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Monday, August 16, 2010

Kate Flanagan - Part 2

It's been a while since I wrote "Part 1" about Catherine "Kate" M. O'Brien Flanagan.  I have written about her letters here and there.  I do think it is about time that I continue with her stories. Between 1895 and 1908, I find many letters that Kate wrote to Ireland. She wrote to Michael up until his death in 1904 and then to a cousin, Mary Flanagan, at the farm in Ireland. These letters really give me an insight into what Kate, my great-great grandmother, was like. It is interesting to know that my own grandfather referred to her as "Grandma" or "Grandma Flanagan".

I have not read all of her letters.  Some of them are quite long.  I need to carve out some time to read "The Kate Flanagan Letters".  She could write well and her letters are very informative.  In these letters, I have found Kate living on Seminary Street in Napa, at the Flanagan Ranch in Carneros, and at 111 Franklin Street, San Francisco, California.  Yes, that's right, she was living in San Francisco during the early 1900s while some of her children attended school there.  In fact, she writes about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that occurred on April 18, 1906. 

Kate Flanagan (Napa) to Mary Flanagan (Ireland)

"Napa
California
Sep 10 '06

...........................Your kind letter was received sometime after the quake but I knew that you would hear of our safety from your cousin Judith whose letter came a few weeks before yours did.  Besides I expected that a friend of ours who left here for Ireland would call and tell you all about how safely we came off but it seems she did not find it convenient to do so yet, as I see from a letter I rec’d from your cousin Judith a day or two ago.  Well there really is not much more to tell about the S. F. disaster than what you must have read in the papers tho at first the accounts were greatly exaggerated. The city is getting built up again as fast as could be expected. The Jesuit fathers have a new College built and in running order again. Our boys finished their course at Santa Clara College (another place belonging to the Order) two months ago..................With love and best wishes from Aunt Kate"

Can I just say that Kate was full of information.  I love her letters.  I need to read them all and soon.  I think that it is so interesting that she continues to write to Patrick's and Michael's family in Ireland.  These are people that she's never actually met, except for Michael.  She wasn't even born closeby to County Louth, Ireland.  She's from the west coast of Ireland and moved to Australia as a child.  Obviously, she felt the importance of staying in touch with the Flanagans in Ireland, at least for while after both Patrick and Michael passed away.

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