Thomas Francis Farrell was born at County Galway, Ireland, on 30 December 1832, the son of Michael Farrell and Nancy (Havey or Heavy). Nothing is known of Thomas' early life, whether he had any siblings that survived to adulthood, nor what may have happened to them.
Thomasís parents reportedly died when he was about eleven, leaving him an orphan on the eve of the potato famine. Without the resources to provide for his support in Ireland, he was sent to Manchester, England, to serve as a tailorís apprentice. Later, he immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Boston, Massachusetts.
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