In 1838, Dennis Farrell was born in Newcastle West, County Limerick, Ireland, to Edmond Farrell and Mary Danaher. According to DNA matches, Edmund may have had a first wife, Alice McCoy, and had four children with Alice before he married Mary Danaher.

Dennis was the youngest of six children. His siblings were Catherine, born in 1827; John, born in 1828; Patrick, born in 1831; William, born in 1833; and Ellen, born in 1835.

On 13 April 1852, Dennis Farrell, his mother Mary, and a nineteen-year-old girl listed as Nancy Farrell arrived in the port of New Orleans on the ship Samuel Lawrence. They traveled up the Mississippi to St. Louis.

From obituaries and Calvary Cemetery burial records, we know that the siblings, Catherine, John, and Ellen, immigrated to St. Louis. Dennis and his mother were likely the last of the family to immigrate, leaving Ireland after Edmund died. The girl “Nancy” may have been a relation or she may have been sister, Ellen. There is no Nancy elsewhere in the family records.

In the 1860 census, Dennis was a carpenter’s apprentice living with his mother in the 4th Ward. In 1866, Mary Danaher Farrell died with burial at Calvary Cemetery, lot 205.

In 1867, Dennis married Sarah J. Horner, and the young couple lived at 116 N. 12th. About Sarah J. Horner, we know only what she reported to census takers—that she was born in Ireland in March 1844 and that she immigrated in 1855.

In the 1900 census, Sarah reported that she had borne seven children, of which five were living. Between 1868 and 1882, Dennis and Sarah had Edward, born in 1868; Mary, born in 1871; Joseph, born in 1874; James, born in 1876; Dennis, born in 1878; and Robert, born in 1882. Young Dennis died at age three and is buried in lot 205 at Calvary Cemetery.

From the early 1870s on, Dennis Farrell is listed as a carpenter in the St. Louis city directory at the following addresses:

    • 1870s and early 1880s: 2424 Biddle
    • Late 1880s: 2500 N. Garrison Avenue
    • 1899: 4356 Finney Avenue
    • 1901: 3039 Franklin Avenue E.
    • 1903: 4281 Cook Avenue

Dennis lived on Cook Ave when he died on 29 March 1905. When Sarah died on 14 December 1908, she lived at 5660 Chamberlain, the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Cornelius Touhill. Sarah and Dennis are buried at Calvary, lot 1536, with their children and their spouses: Edward and Cora Farrell, Robert and Elizabeth Farrell, James Farrell, Joseph Farrell, and Mary (Farrell) and Cornelius Touhill.

(Sources: cemetery and census records, city directories, DNA testing, and passenger lists)

Written by Mary Dolan for Joseph Touhill
Submitted March 2019

© 2018, St. Louis Genealogical Society

Return to St. Louis City/County Biographies.

Last Modified: 21-Jul-2019 15:26