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Friday, April 8, 2011

1890 - A Tragic Flanagan Year - Termonfechin, Louth, Ireland - Part 1

I am continually amazed at the extent of details that my Flanagan Family has maintained over the years.  The details do not just include a good referencing to names, dates, and locations of people associated with the family tree.  They actually includes stories.  Moving into the 1800s, the stories are not tall tales or folklore by any means.  They are, in fact, the real life triumphs and challenges of the Flanagan's.  There's no magic, leprechuans, or extraordinary miracles performed here.   What is extraordinary and compeling are the everyday lives of the Flanagan's and the documentation that still exists.

1890 was a particularly tragic year for the Flanagan's of Termonfechin.  Many of the men had moved on and abroad.  John and Anne (nee Maguire) Flanagan were the Flanagan's of John's generation to have children.  They were in fact the only Flanagan's on the farm to have children at the time.  With eleven children you'd have thought that there would be no issue with passing the farm down the line to the next male. 
John and Anne's oldest son, Richard (b. 1830), went to London where he married and had a daughter.  His health failed him in 1878 and he passed away.  Patrick (b. 1834) and Michael (b. 1839) had immigrated to Australia and onto California by 1871.  They did not have any intention of returning to Ireland but did write regularly to their family.  Thomas (b. 1836) had disappeared in 1850, never to be heard of again.  The first John (b. 1838) in the family died in 1854 on the family farm.  I am certain that was an extraordinarly sad day.  I can only imagine.  Nicholas (b. 1842) had made his way to the U.S. and ended up in California.

Let's not forget the women in the family.  Judith (b. 1846), Mary (b. 1848) and Catherine (b. 1850).  As expected, the women did not typically take over a farm operation.  Judith and Mary both married.  Catherine had passed away in 1876.  Another extremely sad day.  I have heard her story before.

Peter and the second John were the men who remained in Termonfechin.  They each married and were the Flanagan men of this line who farmed the land in at least two locations.  Peter and his wife, Bridget Sheridan Flanagan, lived on the Flanagan Family Farm in Termonfechin.

The following are both Peter and John's headstones located at St. Fechin's Cemetery, Termonfechin.  There is more to the story in my next post.

Peter Flanagan's Headstone

John Flanagan's Headstone

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