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Descendants of Patrick Kirwin and Martha Jane Mills

[Dublin, Ireland > Shelby, Indiana > Neodesha, Kansas > Ceres, Oklahoma]

Family of Patrick Kirwin and Martha Jane Mills

Patrick Kirwin [1]   17 March 1801 Dublin, Ireland 5 May 1885 West Cherry Township, Montgomery County, Kansas 22 July 1855 Addison Township, Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana Martha Jane Mills [2]
Francis Marion Kirwin

20 February 1855 Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana 25 May 1934 Tulsa, Tulsa County,  Oklahoma 7 July 1877 West Cherry Township, Montgomery County, Kansas Sarah Jane Haynes
William H. Kirwin [3] 28 December 1856/7 Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana 2 June 1914 [2] Tacoma, Washington (buried Tacoma Mausoleum) 1)31 May 1885
2) Abt. 1892
3) Abt. 1898
4) betw. 1910-1914
1)Calico, San Bernadino County,  California
2) perhaps Tacoma, Washington?
3) Yukon Territory or Okanagon County, Washington?
4) Tacoma, Washington
1) Mollie Turner
2) A ?
3) Emma

4) Melissa

Mary A. Kirwin [4]   1 June 1858 Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana 1879 West Cherry Township, Montgomery County, Kansas 17 February  1878 Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas Howard Copeland
John Arthur Kirwin [5] 20 June 1859 Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana 2 June  1944 Winnemucca, Humboldt County,  Nevada 1)2 June 1885

2) abt. 1907

1)Calico, San Bernadino County,  California

2) ?

1) Olive Cook

2) Frances ?

Thomas Jordan  Kirwin [6]   1861 Addison Township, Shelby County, Indiana abt. 1900 likely Telluride, San Miguel County, Colorado     Elizabeth ?
Charles Edward Kirwin 2 April 1862 Addison Township, Shelby County, Indiana 1 December 1939 Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas 11 December  1886 Montgomery County, Kansas Louisa Thornton [7]
Elisa Marg Kirwin   8 August 1868 Addison Township, Shelby County, Indiana August 26, l868 Addison Township, Shelby County, Indiana (buried St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Cemetery) ~ ~ ~
Albert Walter Kirwin
  22 May 1870 Greencastle, Indiana [4] 16 August 1932 Edwardsville, Madison, Illinois; Buried Woodland Hill Cemetery, Wood River, Madison, Illinois 10 September  1891 Neodesha, Kansas Mary Kelly

* DNA testing proves that while Albert, the youngest, is certainly Patrick's son, Frank, who was born five months before Patrick and Martha married, is not Patrick's biological son. So, research on Frank's ancestry and the ancestry of the other brothers now diverges as we look to establish the identity of Frank's biological father over time. This is something that up until now would have been pretty impossible ... DNA resources allow Frank's results to be registered with several likely databases where we will be notified if a "match" comes in. Then it will be a matter of researching geographically to learn what member of that family was somewhere where 15 year old Martha Jane Mills was living in about 1854 ... in today's world even secrets from the 1850s can be unraveled! The best part is that whenever a DNA match comes in, it will likely be from a line that is already researched, so we will just "hook in."

[1] Patrick Kirwin's Naturalization papers say Patrick left Liverpool arriving in New York; 17 August 1848 - right at the apex of the Great Irish Famine. He was 47 years old. Had he left a deceased family behind and gone to the USA to give himself a fresh start in life?? Patrick functioned initially as a railroad worker working his way west from New York to Indiana. When he arrived in Shelby County, he met and married Martha Jane Mills and adopted her five month old son, Frank. He indentured himself for land, worked as a handy man and a farmer, likely starting over from scratch. Records show he was taken to court in a dispute over his building of an outhouse. Although Patrick always treated Frank as a full son, DNA tests have proved that Patrick was not Frank's biological father - click here for info.

[2] For many years, we had no luck finding a likely 15 year old lass born in North Carolina in any census. Click on Martha's name to read about that research which has led me to conclude Martha was the daughter of Enos Mills and Edith Mankins Mills Williams. Further suggestion that we are on the right track in proving which Mills line Martha came from may be seen in the following News Article regarding the father of Aunt Lou who was married to Uncle Charlie (see line seven above):

Kansas and Kansans: Volume 4
On December 15, 1883, Mr. Wingate was married at Radical City, Montgomery County, Kansas, to Miss Ida M. Thornton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Thornton, the latter of whom died in 1877, while the former still survives and resides with his son-in-law, Mr. Wingate. Francis Marion Thornton was born in Smith County, Tennessee, December 10, 1827, and was three years of age when taken by his parents to Schuyler County, Illinois, where he was reared and lived until he had a family of three children. He then removed to Rome, Iowa, where he read medicine and began practice in Jefferson County, that state, continuing to be thus engaged until 1865. Prior to this time, for twelve years, he had been in the ministry. In 1865 he was drafted into the United States service as a soldier during the Civil war, and took up arms as a member of Company H, Fifteenth Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry. With this organization he completed a service of nine months, and when he received his honorable discharge returned to Iowa, but in the spring of 1866 came to Kansas and located in Leavenworth County. Here he practiced until 1872 when he changed his field to Liberty Township, and built up a large practice for which he cared until his retirement in 1890. Doctor Thornton is independent in his political views, and has served as township trustee two terms and was a justice of the peace while in Leavenworth County. As doctor, citizen and public official, he has always commanded the highest respect of his fellow-citizens. He and his family are members of the Baptist Church. In 1851 Doctor Thornton was married to Miss Nancy Scott, of Schuyler County, Illinois, who died at Liberty, Kansas. They were the parents of eight children, as follows: Simeon, who is engaged in blacksmithing at Liberty; Martha, who died at Independence, Kansas, as the wife of R. Grant, who has been engaged in the lumber business at Kansas City and Chicago; Mary, who married first James Van Cleve, deceased, and second L. H. Clevenger, and resides at Hunter, Missouri, where Mr. Clevenger is a farmer; Louisa, who married Charles Kirwin, a retired farmer of Neodesha, Kansas; Ida M., who is now Mrs. Wingate; Abel H., who died aged eleven days; Curtis, who died aged four years; and Sherman Scott, who is a policeman at Coffeyville.

NOTE: The Van Cleve family that Louisa's sister married into was closely related to the Mills family in Arkansas.

[3] Death certificate signed by Mrs. Melissa Kirwin, 816 South Grand Ave., Tacoma, Washington. Will's occupation listed as Miner, Real Estate Banker and Federal Court Bailiff. Will has no known descendants, but lived a very colorful life - see the Timeline above!

[4] Mary Kirwin Copeland died in childbirth.

[5] John worked for many years as a Game Warden in Winnemucca, Nevada. He has no known issue.

[6] Little is known about Thomas who settled in Colorado. He had no know issue and the family did not know he had married for many years.

[7] "Aunt Lou and Uncle Charlie" were called just that by many folks in their community who loved this amiable couple. I can still see in my mind's eye the braided rag rug Aunt Lou made during the Depression that graced their home on into the fifties. She died the year after I met her, 28 May 1954. Aunt Lou b. 21 April 1862 in either Illinois or Iowa, was the author of the Kirwin Family Ballad. You can see her picture and obituary here.

[8] Albert shows up as a 1/12 infant, born in May (?), in the 1870 census which was enumerated 30 July 1870 in Union Township, Montgomery County, Indiana. The family went to Kansas soon after this. His death certificate says he was born in Greencastle, Indiana and that he died of TB in a Wood River, IL Sanatorium. He was a Boiler Maker - Oil Tanks worker. A descendant of his line is the donor of the cheek cells which proved that Frank is a half-sibling to the rest of his brothers.

UPDATE 2006: We finally got to take a trip to Dublin and took a look to see if we could find anything at all logical on our Patrick. Essentially, all we knew is that he said he was from Dublin and he immigrated in 1848, landing in New York. Since "Dublin" could have meant Dublin City, Dublin County or Dublin Parish, this information was not especially helpful. When added to the fact the the Irish are notorious for recording and celebrating Baptismal dates instead of birth dates, the task becomes even harder. Often, immigrants to the USA, especially during the famine "invented" birth dates. Patrick listed 18 March (St. Paddy's Day) as his birth date - hmmmm, mebbe, mebbe not ...

At the Dublin National Library, one of the volunteer professional genealogists quickly directed us to the National Archives a few blocks away. Flying blind, I decided to look at Dublin Trade Directories to see what Kirwan/in's were in Dublin beginning with 1801 (when Patrick said he was born). I looked at Directories for every 10 years until 1820 when Patrick would have been old enough to have a job on his own, and then I narrowed the search to Directories for every year. Not until 1830 were any Patrick's listed - then there were three:

Patrick Kirwan, Rope Manufacturer, 3 Pill Lane Dublin
Patrick Kirwan, Silk and Ribbon, 4 Skinner Row, Dublin
Patrick Kirwan, Silk and Muslin Dyer, 52 Cork Street, Dublin

In 1840, the same men were listed with slightly different business addresses:

Patrick Kirwan, Dyer, 44 Pimlico Lane
Patrick Kirwan, Rope Maker, 105 Pill Lane - also listed at the same address in 1846, 1847 and 1848

The second and third Patrick had several listings and appeared to have been fairly well established. The occupation suggested this was the same man with perhaps a factory and retail address:

Patrick Kirwan, Haberdasher, Laceman and Hosier, 40 Grafton Street, Dublin (1840, 1846)
Patrick Kirwan, Inspector of Weights and Measures, 40 Grafton Street, Dublin (1846, 1848)
Kirwan, Schevenals & Company, Millinery and Full Dress Warerooms, 40 Grafton Street, Dublin (1840)

I was very interested to note that suddenly this Patrick dropped off the lists after 1848, the year our Patrick immigrated... I had long suspected that a man who left Ireland in the famine at the age of 47 might well have lost a family in the famine. I was curious about the name "Schevenels" and took a look at the Appendix to Thirtieth Report of the Deputy, Keeper of the Public Records in Ireland to see if the name came up associated with Kirwan. Sure enough, there was a marriage license registered between Patrick Kirwan and Mary Anne Schevenels in 1834 on page 269 - I will order the record. I will also be looking to see if I can find Birth or Death records associated with this family.

I have since been advised by a professional Irish Researcher to see if there exists in Indiana a record of his Application for Naturalization as apparently the actual Application includes more information than the resulting Naturalization Document that is issued later for citizenship.

Further in the 1845 Dublin Directory were the following listings:

Mary Anne Kirwan, millinery and dress warerooms, 40 Grafton Street
Patrick Kirwan, registrar of weights and measures, 40 Grafton Street

It will still take further research if we are ever able to actually determine whether or not this Patrick is our patriarch, natural or adoptive. Even though the occupations do not match at all, if one loses everything, one begins where they can and many folks decide to work with their hands. In finding these records, I felt a sense of peace and closure that seemed "right." Even if we are never able to learn more, I can "adopt" this Patrick as our own, at least for the time being, as he adopted my great great grandfather as his own in Shelbyville, Indiana. This may truly be as close as we ever get to learning the full story of a man whose early beginnings could only be defined as mysterious, but who made or family what it is today!

Family of Francis Marion Kirwin and Sarah Jane Haynes - click for pix

the Kirwin sisters - click for pix

Francis Marion Kirwin [1]

20 February 1855 Shelbyville, Shelby County,  Indiana 25 May  1934 Tulsa, Tulsa County,  Oklahoma 7 July 1877 West Cherry Township, Montgomery County, Kansas Sarah Jane Haynes

William Charles Kirwin

see family pix

15 May  1878 Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas 2 November 1965 Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma 4 July 1901 Perry, Noble County,  Oklahoma Esther Crane
Cora Belle Kirwin

see family pix

23 August 1882 Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas 5 September 1970 Skiatook, Osage County,  Oklahoma     Stile Click
Arthur Kirwan   approx. Dec/Jan 1883/1884 [1] W. Cherry Township, Montgomery County, Kansas Before 1890 likely Kansas ~ ~ ~
Mary Evelena Kirwin

9 August 1886 Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas 22 February 1961 Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma 7 September 1908 Jenks, Tulsa County, Oklahoma Le Roy Carpenter
Estille Grace Kirwin

2 March 1889 Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas 18 June 1979 Orlando, Lake County,  Florida 8 April 1906 Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma William Marion Oswalt
Edith Elfreda Kirwin

4 September 1891 Ceres, Noble County,  Oklahoma 21 November 1918 Prue, Oklahoma 1 February 1908


Jesse Ewing Frailey [3]
Francis Marion Kirwin, Jr. 13 February 1894 Ceres, Noble County,  Oklahoma 24 September 1928 Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma     Bernice Jackson
Edna Martha Frances Kirwin

22 June 1899 Ceres, Noble County, Oklahoma 2 May 1998 Henryetta, Okmulgee County,  Oklahoma 4 July 1919 Okmulgee, Okmulgee County,  Oklahoma Ensign Morton Harman

[1] It has been proved that Frank Kirwin was not the biological son of Patrick Kirwin. To see charts on his likely biological family click here. Sarah went to Blackdog Twnshp in Osage County to help care for daughter Edith and her new baby in the 1918 flu epidemic. She caught the flu herself and died along with Edith and Edith's daughter, Irene.

[2] Arthur Kirwin shows up in the 1885 Kansas Territory Census & Voting Record at age 14 months. This document was enumerated 1 March 1885 putting his birth abt. December 1883 - January 1884. He does not show up in the 1890 Oklahoma Territory Census with the rest of the family and is assumed to have died young.

[3] Edith and Jessie had children: Harold b. abt. 1909, likely in Sapulpa, Creek County, OK, Irene b. abt 1915, Helen, b. abt 1916, James b. abt.1918. Edith died in the 1918 flu epidemic along with her mother and her daughter Irene.