Saturday, November 9, 2013

Upcoming Masses at St. Thomas

Here are some Mass times for St. Thomas Church:

  • November 23, 2013 at 4 pm
  • December 22, 2013 at 9 am
  • December 25, 2013 at 9 am
  • December 29, 2013 at 9 am.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Anyone recognize this place?

This house photo was from an album of my grandmother's (Ann Mary O'Connell Burns).   Unfortunately, she cut it out of the album for the picture that was on the other side. It's very likely from the St. Thomas area.
Hints appreciated.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Timothy & Dan Burns Families

     At one time, there were many Burnses in the St. Thomas area. The Burnses who lived near St. Thomas were the descendants of 2 brothers--Timothy and Daniel. 
     Timothy is buried in the St. Thomas Cemetery. I'm not sure where Daniel is buried. More on his story later.
     Timothy and Daniel settled in Stoughton, Massachusetts when they came to the United States.  The old stories say the Burnses are from Boston, but records show that to be inaccurate.  Timothy appears in the 1850 Federal Census in Stoughton, Norfolk, Massachusetts, age 23, a boot crimper.  

  In 1852, he and Eliza Barry, show intention to marry.  Records appear in the Town Records of Stoughton. This was dated November 20th.  (See above).

Timothy and Eliza were married at the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Boston. 
     The oldest three children of Timothy and Eliza were born in Stoughton.  They are Patrick T., Eliza Frances, and Daniel W.  
     In 1860, the family appears in the federal census in Tyrone, Le Sueur, Minnesota.  In all, the couple had 11 known children. The other children born in Minnesota were John J., Timothy C., Ellen, Honora, William Henry, Jeremiah, Mary Jane, and Agnes. Honora died very young.  The others all grew to adulthood. 
     Timothy died in 1872, at about 45 years old leaving Eliza a widow with many children to raise alone. 
If you notice in the record above, there is a John Barry who married Hannah Mansfield on the same day as Timothy and Eliza.  I believe this is Eliza's brother as both of their fathers are given as Garrett.  In the 1880 census, John and Hannah and their family are living in Derrynane Township.  I surmise that they may have come to Minnesota from Stoughton to help Eliza out.  They later returned to Stoughton.
     Eliza died in 27 April 1885.
     Patrick T. Burns married Hannah Murphy in 1880.  She is the daughter of Moses Murphy and Mary Shea.  They had 13 children:  Patrick, Mary Eliza, Ellen, Ambrose Timothy, Mary Ellen (Mae), Cecelia, Moses, Baby Boy, Thomas, Frances Cordelia, John Joseph, Agnes and George F. 
     Eliza Frances didn't marry until 1892 in St. Paul,  I'd like to know her story.  She married George Tinsley and lived in Chicago.  They were married by an Episcopal priest.  I couldn't find any notice of her marriage in the newspapers. She died in 1904 without children. 
     Daniel W. Burns married Catherine Ronayne in 1886.  She is the daughter of Patrick Ronayne and Catherine Regan.  Their children are:  Elizabeth; Patrick C.; Timothy J.; Anastacia; Margaret; William; John; Regina,  Daniel; John Francis "Bud"; and Irene. 
     John J. married Mary Ellen Skelly in 1897.  They had 3 children: Raymond, Leo S. and Grace. John died in 1902 in St. Peter, Minnesota.  Mary Ellen married again to Timothy O'Dea.
     Timothy C. married Margaret McCarthy in 1890.  She is the daughter of  Michael McCarthy and Catherine Kehoe.  Their children were: Blanche, Marion, Catherine and Timothy M.  Timothy C. died in 1932 and is buried in St. Thomas.
     Ellen was unmarried and died at about age 19 in 1883. Her sister Honora appears in the 1865 Minnesota State Census but does not appear in the 1870 census. She was born about 1864 in Minnesota.
      William Henry Burns married Catherine W. O'Connell, daughter of Richard O'Connell and Mary Besy. They married in 1893 at St. Thomas.  They had 10 children:  Elizabeth, Paul, Mary Agnes,  Alice, Catherine, William H., Gertrude, Cyril, Raphael,  and (Cletus) Robert. 
      Jeremiah M. Burns was unmarried.  He lived in Cottonwood County for a while. He died in Hudson, South Dakota.  More on that later.
     Mary Jane Burns was married to Edward J. Flaherty.  She lived in Chicago and died there in 1916.
    Agnes was married to Patrick McCarthy at St. Thomas in 1895.  She had 6 children including:  Gerald, Bertram Patrick, Elizabeth, John, William and Marian.  She died in 1905.
     As you can see--that's a lot of Burnses!  And Daniel's family is still to be enumerated.
    Father James Burns is a descendant of Timothy, his son Patrick T.; his son George and his son John G. 

Christmas Mass

Fr. James P.Burns will celebrate Christmas Day Mass at 9 AM at The Church of St. Thomas. He will also celebrate Mass on Sunday, December 23 at 9 AM; Saturday, December 29 at 4 PM.  At the end of January, he will celebrate Mass on Sunday, the 27th at 9 AM.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Commemoration of the Battle of New Ulm

     On Sunday, 19 August 2012 in Le Sueur, Minnesota, there was a ceremony commemorating those who served in the the Battle of New Ulm in the companies known as the "Le Sueur Tigers".
     A historical marker was unveiled in Louise Park (next to the Mayo House) that tells the story of the "Tigers".

      The names of the citizen soldiers are listed on the reverse side of the marker.

     A commemorative flag was flown. The mayor of New Ulm presented a proclamation and delivered a 150 year delayed thank you for the service of the men of the Le Sueur area. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012


     Just typing the name "Sullivan" in relation to St. Thomas gives me a headache.  I once tried to figure out all the Sullivans and I'm not sure it is possible for an outsider!!
     The following information is from the Le Sueur News Herald of May 8th, 1940.  It is from a column called "Our Neighbors--" by J. H. Sellie.
When I began looking up material for this paper one of my Irish friends suggested that I drive over to St. Thomas and have a talk with Mr. and Mrs. Jim Sullivan.  I did so and found them a most interesting and delightful old couple, whose memories were apparently good and whose minds were full of old stories about the early days in the settlement.  Mr. Sullivan is 82 and his wife 78.  They live in a little cottage on the edge of the cemetery.  The outside of their house is most unpretentious but the inside is cozy and comfortable. 
Mrs. Sullivan was cutting up seed potatoes and her husband was out making the rows into which the potatoes were to be planted. When I began my interview Mrs. Sullivan offered to call her husband saying with wifely pride and loyalty, "He knows so much more than I do."  She looked out and said, "He is only resting and might as well do it in the house". He came and we had a delightful hour.  Information? Well yes, enough for the start of a book.  Book-writer, there is a gold mine for you.
Like so many of the St. Thomas pioneers, Mr. Sullivan's father lived in Pennsylvania for awhile before he, in 1857, came to Minnesota.  The mother of my new-found friend, before marriage was Ellen Hennesey.  James Sullivan Sr. was the first to be buried in the St. Thomas Cemetery.  Mrs. Sullivan's maiden name was Catherine Regan, the daughter of another old settler. They were the parents of seven children three of whom died and the four living had long since left the parental domicile to set up homes of their own. 
 There was a picture of a fine looking man on the wall and, thinking that it perhaps this was the picture of one of their children, I asked who he was and was told that it was Father John C. Abbott who has a parish near Minneapolis.  They said that this young man was born in Le Sueur and was the son of John C. Abbott who used to live in Le Sueur.  Father Abbott is a nephew of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Sullivan of St. Thomas.  They were proud of relating this fact. 
 On one side of the cottage was the cemetery and on the other, a little way back, were the stores, the school house and the filling stations. I could not but reflect that in a short time these old people would be carried a few feet into the cemetery there to rest beside their old friends and neighbors, but other people would come to buy gas for cars in which to carry their children to church and the school house and few would ever think of Jim Sullivan and Catherine Regan and many others who had made these blessings a reality. 
Some people in America have claimed, with how much truth I cannot say, that the Irish women would rather dance than darn the socks of their menfolks and that the Irishmen would rather drive a fast horse or car, on the road than plow their fields and that sometimes, when they had had a little too strong drink, or too much of some that was not so strong, they were quick to fight. Maybe so they had their faults, of course and so had the other nationalities too.  We all have them, but not the same ones.  The Irish have made their contribution to the life in Le Sueur  county.  But for the Irish songs, stories and wit we would all be the poorer. 


U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 websites

Here are some links to websites commemorating the Conflict:
Minnesota History Center site
Mankato & the US-Dakota War of 1862
Le Sueur Tigers Dedication
Le Sueur Tigers 1862-2012