Saturday, January 31, 2015

Darby Hogan's Children Found

     Darby Hogan has been on the periphery of my research for many years.  He first drew my attention when I discovered my 3rd great-grandfather Cornelius Ryan, and his son Cornelius Jr. were both interred in Darby's plot at St. Anne's Cemetery in Palmyra, NY; eight months apart in 1877 strangely enough. There had to be a family connection to Darby or his wife Maria.  Over the ensuing years bits and pieces came to light.  Andrew Ryan, another son of Cornelius, married Bridget Hogan in 1856 at Palmyra.  Bridget was the daughter of a Thomas Hogan and Catherine O'Dwyer.  Could Thomas be a brother of Darby?

     Not long after that I discovered Darby's obituary describing in gory detail his grisly end after being struck by a New York Central work train while walking home from work up the tracks in 1861. (see obit below)  I also found Darby mentioned in the Boston Pilot column "Missing Friends" where Irish immigrants posted ads seeking information about friends and relatives from the old country they had lost touch with.  Darby wasn't missing though, he was the contact person for Mary Ryan who was seeking her brother Michael, a native of Terryglass Parish in North Tipperary.  For a time I thought perhaps Darby was from the north and Mary Ryan could be a misspelling of Darby's wife Maria.  New information has come to light however, making that seem unlikely.  I found Darby's naturalization papers and discovered he was a literate man, a rare talent among the early Irish immigrants of Palmyra.  Darby was probably selected as Mary's contact for that ability.

     I have been aided and abetted in this search by a long lost cousin who is a descendant of the above mentioned Andrew and Bridget Hogan Ryan.  In an index he found mention of the three known children of Darby and Maria in a surrogate file dated 1874.  A few days ago I made the trip to Lyons, NY to get a copy of the file.  It wasn't very informative, it was just a guardianship for Darby's minor children, but it mentioned them receiving a 1/8 share of the sale of the family home.  That meant there were other living children out there, but we could not locate them until I thought to check the index on Family Search for New York land records.  If a sale had taken place it should be listed, and indeed it was.  Along with the names of Darby and Maria's children!  The odd thing is, Maria was calling herself Maria Cooney in these records.  We are going with the assumption Cooney was her maiden name since she is listed as Maria Hogan in the 1880 census and on her tombstone and we've found no trace of a second marriage.

     We now have the names of Darby and Maria's eight children, including the married names of the older girls.  We've even found the younger girls married names by searching Historic Rochester Marriages and looking for them as mothers of the brides and grooms, and searching online trees.  I still haven't found Darby's relationship to my family, unless it's simply through marriage, but the pieces are starting to come together.  Finding the children's names opened up new avenues of research-- it's just a matter of time now.                                                                                                                     __________________               

April, 1861:     Darby Hogan, who had been for eight or nine years, employed by the Central RR as a watchman and switch tender at the Palmyra Station, was killed Friday morning last by a train of cars passing over him.  “Mr. Hogan was returning home from the station where he had been on duty the night previous, when he was overtaken by the New York mail train going west.  He stepped from the track to allow the train to pass, and not knowing that the work train was a short distance in the rear on the same track, he resumed his position on the track- seeing which, the brakeman on the mail train made a motion with his hands intended as a warning that another train was close at hand; but Hogan mistaking this for a salutation, responded cordially, and remained on the track. 

     The noise made by the mail train prevented his hearing the approach of the work train – and the wind blew the smoke to the rear of the train and enveloped Hogan in smoke that he was not seen by the engineer of the work train in time even to check the speed of his engine.  As soon as the man was discovered, every means was taken to warn him, by the engineer, and a woman standing near the tracks, calling him by name and gesticulating violently with her hands, but such was the noise that he heard not and heeded not.  The engine came upon him unawares, throwing him across the track, and the entire train passing over him.  Hogan was nearly severed in twain, the heart and lungs being thrown some distance.  The men on the work train placed the mangled corpse on a board and carried it to the former home of the deceased about 6 rods from the scene of the disaster, where his wife had been awaiting his return home to breakfast.  She had seen him approaching, and had placed his breakfast upon the table – but alas, instead of her husband partaking of the goodness she had provided for him, he was ushered into her presence a mangled corpse.  The scene at the house was heartrending in the extreme, and can better be imagined than described. 

     Mr. Hogan was an honest, industrious and worthy man, an affectionate husband and kind father.  His wife and children, frantic with grief, clung to his mangled remains, unwilling to leave them to allow an inquest.  Deceased was born in County Tipperary, Ireland Dec. 10 1815.  He was faithful to his employer, his family and friends, and to his church.  He leaves a wife and 8 children to mourn his fate.  One son is yet in Ireland and is expected in this country.   Who can imagine his feelings on arrival to find his mother a widow?  By his industry and frugality, Hogan had saved means to purchase and nearly pay for a small, but comfortable house for his family. 

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