Devlins of Birchgrove - Roscrea Through The Ages

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Devlins of Birchgrove


I wanted to share some of my Roscrea connections with you in the hopes it might generate some interest. My ancestors were the Devlins (not a common name in Roscrea). Peter Devlin, a flax dresser, was brought down "from the North" to set up and operate the flax scutching mill that operated at Birchgrove after the distillery closed. One of Peter's sons, Frank Devlin, married a local girl by the name of Mary McManus. Frank and Mary lived in Leeds working to save for passage to the United States. In Leeds, the couple had three children, the oldest being John Bernard Devlin.
Frank returned to Roscrea with the family before departing for Philadelphia leaving his wife and three young children behind. The entire family would be brought to the States in small groups over many years. Young John most likely spent his days with Devlin grandparents at Birchgrove or his McManus relatives. Around 1894 John left Ireland with his grandfather, Peter Devlin, and his cousin, Mary E. Hurst, and set out to be reunited with his family in Philadelphia.
There is much more details to the story above but that can keep for another time.
In his teens John joined the American Navy and became a bluejacket on the USS Nashville during the Spanish-American War. John was deployed to the Philippines during the Philippine Insurrection and eventually was sent to China to assists in the international relief effort of foreign forces during the Boxer's Rebellion.
John Bernard Devlin was my great grandfather. We continue to honor the Devlin name by using it as my daughters middle name - Lillian Devlin Slater. Someday we hope to visit to see where my ancestors lived and worked.
I have attached a number of photos of John Bernard Devlin, his ship, his service card, a page from his diary, and his service medals.

The pictures above are :

1. John Devlin seaman.

2John Devlin bluejacket

3. Devlins diary

4. China relief expedition medal 1901

5.Phillipines campaign medal 1899 - 1903

6. Spanish civil war medal

7. USS Nashville

8. Veterans card

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