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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who was Edward Flanagan?

Edward Augustine Flanagan, born June 6, 1873, in Napa, California, was the oldest son of Patrick and Kate Flanagan.  He was the second child born in this family with his sister Agnes born in 1871.  Edward died in Napa, California, around 1930.

I found Edward on the 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Napa Township at the age of 7 years old living with his parents and siblings.  I find him again on the 1900 U.S. Federal Census living in the Napa Township but in the Carneros area.  His mother, Kate, is listed as head of household and a farmer with Edward as a farm laborer with his brother's Ignatius and John.  He's now 26 years old and single.  In 1910, I have him living in the same place as a farmer at age 36.  The census taker tried to identify the location as the corner of Sonoma Road.  Kate is still listed as head of the household.  In 1920, I once more find Edward living in Carneros at the Flanagan Ranch at age 46 years old.  He's a farmer along with his brother Louis.  Kate is still listed as head of the household. 

I also found Edward's WWI registration card.  He's 45 years old, born June 6, 1873, living in Napa, California.  His occupation is listed as a farmer with his employer indicated as Mrs. K. M. Flanagan.  Yes, that is his mother.  He is indicated as medium height, medium build, light brown eyes, and dark brown hair.  I wonder how many of the Flanagan's children resembled each other.  I only have photos of Edward's younger brother and my great-grandfather, John "Jack" Francis Flanagan.  He seemed to have the dark brown hair and light eyes.  My grandfather had almost jet black hair (I suppose very dark brown) and those hazel/green eyes.

In addition to source documents, I have Flanagan letters that were written to Michael Flanagan and the Flanagan Family in Ireland.  Edward is mentioned in several letters as working on the farm.  He and his brothers work the farm and harvest.  It seems as though Edward was the main farmer on the premises from the early 1890s when Patrick, his father was still alive, until Kate died sometime around 1928. 

Edward was the oldest son and appears to have taken on the primary responsibility of the farm once his father passed away.  I do know that when Kate passed away in 1928, John and his family moved out to the Flanagan Ranch to attend to things.  I wonder where Edward was then.  So, what did happen to Edward?

I have a title plot map of the Flanagan Ranch division among the five remaining living children when Kate died.  Edward is listed along with Jack, Mary, Louis, and Richard.  Edward was living when Kate passed away.  At the time of Kate's death, Jack was living in town with his wife, five children, and working as a mechanic.  I suppose that he was still a farmer at heart.  Edward is absent from the 1930 U.S. Census for the Carneros area.  I find Jack and his family living there along with his brother, Louis Flanagan.

Edward spent over 30 years living out on the Flanagan Ranch in Carneros.  He farmed the property, crushed grapes, and made wine.  He did not do this all on his own but he was the ranch's mainstay.  Based on my research, he never married nor had children.  He was probably too busy to pursue a family.  Kate Flanagan, his mother and apparently his boss, may have had something to do with that.  Life in the late 1800s early 1900s for a farmer was probably touch and go.

It is interesting to note here that Edward definitely knew and spent time with his uncle, Michael Flanagan, before he returned to Ireland.  Edward also knew Judge Stanly and had some dealings with him as the neighbor.  I am not at all sure about what Edward was like.  Did he have a content life?  I'm not sure if that was the case.

Finally, I found a piece of information about a Mr. Edward Flanagan noted on the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church website.  It is in the history section of the school.  It indicates that the new school was dedicated on Sunday, December 19, 1926.  It further indicates that the old school on Third and Franklin was sold to Mr. Edward Flanagan for $7,751.60.   Is this my Edward Flanagan?  I don't really know.

When I look up the 1930 U.S. Census, I do find an Edward Flanagan, age 56, single, living at 1421 Third Street, Napa, California.  His parents were both born in Ireland.  The value of the building is indicated as $12,000.  It indicates that he did not attend school or college but can read and write.  I know that the older boys in the Flanagan Family did not have the option or opportunity to go to college.  They were needed on the farm.

Google Maps lets me do a virtual walk down Third Street in Napa.  1421 Third is still there surrounded by other housing and across the street are a parking lot and a more commercial area of downtown Napa.  A small addition to the front of the building indicates "Earthquake Survival Kits".  The building looks well taken care of and appears to be apartments or condos but you can tell it is an old building (over 100 years old probably). 

At this point, I'm not sure what I've found about Edward Flanagan in his older years.  It is interesting what can be found on the internet.  I'm not sure what else I might find out about Uncle Ed, someday.

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