The Story of a Family
How the O'Shaughnessys from Ireland came to Rochester, New York, about 1835
then moved on to Chicago around 1853, and stayed there for twenty years,
and moved on in the 1870s to Kansas City.

Part I: The O'Shaughnessys from Ireland

For years, the only Shaughnessy ancestors I knew of were Dad’s parents, John A(dams) Shaughnessy
(April 16,1846-October 3, 1903--gravesite at right) and Rose Butler (October 13, 1865-June 7, 1920), both of whom were dead when I was born. Who were these people? How could I find out about them? Dad never told me anything about his father, who had died when he was only 6. Aunt Dorothy (Butler) Schweitzer, Dad's cousin--2 years younger than he, told me that grandfather John had a brother Thomas Jefferson as well as several sisters--Lena and Lizzie Russell (and) Rosa Hager. Aunt Dorothy also said that grandfather John was a sculptor, that one of whose pieces was in the Smithsonian, and that he was a water boy in the Civil War. Was that all true? Thanks to genealogically inclined friends and relatives, starting with Fern Allen who found them in the 1860 census in Chicago, and cousins Barbara Butler, Daryl Johansson, Michael O'Shaughnessy, Lida Lou Raimondi, the Shaughnessy story has come to light, with new discoveries made almost continually.

Rochester, New York (about 1835-1853)

John Shaughnessy's parents (my paternal great grandparents) were born in Ireland: Thomas (abt. 1802) and Bridget (b.1813 in Cork). Her parents were Bridget McConnell and Patrick Keefe. They married in Askeaton, Limerick, in January of 1831 and must have come a few years afterward, for they show up in the 1840 census. Thomas "Shaunesey" appears as coming from Ireland with six children--1 boy and 5 girls..and living in Brighton, a village on the outskirts of Rochester in Monroe County, New York, on Lake Ontario. Helena (b. 1834 or 1836) was born in Ireland as the records say, but Michael O'Shaughnessy has unearthed records which show the rest of the children were born and baptized in the U.S. Daniel (b. 1836), Mary (b.1837), Jane (b. 1838), Rosana and Elizabeth (b. 1840) were all born in Rochester and baptized in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Rochester. James was born about 1843 and John (my grandfather) about 1845-6--(no record of baptism for either yet; Thomas was born in 1847 and baptized in St. Mary's in Rochester; George was born in 1850 and baptized at the church of the Immaculate Conception in Rochester. William was born about 1852, with no record of his baptism net.

The 1850 census (above) for Rochester, New York shows Daniel, James and the twins Rosa and Lizzie were in school. The four younger boys were at home. Both Thomas and Bridget were checked as illiterate, so the census takers took a guess at how they might spell their name--"Shaunesey" in 1840 and "Shanaly" in 1850. The census taker also mistakenly wrote that all the children before James were born in Ireland. (The boys probably added middle initials later, after they learned the names of the presidents and wanted to show they shared first names with some. ) Thomas is listed as a laborer as he was in the 1849 Rochester directory but as a teamster in the 1851 Rochester City directory. Helena was listed as working as a domestic in the 1849 directory. William H. was born in Rochester in 1852.

Chicago (1853-1877)

What made them decide to leave the shores of Lake Ontario in 1853 and head for the big town rising beyond all the Great Lakes? The Rochester Poor House cemetery shows four deaths of children in August and September of 1852 from cholera. Perhaps fear of that disease made them decide to heed the lure of better jobs further west. Or more likely, a relative was already there.

Only several decades old, Chicago was rapidly growing; there was work to be found for all especially in transportation and construction: canals, railroads, sanitary sewage, hotels and stores. Chicago was becomiing the central distribution point for the entire Midwest and West. Major railroads--Chicago & North Western and the New York Central and the Illinois Central lines--were all built or extended to Chicago in the 1850's. The Illinois Central RR yards on the south side attracted Irish workers to the district known as Carville and nearby Bridgeport. Thomas and Bridget moved the family to Chicago around 1853.  Probably there was a relative, perhaps the O'Shaughnessy who had a saloon on Canal Street, near Harrison, who had come to Chicago in 1843. Dennis is not listed in Rochester after they left, nor is he listed in Chicago directory. Perhaps he had died in Rochester, breaking a tie to that town.

Thomas Shaughnessy immediately found work as a laborer in Chicago. He is listed as a laborer in the city directory for 1855-56, residing at 15th and State. He was the only Shaughnessy listed, but there were several O'Shaughnessys. In the 1856-57 directory a "Thomas Shaughenessy tinman" who had lived in Chicago for 3 yrs. (since 1853), was listed at Canal near Harrison, right next to the "O Shaughenessy, saloon-keeper," at Canal near Harrison, who had lived in Chicago for 13 yrs and who might have been the relative who invited Thomas to try his luck in Chicago. (That year, every Shaughnessy was given an extra "e" by the census-taker) . Perhaps Thomas worked for this long-established saloonkeeper relative. That year Bridget "O'Shaughenessy", who had a lived in Chicago for 3 yrs.(as Thomas's wife), was listed as living at State St. bt. 12th and "North." A look at the map from that time shows they would have lived in the midst of a number of railroad crossings, which the boys must have loved. .The family probably attended St. John's Church at 18th and Clark. Several of the daughters would be married there in the 1860s. Also in the 1856-57 directory Daniel Shaughnessey, in Chicago for 3 years, is listed working as a teamster.

A Death in the Family

The Shaughnessys must have found life was hard in Chicago too. Epidemics of cholera, small pox, dysentery, "fevers" arrived along with the floods of immigrants.
Public conditions were equally noxious and threatening. Odors, or “miasmas,” were widely believed to cause disease, and in Chicago, the slaughterhouses were “diffusing the odors of animal putrefaction throughout the city,” especially in summer. In the North Branch of the Chicago River, “the water remaining standing with the yearly accretions is, during the hot months converted into a cess-pool, seething, boiling and reeking with filth, which fills the north wards of the city with mephitic [noxious] gases.” The South Branch had become “fully as foul.”
(Encyclopedia of Chicago, "Epidemics") Perhaps it was cholera that took Thomas in 1857 or 1858, leaving Bridget at 54, a widow with nine children to support, aging from about 5 (William) to 24 (Lena). Lena worked as a dressmaker; the boys as "laborers", even though underage.

The death of Thomas caused a huge disruption in the family that normally stayed all together. They had been depending on their father. Now what would they do without him? Bridget would have to take over. From the 1859 city directory, it appears that a relative, Michael O'Shaughnessy, a saloon-keeper--probably the one who had invited them to come to Chicago-- took in some of the boys as boarders and listed them as laborers--John (14) and even William (7) were living with him at 251 S. Canal; and a John O'Shaughnessy was living next door at 247 S. Canal. Thomas J. (12) was boarding as a "laborer:" on S. Clark, near North. The girls must have remained with mother, working in their home as dressmakers.

1860s--Civil War and Marriages

The 1860 census shows that Bridget had them all back again living together with her in the 1st Ward, being supported by Daniel (a butcher) and Helena, Rosa and Elizabeth (dressmakers). Mary and Jane are not listed with the family. Jane was probably already working as a milliner, which she is listed as being in the 1863 Chicago directory, living on her own. The combined family assets were shown as $350 (more than $9000 in terms of today's purchasing power). Without Thomas's laborer's salary, they were still struggling.

From 1861-1864 the Civil War was a presence in their lives. The 23rd Illinois Infantry or "Irish Brigade" was specifically recruited from the Irish, as was the 90th Illinois Infantry or "Irish Legion", whose chaplain was Father Kelly, the pastor of the local Irish parish of St. James. The big army camp--Camp Douglas was in their neighborhood, at Douglas (35th) and Kankakee (now King Dr.) The oldest son Daniel (23) could not have volunteered, as he was needed to support the family. James (18) also would have been needed to work. John was 15 when the war started.  He could very well have volunteered and become a water boy in the Civil War, as the family legend went. If he was with the 23rd, he would have gotten to Lexington, Missouri, very near Kansas City, and seen their celebrated defeat there at the hands of the Missouri State Guards and their reinforcements. He may have had his ambitions raised by that experience. He would later sculpt a bust of a Civil War admiral who was active in some of the same areas as the 23rd Illinois Infantry.

Marriages in the 1860s

Nineteen year-old Rosana was living at home in the 1860 census, but she was preparing to marry the Austrian Joseph Hager and move out that year. Their first son Francis W. was born in 1861. Her husband became a successful fruit merchant and formed a company with Joseph Spies --Hager, Spies and Co. at 101 S. Water.

The two older sisters, Mary and Jane were not living with the rest of the family in 1860. Jane was working as a milliner and her mother lived with her in 1863, according to the 1863 Chicago directory, perhaps to help with dressmaking in preparation for her marriage to Owen McMahon in January, 1864 at St. Mary of the Assumption church in Chicago. The McMahons later had six surviving children: Elizabeth (b.1866), William (b. 1870), James (b. 1872), Frederic (b. 1874), Anna (b. 1875), and Catherine (b. 1882).

Mary married John Keane in March, 1864, also in St. Mary's. They had no children.

Daniel had been working for the family even back in Rochester, and in 1865 he married Louisa McClain (b. Ireland 1833) and settled permanently in Chicago, working as a butcher. He became the Chicago patriarch of a steadily growing family, adding a new child almost every other year. 5 daughters--Lillian (1866-1945), Rosa (1867-1944), Louisa (1872-?), Alice (1873-1956) and Lucy 1879-1972), and three sons, Thomas (1874-?), Daniel (b. abt. 1881) and William (July 1883). Their residence was 255 Archer in 1866; 417 Archer in 1871, 151 Kossuth in 1880.

On August 24, 1866 in Old St. John's in Chicago, Helena married John McKinnell, a house painter from England (b. 1830) in Old St. John's Church. She was 33; he was 36. Helena would eventually take over from Bridget as the family matriarch. She would not remain in Chicago as Bridget and Daniel would do but would move throughout the 70's--along with her brothers--to Kansas City with three children:
John T. McKinnell (1869-1935), Mary E. McKinnell (1868-1897), and Louisa "Lulu" McKinnell (1872-1938)

Finally, on May 11, 1870 also in Old St. John's Church, Elizabeth (Lizzie) was married to a Canadian Alexander Russell . They would have three sons--Francis W. (1871), George A. (1878) and Walter James (1880) and one daughter, Helena ("Lina") named for Helena.

1870's -1871 Chicago fire and the depression of 1873 and a death in 1874. Thomas J. leads the way to Kansas City.

By 1870, the census shows that the only Shaughnessys remaining at home in Chicago with Bridget were her unmarried sons George (20, carpenter), James (27, butcher), John (25, carpenter), Thomas (23, a hammersmith for the Rock Island RR). William (18) was not working so not listed. Irish men traditionally married late because they had a hard time getting work, especially during the 1870s. Thomas was the only one who worked steadily at the Rock Island Railroad. The others: James, a butcher (28), John, a carpenter (26), and George also carpenter (21) hadn't found steady work, and were waiting for some opportunity to turn up. The 1870 Chicago city directory shows them all living 594 Wentworth, in Chicago .

The decade of the 1870s was a turbulent one for them. Chicago seemed a land of promise at first, offering unlimited expansion. (A glowing description in the Appendix to the 1871 Edwards Census, claims that "The great event of 1871 has been the pouring of the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan into the Illinois River.") But on October 8-9,1871, the great Chicago fire destroyed much of the city. A huge inpouring of immigrant laborers arrived to rebuild. However, the financial Panic of 1873 threw most of them out of work and a subsequent decade-long depression took hold. .

"The depression that followed lasted for the rest of the decade and temporarily slowed the city's growth. Industrialists and entrepreneurs lost fortunes. One in three workers lacked employment. Many workers had come to Chicago in order to take part in the city's reconstruction. Now many of these recently arrived, single male immigrants walked the streets as tramps."(Drew VandeCreek, 1873-1876, The Panic of 1873 from Illinois During the Golden Age ).

By 1871, the year of the Great Chicago Fire, the Chicago directory shows only one son (William) still living with his mother, on Shurtleff Av between 32 and 33 (3200 S. Wells). Only the married families are living independently: Daniel and Louisa O'Shaughnessy were living in ward 6 at 417 Archer--2 males (himself and perhaps one of his brothers), 3 females (his wife and 2 young daughters, Lillian b. 1866 and Rosa b. 1867). Rosana and Joseph Hager had 2 boys, Francis S. b. 1861 and Walter J. b. 1864, and another female living with them at 46 Wisconsin Av. in Ward 16.

In 1874 William died (perhaps of TB?) in Chicago. His death prompted Bridget to buy a plot for 12 graves in Calvary Cemetery (along Lake Shore Drive, dividing Chicago from Evanston), Lot 49, Block 1, Section N. (Daryl Johannson has Bridget's deed, passed down to her through her great-grandmother, Alice Shaughnessy, who got it from Lizzie, who got it from Bridget). Bridget erected an imposing granite obelisk as a monument there for him and the family she expected to be buried there. She also moved the bones of Thomas out of the old and closed Lincoln Park cemetery. There must have been a big family funeral, for all the family were still living in Chicago. Thomas J. even added the O' back to his name (briefly).

In 1875, the Chicago directory shows Rosana and Joseph Hager and their sons Francis W. and Walter J. lived on 33rd and had their fruit market on 101 S. Water; Daniel (a butcher) and his growing family lived at 35th and Indiana. John McKinnel, a painter, lived with his wife Helena and their children on Shurtleff (Wells). Bridget may have moved in with them after William died.

The restless Shaughnessy boys had trouble finding work in Chicago. Thomas J. may have resorted to claiming to be a decade older (in the 1880 census he claimed he was 43 when he was only 33) to keep working as a hammersmith with the Rock Island RR . His work took him to Kansas City where the Rock Island added a spur. In Kansas City, in 1870 at 23 (claiming to be 33), he met and in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral married thirty year-old Mary McLaughlin (b. Ireland 1840) . They were godparents at a baptism in the same Cathedral there in 1872, probably for friends of hers. Their first son Thomas J. Jr. was born in Kansas City and baptized in the Cathedral there on September 6, 1872. I have a suspicion that she was a widow with a little money, for they were able to purchase a permanent home at 917 Wyoming, in "West Kansas" (actually Missouri) as the area of the "bottoms" in between the Missouri and the Kansas River was known. That would be their residence for many years to come although, working for the railroad, he (they) seem to have traveled during that time: their second son Dennis was born in California in 1876, and their daughter Laura was born in Chicago in 1878.

Other Shaughnessys Relocate to Kansas City through the 1870's

The enterprising Thomas had moved on to Kansas City as early as 1870. The others were itching to improve their lives, and had seen that Chicago had its problems for them. Where would they turn to next? Thomas was doing well. Why not all go to Kansas City???

Kansas City didn't even exist when the large family had crome from New York to Chicago in the mid 1850s. But since 1856, the area where the Missouri and Kansas rivers meet--the "bottoms" where squatters first settled, had exploded. By the 1870's Kansas City was a beckoning land of opportunity calling for laborers for its stock yards, packing houses, and rail yards. (For a good Kansas City Kansas history during those early years Cutler's History of Kansas (1883).

The rest of the family began to show up in Kansas City directories during the 1870s. Thomas was consistently there, working for different railroads, as a blacksmith in the 1877 directory, working for the Missouri River, Fort Scot and Gulf Rail Road. The four remaining unmarried Shaughnessy men followed the lead of Thomas and in the 1879 directory were all working together in K.C.I.W., the Kansas City Iron Works, a foundry associated with the railroads. George Shaughnessy, as a laborer; James, as a  teamster; and John as a molder. (Perhaps John had already recognized in himself an interest in sculpture?)

They were the only Shaughnessys in town at that time and may have briefly lived with Thomas and his family at the 917 Wyoming address.

Helena had followed. She and John McKinnell were also listed in the 1879 directory.: John McKinnell, painter, S. Barclay. They lived at 127 E. 12th. Eventually John McKinnell became a butcher and opened a meat market in his residence, where he would employ the brothers who wanted work. The 1880 census (below) shows him owning a meat market and with two boarders--listed as laborers: Jos. Russell, a Canadian, probably a relative of Alexander Russell, Lizzie's husband. although they were still in Chicago in 1885. And John Shaughnessy, my grandfather, who later is shown as owning a meat market himself--perhaps he bought his brother-in-laws in 1888 or perhaps he just claimed it since he worked there. At any rate, he eventually went on to become the first (and last) meat inspector of Kansas City.

1880s: Orphaned in Chicago

Back in Chicago tragedy would strike the Daniel's family in the 1880s. Bridget was probably staying with them to look after the younger children while Louisa was pregnant. Louisa died in giving birth to William in 1883 (she was only 37), at which time Daniel purchased a family plot in Calvary Cemetery (Lot 28, Block 1, Section K) for the family. Daniel looked to Bridget to help raise eight children. Bridget took over and assigned the older daughters Lillian (17) and Rosa (15), to look after Louisa (11), Thomas (9), Alice (6). Bridget took care of Lucy (4), Daniel (2), and newborn William. Daniel may have already been ill himself. He died in 1886, three years after Louisa, to the day, and was buried next to her in Lot 28, Block 1, Section K of Calvary Cemetery. He was 48, about the same age as his father Thomas when he died. What could Bridget do now, with Daniels eight children under her care?

Daniel's Family Is Divided into two--Chicago and Kansas City.

Bridget looked to Helena in Kansas City and together they decided that Daniel's family would have to be split up. Helena would take three of the children with her when she returned to Kansas City from the funeral: Louisa (14), Daniel (5) and William (3). These children would grow up and think of Kansas City as their home. Bridget would live with her oldest daughter and care for them. Daniel's two oldest daughters, Lillian (Lily) (1866-1945) and Rosa (1867-1944) were marrying in Chicago and could take in the remaining children. Rosa had married William Deto in 1885. She took in Thomas (12) and Alice (13). Rosa would have her own son Robert in 1889 and would thus be raising three children. Lillian would look after the youngest daughter Lucy (7) and after marrying Corydon Lewis Ford in 1887, she probably thought of Lucy as her own daughter. Her own daughter Louise (named for her grandmother, Louisa McClain OShaughnessy) was born in 1889, then nine year-old Lucy probably looked on her as her baby sister. Of Daniel's 8 children, three children thus grew up in Kansas City thinking of it as their home while five remained in Chicago and formed a strong family there.

Helena takes over: the McKinnell Family Center in Kansas City

In the 1880's Helena
thus took over as the matriarch and mainstay of the family, with the help of her mother who permanently moved to Kansas City in 1886. In addition to Helena's own three children, McKinnells looked after three of Daniel's--Louisa (12), Daniel (4) and William (2). As their family expanded and took in family, the McKinnells bought the house next door at 222 N. James, which would also house the meat market and a dry goods store on the first floor. They were fortunate to have room for all. John McKinnell's meat market must have done well, for he needed helpers. Joseph Russell, a Canadian, perhaps a brother of Lizzie's husband, Alexander Russell, boarded and probably worked there there as well. A younger brother William McKinnell joined him as a clerk for the business and moved in with the family home at 219 James. John A. Shaughnessy, my grandfather, lived with his sister until his marriage in 1890. Helena's son John would become a butcher. Her daughter Mary would run the dry goods store next door. Little Lulu was nearly the same age as Louisa.and Alice in Chicago, and I imagine the three visiting back and forther, for they became pals and corresponded. What fun the young girls could have had helping out in the store.

1888- a Year of Funerals

1888 was an especially difficult year for the family, with three Kansas City deaths and funerals in Chicago. Helena's house was like an infirmary. , to separate the sick from the dying. (Did they know TB was contagious?) Her mother had TB. Her husband John was ill (probably with TB), and she was also looking after her brother James M. Shaughnessy who was far gone with consumption. On January 17 he died. Helena had him interred at the Union Cemetery vault, expecting that either her mother or her husband would die that year and they might as well wait for another death before everyone went to Chicago for the funeral. In April, her husband John died and Helena decided to have both bodies shipped to Chicago. On April 5 she arranged to have the family funeral for her husband in the plot ( Lot 63, Block 16, Section O) which she had purchased in April 1886 when Daniel died. The next day, April 6 there was another funeral when she buried James in Bridget's plot. (The cemetery record erroneously says "John" but that was probably because there were two bodies arriving at the same time from KC, the one saying only "J M Shaughnessy" and the cemetery people didn't know who that was and wrote John. Helena wrote on the deed that James was buried 4/6/88, to keep it all straight in her own mind who was buried where.) During this time, she had sent her mother to Excelsior Springs, considered a health resort, but Bridget died there on September 9,1888. The whole family would have returned to Chicago and to Calvary Cemetery for the burial of Bridget beside Thomas.

Good days were still ahead for Helena. After the death of her husband John, Helena sold the meat market (probably to my grandfather John (41) whose obituary would say he owned a meat market) and dry goods stores. Her son John T. went to work as a carpenter, while daughter Mary E. became a city clerk. The house at 222 N. James she kept but rented rooms there to support herself and others who needed her. Among her boarders was her brother-in-law William, who became a laborer, and of course, my grandfather, who, after living with her at least since 1880, finally moved out in 1890 at 44 to marry Rose Butler, but of them, more below.

Helena's children also moved on, and she moved house. In 1893 Mary E. McKinnell married Cornelius Morley and had a son Joseph Clifford. In 1892 Helena moved their residence to Grandview, corner of Lyon (later numbered 49 Grandview), and used the old James property as rental (furnished rooms) and ran a restaurant there in 1900. This was a common arrangement in those days.. Her son John never married, staying with her. He often changed his profession, working as a packing house foreman in 1903 and as a painter in 1905. He died in 1935. They all lived with Helena. Mary died in 1897 and was buried in Old St. John's Cemetery where a Morley monument is next to that of Daniel Shaughnessy's family.

Daniel's Descendants: Kansas City

What became of the three children who grew up living with Helena in Kansas City? The oldest, Louise, was working as a dressmaker in 1892. She soon joined the Sisters of Ursuline in Paola, Kansas, where as Sr. Mary Jerome, she would have a distinuished career at the college. Daniel Jr. moved to Leon, Texas, a coal-mining town, where he is listed in the 1910 census of as working as a bookkeeper for the coal-mining company and married to Harriet "Hattie" Bennett with a newborn son Walter. They settled in Bexar , Texas where he was manager of a brick company in the 1920 census.and district representative for the company in the 1930 census, and where he died in 1934. William, the youngest, was still living with Helena in 1910 together with his wife Mayme Lucas (20) and son George (6 mo), and working as a fireman. in 1911 Mayme divorced William and for a brief time had custody of baby George. But when she turned him over to William, Helena looked after father and son. But her death in 1912 changed their lives forever. Mayme married Joe Uhlman in 1920 and they had 6 children.

Helena's Death

Helena, the matriarch, died July 21, 1912 at 78. (The obituary says she was 70). . Her body was returned to be buried in Calvary in Chicago with her husband, John. Her obituary in the Kansas City Star called her a "pioneer resident on the Kansas side." Her death left a gap in many lives, especially William's. Unable to look after his son, he turned George over to an orphanage in Kansas City, to be raised by the Sisters of Charity. then returned to Chicago to live with his sister Rosa. . After her death in 1944, she was buried in the Hager family plot, and William disappeared. His son George grew up in the orphanage and eventually prospered and married Lynn Herbert. His line continues. He has a grandson--Michael Brian O'Shaughnessy who has been so helpful in this search for records and reasons.

Helena's family line continues through the descendants of Helena's daughter Louisa, "Lulu," who married Roy W. Irvine in 1903. They had two children. One son Roy Bernard who married Agnes P. Bronson. They had a daughter Helen (b. 1937), who married a Mr. Mosher and had twin boys. The other son Raymond A. Irvine had a daughter Lida Lou, who lives in Arizona and has two children, John Douglass and Kathrine. Lida has helped me fill out Helena's line.

Daniel's Descendants: Chicago

Daniel's four other daughters who remained in Chicago married and eventually took over the four family plots in Calvary Cemetery. . Daniel's youngest child Lucy married John Louis Wymond about 1905 and their son John L. was born in 1908. Lucy's husband John Louis died on Dec. 10, 1936--the first of Daniel's children's families to die in Chicago, and Lucy (probably with the approval of Lillian, with whom she moved in after her husband's death) buried him in Daniel's plot and put up a large red granite with the names O'Shaughnessy and Wymond on the stone, planning for her family to be buried there. This taking over of Daniel's plot for the Wymonds upset Rosa Deto, who as the older sister who had looked after two younger siblings (Alice and Thomas) when she was first married and having later taken in her wandering brother William. strongly objected to Lucy's coopting the tomb, and filed an affidavit in April, 1937 to allow only direct descendants to be buried there. (Why this should exclude a spouse is unclear.) Before the affidavit could affect any more of Lucy's family, however, Rosa herself died in 1944 and apparently chose to be buried not in her father's plot but in Helena and John McKinnel's grave, not Daniel's. Lucy outlived her and buried her son John L., as she had planned, in the Shaughnessy-Wymond grave in 1953. Lucy oulived all her siblings, dying in 1962, and was buried beside her husband, son and parents.

Lillian, or Lily, Ford who had taken Lucy in as a child and later as a widow, saw her daughter Louise marry John I. Cochennett around 1917, and their daugher Mary Louise was born in 1918. She married a Carney and had two daughters Patricia and Joan. Mary Louise buried her mother in 1945 and her father in 1966 in Rosa Hager's plot in Calvary (probably with the consent of her Hager cousins who were all in Kansas City by then). Lily's husband Corydon was buried next to her in 1953. Mary Louise and John Cochenett were buried also in the Hager's plot, where they put up the stone with Ford on it. A little stone nearby marks the grave as originally the Hagers.

Alice, who had lived with older sister Rosa until she married William Robeson in 1896, had a daughter Louise Robeson. who married Wilson A. Smith. William Robeson died in 1935 and Alice chose to bury him with Bridget and Thomas in the Bridget's family plot. In the same plot would be buried Alice herself, who died in Kenner Hospital, LA.  in 1956. Her daughter Louise and her daughter Patricia moved to Texas, but buried Alice in Bridget's plot as she must have asked. Alice received Rosa's papers, including the affidavit, and passed them on to daughter Louise, who passed them on eventually to Daryl Johannson.

Thomas Shaughnessy's line in Kansas City

Thomas continued to live at 917 Wyoming with his family, and to work as a smith for the railroads through the 1880s. His wife Mary and their sons Thomas Jr. and Dennis who were first listed in the 1891 directory--Thomas Jr. as a butcher, and Dennis at the Wyoming address. The entire family isl listed in the 1880 census with the spelling " Oshaunsey." The 1892 directory indicated that Dennis Shaughnessy died May 8, 1892 ( his headstone says April 8). Dennis was buried in Old St. John's Cemetery. In 1897; Thomas's remaining family were still at the home on Wyoming, but by 1900 he had moved them to 1618 Penn, and Thomas Jr. was still working as a butcher. They continued residing at the Penn address through 1905, when Thomas Sr. still working as a blacksmith on the RR and Thomas Jr. was working as a plumber. Thomas Sr. died in 1905. His widow Mary with her son Thomas J.,--once again a butcher-- were still at 1618 Pennsylvania Av. Mary is listed as a widow in the 1910 census, with her son Thomas Jr. at home. She may have put up the elaborate monument in Kansas City. She died in 1910 and her son buried her with her husband in the family plot in Old St. John's in KC, KS. Thomas Jr. is still listed in the directory as a butcher at 1618 Penn until 1916, but after that he disappears. He must have died about 1917. With no heirs and having lost contact with the rest of the family, I hope he was buried in his family plot in Old St. John's, but there is no headstone. There is no further record of Laura either. Too bad, for their line led the way to Kansas City for all of us.

Rosa Hager's Descendants Move to Kansas City
Rosana and Joseph Hager had stayed in Chicago and with their sons Francis W. and Walter J., and lived, on 33rd All the men of the family worked at their fruit market on 101 S. Water. Joseph Hager died in 1884 and Rosa buried him in Lot 49, Block 1, Section R in Calvary Cemetery, which she purchased at the time of the burial. No Hagers are in the Chicago Directory for 1885. Rosa and her sons had left Chicago for Kansas City. She died there in 1892, and her sons took her body back to be buried beside her husband in Calvary there, as she must have wished, but bought a plot for themselves in Calvary Cemetery, in Kansas City.

Francis married Katherine Doran in the late 1890s. Their daughter Mildred Ruth Hager was born in 1899. Mildred married Leo N. Williams in Kansas City in 1925. (Katherine's brother Miles Doran had a daughter Maurine Doran who married Fritz Henkle, a newspaper editor in Kansas City in 1930, possibly providing a connection for Mildred Ruth to hold a job as assistant editor of a KC newspaper in 1930.) Francis Hager died in 1929 and Katherine in 1962. They are buried together in Calvary Cemetery, in Kansas City, Missouri in the Hager plot there. Mildred Ruth married Leo N. Williams and they had a son, Bruce David , who married Deirdre O'Brien and had two daughters and four grandchildren. Walter married Belle McGonegal in 1913. He died in the 1930s; she died in 1948. They had no children. They are buried in the Hager plot in Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City.

John Shaughnessy's grave in Old St. John's Cemetery, Kansas City Kansas

Rochester, New York

1849 Rochester directory showing a Dennis Shaughnessy, and a Helen Shaughnessy, domestic. (Age 15)

Thomas Shaughnessy, teamster,
in Rochester, 1851

1850s - 1870s
Records tell the story of 20 years in Chicago-- .

1855-56 Chicago directory lists Thomas Shaughnessy, laborer living at State St. near Springer (now 15th St.)
1856-57 Chicago directory shows Thomas Shaughnessey, tin man, in Chicago for 3 years, working at Canal and Harrison, next to a saloon owned by an O'Shaughnessey who has lived in Chicago 13 yrs.

1856-57 Chicago Directory: Bridget O'Shaughnessy, also in Chicago for 3 years, living at State between 12th and North.

1859 Chicago Directory: Bridget O'Shaughnessy, wid of Thomas, home at Michigan ave. n R.R. crossing.

1860 Census lists Bridget O'Shannessy 47, living in Cook Co. Ward 1 with Helena 23 dressmaker, Daniel 22 butcher, Rosana and Elizabeth 19 dressmaker, James 17, John 15, Thomas 13, George 10 and William 8.

1866 Chicago directory shown Bridget O'Shaughnessy 60 widow of Thomas, residing on Stewart Ave, near 22nd, Chicago.

1870 census shows that Bridget Shaughnessy 60 b. Ire. living in Cook Co. Ward 6 with James 26 butcher, John 23 carpenter, Thomas 20 hammersmith, George 17 painter, William 15 painter.
Dan Shaughnessy 32 butcher born in NY was living in Cook Co. with Louisa 27 born in Ireland, and children Lillian 4 and Rosa 2.
John McKinnell 40 house painter, born in England, living in Cook Co. with wife Lena 33, daughter Mary 2 and son John 6 mo.

1870 Chicago directory shows that at 594 Wentworth Bridget Shaughnessy 60 b. Ireland was living with children James 26 butcher, John 23 carpenter, Thomas 20 hammersmith on the railroad, George 17 painter. William was not listed--probably not working at the time.

1871 Edwards census shows Bridget Shannessy b. Ireland, widow of Thomas, resided at es Shurtleff Ave, between 31 and 32, Ward 6, with 1 male and 1 female. Daniel a butcher resided at 417 Archer Ward 6, 2 males and 3 females. Hagers Ward 16 46 Wisconsin, 3 m 2 f.

1875 Chicago directory: Daniel OShannessy, butcher r. 64 Napoleon Pl. The Hagers are listed again at 33rd. John McKinnell, painter, resided on Shurtleff (Wells). Bridget is not listed.

1880 Chicago directory has Daniel Shannessy, butcher, in a house at 151 Kossuth. Hagers in house 3538 Indiana.

By 1879 the other Shaughnessy boys have relocated to Kansas City near the McKinnells

The 1880 US census shows John McKinnell 50, born in England, owner of a meat market, living at 217 James St in KC,KS with his wife H(elena) 43, born in New York, with two children, daughter Mary 12 and son John 9, both born in Illinois. With them was a boarder John Shaughnessy 30, laborer, born in New York.

1881 Kansas City directory shows these Shaughnessy brothers living at 917 Wyoming (not far from the McKinnells at 219 James): Thomas J. 31, James 37 teamster, John a molder 34, and George laborer 28.

1883 Hoye's Kansas City Directory shows Thomas Shaughnessy, smith, at 917 Wyoming. John A. Shaughnessy, laborer, r. sw corner 3rd Armstrong, KCK.

1885 Kansas State Census shows John McKinnell 55, butcher from England, living with wife Elenore (Helena) 48, and their children Mary, John T. Louisa, as well as two Shaughnessy children Daniel 4 and William 2 (probably orphaned) plus a boarder, John Shaughnessy 35.

1886-87 KC,KS directory shows John McKinnell, dry goods, with Bridget Shaughnessy widow of Thomas, and John Shaughnessy blacksmith helper working at Union Pacific rail shops.

1888 KC,KS shows George, James and John together.
1888 Bridget's Deed of 1874 shows that she purchased the plot in Calvary in April 1874 when Thomas and William were buried there. The grave was reopened in 1888 for James in April and for Bridget in September.

1889 city directory--shows Thomas Shaughnessy r. 917 Wyoming as usual.

1892-3 Hoyes Directory for Kansas City, KS shows John A. Shaunessy, real estate. at 16 N. 8th.

1895 city directory: John Shaughnessy lived at 16 N. 8th with his wife and their daughters Nellie 4, Ruth 2.

1900 US census shows John A. Shannessy 52, sculptor, living at 16 S. 8th St., KC,KS with his wife Rose T. 34, their daughters Nellie D 9 (b. Mar 1891), Ruth A 7 (b. Mar 1893), their son Joseph J (should be B) 3 (b. August 1897), and Marguerite 1 (b. Sept 1899).
A few houses away at 10 S. 8th lived Joseph A. Butler 30, journeyman cooper (b. 1869 in Ohio) with his wife Mary E. 28 (b. Mar 1871) their children Loretta 6 (b. Jan 1894), Marie E. 4 (b. Dec. 1895) and Joseph A. 1 (b. June 1898)

Civil War Admiral Schley
sculpture by John A. Shaughnessy

Graves in Chicago

Bridget's Deed
Shows the dates in April, 1888 when James Shaughnessy and John McKinnell were both buried.

J. M. Shaughnessy funeral record-
January 18, 1888, showing that
James, not John died in 1888.

Record of Bridget and Helena's plots
in Calvary, Chicago

O'Shaughnessy monument in
Calvary Cemetery, Chicago

McKinnell Monument in Calvary.

Daniel O'Shaughnessy monument,
Calvary, Chicago

Record of Daniel's plot in Calvary,

Rosa (Shaughnessy) and
Joseph Hager headstone-Calvary,

Lillie (Shaughnessy) Ford,
buried in Hager plot in Calvary, Chicago

Record of Hager's plot in Chicago,
showing Fords buried there.

Graves in Kansas City

Morley monument, Old St.
Johns Cemetery, KC,KS

Thomas Shaughnessy family
monument in Old St. Johns',
Kansas City, KS.

John A. Shaughnessy,
Old St. John's Cemetery,
Kansas City, KS

Hager monument in Calvery
Cemetery, KC.

Headstone, Mary McLaughlin Shaughnessy,Kansas City Old St. John's.

Part II - John A. Shaughnessy's Descendants

John Adams Shaughnessy marries Rose T. Butler My grandfather, John Adams Shaughnessy, was truly a self-made man. Since he had little education aside from elementary school, he had to find his own way, starting in 1859 when he was only 13, working as a laborer in Chicago. Legend has it that he was a water carrier in the Civil War (at 15-19 yrs). None of the children were listed in the Chicago directory during that time. By 1866, still in Chicago, he was a butcher (Chicago,1866 at 20 yrs). Then when the family had to move to Kansas City, he found a job with his brothers in a foundry, where he worked as a molder (1879 at 33 yrs). Somehow he found his way back into the meat-packing business and was listed as a stock yard owner (KC KS, 1880), but also a realtor. Yet in 1883, unaccountably , he was a laborer again. Then in 1885, he was a meat packer , where he found himself in an area he knew. Working at the stock yards in Kansas City , he drew attention to himself by his knowledge of cattle and was appointed an inspector, where, according to an article in the Kansas City Star, he "created a sensation by killing large numbers of 'big jaw' cattle. His action at that time was unprecedented and the owners of the cattle were indignant. Frequently the inspector’s life was threatened but he kept on his course. The position of inspector, which at that time was wholly an honorary one [$100], soon became an important one, for in recognition of Mr Shaughnessy’s service, the city of Kansas City, Kas fixed his salary at $1000 per annum, the city of Kansas City, Mo gave him $600 per annum and the state of Kansas made an appropriation of $300 per annum. The action which Mr. Shaughnessy took at that time against the “big jaw” cattle finally led to the appointing of government meat inspectors, stock examiners and microscopists." (KC Star, Dec. 7, 1902) With income assured, he gave himself over to his avocation and became a sculptor , giving that as his occupation in 1890 and 1900 and gaining some local fame . Since it took him a so long to get up the ladder of success, it is no surprise that it should take him a long time to get married. It was not until he was 44 and secure as the chief meat inspector that he finally settled down. On February 11, 1890 John and Rose T. Butler were married at St. Bridget's Church in Kansas City, Ks. Their marriage certificate says he was 40 and she was 26, but he was probably 46. He gave his occupation not as a meat inspector but as sculptor. His bust of the Civil War Admiral Schley (at right) is in the Smithsonian.

The Butlers

Who was Rose Butler? Young and pretty (see right), she too was first generation, Anglo-Irish. Her parents were Jeremiah J. "Jerry" Butler (1827-1895) from Tipperary and Laura Campbell (1830-1874) from England. The passenger list of the Briseis that left from Liverpool for Philadelphia in 1853 under Edward Tilly, Master. The Briseis lists Jeremiah Butler 24 and wife Laura Butler 22 as passengers. Jeremiah J(ohn) Butler was born on 27 May 1827 in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Emigration on 14 Jul 1853 in Liverpool to Philadelphia on the Briseis; (this would be at the end of the Irish Famine) Residence in 1880 in Wyandotte, Kansas,He died on 15 Jan 1895 in Kansas City, Kansas. Burial 1895 in St. John's Cemetery, KCK. Cause of Death was congestion of lungs.

Laura Campell was born on 24 Dec 1830 in England. Emigration on 14 Jul 1853 in Liverpool to Philadelphia on the Briseis. Arrival on 14 Jul 1853 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ]. Burial 1874 in St. John's Cemetery, KCK. She died on 04 Oct 1874 in Kansas City, Kansas. Jeremiah and Laura had several children in Philadelphia, then moved to Cleveland, where Jeremiah worked as a cooper (a barrel maker), an occupation he took up from age nine, according to Dorothy Schweitzer. The rest of their children were born in Cleveland. He had a sister, Maggie Butler Nichols. Eventually he moved to Kansas City, Kansas to get work with the Armour Meatpacking Company. He “landed in the bottoms,” in Dorothy’s words. ("The Bottoms" referred to the floodplain beside the Kansas River where the stockyards were located. It was vulnerable to flooding and was devastated in the 1903 flood.) They lived at 176 E. Armstrong in Kansas City, Kansas. Laura died at age 44 in 1874 after giving birth to 11 children, only 8 of whom survived (see below ). Jeremiah survived her until 1895. The only daughter at home to look after their father and the rest of the children was Rose, although she was only 9. She had to look after the four younger children --two boys and 2 girls.

Eight Children of Jeremiah Butler and Laura Campbell:
1) William Butler (“Uncle Billy”)
2) Helen (Mellie) Butler m. Joseph Etchingham and whose daughter Susan married William John Schmittner; she died in a fire started by smoking in bed
3) John G. Butler (no children)
4) Rose T. Butler (October 13, 1865 - June 7, 1920), who raised the family when her mother died in 1874. My paternal grandmother.
5) Thomas H. Butler (grocer) who married Nell and had 3 children: Tommy (mentally retarded because his mother had diptheria during pregnancy), Maurice (a salesman in Dallas), Richard (died when he was 12)
6) Joseph Aloysius Butler founded the Butler Funeral Home, married Mary Elizabeth "Minnie" Nichols (1872-1947) from Ireland.. (Her sister was Margaret T. "Maggie" Nichols (1869-1952) who married John Menary, 1869-1925). The children of Joseph A. Butler and Minnie Nichols were:
Loretta Butler, m. Jim McNamara; Marie Butler, m. Geor
ge Winters (childr: George Edward m.Norma Lee Loske; Jo Anne Butler, m. Skip Wheat; Virginia “Gin” Butler, m. Tom Rowland; Arthur Butler, m.Dee Wohletz; Joe Butler, Jr. m. Naydene Rhodus (children Joe Butler III + Joan Malloy);
Dorothy Butler (who lived into her nineties in St. Louis), m. John Schweitzer, children Betty Marie m. Frederic Shadley; John Henry Schweitzer m. Joyce Bindbuetel; Harry Burns Butler
7) Mary Ellen. Butler, (“Aunt May”) m. Mr. Jamison, child Susan and moved to Toronto, Kansas
8) Frances J. (“Fanny”) Butler, m. Mr. Gaffney and lived at 55th & Michigan
I believe the reason Rose at 26 wanted to marry John at 44 probably had to do with the fact that she was looking for someone settled, with a steady income, as John by then had.

Children of John and Rose Shaughnessy

Four of their five children survived: Mary Helen (Nell, 1891-1965) m. Raymond Neugebauer, Ruth (1893-1976) m. LA. Williams and moved to Arizona, Joseph Bernard (1897-1992) m. Frances Shepherd, and Marguerite (1899-1981) m. Raymond Johnson and later Merl Crabtree.
Unfortunately, his four children barely knew their father when he died. Death of John A. Shaughnessy in 1903.
John Adams Shaughnessy continued in his dual career as livestock inspector and sculptor until his death on October 3 1903 at age 56 (or 58?). His obituary in the Star for October 4 shows he had attained some prominence:

Headline: ."John A. Shaughnessy, 51, an amateur sculptor, died at his home in Kansas City, Kansas. His bust of Admiral Schley was accepted by Congress."The bust made its way into the Smithsonian (Aunt Marguerite saw it there while visiting). He was a water boy in the Civil War. Then lived at 930 Tenny, KCK. "

"Death of John A. Shaughnessy. Kansas City, Kns. Man who was sculptor of local note .
John A. Shaughnessy, an artist 56 years old, died at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon at his home, 16 North Eighth St. Kansas City, Kas. after an illness of months. A widow and four children the eldest only 12 years old, survive him. Mr. Shaughnessy moved to Kansas City, Kas. from Chicago, twenty-five years ago. For several years he owned and operated a small packing house on the Kansas side. On retiring from that business he served the city in the capacity of live stock inspector, being the first man to hold that position. He was also the last inspector, for after holding the office under the administration of Mayor Craddock no successor to him was chosen. Mr. Shaughnessy, although engaged in business pursuits, was a sculptor and in the last ten or fifteen years did a great deal of work in that line, merely for the pleasure it gave him. His most notable work, perhaps, was a bust of Admiral Schley, which was accepted by Congress with thanks. His faces of the late President McKinley, and his friend, the late Simeon B Armour, were good specimans of the sculptor's art. ( From the K.C.Star, 10/4/1903)
He was buried in St. John's Cemetery. "

William Sullivan

What would become of Rose, who once again found herself with the sole charge of four young children, as she had been thirty years earlier. Her sister-in-law Helen McKinnell, also a widow, no doubt helped, but Rose was still young, only 39. She was again looking for a good settled Irish man to support her family. . .

Wm J. Sullivan, (b. 1875 in Ireland, immigrated 1889), was ten years Rose's junior, and about 25 years younger than John Shaughnessy. His wife Susan Lappin had died in childbirth in 1903, the same year John Shaughnessy died. He was a packing house foreman with his own home, and three children who needed looking after--Perhaps they attended St. Mary's Church together, for they both lived west of the river--she at 16 N. 8th and he at 992 N. Tenny, only a few blocks apart. Mr. Sullivan may have recognized that Rose was good at looking after families. By 1805, William and Rose were married. She then raised his three children--Robert (1893-1967), Nell (1896-1983) and Andrew (1899-1950)--as her own--seven children altogether.

My father never really knew his real father, John Shaughnessy, who died when Dad was only 6, so Mr. Sullivan became the only father he ever knew. Dad grew up in the combined family of seven children living at 922 Tenney in KC, KS. With seven children, Rose somehow found time to keep up not only with Mr. Sullivan's relatives and her own large Butler clan, but even with the Shaughnessy relatives--children of Lena or George or Lizzie Russel Hager-- for Aunt Dorothy Butler Schweitzer knew and supplied me with their names, (providing the key to my finding the whole Shaughnessy family.) Dad must have been glad to have two new brothers--Robert (who became Father Malachy OSB) and Andrew, as well as another sister Nell. Mr. Sullivan must have been a good provider, for the men were all well-educated. Robert Sullivan had gone to Conception Abbey and become a Benedictine (Malachy OSB). Dad went into the Conception seminary briefly in high school, but left, though he remained devout his entire life, and continued to say the rosary on his knees, as Rose Butler Shaughnessy Sullivan had trained all her seven children.

Notre Dame

Malachy persevered in the Benedictines and become a philosopher at St. Benedict’s College. Dad went to Notre Dame to become an architect. As a student of Francis Kervick, he worked on the master plan for Notre Dame, and his name appears on the rendering of the Master Plan for which he did the drawings. It is included in The University of Notre Dame: A Portrait of Its History and Campus by Thomas Schlereth (p. 143) The fact that he had gone to Notre Dame made him illustrious in the family ever after. He graduated in 1922. (David Shaughnessy has the Domes from 1921-1922) Sadly, Dad's mother Rose Sullivan had died in 1920 at 55, and he was unable to share his joy with her. After Notre Dame, he worked for Rose and Peterson and continued to live with his stepfather.

Note: One highlight of doing this genealogy has been uncovering the long period when the Shaughnessys were in Chicago and finding their gravesite in Calvary Cemetery. Establishing this family link to Chicago has meant a lot to me, as most of  my family live  in Kansas City, where the Shaughnessys moved in the 1870s (except for the oldest son Daniel who stayed here in Chicago) and where we all grew up, assuming that we had always lived in Kansas City.   I moved to Chicago in the 1960s myself.feeling like I was leaving the family and now I discover that this was their original base (after New York, where they lived for years).  .   
They were one  the first Shaughnessys in Chicago (in the mid 1850s) and the first in Kansas City in the 1870s.. 

I have put my genealogy online on under Shaughnessy Family Tree. It's public.


Jeremiah Butler (1827-
"Jerry" for short

Rose T. Butler

Rose T. Butler (1865-1920)

Joseph B. Shaughnessy

Joseph B. Shaughnessy
(at his Confirmation- age 12)

Rose Shaughnessy and
Wm. J. Sullivan--1905

Joseph B. Shaughnessy Sr.
(college graduation?)
continue the story of Dad's life in
Memories of my Father

Joe Shaughnessy (17?)
at Conception Abbey

Malachy Sullivan, OSB

Dad designed this house at 440 East 65th, in KC, and. lived there from 1935 to 1955.

Shaughnessy monument in Calvary Cemetery, Kansas City, where Joseph B. Shaughnessy family are buried.


Home Genealogy Memoirs Grandparents