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Catherine Lyle McMullen

Born: circa April 5, about 1860


Catherine 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.

Photograph of Catherine Lyle McMullen with her son William from 1930's.

Historical Note;

Taken from:

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