardized in the mid 1800s and spelling often reflected a phonetic interpetation of the pronunciation, even among those considered literate.) Their children Mary, Anne, William, Catherine and Margaret were listed as living with them, and according to this census the entire family had been born in Ireland. Nicholas was working as an Agricultural Laborer, as was their 13 year old son, William. The two oldest girls, Anne, 18, and Mary Ann, 20, were employed as servants, 8 year old Catherine was listed as "Scholar," and at 3 years of age, Margaret would have been at home with her mother.3
He and Catherine (Kate) Feehan appeared on the 1880 Federal Census of Taunton, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, at 111 Washington St., enumerated 7 June 1880. Their daughter Margaret was listed as living with them. Margaret's age is given as 21 years and her birthplace is shown as England.
Additionally, a 15 year old grandson, Patrick Fehan, was shown as a member of their family. The widow Mary Ambrose and her two sons, William and John, were also part of the Fehan household, but were enumerated as a separate family. Nicholas and Mary's daughter Mary Ann Murphy and her family were living next door.11,12
From 1880 to 1883,according to the Taunton City Directories, Nicholas Fehan was living 111 Washington St., Taunton, Bristol Co., Massachusetts.

Sources - Citations

  1. [S481] Massachusetts Vital and Town Records (Provo, Utah: Holbrook Research Institute, 27 3 1911). Facsimile edition, accessed online at 12 Sept. 2013, No. 111, Edward Harrigan, Margaret Finn.
  2. [S485] Massachusetts Vital and Town Records (Provo, Utah: Holbrook Research Institute, unknown publish date). Facsimile edition, accessed online at 13 Sept. 2013, Deaths registered for the City of Taunton for the Year 1883, #367, Nov 4; gives name, age, place of birth & death, and occupation as well as parents' names.
  3. [S484] Nicholas Fane household, Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861, Surrey, England, population schedule, Common Side Road, Mitcham, Enumeration District 4 Croydon - Mitcham, Household Schedule No. 119; Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England: The National Archives. Class: RG 9; Piece: 452; Folio: 46; Page: 20; GSU roll: 542640 1861 England Census (database online), Shows family name as "Fane" - names parents and children with places of birth, ages and occupations.
  4. [S787] Ancestry Family Trees, online at: Family Trees uploaded by various members. All data should be verified from documented sources..... some mambers provide better sourced information than others, but many use other ancestry family trees as their source - which when followed to the original tree is found to not be sourced at all;; Fehan Family Tree; submitted by mfehan_1; accessed 27 Apr 2018; name, event, date, location.
  5. [S210] Find A Grave, online at; Photographs and data are submitted by volunteer members - Text only data should be confirmed by additional sources, Memorial# 169957577; no photo; place of birth: Ireland.
  6. [S1114] Parish Register: Drumcolloger and Broadford; Dates: BAP Mar 4 1830 - Sept 30 1850 MARR Jan 24 1830- Sept 14 1850, Findmypast Limited, The Glebe, 6 Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DQ; "Ireland Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms"; Limerick Diocese: accessed via Feb 2019; names, events, dates, relationships, locations.
  7. [S485] Massachusetts Vital and Town Records, Deaths registered for the City of Taunton for the Year 1883, #367, Nov 4; gives name, age, place of birth & death, and occupation.
  8. [S487] The Taunton Directory - 1885-6 (No. XVII.) (Boston: Sampson, Murdock, & Co., 1885). pg. 79.
  9. [S210] Find A Grave, online at, Memorial# 169957577; no photo.
  10. [S489] John Murphy household, 1900 U.S. Census, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, population schedule, 117 Washington St, Taunton Ward 3, Enumeration District 223, Page No. 198 A, Sheet No. 4, dwelling 44, family 72; Washington: National Archives. , shows names, relationships, birth dates, and places.
  11. [S486] Nicholas Fehan household, 1880 U.S. Census, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, population schedule, 111 Washington St., Taunton Ward 3, Enumeration District 121, Sheet No. 28, dwelling 188, family 303; Washington: National Archives. , shows names, relationships, birth dates, and places.
  12. [S488] The Taunton Directory - 1880 (Boston: Sampson, Murdock, & Co., 1880), the 1880 city directory names only Nicholas.
Last Edited15 Feb 2019

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