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Genealogy of the Cooney and Associated Families

 

Generation 2

 

     Michael Cooney was born in Ireland, possibly County Cork in 1819 (Figure 1), and left the country with his brother, John Cooney probably about the time of the potato famine. The identity of their parents is not known. Mike’s birth date, as calculated from the 1860 census yields a date of 1820, which is close to the documented date of 1819. Grace (Cooney) Jackson, a granddaughter of Michael Cooney related the following early Cooney family information:4

 

Sometime in the mid 1800’s two young men left Cork, Ireland, and set out for the United States, land of their dreams. They were brothers, Mike and John Cooney. They settled in New Ulm, Minnesota. ... There Mike met Catherine Murnan who also came from Ireland with her parents. They were married and had a son they named William John.

 

Their first years in this country I don’t recall hearing much about. Mike was my grandfather and when I first remember hearing about him he had joined the army and was stationed somewhere in the south. He became an officer in the US army and fought in the Indian wars. ... He was ordered north to be stationed in New Ulm, Minnesota....

 

     At an unknown date, Michael Cooney married Catherine Murnan (1836/1840 - 21 May 1894), a daughter of Patrick Murnan.2,3,4 Catherine was born in 18362,4 or 18403 in County Limerick, Ireland, while her older sister, Bridget, is documented as being born in the adjacent County Tipperrary. Both counties can be found in the southern portion of Ireland (Figure 1). Catherine’s birth date, as calculated from the 1860 census is 1837, and from the 1880 census works out to be 1836, so the former (1836) is probably correct. In 1841, when Catherine was about six years old, her mother passed away a few weeks after giving birth to her younger brother, James. During the potato famine of the mid 1840’s, Catherine’s father brought the family to America. A descendant of Bridget placed the emigration date at 1848, although in response to a question on the 1900 census, Bridget placed the emigration date as 1849, and a biographical essay from the 1880’s on her younger brother, James, placed the date at 1850. Although no documentation of the port at which they entered this country has yet been found, the Murnan family appears to have lived in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area for a few years, and in 1852 her father remarried in Pennsylvania. He probably remained there for at least the next two years. The Murnans next moved to Nicollet County, Minnesota, and while the date of the move can be broadly bracketed as occurring between 1854 and 1856, based on the birth date of Catherine’s first step-sibling in Pennsylvania and the probable date of Bridget’s marriage. The biographical essay on her brother James places the date at 1854 or 1855.

 

     Although the exact date is not known, sometime in 1860 Catherine married Michael Cooney, most likely in Nicollet County, Minnesota. On 26 July, the 1860 census records Michael Cooney living on his father in law’s farm in Nicollet County, while Catherine was enumerated on 16 July in what appears to be a hotel in the nearby village of Lafayette (Figure 2??).

 

1860 Census Nicollet County, Minnesota
La Fayette Township

Dwelling Number: 398
Family Number: 319

Name

Age

Occupation

Value of RE/PE

POB

John Bush

67

Hotel Keeper

$2,000/$1,000

NY

Charlotte Bush

37

   

IN

Louis Mitchell

4

   

MN

Frederick Kolster

27

   

Prussia

Kate Cooney

22

   

Ireland

Helen Mynick

17

   

NY

Benuse (?) Mortimer

17

   

Lower Canada

Value of RE/PE = Value of Real Estate/Personal Estate

POB = Place of Birth

 

1860 Census Nicollet County, Minnesota
West Newton Township

Dwelling Number: 597
Family Number: 612

Name

Age

Occupation

Value of RE/PE

POB

Patrick Murnan

56

Farmer

$1500/$300

Ireland

Mary Murnan

38

   

Ireland

James Murnan

22

Teamster

/$75

Ireland

John Murnan

6

   

PA

William Murnan

1

   

MN

Michael Murnan

58

Farm Laborer

 

Ireland

Michael Cooney

40

Farm Laborer

 

Ireland

 

     On 26 June 1862, two years after the 1860 census and two months before the Sioux Uprising, a Michael J Cooney & wife sold what was described as “ a certain piece of land” to Johann Smartz for $18. The deed records was filed on 14 July of that year, and appear in Deed Book G, page 191.47

 

     Catherine and Michael Cooney, as well as Catherine’s father (Patrick Murnan) and stepmother and their children, lived on the north side of the Minnesota River at the time of the Sioux Uprising - not far from Fort Ridgely (Figure ?). The 1860 census had captured Michael Cooney living with his father in law between Fort Ridgely and New Ulm. It seems quite likely that all of these people were among the refugees that flocked to Fort Ridgely during the Sioux Uprising, and, if so, they must have experienced the fear and uncertainty of the events attack. Grace (Cooney) Jackson recalled the following family stories from this time. Her husband’s brother, John Cooney, apparently decided to stay behind and guard his possessions when the Sioux attacked, and paid for this decision with his life:4

 

They were in the New Ulm Massacre by the Indians. Katherine carried her youngest in her arms to the safety of the fort. John was killed in the battle.

 

It was a time of great unrest because of the Indians. There were many alarms and people were warned to go to the fort. They became so used to these warnings that they sometimes ignored them. However, when the great massacre at New Ulm occurred, many people became so alarmed they fled to the protection of the fort. Catherine with her baby in her arms was among them. He was then two years old. His uncle, who had tarried to take care of his stock, was a victim of the slaughter that followed, as were many others.

 

Historical Background

The Sioux Uprising of 1862 and the New Ulm Massacre

 

    Mike and Kate Cooney remained in the New Ulm, Minnesota area until the fall of 1868, when they moved to Yankton County, Dakota Territory. Since Catherine’s sister, Bridget, lived in this area, it seems quite likely that the availability of land and the proximity of relatives brought them to this area. That spring, Mike Cooney, apparently, was caught in a blizzard, and probably suffered a severe case of frostbite, which must have been followed by gangrene. He passed away in early March, and was buried in the Catholic part of the Yankton Cemetery. Michael’s obituary in the 13 March 1869 issue of the Union and Dakotian, the local newspaper, shown below, erroneously gave his age as 60 (he was actually 50), and stated that he had arrived in the area from Missouri instead of Minnesota.4

 

Died

In Yankton, D. T. on Friday, March 5th, A.D. 1869, Michael Cooney aged 60 years. Deceased was a brother in law of Hon. John Stanage of this county and removed to the Territory, from Missouri last fall. He was buried Sunday last.

 

     On the cause of Michael Cooney’s death, his granddaughter, Grace (Cooney) Jackson, made the following note:4

 

Mike died shortly thereafter. I do not know the cause of death but I think it was from being caught in one of the fierce blizzards of that day.

 

     A few months later Catherine married Charles Stanage (15 October 1833 - 3 November 1903),26 the brother of her sister Bridget’s husband, John Stanage, in Yankton County, Dakota Territory. The 26 June 1869 issue of the Union and Dakotian carried the following wedding notice:4

 

Married June 15th by Rev. C. W. Butcheller at his residence. Mr. Charles Stanage and Mrs. Catherine Cooney.

 

     In a letter to Marian Stanage in the winter of 1976, Dr. W. F. Stanage, a descendant of John and Bridget Stanage, noted:4

 

Charles Stanage was a brother of my great grandfather John Stanage. ... I think Charles and Catherine established a farm house near Mission Hill (near where John Stanage’s were). Then later I think he worked for the cement plant. When the plant was abandoned I believe they moved to Canada. Of this I am not sure. ... Charles and catherine had 5 children. annie, who was your grandmother, Mary Elizabeth, Charles and Robert.

 

     In a letter to Grace Jackson written on 7 March 1978, Evelyn Fahrenwald Moore, grand daughter of Charles Stanage and Catherine (Cooney) Stanage, described events after the death of Michael Cooney:4

 

She (Catherine) stayed and lived with her little son, your father, with Aunt Elizabeth (actually Aunt Bridget) and Great Uncle John Stanage. Grandpa Chas. Stanage our great Uncle John’s brother, met her, loved her and married her. For a long time they lived in the country near the old John Stanage Homestead. then came a big river flood, damaged their land and they moved to Yankton.

 

     Charles Stanage was born in County Cavan, and was one of five known children of Thomas Stanage (? - 1839) and Elizabeth Ann ? (unknown last name) (1802 - 12 August 1884). Charles and John, emigrated to America, but Robert Stanage (1839 - 22 May 1911), James Stanage (1830 - 6 November 1894) and Anne Stanage (? - ?), remained in Ireland. John Stanage emigrated to America in the late 1840s, but his younger brother Charles remained in Ireland until 1866. Although he married Catherine (Murnan) Cooney in 1869 in Yankton County, Charles and Catherine apparently were not recorded in the 1870 territorial census. On 25 April 1873, Charles purchased 185.20 acres of land near his brothers land in the Mission Hill area. The locations are outlined below, and the sections are identified in Figure 6.4,7,8,22

 

Section

 Township

Range

Acreage

Purchase Date

6
 

T93N

R54W

32.91

25 April 1873

6
 

T93N

R54W

35.75

25 April 1873

31
 

T94N

R54W

40

25 April 1873

31
 

T94N

R55W

40

25 April 1873

31

T93N

R55W

36.6

25 April 1873

 

     In the 1880 census, which was recorded on 11 June in this area, the Stanage family is living in their home along the James River. William Cooney is listed as a step son, but was noted as having the last name of Stanage. All of the children except for the youngest, Charles, are listed as having attended school that year, and both Bessie and Mary are recorded as having contracted the measles that year. There is also an Irish hired farm hand staying with the family. The age of the oldest daughter of Charles and Catherine is listed as 14, but this is probably a transcription error, and needs to be rechecked in the original census microfilm.

 

1880 Census Dakota Territory, Yankton County
Township 93 Range 54

 

Name

Age

Occupation

POB

POB Father/Mother

Charles Stanage

44

Farmer

Ireland

Ireland/Ireland

Cathrine Stanage

44

 

Ireland

IrelandIreland

William (Cooney)

18

Works on Farm

MN

Ireland/Ireland

Annie Stanage

14

 

Dakota Terr.

Ireland/Ireland

Bessie Stanage

9

 

Dakota Terr.

Ireland/Ireland

Mary A. Stanage 

7

 

Dakota Terr.

Ireland/Ireland

Charles Stanage

1

 

Dakota Terr.

Ireland/Ireland

Thomas Coedy 

60

Doing Chores

Ireland

Ireland/Ireland

 

Historical Background

The Great Flood of 1881

 

     Catherine passed away in the spring of 1894 in Yankton, Yankton County, South Dakota, and was buried in Yankton Cemetery in Yankton, Yankton County, South Dakota next to her first husband, Michael Cooney. Her obituary, as it appeared in the local newspaper, is as follows:3,4

DEAD

Stanage In Yankton May 21, 1894. Catherine Stanage, the beloved wife of Charles Stanage, of dropsy, aged 59 years.

Mrs. Stanage has been a sufferer for a number of years with asthma. This coupled with heart trouble caused her a great deal of suffering, which she bore with fortitude to the last, passing away at 6 o’clock in a peaceful slumber to the land that knows no pain or sorrow.

She leaves to mourn her loss a loving husband, six grown children and her sister, Mrs. John Stanage.

The deceased emigrated to this country 46 years ago from county Limerick, Ireland, and came to South Dakota in 1868. She passed through the terrible Indian massacre at New Ulm, Minnesota in 1862, and was one of the flood sufferers in this country in 1881, losing all her earthly possessions. Mrs. Stanage was a member of the Catholic church and was noted for her piety and the god moral training she exercised over her family who all loved and respected her till the angel of death deprived them of her.

The bereaved family have the heartfelt sympathy of a host of friends in this hour of affliction and as she had suffered untold pain it is a consolation to them to know she has gone “where there will be no more sorrow”. For if we are to be rewarded in the hereafter for good works, she is entitled to her just reward.

The funeral took place from the family residence, east 3rd street, at 10 o’clock, and proceeded to the Catholic church where high mass was offered for the repose of the soul, followed by a very impressive sermon by the worthy priest. The casket was beautifully decorated with flowers and emblems of her faith. The remains were followed to the grave by a large attendance of sympathizing friends as the last tribute of respect to one that was beloved by all.

It is hard to part with those we love
It’s hard to ____ his will,
Although ___ gone above
Where happy angels dwell.
This painful life is but a span,
For death will soon appear.
And rob us of our dearest gems,
So good bye mother dear.

We hope to join in heaven above
When our days on earth are passed.
Where all is joy in peace and love,
And tranquil rest at last.
Until that time when we’re called home
For you we’ll shed a tear.
Your memory is dear to me;
So goodbye, mother dear.

 

     In a letter to Grace (Cooney) Jackson on 7 March 1978, Evelyn Fahrenwald Moore described in further detail some of the events of Catherine’s funeral, as remembered by one of Catherine’s granddaughters.4
 

Dear Cousin grace,

Please excuse my stationary for I want to get this off to you as soon as possible and it is pouring down rain so I am using this old notebook paper.

Was so glad to hear from you. I have meant so many times to write and something would come up. I never even sent my usual Xmas cards this year.

New here goes all the information I can give you about your Grandmother Catherine Stanage. I got on the phone and got most of it from my older sister Alice who was 88 on Mar. 2nd this year. She says she was only five years old when our Grandmother died. She died three years before I was born. Since I was born in 1897 that would make the year of her death around 1894 - a few months either way. She was only 54 - Alice said. She was more or less an invalid after her last child, Uncle Robert was born. Alice says she remembers the funeral even though she was only around five because she felt badly because three year old Betty got to ride in a fancy surrey with a fringe on top - rented from a livery stable with some relatives and she rode with mother in an ordinary buggy not so beautiful in her estimation.

 

     By the time of the 1900 census, which was recorded on 1 June in this area, Charles Stanage was living with his recently widowed daughter, Elizabeth Fahrenwald, in Yankton. Both Charles and his son, Robert, who was also living in this household, worked at the cement factory. Charles was still living with his daughter when he died a few years later in 1903. Burial was in the Protestant part of the Yankton Cemetery.26

 

1900 Federal Census Yankton County, South Dakota
Enumeration District: 348, Sheet 4

1 June 1900
House Number/Street: 610 Burleigh
Dwelling Number: 36
Family Number: 36
 

Name  Age POB POB Father/Mother Occupation
Elizabeth Fahrenwald 29 SD Ireland/Ireland  
Alice A. Fahrenwald 11 SD Germany/South Dakota  
Elizabeth M(?) Fahrenwald 9 SD Germany/South Dakota  
Evelyn G (?) Fahrenwald   SD Germany/South Dakota  
Charley Stanage 66 Ireland Ireland/Ireland gas limer
Robert J Stanage 18 SD Ireland/Ireland labor in cement

 

     In a letter to Grace (Cooney) Jackson on 7 March 1978, Evelyn Fahrenwald Moore, a granddaughter of Charles Stanage, provided the following explanation of the burial place of Charles and Catherine Stanage.4

 

Now Grandma S. was of course a Catholic and was buried in 1894 in the Catholic cemetary but you won’t find her there today and here is the family story why. It shows how stubborn an old Irishman like Grandpa Stanage could be.

When Grandpa came to his deathbed in the year 1904, he had my mother call a Catholic Priest to his bedside. All of the Catholic relatives thought he was going to turn Catholic and held their breath. Not so!! He made a dying request to the Priest saying in his brogue "I'm dying (garbled unsure is this is the word she wrote) and I cannot die in peace with me wife in the Catholic cemetery and me self in the Protestant. Me wish is that she is buried in a double grave by me side!"

To the horror of all the Catholic relatives that is what took place. The priest said a dying request was sacred and so it would be. Today you will find a big double tombstone with both their names engraved on it - in the Protestant section of the cemetery.

Grandpa let Grandma bring Uncle Willie (Willie's father is Michael Cooney - Willie is Grandma Grace's father) up in the Catholic Church, but all of their children were brought up Episcopalians.

 

In-Laws of Michael Cooney

Patrick Murnan and Mary Whaton/Whelan/Whalan

Entry Page

Report

Figures

Photos

Appendices

Sources


Last Revised: 10/11/2006