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    Mystery of immigrants’ mass grave may be solved

    By Noreen Bowden | March 25, 2009

    The mass grave of a group of Irish railroad workers who died in 1832 during a cholera outbreak may have been located at last, thanks to the efforts of researchers in Pennsylvania who have spent six years searching.

    The 57 men had arrived from Derry, Donegal, and Tyrone, hired by fellow Irishman Philip Duffy to build the railway. They were all dead within six weeks, felled by a cholera outbreak – and researchers believe some men may have been murdered. Their families were never notified, and the men would have been forever forgotten had Immaculata University professor William Watson and his historian brother Frank not discovered a mention of the deaths in a file owned by their late grandfather, a former railway worker.

    The men were believed to have been buried somewhere in Duffy’s Cut, an area near Philadelphia, but the exact location of their remains was unknown until a team led by the Walsh brothers and professors at Immaculata University began a search in 2003.

    It wasn’t until last week that the team discovered human remains. Researchers are now hoping to match DNA recovered from the bodies with that of families in Ireland in order to identify the remains and re-bury them in Ireland. They have used ships passenger lists to discover fifteen of the 57 men’s names.

    News of the find has been widely reported in the US.  The men’s story has been told in a film, “The Ghosts of Duffy’s Cut”,  which is available on the Duffy’s Cut project website.

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    Topics: history, Latest News, US | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Mystery of immigrants’ mass grave may be solved”

    1. Duffy’s cut dig becomes murder investigation | - about Irish emigration and the diaspora Says:
      July 24th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

      [...] Mystery of immigrants’ mass grave may be solved [...]