McLeod & Sibley Co. Research Trip

I took the day off work on Friday for a genealogy research trip to the McLeod & Sibley counties.  The last time I went to Sibley county, I found a number good records (birth and death) that I transcribed.  But I didn’t find everything I was looking for; I haven’t tracked down the birth records for all of Anthony’s children.  Since he kind of teetered between McLeod and Sibley counties, I thought for sure I would find the missing pieces in McLeod county.  I arrived at the McLeod County courthouse in Glencoe, which sits on the edge of town, practically in a corn field, just before 8:30am, thinking I would need to spend the majority of my day there.  Well, I think I had my hopes set a bit too high.  They didn’t seem to have any birth or death records prior to 1870,  so finding anything on most of Anthony and Bridget’s children was probably not going to happen.  I did come away with two new things though:

  1. The record of birth for yet another child of Anthony’s that I did not know about: Kate Maguire, born 23 June 1872.  That makes 15 kids from one man! Damn, Anthony!
  2. The record of birth for Henry Maguire, born 15 Oct 1879. (Mother: Mary O’Meara)

Some thoughts on the first thing:  wife and mother, Bridget died less than a month after Kate was born.  Do I assume that Kate died too?  She was not on the next census in 1875, and there was no death record for her that I could find.  Was she given away or put in an orphanage? (did they have orphanages back then?) Was she sent to live with a relative?

While I was there, I was determined to get actual photocopies of the records I found. The last time I did this, I only transcribed the birth and death records, because there were quite a few that I was interested in, and these record books are quite large and awkward for copying. But I find that I second guess some of my transcriptions after the fact, and so I must get photocopies, if at all possible. So I asked, and at first the woman helping me said something like, “Oh, I don’t think we can do that”.  But somehow it turned into, “Sure, that’ll be $2 a copy”.  (Quite the deal, compared to Sibley county, where they’re something like $9 a copy!).  So I came away with those two records, plus a photocopy of the death record for Bridget Maguire (not a new-to-me record).

I finished up there sometime before 11am, and then headed over to the McLeod County courthouse in search of probate records for Anthony. I don’t know if they exist, and I don’t know what to expect to find in them, but I hear these records are often overlooked and can contain some good information.  When I got there, I was told that there was nobody working in Probate today, so they weren’t sure what they could give me – “sorry”.  Meh, whatever.  On I went.

(Lunch break at DQ in Glencoe, where they did not accept credit cards, and where I read an article on the wall about a famous race car driver from Glencoe, while standing a few feet away from said race car driver as I waited for my food. We have the same birthday, according to the article.)

Then to Gaylord, for the Sibley County courthouse.  First to Probate, where a kind woman tried to help me.  They didn’t have records as old as what I was looking for; they had all been sent to MNHS for archival, but she did have an index, which did not contain Anthony’s name.  I still might check out the records at MNHS, though.  Moving on, I thought I would go back to the third floor to get photocopies of some vital records that I only typed up last time.  But more disappointment: they no longer make photocopies of the ledger style books.  So, I looked through a few books, to see if my eyes would spot anything new — they didn’t, and then moved on.

Next, on to Green Isle?  I don’t know why – just compelled to, I guess.  I thought I might try the church there, to see if they had any baptism records, but I had a sneaking suspicion that they were closed, and they were.  Since I was there, I stopped by McG’s grave. I doubt he ever would have imagined that 130 years after he’d passed on, some weirdo girl would visit his grave on multiple occasions. But this guy, at age 17, and on his own, risked his life to escape poverty in Ireland and come to the US to start a new life here.  And if he hadn’t done that, I might not be here.  So I feel like I owe him something, like a visit. I’ve been to visit twice since discovering it – and I feel like most people might consider that kind of weird. It is, and I am, probably. And I don’t know why I have such a high degree of interest in this morbid topic, but I do, and I can’t stop it.  It’s like solving a mystery, and I don’t think that I will stop until I’ve solved it.  (But, crap – how will I know when I’ve solved it? Where does it end?)

Now that I’ve gone all gushy, I’ll end with this: a genealogy friend of mine just returned from a trip to Ireland, where he found this:

Maguires Convenience Store in Dublin

So now, in addition to my castle, I have a convenience store.


Another Obit Search Day @ MNHS

I thought I might go to MNHS today to search for more obituaries.  I didn’t decide to go until sometime after noon, and didn’t end up getting there until shortly after 1pm.  I had until 4pm to dig through papers. And the night before, I had only briefly considered what I might try and find.  I thought I might look for Bridget Cafferty’s obituary.  But I didn’t have high hopes of finding it; she died in 1872, and MNHS only had 1 paper for McLeod County during that time (Glencoe Register) that I could check.  So I checked it, and nothing.

So then I spent some time pulling up the obituaries I found last time.  The last time I was here, I was definitely not a good genealogist.  Sure, I copied all of these obituaries, but…I forgot one important piece: the things needed for citing sources!  So I looked them all up again and copied down page numbers, volume numbers, column numbers, and what have you.  Now my research can be all proper, and reliable.

So, after that, I wasn’t really sure what to do.  I decided to spend some time just reading the Sibley County Independent.  It was fairly consistent, and had  a little section for Green Isle on the front page of almost every issue, called “Green Isle Dew Drops”.  I thought I’d start with the issue where I found Anthony Maguire’s obituary, and then work my way back.  So before they closed, I made it from Dec. 1st, 1882 back until  March 17th, 1882 (happy Saint Patrick’s Day!).  I didn’t find much, but I found a couple of O’Meara bits…

Sibley County Independent, Friday, October 27, 1882. No. 29. Page 1. Column.4

O’Meara’s new building was formally opened on Friday. He is now ready to serve customers in the most approved style.

Sibley County Independent, Friday, October 20, 1882. No. 28. Page 1. Column 2.

DIED. – At Henderson, October 17, 1882, of diphtheria, Hannah O’Meara, daughter of James O’Meara, aged 4 years.

Sibley County Independent, Friday, May 12, 1882. Vol. 10 No. 5. Page 1, Column 1.

Also, Mr. Michael O’Neil, of Faxon, to Miss Mary E. Cunningham, of Green Isle, sister to Mrs. O’Meara of this place.

I’m sure these are somehow related to Mary O’Meara, but, unless the things I find on her can somehow tell me something about Anthony, I don’t know that I’m that interested.  So I’m kind of letting these go for now.  The next thing I found was a little more interesting, however:

Sibley County Independent, Friday April 14th, 1882. Vol. 10.  No. 1. Page 1, Col. 3.

Green Isle.
April 4th, 1882.
DIED– Mr .Patrick Maguire, on Saturday the 1st inst.

What? A Patrick Maguire in Green Isle?  Could he be related? I kept going, and found more…

Sibley County Independent, Friday April 7, 1882. Vol. 9. No. 52. Page 1. Col. 1.

DIED — Of typhoid fever, at Green Isle, on the 1st day of April, Patrick McGuire, at the age of 58 years.

Sibley County Independent, Friday March 24, 1882, Vol. 9. No. 50. Page 1, Col. 5

Green Isle
March 20, 1882
Patrick McGuire is sick with a fever which accounts for the apparition he saw last week. We understand he is very low to-day.

Sibley County Independent, Friday March 17, 1882. Vol. 9. No. 49.

Green Isle
March 14, 1882.
Mr. Patrick McGuire was taken seriously ill last week and imagined he saw a man on horseback without a head standing at his stable door.

And that’s the last thing I found, as they were shutting off the lights.  So I quickly transcribed the last bit, and left.  To the Liffey for some Guinness and dinner (and knitting) I went.  The weather was absolutely perfect, and every other song playing was either Prince or the Replacements; I didn’t want to leave their rooftop patio.  While I was sitting there, I thought I’d use my all-knowing smrt phone to check for this Patrick McGuire that I had found.  Well, he was there, but I now I don’t think that he is directly related to Anthony, because his father’s name is John.  But I guess it’s possible that he’s a cousin.  Filing this info away for one day when I might need it…

I think next time, I might keep going back in the Sibley County Independent?  Or I might try the Green Isle Record, but that one doesn’t go back this far, so I’m not sure how helpful it will be (unless I can dig up some crap on Anthony’s children?).  No research next Saturday, as it’s the annual MN Irish Fair!