Monthly Archives: October 2010

Odds and Ends

I would like to share some feedback I have received on a couple of recent posts:

First Communion Photo

Jackie Byrne Doherty and Alice Molony Bird have been pondering the 1929 First Communion photo I posted on October 20th.  They have identified Alice’s father, Leo Molony, as the altar boy holding the cross, and they believe the other altar boy to be Leo Cameron.

Jackie and Alice don’t think this photo is of the 1929 First Communion, because they are unable to locate Kathryn Molony (name misspelled on Church listing) – they have a photo of Kit’s First Communion, so they know who they are looking for!

Please take another look at the photo (click on it to enlarge) and let me know if you recognize any of the children…maybe we can get the correct date.  I was wondering if this could this be a Confirmation group? That would make a bit more sense for the number of people in the group, since by the 1920s, the First Communion groups were becoming rather small.  In 1928, there were only eight: Donal Regan, Edward Daniel, Rose Reardon, Catherine Perrizo, Dorothy Langan, Anna Mae Mikkelson, Bernice Daniel, and Dorothy Hargreaves.  The next time there was a First Communion at St. Malachy’s was 1931 when 38 children were in the group.  Take a look and see if anyone looks familiar…

McDermott General Store Ledger

Margo Ascheman was doing exactly what I do when I look at the pages from the store ledger – trying to match people up to her family tree.

She was interested in the family of frequent shopper Francis McMahon.  He was my great-great-grandfather who came from County Fermanagh, Ireland in 1856.  He settled initially in the Red Wing, MN area, but married Catherine McAndrew from the Ellsworth, WI area.  There were some McMahons in Wisconsin.  Margo’s great-grandfather McGeary married Bridget McMaha(o)n in Monchas, Wisconsin.  Not sure if that is near Ellsworth…need to do a bit more digging on that…

Does anyone have any information on the Galvin family?  Margo, where did Maurice and his wife live?

Now for something new…

I was looking through some obituary clippings I had received from Marlys at the Swift County Historical Society, and I found this tidbit (sorry it is crooked):

Swift County News May 18, 1922

Maybe Margo can tell us how this McGeary is related to her?  Sad news from the Gossons as well.

No one guessed who bought the broom suspiciously close to Halloween in 1883.  You still have time to compile some entries in the September/October drawing.  Every comment is an entry in a drawing for an official Clontarf Prairie Pub T-Shirt!  There will be two winners announced early next week…

Happy Halloween everyone!  Oh, if you have any memories from Halloween in Clontarf, share them!  I bet you guys had  some tricks up your sleeves…

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McDermott General Store: Late October Business

During the last week in October of 1883, the McDermott General Store was busy with customers settling their tabs and selling butter (and other products) for credit on their accounts.  For instance, on October 6th Patrick Langan sold a 211-pound hog @ 6-cents a pound.

I gather hunting was on the minds of several Tara residents, including Frank McMahon who purchased 2# shot (20-cents) and 1/2# powder (20-cents) and Tim Galvin who picked up 1 box caps (10-cents) and 1/4# powder (10-cents).

In preparation for the cold season fast approaching, people bought lots of yarn, no doubt to create scarves, hats, and mittens to ward off the winter chill.  More kerosene oil was purchased as well, to shed a little light on the long, dark evenings spent knitting or crocheting.  Thomas O’Brien would stay warm that winter in his 2 suits of scarlet underwear.  They better have kept him warm, he paid$4.75 for the two pairs!

The biggest ticket item sold that week was a $7.00 shawl purchased by Stephan Owens on October 23rd.  He also received some sort of “cash advance” from Mr. McDermott as “cash – $2” was added to his total bill.  I wonder what that could have been for?

With Halloween just around the corner, I had hoped to see some purchases that would indicate a celebration of some sort.  Maybe the peck of apples John Maher bought for 50-cents were for a rousing game of bobbing for apples?  There was one suspicious purchase made toward the end of the month.  In order to protect the good names of her descendants I will keep her identity to myself, but it’s interesting that Mrs. X just had to have a new broom on October 29th…

Psst…I left a clue to the woman’s identity…care to guess?

 

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First Communion 1929 – or is it?

August 4, 1929 First Communion Clontarf, MN (click to enlarge)

The 1929 First Communion at St. Malachy’s in Clontarf took place less than three months before Black Tuesday, the day the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began.  The 1920s had already been a tough decade for farmers and farming communities throughout the Midwest, but things were about to become even more difficult.

This photo is dated 1929, but I am not convinced that is the correct year.  There are too many children in the photo when compared to the  list of those receiving their First Communion at St. Malachy’s in 1929.  Perhaps children from other area churches came to Clontarf to receive their First Communion, but it was recorded in their respective church record books…just an idea.

Here is the list as it appears in the St. Malachy Sacramental record book:

First Communion

August 4, 1929


Patrick McMahon

Patrick Foley

Bernard Fennell

Charles Kent

Gabriel Burns

Patrick Reynolds

Howard Cameron

Harold Duresky

Genevieve Bouta

Dorothy Aschmann

Marjorie Reardon

Eleanor Goulet

Margaret Sullivan

Laverne Bouta

Catherine Molony

Theresa Burns

Bernice Fennell

Eileen Sullivan

Dorothy Cameron

recorded by Lawrence Lynch (page 104)

If you recognize anyone in the photo, that could help us identify it correctly.  I have the listings for all the First Communions, so we could match it up.  You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it.  You can get a really good look at it if you click again to magnify.  Let me know if you see someone you know!

Do you have a First Communion story you would like to share from Clontarf?

 

 

P.S.

I dropped the ball for the September drawing, so I will combine September and October into one contest, with two winners.  So…comment away and build your entries!

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Let your fingers do the walking

City directories are a great tool for researching individuals who lived in larger towns and cities in the United States.  City directories are the city equivalent to the country atlas (plat map), and a precursor to the telephone book.

On my recent trip to New Hampshire, I found looking through the Concord city directories to be a highlight of our research.  I would like to share some of what I found, as it pertains to early settlers in the Clontarf area.  If you were to go to the Salem, Massachusetts Historical Society, there is no doubt you would find similar information on the Casey, O’Neill, Langan, and Freeman families.

 

1872 Concord City Directory Advertisements (click image to enlarge)

Concord City Directories

available at the New Hampshire Historical Society

1867

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Concord Railroad, house Jefferson

1872

Foley, Patrick, laborer, h. Crescent, Fisherville

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Concord Railroad, h. Main

Kent, James, stone-cutter, h. 227 State

Quigley, Matthew, dresser, A. Harris & Sons, h. Tremont (Boscawen)

1874

Donovan, Michael, stone-cutter, boards 225 State St.

Foley, Patrick, laborer, h. Spring, n. Centre, Fisherville

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Con. RR , h. Main, opp. Abbott Downing factory

Quigley, Matthew, woolen dresser (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

1876

Duggan, Wiilliam, stone-cutter, house Church

Foley, Patrick, laborer, D. Arthur Brown, h. Spring n. Center, Fisherville

Quigley, Matthew, woolen dresser (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

1878

Foley, Patrick. laborer, (rest same as 1876)

Quigley, Matthew, overseer, (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

In the 1880 Concord city directory, they are all gone.  “They” meaning the early settlers of Clontarf and Tara.  Michael Donovan had left a few years earlier – his obituary states that he came to Swift County in 1875.  Michael Donovan’s obituary also says that a brother living in Concord, NH survives him.  His name was Daniel Donovan and he appears consistently in the directories I studied.

In fact, most of “our guys” left brothers behind in Concord.  I only  know about men since women were not listed unless they were widowed.  I believe John Kenna had a brother Martin (who mysteriously changed the spelling of his last name to Kennar at some point), John Regan had a brother Jeremiah (Jerry), and Patrick Foley had a brothers Andrew and John.

So, this means I could still have some cousins in the Concord area.  Funny I didn’t come across any while I was in town.  And Leo, if you are reading this, you could have some more Kenna cousins as well!  Not to mention those of you who claim Michael Donovan as an ancestor.

Something I am curious about…those who are occupied as stone-cutters only show up once or twice during this period of time.  I know that William Duggan and James Kent had several children each who were born in Concord.  Do you suppose their work kept them away from home, so they didn’t always appear in the directory?  Would they have had to be “on the road”, traveling from quarry to quarry all over New Hampshire?  There was a lot of stone to be cut – New Hampshire is known as the Granite State, after all.

That’s all for our detour to New Hampshire.  We will come back to Minnesota this week, with another page from McDermott’s ledger and maybe something about a First Communion class at St. Malachy.

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A Path to Tara Township

 

State House - Concord, New Hampshire (1816)

 

The Patrick Foley family lived just a few blocks from the New Hampshire State House in the Fisherville neighborhood of Concord during the 1870s.  This was before the family settled in Tara Township.  The four Foley children – Timothy, Margaret, Mary, and John – were baptized at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Concord.  Patrick worked at the Concord Axle Works, as well as in a machine shop.

 

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church Concord, NH

 

Patrick Foley was able to read and write English, which were unique skills among immigrants from County Cork, Ireland during this period (he immigrated in 1864.)  I knew that Patrick had served as a Tara Township clerk for many years, and I learned in Concord last week that Patrick served as secretary and president for both the St. Patrick’s Benevolent Society and the Catholic Temperance League.

By the 1886 Tara plat map, Patrick Foley owned 80 acres in section 16 and 240 more in section 21.  Matthew Quigley, who also came from Concord, was sandwiched  in between, owning 80 acres in the northeast quarter of section 21.

When Patrick Foley died in October 1913, his pallbearers were, according to his obituary, “Thomas O’Brien, James Flemming, D.F. McDermott, J.L. Doherty, John Gossen, and James O’Donnell.”  All men were either Tara neighbors or fellow pioneer settlers in Clontarf.

I will have more to say about other Tara pioneers who came from Concord once I sort through my research!

 

Photographs taken by Regan McCormack

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Arbuckles: 19th-century Starbucks?

Business was a little slow during the first week of October in 1883 at McDermott General Store.  I suppose the farmers were busy harvesting –  no time to drive into town and shop.

However, there were several  interesting transactions on October 1, 1883…

  • Patrick Conroy collected on 17-cents worth of butter he sold to Mr. McDermott.
  • James Kent stocked up on needles (.05), 4 yards cotton flannel (.52), one spool (.05), hose (.20), and 5 yards Irish Frase (?) (1.40).  Looks like someone was going to do some sewing!
  • Michael Shea (by Tom) purchased one pound of Japanese tea for 60-cents.
  • M. Chinnery sold almost 11 dozen eggs (10 and 9/12 dozen to be exact) for $1.60 and bought 3 lace front shirts for $6.00.
  • John Cusick bought, among other items, six pounds of Arbuckles’ Coffee for$1.00.
  • John Regan paid the balance on some kerosene oil (.12), and added a pair of sox (.50) and 3 pounds of oat meal (.15).

In one of the entries, granulated sugar is specified.  I wonder what the regular sugar that other people bought was? Brown sugar? Any insight into sugar in the 1880s?

Also, can anyone figure out what type of fabric James Kent bought?  It looks like Irish Frase…I have no idea about that.

The history of Arbuckles’  Coffee is fascinating.  It was around a long time before Starbucks, but I wonder about the similarity in the names?

I would love to hear your comments/ideas…

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This-n-That

Where did the month of September go?  I will announce the September drawing winner later this weekend.  Stay tuned!

Anne had some info on the Roll descendants, read her comment here.  She also had something to say about Jim Gosson here.  Make sure you read all of Anne’s comments…she has tons of great information!

I just received this obituary from Marlys at the Swift County Historical Society.  Mary (Owens) Gosson lived in Section 10 of Tara Township.

Swift County News June 16, 1921

Many of the pall bearers have been mentioned already as residents of section 10 and neighboring parts of Tara.  Neal Regan, James Duggan, William Kenna, David Kent, and John Green.  I am not sure if I mentioned this when I wrote previously about the Gosson family, but I remember Donald and Gerald Regan telling me that when their uncle Jim Duggan was a young man he had a crush on Margaret Gosson.  Jim Duggan never married.  I wonder if Margaret Gosson did?

I am headed to New Hampshire next week, and while there I plan to do a bit of research.  If your family came from Clontarf from New Hampshire and I have not mentioned them, please let me know.

Have a good weekend!

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