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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Monday, January 3, 2011

Matrilineal Monday Johanna Riordan Gallagher/Gallaher


Matrilineal Monday is the female line of a family. This line can be so much harder to research and ends in brick walls a lot of times.

Joanna Riordan Gallagher/Gallaher is that brick wall.

So many of my ancestors came from England and came over early in our country's history. So many of their stories have been researched and documented. They are recorded in stories of the towns they lived in.

But Joanna and her husband Patrick have to be my difficult family lines. They did not come to the United States till the period of the potato famine in the 1850's. I do not have much on them except the census reports of the time they lived in Wisconsin.

It is so much easier for me to work on the lines that are easy. I hope to attempt to find out more about them and their lives this year. I plan to find articles and books to read about Ireland and the potato famine. I better want to know what it was like for them to cross the ocean hoping for a better life

Because of joining http://www.ancestry.com/ I do know more than a year ago. I have access to census reports from my home computer.

I do know from the census that Joan was born in Ireland. From the little information I have from family members I learnt that her maiden name is Riordan.

There is a passenger list for a Johanna Riordan coming to the New York port arriving the 15th of October 1851. That she embarked from Cork and native country being Great Britain and traveled on the Lockwood. I believe this means her ship departed from Great Britain. She is listed as a work woman.
Now I can not be sure this is her but it is a possibility.

The 1860 census has a Johanna and Patrick Gallagher living in Annsville, Oneida, New York. Patrick is listed as 30 years and Johanna as 26.

By the 1870 census Joanna and Patrick are living in Hamburg, Vernon, Wisconsin with daughters Mary 4, Bridget 2 and son William 7 months. Daughter Katherine my great grandmother was born 1874.

Patrick passed away 3 January 1898 in Lacrosse county, Wisconsin leaving Johanna to reside with her daughter Mary and son William. Johanna lived until the 12 of July 1902. She and Patrick are buried La Crosse Wisconsin.

This is just facts and so much is not known of either her or Patrick. I do know they were Catholic and when my great grandmother got pregnant out of marriage and had my grandmother Grace in July,1893, they were not happy. Story within family is that they turned Katherine's picture to the wall.

In December, 1893 my great grandmother Katherine married another man, Appleton in La Crosse Wisconsin at a Methodist church. By 1900 they were living in Mora Minnesota.

My grandmother never talked about her mother and grandmother to me that I can remember.
I did not know that my grandmother was born out of wedlock until she had passed away and then it was told to me by my mother and aunt and uncle in a whisper.
At that time they showed me a picture of my grandmother's birth father. I am so glad that they shared this information with me. Being born out of wedlock in the 1890's was a much different situation than today.

I plan to travel to La Crosse Wisconsin this spring and find their graves and request there death certificates. Then again I just may have to request them earlier. I am hoping to find out their true birth dates from the death certificate or tombstone.
I hope to link up with other family members through Katherine's sister Bridget and see if they have any letters or stories to share. I have had brief contact but it has not come to any real information
Katherine's sister Mary never married and her brother William passed away accidentally in 1911. Question is was it really an accident but that is unknown and another story.
Thank you for visiting and please return again soon as I try to add depth to my great great grandmother Johanna Riordan Gallagher ..
.. Grace

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