Of course, his firstborn may possibly be the Patrick “Flanagan” we discussed yesterday, for other records show the second like-named couple in Marquette to be John and Maria. And an 1872 death index entry for Patrick shows his age at death to be eight days, confirming the earlier of the two dates of birth.
After that sad episode early in the married life of our John and Mary, the couple was blessed with five daughters during their years in Michigan. Moving to the little town of Ishpeming by the time of the 1880 census, the Flannigan household now includes Katie, Nellie, Florence and Rosa. The two older girls were born in Marquette, the next two in nearby Ishpeming, helping to target the date of the family’s move.
occupational entry for John in the 1880 census.
The oldest daughter, listed simply as Kate, was born August 23, 1873. Of course, the inevitable happened here: that same misspelling as Flanigan. Complicating matters is the unfortunate entry of Canada as John’s birthplace. And yet, 1873 fits nicely with the age estimate in the 1880 census, which shows Katie still at age six when the census was taken on June 4.
Following Katie was her sister Nellie. I wonder if this child, born on September 8, 1875, was named after her mother’s sister, Ellen.
By the time John and Mary’s third daughter, Florence, was born on December 12, 1877, the family was living in Ishpeming.
The next child to be born to them in Ishpeming was Rosa, who arrived November 9,1879, less than a year before the 1880 census was taken.
Times being what they were in the Upper Peninsula in the late 1800s, large families did not always remain large families, and that turned out to be the case for John and Mary, too. Shortly after the 1880 census, their daughter Florence succumbed to bronchitis on April 26, 1882.
That date was perilously close to another family event: the birth of the Flannigans’ fifth daughter, Grace, who arrived earlier that same month on the seventeenth. Perhaps these extenuating circumstances partly explain why the family—or at least Mary and Florence—had returned from Ishpeming to Marquette.
Regardless of the reason for returning to Marquette, the entire family was about to embark on a much larger trip: the move from John Flannigan’s decades-long home in Michigan to a different mining region: the Rockies.