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James Oscar Byrne and the Luck of the Irish

March 17, 2016 , , , , ,

James Oscar Byrne (1840 – 1879)
2nd great-grandfather
Sarah Helena Byrne (1878 – 1962)
daughter of James Oscar Byrne
Olga Fern Scott (1897 – 1968)
daughter of Sarah Helena Byrne
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Olga Fern Scott
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

My second great-grandfather was born in County Meathe, Ireland and immigrated to the United States during the potato famine with his family.  He arrived in New York at the age of 7 in 1848.  His family took up residence in Wilna, Jefferson County, in upstate New York.  I know from notes left to me by his daughter, my great-grandmother, that he and his brother Luke operated a saw mill in Michigan before they moved to Kansas.  She wrote that they sent all the wood to build homes in Kansas from that mill.  On the Kansas census of 1875 he says he moved to Kansas from Wyoming, which was pretty wild at the time.  He was married to Hattie Peterson, age 19, and her parents lived next door to them in that census.  James owned a large piece of property, much larger than Hattie’s family, and his profession was listed as farmer.

James and Hattie had 2 daughters born in Ladore, Kansas, where James is buried.  After all the adventures he endured crossing the ocean (a voyage during which two of his siblings died), lumber speculating in Michigan, making it to Wyoming, and settling on the frontier in Kansas he died in 1879 at the age of 38, when my great-grandmother Sarah Helena was less than a year old.  I don’t know the cause of death.  He was probably the only Catholic in his wife’s family, and maybe the only Catholic in my entire ancestry.  I was Catholic for a year when I went to boarding school because I didn’t like to go to long Moravian church services and being Catholic was the only way to get out of it.  My parents did not object.  I wonder if that was some kind of calling from clan O’Byrne that lead me to do that.  I will never know but on St. Patrick’s Day I feel proud of James Oscar and his adventurous spirit.

Erin Go Bragh!

Irish Love

Irish Love

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James Oscar Byrne isn’t very distant (in time) from you. in terms of genealogy. Interesting note about Catholic vs Moravian services.


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

March 18, 2016

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