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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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REV. GEORGE M. FITZGERALD, pastor of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church of Haydenville, was born in Westminster, Mass., October 28, 1857, son of Michael and Ann S. (Cohen) Fitzgerald. Michael Fitzgerald was born in County Cork, Ireland, in November, 1829, and acquired the trade of a blacksmith in his native land. At the age of seventeen he emigrated to the United States, first coming to Boston, where he remained but a short time, and from which city he went to Westminster, Mass., where he found steady employment at his trade. He became well known as a competent and reliable workman; and, being a man of intelligence and good character, possessing naturally a high-minded disposition, he not only realized success in a business way, but enjoyed the respect and hearty good will of his large circle of acquaintances. After a long and prosperous business career he retired from active labor, and now resides in Worcester, Mass. Michael Fitzgerald has reached a degree of affluence through his energy and ability; and, being determined that his children should be properly prepared for their life work, he has given them a liberal education. His wife, Ann S. Cohen before marriage, was born in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland, June 24, 1835. When young, she came to America, and resided in Montreal, where she was employed as a seamstress. She later moved to Fitchburg, Mass., where she met and married Michael Fitzgerald, the ceremony having been performed by the Rev. Father Gibson. She has been the mother of seven children, as follows: Maria, who died at the age of three years; George M., the subject of this sketch; Mary, who is now a teacher; Ella, who resides at home; Sarah, who died aged two years; Edward, who is now assistant rector of Holy Name Church in Chicopee, Mass.; and Charles, who is a student at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City.

George M. Fitzgerald commenced his education in the public schools of Worcester. He pursued his classical studies at St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Canada, from which he graduated in 1879, and was ordained a priest in Montreal in 1882. His first appointment was as assistant pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Hinsdale, Mass., where he remained for two years. He then officiated in a similar capacity at St. Jerome’s Church in Holyoke for four years, and on August 15, 1889, was appointed by Bishop O’Riley, of Springfield, to succeed the Rev. William L. Long as pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Haydenville. This church was erected in 1868, and the Rev. Father Callahan was the first to celebrate mass in Haydenville. The church was founded by Messrs. P. Larkin, W. Hickey, M. Ryan, P. Hamilton, T. Ryan, and E. Grace. The first pastor was the Rev. Father P. V. Moyce, of Northampton. Since taking charge of St. Mary’s Parish, Father Fitzgerald has built an addition to the vestry of the church, enlarged the gallery, put in a large pipe organ and steam-heating apparatus. He has also purchased land adjoining the church, upon which he has built a handsome, three-story parochial residence; and the grounds have been graded into lawns and otherwise beautified. The cemetery has been fitted up under his direction, and these improvements have necessarily made Father Fitzgerald a very busy man since his arrival in Haydenville. St. Mary’s Parish numbers about twelve hundred souls, and the Sunday-school has a membership of two hundred and fifty. Connected with the church are the Catholic Benevolent Legion, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Sacred Heart Sodality, and the St. Mary’s Rosary Society.

Father Fitzgerald is a public-spirited man and actively interested in all progressive movements which may be beneficial to the general community. He is very popular in Haydenville, as he formerly was in Holyoke; and he is looked upon by all classes with the highest respect and esteem.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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