James McDermott and Bridget Flynn both immigrated from the Manorhamilton area of Co. Leitrim, Ireland, James in 1906 from Cloonaquinn and Bridget in 1908 from Cornacloy. They met and married in New York before returning to Ireland to care for James's sick father Patrick (Pat 19) in 1920. James and Bridget purchased a farm in West Barrs, near their respective childhood homes, and had three children: Rose, Mary Grace and Patrick Joseph (Joe). After caring for Pat 19 until his death in 1923 and saving enough money for the trip, the family returned to America in 1928, living first in Connecticut and then settling in Otisville, NY in 1931. Two more children were born in the United States: Merici and John.
Joseph James was born and lived in New York City. His family settled in New York City after his grandfather John Ullrich and grandmother Elisabeth Hock immigrated from Germany in the 1820s or 1830s. Anna was born in Vermont to parents John Matthews and Annie McLaughlin, both from Co. Sligo, Ireland. Anna's parents died when she was 12 and 13, respectively, and she was sent to live with an uncle in Connecticut. To get away from this unkind uncle, Anna and her younger sister left for New York when she was still in her teens. Joseph James and Anna met, married, and lived in Manhattan and had four children: Joseph Francis (Joe), Ann, John and Rose. Joseph James was killed in 1929 when Rose was a baby. As their fortunes changed, Anna moved the family to Brooklyn. Joe and John joined the Navy in early 1942.
At the end of World War II, Joseph James and Anna’s son Joe was sent to the Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Otisville, NY. When he was discharged, he decided he liked the area and took a job working as a cook in the Sanitarium's kitchens (he had been a cook on an air craft carrier in the Navy). James and Bridget’s daughter Merici was raised in Otisville, NY after her parents settled there in 1931. She met Joe when they were both working at the Sanitarium, Merici as a waitress, and they married in Otisville, NY in 1953. They bought a lot from (and adjacent to) Merici's parents James and Bridget in Otisville, NY and built a house. Together they had four children: Joseph, who died in infancy, James, Brigette, and Maire.