Friday, April 13, 2012

A List of Those So Blessed

The little news clipping that Agnes Tully Stevens saved of her pastor’s last testament continued its report by actually naming the recipients of Father Patrick M. Flannigan’s largesse.

I’ve often wondered why Agnes saved the newspaper article about the will, yet not of the actual obituary. Was there another connection between her and this priest? Of course, there is that nagging question I have: what caused her own Flanagan forebears to gather in Chicago from opposite ends of the globe? 

The difference in spelling between this priest and Agnes’ relatives hasn’t troubled me. Anyone seeking ancestors in census records of the 1800s knows how creative an art spelling used to be—although I do have to admit, the more-educated Rev. Flannigan consistently spelled his surname the same since the earliest record I have of his signature upon the 1874 marriage license of Agnes’ uncle William and his bride, Sarah Swanton. Despite that spelling discrepancy, could this Father Flannigan be the one drawing those others with the homonymic surname to Chicago?

As I write this, the thunderstorm outside is pelting my skylights with quarter-inch-wide pellets of hail. In the spirit of one unsure, right now, of the fate of my internet connection in this electrical storm, I’ll cut today’s post short and save my discoveries of Father Flannigan’s relatives for tomorrow. For those of you who really do believe it’s spring, please feel free to jump in with any discoveries in the meantime.

List of the Bequests.
            The following were the bequests:
            Home for the Aged, 5148 Prairie avenue, $1,000.
            Home for the Aged, Fullerton and Sheffield avenues, $1,000.
            St. Joseph’s hospital, $1,000.
            St. Elizabeth’s hospital, $1,000.
            Alexian Brothers’ hospital, $1,000.
            St. Vincent’s Infant Asylum and Maternity Home, $1,000.
            John Flannigan, a brother, at Leadville, Col., $1,000.
            R. C. Flannigan, a brother, at Norway, Mich., $1,000.
            Agatha Flannigan, a sister, at Norway, Mich., $1,000.
            Katie Cook, a niece, of Iron Mountain, Mich., $1,000.
            --ttie Lynch, an old family servant, $500.
            The will was dated Sept. 7, 1906.


  1. It appears that brother "R(ichard) C Flannigan" was an attorney and later a Judge at Norway, Michigan, in 1903-1905.

    A Michigan census record (1894) shows him living with his wife "Mrs. R C" and his sister Aggie (who was a school teacher).

    The family has an impressive mausoleum.

  2. Here are the brothers and sisters in 1910.

    Richard was born in Michigan at a rather late date (John appears to have been born in Ireland in 1842, much nearer to Patrick's birth year of about 1840. Looks like their parents were in Michigan.

  3. I found the obit for Father Flannigan's sister Agatha and a death notice for the death of his mother in the Ironwood, Michigan's newspapers. I've posted them on my blog at

    Courtesy of the Facebook Chicago genealogy group! What an awesome group...

    1. Mickishell, thanks SO MUCH for your link and for sharing those obits! Loved everything about your blog, by the way--content, layout, how you handled your pics. Nice! And you're right. The Chicago genealogy page on Facebook is instant gratification!


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