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Burke-Greely Family
Ireland to America

Baxter Boulevard, Portland, Maine USA
(A view of the Portland skyline via Baxter Boulevard, summer 2005. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception steeple in center view.)

* Always under construction *

Family Current Research Portland Irish History St. Dominic's RC Church

My name is Krista Ozyazgan. I began researching family history in my 20s. My family's direct maternal line, which include Burke, Greely/Grealy, Cunningham, Riley/Reily, Welch/Walsh, Stanton, etc. were from Galway and Mayo, Ireland. Some of these ancestors immigrated to Portland, Maine, USA.

The purpose of this site serves as a place to share some general information with the hope of connecting with researchers who would like to collaborate on family history. There were many immigrants of these surnames that departed Ireland and settled in Portland beginning in the 1840's (the Great Hunger years) right up through the mid 1900s. It is typical to find siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even later generations of family follow the original immigrant. For example, once I found a passenger record for a man arriving in the US a half century after his aunt had immigrated. Sometimes people had their passage paid by landlords, immigration schemes, such as the Tuke fund, or an aid society sponsored by the church, government or other organization. By investigating sources on this side of the Atlantic, I hope to sort out some of the family relationships and then discover more about their origins in the Old Country.

Michael Burke and Bridget Grealy were both born in Galway, Ireland. They immigrated to the United States in the mid 19th century, settling down in Portland. In 1857, they joined hands in marriage at St. Dominic's church, which was built by the community's Irish.

Michael was employed with the Grand Trunk Railroad and the Portland Company on Fore Street. In 1860, he purchased a 2-family house on Adams Street from his employer. The duplex remained in the family for over a century. 

Bridget Burke
Bridget's signature

Mary Ann, eldest child of Michael & Bridget - first of the family born in the United States.

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"The literature of a nation is spun out of its heart. If you want to know Ireland, body and soul, you must read its poems and stories. They are Ireland talking to herself." - W. B. Yeats