Jimmy Dolan is the middle brother of the surviving Dolan boys. They had two other siblings who passed when they were children during the famine. After his parents' death, and after his older brother Seamus went to America and was not heard from again, he assumed the leadership role of the family at 19 years old.
The next few years before the move to America plunged Jimmy into adulthood. He married, developed his ability to work with his hands, and raised his younger brother. Although he worked constantly, the lowly educated farm boy lost his family's land to the injustice of the day. He felt indebted to make it right. He would do anything to make it right.
Rose went to school with Jimmy up until he dropped out in their 5th year to assume farm responsibilities.
She knew she loved him when she would see him pass over his own interests to help out others in need. She didn't know that it would be this very trait of her husband that she would be most concerned about in the "new world."
Though Rose felt protected and cared for by her husband, she also felt the need to protect him from a cruel world that Jimmy seemed impervious to. It was like he had an unlimited supply of strength to give of himself, but she was afraid of the day it would run out.
Nora was the child who made the journey across the Atlantic in the womb. Her mother believes that the disposition of concern that she possessed while on the ship transferred into the considerate personality of her daughter.
Jimmy Jr. was the quietly anticipated son of his father, who was more than happy with his two girls, but on the inside, longed for a son. Jimmy Jr. came along after a very terrible winter that claimed the lives of many. Jr.'s smile gave Jimmy the strength to continue on.
Ashley was born two years after Jimmy and Rose arrived in New York. Her father found work with his cousin Niall, where her mother would also work cleaning up debris. Out of the toil, and from the ash, their second born came into the world.