Lyle McMullen was born in Brooklyn, NY. She married William Edward Clark.
There are no clear dates for her birth, marriage or death. She had three
children: Mabel, Marguerite and William. She was called "Gongy" by her
grandson, Royal Kenneth Altreuter.
Catherine's parents were both born
in the County of Antrim in what is now Northern Ireland. Her parents
were William McMullen and Margaret Henry. The 1851 census of Antrim County
shows a William McMullen, age 22 years, a linen weaver from Tamlaght
townland in the Parish of Rasharkin. The same census from Antrim County
shows a Margaret Henry, age 22 years, a servant and linen weaver, from
the townland of Rasganavor in the Parish of Rasharkin. They are about
the right age to be Catherine's parents. The Parish of Rasharkin is about
midway between Belfast and Londonderry. Catherine's parents were part
of the great Irish emigration occurring at the time.
Catherine McMullen is pictured here
with her son William.
Taken from: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~eas5e/Irish/Famine.html)
The dates of the Irish potato famine are generally
given as 1845 to 1850. It began with a blight of the potato crop that
left acre upon acre of Irish farmland covered with black rot. As harvests
across Europe failed, the price of food soared. Subsistence-level Irish
farmers found their food stores rotting in their cellars, the crops they
relied on to pay the rent to their British and Protestant landlords destroyed.
Peasants who ate the rotten produce sickened and entire villages were
consumed with cholera and typhus.
Landlords evicted hundreds of thousands of peasants
who then crowded into disease-infested workhouses. Other landlords paid
for their tenants to emigrate, sending hundreds of thousands of Irish
to America and other English-speaking countries. But even emigration
was no panacea -- shipowners often crowded hundreds of desperate Irish
onto rickety vessels labeled "coffin ships."
The Irish Famine of 1846-50 took as many as one million
lives from hunger and disease. The combined forces of famine, disease
and emigration depopulated the island; Ireland's population dropped from
8 million before the Famine to 5 million years after.
Any information about the family would be appreciated and can be sent
to Ken Altreuter at