Since my last two posts have focused on the new search for my biological family, I thought it appropriate to focus on my parents (my real parents). This is the story of my adoption, and what family and family history mean to me.
When anyone in my family thinks of St. Paddy’s Day, they always and automatically think of Grandpa. Michael John Flanagan’s proud Irish heritage never shone brighter than on St. Paddy’s Day each year. Knowing absolutely nothing about his immediate or extended family, Michael clung desperately to his Irish roots.
My great grandmother Sarah Kennedy Flanagan has been extremely difficult to research, mainly due to her children being orphaned at a young age, and her children being split up and lost to each other. Yet even the records I have been able to find offer conflicting information. I also have not identified a single other descendant who is actively researching Sarah or Sarah’s line, with whom I could collaborate on this tough woman.
My grand uncle Harry. J. Flanagan is the only sibling of my grandfather’s for whom I cannot confirm parentage. Both of the parents he claims were married to their first spouses at the time of his birth. And he is the only sibling for whom I cannot locate a birth or baptism record.
James Darnley, Sr., a miner, immigrated to the United States in 1865, along with his 7 year old son James Jr. and his 9 year old daughter Jeanette [Janet]. The family arrived at the Port of New York on 16 October 1865, on board the Caledonia (part of the Anchor shipping line), which embarked from Glasgow, Scotland.
Leonard was the middle brother of my grandfather. I never met him. I know almost nothing about Leonard. I did not even know Leonard existed until I found that very first lead about my grandfather’s family history, the 1930 U.S. Census record.
Third great grandfather Darnley died 18 March 1908, in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, from a homicidal gun shot wound to the abdomen! And his murderer was acquitted!