The Hippo


Jul 15, 2019








Old Saint Joseph Cemetery. Courtesy photo.

Ethnic heritage walking tour series “Find Your Irish Roots” 

Where: Old Saint Joseph Cemetery, Donald Street, Manchester
When: Saturday, May 30, 10 a.m. to noon 
“Our Franco-American Pioneers” 
Where: Mount Calvary Cemetery, 474 Goffstown Road, Manchester 
When: Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m. to noon 
“Honoring Manchester’s Greek Community”
Where: The Greek section of Pine Grove Cemetery, 765 Brown Ave., Manchester
When: Saturday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m. to noon
“Manchester Hebrew Cemetery” 
Where: Manchester Hebrew Cemetery, Beech Street, Manchester
When: Saturday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to noon
All tours are $10 for the general public, $5 for MHA members. Pre-registration is required. Visit

Finding Manchester’s roots
Manchester Historic Association kicks off summer walking tour series

By Angie Sykeny

The Manchester Historic Association will host a walking tour called “Find Your Irish Roots” on Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to noon. Two Manchester historians, John Jordan and Gerald Holleran, will guide participants through the Old Saint Joseph Cemetery on Donald Street to visit the gravesites of Manchester’s pioneer Irish citizens. The tour is the first of the association’s four-part ethnic heritage walking tour series happening throughout the summer. 

“The Irish were one of the early immigrant groups to come to Manchester, and they really helped build the city and the mills,” Jeffrey Barraclough, director of operations at the Historic Association, said. “They have an important story we want to be able to tell.” 
Jordan and Holleran will take the tour group to about 75 different grave sites of notable Irish immigrants who lived between 1835 and 1910. At each grave, they will offer a short biography and, for some, show photographs of the deceased. 
“We’ll talk about their accomplishments, if they were naughty, the way they lived their lives and if there was anything exemplary about them,” Jordan said. 
Some of the Irish people profiled will include Manchester’s first Irish doctor, the first documented Irish women immigrants, the first Irishman to run for mayor, the second Manchester police officer to be killed in the line of duty and New Hampshire’s first parochial Catholic school teacher. Jordan and Holleran will share how these people overcame the discrimination and adversity they faced as English immigrants.
“When they got here, they were literally spat upon,” Jordan said. “At that time, Manchester was fully Yankee, so they built up a hatred towards the Irish because the Irish were English immigrants, but still, many of them became doctors, lawyers and prominent businessmen because here, they were able to get educated, and that changed their whole lives.”
The guides will also share some bizarre stories, like that of a woman miser who died with $20,000 in the bank and the last words, “I want whiskey,” and one of a young boy who quit school to join the circus and was crushed by an elephant. 
Jordan, whose ancestry includes Manchester Irish immigrants, said he has always had a deep interest in the Irish history of Manchester. He proposed the “Find Your Irish Roots” tour to the historic society after publishing a 216-page book on the same topic last fall. The photographs he will show at the tour are directly from his book. 
“John [Jordan] is a great expert on Manchester Irish history,” Barraclough said, “so when he suggested this program, we were looking forward to sponsoring it and having Historic Association members and people in the community come learn about Manchester’s Irish heritage.”
Jordan will be leading or co-leading all of the walking tours in the Historic Association’s summer ethnic heritage series. The three remaining tours will focus on Manchester’s Franco-American, Greek and Jewish pioneers and will also take place in historic cemeteries. 
“The walking tours are a great opportunity for us to tell the story of Manchester and specific stories about the people of Manchester,” Barraclough said, “not only in a traditional setting, but also out in the community, and in this case, at the [cemeteries].”
As seen in the May 28, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

®2019 Hippo Press. site by wedu