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I know, I know. You are right. I should have addressed this long ago.

I identified parts of Bogdan Yelcovich’s life in the Immigrant.

I also told you a bit about me in the Scranton railroad yard.

And I discussed people such as Borges, Hudson, Gould, and cities such as Bradford and Buffalo; and even places such as Brown’s Landing.

Not to mention Henryville where we visited his Uncle Eppy and Aunt Polly.

So now we must talk about Jim McFee; the third member of the “Three Railroad Men.”

Come, come now. You know who they are.

Bogdan Yelcovich, Jim McFee and myself; Wally.

Now Jim McFee does not have as much written history as some of the above subjects, but he does have a background.

First we need to straighten out some misconceptions. The name McFee likes to be claimed by the Scots. However, forty percent of the McFees are Irish – – – and that is what we should discuss today.

Another misconception was that all the Irish immigrated here during the great famine of 1845 to 1852. Not so.

Well – – – not necessarily so. Although a lot of them did migrate to Canada before the famine. Canada could not handle the large influx so they departed and headed for the United States.

Nova Scotia in particular had a great influx of people from the southern Irish counties of Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Cork and Kerry. They arrived in Halifax and Pictou. Some lesser numbers landed at the Gulf of Canso, Sydney, Yarmouth and other ports.

McFee Ship

How do I reach the conclusion that there were great migrations before the famine?

Every governmental study of Ireland that was done in the early 1800’s said that Ireland was on the verge of collapse.

Unemployment was high, productivity was low, and the potato crop was the singular thing keeping famine from the doorstep.

The Irish were not ignorant of these facts – – – and a lot of them immigrated before the great famine; leaving their beautiful land behind.


Just check out the origins of the people in the cemetery at Barclay.

Some of those even returned to the province of Nova Scotia in Canada.

They populated the working force that worked on our canals and slaved as household servants.

McFee Poster

Take a look at any census report from the early 1800’s and see who was doing the heavy lifting and drudgery. Look to see who the indentured servants were. Then look at the column that states their country of origin.
They left an impact on all aspects of our past:




And, I am sure, they will continue to sacrifice in whatever the future deals to this great country.


As I Wander Introduction 2

©W. Tomosky