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Jump To:   Ancient Family   Inniskeen   America   Amboy, IL  

Patrick McAnany Clan:  The Early Years   Kansas City Years   The Groves


The reader will pardon the story I am going to tell for its personal style and slight fictionalization about facts we just don't know--though we have reasonable conjecture behind us. Ah well, the blessings of forgiving family members.



The McEnaeneys of Ulster: History of an Ancient Family


Let's start with the name: McEnaeney (current Irish spelling). Fortunately for us this name has become somewhat famous in Ireland and the United States for its many variant spellings. But that's not the heart of the problem. It's not how you spell it but how you interpret that spelling. Among other "translations" recently offered are "Son of the Bird," and "Son of the Hound of the Fair;" the latter being justified as a term of honor since dogs were favorite Irish animals. Hmmm. The latest and now standard interpretation is "Son of the Dean." While Bishop O'Duffy offers sound proof, he also remarks that the real family name is now lost because this patronym describes an ecclesiastical role which the now anonymous family fulfilled. So there we are, back to the blank page. But social roles can be helpful and in this case, "dean" tells a lot about the McEnaeneys.


Deans are figures of considerable status and power, serving as administrative head of a cathedral's cannons or head of a number of parishes, directly responsible to the Bishop. This clue suggests what others have said about the McEnaeneys, that they were an old ecclesiastical family of Ulster. In fact, the family members were "coarbs" of St. Tiernach (anglicized "Tierney") founder of a 6th century monastery at Clones, NW Monagahan. Coarb is "co-heir" literally, but its cultural meaning for the early Irish Church is a rather longish story in itself. Let's see if I can give an executive summary of this history.


The Irish Church traditionally starts with Patrick's mission in the mid to late 5th century (450-490A.D.). His base is clearly in Ulster, the Northern Kingdom, but his reach of missionary activity goes across the land. The Roman church on the Continent was organized along territorial lines with a bishop as administrator. The Irish Church did it differently. Instead of parishes and a bishop run diocese, monasteries appeared across Ireland in the sixth century as the focal point of the new Christians. The abbot was the central religious figure and under him was a bishop. These monasteries were at strategic locations and represented the first urban centers around which clustered other social functions, e.g. markets and fairs, education and fortification.  But the monasteries also became holders of considerable land. In fact, most monasteries were founded by sons (or daughters, in case of convents) of the local ruling families. As a consequence--not always pleasant--descendants succeeded to the abbacy.


But the picture is a bit murkier than nepotism as we know it. The monastery termon (boundary) lands were administered by the founding families, with annual dues going to monastery and bishop. These lay administrators were called heniarchs. Since abbots were chosen from the ranks of these controlling families, all male members were educated to the clerical level, making Ireland of its time one of the most literate lay societies in Europe. The other curiosity was that a non-cleric might actually serve as abbot and even be a married man. Where this took place the sons of the abbot were not necessarily chosen to succeed their fathers, though this sometimes did happen. The idea behind this arrangement suggests that certain families in Ireland were considered to have special callings to produce religious administrators, as other families produced the poets, lawyers, doctors and the like. Whether or not the ecclesiastical families like the McEnaeneys actually did produce wise and holy men who became abbots and deans is a yet unanswered question.


Let's return to St. Tigernach and his monastery at Clones. The McEnaeneys were co-heirs (coarb) of this saint-founder and as such were in charge of certain monastery lands. Further they would have been educated and some selected to serve as abbots and deans, whether priests or not.  The law required that careful genealogies be kept to determine the coarbship. This strengthens the probability that the family can trace its roots back to St. Tigernach himself in the 6th century.


Here's a brief summary of fact and legend about our ancestor, St. Tigernach: He was the grandson of the Clogher king, Eocaid, and Patrick himself baptized his mother, Dervail. He was fostered (trained) in Leinster under St. Brigid and studied in several monasteries before founding his own at Clones. Incidentally, the other rather unusual feature of early Irish monasteries, true of Clones, was that they had men and women members.  Tigernach became the second bishop of Clogher and died at his monastery in 549 AD. This makes Clones one of the very earliest religious foundations and St. Tigernach the major religious figure of this part of Ireland.


The McEnaeneys come into recorded historical prominence in the 14th and 15th centuries as abbots, deans and the like. Is this prominence the reason the name, "Son of the Dean" was adopted at this point in history? We simply don't know. What is clear from history is the McEnaeneys were among the last to hold office as coarbs before the abrupt termination of this role in the early 16th century. The Irish wars of Queen Elizabeth finally conquered the native Irish in Ulster and the monasteries were liquidated to solid English Protestant types.


This did not mean that the McEnaeneys were destitute. Education and social prominence suggest that the family could find similar occupations as farmers and administrators in a now secularized (or Anglicanized) society. One prominent example of success in a crossover career is Patrick McNeny (yet another variant spelling) who left Ireland in 1692 with many other Wild Geese and settled in Flanders. He became Secretary of State to the Austrian Emperor and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. He died in 1745 and one of his sons served as Counselor of State to the then Empress while the other served as President of the parliament and then Lord Lieutenant in Flanders.


Not all McEnaeneys did as well. Many no doubt suffered the indignities of the Penal Laws, making them poor, despised, and uneducated. One feature of these years was the migration of many family members to south Monaghan in the Barony of Farney. These McEnaeneys had careers in various callings. Three have come to my attention worth mentioning for their diversity.


Two McEnaeney brothers, Tom and Jim, were still pursuing the original calling to the church as laymen in the 1820s when they were denounced by their parish priest as Protestants for teaching the Bible in Irish to other lay people.  They managed to be vindicated at a later date. The second set of McEnaeney brothers, Tom and Mike, were called to a slightly different work. They were IRA men who attacked a British train in 1921 and were killed in the assault. Honoring their memory became a focal point in a feud between the IRA and its ex-partner in the Civil War, DeValera's Fianna Fail in 1931. The family final vignette is that of the lame poet, John McEnaney, the "Bard of Callenberg." He was a balladeer of some note locally and wrote rousing poems to various persons and causes. Among his more famous poems locally was his ballad celebrating the victory of the Inniskeen Grattan Irish footballers in 1888.

Such was the glory of the McEnaeneys in County Monaghan from the 6th century down to our own.



Inniskeen McEnaeneys: Ancestors, Cousins and Leave Taking


Tracing roots becomes more problematic when it comes to finding individual ancestors. All of the above is solid history of the family without saying how we are related to any individual figure. Documented descent starts in 1802 with the birth of Anne Jennings in Inniskeen, a parish in Farney located near the SE corner of County Monaghan. She marries a certain Philip McEnaeney about 1828 in Inniskeen. From that marriage seven children were born who immigrate to the United States in 1849-51. Here we are on solid ground. But let's step back to see what other facts we have to fill in the considerable blanks as to who these McEnaeneys were.


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Anne Jennings McAnany in 1880's


Our best source in this quest has been a certain set of Cousins who stayed behind in Inniskeen when the McEnaeneys left for America. They are descendants of Anne Jennings's sister, Jenny, who married Edward McMahon. The contemporary cousins are Shevlins, Paddy and Molly (Lennon), born in the second decade of the 20th century. It was through a visit of Edwin and Louise McAnany in 1928 that the American McAnanys were reconnected with Ireland and their roots. In that visit, Ed, Louise and their two daughters, Winifred and Lucy, visited with the Shevlin parents and teenage Paddy and Molly. They were shown the "home place" of the McEnaeneys in a town land of Inniskeen called Keenoge with a house on it, no longer belonging to the family. It was through this contact that Sr. Winifred McAnany kept up a correspondence with the Shevlins over the years. This then was the contact that others and I had to visit and learn about the McEnaeneys before they departed for America during the Famine.


The political and social context of Inniskeen of that day is worth reviewing. Ireland at the beginning of the nineteenth century was in transition from a Protestant garrison state under the Penal Laws to a more open one. The Penal Laws, which shut out Catholics from almost everything in public life, had started to be dismantled. But Catholic Emancipation (the right to vote and hold office) was still a promise in the early decades of the century. Land ownership and the tax to support the (Protestant) Church of Ireland were other aggravating burdens on the native Irish.


Monaghan was better off--and worse off--than other Counties in Ireland of the day. Better in terms of economy since Ulster had developed several local enterprises, such as the flax based linen mills and shipbuilding. Worse off since the Catholics had to fight not only the official Anglican Church but also the Scotch Irish Presbyterians who controlled much of the free land of the North. Along with the local Presbyterian Kirk came the newly formed (1793) Orange Order, to become famous a century later when Ireland was split into North and South. Let's just say that life was even more contentious in Ulster than elsewhere. The McEnaeneys were on a battle line of sorts in Monaghan.


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Map from 1838 showing Inniskean and detailing (orange) the route to Blackrock port and (blue) the route to Liverpool, 150 miles away.


Inniskeen is located very close to the port of Dundalk in County Louth (8 miles east), as well as the market town of Carrickmacross (8 miles west). It is still today a largely rural parish with cattle predominating. Flax was a critical crop in the early nineteenth century since it fed the linen mills in Belfast. But even then cattle, sheep and hogs and their produce of meat and butter were significant. From very early on Inniskeen and surroundings also produced radical Catholics who served in secret societies such as the Ribbon men, Volunteers, and the like. They fought against their Protestant peer groups of Peep O'Day Boys, Steelmen, and Orange Order. The early decades of the century were full of public Catholic activism, led prominently by Daniel O'Connell. Again Inniskeen and locale were strongly represented.


The McEnaeney name was clearly present among Inniskeen residents in 1800. The connection to Philip McEnaeney is conjectural but fairly strong. First, there is a record of three McEnaeneys, Bryan, Michael, and Nicholas, each receiving a spinning wheel as a premium from the Linen Manufacture Board for Inniskeen in 1796 for planting a quarter acre of flax or more. A local genealogist assured me that given names prevailed in families and Philip first son was named Nicholas. The other record is of a Widow McEnaeney in Keenoge paying the tithe tax on 20 acres of ground (9 arable, 1 rocky, 10 pasture) in 1824. Since we found no other McEnaeneys in Keenoge its seems very likely that the Widow was Nicholas' wife and Philip's mother and that Philip lived in the home place after his marriage. When compared to other farms of the day, 20 acres appears to be large for native Irish landholders.


The other pieces of information about the occupation of the McEnaeneys suggest that they were horse and cattle traders. The horse-trading story comes down in the Patrick McAnany family tradition. The cattle trading comes from Paddy Shevlin who indicated that the McEnaeneys were traders of some significance, having their own shipping business in Dundalk. I have not confirmed that part of the story, but cattle and horse-trading seems the likely family business. Anne Jennings's family  were builders as well as farmers. Several of her brothers worked on the Shelaigh Chapel built around 1839, just at the border with Armagh.


The baptismal records of the Catholic Church in Inniskeen confirm that Anne and Philip McEnaeney baptized at least two children, Rose in 1839 and Philip in 1842. It also confirms that Anne remarried John Murphy sometime after 1842 and they baptized two children, Michael (1845) and Dennis (1847) Murphy. The time and circumstances of Philip McEnaeney's death are unclear. John Murphy is said to have been born in Louth, but the Murphy home place is (still) in Monaghan, Inniskeen at Drumcatton, near St. Anne's Chapel (1796), the first Catholic church built in the area after repeal of the Penal Laws. Anne's Jennings family also had a house near the Chapel that still stands today.


We know from family tradition and later documents that the McEnaeney family consisted of seven children: Catherine (1830), Nicholas (1832), Anne (1834), Mary (1835), Rose (1838), Patrick (1839) and Philip (1842).  Anne's second marriage to John Murphy produced four children: Michael (1845), Dennis (1847), John (1850) and Bridgit (nd). The last two were born in Illinois after the family immigrated to the United States.


The Irish potato, they say, drove millions to the grave and to other lands in those terrible years of 1845-49. The Great Hunger cut the population of Ireland by 20-25%. Among those leaving were the McEnaeney-Murphy family. While better off than many poor cotters who worked a small plot of potatoes on borrowed land, the relatives thought emigration looked better than another bout with fate. They would have made plans probably as early as the terrible year of Black '47 and then saved toward their departure in the early spring of 1849. As people of some substance they still were not able to take all the family at once. From ship manifests for the port of New York, we were able to discover that six of the children went with their parents in 1849 (John and Anne Murphy, Catherine, Nicholas, Mary and Patrick McEnaeney, and Michael and Dennis Murphy), while three stayed behind (Anne, Rose and Philip McEnaeney). With which relatives these three were placed is uncertain, but Anne arrived in New York with two other McEnaeneys so she may have stayed with that side of the family. Rose and Philip may have arrived with a McMahon and thus boarded with the Jennings side.


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Map of British Isles from 1844 showing the passage from Blackrock to Liverpool and the outward voyage to New York.


The journey from Inniskeen to New York City where they all landed between 1849 and 1851 was a three-legged trip. First, the family had to travel by cart to Dundalk and on to its port at Blackrock. There they boarded a steam packet ship on the open deck to Liverpool, a cold 150 miles away. Calculating back from arrival time in New York, I suspect they departed Ireland in early March 1849. Once in Liverpool the family had to arrange temporary shelter as they negotiated passage out. Contemporary accounts of Liverpool of the day suggest that the Irish were frequent victims of scoundrels and rogues. I trust the Murphy-McEnaeneys were able to fend for themselves. In any event they probably board an American line ship for New York, the "Silas Grimshaw." Current practice suggests they paid for 4 adult and 4 children's fares. Each berth was a 6X6 shelf per four adults. Children doubled up. An average ship was a four-masted square-rigger of a thousand tons holding a thousand passengers.


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1842 map showing the McAnanys crossing of the Atlantic from Liverpool to New York in 1849-1851.


Life aboard was far from pleasant and could be downright treacherous. Heading the list of problems was the confinement below and hygiene on deck. The food could be wretched and the First Mate brutal, not to mention the weather in late March and April when the Murphy-McEnaeneys were at sea. They were not called "coffin ships" for nothing. Yet travelers of the day spoke of the Irish and their uproarious spirits--fed partially, it is said, by spirits of another sort.



A New Land for an Old Clan: McAnanys in America


Docking in New York on May 2, 1849, the "Silas Grimshaw" would have been boarded by customs officials and a doctor close to Staten Island. There was always the fear among immigrants that they would be rejected--or at least quarantined--for sickness, but with the pressure of 30-40 ships a day, doctors were superficial in their inspection to say the least. I counted the Irish boats docking at New York on May 2: Eleven! (six from Liverpool itself) with 1700+ Irish aboard. These hoards were discharged on the East River at South Street in Manhattan into the famous Irish Sixth Ward and many headed up to Five Points where the Irish gathered. The place had a reputation for vice and lawlessness, but at least they spoke Irish and showed a hospitality common to the clans.


It's unlikely that the Murphy-McAnany (they probably adopted the American spelling when the custom officials spelled it that way) family spent much time in New York. I say that because by June of the next year they were already settled on a farm in Amboy, Illinois and Anne had a new son, John, born in Illinois. Traveling from New York to Amboy meant going up the Hudson River to Albany, transferring to a canal boat on the Erie Canal to Buffalo, and then onto a Great Lakes packet ship to Chicago. This type of trip could not be done in winter so it seems likely the family ventured west almost immediately.


We are fortunate to have a contemporary account of some of this trip from a '49er going west to find gold in California. William Swain left from Buffalo on April 12, 1849--just a month before the family landed in New York City. He describes the trip across Lake Erie, Huron and Michigan that was often harrowing because of sudden storms. From Buffalo to Chicago took a little over a week and cost $5 for single cabin passage. Chicago is described as a village of 20,000 with many beautiful buildings, especially churches, but whose streets were literally slough holes. After arriving this far, the family would have followed Swain's journey down the newly opened (1848) Illinois & Michigan Canal to the stop at Lock 15 in LaSalle, Illinois 90 miles SW from Chicago. The ride was smooth and Swain describes the lovely spring countryside swarming with birds and animals. One not so pleasant feature of the trip were rumors of cholera among passengers going west.


Once the family got to LaSalle they would have bought supplies, including a wagon, oxen, horses, a cow or two for the 30 mile trip north to Amboy. The land along this path is nearly flat and already a road of sorts was fashioned over an older Indian trail. Immigrants from New York and New England had begun to settle the land in the 1830s. The largest town in Lee County was Dixon on the Rock River 20 miles NW of Amboy. When the family settled just a mile west of Amboy's "downtown," there were only a few farmsteads on the prairie. The town had been incorporated only the year before and the State Legislature authorized the Illinois Central Rail Road that same year of 1850. Since it constituted the major industry in Amboy over many years, the arrival of its tracks from the south in Amboy in November 1854 was a major event.


Irish had been present in the area from early on. A Catholic mission had been begun at Sandy Hill in 1840, just 7 miles south of the village. A church was built in 1847 at Sandy Hill and it was there the Murphy-McAnanys would have attended until a Catholic church was built in Amboy in 1856. Local masses were said in Mike Egan's home as early as 1853 in town. Egan was a master mechanic who started the railroad workshop in town the following year. Thousand of Irish worked laying the tracks over the years. Those who continued on with the line after construction and stayed in Amboy settled west of the track, in the Patch. In fact the Amboy Road straight west of town was filled with Irish farms. The Murphys were among the pioneer Irish in that section. After renting for a few years, they purchased the farm in 1857 and built a house. Though now much remodeled, it still stands today, owned by a descendant of early Irish pioneers, Ed and Lola Mead.



The Amboy Years: How the First Generation Left Home


The 1850 census places Anne and John Murphy and their three sons in Amboy Township one mile west of Amboy itself. But the McAnany children are not listed with them. To be sure, Rose and Philip did not arrive in New York until November 1 of that year and Anne does not arrive until June 6, 1851. One wonders who met these children in New York. It seems out of the question that one of the Murphys went east to bring them back to Amboy. My guess at present is that at least the older children, Catherine (20 in 1850) and Nicholas (18), were the probable interceptors. That would mean they stayed on in New York at least until Rose and Philip's arrival, as these McAnany children were too young at 11 and 9 to travel alone. Anne would have been 16 when she came in 1851 and was with two McAnany cousins, Patrick (21) and another Anne (19). They could have proceeded west on their own. Who were the relatives and/or friends who set up the McAnanys in New York? We don't know. But while Catherine and Nicholas could have gone to work, Mary at 14 and Patrick at 10 were a bit young, if indeed they stayed on. I have been unable to find any likely McAnanys in the 1850 census for New York City--already a metropolis of half a million. In any event the McAnany children all show up in Amboy sometime after June of 1850 and settle at the farm.


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(Left to Right) Rosanne (?) Keane, Rose Holleran, Catherine Kirk, Anne Keane (Healy) in 1880's


The farm was initially 60 acres but John Murphy added to it over the years. It was the initial source of support for five Murphys and seven McAnanys.


The McAnany children began their leave taking from the family home shortly after they all arrived in AmboyÑsometime in 1850-51. Catherine (1830-1919), the oldest, married Owen Kirk (1831-1917), a local farmer in 1852 and stay in Hamilton Township 15 miles west of town. Rose (1838-1912) married Patrick Holleran (1830-1920) in 1855 and set up housekeeping in town. Pat worked at the railroad shop. Many years later they took in the old folks when John Murphy gave up farming about 1885 and it was in their home that John died in 1886 and Anne died on October 1, 1894. Another daughter, Mary (1835-1861), married another local farmer, Hugh Johnson (1828-1921) the same year of 1855 and settled in Bureau County, just south of Lee County.


Sometime around 1856-57 Patrick (1839-1920) left home in search of his fortune. As we know, he first went to the South where he worked on a plantation whose "labor practices" were not at all to his liking. He then migrated north to what is now Johnson County, Kansas but was at the time Shawnee Indian territory.  The next McAnany to leave home was Nicholas (1832-1898) who married a local girl, Mary Plunkett (1834-1912). He was followed by Ann (1834-1891) who married a farmer down the road from the Murphys, Timothy Keane (1831-1870). That left only Phillip  (1842-1906) among the McAnany children still at home in the late 1850s. He was no longer present when the 1860 census was taken and we know he joined the Union Army sometime early in the Civil War. Several years after the War, he turns up in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he marries Anna Hawkins in 1870.


Later family history will show a distinct pattern of migration. One locus of settlement remains Lee County. Amboy remained home to Anne and John Murphy, as well as the Hollerans and Ann Keane (later Healey) whose farm was just west of town. Later generations of Hollerans and other family members in Lee County moved on to Chicago. Michael Murphy (1845-1925), oldest son of John and Anne, stayed in Lee County all his life, living first near Amboy and then moving to Dixon about 1889 at the death of his first wife. Mary Johnson lived and died (1861) in nearby Ohio in Bureau County.


The most common relocation site was Kansas City. Patrick began in Johnson County, Kansas before the Civil War. When he returned to the area in 1866, he settled in Kansas City, Missouri, then the gateway to the West. He married in 1869 and settled down to a construction materials business, as well as several terms on the Board of Aldermen from the Irish Fourth Ward in the1870s. His sister Catherine Kirk and family joined him about 1871.  Nicholas McAnany stayed on in Amboy after the Civil War years before moving to Kansas City about 1879.


A third clustering of family was Iowa and Nebraska. In the 1880s farmland was cheaper and more abundant in the states west of Illinois than in the more settled Lee County. So Dennis Murphy (1847-1928) moved to Williams, in north central Iowa in 1880. He was followed by Ed Keane, the oldest of Tim and Ann Keane, in 1884 who also settled in Williams as well. Mary Johnson's middle son, Tom, moved to Columbus, Nebraska in 1882. All of them farmed and put down roots in their respective communities.


The one outlier was Philip, the youngest of the original McAnany family. He ended up in Salt Lake City, Utah after the Civil War, married there in 1870, but shortly thereafter moved to Los Angeles where he had a ranch in what became South Central downtown. He cleared out of the Midwest for the Golden State at an early age. Several generations later in the 1930s, the dust bowl and depression drove several McAnany/Murphy farm families to California as well.



The Patrick McAnany Clan


Here we part company from the rest of the McAnany/Murphy clan to the founding of our own clan, the Patrick McAnany family of Kansas City and Shawnee.



Early Years: The Shawnee Indians and the Civil War


Patrick was only three or four when his father, Philip, died in Inniskeen about 1843. John Murphy became the only father he really knew when Anne married him about 1844. Pat was ten when he immigrated with the family in 1849 and stayed on the Murphy farm west of Amboy until he was perhaps fifteen. In an early biographical sketch (1881) he tells of leaving home and traveling through nearly every state in the Union and then spening a year in Louisiana. Family tradition says he hated the way the slaves were treated and became a lifelong enemy of all oppression. He had some opportunity to see other types of oppression when he arrived in the Kansas Territory around 1858. It was the times of the Border Wars of "Bleeding Kansas" and Johnson County lay next to Missouri where southern sympathizers were crossing over to assure Kansas coming into the Union as a slave state.


But another type of oppression was active in the Indian country where Pat was employed by the Shawnee Indian family of David Daugherty. During those pre-war years millions of acres of land were being acquired by white speculators from Indians who sold off both individual and tribal plots. By the time the Shawnee left for Oklahoma in 1869 almost nothing was left of Native American holdings in the whole State except for the Pottawatomi Reservation west of Topeka. Pat learned the Shawnee language and hunted with the tribe on its annual buffalo expedition in central and western Kansas. He is reported to have used his language skills as an interpreter on occasion. After a time he went to work for Wilkerson & Knagg's general store in Shawnee and stayed on until he joined the First Kansas Volunteers in Spring 1861.


His Civil War experience no doubt constituted a major defining moment in his life.  His Union regiment, First Kansas Volunteer Infantry, was organized in late May and were already at the heart of the "first battle of the West" at Wilson Creek, Missouri on August 7. There he received three wounds and saw General Lyons fatally wounded. He was discharged for disability and soon joined the federal Telegraph Service and went with the Army of the West through the middle South in such battles at Mission Ridge and Chickamauga. He was discharged at Chattanooga and returned to Amboy in spring 1865. He remained active in veteran affairs and was a member of the GAR all his life.



Settling Down: Kansas City Years


In 1866 Pat left Illinois for good. He headed back to Kansas City on the Missouri side of the state line and got a foreman's job on the construction of the Hannibal railroad bridge across the Missouri River. He was boarding in an Irish household run by Richard and Mary Mansfield and took a fancy to the oldest daughter, Helen. Their romance ended in marriage on October 18, 1869 at Immaculate Conception parish.


During the fifteen years he remained in Kansas City, Pat was occupied in several commercial ventures. After the railroad construction work, he and his Father in Law ran a building materials business. He later hooked up with James Finucane in the feed and flour business. In 1877 the two purchased 137 acres and the old "Blue Jacket" place in Johnson County, Kansas from Frederick Choteau and, incidentally the Council House and Springs of the Shawnee tribe.


Politics, for which Kansas City later became famous under Boss Pendergast, were also a part of Pat's life. He was elected three times to the City Council during the mid 1870s from the Irish 4th Ward located in the "Bottoms" close to the original train station. One wonders whom he knew and how he got elected: military record? connection to the Mansfields? good looks and oratory? Whatever the source, it put Pat in the middle of a very vibrant municipality. The City grew from 15,000 to 25,000 between 1867-68. A year later 200,000 people passed through Kansas City on their way west.  Commerce was booming in supplies for the hordes on their trek to the prairies.


But Kansas City was not to be home for the growing Patrick McAnany family. By 1881 they had five children: Edwin (1871), Philip (1872), Paul (1875), May (1880) and Rose (1881). Despite the fact that by then they had both the Mansfield clan of several families, as well as the Nicholas McAnanys and the Owen Kirks living in the City, Helen and Pat decided to move their family to the country. In 1879 Pat had bought out the Finucanes' interest in the Blue Jacket property in Johnson County and moved his family there in 1882. From then on it was renamed the "Groves," and stayed in the family until 1935.


The Groves in about 1882. 



The Groves: Farming and Commuting


Shawnee, Kansas is now the typical affluent suburb in the affluent Johnson County with SUVs, shopping malls, and the works. But long ago and right there, it was a homely farming village of a few hundred souls, called Shawneetown. It came into being under the name "Gum Springs" back in the 1840s. By the time Pat McAnany arrived on the scene, it was more noted for its saloons than its churches. In fact, Mr. Wilkerson, Pat's late 1850s employer, was killed in a bar brawl by a drunken Indian. Quantrill put Shawnee on the map during the Border Wars by burning down some of those saloons and the rest of the town in 1863. Liquor never recovered, it seems, because when the McAnanys arrived in 1882 there were far fewer bars than churches, including St. Joseph Catholic Church where the next five McAnany children were baptized: Richard (1882), Pat (1884), Helen (1886), George (1888) and Robert (1894). When the McAnanys wanted to celebrate, they visited other neighbors at their farmsteads. Not that they didn't enjoy a drink, but it was served at home and supervised by the women folk.


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(Left to Right) Robert, George, Pat, Paul, Phil, Edwin & Patrick McAnany at the golden wedding anniversary in 1919 at The Groves.


Sometime after the move to Shawnee, Pat built a store in Kansas City, Kansas for his new grocery businessÑ McLean & McAnany. This made the commute shorter by several miles and kept his domestic and commercial affairs in one state instead of two. But he also turned his attention to the 137 acres of ground surrounding the Groves. He had built-in farm labor with all his sons and he put them to work. Not that they tended to all the chores of plowing, seeding, milking and the rest because there seemed to have been hired hands around at various times that tended to business while the children were in school. But clearly, Pat wanted to once again be a farmer, if only that that limited sense of "spare time" work that his grocery business allowed.


The children spent some early years attending the local parish school at St. Joseph in Shawnee, but most went on to either St. Benedict's for the boys or Mt. St. Scholastica for the girls, both located in Atchinson, Kansas. The Benedictine influence in the family was strong as many of the priests who served in the early years of Kansas were educated at St. Benedict's. And, it might be added, many of the Benedictines as well as their students were German. That was the division among Catholics, either you were German or Irish. The Children were sent to Atchison for boarding school for nine months, with Christmas being the one major journey back to the Groves. The daily student schedule sounds appallingly strict to modern earsÑrise at 5:30 and in bed at 9, plus lots of study, classes and prayerÑbut it was a rural dominated student body.


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St. Benedict's in about  1890.


Life at the Groves was busy even when many of the children were away at school. Farming, commuting back and forth to "the city," visiting Atchison, socializing with Shawneetown neighbors, church worship and work, all kept the family focused. One association Pat kept up was with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). He is pictured with a 1908 gathering in Shawnee with his fellow Civil War veterans. I have a copy of a 1907 volume on the Lyon's Campaign at Wilson Creek, autographed by the author to P. McAnany, Esq. The American flag flew over his grave in Shawnee from my earliest recollection.


The Groves was enlarged in 1910 by a stone addition at the back. Its generous lawn in front shaded by its famous grove of trees served as a picnic/party spot for family and friends. Two McAnany women (May in 1910 and Nell in 1912) were married from here, as well as Paul (1903), Edwin (1907), George (1916), and Robert (1917).  It was a grand setting, which had history at its doorstep. The Groves had been the home from the 1830s of Frederick Choteau, a French fur trader married to a Shawnee wife. The Council House of the Shawnee stood a few hundred feet to the East. The road that ran by the Groves was the old Ft. Leavenworth military road that had been built in the 1830s that marks the beginning of the white man's conquest of the Kansas Territory. Pat McAnany had been present as the Shawnee moved fatefully toward its dissolution from the land in the 1850s. These many stories were part of family tradition as children and friends gathered to celebrate the McAnanys of Shawnee, Kansas.


File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 4.0

Patrick McAnany and Helen Mansfield in 1919 at their golden wedding anniversary


A final celebration of Pat and Helen McAnany's family adventure was their golden wedding anniversary in 1919. Pat was 80 years old and just then starting to fail. But that October day he was dressed in his finest and welcomed all his children and their 15 grandchildren to the party. He was not to last a year after that. He died in ______, 1920 and was buried in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Shawnee. Helen stayed on at the old place with Rose and Pat for another year when Nell and Wood Marshall brought the place to keep it in the family and provide room for their growing family of five. It remained in the family until 1936 when the Marshall moved to Kansas City, Missouri. The old and historic part of the house was demolished in 1940 and only the stone addition remains today, together with a few of the old grove of trees.




McEnaeneys of Ulster


I set some of this down in "From Small Hills to Big Prairie: The McAnany-Murphy Families of Inniskeen and Amboy," 1994, done for the McAnany Family Reunion in Chicago.


The basic history I followed is by Rev. Padar Livingstone, The Monaghan Story. Enniskillen: Clogher Historical Society, 1980. Fr. Livingstone was a recognized regional historian and one of the founding members of the Clogher Historical Society and the Clogher Record, a yearly journal of regional history started in 1952.


On the McEnaeney name: Seamus O'Duffy, "Three Notes on Medieval Clones," Clogher Record 1960-61, pp.6-8.


On how the early Irish Church was organized: Kathleen Hughes, The Church in Early Irish Society. Ithica, NY: Cornell U. Press, 1966; David O'Cronin, Early Medieval Ireland 400-1200. London & NY: Longman, 1995. Chapters 14-15.


The role of coarb, see John Barry, "The Coarb in Medieval Times," The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 89, 24-35, 1958.


On the Clones Monastery: Aubrey Gwynn & R. Neville Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses in Ireland. London: Longman, 1970, p. 164.


On St. Tigernach: John Ryan, S.J. Irish Monasticism: Origin and Early Development. Dublin: Talbot Press, 1931.


On Patrick McEnaeney, Secretary of State to the Emperor of Austria, see O'Maolagain, "Success Story," Clogher Record (1953)p. 48.


The stories of the Bible teachers and the IRA McEnaeneys are found in Fr. Livingstone's book.


The story of John McEnaney, the "Bard of Callenberg," is found in Larry Meegan, The Inniskeen Story. Inniskeen: Inniskeen Grattan G.F.C., Dec. 1988, p. 50-54. The main story line, of course, is about the local Irish football team and their fortunes.


The Inniskeen McEnaeneys


The background history is basically taken from Livingstone.


The church records from St. Anne's Chapel (est. 1796) have been badly damaged by fire. I was able to find only the two baptismal records of Rose and Philip of the McAnanys in my 1991 trip. I was able to confirm that our common McEnaeney ancestor was "Philip," and that he was married to Anne Jennings, but I have no date for the wedding. By my day the only thing we had identifying him was a "P" which could as easily stood for "Patrick."


Mr. Theo McMahon of Monaghan Town was helpful in identifying the Nicholas McEnaeney record, as well as that of Widow McEnaeney. McMahon also served for many years as editor of the Clogher Record.


A New Land for an Old Clan


The "Silas Grimshaw" was apparently an American packet ship built for the Irish trade from Liverpool. See website on her sister ship, "Caleb Grimshaw" at w.w.w. I want to thank Ginger Frere, Local and Family History Assistant, The Newberry Library, Chicago for this information.


The McAnanys show up on May 2, 1849 under the name "Murphy, aboard the "Silas Grimshaw", see  Ira A. Glazier and Michael Tepper, eds. 1984. Famine Immigrants: List of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 1846-51. Baltimore: Genealogical Publications, 5 vols. Rose and Philip arrive under the name "McEnaeney"  on Nov. 1, 1850 on the "Liverpool." Anne McEnaney 19 arrives with Patrick McEnaney  21, farmer, and Anne McEnaney  16 on the "Defense," on June 6, 1851.


For other references to the journey from Ireland to Amboy, see my  "McAnany Migration to America" on the website.


The Amboy Years


Three family histories were written about the same time by three different branches of the McAnany clan: Edwin J. McAnany, Patrick McAnany: American Pioneer and His Family  (1980); Marian Johnson Kohlund, The irish Johnsons (1980); and Clarke C. Neal, Patrick Doyle and Timothy Keane and Their Descendants (1981).


I am grateful to Art Johnson of Dixon, Illinois, for all my information of the Murphy's farm.


Much of my information about the Holleran family came from my cousins, Bill Ryan and Helen Curtin Zachery, both now deceased. Mary Healy of Dixon, Illinois, has provided me with much information about the Keane-Healy families. My information on the other family members came from work done at the Lee County Library, as well as at the Lee County Genealogical Center in Dixon, Illinois.  Phil Henry of Nipomo, CA provided me with invaluable information on the "lost" McAnany relative, Phil of Los Angeles.


I want to offer here very brief biographies of each of Anne Jennings McAnany Murphy's children:


Catherine McAnany (1830-1919) m. Owen Kirk (1831-1917) 1852 in Amboy, IL. Owen Kirk immigrated 10/30/50 on "Liverpool" to NYC.  Children: Mary Anne (1853-1934); Sarah (1853); Rose (1855-1900); Margaret (1857-1899); Michael (1858); Philip (1861-1939); Edward (1863); Eugene (1863-1906); Frances (1870-1918); Joseph (nd). Lived in Hamilton Township, Lee County, IL. Moved to Kansas City, MO 1872. Kirk parents and several children are buried in Kansas City  at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery. (sources: St. Patrick Catholic Church, Amboy; Lee County Records; Galzier & Tepper, Famine Immigrants; U.S. Census; Kansas City, Mo City Directories 1860-1895).


Nicholas McAnany (1832-1898) m. Mary Plunkett  (1834-1912) in 1858 in Amboy, IL.. Children: Philip (1860-1906); James (1862); Thomas (1865-1929); Mary (1867-1912); Anne (1869); John (1871); Owen (  -1904). Lived in Missouri during Civil War (?); Lived in Amboy from 1866; moved to Kansas City. MO 1879. McAnany parents and several children buried in Kansas City at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery. (sources: St. Patrick Catholic Church; Lee County Records; U.S. Census; Amboy Journal Index 1856-1877); Kansas City  MO Directories 1860-1895).


Anne McAnany (1834-4/27/1891) m. Timothy Keane  (10/29/1831-1/1/1870) 1859 in Amboy, IL. Children: Charles Edward (3/13/1860-1/28/1943); Mary Etta (11/17/1861-6/19/1912); Philip Francis(9/13/1863); John L. (8/9/1865-11/23/1898); Catherine L. (7/27/1866); Rose Ann (5/10/1869-2/7/1941). Tim Keane was killed by a neighbor. Ann m. Michael Healy (6/1844-10/24/1916)  in 1871 in Amboy, IL. Children: Thomas (3/21/1874-5/17/1959); William (9/11/1875-5/2/1961); Patrick (2/9/1877-11/18/1923); Margaret (4/30/1886-2/20/1967). Lived on farm west of Amboy through Ann's death. Michael Healy moved to Dixon in 1891. Ann McAnany  and Tim Keane are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Amboy. Michael Healy is buried in Oakwood cemetery in Dixon, IL. (Sources: Lee County records; St. Patrick Catholic Church, Amboy; Clarke L. Neal, Patrick Doyle and Timothy Keane: Their Families and Descendants, 1981; Mary Healy of Dixon, IL.).


Mary McAnany (1835-4/4/1861) m. Hugh Johnson (1829-1921) 11/1/1855 in Amboy, IL. Children: Arthur P. (8/7/1856-9/1919); Thomas H. (5/19-1858-9/21/1913); Nicholas (2/20/1861-1945). Lived in Ohio, Bureau County, IL. Hugh remarried to Lucinda Baumgartner and had eleven more children. Both buried in Catholic Cemetery in Ohio, IL (Sources: Kholund, The Irish Johnsons 1980).


Rose McAnany (1838-1912) m. Patrick Holleran (1830-1920)  8/5/1855 in Amboy, IL. Children: John (185_-1923); Margaret (1860-  ); Rose (1862-1941); Mary (1865-1911); Caherine (1869-1945); Frances (1872-1954); Sarah 1874-1936)Elizabeth (5/11/1876-  ); Helen (3/30/1879-1965); Jane "Jen" (4/5/1883-1858); Bridget "Bid" (188_-  ); Alice (nd). Lived in Amboy town; parents buried in Catholic Cemetery, Amboy, IL. (Sources: Bill Ryan and Helen Curtin; Jack Curtin; Lee County records; St. Patrick Catholic Church, Amboy, IL)


Patrick McAnany (2/1839-1/1920) m. Helen Mansfield (12/1850-1937) 10/18/1869 in Kansas City, MO. Children: Edwin (1871-1954); Philip (1872-1959); James Paul (1875-1947); Mary Louise (1877-1880); May (1880-1958); Rose (1881-1969); Richard (1882-1901); Patrick D. (1884-1943) Helen (1886-1964); George (1888-1964); Robert (1894-1973). Lived in Kansas City, MO until 1882 and then moved to Shawnee, KS. Parents and many children are buried in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Shawnee, KS. (Sources: Edwin McAnany, Patrick McAnany: American Pioneer and His Family 1980).


Philip McAnany (1842-2/11/1906) m. Ann Hawkes (10/31/1852-1/23/1894)1869  in Ogden, UT. Children: Philip (9/25/1870-1/13/1955); John Sarsfield (12/27/1871-4/25/1949); Jennie May (8/26/1874-8/5/1940); Henry Walter (9/15/1878-6/29/1957); Nellie (12/1/1879-2/16/1973); Lilly Mae (4/17/1883-1/14/1885); George W. (12/25/1888-1/18/1979). Moved to Los Angeles, CA 1870. Parents and several children at buried in Rosedale cemetery, Los Angeles, CA (Sources: Phil Henry Nipomo, CA; Los Angeles City and County Directory, 1871 and later; U.S. Census).


Michael Murphy (1845-6/22/1925) m. Elizabeth Duffy (nd) 10/28/1865 in Amboy, IL. Children: Mary (nd); Fannie (nd); Katherine (nd); Anna (nd); John (1871-1943). The Murphys lived on a farm in Marion Township  west of Amboy until Elizabeth's death in late 1880s. Michael moved to Dixon about 1889 and married Celia Smith (Smitz?) (1845-1928). Children: Dennis (nd). Michael and both Elizabeth Duffy and Celia Smith are buried in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Amboy, IL but no grave sites have been located for them.(Sources: Dixon Daily Telegraph; Dixon City Directory, 1920; Clarke Neal, 1981).


Dennis Murphy (1848-1928) m. Catherine Fitzpatrick (1852-  ) 1870 (?) in Amboy IL. Children: John (1871); Mary (1872); Dennis (1873); Thomas (1875); Michael (1877); Philip (1879); Edward (nd); James (1884); Charles (1889); Frank (1891); Leo (1892); George (1894). Lived  on a farm in Amboy Township until 1884. Then they moved to Williams, IA where they farmed 1,500 acres. Dennis Murphy became a well  known breeder of draught horses. Parents and several children are buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Williams, IA. (Sources: U.S. Census; "Dennis Murphy " in The History of Hamilton County, Iowa, 1912;  Clarke Neal, 1981).


John Murphy (1850-1862?) and Bridget Murphy (nd). These two children of Anne and John Murphy are basically unrecorded except for a gravestone for John in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Amboy, right next to John and Anne's gravestone; and the mention of Bridget  by Dennis Murphy in his biography for Hamilton County, Iowa.




Fr. Anthony J. Becker's Biography of a Country Town: U.S.A. (1954) on Amboy is the best thing available on the background.


The Patrick McAnany Clan


Obviously, Ed McAnany's Patrick McAnany: American Pioneer and His Family (1980) is fundamental. Quoted extensively in that biography  are letters from various family members. These letters were discovered in Robert McAnany's attic sometime in the 1960s. I have copies of many of them, but the originals are with various family members whose ancestor wrote the originals.


Patrick McAnany was interviewed and quoted in two regional histories that are invaluable resources on his early  life: The History of Jackson County, Missouri Union Historical Co., Birdsall, Williams, 1881; and History of Johnson County, Kansas. Lawrence, KS: Ed Blair Standard Publishing, 1915.


 Civil War and the Shawnee Indians


The story of the Border Wars between Missouri and the Kansas Territory is easily found. But the history of the loss of 55 million acres of Indian owned land between 1854 and 1871 is set forth vividly in Craig Miller and William E. Unrau, The End of Indian Kansas: A Study of Cultural Revolution, 1854-1871. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1990.


The story of the Shawnee tribes in Kansas is best known by Cousin Louis McAnany. From my reading, here are some sources: Henry Harvey, History of the Shawnee Indians, 1681-1854. Cincinnati, OH: Morgan & Sons, 1855 (a scathing documentation of how the Shawnee were robbed by the U.S. and its agents over the centuries by a Quaker, whose church were among the first to contact the Shawnee in Pennsylvania); Martha Caldwell, Annals of the Methodist Mission. Kansas State Survey, 1939 (the Shawnee Mission in Johnson County was a major institution among the Shawnee, though its leader Thomas Johnson proved to be an opportunist ). Interestingly, the Shawnee Library contained several detailed tribal histories from the 1990s, connected, as I discovered, with lawsuits concerning recovery of 600 acres of valuable land in Fairview, KS which Johnson had allegedly  stolen, as well as with an attempt by Shawnee to become certified as a tribe by the U.S.Ñin order, no doubt, to start a casino.


Pat McAnany's life among the Shawnee started by working for the full blooded Shawnee family of David Daugherty on their farm near 75th and Lachman Road, in Johnson County. The Daughertys were an old time (Ohio) family apparently  begun by an Irishman intermarrying with a Shawnee woman. Several Daugherty brothers served on the Shawnee Council. `                     


On Pat's early Civil War experience, see Burke, Official Military History of Kansas Regiments. Leavenworth, KS, 1870; and Eugene F. Ware, The Lyons Campaign. Topeka, KS: Crane, 1907.

I have a copy of the Ware book, autographed by the author to Pat McAnany in 1907. Apparently, they had kept up through the Grand Army of the Republic organization after Ware, originally from Iowa,  had moved to Kansas. I have been unsuccessful in trying to get military records on Pat McAnany, either from the Army or from the Military Telegraph Service which, was the predecessor organization of today's CIA.


Kansas City Years


The Kansas City, Missouri part of the story is told in Ed McAnany's  American Pioneer  (1980). My own research has uncovered the fact that the very first (apparent) relative to arrive in Kansas City was James Mansfield in 1859. Richard Mansfield and family show up in 1861 city directory. From several commercial relationships between James and Richard's family, it seems a good bet that he is a brother or cousin. (See my Mansfield History on this website)The arrival of the Kirks in 1871 and Nicholas McAnanys in 1879 are based on the fact that they appear for the first time in the city directory the following year.


Pat's election to the City Council is as yet unexplored. My sense is that James Mansfield who served an earlier term on the Council and later teamed up with Pat in business was a crucial factor.


The Groves


Again, Ed McAnany's American Pioneer (1980) is the basic source. As mentioned above, there is a wonderful storehouse of information in the letters to and from the Groves during these years, on which I also depend.


I am unsure how many of the McAnany children attended St. Benedict/Mt. St. Scholastica and how long they stayed. Sr. Patricia Marshall, O.S.B. tried on several occasions to find these records but, to my knowledge, never came up with hard dates. But I found a reference to tuition on Edwin S. McAnany's bill for the year at $100, no mean sum in the 1880s. If you multiply that by several children, it amounts to a considerable financial undertaking.


A long time boarder-almost a family member-was J. Christopher Nieman who became director of the Shawnee Bank which Ed McAnany and his fellow investors started. He was closest to my Father, Patrick D., over many years. My brother John is, I think, named after J. Christopher.




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