Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Descendants of Edward Flanagan

A probate record for Edward Joseph Flanagan, a timber merchant of Moate, dated 4th January 1919. Administrator of his will was Patrick Flanagan.
Image from family archive of Stephen Harte
In October 2014 I received an email from Stephen Harte who is descended from Edward Flanagan, who was the brother of Patrick and Lawrence Flanagan.

Stephen wrote:

"Lawrence Flanagan was my grandmother’s uncle. She was Colette Tuohy (nee. Kennedy). Her mother was Mary Elizabeth Kennedy (nee Flanagan), the daughter of Edward Joseph Flanagan (Patricks Brother).

I met Fr. Flanagan one Christmas in my grandmother’s house in Inchicore I think it was around 1963, I would have been about seven years old. He was a very tall white haired man—you couldn’t but remember him once you met him.

I have tried to find Edward Flanagan (who was married to Annie Cody) in the 1901 and 1911 census but there don’t seem to be any records available. I know Edward Flanagan died on the 4th of January 1919, so he has to be on record somewhere. His children were Mary Elizabeth (my great grand mother), Patrick, Michael, Nellie (who married a man named Keane), Annie and Bertha (who married a Patrick Brown and moved to Alberta, Canada where she had a son Bernard who became a Carmelite brother in Los Angeles). "

Reverend Edward Stone—a Carmelite priest in New York

Lawrence Flanagan may not have been the only member of the family who became a Carmelite priest. In the next few pages we will examine evidence that a Reverend Patrick Flanagan was connected with Tubber church on the Clara Road not far from Moate. I have yet to prove that he was a direct relative, though he was clearly a different individual to the two men named Patrick Flanagan who were Lawrence’s father and brother, as both were married with children.

My mother-in-law, Catherine Dwyer, nee. Stone (aka Kitty) told me that one of her ancestors named Edward Stone was also a Carmelite priest and was also based in New York. I speculate that this could have been a brother of Kitty’s grandfather Daniel Stone (Edward born at Lurgan in 1857 to Timothy Stone and Elizabeth Cahill).

I have found this obituary from a New York paper of 1903 which reports the death of a priest named Edward Stone.

There is a note in Alfred Isacsson’s history The Carmelites, The Province of St Elias which refers to Rev. Edward Stone's funeral in March 1903:

‘ In March, 1903, Romaeus Edward Stone died of pneumonia. His service at the parish and Bellevue Hospital were known and admired. Archbishop Farley presided at the funeral Mass. Thirty-five priests were present as well as a large number of laity. Over one hundred carriages were required for the procession to Calvary Cemetery. ‘

Another record in The Carmelite Review of January 1894 provides the obituary of a priest named Thomas Feehan from Kilkenny who served at the Church of Our Lady of the Scapular of Mount Carmel in New York. The solemn Mass of requiem celebrated by Edward R Stone.

The American naturalization record of Edward Stone, clergyman, dated 2 August 1900, shows he first entered the USA on 10 September 1891.

Stained glass windows at Tubber church near Moate


Beautiful stained glass windows at Tubber church in Offaly donated to the church, it would seem, by two different men named Patrick Flanagan.
The windows shown here were donated by a Rev Patrick Flanagan. Unfortunately the bottom right section of the window is missing so we can't see the full dedication. But it was made by the studio of Mayer and company of Munich in 1904. It is called St Patrick and the King at Tara.

The windows on the next blog post were all donated by Patrick Flanagan, either the brother or father of Rev Lawrence Flanagan. At the base of both pairs of lancets it reads "Erected by Patrick Flanagan, Moate. In  memory of his deceased wife and children. Pray for them RIP".


Stained glass windows donated to Tubber Church by Patrick Flanagan of Moate


The pair of windows below (and detail above) are called St Columba and his monks sail for Iona and were made by the studio of Mayer and Company in Munich.


The lancets below are called St Kieran and I believe the images at the foot of the lancets depict images from local history and legend such as the tall tower and ancient Celtic cross of Clonmacnoise and also the magic cow of St Manchan.

Going to New York

Just a year after his ordination as a Carmelite priest in 1907, Father Lawrence Flanagan went to New York.

On an application for a lost passport that he made in 1923, Father Lawrence stated that he sailed to New York from Southampton in September 1908 and had resided there continuously for 14 years, becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1917.

On his 1923 passport application he said that he was intending to visit his father in Ireland for 6 months.

The Carmelite history refers to Father Flanagan’s work as a priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown:

Lawrence D. Flanagan was stationed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown and its mission parishes until he came to the Manhattan parish in 1924. He was a tall man of serious mien whose role among the Irish was that of a trusted advisor. Besides his birth in Westmeath, Ireland, his connection to the Irish Freedom movement was rooted in his long and close friendship with Eamon De Valera, his fellow student at Dublin’s Blackrock College.     

The work of Reverend Lawrence Flanagan in New York

The online history paper The Carmelites The Province of St Elias By: Alfred Isacsson, O.Carm. provides a very detailed narrative about the character of Lawrence Flanagan and his work and influence in the Carmelite community in New York:   

Lawrence Dionysius Flanagan, Commissary General for 1926-31 and then provincial for the period 1931-43, was a large influence among the New York Carmelites. He was ordained in 1907 and came to New York the following year to Our Lady of the Scapular. Up to 1926, he had been stationed in each house of the New York Carmelites.

His height gave him an imposing presence and his strict religious observance placed fear in some hearts. He included many religious sisters among his friends. He corresponded with them, was present at important ceremonies of their lives and counselled them in times of trial. Especially is this true of the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm though he was very reticent and humble about his assistance to them.

Charles Francis Ronayne, Doctor of Theology, who was a consultor to a Roman congregation and former assistant general, came to the United States from Rome in 1927. Magennis had invited Flanagan to accompany him to the 1928 Eucharistic Congress in Australia and he agreed. Flanagan appointed Ronayne his vicar while he was away. The ship had hardly left the harbour when Ronayne assumed complete control.

There was a rumour that was substantiated in time that Magennis took Flanagan with him to leave him in Australia as the superior and then have Ronayne in charge in New York. Word of this got to Flanagan in Australia and it was said he took the first ship home. Lawrence  Flanagan returned to find himself accused of mismanagement of funds but he was saved by an alert housekeeper at Saint Simon Stock who preserved material Ronayne told her to destroy. He also found a surprise in Manhattan. A new priory with an elevator had been built at Our Lady of the Scapular.

Flanagan cleared himself and Ronayne left the order and priesthood. He later returned and was at Saint Albert’s until his death in 1950.


The relationship between Flanagan and de Valera

Eamon de Valera in Indian head dress in America, October 1919
The following short excerpts both written by Carmelite priests, provide a summary of the key points about the lifelong relationship between de Valera and the Carmelite order, but in particular between de Valera and Lawrence Flanagan and the Carmelites of New York:

Dionysius Flanagan or Father Larry, after his baptismal name, was perhaps the closest of all the Carmelites to the Irish cause and its leaders. In regard to chronicled events, there is very little that can be mentioned under his name. O'Farrell and O'Connor died young and Magennis was not often in the United States after 1919 and so Flanagan remained the only one of that group left in this country. From 1922-24, he was in Middletown but returned to 28th Street in 1924 when O'Connor died and then became involved in the cause. He was in a position of authority much of his life and so was the one welcoming visitors and speaking on important occasions. Dionysius Flanagan was not a leader in the Irish movement. He was a wise, trusted and important advisor. He was a confidant of Eamon De Valera, his school companion at Blackrock, and their affection endured until Flanagan's death in 1966.

Carmel in New York, The Province of St. Elias, 1906 – 1926 / Alfred Isacsson, O.Carm.

The second excerpt is from an article by Father Fr. Kevin O’Neill Shanley in the Irish American News:

According to Fr. Joseph (Linus) Ryan of the Irish Carmelite Province, De Valera’s friendship with the Carmelite Order came about as a result of a schoolboy friendship at Blackrock College in Dublin with Fr. Lawrence (Dionysius) Flanagan, O.Carm.

After de Valera had escaped from Lincoln Jail in England in 1919, he made his way to Our Lady of the Scapular Priory on E. 28th Street in New York City. Here Fr. Flanagan, who was ordained a Carmelite and had become part of the New York Irish Province, and the other Carmelites hid De Valera in the priory while an international police force searched for him in vain.

De Valera, a daily communicant, never forgot the kindness of the Carmelites to him. And when Fr. Flanagan returned to Ireland for a vacation after a long period in the U.S. De Valera placed a government car and driver at his disposal.

On the Carmelite side, according to Fr. Ryan, it was the most Rev. Kilian Lynch, O.Carm., then prior general of the Order (l947-59) who admitted de Valera to full membership in the Carmelites on the occasion of a visit of de Valera to Rome. “I can personally testify that he wrote to me during my time as provincial and asked that after his death he would be laid out and buried in the Habit of the Carmelite Order (Calced),” wrote Fr. Ryan.

“In that letter he mentioned that he had already made Fr. Donald Maria O’Callaghan (former provincial of the St. Elias Province, New York) aware of this request.”

At the death of President Eamon de Valera in May of l975, his request was fully carried out and he was laid out and buried in the full Carmelite habit and white cloak. According to Fr. Ryan, there are photographs in the Archives of the Irish Province showing President de Valera lying in state at Dublin Castle in his Carmelite habit.

In the summer of 1972, my mother (Mary O’Neill Shanley) and this writer had an audience at the Presidential House in Phoenix Park (Arus an Uachtarain) in Dublin. He was delighted to know that one of his old comrades, my father (Michael J. Shanley) had a son who was a Carmelite priest. His devotion to the Carmelites, especially through the Scapular and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, was still very much in evidence.

Tinker’s Dam by Fr. Kevin O’Neill Shanley / Irish American News / May 2006 edition


Book presented to Lawrence Flanagan in 1894

A book presented to Lawrence Flanagan as a prize for his studies in  Latin in the midsummer examinations at Blackrock College in 1898.
Addison’s Essays from The Spectator, 1894

Images from Blackrock College, Dublin in the early 1900s

Sports day at Blackrock, June 1909

Golden Jubilee celebrations at the fee paying Catholic school, Blackrock College in 1911.

Lawrence Flanagan recorded in the US census

We have previously seen the record of Lawrence Flanagan listed as a student in Dublin in the 1901 Irish census and we know that he was sent as a newly ordained Carmelite priest to New York in 1908.

In the 1910 US census (above), Lawrence Flanagan is found residing at 180 Broadway, Greenburgh, Westchester, New York. He is aged 28 and his profession is a priest. He was born in Ireland and had immigrated into America in 1908. Also recorded at the same address were Dennis O’Conner aged 39 who was head of the household and a priest born in Ireland, Richard Colfes a priest aged 44 born in Ireland, William Leinman a servant aged 30 born in   Belgium, Thomas Mckenna a servant aged 23 born in Ireland and Marie Mcglynn a servant aged 50 born in Ireland.

In the 1920 US census (above), Lawrence Flanagan is residing at 338 East 29 Street, Manhattan. The Reverend Dennis  O’Connor aged 48 from Ireland remains the head of the household, but this time there are many more priests than there were at Greenburgh in 1910. These include Rev. Christopher Slattery aged 45, Rev. Hugh Delvin aged 42, Rev. Dominick Hasting aged 35, Rev. Robert Metcalfe aged 30 and Rev. William O’Farrell aged 34. All of these men were born in Ireland, with the exception of Dennis O’Connor who now claimed England as his place of birth.

As well as the seven priests, there were also four servants living at this abode in 1920, including Anni Caldwell, aged 36 from Ireland who was the cook, Agatha Dylewska, 37 from Poland a kitchen servant, Clara Newburger aged 45 from Austria, a maid, and Frank Malinowaki aged 26 from Poland who was an engineer and was working in the church school.

338 East 29 Street, Manhattan is the address of Our Lady of the Scapular & St Stephen RC Church.

I have not been able to find a record for Lawrence Flanagan in the 1930 US census at the moment and am considering the fact he might have been in another country such as England, Ireland or Australia at that time.

In the 1940 United States Federal Census (next page), 58 year old Lawrence Flanagan is living at 339 East 28th Street, New York with a number of other people listed at the same address. The full record reads:

Elias Larglien aged 47, head of household, born in Malta, hospital chaplain

Hugh Devlin 63 born Irish Free State, assistant pastor in church

John McGrath 34, born in New York, assistant pastor, residence in 1935 Italy, chaplain at hospital

Lawrence Flanagan aged 58, born Irish Free State, pastor in church

James Morrissey aged 37 born Irish Free State, assistant pastor in church

Jess Larsen aged 52 born in Denmark, assistant pastor, residence in 1935 Denmark, chaplain in hospital

Hilary C Grahame aged 33 born Irish Free State, assistant pastor in church, residence in 1935 Italy

Sean S Reid aged 30 born Irish Free State, assistant pastor in church

Anna Usher aged 32 born Irish Free State, maid, single in rectory

Anna Keating aged 50 born Irish Free State, cook in rectory, married

Kathleen Mullarkey aged 21 born Irish Free State, waitress in rectory, single, residence in 1935 Irish Free State

Joseph Henry aged 20 born in New York, house boy in rectory, single

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Cross-Atlantic journeys of Lawrence Flanagan

Ship’s manifest, S.S.,Oceanic
September 1908
On 10 September 1908 a clergyman named Lawrence D Flanagan, aged 30, set sail from Queenstown in Ireland on the S.S. Oceanic bound for New York.  His last place of residence was Terenure College in Dublin.
On 10 October 1912, Lawrence Flanagan was sailing again between Queenstown and New York, this time on the S.S. St Paul. Again his age was recorded as 30. On top of his name there is a stamp stating that he was a non immigrant alien and his permanent address was Otisville, America. His father’s name and address was recorded as Patrick Flanagan, Moate, Ireland.

Arrival in New York 1912
On 15 October 1914 a man named Reverend Lawrence Flanagan sailed to New York from Queenstown (Cobh) in Ireland on a White Star Liner ship called Adriadic. The 31 year Irish clergyman travelled 2nd class to the USA.

Queenstown to New York
15 October 1914
On 17 November 1919, 37 year old Reverend Lawrence Flanagan travelled from New York to Ireland on the Columbia (a ship of the Anchor Line that sailed between New York and Glasgow). Reverend Flanagan disembarked at Moville in County Donegal). He was an American citizen though his address was given as Moate, Westmeath.

Above: November 1919 Flanagan
arrived at Moville from New York
In January 1920 it appears that the same 37 year old clergyman named Rev. Lawrence Flanagan was a passenger again on the Columbia which travelled from Londonderry to New York. He was again described as a US Citizen.

January 1920 he returns to New York from
Londonderry having visited his family in Moate
In June 1923 Lawrence Flanagan applied to the Department of State in Washington for a new passport which was issued on the 26 June. On his passport application he said that he was born in Moate, Ireland on 19 June 1881 and that his father was named Patrick Flanagan who resided in Ireland. Lawrence said that he emigrated to the United States in September 1908, sailing from Southampton and that he had resided for over 14 years, uninterrupted at New York City from 1908 to 1923.

On this application form he said that he had become a naturalized citizen of the United States before a New York court on 8 February 1917 as shown by his  Certificate of Naturalization. He also said that he had resided outside of the US in Ireland for a period of 2 months in 1919. He said that his permanent residence was St Albert’s College at Middleton, New York.

Lawrence said that his last passport was obtained from New York on 13 June 1921 and was lost. He added that he was about to go abroad temporarily and intended to return within 6 months, with the purpose of visiting his father in Ireland. His sailing was booked on board the President Adams on 5 July 1923.

On his application Lawrence Flanagan said he was 41 years old. 6 feet 2 inches tall, with grey eyes, a long nose, medium mouth and forehead, dark brown hair with a scar above his right eyebrow. An identification reference was given by Denis O’Connor, a clergyman residing at 338 East 29 Street who had known Lawrence for 15 years.  

Finally on the application there was a statement in his own hand writing:

This is to certify that I Lawrence Denis Flanagan got a passport in August 1919. This passport was cancelled in 1921. In 1921 I got another passport but did not use it as the necessity of my going to Ireland had ceased. This passport I left in my house at 338 East 29th Street, New York City. In 1922 I went to live in Middleton, New York and when I looked for the passport I could not find it. I made a thorough search in 338 East 29th Street, New York City, and also at St Albert’s College, Middletown where I now reside, but could not find it. If at any time I get the passport of 1921 I promise to send it to Washington.

Lawrence Flanagan

On July 15th 1923 Lawrence Flanagan arrived at Queenstown, Ireland on the President Adams from New York via Boston. The 41 year old clergyman was heading for 56 Aungier Street and he claimed to be a US subject.

56 Aungier Street is the Dublin address of the Carmelite priory adjacent to their Whitefriar Place church and buildings.

On 11 August 1923 a clergyman named Laurence Flanagan, aged 48 was a passenger on the President Poyke sailing from the port of London to New York via Cherbourg and Queenstown. His last address was the Carmelite Convent, Ireland so he probably embarked at Queenstown not at London. He was classed as a US citizen.

Arrival at Queenstown in 1923, bound for the
Carmelite priory at 56 Aungier Street, Dublin
Whitefriars, Dublin

August 1923 Flanagan sails
back to New York from Ireland
On 12th December 1931 a passenger named Lawrence Flanagan, a priest, sailed from Liverpool to New York on the Sythia (Cunard Line). Lawrence Flanagan was 49 years old and a citizen of the US. His last address was given as Carmelite Church, Whitefriars, Dublin. He was not on his own on the ship, his fellow passenger was 63 year old Peter Magennis, also a priest from the Carmelite Church at Whitefriars.

We have previously mentioned the name of Magennis in the story above about him inviting Flanagan to accompany him to the 1928 Eucharistic Congress in Australia. 

December 1931, Flanagan travels with
Peter Magenis from Liverpool to New York

In 1937 a clergyman named Lawrence Flanagan travelled to New York from Southampton on The Manhattan. He was a US citizen and his address in England was given as 7 Haymarket, SW1. He was 58 years old.

1937 he sails from Southampton
to New York on the Manhattan.