Saturday, March 13, 2010

Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, 18th Edition

My contribution to the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture is a narrative from my mother-in-law, Sally Conlin. The year 2009 was the 150th anniversary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Brookfield, Missouri. A beautiful book was published that is rich in family history stories. Here is Sally's story:

"My Catholic roots begin in Roscommon, Ireland. This is where my great-grandfather, Martin John Conlin was born in 1828 and also my great-grandmother, Ellen McGowan in 1837. They both came to America by boat in the early 1850's, Ellen with her parents. Martin and Ellen met and were married in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1856. They started their journey to Missouri in 1858 and during this time their first son, John was born. In 1860 they had made their way to Mexico, Missouri where Martin became a U.S. citizen. The family arrived in Brookfield around 1861 so Martin could work on the railroad. Martin and Ellen had 3 more children born in Brookfield. Thomas, who they called "Jersey" was born in 1862. Thomas left to work on the Panama Canal, contracted yellow fever and died there. Mary, born in 1869, married Edward Stephens and lived next door to her parents. Michael, my grandfather, was born in 1866 and married Sarah Golden in 1899 at the Immaculate Conception Church.

Ellen, my great-grandmother, had four sisters and one brother all born in Ireland. They too all settled in Brookfield around 1867 and were all members of the Immaculate Conception Church.

Martin John Conlin died in 1896 and is buried in the front row on the south side of St. Michaels Cemetery, next to Father Tormey. There is an old tale about Martin's tombstone. The story is that Martin brought his hitching post with him from Ireland and that it is in the tombstone. This maybe just "Irish Blarney" or maybe it isn't."

I have posted about this family before. My focus has been to try and find any siblings for Martin John in the hopes of identifying his parents and a starting point for them in Roscommon. The search continues.

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