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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spring Break for MYOG

MYOG is taking a Spring break for a week.  This blogger has just completed the editing of a school yearbook, planted the garden, and is in the middle of First Communion party planning.  Let's not forget to mention that swim team just started too.  Fun and games!  So, it is "Spring Break" for MYOG.  More posts soon.................

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Funeral of Mr. Flanagan

Funeral of Mr. Flanagan
   Napa has lost a good citizen in the death of Patrick Flanagan, whose funeral took place at 11 o'clock Tuesday from the Catholic church.
   Mr. Flanagan not long ago moved with this family from Carneros school district to town occupying a house on Seminary street.  He had for several months suffered from dropsy of the heart and died Sunday night.  He was a native of Ireland, aged 65 years.  His wife, a daughter and six sons survive in the community, and in the last polititical campaign was was the candidate of his party of Supervisor from his District.  His death will be generally regretted. 
   There was a large attendence at the funeral Tuesday.  Father Slattery officiated and the pall-bearers were:  M. O'Connell, W. H. Laughlin, J. Simmons, E. Brennan, M. Brown, and P. Foley.
(Probably the Napa Daily Journal, 1896)
Again, this is a photo copy from microfiche and does not have the date on the page.  My family records specifically indicate that Patrick Flanagan died on January 26, 1896.  The Flanagan Letters also include this information about Patrick death and what he died of.  His own letter to Ireland expresses clearly his struggle with his illness. 
I see where the Seminary Street house is indicated and can pinpoint the Flanagan's living there in 1896.  This is a piece of my timeline for their actual location in Napa.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Flanagan Obituary - Agnes

The following is the obituary in the local Napa paper for Agnes Flanagan from about 1895:

Miss Agnes Flannagan, daughter of Mr. P. Flannagan, died at the home of her parents, near Judge Stanly's ranch, south of Napa, on Thursday, October 19th, aged 22 years.  The young lady was a victim of consumption.  

Some interesting notes that I need to make here include the age of Agnes and where she passed away.  So much of what is put into print from any time frame, may or may not be exactly accurate.  A good example, is the age of Agnes at the time of her death.  My family records ascertain that Agnes passed away in 1895.  This newspaper article indicates that she passed away on October 19th while my research had a "guesstimate" of April 1895.  The above newspaper article does not include the year on any part of the page.  I find that I am still estimating the year of Agnes' birth and death.  We know that she passed away before Patrick (her father) based on a letter from 1896.   I believe that Agnes might have been closer to 24 years old when she passed away rather than 22 years old based on her age in the 1880 U.S. Census.

Another interesting point that this brief obituary makes is where she passed away.   My Flanagan Family has long indicated that there was another sort of dwelling on the Flanagan Ranch prior the the building of the current ranch house around 1896-1898.  While 606 Seminary Street in Napa, California has long been indicated as my Flanagan Family home "in town", it is now not clear to me the timeline of the family living at the Seminary Street home and the old "shed/farm building" dwelling out at the Flanagan Ranch.

At some point, I'll have to create a timeline and further investigate where the Flanagan's were living in Napa.  The main reason why I want to nail down "where and when" is so that I can determine exactly where the eight children of Pat and Kate were born.  Were they born at 606 Seminary Street or at 3315 Sonoma Highway?

Additionally, I must spend some time going over any information that I have about Agnes Flanagan.  I have letters with her own words.  In her young life, she was educated and a few of her letters live on to this day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Edward Flanagan's "Miraculous Escape"

Napa Daily Journal
Tuesday, October 24, 1893

A Miraculous Escape

   Monday afternoon Edward Flannagan drove a four-horse team, attached to a heavily loaded grape wagon, to Carpy's wine cellar, and after unloading his grapes drove to the fountain in front of the Court House, to water his horses.  In some way one of the wheelers got his leg over the double-tree of the wagon, and commenced to kick.  This frightened the leaders and they started to run.  The young man hung bravely to the horses, but when they reached the corner of Brown and Third streets he was thrown heavily to the ground, the front wheel of the wagon running over his head, and the hind wheel passing over his body.  He was picked up unconscious and carried to the photograph gallery on the opposite corner, where he soon revived.
   The team continued its course for about half a block, when it came to an abrupt halt by colliding with a buggy, breaking the axle of the latter. 
   Mr. Flannagan was praised very highly upon the grit he displayed in trying to stop his team.  He was quite badly bruised but not hurt seriously. 

This is yet another example of the bits and pieces of information that can be found in my family records.  I am not sure who retrieved this article but my guess is one of three family members - Ellen Flanagan, Kay Flanagan Fratessa, or Anne Fratessa Scoville. 

I must admit that reading this article and taking it at face value makes me wonder how Edward survived this incident.  If the wheel truly ran over his head, how did he live through that.  It does make me wonder if Edward was either truly "okay" after this incident or if the reporter was prone to exaggeration.

Edward Flanagan - Circa 1894-95

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Patrick Flanagan - Newspaper Article - Running for Supervisor

Recently, found among the papers that my mother has about her parents, was some additional Flanagan information about Patrick Flanagan, my great great grandfather.  I must admit that I have put off sorting through my grandparents things that my mom maintains.  There are a few boxes but what treasures they hold remain to be seen.  Apparently, the treasure trove of family history is not depleted.

The following article was given to me just a few weeks ago by my mother.  It is a print off microfiche.  The date is not included but it appears to be from the Napa Register (or Napa Daily Journal) circa 1892-1894.  That's my current best estimate on the time frame.

For Supervisor

Mr. P. Flannagan is the Democratic nominee for Supervisor in the West Napa No. 1 District.  He has been a resident of Napa county for twenty-five years, and is thoroughly familiar with the needs of the county.  He has owned and cultivated his farm near Judge Stanly's place in the Carneros District for many years, and commands the confidence and respect of all who know him.  Where he is best known he is most liked.  He is honest, competent, liberal-minded and safe man, and will make a most excellent Supervisor.  He is deserving of the earnest and hearty support of the voters of the First District.  

(The above is an exact transcription with Flanagan spelled in correctly.)

A second article indicates what it cost to run for the election.  In this case, Patrick spent $60 total to run for office.  Depending on the office, people spent anywhere from $5 to $222.75 to run.

Patrick didn't win the race for supervisor. Shortly after the election, he fell ill and later passed away in 1896. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's Hot In Genealogy!

Blogging about anything that you're interested has been a trend for several years and that includes genealogy.  What I have found is that my own desire to blog ebbs and flows.  Some of my posts have a lot of meat to them while others are anecdotal with a bit of fun.  Overall, my blog posts form my family tree diary.  I keep on writing and doing research as I have time.

I recently looked up the "10 Genealogy Blogs Worth Reading".  Now, the article is not dated online so who really knows when it was written.  About half of the blogs listed are truly interesting and up-to-date.  I find it disappointing that the search engine did produce this article as a top result but several of these blogs have not been posted to in quite a while including one that has not been touched since 2009.  I guess that how's it goes with genealogy and blogging, in general. has also been a big trend in genealogy for the past couple of years.  I jumped on that bandwagon in 2010 and produced several lines of my family tree on this site.  Did I finish and have I edited all of the people added to the tree with source documents?  The answer is "no" to that question.  While you can fly through developing an family tree on and accept hints like crazy, it may not be real accurate.  In our day and age, people do want things to be done quickly.  Forming a family tree really shouldn't be done that quickly.  It is a process.  "It's a marathon, not a sprint!"

"It's a marathon, not a sprint!"

I was sad to see "Who Do You Think You Are?" on the NBC's cancelled list.  However, TLC may pick up this series and continue to produce it.  This will be a "wait and see".  Another show about genealogy that I tired watching was called "Finding Your Roots" on PBS.  I must admit this is a bit of a "snoozer".  The enticing point of "Who Do You Think You Are?" is the storytelling part of the program with the elation of the discovery process.  "Finding Your Roots" misses the storytelling arc that peeks people's interest with some suspense and elation of finding their family origins.  A little drama can go a long way to inspiring people to seek out their own family history.

DNA gives me mixed emotions and results.  I think the jury is still out on whether it was worth submitting my husband's DNA to  They are still building their database of DNA samples.  The best that my husband's matches have produced are 4th to 6th cousins.  They may as well be my next door neighbor because that gets to be pretty distant and hard to nail down.  Heck, none of those people even have a common surname indicated for my husband.  I think we will need to wait awhile on more submissions.

Last Spring, I spent some time trying to locate the graves of my ancestors.  I even visited a few cemeteries myself with my children tagging along.  I did find a large number of my ancestors at one cemetery in Napa, CA.  I posted my information at Find A Grave.  You can almost build your family tree right on that site based on cemetery plots.  It is public information and somewhat interesting.  Lately, I've given up posting anything else on that site.  At least the information is out there for future reference.

My own hot topic is finding photos of my ancestors.  I love, love photos!  They are an amazing find and a window into the past.  A picture does say a thousand words and it helps if you know who is in the photo.

Circa early 1930s
 Leonard Gruenhagen, Dorothy Borchers, Louise "Bruns" Gruenhagen,
 Ruth Gruenhagen, and  "A Living" Borchers
If anyone is reading this, do share what you consider your "hot topic" in genealogy these days!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Carneros School - 1 Room

There have been many times while working on my family tree when I think, "Well, that probably about it.  I don't think that I will find any new information.  I've exhausted my family records for now."  Then, I am reminded of my grandfather's favorite thing to say in the face of some needed patience.  He always used to say, "wait awhile".

I really wasn't waiting for or expecting the following photo.  My mom showed up with it a few weeks ago and I almost immediately posted it on my Facebook page.  The back side of the photo indicates "Carneros School - 1 Room - 9 Grades - Abt. 1907 or 08 - Across this road from the social hall and store."  Then the photo has every single person identified.

Carneros School, Napa, CA

So, where did this photo come from and who is in it?  My mom seems to think that her cousin Anne made the copy or print of this and that Aunts Kay and Ellen had made sure that the teacher in the photo had identified all of her students.  

Initially, I thought the "May Flanagan" indicated as the teacher was our Aunt Mary Catherine Flanagan one of my great grandfather's sisters and daughter of Patrick and Kate Flanagan.  When you look closer at the photo, you see a fairly tall woman in the back with dark hair.  Knowing that Aunt Mary taught in San Francisco and that based on other photos she was much shorter and had lighter hair, I can ascertain that the teacher is not Aunt Mary.

I have other photos of Aunt Mary and of the other Mary Flanagan who was rather tall for a woman, and she was a teacher in Napa.  Minnie Flanagan (Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin) was my great grandmother and the teacher in this photo.

The photo may look small on the screen here but I am amazed with the clarity even after I scanned it into my computer.  The back row is left to right:  Russell Murr, Roy Bentley, Albert Raina, Harry Murr, Edgar Geiseke, Stella Brown, Jim Sunnafrank, Madeline Witt, Walter Theilig, Olive Burdick, Louis Kiser, Raymond Raina, May Flanagan (Teacher), Frances Mitchell, Emma Neuenschwander, May Sunnafrank.  The front row from left to right:  Chas. Kiser, Malcolm Brown, Ferdinand Kiser, Henry Zweifel, Lena Oesch, Mathilda Raina, Florence Theilig, Harry Swanson, Volney Murr, Royal Norquist, Simeon Williams, Chris Murr, Fred Raina. 

The details of this photo come through as a result of the identification of every person and the location plus approximate date of the photo.  It is a wonderful discovery that I didn't know my mother had in her things.

It is interesting to note that these children represent the family farmers of the time in the Carneros District in Napa.  My own mother recognizes several of the names.  I even recognize the name "Malcolm Brown" as a man of the same name and is wife are buried at Tulocay Cemetery adjacent to my great great grandparents', Pat and Kate Flanagan, unmarked graves.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Family Tree Snap Shot - For My Children

The following is a photo collection for my children of all of their great grandparents:

The Flanagan's 
Dorothy Borchers Flanagan

Richard Josseph Flanagan

The McGuire's 
Josephine Hickey McGuire
Francis Robert McGuire

The Ross' 
Evelyn Turner Ross
George Washington Ross

The Elser's
Edward Elser and Marie Ward Elser