1875 A. T. Andreas Atlas
Dubuque Genealogy Coordinator
Logo by Ginger Cisewski
SUSAN ANN McCRANEY and JOHN S. BYRNES
of Cascade Township, Dubuque County, Iowa
BY KARYN L. COOPER
My daughter, Brenda Sheehan Relph, was born January 10, 1965, and shares the same birthday as Susan Ann McCraney, born January 10, 1833.
Thomas McCraney, born in 1791, was said to be son of Wm. McCraney of Newburg, Delaware Co., NY. Mr. McCraney was in the war of 1812 and was discharged in Canada where his family had migrated sometime after 1800. Thomas married Susanna Slayton about 1814 in NY. Thomas was a member of the first General Assembly of the Territory of Wisconsin along with John Foley and Thomas McKnight. Representatives were L. Wheeler, Hardin Nowlin, P. H. Engle, Patrick Quigley, and H. T. Camp. (Wisconsin included the territory of Iowa). Mr. McCraney was elected one of the delegates to form the state's constitution.
Susanna Slayton, born in 1798 at Hartland, Windsor, Vermont, was the daughter of Thomas and Susannah Dake Slayton. She had two brothers: Fernando born in 1806 married Lovcy Flint, Thomas Slayton born in 1810 married Melinda Luke, and a sister Pluma born in 1804 married Dorus Morton. Susanna married Thomas McCraney about 1814 in Niargra Co., NY, and Fernando was born in 1816. The McCraney and Slayton family migrated from New York to Adams Co., where some of the Slaytons remained. Susanna's father died in Quincy in 1823, and her mother, Susannah Dake Slayton, went on to Jo Davis Co., ILL with her son Thomas Slayton Jr., and her daughter Susanna Slayton McCraney and family. The remainder of the McCraney family were born in Illinois: Milton born in 1818, Sophrina born in 1820, John born in 1824, and Orlando born in 1826. They spent a short time on the border of the Blue Mounds, Wsconsin (Wisconsin included the territory of Iowa until it became the state of Iowa) where William was born in 1831. By 1833 Thomas and Susanna and their family were in Jo Davis Co. and setting out to mine just across the Mississippi River in what is now known as Dubuque Co., Iowa. Mr. McCraney had crossed the Mississippi River in 1832 and set up a cabin on the Dubuque side. As that area was still Indian Territory, the soldiers came and put all the miners off the Dubuque side. Susanna was with child at that time and Mr. McCraney had no place left to take his family as he had deserted the cabin in Illinois; so he snuck across the Mississippi River to the cabin he built and on January 10, 1833, Susan Ann McCraney was born, the first white child in Dubuque and perhaps in all of Iowa. Later Thomas McCraney, Jr., was born in 1837.
Susan Ann McCraney grew up in the city of Dubuque, and attended the first school erected, which opened in the late fall of 1833, engaging Mr. George Cabbage as teacher. Other children were:
In 1841 Thomas McCraney divorced Susanna Slayton McCraney and married his son Orlando's mother-in-law, Mary A. Harwood Hill in 1844. The new McCraney family removed to Garnavillo, Clayton County, Iowa, and Thomas and Mary had Harriet born 1848, Frank born 1852, and Read Robert born 1855. Susanna Slayton McCraney was also living in Garnavillo with her son, John McCraney born 1824 and his wife Mary Haislet. Susanna passed away in 1868 and was buried in McGregor Cemetery. Orlando, another son, was involved in real estate in both Clayton and Dubuque Counties, and Thomas Jr. and wife, Lucy Stephens, owned a saloon in McGregor. Thomas McCraney Sr. remained in Clayton County until death in 1855, and was taken by family to the Jackson Pioneer Cemetery in Dubuque where his two sons, Read and Frank, were buried. Later both Thomas and his sons were removed to Linwood Cemetery in Dubuque. The second Mrs. McCraney married a third time to Dr. John Linton in 1861, but the marriage was of short term and she was buried beside Thomas McCraney Sr. and her two sons in 1893. Later Harriet McCraney Schumacher was buried beside her mother and father.
Susan Ann McCraney married John S. Byrnes in 1851. Mr. Byrnes was the son of Eliza Byrnes, a widow who had left Louisville, Kentucky, in 1827. Senator Johnston of Kentucky leased the Fever River Lead Mines about 1822 in Galena, Jo Daviess County, Illinois, and sent large numbers of men and soldiers to be stationed there from his home state of Kentucky. With whom she came as a widow I have not been able to confirm. Capt. James Smith (a part of the Harris family) and his family were already in Galena, and his wife had passed away by 1826. Capt. Smith married Eliza Byrnes in 1828, Justice of Peace John Connelly officiated, and the family later migrated to Dubuque where they lived out their lives. Capt. Smith died in 1856 and Eliza Byrnes Smith died in 1888; both were buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Cascade, Dubuque County, Iowa.
Susan Ann and her husband, John S. Byrnes, bought a farm in Whitewater Township in 1855 just out of Cascade Township, and lived on that farm until their deaths. This is a picture of that farm still standing in 1996 when I went to the city of Cascade for a dedication of a tombstone by the state of Iowa to Susan Ann McCraney and John S. Byrnes. Susan and John Byrnes had nine children and raised them on this farm. Children were: Margaret born 1853, married Floyd Gibbon; Patrick Henry born 1855 (no information on him); Blanche born 1856, married James Radigan; John Frederick born 1857, married Mary Ann Delaney; Charles Loyn born 1862, married Emma Miller and later Mary Differding; Ralph born 1864 (have no information on him); Zarah born 1869, married Isaac Alden; Frances born 1873 (have no information on him); and Orlando C. born 1877, who died a single man. John S. Byrnes passed away 1888 just after the death of his beloved mother, Eliza Smith, and is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Cascade beside the mother he loved so much and cared for until her death in 1888. Susan Ann Byrnes passed away in 1894 and is buried beside her husband of many years.
The Susan Ann and John S. Byrnes Farm in Whitewater Township, Dubuque Co., IA
On May 29, 1996, the Cascade Pioneer - Advertiser covered a Memorial Day Celebration honoring the McCraney - Byrnes family of Cascade. A pioneer Cascade resident, Mr. Paul Neiers, and several McCraney family descendents were present at this dedication of a tombstone to Susan Ann McCraney. There was also a write up in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald describing the migration of the McCraney - Byrnes family. The Telegraph Herald had several years prior written another story of the McCraney - Byrnes family in a story titled "Dubuque of Old," dated April 20, 1884.
Susans' brother John married Mary Zelo and had 5 children -- March 26, 2002 Mary (1868-1925) married Thomas James Taylor (my great grandfather) they had four children Ervin Olando Taylor (1898-1991) married to Rosine -- they had four children William and Claire live in Des Moines, James lives in Roland, Iowa and Robert, my father is retired in Topeka, Kansas.
Submitted by Laura Cavender firstname.lastname@example.org
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