Denis Galligan, son of Patrick Galligan (c.1807-1870) and Mary Cullen (c. 1807-1843), was born about 1841 in the townland of Loughaconnick, parish of Kilmore, Co. Cavan, Ireland. In the early 1840s, he and his parents and siblings emigrated to Canada, settling in Fitzroy Township, Carleton County, Ontario.1
A few months after the death of his father Patrick (who died 25 April 1870), Denis married Catherine Doolan (c. 1842-1920), daughter of Patrick Doolan and Mary Ryan. The couple first lived in Fitzroy Township, where Denis had inherited 75 acres of land, and where they had the first four of their six known children. By 1881, the family had moved to Arnprior, Renfrew County, Ontario, where Denis Galligan and Catherine Doolan had two more children.
The children of Denis Galligan and Catherine Doolan were as follows:
- Patrick Michael Galligan (born 17 July 1871 in Fitzroy)
- Denis James Galligan (born 6 September 1873 in Fitzroy)
- Francis Ambrose Galligan (born 11 July 1875 in Fitzroy)
- Mary Elizabeth Galligan (born 28 March 1878 in Fitzroy; died 10 May 1881 in Arnprior)
- Catherine Mary Galligan (born 15 March 1881 in Arnprior; died 27 May 1957 in Oconto, Wisconsin)
- Mary Elizabeth Galligan (born 15 February 1883 in Arnprior; died 15 July 1895 in Arnprior)
So: three sons and three daughters, and two of those daughters (both named Mary Elizabeth) died in childhood (the first Mary Elizabeth at the age of three, the second Mary Elizabeth at the age of 12). Daughter Catherine Mary was the only daughter to survive to adulthood, and apparently also the only child to accompany her parents to Oconto, Wisconsin in the early 1900s, where she can be found with her parents in the 1905 Wisconsin state census.
In 1911, Catherine Mary Galligan married a Stanley McAllister of Oconto, Wisconsin; and in the early 1920s, after the death of, first, her father Denis Galligan (who died in 1916), and then of her mother Catherine Doolan (who died in 1920), Catherine Mary [Galligan] McAllister was named as the executor of her father’s estate. Which leads me to suspect that her three older brothers were no longer living at the time, or at least were no longer on the scene.
But where had they gone? or where had they died? It’s a bit unusual to be able to trace the daughters from birth to death, but not the sons.
The last record I have for a son of Denis Galligan and Catherine Doolan is that of Denis James Galligan, enumerated as a “Carriage Maker” in the 1901 Census of Canada, Renfrew County, Arnprior. After that, my paper trail goes cold. And no doubt I’m missing or overlooking something, but my question is:
What happened to those three sons?
- Three generations of this Galligan family emigrated to Canada in the late 1830s and early 1840s, with Denis Galligan, Senior (c.1782-1846) and his wife Anne Kelly (c.1785-1866) apparently arriving in 1840. Patrick Galligan and Mary Cullen, along with their five known children, probably arrived in 1843. ↩
- St. Peter Celestine (Pakenham, Lanark), Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1857-1968, image 84 of 318, B. 17, Patrick Michael Galligan baptism, database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca/: accessed 4 April 2019), Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967). ↩