The Descendants of Thomas Lalley





Some decades ago, Joseph M. Lalley [1.1.8] constructed two hand-drawn ancestral charts, one for the descendants of Michael Hart [b. ca 1870] in County Galway, the other for the descendants of Thomas Hannon [b. ca 1870] in County Galway. Perhaps because his father died when he had not yet reached his fifth birthday, he did not made a similar chart for the Lalley line.


1 Thomas Lally (Lalley)


Two records state that Thomas Lalley was the father of Michael Joseph Lalley who, in turn, was the father of Joseph Michael Lalley. The Marriage Register for the Cathedral Parish of St. Peter, Wilmington, Delaware records the name of Michael Joseph’s father as Thomas Lalley of County Roscommon. The baptismal record for Edward Hart Lalley, first child of Joseph Michael and Anna Hart Lalley, lists Thomas Lalley of County Roscommon as the grandfather of Edward.


DNA test results reveal that a descendant of Michael Joseph Lalley and his father Thomas is closely related to a Lally currently living whose relatives still live in County Roscommon. Both have a 37 marker DNA match with a generic distance of three, clear evidence that both descended from a male ancestor having a similar Irish surname who lived in the not-too-distant past.


The search for additional documentation that may reveal the name of this common Lally ancestor and his relatives continues, including the location in County Roscommon where they lived. The common surname may be recorded Ó Maolalaidh.


1.1 Michael Joseph Lalley


Birth:              Mar 1850, Co. Roscommon, Ireland [1]

Religion:          Roman Catholic

Occupation:      Grocer, Cement Worker [2]

Death:             30 Aug 1900 of Typhoid Fever at his home on 2049 South 18th St., Philadelphia, PA[3]

Burial:             3 Sep 1900, Borough of Darby, Delaware Co, PA[4]


Data from the 1880 and 1900 U.S. Censuses for Philadelphia suggest that Michael Joseph Lalley was born between 1847 and 1850.   The 1900 Census reports that he came to the United States in 1875. Three years later on 8 May 1878, he married Honor Anna Hart, the then twenty-seven year-old daughter of Edward Hart and Bridget Hannon of Wilmington, Delaware. By the time of the 1880 U.S. Census for Philadelphia, Michael, his wife, and their first child Edward A. Lalley had moved to 1169 South 16th Street located in the Moyamensing district of South Philadelphia. Into this area came the Irish by the hundreds before, during, and after the Great Potato Famines of 1846 through 1849. The 1169 South 16th Street address was but a few blocks away from the heart of Moyamensing's worst slums between Annin and Federal Streets. [5]


The Irish in Philadelphia, as their family circumstances improved, moved their residences away from more downtrodden sections of the city.  So great was their desire to extradite themselves from slums that they moved even if their new home was only a few blocks away from their former address and even if the new neighborhood represented only a slight improvement over the former.  The changing locations of the residence of Michael and Annie Lalley were typical for many Irish families.


By November 1880, Michael and his family moved to 1818 Wharton Street where he operated a small corner grocer store from 1880 until 1894.  Thomas J. Lalley, their second son, was born at a time when the family lived on the second floor of the building.   Within two years, they moved up the street to a modest frame house at 1826 Wharton Street, between Dorrance and Cleveland Streets, where Francis was born on 15 November 1882.


City directories after 1995 indicate that Michael and Annie rented a three-story location at 2049 South 18th Street in a newly developed neighborhood where buildings were of better construction. The 1897 map of Philadelphia does not show this section of the city developed until 1895. The floor space for his grocery was larger than at his Wharton Street store and its larger living quarters provided more rooms for their rapidly growing family.


As was the case for many struggling families of the time, the nationwide depression of the 1890s devastated Michael Lalley and his family.  According to family tradition, Michael's grocery business failed because he had extended too much credit to his neighbors during the depression.  Within a few years, Michael's health had failed.  He died on 30 August 1900 at the age of forty-nine at his 2049 South 18th Street home.   His death certificate, listed in the log of Death Certificates under the name of Niche Lally, reveals that he died of typhoid fever.  Several of his children died of the same disease.  At this time, it is not known whether he ever became a citizen. [6]


Children: Edward Hart (1879 - 1901)
  Francis Aloysius (1882-1930)
  Thomas J. (1880-1953)
  Margaret (1885-1901)
  Julia Hart (1887-1959)
  Mary (1889-1889)
  Agnes (>1888-<1900)
  Joseph M. (1895-1980)

1.1.1 Edward Hart Lalley


Edward graduated from St. Joseph College in 1898 per letter from Alumni Secretary Page Avenue to Tom Lalley in November 2002. He died of tuberculosis as did his father and several of siblings.


10 Feb 1879, 11 69 S. 16th St., Philadelphia, PA [11]
16 Feb 1879 [12]
Thomas Flaherty and Catherine Hart
Roman Catholic
Death: 7 Feb 1901 [13]
Occupation: Clerk
11 Feb 1901, Holy Cross Cemetery, Upper Darby, PA

1.1.2 Thomas J. Lalley


22 Nov 1880, 1818 Wharton Street, Philadelphia, PA [14]
5 Dec 1880 St. Charles Borromeo Church, Philadelphia, PA [15]
Felix McKeon and Ann Reagan
Roman Catholic
Death: 27 Feb 1953, Philadelphia, PA.
Spouse: Mary McAleer
Marriage: 8 Oct 1910
Children: Anna Mae (1911-1967)
  Thomas J. 1919
  Margery H. (1923-1968)
  Julia Marie (1926-)

1.1.3 Francis Aloysius Lalley


15 Nov 1882, 1826 Wharton Street, Philadelphia, PA [16]
19 Nov 1882 St. Charles Borremeo Church, Philadelphia, PA [17]
Peter Erner and Margaret Hart
Roman Catholic
at school (1900 Census), Insurance Broker
Death: 11 Sep 1930, Philadelphia, PA.
Marriage: 9 Jan 1909, Our Lady of Victory Church
Spouse: Mary Burns
Birth: ca 1885
Death 24 Oct 1924, Misericordia Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Children: Francis Aloysius (1909-1963)
  John Burns
  Thomas Edward (1919-1971)
  Robert Burns (1924-1924)

1.1.4 Margaret Lalley


Margaret is listed as the fourth child on the J. M. Lalley descendant child and was known as "Marjorie". The 1900 US Census for Philadelphia reveals that she was "at school" at the time of the census.


14 Feb 1885, 2049 S 18th St., Philadelphia, PA [18]
22 Feb 1885 - St. Charles Borromeo Church, Philadelphia
Edward Earner and Catherine Lalley
Roman Catholic
15 Oct 1901 from Typhoid Fever at home at 2049 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA. [19]
  22 Oct 1901, Borough of Darby, Delaware Co., PA, Holy Cross Cemetery Lot # 48, Grave # 1


1.1.5 Julia Hart Lalley


By all accounts, Michael and Annie Lalley's daughter, Julia was a much beloved and remarkable person. Although he seldom spoke of his parents, his brothers or his sisters, Joseph her youngest brother, remembered her fondly. During the Great Depression, she wrote two warm and kind letters to his wife, Spalding. In one she praised her for her good care of those "lovely and sturdy young boys" and mentioned that her nephew who she cared for was about to start high school. By this time she had moved into the 5035 Cedar Avenue home of her brother Francis (Frank) to care of his three young sons after their mother died while giving birth to another boy. In another letter written a week before Christmas in 1932, she concluded, "This will be a meager Christmas for most everyone but, if we have our health and the will to fight, things are bound to come out right."

At age twenty, she was employed as a telephone operator for the Insurance Company of North America. In time she became the chief supervisor of the company's telephone operations throughout the United States. Although she never married she had many friends. Throughout her life, she maintained close ties with most of her relatives. In later years she traveled extensively with many friends of her youth.


4 Mar 1887, Philadelphia, PA. [20]
20 Mar 1887, St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Philadelphia
Alexander J. Butler and Mary E. O'Hara
Roman Catholic
Telephone Supervisor for Insurance Company
Death: Feb 1959, Philadelphia, PA
Borough of Darby, Delaware Co., PA, Holy Cross Cemetery, No 48, Grave # 3

1.1.6 Mary Lalley


Listed as the fourth child on the J. M. Lalley Descendent's Chart for the Family of the Descendants of Michael Hart with the attraction"died inf."


11 Mar 1889, 1826 Wharton Street, Philadelphia, PA
12 Mar 1889 St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Philadelphia, PA [21]
Edward Earner and Bridget Dougherty
Roman Catholic
Death: 23 Mar 1889 after premature birth at1826 Wharton Street [22]
25 Mar 1889, Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

1.1.7 Agnes Lalley


Birth:              after 1888, Philadelphia, PA.

Death:             before 1900.   Died stillborn, prematurely, or in infancy


Agnes is listed as the fifth child on the descendant's chart compiled by J. M. Lalley and was probably born between 1888 and 1894.  No other records have yet been found.  She is not listed as living in 1900 US Census but it does show that two children in this family died before 1900. Mary was one of them.   Since all other siblings are listed on that census, Agnes must be the second child who died before 1900.


1.1.8 Joseph M. Lalley

9 Nov 1895 Philadelphia, PA. [23]
17 Nov 1895 [24]
John Biggins and Bridget Biggins
Roman Catholic
Education: St. Joseph College, Philadelphia
Newspaperman, writer literary critic, editorial writer
Death: 16 Aug 1980, Baltimore, MD [25]
16 Jan 1991, Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore
Marriage: 1 Nov. 1924


Joseph M. Lalley was born while his parents were living at 2048 South 18th Street in Philadelphia. He played semipro baseball in his youth and was very knowledgeable about the game. After attending St. Joseph College, he began writing for the Philadelphia Press and continued until 1917 when he was called to active duty. He served in Troop G of the First Pennsylvania Calvary and in Battery A of the 108th Field Artillery while stationed at Camp Hancock, Augusta, Georgia. Following his discharge, he became the Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia North American and later a reporter for the Philadelphia Ledger. Subsequently, he received an assignment with the Baltimore Sun where he met his wife M. Spalding Parker, a librarian for the Sun. Later he became vice president of a New York advertising firm. After the financial crash in 1931, he and his family returned to Baltimore where he worked as a reporter for the News American.


At the invitation of Felix Morley, then editor of the Washington Post, Mr. Lalley became a member of that paper's editorial staff. His unique Christmas editorials attracted considerable attention for many years. He was editor of the Sunday book review page and wrote a weekly column, "Posting the Books." In the early years after his retirement from the Post, he contributed several articles for that paper on such wide-ranging subjects as the visit of Pope Paul VI to the United States and the fall of the Bastille in 1789 at the beginning of the French Revolution.


Mr. Lalley collaborated with Roy Campbell in the editing of Our Jungle Diplomacy, the memoirs of former U.S. Ambassador William Franklin Sands. His essays, short stories, and articles appeared in many publications including Smart Set, H. L. Mencken's magazine of the 1920s. He also was the book review editor for the Human Events Newsletter. In 1948 the newsletter published "Faith and Force: An Inquiry Into The Nature of Authority." He contributed occasional articles to such magazines as the New Yorker and the neo-conservative monthly magazine Modern Age. From 1963 until his death, Mr. Lalley was an associate editor of Modern Age. His large book collection was donated to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of John Hopkins University which is also the repository of his manuscripts and correspondence.


(Margaret) Spalding Parker (1846 - 1991)
Edward Gregory Parker (1846 - 1905)
Naomi (Noma) Bernadine Spalding (1856 - 1902)
Roman Catholic
Death: 12 Jan 1991  
16 Jan 1991, Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, MD
Marriage: 1 Nov 1924  

Joseph Michael, Jr.
Baltimore, MD
John Spalding
1926 - 1994
Baltimore, MD
Thomas Lea
Baltimore, MD
Stephen Fenwick
1930 - 1900
North Plainfield, NJ
  Richard Plowden 1931 - North Plainfield, NJ
Anne Hart
1935 -
Baltimore, MD


The Spalding family genealogy is contained in the book Thomas Jenkins of Maryland 1670, His Descendants and Allied Families, compiled by Rev. Edward Felix Jenkins, OSA.  M. Spalding Parker Lalley completed considerable genealogy research for the Spalding family and her efforts were recognized by Father Jenkins. Spalding, as she called herself, was a long-time member of the Maryland Historical Society.

Thomas Jenkins emigrated from England to Charles County, Maryland in 1660 or 1670. It is unclear where and when he married his wife Ann Spalding. A seventh generation, direct descendant of Thomas and Ann Jenkins, Spalding Parker was the sixth and youngest child of Naomi Bernadine Spalding (9 Mar 1856 - 28 Jan 1902) and Edward Gregory Parker.

Until recently, very little was known about the Parker side of her family.  In 2007, however, Aleda Bunch, great granddaughter of Samuel W. Parker, published the results of her extensive and pains-taking research, Parker Family History.

Born in Liverpool, England, Samuel W. Parker (b. 26 Sep 1810 – d. 22 Mar 1885) and his younger brother Joseph Parker (ca 1813 – d. 30 Dec 1871) belong to the first known generation of this Parker family.   Samuel W. Parker married Maria Cluguet who bore him ten children: John T. (b. ca 1834- d. aft 1920), Joseph H. (b. Apr 1838), Jane (b. Jan 1840- d. aft 1900), Mary (b. ca 1842 - d. 16 Dec 1888), Edward Gregory (b.3 Oct 1843 - d. 1 Jul 1905), Margaret (b. ca 1846), Susanna (b. May 1847 - 26 Sep 1934), Julia (b. ca 1847 - d. aft 1870), Katie (b. ca 1845), and Samuel (b. Dec 1857 - d. aft 1900).

Samuel Parker was the head of an interesting theatrical family.  His six daughters were actresses.  His son Samuel was a musician before settling down as a clock maker. His brother Joseph was both an actor and a scene painter and the father of two well-known actresses, Josephine Parker Bishop and Julia Parker Polk as well as the father of Seymour Parker, an actor who later became a noted scene painter.   [26]

One of the sons of Samuel W. Parker and Maria Cluguet, Edward Gregory Parker, married Naomi Bernadine Spalding (b. 9 Mar 1856 - d. 28 Jan 1902).  Edward owned a Baltimore, Maryland insurance brokerage. The couple had six children one of whom was Margaret Spalding Parker. She was called by all who knew her "Spalding." When Spalding was a young child, her mother – "Noma," as she preferred to be called rather than "Naomi" - died of cancer in 1902. Spalding believed that her father died of a broken heart, though his obituary lists the cause of death as acute rheumatism following a heart attack. Less than eleven years old when her father died, she spent much of her teenage years year-round at Mount Saint Agnes, a boarding school for girls in Baltimore.Two older children (Edward Carroll, b. 26 Aug 1877 - d. 18 Sep 1877) and Beulah Marie (Beulah Marie Parker, b. 15 Aug 1878), died in infancy. Her brother, Herbert Jerome (b. 25 Jan 1880 - d. 25 Jul 1945), is said to have worked on the Panama Canal where he became ill with yellow fever. Later he married Elizabeth Neville, the nurse who had cared for him. They lived out their days in California.  Spalding Parker Lalley also had two sisters who were also considerably older than she.  Beulah Helena Parker (b.18 Dec.1881 - d.10 Jul 1982) married George F. Sloan.   Marie Randall Parker (b. 8 Oct. 1882 -   d. 15 Sep. 1964) married Frank Snowden Ehlen.

Edward Gregory Parker   Naomi B. Spalding


[1] 1900 US Census Philadelphia E.D. 645, Sheet 7 B, Line 51. 1880 US Census, Philadelphia, PA, E. D. 553, Sheet 16, Line 18.
[2]   Ibid.1900 US Census, Philadelphia
[3]   Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, PA Death Certificate # 18643.
[4]   Holy Cross Cemetery, Borough of Darby, Delaware County, PA.
[5]   Dennis Clark, The Irish in Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1984), 28 ff.
[6]   Two different men named Michael Lalley filed Declarations of Intent to be citizens, one on 24 March 1888, the other November 1874.  Research has shown that neither is the Michael Lalley who married Annie Hart.
[7]   Cathedral Parish of St. Peter, Wilmington DE, Baptismal Register,  [120]
[8]   Ibid.
[9]   Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, PA, Death Certificate # 18628
[10]Cathedral Parish of St. Peter, Wilmington DE, Marriage Register, 8 May 1878, p. 41.
[11]St. Teresa of Avila, Philadelphia PA, Baptismal Register,
[12] Ibid.
[13]Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, PA, Death Certificate # 18111.
[14]Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, PA, Birth Certificate #177662
[15] St. Charles Borromeo Church, Philadelphia, Baptismal Register,
[16]Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, PA, Birth Certificate #177663
[17] St. Charles Borromeo Church, Philadelphia, Baptismal Register
[18] St. Charles Borromeo Church, Philadelphia, Baptismal Register
[19]Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, PA, Death Certificate # 18703.
[20] St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Philadelphia. Baptismal Register
[21] Ibid.
[22]Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia, PA Death Certificate #18066
[23] St. Monica Church, Philadelphia, PA, Register of Baptisms
[24] Ibid.
[25] State of Maryland, Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, Certificate of Death, 16 August 1980.

[26] Aleda Bunch, Parker Family History (Memphis, Tennessee Business Systems, 2007)