Irish origins

I recently attended my first concert ever, with my husband. Whenever I listen to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s music, it puts me into a holiday mood. During the concert, I learned that founder Paul O’Neill passed away two years ago. I was curious about his roots and wanted to see what I could find. I learned from his obituary that he had grandparents from Ireland. Through a variety of interviews published online, I was able to start tracing his tree. I first started looking into his maternal side.

Paul’s maternal grandparents were Andrew Joseph Moore and Julia P. Merryman. Both were born in Ireland. The couple married in South Dublin on 13 June 1924,[1] a few short years after the Irish War of Independence.

Andrew Joseph Moore

Andrew was born circa 1897 in Dublin. He was a civil servant, working as a clerk for the railway. They had two children in Ireland, James (b. 1925) and Edward (b. 1928). Andrew is found arriving in New York on the 25 April 1927 ship manifest for the S.S. Baltic; he was visiting his brother-in-law, Thomas Shortt, who lived in New Rochelle, New York. Mrs. Julia Moore was still living in Dublin with her son James.[2]

Andrew and family immigrated to America soon thereafter and settled in Queens, New York. The family had four more children (Patricia, Joan, Veronica,[3] and Gregory). By 1940, Andrew was the head porter at a theater and became a naturalized citizen.[4] Andrew died in Queens in 1947 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery. His death certificate lists his parents as Andrew Moore and Bridget Keyes.[5]

Andrew Moore and Bridget Kayes married 24 August 1884 at St. Margaret’s Church in Finglas (a suburb of Dublin).[6] In addition to Andrew Jr., Andrew and Bridget had a daughter, Margaret. She was born 21 October 1899,[7] and married Thomas Shortt in 1926 in South Dublin.[8] This is the same man already seen in Andrew J. Moore’s listing on the Baltic’s manifest.

Julia Merryman

Julia Merryman was born on 3 July 1895 in South Dublin to James Merryman and Mary Anne Foran.[9] According to the 1901 Census, James was born in County Wexford and Mary Anne was born in Dublin.[10] They married on 12 September 1886 at St. Catherine’s Church in Dublin. James’ father was listed as Edward Merryman and Mary Anne’s father was James Foran.[11] There is a James Merryman born 3 May 1856 to Edward Merryman and Ane Furlong [sic]. He was baptized in Piercetown, County Wexford.[12] There will need to be more digging to verify if these are the correct parents.

I wonder if [Paul O'Neill's] grandparents, Andrew and Julia, talked about the bustling city life of Dublin in their stories to their grandchildren.

Turning our attention to Mary Anne Foran, we know that she was born in Dublin to James Foran about 1865. I found a baptism record on 9 June 1863 for a Maria Anna Foran at St. Catherine’s Church (the same church in which her parents were married). Her parents were listed as Jacobi Foran and Juliae Birmingham.[13] I then found a marriage record between Jacobus Foran and Julia Birmingham. They married at St. Mary’s Church in Dublin City on 4 July 1858. Jacob’s parents are listed as Jacobi and Maria Foran.[14]

Paul’s maternal line has deep Irish roots in the heart of Dublin. I wonder if his grandparents, Andrew and Julia, talked about the bustling city life of Dublin in their stories to their grandchildren. Perhaps his grandfather spoke of the “old city bar” that was featured in Paul’s rock opera “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.” Let’s raise a glass of Guinness to Paul O’Neill this holiday season! Happy holidays everyone!


[1] Marriage Register via

[2], New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line].

[3] Veronica Moore was Paul O’Neill’s mother.

[4], 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line].

[5] New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949, database, FamilySearch ( 10 February 2018), Andrew J. Moore, 28 June 1947; citing Death, New York City, Queens, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,194,688.

[6], Ireland, Select Catholic Marriage Registers, 1775-1942 [database on-line].

[7] U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line].

[8] Marriage register via

[9] Civil Register via

[10] Web: Ireland, Census, 1901 [database on-line].

[11] Marriage register via

[12] Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915 [database on-line].

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

Melanie McComb

About Melanie McComb

Melanie McComb is a genealogist at NEHGS. She is an experienced international speaker on such topics as researching in Prince Edward Island and using newspapers and DNA in genealogy. Readers may know Melanie from her blog, The Shamrock Genealogist. Melanie holds a bachelor of science degree from the State University of New York at Oswego. Her areas of interest are Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Kansas, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. She is experienced in genetic genealogy, genealogical technology, social media, military records, and Irish and Jewish research.View all posts by Melanie McComb