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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Descendant - Thomas S. McLaughlin - Part 1

Just as I received a photo of my McLaughlin's of Napa, CA a few months back from a cousin, I found a descendant of Thomas Shaffrey McLaughlin, my great grandmother's brother.  Ever since I started researching my family tree just over 2 years ago, I have been slowly finding living descendants of Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell.

The irony of my search was that I was working and continue to work on finding the final resting place of Thomas Shaffrey McLaughlin.  According to the Rockville Cemetery in Fairifield, California (Suisun Valley), only Alice M. Loney is buried there.  There is no sign of Thomas S. McLaughlin despite my own family records that indicate he is interned at that location.  I might need to check in Napa.  Why wouldn't he be buried with his wife?

Anyway, as has become my habit, I have started including email correspondence in my online blog/journal so that it does not get lost in a drawer or in my Outlook folders.  As always, living people and details of their current lives, are kept private.

Here's the first correspondence with Thomas S. McLaughlin's descendant that was sent to me found via

Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2012 6:01 PM
Subject: McLaughlin Relative


I am the granddaughter of Thomas S McLaughlin.  I never met him since he died before I was born.  My father never spoke of him and I don't believe my mother ever met him.  It wasn't until I was in high school that I learned I had an aunt and uncle.  My uncle had no children but my aunt had one son.  Unfortunately, he is now gone so I have no information other than what I find from the census.  His widow did have a lot of old photographs from the Napa Valley photography studio.  I am going to have her send them to me so I can try to figure out who they were.  There was one family picture in particular that was a little creepy looking.  It looked like a patriarch, his wife and all the children.  You could certainly tell they were Irish because of the bushy eyebrows.

I went to our public library and did some family history research years ago.  My father's side of the family is the only information I found out of all the relatives I looked for.  From the census, I was able to see that Thomas was born in Austin, Nevada and that his father was born in New York.  I did not have Thomas' father's name or where in New York.  My goal is to eventually travel to Ireland to where it all started.  I have traveled to where Thomas was born in Austin, Nevada.  The Catholic church has been sold and all the information is in Reno at the Archdiocese.  One of these days I will go back to Reno and look at the birth, death and baptismal records to see if there are any other names to investigate.  The cemetery in Austin did have an Elizabeth McLaughlin headstone.  She was an older woman.  It is funny while in Nevada I visited a tourist stop that had silver mining equipment and history.  They mentioned a McLaughlin discovering silver nearby.  One can only wonder!

It looks like it is only the females of families who care about the history of the family.  On my mother's side, a relative has done all the research on the female side.  I still need to investigate the male side.  I have been to the church where my grandfather grew up and seen some of the records but not all of them.  Most churches will let you look for yourself, they do not do the research for you.

I hope I did not scare you off with my rambling.  I am in the middle of getting a 90th birthday party together for my mother.  At our last reunion in 1995 we had my parents, four daughters and six grandchildren.  This time there will be my mother (dad passed away at the last reunion), four daughters, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  The age range is from 2 years to 90 years!  I am glad there is longevity in my genes.  There are more but not everyone can attend.

I hope to hear from you soon.



  1. Do you know Georgia Murray? She has been researching the Shaffrey family in Cal. Her grandmother's name was Shaffrey. I no longer have her contact info, but you should be able to find her on the Shaffrey boards if you search her name.

    Mary Shaffrey

  2. Hello Mary, Yes, I do know Georgia. Some of my more resent posts are of my Shaffrey line. If you read this again, email me