Tag Archives: Ireland

Message from Canada

Last week a reader from Montreal, Canada with ties to the Hughes Family left a comment. Can anyone help a neighbor to the North?

What a surprise. I am living in Montreal but I’am born in Gaspesie, in the province of Québec. I do genealogic research for many years but I can’t find information about the family of my great grand-mother family in Ireland. Her name was Rosann Martin and her father Patrick Martin and mother Mary Arthur. Rosann is born in Caplan but her father and mother in Ireland. They came in Bathurst NB around 1828 where an other daughter Helen, was born in 1829. The Martin family was with the Hughes and Hamilton. They move all in Caplan around 1830. They were close of William Hughes and Mary Martin and also Margaret Campbell. Do you have more information about them ? I’ll like very much to be in relation with some members of the Hughes Family. It’is possible? Thanks.

This comment was in response to a post from 2010 – click here to read the entry. For more, click here.

Please add a comment to this post with any information you might have. Thanks for your help!

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Fleming Family History

James Fleming Obituary (oops...sorry it is crooked!)

This obituary appeared in the January 17, 1919 edition of the Swift County Monitor.  James Fleming’s homestead was the northwest 160 acres of section 22 in Tara Township.  Among the Flemings immediate neighbors in 1902 were the Fentons, the Kennas, the McMahons, the Gallaghers, and the Foleys.  The Galvins lived about a mile away.

In a Fleming family history, Robert Galvin writes about his grandfather’s heritage and life.  James was the son of Irish immigrant parents in Syracuse, New York.  At the age of nine he was orphaned when his parents and two siblings died of cholera after moving west to Ohio (1854).  James was a drummer boy in the Civil War briefly until his true age was discovered and he was released.  James worked for the railroad until the lure of free land brought him to Minnesota and Tara Township where he filed for homestead.

There is a great description of his first months in Tara Township and how he met his wife Delia Cooney.  Let me know if you want to see more and I will share it…

James Fleming’s wife, Bridget “Delia” Cooney, came to Boston from County Galway, Ireland in 1872.  Eventually, she made her way west arriving in Saint Paul in 1879.  The story has her working for Henry Sibley and being friends with a girl named Mary who would marry James J. Hill.

Delia sounds like a great woman – self-reliant, tough, witty, and a great storyteller.  Before I came across this history, full of information on the Flemings, Donald and Gerald Regan told me that a wake in Tara or Clontarf didn’t really get started until Mrs. Fleming arrived.  Robert writes how she “loved to talk and tell Irish fairy tales…and ghost stories.”  It all matched up.

Bridget "Delia" Cooney Obituary

Does anyone have photographs of the Flemings?  I would love to see a picture of Delia, because she and my great-grandmother Annie Regan were reportedly friends, and I have some snapshots with LOTS of unidentified people who could be Flemings.  Please let me know!  Leave

a comment or send me an email: clontarfhistory@gmail.com.

Pictures like this...I know some of the people, but not the little lady on the left...maybe it's Delia?

NEW COMPETITION!!!!!!!!!!

I still have a few XXL Clontarf Prairie Pub t-shirts to give away.  I will do a drawing of the people who have subscribed to the blog – new subscribers and existing subscribers.  The competition will close on Sunday night (8-21) at 10pm, so if you haven’t yet subscribed to clontarfhistory.com, do so now and be entered in the drawing.  I will announce the lucky winner on Monday.

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Go West

My mom just returned from a trip to Glacier National Park for the Park’s 100th anniversary.  It was a good opportunity to promote her book, recently published by Ramsey County Historical Society –  The Dutiful Son: Louis W. Hill.  Click here for a synopsis of the book and more information.  My mom, Eileen McCormack, did the research for the book.  She worked for a number of years as a curator at the James J. Hill Collection and is one of the most knowledgeable people around in the history of the Hill family. 

(Note: the Hills I mention in this post are not related to the Empire Builder; the name is purely coincidental.)

On her way back to Saint Paul, she stopped in Chinook, Montana and met her cousin Jack O’Brien for the first time.  Their grandmothers were sisters – my mother’s was Annie Hill Regan and Jack’s was Mary Hill O’Brien.

Early on, Mary Hill was one of the big surprises in our research.  We had no idea that Annie had an older sister in Clontarf who arrived from Ireland nearly ten years before Annie.  Below is the Kildare, Ireland church in which the Hill sisters were baptized.

St. Brigid Church Kill, Co. Kildare, Ireland (photo by Regan McCormack)

In 1889, Thomas O’Brien purchased the north eighty acres of the northwest quarter of section 10 in Tara Township.  Tom’s first wife Ann Owens passed away in 1892, and he married Mary Hill in 1894.  Although we have learned much about the O’Brien family, we still are unable to figure out what brought Mary Hill to Clontarf.  We suspect the Catholic Church had something to do with it – where else does a young widower with two small children go for a wife in the late 1800s in Clontarf?  If anyone has any ideas, or if an ancestor of yours followed a similar path to Clontarf, please share your stories and ideas.

By 1914, the O’Brien family moved to Chinook, Montana.  Tom died in 1917 and Mary  in 1924.  A couple of the O’Brien daughters visited Clontarf during the 1920s to spend time with their Aunt Annie, Uncle Neil, and cousin John Regan.  I have previously posted a couple of photographs from the album of one of the O’Brien girls here and here that were taken during such visits to Clontarf.

The eighty acres Thomas O’Brien owned was purchased by Neil Regan in March of 1914.  Neil, Annie, and John Regan lived there until the autumn of 1920 when they moved to a little house on Cashel Street in Clontarf, across the tracks from the Patrick and Julia Regan family.

What did eighty acres cost back then?  In 1889 Thomas O’Brien purchased the parcel for $664.  Neil and Annie Regan sold it for $12,000 in 1920.

In case you were wondering, Mystery Photo #5 could have been the house where the O’Brien family and then the Regan family lived.  It was located on the eighty acres in section 10.  You will have to take my word for it, because a couple of years ago the place burned down.  Good guess, Regan!  Indeed, there is a good chance your grandfather did live in that house.

Next time we will continue our historical jaunt through Tara section 10 by looking at the land owned by the Duggan family.

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Filed under Family Histories, Mystery Photo, Tara Township