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Nellie Perrings Dolan, and her sister-in–law, Nora Dolan

Nellie Perrings Dolan, Nora Dolan

     This picture was taken at 300 West Lafayette Street, Jerseyville, IL in the early 1900’s. It pictures my great aunt, Nellie Perrings Dolan, and her sister-in-law, Nora Dolan, who was visiting Jerseyville after immigrating from Ireland in the late 1800 or early 1900’s. Nellie was native to Jerseyville, daughter of Amos Perrings and Emmaline Davis Perrings. She married my great uncle, Martin Dolan, who arrived in Jerseyville around 1883 with his father from Ireland. They worked on a farm (this is the story as I remember) and the father, James Dolan, who spoke only gaelic, returned to Ireland (unknown reasons) and left Martin on a farm in the Jerseyville area. Martin, aged 12, lived in a hut in the fields. When the farmer found he was reading in the hut he dismissed him. Another farmer, (German farmer I am told) found that Martin was reading and and invited him to work on their farm. He befriended Martin and helped him to go onto Washington University in St. Louis to become and attorney. Martin later became a State Representative of Jerseyville, married Nellie Perrings, and lived at 300 West Lafayette Street. They had three children that I am aware of – Martin J. Dolan, Jr., James Thornton Dolan, and Mary Ellen Dolan. Martin died in 1942 and Nellie in 1958.
     My parents, Thomas Duffy (son of Nora Dolan in the picture), was born in Chicago but brought back to Ireland in 1911 with his mother, brother and infant sister. Thomas, at age 22 returned to America, sponsored by Martin Dolan and lived for a short time in Jerseyville while doing some farm work. He eventually went to Chicago to become a Chicago policeman. Our family visited Jerseyville often and were welcomed by “Aunt Nell” at the house on Lafayette Street.
     If anyone knows more about the Dolan/Perrings family, I would be happy to hear about it. Patricia Eitz, [email protected]

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