Owen, his wife Sarah Newton Lett, and their four children, Walter J., Richard J., Kitty, and month-old son Owen, of Ballywalter, County Wexord, emmigrated from Ireland on the sailing vessel "Coronet," an 1800 ton ship out of Kingston (Dublin), Ireland, arriving in the Port of New York on May 9, 1851. (Glazier, 175). They had spent 8 weeks at sea but, while on their way to settle in Green Bay, Wisconsin, stopped to visit relatives in Oxford. Owen, Sr., became ill, and died June 11, 185l. He is buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Oxford, NY, "where his youngest son was laid beside him a few months later."
His brother, Daniel, is listed in the 1860 US Census of Oxford as a laborer, living in a household with his sister-in-law, two nephews and niece. Daniel W., born in 1819 in Ballywalter, died in 1903 in Oxford, NY, and never married. He wrote the history of the Redmond Family for The Annals of Oxford. (Galvin 311). A family story tells that when he immigrated in 1851, he arrived in Oxford, by train, commented that there seemed to be few people around the station, and was told that they were all at the funeral of his brother, Owen.
This is supported by Daniel's autobiographic sketch in the Annals : "Mr. Redmond came to Oxford in June 1851, the day of his brother Owen's funeral. He had a liberal education, and was a man of large experience, having filled the position of paymaster under the government works during the famine period, after which he was in business as malster and cloth merchant in Garey, Ireland. After coming to Oxford he was engaged as clerk and bookkeeper by Clark & Hayes, and afterwards by H. R. Mygatt, Esq., and continued in that vocation for various firms while he lived." (Galvin 312). He died January 16, 1903, aged 84, at the home of his nephew, Walter, and is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Oxford, NY.
The third brother, John, emmigrated in November 1854 and also came to Oxford, NY. "The year following, his brother-in-law, Nicholas Scallen, also came and together they bought the Seeley sawmills, etc., which they worked until failing health obliged them to give up." (Galvin 312). John and his wife, Eliza Scallen, had five children: Walter J. , Mary, Lawrence, Christina, and Teresa. (These are the connections to the Keyes, Dunne and Horan families.) Their son, Walter, age 22, and daughter, Mary, age 20, had emmigrated three years earlier than the rest of the family, with their Uncle Owen's family and are listed as "servants" on the Coronet ship manifest. John died February 12, 1881 and his wife Elizabeth died in 1873.
Because our family connections derive from Owen and Sarah, we currently have more detail about them. Sarah, Owen's widow, was born in Tinnacross, County Wexford, c. 1821. In the October following her husband's death "she bought from Henry R. Mygatt, Esq., a farm of 131 acres, now owned by Lazarus Gallagher (1905), on which she lived until 1886." (Galvin 311).This farm is now owned by Mr Tred and is located on Wackford Road, north of the village of Oxford.The original house has been replaced but parts of the barns are believed to be original.
The 1860 census lists Walter (20) and his brother, Richard (18) as a farm laborers. Kitty, their sister who was 5 when they arrived, died unexpectedly in 1869 at the age of 23, of diphtheria. Her obituary speaks of her mother and loving uncle and guardian (Daniel). Kitty's mother grieved so long and hard that the doctor said she would lose her mind if she did not have a change of scene, so her younger son, Richard, took her back to Ireland some time between 1869 and his marriage in1874. "The last seven years of her life were spent in Greene, with her son Richard. The closing of her life of sad trials was met with courage and the hope for reward in the better land." (English 3).
Owen's elder son, Walter J. married Margaret McCune in 1867, and they had three children, Eugene, James J, and Sarah. Eugene died when he was only 16 years old (1887). His brother, James J., married Frances Healy, and had two children, Anna ( Sister M. Cecilia of the Sisters of Mercy, Rochester) and Walter. James' sister, Sarah,(Tain) who married Jack Thompson of Oxford, had no children.She and Jack lived on the Walter Redmond farm southeast of town before retiring to town in later years.
Owen's younger son, Richard Joseph, is described by his daughter Katherine as follows:
My father (Richard Joseph) was 6 ft. tall, rather blond and very nice looking. He possessed a rather mild cheerful disposition, a wonderful memory and reticence. He had lots of disappointments but he did not talk about them. He cultivated his memory but did not keep written records. He loved music, had a sweet voice and could play the violin by ear. His music was not cultivated. My grandmother sent him to St. Joseph's College in Pennsylvania but it seemed to me more like a Boys' Boarding School than a college.
Richard Eugene Redmond has his grandfather's gold signet ring with the carnelian stone engraved R. R. in reverse (for use with sealing wax) as well as Reading Lessons by Brothers of Christian Schools, N, Y. 1851, the faded inscription "Richard Redmond" and The Mysteries of the Faith, N.Y. 1856, inscribed, "Presented to Mr. Richard Redmond by Rev. H. Manahan, March 4, 1862." (as he finished at St. Joseph's College??)
He got a wonderful chance to go to the Civil War as Dr. Lee's assistant but my grandmother availed herself of a widow's right and kept him. Everyone of the boys who were to be in his contingent was killed in one battle; the town paper came out that week in mourning. He spent the rest of his life working on the farm." The widow Sally and family resided for many years on East Hill (Oxford) and farmed.
Richard J. married "Margaret Clare Nowlan, of Mineville, Essex County, NY, late of Dublin, Ireland," October 28, 1874, St. Bridget's Church in New York City, by Rev. J. T. Westerman." (unlabeled clipping + 1875 Census) Margaret Clare Nowlan was born in 1847 in Dublin, Ireland, and died April 28, 1920, at age 73. She was well-educated, fluent in French, skilled in china painting, a trained musician, a great reader and from family stories, a very determined person. Available books document her background as well as the fact that she had a sister, Mary, who shared her textbooks at the Loretto Convent in Dublin:
A Formative French Grammar, London (Preface dated 3/1/1832, inscribed P. J. Nowlan, Dublinaius, 1866 and "Margaret May Nowlan, Dublin" English Grammar and Composition, London, 1857, inscribed "Mary Nolan, Loretto Convent" with the preface page inscribed " Margaret and Mary Nowlan, 23rd December , 53 Stephen's Green, Dublin." The Elevation of the Soul to God, Dublin, 1860 (no cover) containing a prayer card inscribed, in French, "For my darling Dan with fond and loving prayers of his Aunt Mollie."
A family scrapbook, believed to belong to Katherine C. R. English and made from a 1914 yearbook, contains this undated clipping," Miss Margaret Nowlan, our former fair Irish correspondent, has lately arrived in our midst, with the intention to make Port Henry her future home. The young lady, an eminently proficient pianist, has been engaged for some years in a Convent, in Dublin, and has already received invitations to organize a musical class in this village."
She had a sister-in-law living in Oxford, Mrs. Margaret (Mag) Lett Nowlan, wife of Margaret's brother Thomas of the "My Dear Thomas" letters. Mag moved from Binghamton following the death of her husband, and lived with her sister, Miss Sarah F. Lett. Perhaps an original visit to them was how she met Richard Joseph Redmond. Why the couple was married in New York City is unknown.
In her "Genealogy," Katherine C. R.. English comments," His (Richard Joseph's) marriage to my mother was a true love match, but she had a very hard life. She had to work beyond her strength, lost four out of 7 babies, but she was game to the end. We never had enough money but we did have brains and initiative and determination. Richard J. and Margaret Clare Redmond had three children, born in Oxford, NY. Daniel W., (born 8/15/76, died 11/14/34, age 58) married Bessie Carroll and had three sons, John, Albert, and Richard. Katherine Clare, (born 6/21/81, died 1/14/57, age 76) married Herbert Lynn English and had one daughter, Mary Agnes (born 12/30/12). John Richard (born 1878 and died 1/23/32, age 54) married Mary E. Keenan on 6/17/26 and had one son, Richard Eugene born 3/26/27.
Later the family moved to Greene (1893), "purchasing what is known as the Sheldon Farm, near Upper Geneganslet." The Richard J. Redmond obituary (3/6/09) states, "The deceased came to Greene about 16 years ago" or 1893. The Katherine C. R. English obituary states, "When she was about 6 years old, she began living on the Redmond Farm on Geneganslet Road (1881 + 6 = 1887.) This is inconsistent with the Lone Pine Farm deed, which states, "Subject to a mortgage of Two thousand Dollars ($2,000) and interest now held by the First Congregational Church of Oxford, NY, being the same premises conveyed by William M. Miller and Emma E. Miller his wife, Florine B. Coe and Ralph B. Coe, all of Oxford, NY, to Richard J. Redmond of Greene, NY, by deed dated November 13, 1889 and recorded in the Office of the Clerk of the County of Chenango, December 17, 1908, in Book #224 of Deeds, Page 310." They may well have occupied the farm earlier than the recording of the deed; in those days it was common only to be required to pay the interest and pay on principal as able.
The three Redmond children graduated from Greene High School. Dan received the B.A. degree in 1901 from Hamilton College, John received the LL.B degree from Cornell University in 1905 and Katherine graduated from Greene in 1900 and from Teachers' College of Columbia University. Both John and Kate had taught in district schools prior to going to college. As Kate noted: "The struggle for a college education would make three separate chapters with my mother the brave determined, undaunted 4-H leader All the Way, Dad the Hopeful, Helpful Partner - It was hard pulling then but now it is nice to remember. You should have intestinal strength." Beyond Kate's flowing rhetoric, we believe that the Aunt in Ireland (Mary/Mollie) provided some assistance for the first child (Dan), with the understanding that he would help the next (John) and he in turn would aid Kate, the youngest. In those days of no formal student aid, whatever the details, they did persevere
There are a group of snapshots in a black album that show Richard J. and Margaret Clare Redmond at the Lone Pine Farm with their first grandson, John, the son of Dan and Bessie Carroll Redmond, hired hands holding horses, pictures of sweeping the hay with a rope, and pictures of Margaret Clare with the three Daniel Redmond children.
Richard J. Redmond farmed at the Lone Pine Farm, on Lower Geneganslet Road, Greene, for about 15 years and sold it in 1908 because of his poor health. He and his wife moved to Brooklyn to reside with their daughter, Katherine, who was teaching school there, in November 1908 and he died March 6, 1909. An envelope labeled "Re Estate of R. J. Redmond" lists on the back:" Funeral expenses of $244.24, debts of $67.75, receipts of $570.97, and a balance of $326.72. He is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Oxford, NY. in the family plot of 24 graves, purchased by his sons Daniel and John. The farm was eventually owned by son, John.
Richard E. Redmond has his father, John's "36 Count Certificate - 3rd Academic or Eleventh Year Regents Certificate," signed by Melvil Dewey, his Greene High School Diploma and Cornell Degree, 1904 and 1905 Cornell Yearbooks, 16 blue-printed shots of Cornell, two large group photos of Cornell students, leather-covered 1905 Class Day programs, and four mugs from the 1904 and 1905 Senior Law Smokers and the 1905 and 1906 Junior Law Smokers.
Following graduation from Cornell, because there already was one attorney in Greene and probably not enough business to support two, John Redmond took a position with Lawyers Title and Guarantee Company, New York City and moved to the city. In 1913, at age 34, he was a candidate for member of the Board of Alderman of the 52nd District. A National Progressive nominee, he was endorsed by the Citizen's Union. His platform was "Anti-Tammany," "Not a Politician, a Progressive, formerly a Republican," according to his campaign brochure. His loss was attributable, in part to the fact that he would not leave money with the local bartenders to buy drinks and votes. He saved a folder of the Sept 23, 1917 "Annual Rally of Holy Name Societies" and was active in the Knights of Columbus. John was a charter subscriber ($100) for the building fund and life membership in the Knights of Columbus (Brooklyn.)
After the death of his father in 1909, and the marriage of his sister Katherine in 1912 to H. Lynn English, John's mother came to live with him at 477 Park Place, Brooklyn at some time prior to November 1913. Elizabeth Cornely (Aunt Lizzie) became his housekeeper and caretaker for his mother, who was in failing health. A hand-written letter to Elizabeth from John Redmond came from Oxford on the eve of Margaret Clare's death at the home of her relatives, Mrs. Nowlan and Miss Lett, with whom she was visiting. Margaret Clare died in 1920 but John did not marry Mary Agnes Keenan until 1926. She had been introduced to him by her aunt, Lizzie. She and John are also buried in the Redmond plot in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Oxford, N.Y.
English, Katherine Clare Redmond. Genealogy. 1952 manuscript.
Galvin, Henry J. (ed.) Annals of Oxford, New York, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Early Pioneers. Oxford, NY: Times Book and Job Printing House, 1906. Reprinted for Oxford Historical Society by Higginson Book Co, 1998.
Glazier, Ira A., and Tepper, Michael (Eds.) The Famine Immigrants: Lists of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 1846-1851. VII Vol.
National Archives & Records Administration. Ship Passenger Arrival Records, M-237, Roll 98, p.2. 5/16/00 Search Copy.
New York State Census of 1875 as cited on Chenango County Website.
United States Census, 1860, State of New York, County of Chenango, Town of Oxford.
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO THE WORK OF CHARLOTTE SPAFFORD AND JAMES DUNNE FOR THEIR CONTINUED EFFORT AND SCHOLARSHIP.
3/2002 Update: Margaret B. Redmond