Monthly Archives: December 2010

Altar Boys: Corrections & Additions

I heard from several readers about the identity of the altar boys pictured below (you may also want to check out the earlier post here.)

 

Altar Boys, 1920

This is how the individuals were previously identified:

Father Patrick Kenney at very back

Back row: Melvin Klucas, unknown, Howard Regan, Robert Reardon (between two rows)

Middle row: Lewis Fennell, Clarence Hargreaves

Front row: ? Flynn, Donald Reynolds, Richard McMahon

Right off the bat, a few of you commented that Melvin Klucas was incorrect as he didn’t become Catholic until he married, and besides was only about five-years-old in 1920 (per Bob Klucas and others.)  Now that altar boy is unknown…could it be Melvin Daniel?

A Clontarf insider, who prefers to remain anonymous, thought the next boy in the back was a McCarthy (Joseph, Emmet, or John perhaps?), and agreed with Howard Regan and Robert “Bud” Reardon.

Next row, I believe everyone was OK with Lewis Fennell, but it was believed that Clarence Hargreaves was too young in 1920, but it could be an older brother (Leonard?).

Regarding the Flynn boy in the front row, I heard from Linda who is researching her husband’s Flynn roots, and she said that possibly it is Jeremiah Flynn.  There was some disagreement with Donald Reynolds (too young), and it was suggested that the middle boy in the front could be either Fred or Walter “Frenchie” Chevalier.  There was universal approval on the identity of Richard McMahon.

There you have it.  Any thoughts in light of the new information? We’ve never heard from any McCarthy or Hargreaves descendants with roots in Clontarf…

 

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Chevalier Family, Part I

First things first…in the next several days I will address the comments and emails that have come in over the past week or so.  Thank you so much for reading the blog and participating! 

 

Recently there has been a lot of interest on the Chevalier family.  I thought this would be a good time to post a family history of one of the branches of the Chevalier family tree.  This appeared in the 1978 Clontarf Anniversary booklet.

Joseph Chevalier Family History

Great Grandfather of Vernon and Richard Chevalier

The Joseph Chevaliers originated in the Quebec Province of Canada and joined the oxen-drawn covered wagon train leaving Montreal for the United States.  The Joseph-Odeil Chevaliers had three children: Joseph, Nazareth (grandfather of Vernon and Richard), and Israel.

The covered wagon train came through Stillwater, Minneapolis, and then the Chevaliers homesteaded in Pope County, Minnesota – the community of Clonarf.

In 1898 Joseph asked his eldest son Joseph II to come with his family from Bathgate, North Dakota, to take over the farm.  Joseph had eight children at the time, and was to have six more children in Pope County.  That same year Joseph and Odeil Chevalier moved into Clontarf and lived across the street from St. Malachy Church.  Joseph died in 1904 and his wife in 1910.

Nazareth Chevalier, the second son of Joseph and Odeil, married Cecilia DeMars in 1877 while living in Clontarf.  They had seven children: Hedwidge (Charles Perrault), Sylvia (Oliver Goulet), Louis (Ervilla Goulet), Ida (Thomas Houde), Leah (Fred Martin), Richard, and Cleddy (Evelyn Reardon).

Louis Chevalier married Ervilla Goulet in 1917 and they had five children: Richard (Genevieve Bouta), Gordon (Mary Butler), Arlene (Herb Bly), Vernon (Donna Ascheman), and Ardella (James Geyer).

Richard and Genevieve married in 1946 and had three children: Carol married Dale Emmert (Brian, Paul, Angie Marie), Colleen married James Ninneman (Carrie), and Marilyn married Dan Thole (Melissa).

Arlene married Herb Bly in 1974 and they live in Pope County where Herb is a county commissioner and farms.

Vernon married Donna Ascheman in1960 and they have three children: Dennis, David, and Jo Ann Marie.

Vernon, Richard, Arlene, and their families attend St. Malachy Church, Clontarf.

This is just one branch of the Chevalier family  who made Clontarf and the Clontarf area home.

Remember Louie’s Rascals?  I know I have seen pictures of the group.  Maybe someone can send me one?  clontarfhistory@gmail.com

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Filed under Early Settlers, Family Histories, French

Snow, snow, snow…

We are in the midst of a blizzard here in Saint Paul, and throughout Minnesota.  I have lost count of how many inches of snow have fallen and how many miles per hour the wind is blowing.  At this point, I don’t even care.  I am safe and warm in my condominium with a batch of chili on the stove and a pan of johnny-cake just out of the oven.

Swift County is under a blizzard warning, and I can’t even imagine what it must be like out on the prairie.  I don’t know how you all do it today, much less how our great-great-grandparents who settled in Clontarf and Tara Townships in the late 1870s managed.  I know there are some fantastic stories and legends out there about Clontarf residents coping with the treacherous winter weather.  Please share these stories – leave a comment!

On the third of December 1883, Mr. McDermott made a special delivery to a Mrs. Forster (or Fortser?) – I don’t recognize the name.  Any ideas about who she was?  At any rate, she had quite an order…

  • 1 Mallard coat ($3.50)
  • 67 yards cotton flannel (($1.04)
  • 10 yards shirting ($1.25)
  • 4 spools (.20)
  • 5 rolls batten ((.85)
  • 1 shovel (($1.00)
  • 1 skirt (.75)
  • coffee (.50)
  • baking powder (.20)
  • sugar (.50)
  • prunes (.25)
  • kerosene oil (.08)
  • D apples (.25)
  • coffee pot (.40)
  • arithmetic (.50)
  • needles (.03)
  • 2 copy books (.20)
  • comb (.25)
  • soap (.25)

That’s quite a list!  Not sure what “D apples” are…dried apples?  This list looks a bit like it is for someone who is going to stay in for a while.  Maybe a blizzard was on its way to Clontarf?

Stay warm.

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They Didn’t Need Facebook to Connect

One name stood out to me in the St. Malachy’s record books – it definitely wasn’t Irish and I didn’t think it was French, so I wondered what could be the origin of Birhanzel.  For a good chunk of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there was a Birhanzel baptism, first communion, or confirmation on nearly every page of the record books. Read the Birhanzel family history (from the 1978 history booklet) to learn more…

Charles Birhanzel Family Story

Charles Birhanzel was born in Czechoslovakia in 1873.  While crossing the Atlantic during the immigration period he met Patrick McCarthy of Ireland.  Years later after Charles had moved to Clontarf Township he happened to stop in at Pat McCarthy’s blacksmith shop in Clontarf and the two shipmates reunited.

Charles settled in Iowa after arriving in the United States and he married Mary Rose Slemenda.  He and Mary Rose moved to the Clontarf area where they raised eleven children: Joseph, Alvina Ann (Hamann), Matilda (Franzmeier), Thomas, Anastasis, Fred (married Adele Hamann), Charles Jr. (Isabelle Palmer), Emma (Michael Zinda), Emily, Rose (Silas Tilotson, and Mary (Walter Wallace).

Descendants that are still living in this area are (in 1978): Joseph in Clontarf, and Mrs. Fred and Mrs. Charles Birhanzel living in Benson.

Would Patrick McCarthy be “Crackers” McCarthy?  Anything to add about the Birhanzel and McCarthy families?

 

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Filed under Clontarf, Family Histories