Seamus Dolan disappeared after he left to America ahead of his brothers to prepare the way for their arrival. Assuming he was dead, they went on without him. However, Seamus was thrown into a whirlwind of struggle after he landed in New York. It was so turbulent that he could not find a way to get word back to his brothers about the disappointment of this new world where "Irish need not apply." Seamus thought that his brothers would assume his death, and in turn get the message to stay home. So it was a surprise to all the brothers when they saw each other on the worksite with cousin Niall for the first time. Seeing Jimmy and Declan brought Seamus much needed joy, but his brothers noticed he had changed. Their jolly, optimistic older brother was now darker, rougher, and an alcoholic.
Claire met Seamus on the ship crossing the Atlantic. She was quickly won over by his wit and positivity. He kept talking to her about all the possibilities in the land he would call, "New Dublin." He married her within a week after landing, assuming all his hopes would come to pass and he would be able to take care of her with more than enough. However, after months of searching for any kind of work and finding only hostility and discrimination because of his Irish roots, he was about to give up and take Claire on a ship back to Ireland. As soon as he opened his mouth to tell Claire, she told him she was pregnant. A spark lit up Seamus eyes and he decided that he would do anything, even endure humiliation, to take care of his emerging family. That's when he met up with his uncle's son, Niall who gave him a job that far surpassed any other work environment because of the way Niall ran things.
Claire gave birth to a baby girl and Seamus couldn't have been happier. The winter that year was incredibly hard on the Irish living in the ghettos. And like many others who struggled to keep warm, put food on the table, and ensure health, Seamus was in agony trying to meet those needs. On a tragic January night, after their little girl had been battling a sickness for weeks, with no doctor to tend to her, and no medicine to ease her suffering, Seamus and Claire's daughter passed away in their arms.
Seamus turned to work and alcohol. He would never forgive himself for what happened that night. He named his daughter Soul, and when she passed that night, his own soul went with her.