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

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Death of Hugh Doherty

The following obituary appeared in the Le Sueur Sentinel:


In the death of Hugh Doherty which occurred at noon on Thursday last, at the residence of his son James, in Tyrone Township, another old settler has been taken to rest. Mr. Doherty was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in September 1802, and was therefore in his 83d year when he died. He came to America in 1846-just escaping the terrible hard times of 1847 in his native country-and located in Manyunk, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he remained until 1856, when he came to Minnesota, and took a government claim of 160 acres in Tyrone, where he had lived ever since and where he died. His family came the following year. The deceased was chairman of the first board of supervisors of Tyrone township and named the town after his native county in Ireland. (The other two members were Louis Winterfeld and David Jones, the first named of whom is living yet.) He was also one of the earliest members of the board of county commissioners in the county. During the earlier years in Tyrone he also taught school a number of terms. In his public as in his private life, Mr. Doherty was a model of conscientious and honest citizen, and no kinder hearted, upright or agreeable neighbor ever lived. He was a christian in the highest and truest sense-and one who carried his notion of christian duty into all walks of life and when Death came at last, he was shorn of his terror for the venerable and venerated man of faith and works, who welcomed his departure from earth as one who had done the best he could and was ready to lay down the burden of life. The world is better that such men have lived. The deceased leaves a wife, aged 80 years, in feeble health, four sons, James, Samuel, (in Stevens County,) Patrick and Hugh and one daughter, the wife of Patrick Cantwell. The funeral took place at St. Thomas on Saturday and was one of the largest ever known in the county.

Le Sueur Sentinel, Nov. 27, 1884

The Doherty Families

This was published in the Le Sueur News Herald, May 8th, 1940 in a column titled:  "Our Neighbors":

The Doherty Families
    Hugh Doherty was the oldest of this family to live in Le Sueur county. He came as a young man from Ireland, living in Philadelphia for a while and finally coming to Minnesota he procured a home for himself in Tyrone township.  He helped organize the township and it was he who gave it its Irish name.  This farm is now the home of one of his great-grandchildren.
     Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Doherty had seven children.  One of the daughters, by marriage became Mrs. Ferrell and lived in the East.  The other daughter was married to Pat Cantwell Sr. one of the pioneers of Le Sueur. The sons were Sam, James, Pat, Hugh and Frank.
     James Doherty, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Doherty, served in the Union army in the Civil War, first as one of the defenders of New Ulm in the Indian Uprising and after that in the regular army until the close of the war. His wife, before marriage, was Ann Heatherstone.  They had nine children: 1. Sarah, Mrs. Martin Spence, 2. Richard who died in his childhood. 3. Rose, Mrs. D. J. Coleman. 4. Margaret, Mrs. David O'Connell. 5. Hugh who died in Le Sueur about a dozen years ago.  6. Mary, Mrs. H. C. O'Connell.  7. Matthew of St. Thomas. 8. Sam who lived on the farm for some years, then became the manager of the Farmer's elevator, which position he held for many years. In 1919 he bought the W. H. Tomlinson home on North Main Street where he and his family now live. Mr. Doherty has been married twice. He is the father of seven children:  James, Francis, Mary, Margaret, Paul, Michael and Richard. Margaret married Ashley Schlegel who died some years ago.  She has two children:  The oldest being born on St. Patrick's Day was named Patricia and the son born after his father's death was named Robert Ashley.  Paul Doherty is the manager of the Le Sueur Recreation hall.... Michael Doherty, the youngest of the children of Mr. and Mrs. James Doherty, is an attorney and is now the senior member of the law firm of Doherty, Rumble and Butler in St. Paul.  Many of the people of Le Sueur will remember that Michael Doherty was one of the three members of the Le Sueur team that many years ago won the State championship in debate.  The other two members of that famous team were Henry and Alice Currer, the children of the Reverend and Mrs. Currer.  Mr. Curre (sic) was at that time the pastor of the local Presbyterian church in Le Sueur.

James Doherty, New Ulm and Civil War Service

From the Le Sueur Sentinel, July 13, 1899:

          James Doherty was born in County Tyrone, Ireland and came to Le Sueur county Minnesota settling in Tyrone township prior to the civil war.  When the awful Sioux outbreak came in the summer of 1862, he joined the company of settlers known as the Le Sueur tigers No. 2, on August 20th, and with them took part in the heroic defense of New Ulm, being discharged with the rest of that body, when the defense of that city was completed and the Indians driven off, on August 27th. On September 28th, 1862, he enlisted in Co. G. 10th, Minnesota Infantry and was at once made a corporal afterward being promoted to the rank of sergeant. His company was commanded at the start by Capt. Edwin C. Sanders under whom himself and others had served at New Ulm. During the winter of 1863, his regiment remained in Minnesota on account of the Sioux outbreak which had not been entirely settled and Co. G. was one of the six companies which took part in the execution of the Indians at Mankato.  During the summer of 1863 the regiment participated in the great Indian expidition (sic) under General Sibley and on July 28th, being in the advance, were attacked by 5000 Indians, the largest number of red men ever engaging an American army, and after a short fight routed them entirely. The Indians having been driven out of the state and across the Missouri, the 10th, having marched 585 miles from Fort Snelling to a point near Bismarck, N. D. On August 20th, the long countermarch was begun and Ft. Snelling was again reached about September 10th. On October 7th, the regiment took boats for St. Louis, Mo., where Col. J. H. Baker was placed in command of the post and the regiment assigned to provost guard duty.  In April 1864 the 10th left for Columbus, Ky., and later went to Memphis and took part in the battle of Tupelo.  Next they were sent into Missouri and took part in the “Price” raid and later went to Nashville where they took a conspicuous part in the famous encounter where they assaulted and carried the strongest part of “Hood’s” works.  The regiment then went into winter quarters at Eastpoint, Miss., in the spring went to Mobile where they took part in the capture of a Spanish fort.  The war having ended the regiment returned home and were mustered out August 18th, 1865.
James and Ann Heatherston Doherty Family
          After participating in a military service more varied meritorious and gallant perhaps than that of any other body of men that served in the civil war, Sergt. James Doherty returned to his home and farm life in Tyrone where has since remained and where he now lives. Hard labor and economy has caused him to thrive and he is now in comfortable circumstances and has as fine a farm as this section can boast.  A large family of children has come to make his home pleasant, some of whom are married and settled in life.  Comrade Doherty is a valued member of Oliver B. Smith Post No. 183 G. A. R. of this city.  A cut of his home appears in this issue. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Kerry O'Connells

     St. Thomas had Cork O'Connells and Kerry O'Connells.  
     The immigrant ancestor of the Kerry O'Connell families is John G. O'Connell.  He was born about 1829 in County Kerry but the exact place has not been found.
     He first settled in Brown Township, Delaware, Ohio.  He was married on 9 April 1861 at St. Mary's Church in Delaware to Mary Ann Pyle (or Piles). The first four children were born in Brown Township and baptized at St. Mary's.  They were Mary Agnes, Ellen Theresa, John W. and Elizabeth.  
     By 1870, the family was living in Minnesota.  They appear in the 1870 in Belle Plaine. By November of that year, they appear in the St. Thomas Church records.  David Thomas was baptized 18 Nov 1870. Two more sons were born to them:  Daniel and Sylvester. By 1875, they appeared in the state census in Derrynane Township. 
John G. O'Connell, Ellen O'Connell Ronayne, James Doherty & Mary  Ronayne Doherty
     The three O'Connell sisters all married Ronaynes.  Mary Agnes married James Ronayne. Ellen married Cornelius Ronayne.  James and Cornelius were brothers.  Elizabeth married Dennis Ronayne (he may have been a cousin to the brothers Ronayne).  
     John W. O'Connell married a Cork O'Connell.  She was Catherine O'Connell, daughter of Michael O'Connell and Mary Slattery.  
     Daniel O'Connell never married. 
     David Thomas O'Connell married Margaret Doherty, daughter of James Doherty and Ann Heatherston. 
     Sylvester O'Connell married Margaret Murray who also has roots in St. Thomas. 

     John G. O'Connell had no siblings in the area. He may have had a brother, David, in Brown Township, Delaware, Ohio.  Soon there may be DNA results to prove or disprove that!  He did have relations in the area.  In Belle Plaine, was Johanna O'Connell Kelleher.  Johanna and her husband Martin Kelleher also lived in Brown Township, Delaware Ohio near David O'Connell before coming to Minnesota. David O'Connell was the godfather for Johanna's son Martin.  David was also the godfather of John W. O'Connell, John G.'s son. Johanna's descendant, Agnes Bailey, said that Johanna and John G. were cousins. Johanna O'Connell Kelleher claimed to be "related to" Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator. 
This photo was submitted to by  Kathy Finn. 
     Another relation in the St. Thomas area was Catherine Galvin O'Leary. Her husband was James O'Leary.  They also lived in Derrynane Township.  Information from Ann O'Connell Burns says that Catherine Galvin O'Leary's father was John G.'s uncle.  His name was Maurice Galvin or Gallivan.  He was from the Ballybunion area of County Kerry.  Maurice and his family lived in St. Paul. 


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Memorial Day Mass

There will be a Memorial Day Mass at St. Thomas Church at 9 AM on Monday, May 28th.
Father Roger Hessian will be the presider.

150 Years, Battle of New Ulm

     August of this year marks the sesquicentennial of the event known by a number of names, including the Battle of New Ulm, the Sioux Uprising and the Dakota Conflict.
     A number of St. Thomas area men were members of the Le Sueur Tigers No. 2. (Roster)

 Luke Smith appears in the 1860 census.  He was living in Hillsdale Township (later renamed Tyrone). According to the census he was born in Ireland in 1832.  He was single at the time of the census and a farmer. 

     Mathew Ahern is indexed as Herron in the 1860 census. He was 30 years old and born in Ireland.  He is living in Hillsdale Township with his family.  His wife is identified as Bridget Foley Herron. (Unusual to have a maiden name in the census record!) The children are Catherine, William and Mary A.  Living in the household is Catherine Herron, possibly Mathew's sister. 
     Other volunteers who survived the conflict were James Doherty (1st Corporal--Tyrone), Samuel Doherty (Private--Tyrone), Daniel Burns (Private--Tyrone), Thomas Fowler (Private--Derrynane), Michael Heatherston (Private--Tyrone), William Murray (Private--Tyrone), and Henry Regan (Private--Tyrone).  Also in the roster is "C. Roman".  This is quite possibly Cornelius Ronayne.  Ronayne is sometimes rendered as Ronan.

      Some on the roster who also lived in Hillsdale were P. Horrisberger, Pete Stauff, William Snell, and William Luskey (No. 1).

     There will be a memorial dedicated to the Le Sueur Tigers in Le Sueur on August 19, 2012.
     The Brown County Historical Society is acknowledging the sesquicentennial as well--150th Commemoration of the U.S.-Dakota War.
     A Google search will bring up a wealth of information about this historical event that a number of our St. Thomas ancestors participated in.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

RIP Susanne Kehoe Trimbo

The following obituary was published in the Mankato Area Obituaries online:

Susanne Trimbo, age 83, of Henderson died Thursday, March 1, 2012 at Mala Strana Health Care Center in New Prague. Visitation will be held at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Le Sueur on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. The funeral service also will be at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, in Le Sueur on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 11:00 am. Burial will be at St. Henry Cemetery in St. Henry. 

Susanne was born on December 27, 1928 in Le Center to Paul and Margaret (O’Grady) Kehoe. She attended Country School near St. Henry and High School in Le Center.

She married Lyle Trimbo in St. Henry Catholic Church. 

She enjoyed the Minnesota Twins and Genealogy. She was a member of the Irish American Club of Southern Minnesota, active in DFL, Volunteer at St. Anne’s School and Church and Le Sueur Museum.

Susanne is survived by daughter; Susan Trimbo of Boca Raton, Florida and nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by husband, Lyle; and brother, Thomas.

Arrangements are by the Le Center Funeral Home in Le Center.

Susanne was an avid genealogist.  Her St. Thomas roots are in the Shea family.  The Sheas in St. Thomas descendant from Thomas Shea and Ellen Sullivan.  Thomas died in Ireland, but Ellen emigrated as did her children. Her children were Timothy, John T., 
Mary (Mrs. Moses Murphy), Johanna (Mrs. Michael Kehoe--Susanne's ancestor), Thomas, Denis and Jeremiah.