Andrew Patrick Fitzgerald, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Andrew Patrick Fitzgerald


Submitted by Glinda A. Fitzgerald

"Cade Mille Folte" -- "Welcome A Thousand Times" was the friendly greeting of the Fitzgeralds in County Cork, Ireland to any stranger that happened by. And when one of the later famines of Ireland in the 1870's found Andrew Patrick Fitzgerald packing all his worldly possessions, it was to a land which offered that same kind of friendly greeting that he was to look.

That land, whose Statue of Liberty later stood with open arms as if to say "Welcome A Thousand Times to you stranger," was America. So with parcel in hand "and remembering that which was good," he took a ship across the sea like so many of his fellow countrymen, to the land of opportunity.

During the crossing he met Ellen A. Murphy, a proud woman who left parents and thirteen brothers and sisters in New Market, County Cork to come to America. Each was surprised that they had not met before because, as they were to say to their children and grandchildren, "we were only a stone's throw apart in Ireland."

Andrew at age 39 (b. 12/25/1835) and Ellen at age 32 (b. 5/25/1842) were married in the United States; their first child Michael, who was named after Andrew's father, was born November 7, 1875 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The next journey for the new family Fitzgerald was to Redwood City, California where Andrew was to try his hand as a lumberjack. But he being from the farmlands of County Cork, and like his wife loving the land, they both had the common Irish desire to own and work their own soil. So once again they heard the friendly Irish greeting "Cade Mille Folte" when "Uncle" Drew, as he was commonly called, invited them to come to Indiana where his mother settled after leaving her and Ellen Murphy's hometown of New Market.

Thus in 1876 the Andrew P. Fitzgerald family came to settle in Porter County, Indiana. By March of 1877 they had already purchased lands in Union Township and Porter Township, which was just across the road. Then on those lands on June 23, 1877 John Edward Fitzgerald, who received his name from Ellen's father back in Ireland, was born. And when John E. Fitzgerald was baptized at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Valparaiso on July 22, 1877, one can be sure a "Cade Mille Folte" was extended to a new generation of the Indiana Irishmen by his godfather "Uncle" John Drew.

The Fitzgeralds farmed their lands and raised tobacco, Irish potatoes, corn, wheat, etc., and children as four daughters were to follow after Michael and John. Mary (b. 11/26, 1878), Ellen (b. 9/29, 1880), Hanora (b. 4/10/1882), and Catherine (b. 11/11/1884).

As the years passed Andrew and Ellen were to see their family expand as well as their lands. Some of Ellen's brothers and sisters came from Ireland and settled in the St. Louis area. As for Andrew and Ellen's children, Mary married Tom Godsil after moving to Stockton, California, where they owned and operated the Hotel State. Mary's son Tom now lives in Santa Cruz and her daughter, Kathryn Dana, now lives in Sacramento. Michael farmed the lands of his parents in Union and Porter Townships. Catherine was a school teacher at Spafford School in Union Township in 1904 and later taught in Portage Township. Ellen became Mrs. Albert Neff of Indianapolis. Her son Bazil lived there until his passing and her daughter Eileen married Harry Michaels. They now live in Bay City, Michigan. Hanora became Mrs. Andrew Gast of Valparaiso. Their sons Edward and Gerald Gast have since passed away leaving Francis Shearer, Ellen Ritz, Thomas Gast and Catherine Christy still residing near Valparaiso. John married Bridget A. Forkan from County Sligo, Ireland in Chicago on April 15, 1906. They made their first residence at Lake Eliza and purchased land around the area.

From John's family came a new generation of Fitzgeralds. John and Bridget while developing Lake Eliza into a resort area raised nine children: Andrew, John, Maurice, Mary, Winifed, Ann, Thomas, Ellen May, and Joseph.

Andrew Patrick who was named after his grandfather, became a successful businessman in the field of radio in the Chicago area; he later moved back to Lake Eliza to purchase and develop the land on the west side of the Lake. John and Joe settled on the farmlands and have become successful in the horse racing business. They are the owners of Fitzgerald Farms. Maurice and Tom acquired their father's interest in developing the lands around Lake Eliza and are now owner-operators of Lake Eliza Resort. Mary married Henry Glissman, who is in the building trade, and together they built their own home and developed a small lake on their property east of Valparaiso. Winifred married Delmar Gast and together they operated a farm near Hwy. U. S. 30 west of Valparaiso, until her passing on Aug. 17, 1961. Delmar still owns and manages the farmlands. Ann married Mox Ruge a lawyer for Valparaiso, and they lived in Chesterton where Mox practiced law and became involved in the banking business until his passing on Nov. 14, 1968. Ann is now the president of the Porter Bank near Chesterton, and because of her accomplishments her name appears in WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA. Ella Mae married John Casson from Chicago who has worked for the Bell Telephone Co. for over 37 years, and Ella Mae works for the Illinois State Dept. of Public Welfare. She and John now reside in Oak Park, Illinois.

As there are now over 70 descendants of John and Bridget Fitzgerald's family, the family tree which follows will help to show their children's spouses and their descendants. These descendants branch out into many parts of the country, but whatever they do and wherever they go it is hoped they will always be giving or receiving the friendly greeting of their Irish ancestors of County Cork, Ireland. "CADE MILLE FOLTE" -- "WELCOME A THOUSAND TIMES."

1. Andrew P. Fitzgerald & Margurite (Nickerman)
Mary Catherine & Kenneth Mitchell Geraldine, Terry, Kevin
Theodore & Nadine (Shiplov) Andrew, Kathleen
2. John U. Fitzgerald
3. Maurice E. Fitzgerald & Denise (Hoebeck)
Timothy & Linda (Novotny) Timothy, Todd, Heather
4. Mary A. Fitzgerald & Henry Glissman
John Thomas & Linda (Menesse) Susan, Nancy, Mary, Christine
5. Winifred V. Fitzgerald & Delmar Gast
Mary Ellen & Walter Alexander Shawn, Jessica
Joseph & Joyce (Shiplov) Amy, Thomas, Michael
6. Ann C. Fitzgerald & Mox Ruge
Mark & Dawn (Duncan)
Kimberly, Pamela, Gwendolyn, Suzanne, Mox, Dawn, Jacqueline. Bradley
Kathleen & Paul Scott
Thomas & Shawn (Rosscup)
7. Thomas E. Fitzgerald & Linda (Ray)
Thomas & Gisela (Sprenger)
Thomas III
Emmett & Christine (Larson)
Emmett, Erin
8. Ellen M. Fitzgerald & John Casson
9. Joseph F. Fitzgerald

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 105-106

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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