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Randolph County Illinois
Genealogy and History


Note: Some of these may be abstracted, instead of complete transcriptions.  We're adding the complete biographies slowly but surely!
The abstracted bios were transcribed by Jeana Gallagher unless otherwise noted

Archibald T. Ireland
Archibald T. Ireland is a Tennessean by birth. He was born in Bedford County of that state on the twenty-third day of February, of the year 1823. His father was named Archibald Ireland. The name of his mother before marriage was Mary Sowell. His father came to Tennessee from Maryland. On his father's side, his grandmother was of French blood. The Sowells came to Tennessee from South Carolina, Archibald Ireland and Mary Sowell were married in Tennessee. There was a family of seven children, of whom Archibald T. was the fourth. The father, who was a blacksmith, followed his trade in Tennessee, and finally died in Hickman County of that state, in the year 1833.  About two years after the death of her husband, Mrs. Ireland removed with the children to Washington County, Illinois. The family subsequently visited the state of Arkansas, with the intention of making a permanent settlement, but after a short stay returned to Illinois, and made their home in Randolph County in 1839. The first ten years of Archibald T. Ireland's life were spent in Tennessee. He began his schooling there, and managed to learn to read and write. This comprised the principal part of his education, as far as any instruction was concerned that he received at public schools, as he went to school scarcely three months after coming to Illinois. He was sixteen when the family came to Chester, and was then the oldest son at home. The family were in very moderate circumstances, and Mr. Ireland was early charged with the responsibility of doing his share toward the support of the family and of earning his own living. The first summer after coming to Chester, he chopped cord wood, and after that managed the farm which his mother had rented of the late Hermon C. Cole. He was two years on this farm. Being the oldest son, the care of the family devolved on him. One fruit of these responsibilities was that he was trained to habits of independence and self-reliance. For one winter he worked in a blacksmith shop in Chester, and the next summer again undertook farming. He was thus employed for four years in the neighborhood of Chester.
By his marriage, Mr. Ireland is connected with the family of one of the earliest pioneers of Randolph County. His wife was Mary Pillars. James Pillars was from Kentucky, and came to Randolph County in the year 1795, and settled about a mile east of Ellis Grove. His wife was Mrs. Hughs, who by her first husband was the mother of James Hughs, a man prominent among the early American settlers of the County, and who left several sons. John and Richard Pillars were the sons of James Pillars. The first held the position of Major of the militia, and died in 1851, on his farm on the western side of the Opossumden prairie. Richard Pillars died on Mary's river, in 1844. Mr. Ireland's wife is a descendant of the Pillars' family.
Mr. Ireland was married on the fourteenth of July, 1842. Two years afterward he went to work at the blacksmith's trade, which he followed a year and a half at Chester. He then lived a year on a rented farm six miles north of Chester; remained two years in the edge of Opossumden prairie; and then regularly apprenticed himself at Chester to the blacksmith's trade, which he has since followed. In 1855 he moved to Section twenty-nine, Township 7-5. In addition to carrying on the blacksmith business, he owns nearly three hundred and fifty acres of land, part of which lies in Jackson County. The only daughter living is the wife of Alexander Bell. Mr. Ireland has enjoyed the confidence and respect of the residents of his section of the County, and is regarded as a man of liberal, unprejudiced, and independent mind. He has filled the office of Justice of the Peace. Few men have had a more unpromising start in life, and for what he is, Mr. Ireland is indebted to himself. [Source: "An Illustrated Historical Map of Randolph County, Ills."; by John R. Williams, pub. by W. R. Brink & Co.; 1875; tr. by GT Transcription Team]

Martin Ireland
Judge Martin Ireland came to Randolph County in the summer of 1837. He is the son of John Ireland and Ann Carnes, his wife, and was born in Scott County, Kentucky, on the 18th of October, 1811. John Ireland was a native of Ireland, and a resident of the County Down. On his emigration to America, he located first in Pennsylvania, and enlisted in the Pennsylvania troops which formed part of the patriot army in the struggle of the colonies for their independence. He was a man who possessed a strong love for liberty and popular institutions, and it was on account of disaffection towards the British Government that he was compelled to leave Ireland. About 1796, he settled in Scott County, Kentucky. His second wife, whom he married here, was Ann Carnes, also of Irish parentage, and who was born on the ocean while her parents were crossing from Ireland to America.
Martin Ireland was the youngest child. His early life was spent in Kentucky. At eighteen he indentured himself as an apprentice to the carpenter's trade, and learned that business in Frankfort, Kentucky. At twenty-two he had learned the trade, and thenceforth followed the business of a journeyman and master carpenter till his removal to Illinois in 1837. In January, 1835, he married Mary Short. She was born in Kentucky, but on her father's side came from a Delaware family, and on her mother's was of Virginia descent. July, 1837, marks his coming to Randolph County. Directly after his arrival he entered forty acres of land in Section Twenty, Township 7-5. In this neighborhood he now resides.

Mr. Ireland was first a Whig in politics. His first vote for President was cast for Henry Clay at the time he was a candidate in 1832. In 1860, he united with the Republicans, voting for Lincoln. Mr. Ireland has interested himself in matters affecting the general progress and improvement of the community. He has served as a school officer almost constantly since 1840. For eight years he filled the office of Justice of the Peace. On the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, he enlisted under the first call for three years' troops, and was enrolled as a member of the 22d Illinois Infantry. His regiment served principally in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia, and west of the Mississippi river. He was in several important engagements among which were the battles of Corinth, Mississippi, Stone River, Chickamauga, Dalton, Resaca, Adairsville, and Dallas. At both the battles of Stone River and Chickamauga he was wounded. He came home in July, 1864, after three years of hard service, as First Lieutenant of his company.

Few families can present as good a record as that of Mr. Ireland. His four sons also served in the Union army. The oldest, John, enlisted in the 154th Illinois, and died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, while in the service. Thomas was a member of the 30th Illinois, served over four years, and took part in Sherman's march to the sea. William served in the 22d Illinois over three years. He received a wound at the battle of Stone River, from which he is still suffering. Peter served in the last year of the war as a member of the 154th Regiment. On returning to Randolph County, Mr. Ireland directed his attention again to farming. He subsequently received the nomination at the hands of the Republican party as Associate Judge of the County. To this position he was elected, and served his term to the satisfaction of the people.[Source: "An Illustrated Historical Map of Randolph County, Ills."; by John R. Williams, pub. by W. R. Brink & Co.; 1875; tr. by GT Transcription Team]

Paul Irose
Irose, Paul lived in T7 R6 Sec 17, he was a blacksmith. He was born in Poland in Jun 1842. On 22 Oct 1868 he married Catherine Murkufsky the d/o Henry. Their children were: Maggie, Lizzie, Paul, Katie, Joseph, Jessie, Robert, Alice, Cora and 2 that died young. Paul's parents were Daniel born in Poland and died in RC in 1862. He came to the US in 1854, his first wife, Paul's mother, died on the crossing. They had 8 children. Daniel later married Mary Scholocher. (1894)


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