It is not known exactly when the first Grange from Ireland settled in the U.S.A.
During the first half of the 19th. Century, there was a major migration from Ireland to the USA, reaching, from Ulster alone, a maximum annual rate of 12,000, mainly Presbyterians. While the Potato famine of the '40's was doubtless a strong contributing factor, another, even stronger one was the intolerable landlordism of the established church. Episcopalian Bishops who controlled large tracts of land refused permission to erect either a Presbyterian Church or house on their property, and wealthy landlords of the same persuasion followed the example of their clergy and usually refused to let land on any terms to a Presbyterian, or if given at all, would charge him an exorbitant rent.

It would have been about 1850 that a Robert Grange, (b.1819 in Ireland) arrived in America with Alicia Rhames (b.1830 also in Ireland). They settled in Watertown, a town in the State of Wisconsin. Alicia came from a Quaker family and whether it was a question of religious or social prejudice, there was strong family opposition to the marriage and the young couple decided to leave Ireland.

It is unclear in which part of Ireland Robert was born, for an intensive search of all the existing Church registers in Ireland yielded no record of the marriage. [Ed. note: according to IGI records, they were married in Emmet, Dodge, Wisconsin in 1851. So it is possible that the departure from Ireland was part of an elopement!]
Robert was said to have claimed that he was a Presbyterian and that he'd been born near Dublin. But these two claims contradict each other; for, according to all known records, the southern Granges were all Anglicans and it was the Northerners who were the Presbyterians.

About the time of Robert's arrival, civic records indicate that there were several Irish-born Grange families in the Watertown area. :- Robert, a farmer (b.1810) and his wife Anne (b.18I5); [Ed. Note IGI records show that a Robert Grange married an Anne Barker in Mullinacuff, Wicklow, Ireland in 1858; so that first "about" could be rather widespread!] and John, a physician, (b.1780) (There are no records at either Trinity College, Dublin or Edinburgh University of his graduation). Living in the same house with John, Robert and Anne were Sarah Watson and her 2 children, Jane and John who were all born in Ireland, - Sarah in 1810. She may have been a married daughter of John. In another house were John(b.1830) and his wife Harriet(b.1837) with their two children, Matthew aged 3 years and Robert R, aged 5 months. These two children whad been born in Wisconsin. Again the registers in Ireland could show no trace of any of these births or marriages. A partial family tree for Robert Grange's descendants can be found at: Glenda Grange's Page

While it is quite possible that there were earlier arrivals than Robert(1810), up to now no records of them have been found so, for the purpose of this family history, he is the first known generation of the U.S.A. Branch of the Granges of Ireland.

The records of the Granges in Watertown were obtained by Betty Grange of Vancouver, Washington, USA.


IGI Records show that in 1778, in the Diocese of Dublin, a William Grange married a Martha Ashenhurst and that a Jane Grange was born of this couple in 1780. In 1796, a John Grange, possibly the John(1768) son of Richard Chappell Grange, married a Jane Grange, possibly William and Martha's as she would have been 16 then. (The Granges of Leinster were all Anglicans and could only marry other Protestants. In a 95% Roman Catholic country this severely limited their choice of mates and marriages of cousins would have been relatively common.)
In 1819, Robert was born to John Grange and Jane Grange. Jane would have been 39. (In these birth records, the mother's maiden name, if known, is used.) This was the Robert who emigrated to the US with Alicia Rhames in 1850, settled in Wisconsin and initiated the first US BRANCH. One of Robert's & Alicia's sons was Robert Ashenhurst Grange, a name which harks back to the 1778 marriage of his great-grandparents!

Many more Granges have emigrated since, of course,and some of these are shown on the Main GRANGE (Northern Ireland) page.

Here follows the Family tree of the U.S. Granges, the first two generations of which are still hypothetical as noted above.

William Grange = (1778) Martha Ashenhurst
Jane Grange(b.1780) = (1796) John Grange (b.1768?)
Robert (1819-1903) = (1851) Alicia Rhames (1830-1904)
(Emigrated / Eloped to U. S. A. in 1850. Married in Wisconsin)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------
Robert Ashenhurst
Ella Rachel Stuart
Anna Anderson
Mary Alicia
James A Hilton
Jane A(b.1858)
=Holmes or Haymen
Richard Nixon
Flora May Bricker
Isabel Harding
--------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------
Ross Stuart
Anna Ruth DeSart
Nine Children
See Below
For Details of Robert's Eight other children see
Glenda's Page

Ross Stuart (1885-1953) =(1914) Anna Ruth DeSart (b.1891)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
Esther Lorraine
(1915- )
=(1)Henry B Stapleton
Ross Brenton
(2)Gordon Myland
James Stuart
(1917- )
Elizabeth P Hall
(1)Mary Ann
(1948- )
Maurice L T

(2)Nancy Kathleen
(3)John Robert
(4)Jeffrey James
(5)Thomas Daniel
May Doris
(1919- )
Married Twice
No Children
Ella Jean
(1921- )
= Richard Urquhart
(1) John
(2)Mary Christine
(3)Kathryn Ann
Richard Dennis
(1923- )
= Marge Steinke
(1) Jill
(2) Jan
(3) Lorry
(4) Liza

Ross Stuart (1885-1953) =(1914) Anna Ruth DeSart (b.1891)
---------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------
Cathryn Anne
(1924- )
= Roy Miles
(1) Abby Jane
(2) Scott
(3) Jennifer
William De Sart
(1927- )
=Mary Matthews
(1) Jack
(2) Mary Beth
(3) James
(4) Thomas
Ross Sherman
(1928- )
=Dorothy Clark
(1) Greg
(2) Holly
(3) Ross
Beth Ellen
(1934- )
=Roy Juigenson
Anne Marie

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