Stephen and Bridget in Illinois

Discussion of Stephen and Bridget Durnan, and their families.
lldurnan
Posts: 3
Joined: March 8th, 2012, 10:11 pm

Stephen and Bridget in Illinois

Postby lldurnan » March 9th, 2012, 3:08 pm

As Eric mentioned, Stephen moved to Illinois in 1861. He settled in Aurora, IL in Kane County.

On May 25, 1865 he married Bridget McGuire (daughter of Patrick and Margaret (Kelly) McGuire) in St. Nicolas Catholic Church in Aurora, IL. A copy of the original marriage license is (or was) available either through the Kane county courthouse in Geneva, IL, or through the Kane Count Genealogical Society in Aurora. I don't recall which I received my copy from. One think I found interesting was that Bridget signed the license with " X (her mark). Obviously, she was illiterate which was not uncommon at that time


They were still living in Aurora when my grandfather Thomas Joseph Durnan (1869 - 1939) was born.

They later moved and bought land 1 mile west of Buck Creek, Iowa. Buck Creek is an unincorporated village west of Fairbank, IA (many many of our ancestors are buried in the Immaculate Conception Cemetary north of Fairbank).

I'm no longer sure exactly when Stephen moved to Iowa (a lot of my research was lost several years ago), but that can be determined at the Bremer county Assessor's office in Waverly, IA to determine when he bought his land. (Buck Creek is just far enough west to no longer be in Fayette county, but in Bremer county.)

The above are what I know as documented facts.
Following is family history that I have from my father, Philip J. Durnan. It is 'oral history', and that does not meet the test for definitive facts. However, it may be informative, interesting, or provide potential leads for further research into our family.

Stephen met Bridget when he was a boarder from her father who ran a (general?) store. Like many businessmen at the time, his residence was above his store so he could keep an eye on things.


At the time, Stephen was what was called 'common labor' (sort of what we call 'day laborers today). However, the Civil War actually worked to Stephen's advantage.

The Civil War was the first major implementation of men being drafted into the military. However, wealthy individuals could avoid the draft by one of two means... commutation or substitution. An individual could pay $300 ($40,000 - 85,000 in today's dollars depending upon how you calculate it) to commute their eligibility for the draft. Alternatively, they could pay a substitute for a lesser amount who contracted to serve if the 'patron' was called up in the draft.

According to family history, Stephen entered into such a contract but never had to serve. That was supposedly the 'nest egg' that Stephen and Bridget used to buy their land in Iowa.

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Eric E. Durnan
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Re: Stephen and Bridget in Illinois

Postby Eric E. Durnan » March 9th, 2012, 6:55 pm

There's nothing in our family (Leo) that mentions anything about how Stephen met Bridget, but this would make sense. I guess the closest that we have in our line regarding what Stephen did was that he "worked a farm". Aurora wasn't the large city that it is today. I know for a fact that Patrick was a tailor. Patrick and Margaret bought a home somewhere in the southeast side of town. I have the probate records that give the legal description of the property which they owned in Aurora. I'll attach the files here. Your grandpa Tom's obituary gives some insight into when they came to Iowa. It was in May of 1870. The 1870 census lists Bridget as staying with her mother in Aurora, but the kids aren't listed. Stephen isn't in the 1870 census, most likely because he was moving. I'm just curious as to why the kids weren't listed, especially since your grandfather (Tom) would have not yet turned 1 year old.
Attachments
Durnan Family History Items.pdf
(5.31 MiB) Downloaded 7 times
Thomas J. Durnan Obituary.jpg
Margaret McGuire US Census 1870.jpg
McGuire Probate Records.pdf
(759 KiB) Downloaded 7 times

lldurnan
Posts: 3
Joined: March 8th, 2012, 10:11 pm

Re: Stephen and Bridget in Illinois

Postby lldurnan » March 12th, 2012, 5:17 pm

"The 1870 census lists Bridget as staying with her mother in Aurora, butthe kids aren't listed. Stephen isn't in the 1870 census, most likely because he was moving. I'm just curious as to why the kids weren't listed, especially since your grandfather (Tom) would have not yet turned 1 year old.
I found this online at http://www.martygrant.com/genealogy/reference/1870.html

The census was as of 1 Jun 1870, meaning all data collected (even if collected months after that date) was supposed to reflect thefamilies condition on 1 Jun 1870, meaning all ages were to be listedhow they were back on June 1st, even if it was three months laterwhen the census taker asked. It isn't know if the census taker adhered to this rule or not, but that is what they were supposed todo. The actual date he visited the households was included at the top of each page, so you can use that to determine whether the data wasas of 1 June or a later date. The copy that you postedwas taken August 3rd.
http://www.census.gov/history/www/throu ... tructions/

Between1790 to 1870, the duty of collecting census data fell upon the U.S.Marshals. During the early censuses, U.S. Marshalls received littletraining or instruction on how to collect census data. In fact, itwas not until 1830 that marshals even received printed schedules onwhich to record households' responses.
Given that the census-takers were untrained and that people were trying toremember back 3 or 4 months, I'm not surprised that there are inconsistencies.


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