Note: For privacy reasons, living people are not identified in this blog without permission.


Follow This Blog!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jack Flanagan - Part 2

I would be remiss if I did not mention when Jack Flanagan died.  Death is not always the most positive topic to discuss but it is rather integral to genealogy and developing the timeline of the past.  I do not have Jack's death certificate but I can imagine what it says.

John Francis Flanagan died on May 20, 1936, in the Flanagan Ranch House, Carneros, Napa, California.  He died of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig's disease.  The irony comes from the fact that my grandfather, one of Jack's sons, played baseball.  Baseball meant so much to my grandfather.  I often wonder what his family including his father, thought of that.  Anyway, I am certain that because of the baseball connection, a lasting impression of this disease remained within my family line.  Also, it was maybe not the most common reason for death back in the 1930s and before those times.

ALS is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons.  Even today, the medical profession is uncertain of what causes ALS.  Exposure to toxins, possibily heavy metals, is indicated online as a possible cause.  Well, that's not very much to go on.  I also know someone whose stepfather died of ALS just last Fall 2009.  It is an unforgiving disease and there is no cure to this day.

So did Jack die from ALS?  I am 99% sure.  If someone else has information out there, do share.

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

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jack Flanagan - Part 1

John Francis Flanagan was born on February 19, 1878, in Napa, California to Patrick and Kate Flanagan.  He was the fourth child of eight in this family line.  Based on what I can find, he was very likely born at the Flanagan home at 606 Seminary Street, Napa, CA.  The Flanagan Ranch house had not been built yet so the family lived in town during the early years.

John Francis was known to his mother, Kate, and apparently to his immediate family as Frank or Fran.  At some point, he must have outgrown this nickname and was known as Jack Flanagan.  There are newspaper articles and at least one book that talk about Jack. 

As I've posted previously, Jack married Mary Elizabeth "Minnie" McLaughlin (my great grandparents) on September 1, 1904.  She was the oldest child of seven born to Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell.  I know very little about Minnie and her family.  Minnie was a teacher before she married Jack.  I am hoping that my Fratessa cousin's can shed some light on her. 

In her later years, after Jack passed away, Minnie moved to Monterey County to live with her daughter, Kay, and nearby to her other daughter, Ellen.  Kay and her husband, Joe Fratessa, had four children.  While Minnie passed away in 1949, these four grandchildren, the children of Kay and Joe, would have known her.  My own mother is also a grandchild of Jack and Minnie but was very young when her grandmother passed away and lived in Napa at the time.

Jack and Minnie did have five children all born and raised in Napa, California.  Their children were Ellen Maxwell (b. 1905), Catherine "Kay" Veronica (b.1908), Robert "Pat" Francis (b.1910), Richard "Dick" Joseph (b.1912), and John "Max" Maxwell (b.1916).  Minnie must have really wanted the Maxwell name to live on.  I believe that all of the children were born at the Flanagan's home on Stockton Street which is now Palmer Street.  The house was very close to Pat's and Kate's original Napa home on the corner of Seminary and Stockton.

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

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Genealogy Terms

As I work on my family tree, I find that I tend to make up my own terminology for genealogy.  I use derivatives of the word "tree".  Some of them include "treeing", "tree'd", "tree'r", and to use it in a sentence, "Why did this person tree this way?".   I come across various treeing methods on and find so many inconsistencies.  I may need to write about family tree etiquette in a post too.  Maybe I'll learn something from it also.  I sometimes get so enthusiastic that I lose sight of my genealogy manners.

Back to the terminology that I'd like to post about......It really cracks me up that several websites want to sell you books about genealogy terms.  I guess that makes sense.  Every subject has specific terms associated with them.  Take insurance for example, it can be its own language if you don't understand the terms.  I have set out to find terminology online, for free.  It's like anything online.  The more you search, the more you find.  I plan to cover some basics in this initial post but may start some "language lesson" posts down the line as I try to advance from being an amateur to an intermediate genealogist.  I think that I'm getting there.

A "First Cousin, Once Removed" is the relationship that my Mom's first cousin has to me.  So those are my simple terms of explaining this terminology.  The technical definition reads something like this:  Individuals who share a common ancestor but not in your immediate family; the child of your first cousin is your first cousin, once removed.  Hey wait a minute; the definition uses the same words as the term to describe it.  I think we all get the picture though.  This is a pretty rudimentary term.

There are other "official" genealogy terms out there like "common ancestor", "direct line", "collateral line" and "relationship chart".  An example of a common ancestor might be my cousins and I share a common ancestor in our grandparents.  A direct line would be someone from whom you descend in a family tree.  Collateral line could be cousins off branches of your family tree.  A relationship chart indicates how relatives are interrelated to one another on the family tree.  I have a copy of one that I will try and post soon.

I also find the word lineage used.  That means line of descent.  There are many other terms out there like pedigree, heritage, DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), and brick wall.  I find it quite humorous that genealogy sites feel the need to define this term.  "Brick wall suggests a coming to a dead end in one's research".  I find it is more of an immediate screeching halt!

I like terminology because it does give you a footprint or even a path to follow in any subject.  It builds consistency with a common language so that we can communicate clearly with each other.  Maybe those language lesson posts would be a good idea.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mary Catherine, Louis, and Richard Flanagan

Patrick and Kate Flanagan both emigrated from Ireland to Australia and then to California. They were married in San Francisco and moved to Napa, California in 1870. They had eight children between the years of 1871 and 1885. They were Agnes, Edward, Ignatius, John Francis, Mary, Richard, Louis, and Leo. We know what happened with Agnes, Edward, Ignatius, and Leo. In as much as I know about the four of them, we know who they were. I have more to share in future posts about John Francis "Jack" Flanagan. For now, I have brief information about Mary, Richard and Louis.

Aunt Mary, as my mom refers to her, was a school teacher. She was born in Napa on June 23, 1879 and died in Napa on June 14, 1950. She never married nor had children. She lived the majority of her life out at the Flanagan Ranch and actually was the living child who inherited the divided land with the houses. My mom has a brief memory of her as she passed away when my mom was just a young child. I am going to have to ask my mom if Mary taught school in San Francisco. I find her living there with her brother, Richard, in 1910. I am guessing that is them. Mary does not show up living on the Ranch in the 1910 U.S. Census.

Louis Alphonsus Flanagan was born in Napa, California, on September 21, 1883 and died in Napa, California on December 21. 1956. He was known as Uncle Louie. There is some speculation that Louie was not "ok". He had some health problems and may have had some sort of catastrophic health event in his life, that while it did not take his life, he did not quite recover either. He spent his life living out on the Flanagan Ranch. He never married nor had children.  In the Flanagan Letters, Kate refers to him as a delicate boy.  She admitted that she thought he might pass away at different times. I do find him referenced in letters as having attended school but was behind a little.  I find him in four U.S. Census from 1900-1930 living at home in Napa. I find him in the California Death Index. I also found his WWI and WWII draft cards. On his WWII registration card he is indicated at age 58 in 1942. His height is indicated as 5 ft. 9 inches and 140 pounds. He has brown eyes and light brown hair. There is a note written in the "other obvious physical characteristics that will aid in identification....left ear." I wonder what was up with his left ear. Maybe this would start to explain his rumored "oddness" which may be related to some health or developmental issues.

When it comes to Richard Austin Flanagan, Sr. I don't really know much about him. As several people do, he is confused with his son, Richard Austin Flanagan, Jr. The two of them have been confused with my grandfather, Richard J. Flanagan, Richard Sr.'s nephew. All three Richard Flanagan's had lived in Napa at the same time.  It is no wonder things are little confused. I've got my grandfather straight. I wouldn't mind if some of Richard A. Flanagan, Sr.'s grandchildren would write some stories and information about their grandfather. I'd be happy to post some information about him giving credit to the author either publicly or anonymously.

Richard Austin Flanagan, Sr. was born on July 13, 1881 in Napa and died there on March 8, 1971. His grandchildren are certain to have known him pretty well. He married Mary Emma Towey on August 14, 1914. They had one child, Richard Austin Flanagan Jr., who was born on March 2, 1917, in Napa, and died on October 12, 2004, in Montana. Richard Jr. and his family were the last Flanagan's to live out on the Flanagan Ranch in Napa, CA.  My mom has indicated that Uncle Dick (Richard Sr.) was a very intelligent and a kind, reserved man. 

Long live the Flanagan Family of Napa!......even though the line continues outside of Napa, yet close by in many cases.  I will write about John Francis "Jack" soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ignatius Joseph Flanagan

Ignatius Joseph Flanagan, or "Nash" (pronounced with a long "a"), was the third child born to Patrick and Kate Flanagan in Napa, California.  He was born on April 2, 1875.  I have him passing away in 1918.  He never married nor had any children.  This is an ongoing trend with Pat's and Kate's children.  Only three of the eight married and only two had children.  As I can imagine, mortality rates were still rather high in the late 1800s, early 1900s.  A bad influenza, pneumonia, or cough could end a life for some people at a young age.  To me, it just seems like too many lives were cut short on this Flanagan Family Line.

I find Nash in the 1880, 1900, and 1910 U.S. Census living exactly where I expect him to be in Napa, California.  He also worked on the Flanagan Ranch.  I am betting that Edward and Nash were close as brothers since they must have spent a lot of time together tending to the farm.  My great-grandfather, Jack Flanagan, was just 3 years younger than Nash.  I would assume that they spent a lot of time together too.  I do know that Jack had other ambitions on his mind but he was still close with his family.

Nash filled out his WWI draft registration card with the following information:  Ignatius Joseph Flanagan, Napa, Cal., age 43, born April 2, 1875; Occupation: Farmer employed by "myself"; Nearest Relative:  Katherine Mary Flanagan; Height: Medium with a stout build; Eyes: Light Brown, Hair: Light Brown.

It is funny because when I tried to see what the categories are clearly, I paged back to the immediately previous registration on and it was Edward Flanagan's.  I have reviewed and commented on Edward's registration already.  When I compare the two, I find it funny that Edward said that Kate Flanagan was his employer while Nash said that he was self-employed.  Also, Nash is indicated as being stout.  When I page forward, I find John Francis Flanagan's and Louis Alphonsus Flanagan WWI draft registration forms.  While the pages appear to be in alphabetical order, they were signed and completed on September 12, 1918.

Did all of the brothers go downtown and register together?  It is the military so maybe they told them when to show up and then put the forms in alphabetical order.  Louis is slender build, medium height, had light brown eyes and hair, and his employer is listed as Kate Flanagan.  John Francis "Jack" is indicated as being tall, medium build, blue eyed and brown hair.  Was he related to the other brothers?  I laugh because he sounds completely different looking than the others.  Even Edward sounds like he looked just like Louis. 

I did go further and found Richard Austin Flanagan's WWI draft registration.  He was tall like Jack with medium build with gray eyes and brown hair.  I guess that makes Jack and Richard sound like brothers.  I could not find a registration for Leo.  Then I remembered that Leo passed away summer of 1918.  Also, as a medical doctor, he may have been exempt from the draft.

Back to Nash......What was Nash like and why did he pass away?  I have not found this information.  I also have not looked.  In the Flanagan Letters, Kate mentions "Nashie's" health issue in 1896.  In 1897, he is working on a fruit ranch somewhere while Ed and John Francis work on the Flanagan Ranch's vineyard.  Kate speaks of Nash working over on the Stanly Ranch in 1897 but takes breaks because his "Malaria" acts up.  It would appear that Kate wanted Nash to be a blacksmith.  The last information that I find is Nash running the Flanagan Ranch with Edward.

It is tough to find information for the children of Patrick and Kate Flanagan.  I even have limited information about Jack but I do have information to share soon.  He was interesting.  When it comes to Mary, Richard, and Louis, I have even less information.  That is weird because my mom actually knew them too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Agnes Flanagan

Patrick and Kate Flanagan's oldest daughter was Agnes Flanagan.  For many years, I did not know of her existence.  My mom would name off Pat and Kate's children as Edward, Jack, Nash, Louie, Mary, Dick, and Leo.  She met and knew Mary, Dick, and Louie.  Edward, Jack, Nash, and Leo had all passed away before she was born.  When I started my family tree research, I kept running across an Annie, Anna, or Agnes.  I asked my mom and she said that she did recall that Pat and Kate might have had a child who passed away at a young age.  This would be Agnes.

Agnes was born in 1871 in Napa, California.  I find her in the 1880 U.S. Census living with her family at the age of 9 years old.  This is really the only trace of public record on in which I find her.  The Flanagan Letters tell more.  In fact, some of the letters were written by Agnes to her Uncle Michael Flanagan once he had returned to Ireland.

In a letter from Michael to the family in Ireland, in 1884, he indicates that Agnes was attending school in a convent some distance from Napa.  She had learned how to play piano and sing in addition to her studies in history, geography, and other subjects.  I count two letters from Agnes to Uncle Michael once he returned to Ireland from Napa. When Kate wrote to Michael about Patrick's death in 1896, I find that Agnes is mentioned as having passed away.  There must be another letter, or missing letter, out there that indicates her passing to the family back in Ireland. 

Agnes Flanagan died in Napa, California in April 1895.  I notice that on my family tree that there is another Agnes Flanagan who was born on July 13, 1896, in California.  She is the youngest child of Nicholas and Mary Ann Flanagan.  Nicholas was Patrick's brother who lived in the Corning, California.  I'd like to assume that Pat's and Kate's Agnes Flanagan is the namesake of Nicholas' and Mary's Agnes Flanagan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dr. Leo J. Flanagan

"Leo Joseph Flanagan, South San Francisco; Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 1911; aged 32; formerly a member of the Medical Society of the State of California; died in St. Mary's Hospital, San Francisco, June 11, from pneumonia."

The above was found in a medical journal online dated around 1918.  I also found the following online about Dr. Leo J. Flanagan:

Dr. Leo J. Flanagan - The History of San Mateo County 1916

"DR. Leo J. Flanagan, one of the county's well-known physicians and surgeons, is located in South San Francisco where he has been practicing for the past year. Before moving into this county Dr. Flanagan had a large practice in San Francisco.

Dr. Flanagan is another of the young professional men who has been attracted to San Mateo County by the wonderful opportunities that the future holds. He sees a great period of growth and prosperity ahead for South San Francisco and his confidence in this era of development was such that he gave up a flourishing practice in San Francisco to come into this territory comparatively unknown and establish himself.

Dr. Flanagan is a native of California. He was born at Napa on August 6, 1885 where he took the first steps in preparation for his professional career. After graduating from Santa Clara College Dr. Flanagan finished the medical course at Johnstown (Georgetown) University at Washington, D. C. For several years he was resident physician at St. Mary's Hospital and Mary's Help Hospital in San Francisco and was also with the San Francisco emergency service.

Dr. Flanagan has many fraternal connections. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Eagles, the Redmen and the Foresters. He was married in Portland in 1913."

Source:  San Mateo County History

I don't have to wonder much about who Leo Joseph Flanagan was.  He was Patrick and Kate Flanagan's youngest child, born in August of 1885, in Napa, California.  The Flanagan Letters make reference to Leo and Richard being college educated.  In fact, Kate herself lived in San Francisco while her young sons were in school.

In the 1900 U.S. Census, I find Leo living in Napa, California at age 14 with the rest of his family on the farm.  I find Leo in the 1910 U.S. Census living in Washington, D.C. as a medical student.  I find him in the Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929.  His medical specialty was "allopath".

Leo died at only age 32.  Based I what I have found, he was married on June 1, 1913 to Florence Carlson.   Florence and Leo did not have any children.  I am assuming that Florence went on to marry someone else.  What a sad story for someone who had such a bright future.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who was Edward Flanagan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 23, 2010

News Flash - Was Bridget McLaughlin, actually a McLaughlin?

One of my favorite researchers contacted me the other day.  He's sending me information about our Maxwell family.  The fact that he is also a McLaughlin makes it even more interesting.  I definitely need to write a post about the Maxwell-McLaughlin marriages since there were at least two.

At any rate, he advised that the Mahardy's may not be relatives of the McLaughlin's after all.  Another one of my favorite researchers has indicated that they may in fact be related.  There is no doubt that the Mahardy's and McLaughlin's knew each other and were close friends who probably did treat each other like family.  I have information indicating that the Mahardy's (or Mahady in Ireland) were probably neighbors in County Longford.  I have McLaughlin's living in and around Ringowney, Parish of Edgeworthstown, Longford, Ireland.  I have found the Mahardy's there too.

I have, in fact, a researcher in Ireland who went to try and find my McLaughlin's in Ringowney.  She found the marriage of Michael Mahardy to Bridget McLaughlin.  The snag on the tree is that Bridget may have been married before.  She may have been married to Patrick and Michael McLaughlin's brother, making her a McLaughlin by her first marriage.  Since we don't know who all of the family member's were for the first generation of the descendants of Thomas McLaughlin, it is hard to know for sure.

My Irish researcher has found that the historical society for Edgeworthstown has disbanded and is no longer.  How sad is that?  I know that maintaining a historical society takes time, volunteers, sometimes a little bit of money, and a desire to forge ahead.  I suppose that not everyone is a historian, genealogist, researcher, librarian or even a record keeper.

Again the more I research, the more questions I come across.  Hat's off to my McLaughlin researchers, one of which is a Maxwell too.  They have spent hours researching history, our family tree, records, and maintain the best records they can with their knowledge.  Questioning things is a good thing.  It gets us all to look a little harder at what we've found.  I am prepared to look a little harder if the information can present itself.  Someone must know something about the McLaughlin's of Ringowney, Parish of Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland, circa 1780-1820.  They did not all get up and leave Ireland, I'm sure.

Actually, I am sure.  The McLaughlin name is still prevalent in the Edgeworthstown area.  My Irish researcher, who is a Flanagan and a Duffy, told me so.  Hat's off to her, too!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Duffy Maxwell McLaughlin Connection

As I dig through information that my grandparents saved about our family history, I continue to thumb past information about the Duffy's in Napa, CA.  While they are not my direct line, they are cousins and link back to Newport, New York.  The Malloy's of Napa, CA are direct descendants of the Duffy's.  I also know that Philip Duffy and my great-great grandfather, Thomas M. McLaughlin, knew each other.  In fact, they more than knew each other, they were close friends and brother-in-laws.

I know that my grandparents knew the Malloy's.  I think that my mom went to school with a Malloy.  It is amazing the information that was passed to us by them.  In my folder of McLaughlin/Maxwell information, I have a copy of Philip Duffy's death certificate, a biography page about Philip out of a history book, a few letters, Austin, Nevada church records of births and marriages, and a poor quality photocopy of Ellen McLaughlin and her sister, Catherine Duffy.  They are both Maxwell's.

In addition, I also have the address of the Duffy house on Big Ranch Road in Napa, CA.  It is apparently still occupied by the descendants of the Duffy's.  It was refurbished on an episode of  "This Old House".  I would really like to go and knock on their door sometime.  I suppose I shouldn't come unannounced.  I also suppose that I do want to complete more research so that I know the scoop on the Duffy's.  I think I have made their connection to Newport, New York and onto Montello, WI where the line interesects with McLaughlin's.  That can get confusing to explain and follow -- A McLaughlin married a Maxwell who's sister married a Duffy who's sibling(s) and/or cousin(s) married into the McLaughlin line.  I've seen the multiple marriages between some of my other lines originating in Newport, New York, and it would not surprise me here if these Duffy's are all related.

I kind of hope that a Duffy researcher finds me and can explain all of this.  I think a Malloy may have already figured it all out.  I continue to hold onto what I've got and work on my direct lines.  I do find the Duffy connection rather intriguing though.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Sister's Family Tree Assignment Circa 1980s - Part 2

I may need to frame my sister's family tree artwork.  It would require a rather large frame.  I have this page because she did not want it.  Some people just are not interested in their family tree.  My sister is one of those people.  Maybe someday she'll want to see or read about our family history.

For now, I plug away listing my Dad's side of things from this project......

John   Margaret   Mary Ann   James   Edward   Mike
  Stephen   Patrick   Daniel   Thomas   Lena    Kathleen
        Anna   Timothy   Bridget -- all siblings of  Johanna Coughlin
                                                       who married Patrick Hickey
/                /               /            /            /             /          /           /
Margaret  Kathleen  Martin   William  Anna   Eleanor  Living   Josephine Hickey
                                                                                                & Francis McGuire
                      /                   /                           /                           /
                  Living            Living                 Living                   Brian McGuire &
                                                                                              Living Flanagan
                                                                                              Living McGuires


Francis McGuire and Mary Rohmann
/              /                /                  /                 /
Charles   Marion     Cecelia        John          Francis McGuire & Josephine Hickey
                                                                    (see above)


My Dad's side of my family is all from New York City and Long Island.  I refer to them as my "New York Family".

I have found that even handwritten family tree information comes in very handy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Sister's Family Tree Assignment Circa 1980s - Part 1

One of the odd, unsourced, unscientific, unstrucutured, and maybe even other "un's" is this family tree that my sister drew on paper by hand circa 1980s.  She took a ruler and drew horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines to connect names and people of our family lines.  It is rather crude for an official family tree but is a wonderful peice of art.  I need to scan this rather large page before it is destroyed by time.

I also use this page regularly as my quick reference to my family tree.  There are no dates or locations on it but there are names.  In my recent research, I have found that some names are missing or mispelled.  This document is an excellent high level review of my (and my sister's) family tree.  I am compelled to at least write down what is on this tree with spelling and all.  I am omitting living relatives, however.  I will work from past to present which is from top down when you look at the tree.

Edmond O'Brien and Anne Gleason                John Flanagan and Anne Maguire
                                      /                                        /
                               Catherine O'Brien and Patrick Flanagan
/                 /               /          /            /               /              /
Ignatius      Mary       Leo     Louis     Edward    Richard     John Flanagan &
                                                                                           Mary McLaughlin
                       /             /       /            /                       /
                  John      Kay      Ellen      Robert    Richard Flanagan &
                                                                         Dorothy Borchers
                                                                     Living Flanagan/McGuires


Joseph Maxwell and Judith Shaffrey        James McLaughlin
                                /                                          /
                         Ellen Maxwell and Thomas McLaughlin
 ___________________________ ________
/          /              /            /             /                 / 
Ellen   Dolly       Patrick  Robert    Joseph     Mary McLaughlin &
                                                                      John Flanagan (see above)


Henry Borchers & Anna                                                                                     
/                 /          /          /             /              /        /         /
Henry   Martha   Albert   Clara   Elizabeth  Tillie  William  Herb Borchers &
                                                                                         Mary Vienop

Anna Koch and John Vienop

/               /            /          /
Ernest   Minnie  Henry    Mary Vienop & Herb Borchers  
                       /              /                  /                    /
                Living          Living         Living          Dorothy Borchers &
                                                                         Richard Flanagan (see above)


All of the above part of my tree is for my mother's side of the family.  They are from Napa, CA.  I call them my "Napa Family".

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

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Living Document In Cyberspace

I worked for years for a company who documented everything.  We even placed notes in a system that an attorney once referred to as a "living document".  The living document could be added to but not edited once filed. 

In the case of my blog, I'd like to refer to this as a "living document".  It can live in cyberspace for as long as Google wants to support it.  Since there are no legal restrictions, I do have the ability to edit previously posted documents.  This is handy since sometimes I do make mistakes and typos.

For the sake of history, even if it is just my own family history, my blog will live on for quite some time.  I do not have plans to take it down at any point.  Also, I wouldn't be opposed to it changing with the times.  Change is a good thing and ideas are always welcome here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Flanagan – Flax Growers of Ireland, 1796 – County Louth

I recently went looking for information online about Flanagan’s in County Louth. They were definitely growing flax according to their own ledger from the time. With the flax, they made linen. I was looking over the list that follows wondering how many of these Flanagan’s are descendants of James, Patrick, and Peter from circa 1700 County Louth in the Termonfeckin area.

Flanagan James Stabannan Louth
Flanagan John Rathdrumin Louth
Flanagan John Tullyallen Louth
Flanagan Joseph Mosstown Louth
Flanagan Michael Mosstown Louth
Flanagan Patrick Mosstown Louth
Flanagan Thomas Stabannan Louth
Flannagan John Termonfeckin Louth
Flannagan Matthew Collon Louth
Flannagan Nicholas Termonfeckin Louth
Flannagan Patrick Collon Louth
Flannagan Patrick Drumshallon Louth
Flannagan Peter Termonfeckin Louth

I suppose I’d have to go through a process of elimination to find my Flanagan. Let’s consider that the Flanagan’s with the two “n”s is probably a misspelling on some counts. Also, let’s assume that those Termonfeckin Flanagan’s must be my relatives. I can eliminate my original Patrick Flanagan because he died in 1779. I can eliminate my John Flanagan because he was not born until 1805. There are two generations in between there.

John’s father, Patrick Flanagan b. 1780, would have been only 16 years old in 1796. He probably would not have been the person running the farm for his family at that time, right? Also, he was not the oldest in the family. His oldest brother, John Flanagan, was born in 1770. The next male in the line was Michael Flanagan who was born in 1772. Their father was Richard Flanagan who was born in 1733. Richard probably would have been quite elderly for the time at age 63 so maybe he was not farming at the time. That leaves me with Michael and John.

I see John Flanagan farming flax in Termonfeckin in 1796. I also see a Peter doing the same in Termonfeckin. I couldn’t find a Peter for this generation on my tree. Now, I’m just a little confused. Then, I remember that the Flanagan’s also had leased land down the road in Balfeddock. I’m not sure when though.

When I map the above locations, I find that Mosstown is further inland away from Termonfeckin. Stabannan is quite a ways north of Mosstown. Rathdrumin is a short trek north of Termonfeckin. Collon is directly due west of Termonfeckin but still a bit of a trek. Drumshallon is slightly northwest of Termonfeckin. It is possible that the John in Rathdrumin is the same John farming flax in Termonfeckin. Those locations are only 2 miles from each other. Also, Drumshallon is about 2 miles from Termonfeckin. How far were they willing to travel to farm their fields? In the grand scheme of things, this whole area is about 5 square miles. Was that a lot of distance to cover for flax growers in 1796?

It is interesting what you can find online and what questions it generates.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kate Flanagan - Part 2

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

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

Kate Flanagan (Napa) to Mary Flanagan (Ireland)

Sep 10 '06

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

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

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Flanagan's Circa 1690 - The Battle of the Boyne

Recently, I had the opportunity to consult with my Ireland Flanagan's who are subject matter experts on the family line.  They indicated that a James Flanagan likely came to County Louth circa 1690 from Roscommon for the Battle of the Boyne.  He must have also invited at least two of his brothers to come with him.  Peter and Patrick joined their brother in the local fight.

The Battle of the Boyne was fought in July 1690 between two individuals claiming the English, Scottish, and Irish thrones.  They were Catholic King James and Protestant King William.  As you can guess, James lost and thus there was continuatuion of the Protestant rule in Ireland.  That battle took place near Drogheda, County Louth.  The armies took stand on opposite sides of the River Boyne.  For the British, this was a war of Protestants versus Catholics.  For the Irish, it was a sectarian and ethnic conflict.  Most of Catholic King James' troups were Catholic, of course. 

It sounds like James was not real swift as a leader in battle.  Based on some comments from my expert Flanagan's, it sounds as though this "kind of civil war" had its confusion.  Brother may have been fighting brother during the battle.  Apparently the casualty death count was low for the time.  I've found online that only 2,000 perished even though 50,000 were involved.

This important event in history caused my Flanagan's to migrate east to County Louth and there they remained.  Patrick's line is definitely there as I suppose James' and Peter's lines were and/or are still represented in the area.  While the Flanagan surname does not originate in Louth, the Battle of the Boyne does shed some light on how they ended up there.  I wonder if that's how the Maguire's ended up there too.  They do live right next door to the Flanagan's.  A Flanagan and a Maguire married in the early 1800s.  Can you imagine that?  That's not a big surprise, I suppose.  John married his neighbor Anne.  They had 11 children including my great-great grandfather, Patrick, his brothers Michael, Nicholas, Richard, John, and Peter.  I have mentioned all of them in my blog.  I will need to post about the rest of the children in that family, most of which are the women.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

O'McFitz - What does that all mean? Irish Surnames

Have you ever wondered what the "O'" in O'Brien means?  How about the "Mc" in McGuire?  Those Fitzpatrick's make me wonder what "Fitz" is all about.  Irish surnames derive from Gaelic and Norman roots primarily.  The further north in Ireland you go, the more the names derive from Gaelic.  During the 1600s and 1700s, the English definitely discouraged the continued use of Irish surnames in favor of English surnames.  Maybe that's why there are Smith's in Ireland.

When the surname begins with "Mc" (or even "Mac" which is typically Scottish), the surname suffix means "son of".  When the surname begins with "O'", the surname suffix means grandson of.  When the surname suffix begins with "Fitz", it means that these Irish are French.  Just kidding!  Well, maybe. It does have something to do with the French.  "Fitz" has a Norman origin, from the Latin flius, meaning son.  The Normans were from Normandy, France.  They conquered the Irish in 1169.  So...The Normans were French and brought that Fitz name with them when they conquered Ireland. Then the Normans were converted to being Irish.  That is really making a long story and hundreds of years seem like a short story.

Are the Irish, French?  The Irish were conquered by many including the Vikings, Normans, and English.  Take your pick on the ancient national origin of Ireland.  Was Ireland the original melting pot?  One could certainly find an argument for that.  I suppose I get my love of meat and potatoes from the English.  The Irish improved upon it though. 

When I toured Ireland in 2004, our tour guide was full of fascinating trivia.  As we entered the City of Galway, he indicated that at one point in its history, the residents tried to keep out anyone whose surname began with an "O'" or a "Mc".  I can't recall the whole story but I would imagine that applied to many Irish.  Of course, that did not last long for Galway.  This McGuire's thought of Galway was, "What a beautiful city it is!"  No hard feelings from a "Mc" here.

"O'", "Mc" and "Fitz" live on for Irish surnames although some have dropped the leading suffix for a more English or even Americanized style of surname.

Friday, August 13, 2010

To My Dear Flanagans

To My Dear Flanagans, 

There are many of you in this world as it is a common Irish surname.  There are in fact many down the specific family line that I am related too.  The generation that leads forward in time from Patrick and Kate Flanagan of Napa, California, only has lines from John Francis "Frank" "Jack" Flanagan and Richard "Dick" Austin Flanagan Sr.  Those lines produced children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and some great-great grandchildren.

I personally have copies of documents relating to the Flanagan's including a deed for the property in Carneros and letters.  I have a few other bits and pieces too.  It would be fun to piece together what everyone has relating to this Flanagan Family from Napa.  I do wonder what Richard's line has along with everyone down Jack's line.

In the spirit of sharing our wonderful Flanagan History, I put this plea out here with encouragement and enthusiasm to let me know what treasures you might have, even if it is a few words or stories about our Flanagan's.  Thank you to all the Flanagan's who have shared and continue to do so.

Feel free to comment on my posts. 

Thank you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Flanagan and McLaughlin Union at St. John's

On September 1, 1904, at the old St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Napa, California, John Francis Flanagan and Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin were united in marriage. They were my great grandparents. My grandparents were also married in the old church along with my mom being baptized there.
The old church is no more. In the late 1960s, a new church with modern architecture was constructed. It has the address of 983 Napa Street, Napa, California 94559. My parents were married in the new church and I was baptized there. In the United States, we always seem to consider buildings to be a disposable commodity but over a longer period of time than say clothing or the like. I suppose the old church was not suitable in earthquake country so needed to be replaced. That’s a fair assumption but think about all of the history that is lost in the process. I do speak from experience. I did go to school in a 100 year old building in Vallejo, California that is no longer used as a school. It can’t be because of issues with seismic requirements or something like that. The history still lives on for that location since it is still there, for now.

As for the old St. John’s, I found a picture of it on St. John’s website. What a gorgeous building! What a shame that it is gone. I have found that many people, including Church leaders, in this life have their own agenda. The new church was on the agenda in the 1960s and the old “dry rotted”, earthquake damaged church was not. Apparently restoration was not an option that was chosen at the time.

What can I say about John Francis “Jack” Flanagan and Mary Elizabeth “Minnie” McLaughlin. I have accumulated little bits and pieces here and there. I am trying to organize them for future posts but I do not think that I could do them justice right now. I continue on my quest for information about Jack and Minnie Flanagan.

Genealogy Research - Accurancy and Sourcing

I find that the more research I do on my family tree, the more questions I have. Who were all of these people on my tree? How did they live? How did they interact with each other? What did they do for a living? Were they content with life or was it difficult? The list goes on. I hope to find some answers along the way. Of course, as more people show up on my family tree, there are more questions.

My brother-in-law asked me recently about the accuracy of my tree. I did admit to him that the further away on the tree I get from myself, the more I have to question the accuracy. When it comes to cousins down other lines, I have to question how far I should take my tree. I’ve been warned by other family “treers” to be careful of the information that you bring into your tree from I know that I found a mistake on my tree just last week.

The time will come when I need to, again, carefully review each and every person on my tree. I need to make sure that I have source information to cite for everyone. I need to scan some information and make it source information in the future. I never thought there’d be so much to do and so little time. Again, I need to remind myself that it’s "not a sprint, it’s a marathon". I’ve got to pace myself.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

McLaughlin's Go West - Part 5

Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen (Maxwell) McLaughlin moved to Napa, California in 1886, after living for 16 years in Lander County, Nevada.  I'm still not sure why they left Nevada.  I can imagine that the high desert can be a tough life with dry wind, drought, and few resources.  Afterall, Austin or Grass Valley, Nevada is out in the middle of nowhere.

As a farmer, rather than a miner, I'm sure Thomas was looking for greener pastures.  Napa definitely had the farmland that he'd be looking for.  I need to ask my mom if she knows exactly where his land was located in Napa.  In the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census, I place Thomas, Ellen and their daughter, Catherine, living at 118 Jackson Street, Napa, CA.  Unfortunately this section of Jackson Street no longer exists in Napa.  I found the family living in the "Salvador" area of Napa in 1900. 

I wish that I had more information about how my great-great grandparents lived their lives in Napa.  I have a copy of Thomas' death certificate.  He died on February 5, 1926, in Napa.  He apparently had skin cancer.  He was 85 years old.  I see an address of 934 Jackson Street, Napa, CA, indicated on the certificate.  I mapped this location and it is a residential area.  I do not know if this truly indicates where they were living.  I am assuming that is the case.  I can honestly say that the person who filled out the death certificate could have done a better job.  It leaves something to be desired.  I really question why he felt the need to abbreviate Thomas' first name as "Thos.". 

From what I know, Ellen Maxwell McLaughlin may not have really cared for Kate Flanagan too much.  I know that they must have known each other.  They went to the same church, both lived in Napa, and their children married each other.  Jack (John Francis) Flanagan and Minnie McLaughlin married in 1904.  So why do I bring up Kate Flanagan at this point?  Well, she wrote a letter to Ireland about Minnie marrying Jack (Kate called him Frank).  She comments some about Minnie's life which includes her father, Thomas.

Kate Flanagan to Michael Flanagan - Nov. 8, 1904

"You will think it is about time you heard from us again. Well, there is very little in the way of news that you dont know of already. That wedding went off very pleasantly and the bride and groom are settled in their own home as happy a couple as you could imagine. Frank has steady work in Napa running a steam engine, he keeps up his studies in Machanical engineering still and expects to pass an examination later on. His wifets family kept a Dairy ranch near union Station had a milk route in town some years ago but her father met with an accident which left him unfit for any thing like ranch work so they moved into town. Father Slattery was a great friend to them in their trouble. So that is why they had him to come up from the city to tie the knott.

Minnie (Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin), (Franks wife) has been the main stay of her family for some years through her teaching and would not marry till the rest of the family were educated and able to do for themselves, so we can feel sure that so good a daughter will be a good wife....."

I love Kate's letters.  They are not only interesting to read but handy to have.  I wonder what happened to Thomas McLaughlin.  He must have been injured and could no longer work as a farmer.  I guess I have more to find out if it is still out there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

McLaughlin's Go West - Part 4

In addition to Thomas and James McLaughlin heading west to Nevada, their brothers Hugh and Frank also joined them in the Austin area.  James, Hugh, and Frank had made the trek from Newport, New York, to Austin, Nevada, around 1877-78.  Thomas had moved west in 1870.  Hugh stuck close to Thomas working on his land in Nevada and joining him in Napa to again work with Thomas.  Hugh died in Napa, California on July 12, 1888, of diphtheria.  He never did marry or have any children.

What happened to Frank?  Francis "Frank" McLaughlin never married or had children.  In Austin, Nevada he apparently owned a saloon.  The following is his obituary:

Frank’s obituary appears in the ‘Reese River Reveille’ dated 06 Feb 1880: “UNINTENTIONAL SUICIDE. - Frank McLaughlin, a saloon keeper of Upper Austin, shuffled off this mortal coil last night by taking laudanum, (an opium derivative). For some time past, so we are informed, he has been unable to sleep
and last evening he took a dose of the fatal drug to bring on tired nature’s sweet restorer. He took a little too much and fell into his last long sleep which knows no waking. Deceased has a brother (James) residing in this city and another (Thomas) at Grass Valley, in this county. He was about 45 years of age.”

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

Monday, August 9, 2010

McLaughlin's Go West - Part 3

James McLaughlin did write to his sister-in-law, Katherine (Mahoney) Biche.  I have an excerpt from a letter.  I wonder if other letters are in existence.  Family letters can be so telling about the individuals struggles, happiness, and personalities.

James McLaughlin (Nevada) to Katherine Biche (New York) - 10 August 1891:

“I do not think now I shall return this fall as I expected. Frank writes me that I could not make a living there and he is ‘dissadisfide’ with the country, and says that Mike don’t seem to want him to have him stay there. He wants to come back here. I wrote him, Frank, I would send him $100. the first of Sep. and to come here. The boy wants to be doing something for himself. I shall try my best to send him to school here. If he had 2 years more he would be a good ‘schollar’. He learns easy and fast."

Just an aside here.....It is apparent to me that this generation of McLaughlin's could read and write.  Again, this is an important key to understanding more about my family and their lives.  I have had one researcher tell me that the earlier generation of either McLaughlin's or Maxwell's could not read or write.  They simply signed their name with an "X".  Hopefully, I have the opportunity to find out more about these past generations.  Since James and his older brother, my great-great grandfather, Thomas, were born and raised in Newport, New York, there would have been education available to them in that location.

Back to Austin, Nevada........Francis "Frank" Raymond McLaughlin was the oldest son of James McLaughlin and Julia Mahoney.  He was born in Newport, New York, had lived his young life in Austin, Nevada, moved back to Newport, New York, and returned to Austin when he was 16 years old or there abouts.  He worked on his uncle's (Michael) farm in Newport until he left for the west.

Frank had a tough life from what it sounds.  He lived in both Austin, Nevada and Boise, Idaho as an adult.  He apparently had a drinking problem.  He was tall and thin with the nicknames of "Slim" and "Highpockets".  He was a lead and silver miner.

The following is an excerpt from Mr. Capes research:

"The next news of Frank appears in the ‘Reese River Reveille”, the local newspaper in Austin, NV, dated 10
Feb 1917: “AUSTINITES TAKE LEASE ON CAMP’S OLDEST PROPERTY.” “ Frank McLaughlin and George Gordon have taken a lease on a vein system on the Austin Extension claim, known as the old Highland Mary property, owned by the Nevada Equity Mines Company.”   Shortly thereafter, on 17 Mar 1917, Frank continues in the news: “709 OUNCE ORE IN HIGHLAND MARY.” – “Gordon and McLaughlin, leasers on the Highland Mary lode property of the Nevada Equity Mines Co., have struck some high grade silver ore which closely resembles the surface high grade found on Lander Hill. An assay taken from across the vein where first struck yielded 709 ounces in silver.”  Again, on 07 Apr 1917, the newspaper reads: “GORDON & McLAUGHLIN TO MAKE SHIPMENT.” – “A shipment of fifteen tons of ore will go forward early this week to the smeltery from the Gordon and McLaughlin lease on the Highland Mary lode. The ore body carries a high percentage of lead and silver. The silver is being mined separately.”

Frank's Obiturary:

Saturday, 16 May 1931; “Car Over The Bank Results in Death of F. R. McLaughlin.” (He was thrown from the car and the body was discovered near the wreckage). “ It was discovered that the body was that of Frank R. McLaughlin, who was raised in Austin and for years has been a well-known miner and prospector in this vicinity. The body of McLaughlin was terribly mangled and there were a number of injuries, any of which might apparently have been the cause of death. “ An excerpt from his obituary on Saturday, 23 May 1931 reads as follows: “ The funeral of Frank R. McLaughlin, who lost his life in the terrible plunge of an auto into the gorge of Pony Canyon on Tuesday night last, took place on the following Friday from the mortuary establishment of H. A. Kearns. Frank McLaughlin had many friends and a large number of them were present at the interment. The deceased was aged 54 years. He was the son of James McLaughlin, who came here with his wife and children nearly fifty years ago. Young Frank for some years lived with Father Phelan, who was in charge of the Catholic Church in Austin at that time. His mother died here and is buried in the Austin cemetery. When he was about 14 years old his father took him, with his brothers George and Fred and a sister, all of whom are said to be surviving, back to New York and he did not come back to Austin until about 1918. Since that time he was engaged in mining and prospecting in this vicinity and made Austin his home. He at one time lived in Boise, Idaho, where he married and where a son and his mother still live.”

Frank did have a wife and a son.  He apparently was not the best family man as it would appear that he left them in Idaho and returned to Nevada.  I wonder if his family line is interested in knowing the extensive history about the McLaughlin's.  I wonder if they know what Frank lived through as a youngster and if they are even interested.

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

Sunday, August 8, 2010

McLaughlin's Go West - Part 2

When I review information that I have about my McLaughlin's, I find lots of names, dates, and locations.  I also find some obituaries and a few newspaper articles.  While there has been a lot of research completed on my McLaughlin's, I wonder if anyone has letters.  I have a brief reference to a letter or two in that 34 page document.  Maybe the McLaughlin's weren't big on corresponding.  I hope to find some information that tells me what my relatives were like.

Back in Austin, Nevada, in the 1890s, things kind of fell apart for Thomas' brother James.

‘People’s Advocate’, Austin, NV.; Wednesday, January 7, 1891. - “ DIED. – McLAUGHLIN – In Austin, January 5, 1891, Mrs. Julia McLaughlin, aged 36 years, a native of New York. Mrs. McLaughlin, who died at her home in Austin on the 5th. inst., leaves a husband and five children to mourn her death; also a host of relatives and friends. We extend the sympathy of the entire community.”

“Not withstanding the very cold day, a large number of people attended Mrs. McLaughlin’s funeral yesterday.”

“Patrick Martin and family, and Patrick Walsh and family attended Mrs. McLaughlin’s funeral yesterday.”

I can't imagine how James McLaughlin felt when his wife died leaving five young children behind.  Thomas and Ellen McLaughlin had moved to Napa in 1886 which was far from a decent road to traverse through the Sierra Nevada.  I'm thinking they did not come back to or ever visit Austin, Nevada again once they moved away.

James had a tough decision on his hands.  He owned land in Nevada that he needed to manage but had children to raise.  James returned to Newport, New York with his five children in tow.  James settled his children among family households in the Newport Area.  Apparently, son James (who was a toddler) went to live with his father's sister-in-law, Katherine (Mahoney) Biche, in Bigelow, Jefferson County, New York.  He was known as Jay Biche until he married.  The Biche's never did formally adopt Jay.  Frank, George, Mary Etta, and Frederick were left with his brother Michael and wife Mary (Murphy) McLaughlin who did not have children of their own.   They lived on the old family farm in Newport.

The following reference found by researcher Mr. Capes, appeared in the 'Boonville, NY, Herald':

"Thursday, 29 Jan 1891, pg.8, col.1: “ News from Newport – James McLaughlin returned to his old home on the hills a few miles from here recently with five small children. McLaughlin, with his wife, left here 14 years ago.  Her death about two weeks ago left him with this large family of young children to care for and in his distress his thoughts naturally turned to his old home, where his motherless ones could be better cared for than in the far west, away from relatives or friends.”

James returned to Austin, Nevada, to manage his land and property.  He died sometime after 1910.  That, however, does not end the story of the McLaughlin's in the Austin, Nevada.

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

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More Pages To My Blog

I've been trying to orgainze my blog into a better format.  So far, I've come up with adding index pages.  Maybe that will help in knowing what I've already written and posted.  I've also dedicated one page to my family surnames so I won't have to continue to make posts with that list ongoing.  I've still got some additional pages at my disposal so I will get more creative in the near future.

McLaughlin's Go West - Part 1

I have written a lot about my connection to Newport, Herkimer County, New York.  My McLaughlin's and Maxwell's are from there.  I've also posted about Thomas Michael McLaughlin, my great-great grandfather who was married to Ellen Maxwell.  They ended up in Napa, California.  Napa makes an appearance yet again in my genealogy blog.  I literally have dozens of relatives who lived their lives in Napa.  I am still working on tracking down information about how my McLaughlin's and Maxwell's lived in Napa Valley.  I know the journey that they took and some of the people who followed.

Thomas McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell were married in Newport, New York, on January 5, 1869.  They migrated to Lander County, Nevada in 1870.  The McLaughlin's made their home in Austin, Nevada.  It is now a bit of a ghost town in Northern Nevada off Highway 50.  By 1877, he had purchased three lots on ranchlands located in Grass Valley, about 20 miles northeast of Austin.  My grandfather kept a page with the specific map coordinates of the land.  That page is just another "little treasure" that I found in "the box".

To quote another McLaughlin researcher, Mr. Capes:

"On 18 May 1880 Thomas filed a Pre-Emption Application as noted in the local newspaper, the ‘Reese River Reville’, as follows: “ Notice Is Hereby Given, That the following named settler has filed notice of his intention to make final proof in support of his claim and secure final entry thereof, and that said proof will be made before the Clerk of the District Court in and for the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Nevada, at Austin, on the 16th Day of June, A.D. 1880, Viz: Thomas McLaughlin, Declaratory Statement No. 801, for the N ½ of NW ¼ and NW ¼ of NE ¼ of Section 20, SW ¼ of SE ¼ of Section 17, T. 21, N.R. 46 East, containing 160 acres, and he names the following witnesses to prove his claim; George Lammerhart, James McLaughlin, Hugh McLaughlin and Thomas J. O’Leary, all of Austin, Lander County, Nevada.”  By 1883, Thomas filed land claims for mining rights on these and other lots for a total of approximately 1,077 ac. In Nov 1884 he purchased a residence in the village of Austin, and then sold all the Grass Valley lands in Jul 1885, when he purchased a second city lot in Austin."

Thomas was joined in Nevada by four of his brothers - Frank, James, and Hugh.  Hugh lived with Thomas in Austin and Grass Valley.  The various census show him living with the rest of Thomas' immediate family.  Thomas sold one of his lots in Austin to Julia Mahoney McLaughlin, his sister-in-law, in December 1885.  He sold his own residence in Austin on December 21, 1885.  He packed up the family and moved to Napa, California. This article appeared in the ‘Reese River Reveille’ on 04 Jan 1886: “ Personal Note – Mr. McLaughlin and family expect to leave in the morning for Napa, Cal., in which place they expect to make their future home. Sorry to part with Mac.”  Thomas' brother Hugh joined them in Napa in 1886.

What I am not clear on is why Thomas decided to leave Grass Valley, Nevada, and move to Napa, California.

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

Friday, August 6, 2010

Michael Flanagan Trivia

You might think that with all that Michael did for the Stanly Ranch in Napa that he'd be recognized for this.  History sometimes writes itself and forgets people, especially when they disappear to another country.

In recent discussions with my Flanagan Family in Ireland, I found some interesting information out about Michael.  I guess I will call my trivia list the "Did you know that Michael Flanagan.....?"

Did you know that Michael Flanagan.....

1.  ....most likely did very well mining for gold in Australia and New Zealand?  It sounds like he did better than his brother, Patrick.

2.  ....brought with him farming skills from Australia in addition to his skills learned on the family dairy farm in Ireland?

3.  ....grew up on a dairy in Co. Louth, Ireland?

4. credited with the Eucalyptus Tree wind break along Stanly Lane at the Stanly Ranch in Napa?  He apparently brought saplings from Australia.  He'd probably be in big trouble these days for violationg agricultural laws in the U.S. for bringing in non-native trees.  I found a letter where Kate Flanagan cursed the "gum trees" that lined her property.  They provided too much shade for some of the vineyard.  Michael's intent, and it was brillant at the time, was to provide a wind break and frost protection for the vineyard and farm crops.  In my opinion, that's a "good show" for Michael.

5.  ....brought disease resistent grape vines from Australia and/or New Zealand for grafting to vines in Napa?  I guess he had a plan and he implemented it on his leased land from Governor Edward Stanly plus shared this with the Judge.  The Judge appears to have gotten the majority of the credit.  I suppose this could be debated but let's ask ourselves if the Judge was really a farmer.  He was an attorney and a retired judge.  I'm sure that he was a brillant man.  I think he recognized that in Michael.

I could probably write more but will save up for a future list when I have more definite information.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stanly Ranch - Edward Stanly Jr.

I have to do a "shout out" to Anne in England.  She and her cousin, Marg, have been such wonderful research helpers for me.  Anne found the information that I'd been looking for about the Judge's son.  Thank You!

Edward Stanly, Jr., son of John Alexander Stanly and Sarah J. Case, was born in 1858 and died July 8, 1880.  Edward's father Judge John A. Stanly had been adopted by his uncle, Governor Edward Stanly.  In the grand "official" scheme of things, the Governor was actually the Judge's father and Edward Stanly Jr.'s grandfather. 

More official records appear to have Edward Jr.'s birth year as 1856 in California.  Now, I get a little confused because history indicates that the Judge, himself, did not come to California until 1866.  Furthermore, Edward Jr.'s sister was born in North Carolina.  At any rate, Edward Jr.'s residence as of 1870, when he was 14 years old, was Oakland, California.  He died in 1880 at the age of 24 in California.  Edward Jr. accidentally shot himself while hunting. 

So this confirms what happened to the Judge's son.  How sad was this?  I wonder if Michael Flanagan knew the Judge's son.  I am assuming that was the case.  The legend of the Winchester Repeater may not be such a Flanagan Family legend afterall.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Future Home of a St. Regis Hotel - Stanly Ranch

As of April 2010, a St. Regis Hotel is slated to be built on the Stanly Ranch in Napa, CA.  I can see in many articles for the Napa Register that this is being met with some resistence.  Affordable housing is hard to come by in Napa so there is group representing that cause.  Then there are the environmentalists.  The Stanly Ranch is on and/or adjacent to protected wetlands.  Also, the agricultural preservationists are there protecting the farmland and jobs.  Let's not forget the historical landmark people either.  They want to save the history of the Stanly Ranch.

In my own opinion if they can't get the Ritz Carlton built in Napa, how are they going to get a St. Regis built?  There are quite a number of high end places to stay up valley including bed and breakfasts.  It's not exactly affordable to stay the night in the Napa Valley as it is.  St. Regis would probably trump any price already charged.  Maybe it will happen and maybe it will be put on hold indefinitely.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Stanly Ranch - Part 6

The Flanagan Family has handed down a Winchester Repeater over the years.  It is the third or fourth model that Winchester made in the 1800s from what I understand.  At the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, you can view every model of the repeater made.  I guess I can say that I have viewed two of this model - The Winchester's museum model and the Flanagan's rifle which is still in very good condition.

So the story goes, the Judge gave the firearm to Michael Flanagan.  Why did the Judge transfer ownership to Michael?  Apparently the Judge's son was killed with the rifle in a firearm incident.  It was not suicide.  After this occurred, the Judge wanted nothing to do with the rifle and gave it to Michael Flanagan.  I can't seem to find anything about the Judge's son's death.  There must be a biography out there.  This could not possibly be a family deep dark secret, could it?  You never know.

Michael Flanagan left several possessions behind when he left Napa to return to Ireland.  Patrick and Kate Flanagan retrieved some of these possession on behalf of Michael from their neighbor, Judge Stanly.  Since Michael never returned from Ireland, he never got his possessions.  I'm not sure the extent of the personal affects but am assuming that the rifle was one.  The rifle made its home for years at the Flanagan Ranch House in Carneros.  I'm not even sure that the Flanagan's used the firearm.  It was left in the possession of my great-grandfather, Jack Flanagan, who in turn gave it to his son and my grandfather, Richard J. Flanagan.  They were probably the two most appropriate choices as they were the hunters in the family.  I'll continue to keep my eye out for more information about this incident.

As promised in another post about the Stanly Ranch, I am revealing who moved the Stanly Ranch house.  It was Merryvale but they own Starmont.  Starmont is located on the old Stanly Ranch at the end of Stanly Lane.  It's not open to the public though so I guess I'll be visiting the Merryvale location in St. Helena instead for a taste of vino.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Stanly Ranch - Part 5

Judge John Alexander Stanly was definitely a pioneer in winemaking in the Carneros region of the Napa Valley. Did he accomplish this on his own? Apparently not but he was the landowner, financier, and had the foresight and thought in this endeavor. Judge Stanly came to California in 1866 and inherited the Stanly Ranch property along with other land in Northern California from his uncle, Edward Stanly, in 1878. This is according to something that I found on the internet. Great sourcing isn't that? I missed the source of that information for some reason.

Some of what I have indicates that those dates make some sense. Edward died in 1872. Given that the Stanly's were attorneys, is it possible that it took 6 years for everything to pass from the estate of Edward Stanly to his nephew, Judge John A. Stanly? I'm not sure of the dates but I am sure of some letters that Michael received from a law office in San Francisco during that time. Anyway, the details of the estate, will, trust, or what ever happened back in the 1870s when someone with wealth died, doesn't completely matter since in the end the Stanly Ranch passed from one to another. It seems apparent to me that Michael dealt with both the Governor and the Judge, and so did Patrick Flanagan.

The Judge was born in 1833 in New Bern, North Carolina. He moved to Oakland, California, and worked in San Francisco. Both his residence and law office were with Edward Stanly, his uncle. I have other information that indicates that Rancho Rincon de los Carneros was deeded to the Judge by his uncle as early as 1871. The Spanish name comes from the previous owner, Higuerra. The Stanly's referred to their ranch as Riverdale.

Judge Stanly was married in Oakland, CA. His daughter is mentioned but no other children are indicated. His son-in-law was T.B. Coghill. The Judge's grandchildren are indicated as Edward, Stanly, and Bessie. I found this information in a book called "History of the New California", copyright 1903. This same book has the Judge dying in September 1897. The Flanagan Letters have been transcribed as indicating the Judge's death in September 1899. I'll have to check into the date of death difference more. The handwritten letter by Kate Flanagan to Michael could easily say 1897 but look like 1899. I'm not in posession of the original letters except a few copies.

When it comes to the Judge, I have a hard time finding information online about him. I wonder what he was like. I found information about his election to Judge in San Francisco and his resignation around 1874. I wonder why he resigned. I know that he collapsed at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in January 1897, according to Kate Flanagan's letter to Michael back in Ireland. Based on Kate's letters, it would appear that she was very intimidated by him. She did report a lot of information about the Judge to Michael in her letters to him in Ireland.

The Judge so wanted Michael Flanagan to come back to Napa to handle his property. Maybe Michael reminded him of or took the place of his son. I have yet to find the "official" story about the Judge's son but I am searching for it.

To be continued.......

Stanly Ranch - Part 4

In “The Box” that my Mom brought me, I keep finding what I refer to as “little treasures”. These are papers, some letter size and some legal size that are folded in this box. On this one photocopied page from a book is written a note in the margin. I recognize the handwriting as my grandma’s. It says “Michael went back to (Ireland) June 1890 after the death of his brother Peter. He never returned to America and never married.”

The book, or it may be a chapter in a book, has a title centered across the top of the page, “History Of Northern California”. It begins with “M. Flanagan. - Riverdale, Stanley’s ranch, comprises 1,600 acres, all tillable land, - sixty acres in orchard, mostly Bartlett and Beurre Cliargeau pears and French prunes, 110 acres in grapevines, all resistant stocks, grafted with variety Clarette grapes, about half of which is now in bearing. There is also a dairy of 266 cows and a tract of about 400 acres devoted to grainraising; and there is a winery, with a capacity of about 120,000 gallons of storage, where about 15,000 gallons have been made during the past two years, leaving on hand about 30,000 gallons….”

This excerpt reads like an inventory list. I’m not sure who wrote it and exactly what is also contained in this book. I found reference to a book online that was “A Memorial and biographical history of Northern California: containing a history of this important section of the Pacific Coast from the earliest period of its occupancy ... and biographical mention of many of its most eminent pioneers and also of prominent citizens of today. Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago - 1891 - 834 Pages California Local History - Rocq – 15952”:

Calif. State Library History Room (RR)

CALL NUMBER: \MICRO-\FILM\115\Reel 28\Book 5200\ -- Book

Sutro Library (RR)

CALL NUMBER: \MICRO-\FILM\115\Reel 28\Book 5200\ -- Book

This book is copyrighted 1891 and is apparently located in the CA State Library History Room. I bet I live 15 miles from that library. I emailed the page maintainer because it looks like the information was available online but the server has errorred out.

The page I have indicates that the lines of eucalyptus trees act as wind break to protect the land from the common high winds in the area. The article further indicates that “For two years, when almost all the vines in the valley were destroyed by frost, none were injured on this place. The wine cellar has two rooms below and one above ground.”

The next page of the article I have to quote fully and completely. If you have read Michael Flanagan Part 1-6 here in my blog, you know something of him and his character. Mind you, Governor Stanly is Edward Stanly, Judge Stanly’s uncle. The following is a true historical reference to this great man from my own family tree:

“Mr. Flanagan has lived in California and on this place for the past nineteen years. On his arrival in this state he came at once to Napa County and engaged in farming, renting this place from Governor Stanly, the former owner who purchased it from the original grantee. After Governor Stanly’s death, Mr. Flanagan has been superintendent of the place, managing it for the past fourteen years. He has planted, or superintended the planting of all vines and trees on the premises, and since the vines have been bearing he has had charge of the winery, making wine of so fine quality as to be worth three times as much as any other manufactured in the state.

Mr. Flanagan was born in County Louth, Ireland, in 1839. From the age of seventeen to twenty-one he served an apprenticeship in mercantile business. He next followed mining eight years in Australia, and five years in New Zealand. In 1870, he came to California and settled where he now lives.”

At this point, I have found exactly what I’ve been looking for about Michael Flanagan. That is the information that has been handed down from generation to generation. I do wonder more about the Stanly Ranch. I have found some additional information plus there is another story that comes from Michael’s connection to the Judge.

To be continued……………