Thursday, March 8, 2012
22. Beyond the Book: Hugh of Mason Co., WV (Pt. 2)
Continuing with the children of Hugh O'Neill and Rebecca Reynolds--
3. Mary Jane O'Neill, born December 5, 1847, in Newport, Kentucky, moved to Mason County with her family. She married Harmon Barnhart Finney in Mason County on November 27, 1869, at the age of 22, and the new Finney family moved across the river to Letart in Meigs County, Ohio, very soon thereafter.
It would seem that this is where Richard O'Neill came up with the Meigs County connection. Perhaps he visited the Finneys for a short while, and Richard thought he lived there permanently.
Mary Jane and Harmon had four children in Meigs County, where Harmon worked as a coal miner. The mining job may have become too difficult or Harmon tired of it, because the Finney family migrated to nearby Athens County, where he became a farmer.
After 20 years or so in Athens County and after the children had grown, Mary Jane and Harmon moved to Columbus, Ohio, and lived with their daughter Stella. Mary Jane died in Columbus on June 18, 1929, and Harmon two months later on August 5.
Both are buried in the West Union Cemetery at Athens, Ohio.
The children of Harmon and Mary Jane O'Neill Finney are:
a. William U. Finney, born March 19, 1871, in Racine, Meigs county, Ohio, worked as a coal miner most of his life. He died in 1957 and is also buried at West Union Cemetery. He married Madge Gibson on July 31, 1892, in Athens County and had children Ida, Hattie, Jennie, Hugh, William, and Arthur. After Madge died on October 5, 1908, he married Jennie Harold in Columbus. William and Jennie had no children together, although she raised most of Majjie's brood.
Most of William's children seemed to remain in the Athens area. Ida married Harrison Davies, had several children and died in 1979 in Defiance, Ohio; Hattie married Harley A. Douglas, although they later divorced, had several children and died in 1967 at Athens; Jennie married Homer Canter and died sometime before 1957; Hugh did not seem to have married and died in Athens in 1991; William, Jr. was in the Navy during WW2 and died in an explosion aboard the USS Turner at New York; Arthur lived in Athens, but I have not found him after 1920.
b. Stella B. Finney, born in 1873, probably in Athens, married George P. Harold and had children Wendell Francis, Carl Millard, Arthur L., Mary Pauline, and Harry H.
Wendell served for two months in World War One and worked as a traveling salesman; Carl was blind from birth in his right eye and worked as a machinist; Arthur was a welder in an aircraft factory and moved to California; Mary Pauline never married and died in Columbus in 2008; Harry lived in Columbus through 1930, but I have not found him after that.
Stella died in Columbus on October 14, 1964; I do not know about George or where either is buried.
c. Arthur Finney was born on June 26, 1879, at Letart in Meigs County. He worked as a miner and a truck shop laborer for a while and then moved to Springfield, Ohio, to work for International Harvester. He married Lulu West in 1908 and they had five children, Haylett Roscoe, Fenzell, Kenneth P., Clarence R., and Stella Alta. [I wonder where the name Haylett came from in Hugh's O'Neill's family?]
Haylett served in the Pacific during World War Two; Fenzel moved to Hocking County, Ohio; Kenneth also served in the Army in World War Two; Clarence died in Clark County in 1994; and Stella Alta married Donald Hough and lived in Columbus.
d. Minnie Finney was born in July 1885 in Meigs County. In 1910 she was still unmarried and living with her parents. I have not found her after that.
4. John O'Neill was born in Campbell County, Kentucky, in 1849, and moved to Mason County with his parents. By 1870 he was still living at home and working as a Nail Cutter, probably for his father, who had a blacksmithing business. I have not located John after 1870.
5. George O'Neill, also born in Newport, Kentucky, in 1851, moved to Mason County and was living at home and working as a Nail Cutter by 1870. I have not found him after that date.
6. Franklin Pierce O'Neill was born in April of 1855 in Mason County, then Virginia, the first of Hugh O'Neill's children born outside of Kentucky.
He grew up in Mason County but then began a westward migration. By 1882 he was in Chicago and married to Minnie Beard; they had a daughter there. By 1885 they had a son in Milwaukee, and in 1891 a son in the state of Washington. In 1900 they were recorded in Spokane and finally, by 1910, in Pasadena, California, where they seem to have settled.
Minnie O'Neill, who was born in Iowa and lived in Denver, died in Pasadena on February 12, 1949, but I have not found Franklin's death information yet. This family branch was highly traveled!
The children of Franklin and Minnie O'Neill are:
a. Abbie M. O'Neill, born in Chicago in November of 1882, did not seem to ever marry. She moved to Washington with her family, but then became a surgical nurse in San Francisco, California, and remained there at least through 1930 instead of moving to Pasadena.
b. Haylett O'Neill, one of at least two of Hugh's descendants to bear this name, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 27, 1885. [Haylett is an English surname from Kent, but I have not found anyone with that name marrying into the O'Neills. Perhaps someone Franklin admired?]
"Our" Haylett was evidently intelligent and motivated, as he became a mechanical engineer after graduating from M.I.T. in 1909.
He married a wife Ethel, possibly in Washington, and had two children, Haylett and Ewart. He and his family traveled to Europe in the 1920's to do a 9-country tour, so Haylett seemed very upper-crust for the time.
After a sojourn in Larchmont, New York, Haylett and his family relocated to Houston, Texas, and settled there. Haylett died in Houston on June 13, 1967, and is buried in the Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery there.
Haylett, Jr., born on December 4, 1911, in New York, removed to Houston with the family and died there on July 23, 2001. Ewart [Another strange name!] was born on August 6, 1919, in New York and graduated from San Jacinto High School in Houston. He was shot in the back at age 16 by a homeowner while he was crossing his yard at night. Ewart recovered but the shooter was indicted for assault. After a couple of years of college, Ewart joined the Army on March 20, 1941, and served as a First Lieutenant in WW2. He died in Houston on January 20, 2003.
c. Paul Meyer O'Neill, born in Spokane, Washington on August 20, 1891, worked in the mining industry and lived for a time in Cochise County, Arizona.
Paul was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 340th Field Artillery Regiment during World War One. The 340th served with the 89th Division in France, but I do not know for certain that Paul was in France.
In 1930 he was in Chicago, working as an investments salesman. By the time he was 50 in 1942, he was back in California and working for the California Shipbuilding Corp. at the Port of Los Angeles. CalShip built over 400 Liberty Ships, tankers, and assault transports during the war. I don't know what position Paul held but he must have been busy!
He does not seem to have been married, and he listed a neighbor as a contact on his 1942 draft card. Paul died in Los Angeles on June 5, 1951, at the age of 61.
7. Alfred O'Neill was born in Mason County in March of 1856. After living with his parents through 1870, he moved away and turned up next in Chicago, Illinois, in 1900, where he was single and working as a Day Laborer. I have not found him after that.
[Note: There is a prospective Alfred in Tennessee and Texas that may be "our" Alfred. Stay tuned for developments.]
8. Lewis O'Neill was born in Mason County in November of 1859, but only lived until August of 1862. I do not know the cause of his death.
9. Charles O'Neill was born in Mason County on October 16, 1861. He was the last of Hugh's children that I identified, as he was living with his sister Ann's Elliott in-laws on the 1870 census. He was still with them in 1880.
Charles died in Cook County, Illinois, on March 22, 1922. He was a patient in the Oak Forest Tuberculosis Sanitarium at the time and had been for at least a couple of years. He was a widowed engineer of some type and was buried in St. Gabriel's Cemetery in Cook County. The cemetery is adjacent to the Sanitarium. I have not yet located him between 1880 and 1920.
10. Philip O'Neill, born in Mason County in 1864, lived with Rebecca at least until 1880. He was a late-in-life child, born when Rebecca was about 42 years old, and was probably the least successful of the children.
He migrated to Spokane, Washington, by 1900 and lived there at least through 1930. In 1900 he was a janitor for the Deaconess Hospital and Old Folks Home; in 1910 he was some type of a laborer on street cars. On the 1920 census Philip was married to wife Bessie Jones and was working as a dishwasher in a restaurant; on the 1930 he was a janitor in a pie bakery.
We have a puzzle in one area: Both Philip and Bessie indicated on the 1930 census that they were married around 1902 or 1903, but Philip was still listed as single on the 1910 census. Perhaps they misunderstood the question; either that or both were married before and for a really short time.
Bessie gave birth to a son, Sarie Irwin O'Neill, on October 13, 1912, but the child was not on the 1920 or 1930 census with them. We can surmise that the infant died in childhood before 1920. They had no other children that I can find.
So far I have not located a death date for either Philip or Bessie, or a burial location for either.