Last revised 15 March 2007 (links) -- Hey, don't forget about the Iowa State Census of 1895 (and other state censuses since the 1890 federal census went up in smoke in the 1920's)

NOTE: I want to thank Mike Durick of California for his contributions to this page. This story all started as I was lining up clans that sounded like "Duerinck" for a DNA Project. I ran into the Durick surname and investigated. As you will see, the Durick surname is Irish.


The surname Durick is a derivative from O'Duvrick, also known as: O Durick, O Dowricke, Durack, Durik, Darrick, Devery, O Divirick, Dever and sometimes Devereux. The root word is from the Gaelic dhuvruach (successful). The family was "founded" near the end of the 10th century and then "attainted" in County Clare by the Cromwellians about 1642. The family survived in Counties Tipperary and Offaly.

From "Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall" ("Irish Names and Surnames"), by Patrick Woulfe (1992 ed.):
O'Duvrick, O'Durick, Durick are names of a Dalcassian family who were ancient lords of Ui Conghaile, now the parish of O'Connelloe, near Killaloe. Family is almost extinct in Co. Clare, but survives in Counties Tipperary and Offaly. O'Duvrick means "Black of prosperity". For further information on The Dalcassian Sept (Dál gCais), see Dalcassian Sept

ORPHAN TRAIN (from Mike Durick)

To the best of my knowledge, my paternal grandfather rode the orphan train and ended up in Iowa. According to legend his parents immigrated from Ireland to NY and he and his 6 brothers were orphaned. A few years ago I saw a geographical distribution of the surname and it was predominantly along the westbound rail lines. The family was as follows:
John Henry Durick first married Rebeca Tripp Durick and had these children:

1. Daisy Durick
2. Mary Durick
3. nameless infant died
He later married second wife Rosa Hunsinger Durick and they had these additional children:
4. Samuel Durick
5. John Durick
6. James Durick
7. Neil Durick
8. Ed Durick
9. Thomas Durick
10. Dewey Durick
11. Minda Durick
12. Mabel Durick
13. Bessie Durick (Bessie died as an infant)

Unfortunately, I still have no concrete information on JHD's parents. All documentation from his life consistently lists them as immigrants from Ireland. The lack of the 1890 census data remains a real obstacle in tracing Durick genealogy any further.

Are you aware that there is a movie on the Orphan Trains? It is available on video by the name "Orphan Train", produced in 1979 featuring Kevin Dobson and Jill Eikenberry, with Glenn Close in a supporting role. There is also a novel "Orphan Train" by Dorothea G. Petrie.


The United States Census records of 1850, 1860 and 1870 show the following Ireland connections: Mary Durick, age 16 Burlington County NJ from Ireland; Margaret Durick, age 20 Ocean City, NJ from Ireland; Anna Durick age 23, Burlington County NJ from Ireland. From "Passenger Lists of Irish Immigrants" John Durick age 20 left Liverpool 9/18/1837 on the ship Rappahannock and Mary Durick age 16 left Dublin 12/27/1848. These could have been my paternal great grandparents. My grandfather, named John Henry Durick was born 6/18/1863 in White Plains NY. He was supposedly the youngest of seven boys. He was orphaned so I have little information about his siblings and none about his parents.

Caution: only the census data is readily available. I'm pretty certain the name data came from a book about Irish surnames, also contained in the Family History Center in San Diego, but I do not have a title, date, etc.


"John Henry Durick owned the first pool hall in Council Bluffs, Iowa as well as a bar and a store. His children by his first marriage were Daisy, Mary, and another one died. John’s marriage to the second wife produced Neil, Dewey, John, and Edward Durick. They all lived in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I know my grandfather (John Henry Durick) was dropped off at my great uncle’s house from the train. My grandmother was born in Nebraska in 1888." (from, June 2003)


"The Orphan Trains: Placing Out in America", by Marilyn Irving Holt (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992) [a must read for genealogy researchers]
"Orphan Train" by Dorothea G. Petrie
"Orphan Trains and Their Precious Cargo: The Life's Work of Rev. H. D. Clarke" by Clark Kidder (Heritage Books, 2001)
"Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall" ("Irish Names and Surnames"), by Patrick Woulfe (1992 ed.)
Joyce, P. W., The Origin and History of Irish Place Names, Vol III (Dublin, 1913)
MacLysaght, E., Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins (Dublin 1957)
O'Comain, M., Irish Heraldry (Dublin, 1991)
"More Irish Families" by Edward MacLysaght
Burke - General Armory and Matthews' American Armory and Blue Book, 1907.
--(Burke. Commoners) Burke, John. A Genealogical and Heraldic History of The Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland. (London, 1833-1838.)
--(Burke. Visitations I) Burke, Sir John Bernard. A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland. Series I. (London, 1855) (CS419.B88).
--(Burke. Visitations II) Burke, Sir John Bernard. A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland. Series II. (London, 1854) (CS419.B875).

For more information contact:

New England Home for Little Wanderers
850 Boylston Street, Suite 201
Chestnut Hill, MA 02167

New York Children’s Aid Society
105 East 22nd Street
New York, NY 10021

New York Juvenile Asylum Alumni Affairs
Children’s Village
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10007

Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 496
Johnson, AR 72741-0496
Note: OTHSA building a databank of reference material and publishes a newsletter providing personal stories and request for information.


Orphan Train Genealogy--Ancestry Magazine (1-1-1995)

Genealinks: Orphan Train

Orphan Train Riders (a web site of the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc.)

Rootsweb Orphan Trains of Nebraska

Coats of Arms



Copyright © 2000-2007 Kevin F. Duerinck