THE GLYNN FAMILY
The Glynn/Glenn/McGlynn family originating in Culkeen, Co. Roscommon 1825 - 2015
Biography - A1 Patrick McGlynn.
|Patrick, born 1 November 1845, was
the eldest of Michael and Mary’s sons. Born a mere nine
months after their marriage he was baptized the
following day in the local Catholic church. A baptismal
certificate signed by Fr. Patrick McLoughlin of
Kiltullagh Parish and dated 18 December 1868 might be an
indication that Patrick left Ireland around that time,
or early the following year. Perhaps he spent some time
in England or Scotland saving enough money for his
passage to the US. Whatever, census records indicate
that Patrick entered the US in either 1870 or 1871 and a
letter from Michael and Mary to Patrick, dated July
1871, clearly places him in the US at that time.
According to a family bible and papers in the possession of Marilyn McGlynn, Manteca, California, Patrick McGlynn married Mary Lyons in New Bedford, Massachusetts on 13 July 1874. This date is borne out by information in the 1900 and 1910 censuses where Mary and Patrick say they had been married 25 and 35 years respectively.
The 1900 US Census tells us that both Patrick and Mary had immigrated in 1870 (the 1910 census gives 1871 as their year of arrival) and had both been born in Ireland. We don’t know if Patrick and Mary knew each other in Ireland, met on board ship or shortly after their arrival in the US. There is some speculation that they may even have travelled as a married couple – speculation fuelled by finding a Patrick and Mary McGlenn from Ireland, similar ages to our couple, on a ship’s passenger list. The ship was the SS Europa from Glasgow, Scotland to New York, arriving at the latter port on April 8th 1870
The marriage entry in the family bible places Patrick and Mary in New Bedford in July 1874. New Bedford was one of the principal eastern seaboard arrival points for emigrants to the US and is located between Boston and New York, near Martha’s Vineyard. They must have left there shortly after that date as a search through Kansas land deeds show that on January 21st 1875 Patrick and Mary purchased forty acres Designated Quarter of Section 25, Township 11, Range 24, Oak Grove District #32, two miles southwest of Argentine. Amongst the papers in Marilyn’s possession is a rates demand notice dated January 10th 1872 for this land. It’s not in Patrick’s name but perhaps it was in the papers he acquired when he purchased the property.
It’s not known why the McGlynns chose to settle in Kansas City. A search through directories of the time indicates the presence of several McGlynn/Glynn/Glenn/Glinn families in the city. Perhaps one of these was a relative or maybe Mary had some Lyons relations in the area. In the 1870s nine percent of Kansas City’s population was Irish born and the Irish were the city’s largest immigrant group ever. Many came by accident with no intention of staying. To them Kansas was a stopover, a place to rest on the way to the west in search of adventure or of gold in California. Tens of thousands of settlers heading west and south passed through Kansas every year. Jobs were easy to find though and the city an attractive one so many stayed. The McGlynns in Kansas in the 1870s were mostly labourers or teamsters boarding in rooms or hotels. They were more than likely illiterate. Illiterate or not, Kansas appeared to have jobs for all immigrants who wanted one. The city was growing at a great rate and housing and commercial building construction employed numerous workers. The city also had a huge ironworks and in 1871 the council established a full time fire department. As the years went by and the education levels rose changes in occupation are noticed as the McGlynns moved into jobs requiring more skills.
Patrick started a fruit farm on his land, the address of which was Rural Route 2, Kansas City 3. According to the details on an agricultural census dated March 1, 1885 he occupied 40 acres worth $2,000 at the time. In the previous year he had paid $200 in wages. 15 acres was given over to winter wheat, 4 to corn, 1 to oats, 2 to Irish potatoes and ¼ to sweet potatoes. He had 50 bushels of corn on hand as of March 1, 1885. He had three acres under clover and two under blue-grass. Patrick owned four horses, two milch cows, three other cattle, fourteen swine and two dogs. Three tons of Tame hay had been cut in 1884 and the family had earned $400 from garden produce and $200 from poultry and eggs marketed during the year ending March 1, 1885. Three hundred pounds of butter had been made during the same period. Patrick was looking to establish an orchard as he had, at that time, 50 apple trees, 1 pear tree, 75 peach trees, 1 plum tree and 6 cherry trees – none of which was bearing fruit. He also had a ¼ acre of land devoted to a vineyard.
Since the 1950s the acreage has been broken up into smaller parcels. Much of the land has been used for housing development but some woodland remains and it is still basically a rural area. Metropolitan Avenue borders the property on the north, with 51st Street East, 54th Street South and Douglas Street on the south. The land lies in a large valley with Metropolitan on the low end and Douglas at the top of the valley. The largest remaining tract was known as Apple Woods Valley Farm, in what is now known as Turner, but even that farm has since been renamed. The Kansas City area is hilly and was built on a number of different levels or plains. Downtown Kansas City, both Missouri and Kansas, is located on steep river bluffs at the intersection of the Missouri and the Kaw River. This latter river was responsible for three major floods in the 1900s – 1903, 1910 and 1951 and several smaller ones, the most memorable of which took place in 1904 and 1908. The McGlynn farm, which was located in the "bottoms" or flood plain, was probably affected by all three major floods but was badly flooded in 1951 and the house was rebuilt and relocated on the property at that time. It’s address changed to 5164 Douglas indicating its new location on higher ground near Douglas Avenue. Nothing of the house remains today.
Patrick and Mary McGlynn had seven children. The first was born a mere five months after they took possession of their property in Argentine. Michael Joseph was born on 18 May 1875 and following Irish traditional naming patterns he was called after his paternal grandfather. Mary Agnes followed two years later. She was born on 23 April 1877 and was named for her paternal grandmother and coincidentally also her own mother. Then came Patrick James on 13 December 1879, called after his maternal grandfather and his own father. Thomas Felix was born on 13 October 1881. If Patrick and Mary were still following the traditional naming pattern Thomas should have been the name of the eldest of Patrick’s brothers, which of course it was. The family bible shows a death entry for a "child" in 1882. It is presumed that Mary failed to carry this child to full term. Disaster struck with their next two children also. Hubert (called after Patrick’s brother Hugh perhaps) born on 16 October 1883 died aged only two months on 20 December of the same year. Last son, James (called after Patrick’s brother James perhaps) died on Christmas Day of 1886, also only a few months old.
A local genealogy book called "The Pride of the Golden Bear" by Betty S. Gibson has four entries in its index under McGlynn, Patrick F. or J. (Mary) on pages 198, 200, 214 and 248. The entries on pages 198 and 200 have to do with roading improvements and P.J. McGlynn is mentioned as being a Road Overseer of Wyandott Township with specific responsibility for Turner. Page 248 tells us that Patrick owned two Ford cars in 1920. Page 214 tells us that Patrick J. McGlynn was appointed Clerk of the District #32 School Board – in which year is not apparent but presumably it was circa 1920. This page also gives a little "potted history" of the family as follows:
"The McGlynn family has been in Wyandotte County since 1882 and have now established a home on 40 acres that they have purchased in Section 25, Township 11, Range 24 Oak Grove District #32. This farm is recorded in the Farmers Directory as the "McGlynn Farm".  Patrick F McGlynn (born November 1845 in Ireland) married Mary (born August 1847 in Ireland) in 1875. Their children all born in Kansas were: Mary A born April 1877, Patrick F Jr. born December 1878, and Thomas F. born October 1881.  The 1900 census lists the family as having two servants in the home."
The details in the history above presumably came from the 1900 census, as there was no mention of Michael Joseph who was not living at home at the time. Other details revealed in the 1900 census were that Patrick and Mary, aged 54 and 52 respectively, had been married 25 years, had had six children, four of whom were still living and had emigrated to the US in 1870 so had been residents for 30 years. Mary, Patrick and all their children could read, write and speak English and their farm was mortgaged. Their two servants were Albert Sproul aged 49, born in Illinois and Jay Harris aged 10, born in Missouri. Jay’s occupation was described as "at school" but presumably he worked on the farm outside school hours. Most of their immediate neighbours were American born but many were of German stock.
The next census was taken in 1910. By then, Michael Joseph had returned home and was described as 34 years of age, single, and born in Kansas. His occupation was described as Foreman for a Railroad Contractor. Patrick Jnr and Thomas, aged 31 and 29 respectively, were farm labourers working on the home farm. Mary Agnes was aged 23 and no occupation is indicated for her. All the children were still unmarried. Some of the information in this census contradicts that given in the previous one. For example, Mary states in 1910 that she had given birth to seven children in total, four of whom were still living and she and Patrick gave 1871 as the year they immigrated to the US. There is no sign of any servants living with the family in 1910 and the mortgage on the farm had been paid off so it was then freehold.
The 1920 Census for the McGlynn family, taken in January of that year, shows Mary aged 67, living at home with three of her children. Patrick was aged 33, Mary Agnes was 38 and Thomas was 36. Patrick snr had died the previous September and Michael Joseph had left home yet again. Mary indicated to the enumerator that she had emigrated in 1874, which does not tie in with the previous census. 1874 is the year that she and Patrick arrived in Kansas, not emigrated to the US. Perhaps she was confused or maybe it wasn’t she who gave the information to the enumerator. It is also indicated in this census that Mary became a naturalized citizen in 1888.
Patrick and Mary McGlynn and their children are all buried in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery on Quivira Road in Shawnee. There are six markers in total dedicated to the family. Two of the children who died at a young age are buried together and their grave is marked with an upright headstone of granite, now well worn, in the shape of a short armed cross. It reads "Hubert McGlynn died Dec 19 1884 and James McGlynn died Dec 25 1886 sons of Patrick and Mary McGlynn". Patrick and Mary are buried together in a nearby grave. Their headstone is a large, square block, made from marble with a granite base. McGlynn is written in large letters in the top centre of the block. Centred below the name is a cross which has " Patrick 1845-1919" written on the left and "Mary 1848-1920" to the right. Centred below the cross are the words "Rest in Peace". To the right of this headstone, between it and the children’s headstone, are four small flat markers set into the ground, one each for "son Michael J", "daughter Mary Agnes", "son Thomas F" and "son Patrick J".
Patrick McGlynn died on September 19th 1919 at home near Argentine, aged 73 years 10 months and 19 days. The funeral service was held at the local Catholic church in Argentine – that of St John the Evangelist – the following Monday at 9am. Patrick is buried at St Joseph’s Cemetery in Shawnee with the infant sons who predeceased him.
Mary McGlynn died of a cerebral haemorrhage at 4am on Thursday October 21st 1920. According to her death certificate she was aged 72 years, 2 months and 6 days having been born on August 15th 1848. She died at home and the address given was "2 miles south west of Argentine". Mary was buried on Saturday October 25th from St John’s Catholic church in Argentine to St Joseph’s Cemetery in Shawnee.
Mary was the daughter of Patrick Lyons but her mother’s name was unknown, possibly indicating that she didn’t talk much about her Irish upbringing to Mary Agnes who was the informant. Mary Agnes was also unaware of what part of Ireland her mother came from. There was a family of Lyons living in Culkeen during the 1860s and a Margaret Lyons was one of the witnesses to Michael and Mary Glynn’s marriage in 1845. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Mary Lyons was a member of this family.