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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stanly Ranch - Part 2

As soon as I wonder, I find information. Edward Stanly must have been a very interesting person. I found references to two duels that he was involved in plus some fist fits he got involved with on the floor of Congress. His southern voting contingency thought he was a traitor for supporting the union. I so love the information that you can find online. I do wonder how factual it is but it does lend itself to some interesting insight into this gentlemen’s personality. When the Whig party was discontinued, he became a republican. It is no wonder he lost in the run for governor in California. A democrat won in 1857. It cracks me up that he was buried as a democrat. He did not agree with President Lincoln giving into Congressional radicals over the Emancipation Proclamation so became a “Dem”.

Let me try to get back on track with the residents of the Carneros area of Napa. Every now and again I find information about the “Ten Threatened Treasures’ List” for Napa and the Napa Valley. Sometimes the list has the Stanly and Flanagan ranch houses and sometimes they are just on the “watch list”. Let’s just say that I know the Flanagan house is still there (barely) but I question if the Stanly house is there at this point.

Again, I found information online that mentions Edward Stanly. Edward was the original owner of the Stanly Ranch, Stanly Lane, Napa, California. When his nephew and heir, John A. Stanly, a distinguished Superior Court judge in San Francisco, inherited the property, a house was built. The Judge lived in the City (San Francisco and/or Oakland) during the weekdays and stayed at the ranch on the weekends. The house was built in 1872.

What a coincidence to find that a winery owns the Stanly house and intend to reconstruct the home to host wine tasting and parties. Where have I heard this story before? Oh wait, let’s rewind to the post about the Flanagan Ranch house. A winery wanted to do that same thing there but the cost is too high to restore the historic home.

At least the Flanagan house still stands where it was built. The Stanly house was moved to a different location on the premises. Ah ha! That’s what happened to that house that could be seen for years from Highway 29 with a eucalyptus tree lying on it, crushing the roof. I always thought it was sad to look over and see this modest dwelling with a tree on it. There were other buildings and dwellings on the property so I would never have thought that was the Judge’s old house. It apparently was from what I've researched. I don’t know if it will make an appearance again. I may need to drive down Stanly Lane the next time that I’m in Napa and take a peek.  I think that the current owner of the Stanly Ranch keeps things locked up pretty well so there won't be any wandering there.

To be continued........

Friday, July 30, 2010

Stanly Ranch – Part 1

As I gather information about Michael, Patrick, and Kate Flanagan, I can’t help but stumble across the Stanly's. How infamous were the Stanly’s in the Carneros area of Napa? Where do I begin? I’m not saying that they were good or bad, protagonist or antagonist. They too were making their way in the world of farming, wealth, politics and infamy in the Napa Valley… Oakland and San Francisco. I suppose in sharp contrast to their next door neighbor’s, wealth, politics, and infamy were not very high on the Flanagan’s list. I can’t discount all of those elements completely from the Flanagan’s as they did dabble a bit in those areas too.

I guess it begins with Edward Stanly. Born in North Carolina in 1810, Edward was the son of a congressman, John Stanly, and cousin of a Senator, George E. Badger. He graduated university and law school from Norwich University. As a member of the Whig party, he won the seat in the House of Representatives (1837-1843). While he was a leader in the South, he supported the Union. He did hold offices in the State of North Carolina after he lost re-election in 1843 in the House, only to be re-elected to the house in 1849.

In 1853, Stanly moved west to San Francisco, California to practice law. He ran for governor of California in 1857 but lost. He was appointed by Abraham Lincoln to be military governor of North Carolina with the rank of brigadier general in 1862 but resigned the office in 1863. He apparently did not agree with President Lincoln with regards to the Emancipation Proclamation. At that point, he returned to California.

I have to stop at this point a mention that Edward Stanly’s title at one point was “governor” but not of California. I also need to indicate here that I am getting to Judge John Alexander Stanly but first need to talk about Edward. I did not know about Edward myself. I find it an interesting history lesson. I wonder what Edward was like and what he did not like about the Emancipation Proclamation.

Edward Stanly died on July 12, 1872. He is buried in the Stanly family plot at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. The house in which he was born in New Bern, North Carolina is apparently a historical site.

So you’re probably wondering if that’s it and what Edward Stanly has to do with the Stanly Ranch in Napa (besides the last name). I am getting to that.

To be continued………………………………………

Richard Flanagan who went to London - Part 3

I'm still working on tracing Richard Flanagan who went to London's line.  I have found his grandchildren but that is as far as I've gotten now.  I'm posting again on my blog in hopes of finding his living relatives.  I am more hopeful than ever that there are some.  They have a wonder Flanagan Family Line of history back to Ireland in the late 1600s that they might be interested in.

Richard Flanagan
-Birth – 1830 Termonfechin, Ireland
-Residence – 1851 Dudley, Worcestershire, England
-Residence – 1861 St. George in the East, Middlesex, England
-Residence – 1871 Hackney St. John, London, England
-Occupation – 1871 – Customs Civil Clerk, England
-Marriage – 24 Jan 1871 – Clapton, England
-Child – Kathleen Anne Flanagan, b. 7 Sep 1873
-Death – 1878, age 48, London, England
1851 England Census, 1861 England Census, 1871 England Census
England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index: 1837-1915:
-Richard Flanagan 1871 Jan-Feb-Mar, Hackney, Greater London, London, Middlesex
England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index: 1837-1915:
-Richard Flanagan, d. 1878 Jul-Aug-Sep, London Middlesex

Maria Cutler Flanagan
-Birth – 22 Feb 1846, Islington, England
-Parents – Samuel Cutler (b. 1819, Straffordshire West) and Maria Cutler (b. 1819, Hornsey, England)
-Residence – 1861, Poplar, England
-Married Richard Flanagan on 24 Jan 1871, Clapton, England
-Residence – 1871, Hackney St. John, London, England
-Residence – 1881, Hackney St. John, London, England
-Residence – 1891, Greenwich, London England
-Child – Kathleen Anne Flanagan, b. 7 Sep 1873
1881 England Census, 1891 England Census, 1901 England Census

Kathleen Anne Flanagan
-Birth – 7 Sep 1873, Poplar, England
(England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 has her born sometime in Oct-Nov-Dec 1873)
-Parents – Richard and Maria Flanagan
-Son – Norman Richard Wingrove, b. 10 Mar 1902, England
-Probable other children – Norah Kathleen Wingrove and Eric Edwin Wingrove
-Residence – 1891 England Census, Kidbrooke St. James, London England
------She was living with her aunt and uncle, Edwin Holmers and Sarah A (Cutler) Holmers.
-Residence – 1901 England Census, Lewisham, St. Stephen, London, England. Maria Flanagan is listed as the head of household with Kathleen and Henry Wingrove living with her. In this case, Maria is indicated as a widow. Henry Wingrove is indicates as working as a clerk.

London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 – This document indicates a marriage at St. John’s Church, Parish of St. John Deptford, London; On June 6th 1900 between Henry Wingrove, age 27, and Kathleen Anne Flanagan, age 26. He’s listed as a bachelor and she as a spinster. He’s working as a clerk and she’s working as civil service clerk. He’s living at 76 Duke Street, Chelmsford and she’s living at Lewisham High Road. His father is Charles Wingrove, a deceased farmer. Her father is Richard Flanagan, a deceased controller in His Majesty’s customs. He signed his name H. Wingrove and she signed her name Kathleen Anne Flanagan (fancy feminine handwriting by the way). The witnesses were Maria Flanagan and Sarah Cutler (with her married name written next to it as S.A.Holmers. It’s hard to read the other signatures on the page but I am assuming one is the vicar and the other are more witnesses which appear to include W. E. Holmers.

I also found Kathleen in the England and Wales, Free BMD Marriage Index.

I have not found the death date of Kathleen Anne Flanagan Wingrove. She may have gone by Annie Wingrove. I found several people by that name but the birth date did not match.

Henry Wingrove
-Birth – March 1873, Chelmsford, Essex, England
-Died – Sep 1914, London, Middlesex, England
-Parents – Charles and Elizabeth Wingrove
-Son – Norman Richard Wingrove, b. 10 Mar 1902, England
-Probable other children – Norah Kathleen WIngrove and Eric Edwin Wingrove
-Residence – 1891 England Census – Chelmsford, England, living at home with his windowed mother and siblings. He is listed as working for the solicitors clerk law
-Residence – 1901 England Census – He’s with Kathleen (see above)

Norman Richard Wingrove
-Birth – March 10, 1902, Lewisham, Greater London, Kent, London, England
(Found in the England and Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915)
-Baptism – April 26, 1902, St. John’s Deptford, London, Norman Richard Wingrove, son of Henry and Kathleen Anne Wingrove, living at Lyncroft, Loanpit Hill Lewisham. Henry is indicated as working as a commercial clerk.
(Found in London, England, Births and Baptism, 1813-1906)
-Marriage – Jan/Feb/Mar 1974, Tavistock, Devonshire to Evelyn W. Dawe
(Found in the England and Wales Marriage Index, 1916-2005)
-Death – June 1979, Tavistock, Devonshire. The index matches his full name of Norman Richard Wingrove and his date of birth of 10 Mar 1902
(Found in the England and Wales, Death Index 1916-2005)

Other Possible Children of Kathleen Anne Flanagan and Henry Wingrove:
Norah Kathleen Wingrove
Born- Oct-Nov-Dec 1905, Lewisham, Greater London, Kent, London
(England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915)
Baptism – 16 Dec 1905; Father: Henry Wingrove; Mother: Kathleen Anne Wingrove; St. John, Deptford, Lewisham, Middlesex
(London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906)
The following is the 1911 England Census for the household:
  Address: 99 Tyrwhitt Road St Johns S E

  WINGROVE, Henry/Head/Married 10 years/M/37/1874/Clerk Engineers/Essex Chelmsford
  WINGROVE, Kathleen Annie/Wife/Married/F/37/1874/Deptford Kent
  FLANAGAN, Maria/Mother In Law/Widow/F/65/1846/Islington London
  WINGROVE (the transcription says Flanagan), Norman Richard/Son/M/9/1902/Deptford Kent
  WINGROVE,(again, transcript says Flanagan) Norah Kathleen/Daughter/F/5/1906/Deptford Kent
  HARRIS, Augusta Lydia/Visitor/Single/F/35/1876/ Nurse Monthly/Greenwich Kent
  WINGROVE, Eric Edwin/Son/M/0 (5 WEEKS)/1911/Deptford Kent
  CALLOW, Emily Louisa/Servant/Single/F/16/1895/General Servant Domestic/Islington London

I think that I found Norah getting married in 1943 to a Sydney Cheeseman but I found other Marriages for a Norah Wingrove too so am stuck right now on that line. I need to take a fresh look at it again soon.

Eric Edwin Wingrove
Born – Apr-May-Jun 1911, Lewisham, Greater London, Kent, London (England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915)
The following is the 1911 England Census for the household:
  Address: 99 Tyrwhitt Road St Johns S E
  WINGROVE, Henry/Head/Married 10 years/M/37/1874/Clerk Engineers/Essex Chelmsford
  WINGROVE, Kathleen Annie/Wife/Married/F/37/1874/Deptford Kent
  FLANAGAN, Maria/Mother In Law/Widow/F/65/1846/Islington London
  WINGROVE (the transcription says Flanagan), Norman Richard/Son/M/9/1902/Deptford Kent
  WINGROVE,(again, transcript says Flanagan) Norah Kathleen/Daughter/F/5/1906/Deptford Kent
  HARRIS, Augusta Lydia/Visitor/Single/F/35/1876/ Nurse Monthly/Greenwich Kent
  WINGROVE, Eric Edwin/Son/M/0 (5 WEEKS)/1911/Deptford Kent
  CALLOW, Emily Louisa/Servant/Single/F/16/1895/General Servant Domestic/Islington London's Shoebox

One of my favorite movies of all time is "The Princess Bride".  It has action, humor, romance and a little bit of mystery.  It is rather cheeky but still fun.  It also has a "pit of despair".  While Wesley and Buttercup run into the fire swamp to hide, they find rodents of unusual size, quick sand, and fire.  They successfully navigate the fire swamp but not without getting their feathers ruffled a bit or rather charred.  Once they exit the fire swamp, they are captured and Wesley is then taken to the "pit of dispair" for some torture and later escape. 

So why do I bring this up?  I relate the Shoebox to the "pit of despair".  Not only does it present itself as great place to save or hide those documents that you think might match your family tree down the line, it gives one hope that you won't have to recreate the wheel of research to find them again.  I've been adding items to the Shoebox for months and now am up to 119.  I have not yet found rodents, quick sand, fire, or torture devices, but I have yet to navigate through and sort out my shoebox.  I started calling it a pit and then the name just rang so true from the movie.

I guess I need some motivation to go through and see if I have any treasures or just taunts.  Maybe some of those possible matching documents will escape.  As Nike used to say (and I just can't help this with a name like 'Shoebox'), JUST DO IT!.............ok maybe when i find time...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mine, Yours', and the Other Guy's Genealogy

Mine, Yours', and the Other Guy's Genealogy has kind of morphed into a blog about my Flanagan's and McLaughlin's for the most part these days.  I am hoping that more of my other family lines produce some successful research in the near future.  It is true that I have a fair amount of information about my Maxwell's too.  My other Irish family lines have either come to a stop or definitely a slow crawl.

It would appear that my initial destiny on my family tree journey is with my Mom's side of the family.  The more I look, the more I find.  The information can actually be rather overwhelming at times.  So what should I do about about my Dad's side of the family?  I have limited resources to even ask about my relatives.  My father passed away in 2004.  To be honest, he knew only limited information.  He did know his Hickey grandparents though.  He lived with them when he attended first grade in New York City.  I need to start writing down the stories that he told about Patrick and Johanna (Coughlin) Hickey.  I do have my Dad's siblings too as living resources.

McGuire has proven to be a hard name to trace.  It is a pretty common last name in NYC back in the late 1800s.  I am ever hopeful that the marriage certificates that I ordered in June from the State of New York actually show up before Christmas.  I'd probably have more luck at this point researching my Maguire line in Ireland.  Yes, I am both a McGuire and a Maguire.  Funny how that works sometimes.

Napa History

When I research the history of Napa, Napa County, Napa Valley, or Los Carneros, I find a recurring theme. That theme, and I’m not sure how to make this sound polite, is bias. As you can imagine everyone has their own take on history and those who author (or fund) a project do have a say in what is written.

I have my own bias and facts for my personal Napa family history. There’s nothing wrong with that. As an amateur genealogist (but an expert underwriter in my past life), I work hard to “source” my information to establish the facts. History, however, is full of influence by the individual who puts pen to paper, or in this day and age on the web.

So Napa Valley had or has the Wappo Indians, Padre Jose Altamira, Nathan Coombs, Nicholas Higurerra (and really that Mexican Land Grant doled out by General Vallejo), Catholic priests, Tulocay Cemetery and lots of wine.  Let’s not forget my Flanagan’s or the Stanly’s. I’ve also got my Borchers’, Vienop’s, McLaughlin’s and Maxwell’s. As you can see, my Napa history is skewed by my own bias.

Another point that I’d like to make is that the historcal information in Napa is only as plentiful and complete and those who have provided it. When I visit the Napa Valley Biographical and Genealogical Society pages, there are huge holes in the information. Also, I’m not sure that they have the manpower (or womanpower) to review information that is sent their way.

I blog away with my diary about my research available in cyberspace for anyone who wants to read about my version of Napa history and beyond.

Patrick Flanagan - Part 7

Pat Flanagan to Michael Flanagan.
December 20 - 95

Brother Mike

For once your Lady (Kate Flanagan) correspondent tells you the truth I am not in good health about a year ago dispepsia began upon me I was very poorly all winter but at the time I wrote to you last I felt a good deal better and thought I was going to get well I believe that was in March or April I improved a good deal for a little while so did not mention it in my letter to you with the advance of the summer got bad again the stommach entirely refusing duty so that I have been starving slowly in a plentiful country besides that I have been in constant pain. In September I went over to Tomalies Bay thinking the salt air and the salt water might work a change stopped a week with some improvement came on to rain which drove us home. Mrs McNemey at this timeorganized a camping out party herself paying all expenses the boys wanted her to have a good time she invited me to go and I went of course taking my own Team and waggon went to Lake County visited many of the springs but upon the whole the trip rather tired me out the others were young people and we could not rest but kept going all the time so the thing was not much benefit to me I am now just come home from St Marys hospital I spent one week there not having any faith in the doctors of Napa I thought I would find out what it was I was afraid it might be some tumors or cancerous growth but the doctors of St Marys said the coud find nothing of the sort I did not think their medecine did me much good so I came home again I am very thin and weak it is possible the thing may fetch me yet although I have not lost hope I would like to go over to see Nicholas for a week or two the change of air might help besides that I would like to see them before I die if I am goin to I do not know at present whether I can manage it or not, for fear I should go you must make the books even between us for the present life and death are in the hands of God welcome be it either ways.....................

Patt Flanagan"

The next letter is so touching and is the last correspondence from Pat to Ireland.

Pat Flanagan (Napa) to Michael Flanagan.
January 17 [1896]

Dear Brother Mike
for a better brother you have been to me than I have been to y I must now bid you a long fairwell for the chances of any recovery on my part are nothing The despepsey turned to Dropsey the doctor has tapped me and taken out a large quantity of matter but I am afraid I was to weak by the time it was done that I have no chance of recovry I hope between you an me there will be the best of feeling and that you will forgive me all the differences we ever had I am not able to go on
Patt Flanagan"

Patrick Flanagan died nine days after writing this letter. In Kate's letter to Michael Flanagan after Pat's death, she goes into great detail about Pat's illness and some other facts that I could not find before this letter. The letter is dated February, 13, 1896.

"Dear Mike
I know it will be a great consolation to hear what a most peaceful and happy death Pat died. There could be nothing more edifying than the way he resigned himself to the Lords will, when he knew he was going, I might say that he did nothing from the time he was anointed but praise and thank the merciful God, who had granted him so long a time to prepare to meet him. In fact he was longing to go, not that he suffered so much towards the last, but he seemed all at once to see things in a different way to what he ever did before and became as humble as a little child, acknowledging his past mistakes calling himself stupid and foolish for not seeing it before. In fact his contrition and gratitude to the Almighty seemed to know no bounds."

Patrick had been at St. Mary's Hospital diagnosed with liver cancer. The letter also indicates that he was never quite the same after Anges' death. I did not notice in any of the other letters that Agnes had passed away. I have her date of death as April 1895. Apparently Patrick ran for an elected office but did not win at some point in the 1890s. The election process took a toll on him. After Patrick's death, Kate and her sons took over the operation of the Flanagan Ranch.

I again drove past the Flanagan Ranch in Carneros on July 22, 2010, with my mom on the way to Bodega Bay. We again did not stop. I caught my glimpse of the place though and now know more history of the my Flanagan Family who lived there.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Patrick Flanagan - Part 6

When I read through letters from any of the correspondents from California to Ireland, I find that no matter who wrote the letters, everyone tried to be informative of family matters.  The main authors of letters from California were the three brothers - Michael Flanagan, Patrick Flanagan, and Nicholas Flanagan.  Also, Kate Flanagan (Pat's wife), Agnes Flanagan (Pat's and Kate's oldest), and Anna C. Flanagan (Nicholas' daughter) picked up the slack where the brothers left off.  In reviewing the letters as a whole regardless of author, I can piece together different timelines and information for individual family members.  Since I'm writing about Patrick, I will try and post some quotes from various letters about him and his family.

Micahel (Napa) to his brother John Flanagan in Ireland - excerpts from the letters:
 Napa City April 14 1877 -- ".......There is another gorsoon at Pat's house, no fear of the name dying out anyaway even if the ber some old "Batchs" in the family....."

 Napa City Nov 14th 1878 -- "....Pat and his family are all well- excepting that some of the children have the whooping cough - they are about over it now I believe, and are totally happy and contented.....Pat and his family are quite well and going on all right."

 Napa City California
Feb 20th 1884 --"........Agnes, the eldest, has been at school in a Convent some distance from here for about a year past. She can now play the piano and sing, is very well informed in history and geography, and generally well accomplished for one of her age. She spent the Christmas home and has returned to school...."

Pat Flanagan Riverdale to Michael Flanagan (Ireland).

Riverdale July 24th [1890]:
"Brot Mik
Reed your letter in due time and was highly entertained. I dont know if it is any good for me to say anything more than I am glad you found father in as good health as could be expected for one of his age I got two papers you sent Myself and family are well T. A. is gone to his buisnes again about as well as ever we had a visit from Mr Kruge (Charles Krug) about a week after you left he asked for you and when told you had gone to Europe ‘Vel Vel gont to Europe vel now vat you tink of that what you do now judge?" he asked Judge to trad wines with him two of his to one of judge we had visits from many people of more or less importance among others Judge MeKinstry of the supream Court a member of the Catholic Church told me so he appeared to be a democratic man though I believe a republican. The Fermi baby died soon after you went. Mrs Feerrmi wants to do the cooking so I suppose the Mongoluan has to get. Judge told me he wrote to you a week ago so I suppose he told you more than I can patch up a letter from Mrs B from New Zealand which I send it appears to be a dull place now

Cant think of any more

P Flanagan"

Agnes Flanagan to Uncle Mike.
Napa Nov 20th 1890:
"My dear Uncle:-
I dare say you think we were very thoughtless not to send all the Ave Marias as you requested. I had them all ready and sent them with Papa to be posted, but he lost one package on the road........."

Napa Jan 2lst 1891.
"........We had Eddie home for six weeks after they got through with the grapes at Larkmead (A.K.A. the Flanagan Ranch).  He and Fran are there now and have their crop all sown a week ago. Papa and Naishie are through plowing and sowing at home, and have been pruning and getting Lenoir cuttings from the Stanley ranch. We dont get much news from there now. Nashie tells us that “Meadcalf” is there, and Mr Whitty is kind of sick. I suppose you heard that the dairy men got the whole ranch to put a crop in, on very liberal terms from the Judge....."  I believe here that Eddie is Edward Flanagan, Fran is John "Jack" Francis Flanagan, and Nashie is Ignatius Flanagan.

In the quotes and excerpts above, I feel that I get to have a quick peek into some of Pat's and Kate's children during their younger years in Napa.

To be continued.....................

Patrick Flanagan - Part 5

Patrick and Kate Flanagan had eight children born between 1871 and 1885.  All of them were born in Napa, CA.  I do believe that they were born in town at the Flanagan Family home on Seminary Street.  The children were Agnes, Edward "Ed" Augustine, Ignatius Joseph "Nash" (pronounced with a long "a"), John Francis "Frank" (as apparently Kate called him) but the rest called him "Jack", Mary Catherine, Richard "Dick" Austin, Louis "Louie" Alphonsus, and Leo J.

I find it hard to keep up with nicknames sometimes.  It can really make you crazy when the official U.S. Census has only their nicknames listed.  That can really make life fun for a researcher.  When it comes to this generation of Flanagan's, my Mom actually knew Aunt Mary, Uncle Dick, and Uncle Louie.  At some point, I really need to take some notes about her impression of these family members.

Patrick and Kate Flanagan along with all of their children are buried at Tulocay Cemetery.  I'm just not sure where.  I know where Jack is buried.  That Flanagan Family plot has Jack and his wife along with all of their children including my grandparents.  So where is the old Flanagan Family Plot?  I really want to find out.  Nine out of the ten in that original Napa Flanagan Family unit died in Napa, California.  Leo died either in San Francisco or San Mateo County.  He is supposedly buried at Tulocay though.  As part of my research, I really want to find out this information.

To be continued....................

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Patrick Flanagan - Part 4

Pat (Napa) to his Father (John Flanagan in Ireland)
Napa California January 12 1875

"Dear Father
I had a letter from John a few days ago and I am glad to know that you are all well thanks be to God I can say as much for all here. You were affeard something was wrong with us on account of not hearing from us oftener.  Bad news generally travels faster than good if anything was wrong you would hear it soon enough. John says in his letter that he had no answer to his letter from Mike. Mike says he did write a few days after receiving the letter so if you did not get his letter it must have droped. We thought here that you would have known about Nicholas from himself before this time he left us last April and went to another County he has not left the State as Johny said in his letter to me. Colusa County is where he lives now it is not a great distance from here. There is but one County between Napa and if he was not satisfied to stay here on account of land being so dear as it realy is, to dear in fact but the county is purty thickly peopled and it is close to the Market and as I have lived long enough on the outskirts Napa suits me."

Patrick seems very content in this letter.  He was a busy farmer but it seems as though he could really sit down and write a full letter unlike in his earlier years of haste.  I don't think Patrick was big on punctuation but for someone born in rural Ireland in 1834, he does express himself well.  Patrick discusses sowing grain and growing corn.

"I have sowed nearly one hundred acres by myself  the year season. Here we have different plows I use five horses in the plow and sit up all the time it is two plows in one and runs on three wheels Costs about one hundred dollars Some people here on lighter soils use four or six plows in one gang ten or twelve horses so that one man can drive four plows harrow and seeder all at the same time If I had to hire a man to help me that was thirty dollars a month gone and beside they are hard to pleas my wife would have to make pies and tart and puddings and a dozen different sort of daintys that I dont care much about myself."

Patrick also talks about Michael:

"Mike has rented a farm alonside of mine this year I suppose you would think a man busy to attend to a hundred acre by himself but Mike has this year plowed sowed and harowed airedy about sixty acres wit the single plow at that beside milking four cows and tending a dozen hogs there is a good Orchard on his place a vineyard but it is to young"

I believe Patrick is commenting about one of his children in the next excerpt:

"I think young people grow faster here than the old country. I dont know if they grow old faster I feel purty wel myself but I have a little rascie (rascal) here eighteen month old who insists that he can sow wheat if I do not ty the sack before I go to the other end of the field he will be busy at it.  he sows to thick"

Patrick signed the letter:

"Still your Son
P Flanagan"

To be continued.............

Monday, July 26, 2010

Patrick Flanagan - Part 3

"Patrick Flanagan to John A. Stanly: Know all men by these presents; That I, Patrick Flanagan of the County of Napa and State of California in consideration of the sum of fifteen hundred dollars to me in hand paid do hereby assign transfer and set over to John A. Stanly of the City of San Francisco and State aforesaid all my right title and interest in and to certain agreement made on the 10th day of June 1870, between Edward Stanly and myself for the sale and purchase of Lotero (spelling?) 10 of the "Rancho Rincon de los Carneros" upon terms and condition therein expressed, which said agreement is recorded in Book "C" of Miscellaneous Records of Napa County on page 194-5 & 9. Witness my hand and seal this 6th day of September 1873, (signed) Patrick Flanagan."

The above is an excerpt from the deed to the Flanagan Ranch. My grandfather kept a copy of the deed. This is one of those "little treasures" found in "the box" that my Mom brought to me. I took a closer look inside the envelop today that includes the deed. Other papers have been placed in this envelop.

To my surprise, there is a plot/lot division breakdown of the Flangan Ranch. The property was divided among the living Flanagan children (Louie, Mary, Dick, Jack, and Ed) of Patrick and Kate after their deaths. The title company has very specific line divisions drawn breaking up the property. My Grandma wrote on each section who the owner was.

I also found Assessment lists of the County of Napa for Patrick Flanagan's property for 1886, 1891, and 1892. These are the originals. Patrick signed them too. Oh and there is one for Michael Flanagan from 1891. It indicates M. Flannigan and written on it are the words "Gone Up".  The form has an "x" drawn through the page. I guess that they were trying to indicate that Michael had left Napa. He was in fact back in Ireland.

I have to comment here on the spelling of the Flanagan name, or rather the mispelling. It would appear that county officials and census takers alike thought the name was spelled Flannigan or even Flanegan. It makes it interesting to try and locate my Flanagan's in Napa at times. They were there and so the deed began the ownership of the Flanagan Ranch in Carneros.

To be continued.............

My Family Surnames - Part 7

Every couple of posts, I plan to put this list of my surnames out here to keep the momentum going. Feel free to let me know if any of the names strike a cord.

1. Flanagan - Co. Louth, Ireland; Napa, California; Corning, California

2. McLaughlin - Ringowney, Parish of Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York; Austin and Grass Valley, Lander County, Nevada; Napa, California

3. Maxwell - Shancarnan, Parish of Moynalty, Co. Meath, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York; Austin and Grass Valley, Lander County, Nevada; Napa, California; and Scotland in the 1780s.

4. Shaffrey - Dunshaughlin, Parish of Moynalty, Co. Meath, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York

5. Gartlan - Co. Monaghan, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York
    (Is it Gartlan with a "D" in the end?  You tell me.)

6. Fox - Co. Monaghan, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York

7. O'Brien - Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, Ireland; Australia; Napa, California

8. Hickey - Whitegate, Co. Clare, Ireland; New York City (Greenwich Village)

9. Coughlin - Co. Clare, Ireland; New York City, Long Island, and Rye, New York

10. McGuire - Co. Fermanagh; New York City (Brooklyn, Greenwich Village) and Long Island, New York

11. Bellew - Co. Louth, Ireland

12. Kirwan - Co. Louth, Ireland

13. Campbell - Co. Louth, Ireland

14. Maguire - Co. Louth, Ireland

I have more surnames too but these are the names that I am most actively searching and familiar with.

Patrick Flanagan - Part 2

Dec 6th 1867

"Dear Brother (Michael Flanagan)

I received your two letters and the slip enclosed in Kats two days ago I did not receive them in time to write by the same boat as the Mails very little delay at Auckland I cannot tell you what I felt when I heard the awful news from there a roomer was here for a week before your letters reached me those that circulated it were very positive as to the correctness of it and they having the names very Correct I was in a feaver between hope and fear until the arrival of the Charles Edwards confinned the worst fears I entertained I will not say any more about it at present but I think his father’s name was James I am not certain is there no letters left after him that would tell that I now more than ever regret my coming here as I would be clear of the debt by this time I do not know what to do about that I would go away cheerful and contented to California, but I should like to leave everything clear behind, do you think is there any chance of gitting anything from Mooney or Fleming....."

This is probably the first letter that I come across where Patrick is fairly articulate.  In many of his letters, you can tell that he is in a big hurry.  The letters that he wrote to Michael when they were separated in Australia and New Zealand speak mostly of people, places, and digging successes.  Patrick was definitely focused on mining and in this letter talks of going to California.

".............If we were down in America with Nicholas even though we were pennyles we would have only to work as we do here. I intended bringing the same subject up myself as Kate has but I did not intend to leave here for about two months for a variaty of reasons you could try to get some of that Money I might get a few pounds they would be few as this is the poorest place I have ever been in I have been working hard for a subcontractor last fortnight for 6-6 per day- the upper Thames will be opened I would like to have a look at it for about a week and if it be anything like what the others are I would leave right off the worst part of the going to america is the high rate of fare on the overland. I believe the fare over there after getting down would be more than the sea fare but no matter I believe it to be the best thing to be done if you think there is no chance of getting any of that Money we cannot do worse than we have been doing here I am writing to K at same time I think this will reach you about the 15th I have not assertained when any vessels will leave for S. Francisco I see none in the advertisements I am told there are some every month I will go to Auckland and assertam all particulars but I believe I woul lose the mail if I waited I will send a telegram about the 16th
or 17th and say when a ship leaves for America If you leave there pay John what I owe him if possible I suppose what I owe to Peter can ly a little while the Claim at Coromandle does not look anything nor any other Claims there

Your affectionat B
Patt Flanagan"

Patrick mentions Kate as they obviously already knew each other and were making plans to leave Australia for California.

Dec 14th 1869

"Dear Kat

I hardly know what to say in this as I do not know whether it will reach you or not when I wrote last I could not tell about the shipping from Auckland since then I have found that there are no vessels goeing from here to California at present and the agents tell me the best way is to. go to Sydney The passage from there is 18 £ steerage and 32 £ Cabin if you got this before you started you could go to [word omitted] without coming here as going from one place to another costs a lot I am in a fix as I think if I were to go from here I might mis you I was expect a letter by last mail that might guide my actions a little but I got none as you know This place is getting worse the only hope the people here had was the opening of the upper Thames and that is fading from the view at present The Hero is I think the only Steamboat that trades direct to Sydney from here she sails again about the end of the present month most of the other ones go by Melbourne you would be booked through to Sydney at I think the same fare but of these things I am not quite sure as the go different ways however I am anxious to here from you again if you get this. I suppose I will get an answer for the other letters I wrote and I will know perhaps what to do then

Yours Patt Flanagan"

Michael Flanagan did most of the writing home to Ireland.  There is reference to letters that Patrick wrote.  I would imagine that some of those letters did not make it to their destination.  Patrick was in very rural areas of Australia and New Zealand digging.  I would think that the mail would be inconsistent and somewhat unreliable.  Yet, I am still amazed that so many letters found their destination.

I read a rather stern letter from Michael and Patrick's brother, Richard Flanagan, from London to Michael in New Zealand.  It do find it rather humorous too.

Hackney, London E

20th Aug 1870

"My dear Michael 

.................I have felt a good deal disappointed that you told nothing of your plans or arrangements for the future. Through Nicholas some three months ago I heard that Pat was in California. At first I could hardly credit it, as I thought he would not have undertaken such a step without letting some one at home know of it directly. Then came a second letter from Nicholas in which he repeated the news, and stated that he had it in Contemplation to go out to join Pat, I suppose with the intention of settling there. I was for a long time in expectation of hearing from Pat himself, but up to this time neither I nor any one at home has heard anything from him. I am astonished to find no allusion to his departure in your letter, but perhaps you thought that I was in full possession of all news concerning him. If he has gone to California with the intention of settling there, and has a little Capital I think he has done wisely, as it is most undoubtedly a splendid country........."

Patrick Flanagan and Catherine "Kate" M. O'Brien (Kate Flanagan) were married in San Francisco at St. Mary's Cathedral on August 15, 1870.  From there they moved onto to Napa, California.

To be continued............

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vacation and Back - Wow Flanagan's and McLaughlin's

I will be writing about Patrick Flanagan Part 2 today or tomorrow but I just got back from a mini vacation to the coast.  I did not have internet access.  When you take 3 days off from the computer you might expect quite a few emails, right?  Well sure.......I had quite a few with lots of information that propels me ever forward on my Flanagan Family Tree.

I'd like to shout out to Marg all the way to the Emerald Isle!  She is awesome and looked up information for me on the 1911 England Census for my Richard Flanagan who went to London.  The Wingrove line has more family members than I'd thought.  How exciting that she found Maria Flanagan (Ricahard's Widow), Kathleen Anne Flanagan Wingrove, Henry Wingrove and their children - Norman Richard, Norah Kathleen, and Eric Edwin living at 99 Tyrwhitt Road, St. Johns SE (Lewisham, London, England) in 1911.  I almost couldn't contain my excitment over this information.  It brings me one step closer to finding more of this lost family line.  Thank you Marg!

I'd also like to thank my ever faithful Flanagan's stateside for connecting with me.  I can't wait to chat with the one who lives in the "City" back east.  I still need to respond to that email.

Now my McLaughlin's.......What can I say?  This past week I was able to track down a McLaughlin who is also a Maxwell.  He's been researching the lines for years.  We just started chatting via email.  I also found the author of the 34 page document, "The Descendants of Thomas McLaughlin".  I got to talk with him on the phone briefly.  I am so excited to connect with him that I almost couldn't contain myself.  We will be chatting more soon.

Finally, my wonderful Flanagan's from the Emerald Isle are trying to track down my McLaughlin line in Co. Longford.  I can't thank them enough.  I know that the success may be limited.  They know some McLaughlin's in that location and there are a lot of them.  It is hard to trace my particular line.  Funny how the "official" information about this surname says that the McLaughlin's are from County Donegal but my line is from County Longford and there are a lot of them there.  I have found that heraldry information does not always match reality.  My Flanagan's prove this point too.  What might I find on my other lines eventually?  

So am I having fun with my family tree?  You bet.  Networking, communicating, and researching has made this a wonderful hobby.  I really need to pace myself.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Patrick Flanagan Part 1

Sometimes I don’t feel like I know much about my great-great grandfather, Patrick Flanagan. Then I remind myself of all the information that I do have about the Flanagan’s and how Patrick fits in there. He is the key to my Flanagan Family line. He’s the link from my Napa Flanagan’s to my Flanagan’s in Ireland. Without him, the story is incomplete.

My perception of this man is one of admiration. He worked hard, had few complaints, and was a family man, a farmer, and a winemaker. As I write winemaker, I think about how elegant that sounds by today’s standards. I actually know a winemaker in the Napa Valley in St. Helena, California. He works hard for sure but with technology, science and winemaking being what they are means that things are definitely different nowadays.

Where do I begin with Patrick? He was born in County Louth, Ireland, in 1834. I have the very specific location but will refrain from posting it on a public blog like this for good reason. He must have been smart. I’d like to think that my Flanagan Family had above average intelligence for the day. You can see this with the writing skills in the Flanagan letters. They were definitely educated. I’ve read letters to indicate that his uncle, Rev. Richard Flanagan, encouraged John and Anne Flanagan’s 11 children to practice and develop their writing skills. I am assuming that “Uncle Priest”, as they called him, was very well educated. I can’t imagine my life without education. It is one of the keys to making your way in and understanding the world around you. I value that gift every day.

This Flanagan Family Line had such a strong sense of family, religion (mainly Catholic), and faith in God. You can see that these elements of their lives are what kept them going through the years and has been handed down from generation to generation.

So right now I am going to quote some living Flanagan Researchers and make sure that I give them credit here. Their foreword about the transcribed Flanagan Letters is so touching.

“…You can’t escape the fact that family had a deep personal and spiritual meaning for all. Yet Fr. Richard was only the centre, in time, of the Flanagans in (Co. Louth). Almost one hundred years before Fr. Richard wrote the first letter in this volume, there were Flanagans living a similar lifestyle in (Co. Louth).” -- Fr. John Murphy and Donald Murphy

Back to Patrick…..All of this “Flanagan Philosophy” as I call it must have had a great impression on Patrick. This Flanagan Family is also known to be great record keepers, farmers, and businessmen (ok, women too!). Several of them have been caught doing Good Samaritan work on more than one occasion too. That’s right; they paid it forward just because it was the right thing to do.

So was Patrick perfect? And are any of us? Probably not and he made comments about that himself. In my opinion, and I think in the eyes of many, he was a great man in real Flanagan style.

To be continued……….

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

All About Thomas Michael McLaughlin

Thomas McLaughlin was born Feb. 19, 1840, in Newport, Herkimer County, New York, and died Feb. 5, 1926, in Napa, California. He was a farmer and moved west where he spent approximately 16 years in the Austin and Grass Valley areas of Lander County, Nevada. This McLaughlin Family originates in the Parish of Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, Ireland.

Around the mid 1700s was born Thomas McLaughlin of Edgeworthstown. He married and had at least three children named Michael (1785), Patrick (1792), and Bridget (1802). It is not known, at this time, what Thomas’ wife’s name was plus he died in Edgeworthstown. His three known children immigrated via Canada to the Irish Settlement in Newport, Herkimer County, New York. The McLaughlin name was well known in this area. Many Irish immigrants settled in this particular Upstate New York settlement.

For this McLaughlin Family of Napa, CA, Newport, NY, has proven itself as a link to the past and Ireland. While Michael and his siblings Patrick and Bridget all settled in Newport, NY, the line that leads to Napa, CA, is with Michael McLaughlin (b. 1785, Edgeworthstown, Ire., d. 15 May 1858, Newport, NY). Patrick McLaughlin married a Murtaugh and their family line continues in Herkimer County, NY, and onto Wisconsin for some of the family. Bridget McLaughlin married a Mahardy (Mahady for some in Ireland) and remained in Herkimer County as did most of her family line.

Michael McLaughlin married Marcella (last name unknown) and they had three known children born in Edgeworthstown, Ire., prior to their immigration via Quebec, Canada, in 1823. The children were Thomas (b.1814), James (b.1816), and Mary (b.1820). Thomas’ line continues in Herkimer County and Wisconsin. Mary’s line is unknown. James’ line continues in Herkimer County, Austin, NV, and Napa, CA. James M. McLaughlin married Mary Ellen Gartlan (Gartland) in Newport, NY, on 6 Jan. 1838. They had seven children – Thomas, Frank, James, Michael, Hugh, Elizabeth, and Maurice.

Thomas M. McLaughlin married Ellen M. Maxwell (b. 22 Mar. 1846, Moynalty, Ire., and died Sep. 1928, Napa, CA) whose family also settled in the Irish Settlement in Newport, NY, in 1852. They married in Newport, NY, on 5 Jan. 1869. They moved west to Lander County, Nevada, around 1870. Thomas’ brothers, Hugh, Frank, and James, and others from the Newport, NY, Irish Settlement also joined and/or followed them there. Thomas and Ellen had seven children – Mary “Minnie” (b.1870), Ellen (b.1872), Catherine (b.1874), Joseph (b.1877), Anna "Annie" (b.1879), Thomas (b.1882), and Hugh Robert (b.1886). All of the children were born in Austin, Nevada, with the exception of Hugh Robert who was born in Napa, CA.

The children of Thomas and Ellen lived in Napa, CA, for some time and moved out to various other areas of Northern California as they married and had families of their own. Mary “Minnie” McLaughlin married a local Napa native, John “Jack” Francis Flanagan. They lived in town and also out at the Flanagan Ranch in the Carneros Region of Napa. Jack and Minnie Flanagan had five children who remained in Northern California, with their son Richard Flanagan remaining in Napa, CA.

Richard J. Flanagan is the grandson of Thomas M. McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell, and a former Treasurer of Napa County. Ellen Maxwell’s sister Catherine also ended up in Napa, CA. Her husband was Philip Duffy. Duffy and Thomas McLaughlin were apparently friends in their younger years in Newport, NY. Hugh McLaughlin also followed his brother to Napa. He worked with Thomas on his land and died in 1888 never having married.

Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell were my great-great grandparents. I am very interested in finding out more about them as I have limited information about where they lived in Napa and how they lived.

What's my blog all about, and that darn website?

I've been thinking more about what this blog is all about. Of course, it's a way to network, communicate, research, and have fun. It's a diary of my genealogy research. I do think that this is a great way to boost my research. That maybe the case someday anyway.  It could use a boost on some of my family lines. What I really need to do is get my website straight. My website has a link to my blog on the home page.

My challenge with my website is that the prefab template service just is not very user friendly. For business purposes, I use Network Solutions which has turned out to be fairly easy to use. For my personal website (genealogy), I use Go Daddy. Let's just say not all services are equal and you get what you pay for. So is imping along. I hope to have more information on it in the next couple of weeks.

The Irish Settlement – Newport, New York – Part 4

You may be wondering about the Irish Settlement, what it was and where it was. I wonder the same thing. It is still there, I think. What I have gathered from reading about it online is that a very generous person gave the land to the Catholics of the area way back in the 1800s.

A gentleman by the name of Patrick Martin willed the property known at the Irish Settlement to the Catholic community on February 8, 1834. It consisted of 50 acres. One acre of the land was reserved for the cemetery (Old St. Patrick’s Cemetery).

When I map the Irish Settlement online I find it is around Newport Road, Butler Road/Route 88, and Hawthorne Road. The satellite view shows a still very rural upstate New York location. I’ve also found pictures of the cemetery at the location. Again, this is a very rural area in appearance even today.

I did find a house for sale in Newport, New York, near the Irish Settlement. It’s only $239,000 for 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a 1,704 square foot home. It looks like a gorgeous home online. It is definitely on acreage. I’d live there except for maybe not in the winter. I’m just not a snow person.

I would love to know more about the Irish Settlement and maybe even Patrick Martin. I’d also like to know exactly where my ancestors lived in the area. I hope to find this information someday.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Irish Settlement – Newport, New York – Part 3

From what I understand of Irish immigrants in United States in the 19th century, discrimination and exclusion ran rampant. In my quest to find out more about the Irish Settlement of Newport, New York, I find little to no mention of it in writings from the 19th century. The 19th Century Newport information available online seems to talk about the British settlers and all that they did for the area once the “Crown” left the USA. I have found some information about the Irish Settlement online that has been written in the past twenty years but nothing in an official capacity. The closest I’ve found is written by a McLaughlin. I know that there are some published books out there.

I recently found some interesting information about Irish v. Scots-Irish in the United States that I really need to sit down and read. I had someone refer to my Maxwell surname as Scots-Irish. I now think that may not be correct or at least debatable. Scots-Irish are considered to be Protestants, not Catholics. My Maxwell’s were Roman Catholic. I will need to look into this topic further.

This leads me to my next topic about Newport’s Irish Settlement. My Irish immigrant families were Catholic. It was very much a part of their lives. I do respect that so much. These days people are not as inclined to hang on with the Catholic Church. I will leave it at that as I don’t want to make this blog about religion but rather about how my ancestors lived.

In 1839, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church was built in Newport/Schuyler, New York. I’ve read other information that it is in the Town of Newport. Everything I’ve seen about my relatives indicates it does in fact have a Newport, New York address. The Village of Newport organized St. John's Roman Catholic Church in 1864. Mass was held in a house that was previously used by the Methodists.

A McLaughlin cousin has written a wonderful article about the history of these two churches and it can be found at, History Of St. Patrick's and St. John's Parish. The article mentions several of my ancestors including Patrick McLaughlin, James Gartland, Thomas McLaughlin, Thomas Fox, Michael McLaughlin and James McLaughlin. It also mentions others who link into my tree like Michael Mahardy along with Spain’s, McMahon’s, Ward’s, and Daly’s. I don’t specifically have a McMahon on my tree but I find that family as sponsors along the way for baptisms. There’s some very interesting history in the article.

Another pertinent piece of information is that there were cemeteries for the Catholic churches. I have ancestors that were buried in both Old St. Patrick’s and at St. John’s Cemeteries. It is wonderful that someone has taken the time to post this information online.

To be continued……………

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mystery Cousin - Owen McLaughlin

The following is a quote from the 34 page document entitled, "The Descendants of Thomas McLaughlin" by researcher George Capes. I am placing this on my blog in hopes of someone finding it at some point and shedding some light on how Owen fits in with my McLaughlin's. We are pretty sure that he is related!

"OWEN McLAUGHLIN, is very probably, at least a close cousin to the McLaughlin Clan found in Newport, NY. He was involved in the early life of the Newport McLaughlin Family as early as 11 Jul 1830, when he and Maria Murtaugh sponsored the baptism of Rose Ann McLaughlin, the second daughter of Patrick McLaughlin and Bridget Murtaugh of Newport, NY., as recorded at Old St. John’s Church, Utica, NY. He is found again, on 06 Feb 1840, as a marriage witness, along with Margaret Daly, at the marriage of Thomas McLaughlin and Ellen Daly, as recorded at Old St. John’s Church, Utica, NY. Apparently he settled in Newport by 1830 and remained there until about 1838 when he moved to the Village of Newark, Town of Arcadia, Wayne Co., NY. It is difficult to locate him by using the Federal and New York State Census returns of that era, because only the head of household was listed, and he was not married until 1841. He was born in Co. Longford, IRE., on 20 Oct 1814, very probably a son of John and Mary Mc-Laughlin, who joined him in the Town of Arcadia by the 1850 Fed. Census. He may have had at least six siblings, using known associations, according to the various 1850, 1855 and 1860 Census.

He married on 07 Oct 1841, in the Town of Arcadia, to MINERVA ST. JOHN. Owen McLaughlin died 22 Aug 1881 in the T. of Arcadia, and bur. 25 Aug in Willow Ave. Ceme., Newark, NY. His wife, Minerva, was born on 09 Aug 1823 in the Hamlet of Fairville, Town of Arcadia, Wayne Co., NY., a daughter of Josia St. John and Rebecca Starkweather. She d. 02 Jul 1902 in T. Arcadia, Wayne Co., and was bur. 05 Jul in Willow Ave. Ceme., Newark, NY. Owen McLaughlin left a Will, dated 30 May 1867, and presented to Surrogates Court, as recorded on 08 Sep 1881.

Owen McLaughlin’s obituary appeared in the ‘Newark Union’ on Saturday, 27 August 1881, as follows :
“ Another Old Resident Gone. - Owen McLaughlin, who will be remembered as a cabinet maker in this village many years ago, died after a protracted and very painful illness, on Monday last, August 22nd. 1881, at his residence, three miles east of this village. Mr. M. came to this country 46 years ago, and lived a few years in Newport, Herkimer County. He became a resi-dent of this town 43 years ago, was married 40 years ago in October, and has lived on his farm 27 years. His age was 67 years at the time of his death. The funeral services were conducted by A. P. Burgess, from the residence, on Thurs-day. His surviving relatives reside mostly in California. Mr. M. was a man of eminently upright character, an obliging neighbor, and a very devoted husband and father. He will be greatly missed in the vicinity where he had so long lived.”

Minerva McLaughlin’s obituary appeared in ‘The Arcadian Weekly Gazette’ of 09 Jul 1902 as follows :
“ OBITUARY. – Mrs. Minerva McLaughlin died July 2 at her home east of Newark, aged 78 years and 11 months. Death came as a welcome release from many months of suffering and almost complete helplessness, during which, in spite of loving and tender care, she slowly grew worse. Mrs. McLaughlin was born in this town, near Fairville, and her whole life was spent in and near Newark. For 48 years she lived on the farm where she died. In 1841 she was married to Owen McLaughlin, a farmer, formerly an undertaker and dealer in furniture. He died several years ago. Mrs. McLaughlin was a member of the Presbyterian church, and of Newark Grange. She was a good consistent christian woman, a kind neighbor, a devoted mother. In her health, she endeared herself to many friends by her cheerfulness, energy, and friendliness. She was always bright, industrious and hospitable, entertaining her friends delightfully. Her pleasant greetings will long be remembered by old and young who were so fortunate as to know Mrs. McLaughlin before she became an invalid. She is survived by two daughters, Minerva and Jennie, and two sons, Josiah of Albany, and George H., of Newark. With the family should be mentioned D. E. Snyder, who has for many years managed the farm and been most faithful to the family and their interests in every possible way. The funeral was held Saturday afternoon, Rev. J. C. Ball, officiating, assisted by Rev. J. H. Robinson, a nephew. Interment was in Willow Avenue Ceme. with M. C. Welcher, J. E. Feller, O. E. Bishop and Michael Eckert acting as bearers.”

The 1850 Federal Census for the Town of Arcadia, Wayne County, New York, has the following entries :
pg. 250 / 251, dwelling # 1883, family # 1987, dated 25 Nov 1850 –

John McLAUGHLIN 71 marr. Farmer b. – IRE.

Mary “ 60 marr. - b. – IRE.

Patrick “ 18 single Boatman b. – IRE.

Morris “ 16 single Farmer b. – IRE.

Ann “ 12 single - b. – IRE.

pg. 292, dwelling # 2529, family # 2683, dated 18 Dec 1850 –

Owen McLAUGHLIN 36 marr. Cabinet maker b. – IRE.

Minerva “ 27 marr. - b. – N.Y.

John C. “ 6 single - b. – N.Y.

pg. 294, dwelling # 2570, family # 2777, (James Crosby Res.) dated 19 Dec 1850

Julia McLAUGHLIN 25 single (prob. servant) b. – IRE.

The 1855 New York State Census for the Village of Newark, Town of Arcadia, Wayne Co. NY has these entries:

Surname Name relation age yrs./town birthplace occupation

Pg. 40. BASSETT, Almon S. head 26 Y. 26 Y. Allegheny Cabinet maker

“ Marcella wife 31 Y. 10 Y. Ireland -

“ Charles J. child 2 Y. 2 Y. Wayne

“ George A. “ 1 Y. 1 Y. Wayne

McLAUGHLIN, Ann s-i-law 17 Y. 10 Y. Ireland -

pg. 64. McLAUGHLIN, Owen head 39 Y. 17 Y. Ireland Farmer

“ Minerva wife 31 Y. 31 Y. Wayne -

“ John child 11 Y. 11 Y. “

Pg. 65. McLAUGHLIN, John head 78 Y. 6 Y. Ireland Farmer

“ Mary wife 66 Y. 6 Y. Ireland -

It can be deduced from the above information that Marcella (McLaughlin) Bassett and her sister, Ann, both arrived in the Town of Arcadia about 1845. Their parents or grandparents, John and Mary McLaughlin arrived in the town about 1849 with Patrick and Morris. Julia McLaughlin is probably married by the time this 1855 census was taken.

The 1860 Federal Census for the Town of Arcadia, Wayne County, New York has the following entry :

pg. 87 / 971, dwelling # 1413

Owen McLAUGHLIN, 46 marr. Farmer $3,000./$600. b. – IRE.

Minerva “ 36 marr. - b. – N.Y.

Josiah “ 1 - - b. – N.Y.

John “ 83 marr. - b. – IRE.

Mary “ 72 marr. - b. – IRE.

John and Mary McLaughlin can only be accounted for by their presence in the 1850 Fed. Census, the 1855 NYS Cen-sus and also the 1860 Fed. Census. Their dates of death and burial locations are not known at this time.

The probable family of JOHN and MARY McLAUGHLIN is as follows :

i. OWEN McLAUGHLIN, b. 20 Oct 1814 in Co. Longford, IRE; d. 22 Aug 1881 in T. Arcadia, Wayne Co., NY; bur. 25 Aug in Willow Ave. Ceme., Newark, NY; m. 07 Oct 1841 in T. Arcadia to MINERVA ST. JOHN. ( this family will follow that of John & Mary McLaughlin)

ii. (poss.) MARCELLA McLAUGHLIN, b. c. 1823 in IRE; m. c. 1851 / 52 in T. Arcadia to ALMON S. BASSETT. She continued living in Newark until at least 1862. No Further Info.

iii. (poss.) JULIA McLAUGHLIN, b. c. 1825 in IRE. No Further Info.

iv. (poss.) WILLIAM McLAUGHLIN, b. c. 1828 in IRE; m. 18 Mar 1855 in Macedon, Wayne Co., NY., to MARY MELLEN. No Further Info.

v. PATRICK McLAUGHLIN, b. c. 1832 in IRE. (May be a grandchild.) No Further Info.

vi. MAURICE McLAUGHLIN, b. c. 1834 in IRE. (May be a grandchild.) No Further Info.

vii. ANN McLAUGHLIN, b. c. 1838 in IRE. (May be a grandchild.) No Further Info.

The known family of Owen and Minerva (St. John) McLaughlin is as follows :

i. JOHN C. McLAUGHLIN, b. 15 Jan 1844 in T. Arcadia, Wayne Co. NY.; d. 22 Aug 1860 in T. Arcadia, aged 17 years; bur. Willow Ave. Ceme., Newark, Wayne Co., NY.

ii. JOSIAH ST. JOHN McLAUGHLIN, b. 10 Oct 1858 in T. Arcadia, NY.; m. date unk. to ADDIE NAUMAN. They lived in Albany, NY., and later at Indianapolis, IN. Josiah seems to have died after 1920 and before Sep. of 1938. No Further Info.

iii. MINERVA McLAUGHLIN, b. 04 Jul 1860 in T. Arcadia, NY.; d. unmarried, 25 Sep 1938 in Vil. Newark, T. Arcadia; bur. 27 Sep in Willow Ave. Ceme., Newark, Wayne Co., NY. No Further Info.

Minerva’s obituary appeared in the Newark Union-Gazette on Wed. 28 Sep 1938 as follows :

“ Miss McLaughlin, Veteran Grange Member, Passes” – “Services for Miss Minerva McLaughlin, 78, native and active resident of Newark who died at her home here Saturday evening, Sept. 24, were held at 2:30 p.m. yesterday in Park Presbyterian Church. Miss McLaughlin was born in Arcadia on July 4, 1860, the daughter of Owen and Minerva St. John Mc-Laughlin, and had lived in this township her entire life. She taught for many years in district schools of the area, was for 53 years a member of Newark Grange, served 20 years as secretary of Wayne County Pomona Grange, was a charter member and past officer of Amitie chapter of Eastern Star, and a member of the Pres-byterian church. Prior to the church service, private rites were held in the Schulz Funeral Parlor. The church service was conducted by the Eastern Star. Burial was in Newark Cemetery. Surviving are a nephew, Owen C. Lincoln, Manhasset, L.I., and two cousins, Mrs. Gertrude Crennell, Rochester, and Miss Dora Robinson, New York City.”

iii. JANE / JENNIE ST. JOHN McLAUGHLIN, b. 03 Mar 1862 in T. Arcadia, NY.; d. 27 Mar 1911 in Newark, NY.; m. 08 Dec 1904 in Newark to ORION M. LINCOLN. He was b. 20 Apr 1855 in the T. of Arcadia, and d. 25 Aug 1927 in the Vil. of Newark. Jennie and Orion Lincoln had one son, Owen C. Lincoln, who was born c. 1906 in the Vil. of Newark. No Further Info.

v. GEORGE HENRY McLAUGHLIN, b. 20 Mar 1865 in T. Arcadia, NY.; d. unmarried, 01 May 1920 in Vil. of Newark, NY.; bur. 03 May in Willow Ave. Ceme., Newark, NY. No Futher Info.

George’s obituary appeared in the Newark Union-Gazette on Fri. 14 May 1920 as follows :
“OBITUARY” – “George H. McLaughlin. George H. McLaughlin, for many years a resident of this village, was found dead in the bathroom of his apartment in the Kelley Block on Saturday morning, May 1, 1920. Mr. McLaughlin was subject to attacks of asthma and was heard coughing severely at about 7 o’clock, and an hour or so later he was found dead on the floor of the bathroom. An investigation of his room and of the bath-room showed that he had a hemorrhage and had bled profusely in his room and had evidently gone to the bathroom to allow the blood to run in the bowl and had fallen there with exhaustion and died. Mr. McLaughlin was born in this town on 20 Mar 1865, and was, therefore, 55 years of age. He was the son of Owen and Minerva St. John McLaughlin, and was educated in the district schools, at the Newark A-cademy and at Geneseo Normal and was a member of the Methodist Church of Lyons. He is survived by a sister, Minerva McLaughlin of Newark; by a brother, J.S. McLaughlin, of Indianapolis, Ind; and by a nephew, Owen Lincoln. The funeral was held Monday afternoon, Rev. F. A. Boyd officiating. Burial was made in Willow Ave. Cemetery.” "

The Irish Settlement – Newport, New York – Part 2

Newport, New York was incorporated in 1857. It includes three churches, a grist mill, a saw mill, and several other historical buildings and residences. I find gristmills to be rather interesting. I know that they were common in Europe and carried over to the U.S. apparently peaking use in the 1840s. The term comes from the Old High German grist-grimmon. It means grain intended to be or that has been ground. It is a word that is also used in Old English from the Old Saxon grist-grimmon or gnashing of teeth. To have a gristmill, you need water to run the wheel. Based I what I have found about Newport, the West Canada Creek must have been that water source.

I bring up the mill because it helps me draw an even better picture in my mind of what this location may have looked like and been like in the early to mid 1800s. I have only been to two other gristmills. One of them is Gruene, Texas. It was a restaurant back in 1999. I have also been to the Old Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park in St. Helena. At that location, the mill is still functional and has milling demonstrations. Anyway, visiting a place like a gristmill is one way to get closer to what life might have been like in the 19th century.

Back to Newport……..The current village of Newport was purchased from a Daniel Campbell of New York City around 1788 by William, Ephraim, and Benjamin Bowen, of Newport, Rhode Island. I can’t seem to find who Campbell purchased it from though. In 1791, a Christopher Hawkins was the first permanent settler in the town but was evicted by Benjamin Bowen from his land. There were several other early settlers to the area previous to 1798 who obtained their land titles from the Commissioners of Forfeiture and from the Waltons, who had received a tract of 12,000 acres from the King in 1768. Maybe that answers my question as to where Campbell got the land.

It does sound like the Mohawk Indians were native to this area of upstate New York. I am still curious about the influence of the German names in this area. It would be interesting to know where these towns and the county got their names. The names certainly don’t sound British to me.

So even though Christopher Hawkins was evicted from Bowen’s land, he did not necessarily leave the area. He was originally from Providence, Rhode Island. I found a long interesting story online about Mr. Hawkins. Despite his eviction from Bowen’s land, he stuck around Newport, raised his family, and ended up in an elected position. The eviction story must have been just one big misunderstanding.

The Baptist church in Newport was the first church. My family is actually Roman Catholic so I have information to share about the Catholic churches in the area. Members of my family lines were definitely involved in the Church.

The population of the town of Newport in 1865 was 1,983. I am not sure how many people from the Irish Settlement made up that population but I am certain that they had their fair share.

To be continued…………..

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Irish Settlement – Newport, New York – Part 1

The first time I saw the location named “Irish Settlement”, Newport, New York, I thought to myself, “What is that place? And, I want to know more!” I found this location listed on a family worksheet for my Maxwell’s. They had emigrated from County Meath, Ireland to Newport, New York, at the Irish Settlement.

In my search for information about the settlement in Newport, New York, I have found the term “Irish Settlement” used in other locations from Newport, New York to Des Moines, Iowa and in other locations around the world. The title still has an impact on me whenever I read it or say it. It speaks of community, family, neighbors, and a specific location for which I found my Irish immigrant relatives and not just one of my family surnames. I have found multiple family settlers there plus all of these other Irish immigrants who were their neighbors and friends. Sometimes I get so excited when people find me on with all of my McLaughlin’s, Maxwell’s, and Gartlan’s up the line, I just want to share, share, and share my information. I try to keep my excitement under wraps a bit as to not scare off or overwhelm anyone.

I think I kind of overwhelmed this one gentleman. When we determined that his McLaughlin’s were the Newport Family (It was pretty obvious to me anyway.), I emailed him that 34 page document about the “Descendants of Thomas McLaughlin”. He thanked me but I haven’t heard back from him. Originally, he had indicated that he had limited time to work on his tree these days. There are probably over 300 people listed on those pages and I am only on page 29 after hours of review. I can imagine what other people think. I am still ever so grateful for the gentleman who assembled the document though. I’m still trying to reach him.

Anyway, back to Newport, New York………..Newport is actually referred to as the Town of Newport, New York and is located on the western edge of the county. It includes the village of Newport. Utica, New York is located to the northeast. According to the 2000 Census, there were just over 2,000 people living there at the time.

The size amazes me. I live in Sacramento where it is wall-to-wall people. There are over a million people in the Greater Sacramento Area. There is no separation between the city of Sacramento, the unincorporated area of Sacramento, Carmichael, Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Rocklin, Roseville, Antelope, Orangevale and North Highlands. It is urban sprawl at its best and sometimes its worst.

Enough about where I live. Sometime after 1786, the first settlers took up stakes in the area of Newport. The town was formed April 7, 1806 from parts of Fairfield, Herkimer, Norway, and Schuyler. Now things are starting to click for me. A geography lesson definitely helps sometimes. Those four other cities are indicated all over my family tree and so is Utica. I do find it interesting that most of the names seem to have a German influence. I have also seen the name German Flatts mentioned in my research of this area.

So where did Newport get its name? Every time I try and do a Google Search for Newport without the state indicated, Newport, Rhode Island pops up leading the results. It probably comes as no surprise that Newport, NY is named after Newport, RI. Apparently many of the early settlers came from Rhode Island.

I found the following information online about the breakdown of Newport’s locations:

-Farrel Corner – A hamlet west of Newport Village

-Irish Settlement – A Hamlet near the south town line

-Martin Corner – A location near the west town line

-Middleville – Part of the Village of Middleville on Route 28 by the east town line and the West Canada Creek

-Newport – On Route 28 by the east town line and West Canada Creek

-Poland – South part of the Village of Poland near the northwest corner of town

-Old City – The east town line

-Welch Corners – The east town line, south of Old City

I think that is it for now for my geography lesson in this post. It helps me get my bearing on things for future discussions about this area. I would like to know more and it would appear I will be self taught from a far on this subject. I am hoping for some stories about what life was like in this location. I am open to any information about this area. I have one story that a Maxwell cousin provided about Middleville. I hope he writes more.

To be continued…………

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Richard Flanagan of Termonfechin who went to London - Part 2

I am more certain now than yesterday of the line I seek. I am coming down the line from the past trying to reach the present. I am hopeful to find some living descendants of the Cutler's, Flanagan's, annd Wingrove's down this line. Here's more definite information and I am 99% sure that Norman Wingrove remained in England. Whether he married and had children is where I've hit my wall. He was born in 1902. Here's part of the line:

1. Richard Flanagan (b.1830,Ireland,d.1878,England) married to Maria Cutler (b. 22 Feb 1846, Islington, London, d. Aft 1901) on 24 Jan 1873 in Clapton, England, UK. Maria's parents were Samuel and Maria Cutler. Richard and Maria had a daughter named Kathleen Flanagan.

2. Kathleen Flanagan (b.7 Sep 1873, Poplar, London, England, d.?) married Henry Wingrove (b.Mar 1873, Chelmsford, Essex, England d.?) on 6 Jun 1900 in London, England. Henry's parents were Charles and Elizabeth Wingrove. Kathleen and Henry had a son named Norman Wingrove.

3. Norman Wingrove was born on 10 Mar 1902 in England and appears to have died in Jun 1979 in England.

I am seeking information about Norman.

Flanagan Hiatus

My Flanagan’s are going on a hiatus for a while. It may only be for a week or so unless I get inspired and have more time to read. So by now everyone who reads this has probably figured out that I probably have a lot of information and letters for my Flanagan Family Line. I have quite a pile of reading to get through relating to them.

I have other family lines to talk about though. Some of my other lines link into my Flanagan’s. I need to go to Napa again soon. I want to go to the Tulocay Cemetery, Napa Historical Society, and maybe even get to the Napa Valley Genealogical and Biographical Society. I suppose that’s a lot to tackle in one day. I probably need to break it up over more than one visit. Time is limited for me these days though because of other commitments.

I drove on the outskirts of Napa on July 8th, 2010, on my way to Traintown in Sonoma, CA. I caught a glimpse of the Flanagan Ranch house from the road as we drove by. It’s hard to see it since it is surrounded by tall trees in the middle of the large continuous vineyard but does sit up on a knoll. I pointed it out to my mom as we drove by. She, of course, knows exactly where it is and when she passes it by. We didn’t stop. It’s kind of sad that a Flanagan isn’t there anymore. Life goes on though. The history of my Flanagan Family does so warm my heart.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Searching for a Richard Flanagan - Part 1

In my current endeavor of my family tree, I am on a mission to find a Richard Flanagan.  Now, don't get me wrong, I have seven Richard Flanagan's on my tree.  I know who they are, were they came from, and how they all connect to one another.  This Richard does fit right in and wrote a number of letters to his Flanagan brothers and Uncle.  When this Richard died, the link to his family line went with him.

Richard Flanagan was born in Termonfechin, County Louth, Ireland, in 1830.  He moved to London and spent the rest of his life there.  He married Maria Cutler on January 24, 1873 in Clapton, England.  They had a daughter, Kathleen Flanagan, on September 7, 1873 in Poplar, London, England.  She married a Mr. Henry Windgrove in London, born around 1874 in Chelmsford, Essex, England. They had a son named Norman Windgrove.  So where does the story go from there?  We don't know and would definitely like to know this information. 

We have a fairly complete Flanagan Family Tree with many people in contact with each other.  Many of the source records are private family records, letters, diaries, and ledgers.  While a lot of this information has been shared with various libraries and other organizations, it will not necessarily be found on or other large worldwide repositories. 

My mission, and I've chosen to accept it, is to network here, on, with Clan Flanagan, and other message boards to find this long lost Flanagan family line.

My Family Surnames, Part 6

Every couple of posts, I plan to put this list of my surnames out here to keep the momentum going. Feel free to let me know if any of the names strike a cord.

1. Flanagan - Co. Louth, Ireland; Napa, California; Corning, California

2. McLaughlin - Ringowney, Parish of Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York; Austin and Grass Valley, Lander County, Nevada; Napa, California

3. Maxwell - Shancarnan, Parish of Moynalty, Co. Meath, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York; Austin and Grass Valley, Lander County, Nevada; Napa, California

4. Shaffrey - Dunshaughlin, Parish of Moynalty, Co. Meath, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York

5. Gartlan - Co. Monaghan, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York

6. Fox - Co. Monaghan, Ireland; Newport, Herkimer County, New York

7. O'Brien - Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, Ireland; Australia; Napa, California

8. Hickey - Whitegate, Co. Clare, Ireland; New York City (Greenwich Village)

9. Coughlin - Co. Clare, Ireland; New York City, Long Island, and Rye, New York

10. McGuire - Co. Fermanagh; New York City (Brooklyn, Greenwich Village) and Long Island, New York

11. Bellew - Co. Louth, Ireland

12. Kirwan - Co. Louth, Ireland

13. Campbell - Co. Louth, Ireland

14. Maguire - Co. Louth, Ireland

I have more surnames too but these are the names that I am most actively searching and familiar with.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Michael Flanagan Part 6

Based on letters that Kate Flanagan wrote to Michael once he was back in Ireland, one can tell Judge Stanly definitely relied on Michael to run his farm business, owed Michael money, and wanted him to come back to Napa. I have copies of ten handwritten letters from Judge Stanly to Michael Flanagan in Ireland. I have tried to read them but it is so hard to decipher the writing and where the Judge is going with these letters. He discusses quantities, numbers, money, percentages, and the weather. I can only gather that he’s referring to his vineyard, grape harvest and winemaking. It’s almost like he’s trying to consult with Michael from a distance.

Other parts of the letters seem to indicate that he disagreed with his neighbor and Michael’s brother, Patrick, about how to make wine. I’m not sure that Stanly and Patrick exactly saw eye to eye. Everything that has been written about Patrick though indicates that he was easy to get along with, hard working, and well liked. On the other hand, Kate Flanagan may have been another story. After Patrick died in 1896, Kate, with help from their sons, had to run the Flanagan Ranch operation. She also had interactions with her neighbor, Judge Stanly.

Kate Flanagan wrote to him July 8, 1896.....

"Dear Mike, I have just received your kind letter. I am sorry to hear that you are so downhearted. You have in one sense good reason to be But it must be a great comfort to you to think of what an unselfish life yours has been and how much good you have done in every way you could. If you find it so hard to live in Ireland why don't you come back, even if you are not able to do any thing for the Judge don't this ranch belong to you as much as it does to us? And why not make your home here, we could make an addition to the old house and make you very comfortable, every one here would be glad to see you back again and your council would be a great thing for us......Ed went to see the Judge lately on a little business and he seemed delighted to see him thinking he had some word from you, about coming back but his face fell when he found we had not heard from you. he tells people that the people he has now, are all robbing him......."

I haven't finished reading all of the letters to know how many more times Kate wrote to Michael. They did correspond. Ed, or rather, Edward Flanagan was Pat's and Kate's oldest son and ran the ranch after Pat passed away.

Kate wrote to Michael again on January 27, 1897......

"Dear Mike, I saw Judge Stanly last Saturday.  He received me very kindly and listened to what I had to say, very patiently.  As I had some difficulty in explaining the matter, I gave him your last letter to read...."

Judge Stanly did owe Michael money.  It is not clear to me all of the circumstances but once Michael had left Napa, Pat and Kate apparently made requests for the money on behalf of Michael.  Later letters before 1899 indicated that Michael settled with the Judge.

Kate wrote to Michael in Ireland on September 23, 1899.....

"Dear Mike, Judge Stanly died yesterday.....I suppose the sooner you write and send the necessary letters & papers the better, as I suppose you cant come yourself.  Affectionately, K. Flanagan"

Rumor has it that Michael may have also received correspondence from some lady friends in Napa looking for his return. He was not exactly a young man at the time though not terribly old either. Based on what I have read and know about Michael, he was a very well liked and respected person. I can completely see some women being interested in him.

Michael Flanagan never did make it back to Napa. He spent the rest of his life in Termonfechin and died at the age of 64, in 1904. Comments have been made here and there that Michael had developed a fondness for Bridget, his brother Peter's widow. I am not sure that it went any further than that. He was 15 years her senior. I certainly hope that Michael found some happiness. He seems to have found adventure, some fortune, and success during his early years while keeping his priorities straight. His greatest deed of all was saving the farm which in turn saved the family in Ireland.

Typos and Proofreading

Hello Out There! I just wanted to stop and make a quick comment about my Blog. I try hard to avoid typos and proofread things a few times over running spell and grammer check in Word. However, I miss things either because I go crossed eyed trying to re-read what I just wrote or because I type so fast or rather compose at the keyboard and type fast. Sometimes my fingers do keep up with my thoughts as fast as they come which in turn causes some mishaps. Feel free to let me know if I've got some "mess ups" out there. I majored in Business rather than English. I'm working on my writing though! Thanks.

Michael Flanagan Part 5

John Flanagan, Michael’s father, from Ireland to Michael Flanagan in Napa, CA, April 1890…

“Dear Michael, I am sorry to have to inform you that your brother Peter died on the 2nd of this month after one weeks illness, and was buried on Friday last (Good Friday). He leaves five young children three girls and two boys the youngest a little boy called after me only born one week before he died.”

John Flanagan (b. 1805, Co. Louth, Ireland) wrote to his son Michael for the second time in just a few weeks to advise of the death of the third family member from the recent influenza spread. Michael’s and Patrick’s brothers John and Peter, plus their uncle Patrick (John's elderly brother), had all passed away on the Flanagan Farm in Ireland. This left no remaining adult males to continue the family farm operation in Ireland, except their father John, who was now 85 years old.

“…Now I have no person to look after the business but myself I would wish very much and I may say also add it is the wish of Mrs. Flanagan that you would if possible come home and live with us. If you cannot make up your mind to come and live with us at least until after my death. I would very much like to see you before I die. If I thought you were married or had a family to provide for I would not ask you to come home. If you do come let me know when you write what time it will take you to get here……Hoping you are all in good health a blessing I enjoy thank God.
I am Your fond father John Flanagan

When I read the letters from Ireland to Michael Flanagan in Napa, I can’t help but feel the sadness. The letters are very expressive demonstrating a strong sense of family, an obvious importance of the Catholic religion and faith in God.

So you may ask yourself at this point about how quickly Michael was able to get back to Ireland. Well it was not exactly that easy for him. Michael had obligations. He worked for Judge Stanly as his head foreman. In other words, he pretty much ran Stanly’s ranch and estate next to the Flanagan Ranch in Carneros. Judge Stanly was a weathly and politically connected resident of Napa County. Every time I drive on Highway 29 just past the southern crossing, I glance over at the row of Eucalyptus trees that line the main drive of the Stanly Ranch near the intersection of Highway 12 in the Carneros area of Napa. The property is still vineyard now owned by someone else.

Michael did write back to his father in Ireland. He indicated that he could not leave right away. He was working at the Stanly Ranch and had obligations there. He also wanted to visit his brother, Nicholas, in Corning, California, before he left to go home. It does appear that he made it home to Ireland by June of 1890. His intent was to stay for a while and then come back to California. Having been in California for almost 20 years, he had grown accustomed to the wonderful weather, especially in comparison to the weather along the Irish Sea. Michael had also become a naturalized citizen of the United States.

To be continued………

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Michael Flanagan Part 4

When I try to find Michael and Patrick Flanagan, or even Catherine “Kate” (O’Brien) Flanagan, Kate’s parents Edmond and Anne (Gleeson) O’Brien in official documents in Australia, I fail miserably. I have yet to truly find any of them arriving or departing Australia. does have passenger ship records for “Downunder” but I have not had luck finding what I am looking for.

There are also directories for various cities and towns from the 1800s listing their residents. As you can imagine, there are hundreds of O’Brien’s in the varying directories. I am sure that part of my issue is I do not have the O’Brien’s full family unit with dates and names. They were in Australia, however, as were the Flanagan brothers. I understand why I can’t find the Flanagan brothers. They were rather transient, moving from mining location to mining location in both Australia and New Zealand. So the Flanagan’s letters are my only proof. They are wonderful letters too.

Once the Flanagan’s were stateside in Napa, California, I have no problem finding Patrick and Kate in various U.S. Census. The other advantage is that there weren’t a lot of Flanagan’s in Napa, particularly in the Carneros Region of Napa at the time. Even around 1900, grape growing, winemaking, and other farming like dairies and sheep ranches were very much a part of Napa including in the Carneros Region. However, there really weren’t a lot of Irish immigrants growing grapes and making wine. During this time period most of the winemaking was done by German and Italian immigrants to the Napa Valley.

Napa also had a large Mexican population. After all, they were there first preceded by Native Americans. General Vallejo was the military commander for the Mexican government in this area in the early 1800s before California became an official part of the United States. Napa also had a significant Chinese immigrant population. So where do the Irish immigrants fit in? They were there too along with other national origins. In fact, I have more than one of my Irish family lines that ended up in Napa, California, along with my German family. I may need to write a post about Napa history and demographics at some point.

Let me get back to Michael Flanagan. I can’t seem to find him on U.S. Census or passenger lists. He was in California though. Again, the letters demonstrate this. Also, when he went back to Ireland, Patrick and Kate Flanagan would write to him and so would his former employer, Judge Stanly.

I am presently trying to read handwritten letters that are from Judge Stanly to Michael Flanagan in Ireland.

To be continued……

Monday, July 12, 2010

Michael Flanagan Part 3

I found a book advertised online entitled, "Irish Migrants in New Zealand, 1840-1937, 'The Desired Haven.'" It is authored by Angela McCarthy, c2005, indicated as Irish Historical Monographs. In this book, Patrick’s and Michael's letters along with "Uncle Priest", Fr. Richard Flanagan, and Pat’s and Michael's brother living in England, Richard Flanagan, are quoted for this research. What a surprise to find this book. I do have copies of several of the letters that have been quoted in the book. The excerpts from the book focus on the portability of the immigrant’s community. In other words, family members and neighbors followed each other to their new location. The next part of Michael Flanagan’s letter home should be of no surprise. Michael talks about immigrant friends who were from a neighboring area of Ireland now participating in the digs in Australia.

The letter continues with Michael finding Patrick:

“There were two Clogher men along with him (Patrick) when I met him who were his mates. One of these was the young man who came out along with Dick Sheridan – Pat Kirk. Dick Sheridan left the diggings some time before I got there he having got the fever and ague which was bad enough there for some time. I cannot tell where Dick is at present. I believe he went to New Zealand after leaving Queensland. We did not stop very long at the diggings as the scarcity of water there, and the prospect of none coming for some months left the place a very poor one. The want of water drove nearly all the diggers off from there. In fact, there could be nothing done until the water did come and of course it was useless to remain."

The remainder of this letter talks about the brothers being in Brisbane and that a few years earlier had been in Victoria. I do admire the following part of the letter:

“The friendship of any true friend and especially one who had influence would certainly be a great benefit to any young man in a strange country but to the friendless and the lowly and to those who do not possess the natural gift of being bold and shameless and the colony is called “cheek” it is hard – very hard to obtain a footing amongst a class who make money by means which I would live a poor man all my life rather than descend to."

Michael appears to be the person who wrote most of the letters home. I have a short stack of Flanagan letters that include letters to and from Michael. It almost sounds like Michael was the family member most willing to communicate with his family. Maybe it’s because people owed Michael money. He must have been a generous person and a saver.

He wrote to his uncle, Rev. Richard Flanagan, to his brother, Richard Flanagan, in England, and to his family on the farm in County Louth. He would also write to his brother Patrick when they were separated at various diggings throughout Australia and New Zealand. He had other friends he wrote to regularly back in Ireland also.

A few of the letters indicate that Michael assisted various people financially including his brother Patrick and other friends in Australia. At different times, he may have sent money to the family in Ireland. While Michael appears to have saved the day on several occasions financially for family and friends, his greatest deed was yet to come.

To be continued……

Michael Flanagan Part 2

Brisbane Queensland, February 18, 1865

“My Dear Uncle, I trust that my long silence has not made you in any way uneasy or the people at home on our account. It must be nearly four months from the present time since I wrote to you last but you must have learned from Michael to whom I wrote a short time since the cause of me not writing as usual.”

The above quote starts the letter that Michael Flanagan wrote to his uncle, Fr. Richard Flanagan, in Ireland. I am impressed with the clarity of Michael’s writing. His letters seem so eloquent, especially for the time. He and his siblings were obviously educated. Sometimes I wonder about the education of those in the 19th century. I’m not sure that it was that great in rural and other parts of the United States. Obviously, in Co. Louth, Ireland just north of Dublin, education was available. It is wonderful that these letters exist. It definitely shows that the Flanagan Family felt connected even with thousands of miles between them.

Here’s the rest of the letter:

“About the end of August last I left Melbourne for this colony to join Pat from a few days previous to me leaving in which he gave a rather favourable account of the diggings which were going on here at the that time and then I was not doing anything myself nor did I expect to be able to do anything for some time afterwards. In two days from Melbourne I reached Sydney and here I gained an opportunity I had long wished for – to see Sydney.”

I really like Michael’s description of Sydney as follows:

“Sydney is considered by some to be the prettiest of all Australian cities. Its situation is certainly very beautiful indeed on the edge of a little bay about four or five miles from the sea. The entrance to the bay from the sea is the most wonderful sight I ever beheld. Here between cliffs which extend for some distance along the coast and at each side of the entrance are about a hundred and fifty feet in height quite perpendicular you enter a very narrow passage for a short distance and then into the bay from which you have a full view of Sydney and more novel and pleasing sight I have not seen for a long time. The city when you enter it puts one in mind of some of the home country cities it differs so much in many respects from Melbourne. It is not so large as Melbourne but it is very prettily laid out and has very excellent gardens and pleasure grounds running along the edge of the bay. There are many fine buildings but they are not able to compete with Melbourne in this respect.”

You can tell that religion is very important to Michael as it was for many people of this day by the following:

“The Catholic Cathedral of St. Mary’s is a fine building and at present the largest in Australia as it will be until St. Patrick’s in Melbourne is completed. I remained for three or four days in Sydney an again started in search of Pat. I got to Brisbane in a couple of days and had to remain here a couple of days also.”

More about Michael’s journey to Pat (Patrick Flanagan, his brother):

“This city (Brisbane) is the capital of the colony of Queensland. It is rather a small place but it is daily and rapidly growing larger. There are two newspapers published daily in the city and another weekly. There is a considerable shipping trade going on in this port. Steamers run about twice or three times a week to and from Sydney and also to other ports further north. In Moreton Bay at the mouth of the Brisbane River are anchored several large immigrant ships which cannot come up to the city the river not being deep enough in places to admit them. Still further north I proceeded and arrived next at Rockhampton a small sea-port town situate exactly on the line of Capricorn and this was the end of my journey by sea. Now I had before me a road of three hundred miles to trudge on ‘shanks pony’ and carry my knapsack or in colonial vocabulary “swag” which generally of late years consists of all the diggers ‘real and personal estate’. The following day after the night I landed here I started in company with six Germans who were the only arrivals by the same steamer as myself bound for the distant diggings and although all strangers to me I was glad of their company for it is anything at all but pleasant to have to go over that much marching by oneself and have to camp thirteen nights by the way side without companion.”

Michael finds Patrick:

“The time passed well enough during our journey the nights being pretty cool compensated us a little for the fatigues of the day under the nearly perpendicular sun. On the thirteenth day from our leaving the coast we got a first glimpse of a curiously made up little township composed of bark and slabs and this was the diggings. I was over a week on the diggings before I found Pat. One day I was winding my way amongst the bark and slabs which compose the township and I saw advancing before me a curious looking bushman and as I came closer and got a little nearer him I found I saw the face before but not until he put his hand and began laughing did I fully recognise the man I was searching of. Pat was a good deal changed since I saw him before. His appearance would nearly put one in mind of a Maori.”

This has got to be one of my favorite letters. Here’s more:

“The sun of Queensland browned him very much but the climate did not disagree with him. He was in perfect health but he looked rather thinner than when I last saw him and although New Zealand seems to have agreed well him during the three years he was there he did not look three years younger after all.”

To be continued……….