New Hampshire’s Premier Newpaper Family: The McQuaids

This is a story about a family with “a fire in the belly” for news.

(photo of Joseph W. “Joe” McQuaid)

Four unbroken generations of the McQuaid family have been newspapermen–publishers, editors, reporters, telegraphers, and journalists.

From the day the first McQuaid arrived here from Ireland, the family has spelled their name two different ways–“McQuade” and “McQuaid,” but the local branch uses the latter spelling. The first American immigrant, Murtaugh, appeared in the United States by 1837, removing to Lowell, Massachusetts where his descendants remained for a few generations.

Joseph W. “Joe” McQuaid is the third generation newsman [see note at end of this story]. He started as a news office boy at the age of 15, working under his father, “B.J.” McQuaid who was a co-founder of the New Hampshire Sunday News, and former editor in chief of the Union Leader.

Later Joe was a sports reporter, and even later “an award winning editor.”  In June of 1999 the became Managing Editor, and in 1982 Editor-in-Chief and General manager of the Union Leader.  In 1999 just before Nackey Loeb’s death (in 2000), he became publisher of the newspaper.  In 2002 he was inducted into the Academy of New England Journalists. He is a founding member and president of the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.

On an airing of NPR, Joe McQuaid said that his favorite place is the “Cow Pasture” on Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Apparently Joe used to work for the Cog Railway, and (for him) that area, at least pictorially, summed up the State of NH.

Joe McQuaid’s immigrant ancestor, Murtaugh McQuade was an engraver. Possibly he may have employed his talent to create plate illustrations for newspapers, pamphlets, or calling cards. (Did you know that Paul Revere was an engraver, in addition to being a silversmith?).

So it is entirely possible that Joe’s “newspaper family” goes back six generations, rather than four.  My thanks to Joe McQuaid and the Union Leader for providing photographs for this article.


P.S. The photograph of Elias Alfred McQuaid (below) is from “One Thousand New Hampshire Notables,” by Frances Matilda Abbott and Henry Harrison Metcalf; Rumford Printing Company, 1919, page 383.

Joe McQuaid’s daughter, Katharine Elizabeth (McQuaid) Cote, has
worked as a reporter for weekly newspapers and for the Union Leader.She is now managing director of their website. [She is the fourth unbroken generation of McQuaid newspapermen and women].

*Additional Reading*

-25 in 25: Interview with Joe McQuaid, a “Must Hear“-



Murtagh “Murtah” “Marty” “Murty” “Murphy” McQuade, b. abt 1812 in Ireland. He married 15 Jan 1837 in Lowell MA to Susannah “Susan” Brady, daughter of John and Mary. [one source says her maiden name was  Brotherick]. She was b. abt 1817-1818 in Ireland. As early as the 1840 census Murty McQuade is found residing in Lowell MA. He died 21 August 1882 in Lowell MA, age 74 of consumption. He was an engraver by profession.  She is probably the Susan McQuade b 1817 who died 24 April 1882 in Lowell MA.  [Note, although the ages of the family members vary in the census transcriptions below, realize that sometimes neighbors or even family members who could not provide information with certainty were the suppliers of the census data. Also some these census records are difficult to transcribe. I believe that the census transcriptions below are all for this family]
U.S. Census > 1850 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Middlesex > Lowell
Murphy McQuaid 34 Engraver 1000 Ireland
Susan McQuaid 32 F Ireland
Hugh H. McQuaid 13 M Mass
Michael E. McQuaid 9 M Mass
James McQuaid 7 M Mass
U.S. Census > 1860 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Middlesex > Lowell Ward 4
Murty McQuade 55 M Engraver 1000/130 Ireland
Susan McQuade 45 F Wife Ireland
Hugh H. McQuade 22 M Laborer Mass
Edward McQuade 20 M Laborer Mass
James McQuade 17 M Mill hand Mass
Rosa McQuade 7 F Mass
Bridget McQuade 1 F Mass
Patrick McQuade 11 M Mass
U.S. Census > 1870 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Middlesex > Lowell Ward 4
McQuade, Marty, 58 M W Engraver 2000/300 Ireland
McQuade, Susan, 52 F W Keeping House Ireland
McQuade, Edward 30 M W Moulder Mass
McQuade, Rose 16 F W Work Cotton Mill Mass
McQuade, Delia 11 F W Attending School, Mass
Children of Murtagh & Susan (Brady) McQuade [may be more ch]:
1. +Hugh H. McQuaid/McQuade, b. 3 Feb 1838 in Lowell MA
2. Michael Edward McQuade, b. 4 July 1840 in Lowell MA
3. James McQuaid, b. 1 Oct 1843 in Lowell MA
4. Patrick McQuaid, b. abt 1849 in MA
5. Rose “Rosa” McQuade, b. abt 1854 in MA; she m 16 Jan 1877 in Lowell MA to Thomas J. Wexted, son of John & Mary who was b. in Ireland. He was a pin grinder. They had children:  Susan J. Wexted, b. 18 Oct 1877 in Lowell MA; Mary E. Wexted, b 29 Apr 1879 in Lowell MA [who m. 5 Sep 1904 to Frederick A. Howland of Lowell, son of Charles H. & Harriet (Ellingwood) Howland. He was b. New Bedford MA. It was his 2nd marriage, and her first]; John F. Wexted, b. 25 March 1882 Lowell MA; Margaret A. Wexted, b. 31 Dec 1883 in Lowell MA; and Gertrude R. Wexted, b. 1881 and d. 1884 in Lowell MA. [name sometimes shown as Wixted in census recs]
6. Delia/Bridget McQuaid, b. abt 1859 in MA


Hugh H. McQuaid/McQuade, son of Murtagh & Susan (Brady) McQuaid, was born 3 Feb 1838 in Lowell MA. He married 26 January 1867 in Worcester MA to Catherine “Kate” Connor, daughter of Patrick and Catherine Connor. She was born Aug 1843 in Ireland.  The NEHGS online database shows: “Hugh H. McQuaid, 28, Moulder, b Lowell MA, son of Marty & Susan McQuaid, 1st marr to Kate Conner, 26 b Ire, dau of Patrick & Catharine Conner 26 January 1867, marriage in Worcester MA.”
U.S. Census > 1870 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Middlesex > Lowell Ward 4
McQuade, Hugh H. 33 M W Moulder 200 Mass
McQuade, Kate 32 F W Keeping House Ireland
McQuade, Edward H. 3 M single at home NH
McQuade, Susan 1 F W at home Mass
U.S. Census > 1900 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Hillsborough > Manchester Ward 3 > District 96
McQuade, Catherine Head W F Aug 1843 56 Widow 4 ch 3 living, Ire Ire Ire
McQuade, Sarah daughter F W May 1871 29 single Mass Mass Ireland newspaper office
McQuade, Elias A. son W M May 1873 27 single Mass Mass Ireland newspaper office
Connor, Catherine, boarder W F May 1856 44 single NH Ire Ire cotton mill
Children of Hugh H. & Catherine “Kate” (Connor) McQuaid [may be more children]:
1. Edward Henry McQuade, b. 15 Sep 1868 in Lowell MA; died 11 Dec 1933 in Manchester NH. Occupation: electrician for the Manchester Police Department. He married 25 Sep 1899 in NH to Mary Martin, daughter of Thomas & Winifred (Ketty) Martin.
2. Susan J. McQuade, b. 27 May 1869 in Lowell MA, died 19 December 1913 in Manchester NH. Buried St. Joseph Cemetery.
3. Sarah McQuaid/McQuade, b. May 1871 in Lowell MA
4. +Elias A. McQuaid, b. 10 May 1873 in Lowell MA


Elias A. McQuade, son of Hugh & Catherine “Kate” (Connor) McQuaid, b. 10 May 1873 reportedly in Salem MA. He died 19 March 1930 in Boston MA, aged 56. He married 11 September 1907 at Epping NH to Arethusa Vianna Bean, daughter of John Tuttle & Cynthia Jane (Cunningham) Bean. She was b. 17 April 1886 in Candia NH. [SEE more of the Bean genealogy and descendants of this line here]. In March of 1930 the Fitchburg Sentinel wrote: “BOSTON–Elias McQuaid, 56, of Boston American, widely known in New England and New York newspaper circles dies suddenly.” He attended public schools and St. Joseph’s High School in Manchester NH. He learned telegraphy and at 17 joined the reporting staff at the “Manchester Mirror.”  In 1905 he joined the staff of the “Boston Traveler.” He was assistant secretary to Governor Walsh of Massachusetts in 1915, and later worked for the “Boston Advertiser.” Four of his sons were journalists.
Children of Elias & Arethusa V. (Bean) McQuaid:
1. +Bernard J. McQuaid, born 15 July 1908
2. Eileen Lucille McQuaid, b. 24 Oct 1910; m. Robert Linus Harris; div.
3. David Forrest McQuaid, b. 4 Oct 1912; m. Rachel Clough
4. Elias Alfred McQuaid, b. 21 Apr. 1917, d. Jan 1983; m. Lillian Medora Wagner; d. 1983 in Hanover NH. The Chicago Tribune wrote: “1938 graduate of UNH, he worked as a newsman for Manchester Union Leader, NH Sunday News, Heart publications in Boston & NY, the Associated Press, Boston American, and the Starts and Stripes, and the International Herald Tribune. Later he worked in the U.S. foreign service, working in consulates in Paris, Geneva, and Basel Switzerland, and Edinburg Scotland, retiring in 1965. In 1969 he was NH Economic Development Director. He was survived by one son, six daughters and six grandchildren.”
5. Joseph Woodbury Tuttle McQuaid, twin b. 12 Apr 1921; m. Phyllis Haas
6. Arthur B. McQuaid, twin, b. 12 Apr 1921, d. 28 Jan 1997 in Bedford MA


Bernard J. “B.J.” McQuaid, son of Elias & Arethusa Vianna (Bean) McQuaid, was born 15 July 1908 in Candia NH, and died 15 April 1976 in Manchester NH. He was a Manchester Union reporter “under the tenure of Colonel Frank Knox.” When he returned from war service, he founded The New Hampshire Sunday News, with his brother, Elias. Reportedly William Loeb “wooed Bernard McQuaid over to the Union Leader, and bought the Sunday News outright in 1948.” Bernard married Margaret Mary “Peg” Griffin, dau of John & Mary (Kean) Griffin. She was born 9 September 1909 in Manchester NH and died in a house fire in Candia NH on 11 July 1990, age 80.
U.S. Census > 1920 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Rockingham > Candia > District 111
McQuade, Arethusa V Head F W 33 Married NH NH NH
McQuade, Bernard J son M W 11 single NH NH NH
McQuade, Mary C dau F W 9 single NH NH NH
McQuade, David F. son M W 7 single NH NH NH
McQuade, Elias A. Jr. son M W 2 single NH NH NH
U.S. Census > 1930 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Rockingham > Candia > District 5 [Patten Hill Road]
McQuaid, Arethusa Head 3000 F W 44 widow NH NH NH
McQuaid, Bernard J son M W 21 single NH NH NH reporter, newspaper
McQuaid, Eileen L. dau F W 19 single NH NH NH
McQuaid, David F. son M W 17 single NH NH NH
McQuaid, Elias A son M W 13 single NH NH NH
McQuaid, Joseph W. son-twin M W 9 single NH NH NH
McQuaid, Arthur T. son-twin M W 9 single NH NH NH
Children of Bernard & Margaret M. (Griffin) McQuaid: [Fifth generation]
1. Judith Ann McQuaid
2. John Bernard McQuaid
3. Mary Arethusa McQuaid
4. +Joseph Woodbury “Joe” McQuaid.
5. Margaret McQuaid.


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