Biographical Papers Letter O Page 2
Bernard J. O'Donnell
A stone:
Bernard J. O'Donnell
Bridget (O'Donnell) McDonald Connaghan McDonough
Married to Hugh, 1878 (see his card)
1852 Aranmore1
The parish record says she was 26 in 1878 when she married Hugh. This means she was born in 1852. If she was 10 when they came to B.I. it must have been around 1862 when she came with her mother, Hannah O'Donnell, & her brothers Owen & John.
One of the brothers was very sick at sea and given up for lost. His shroud and sack were already made. Bridget was terrified that he would have to be buried at sea, and she vowed three rosaries a day if he would be spared. He recovered and she kept her vow until Father Gallagher released her. He said for her to do it for one more year and that would be enough. (Mrs. Vesty Vesty, 1964).
The parish record shows a Bridget O'Donnell who married Daniel McDonald on Nov. 28, 1868, when she was 16 & he 21. Then, ten years later, Sept. 18, 1878, a Bridget O'Donnell, age 26 married Hugh Connaghan, age 43. This is the same person - see the 1 st marriage under McDonald. There were two children by the first marriage. Her third husband was Lawrence McDonough - son of Vesty.
Charles "Charlie Strack" O'Donnell
1828 -
Before the Mormons; before 1860 (when his daughter Mary was born in Mich.); son Charles
born in Canada in 1858
P. 61
Married Grace Gillespie ("Gracie Strack"), 1828 - ; Old John's sister
Johnny Og (sometimes called Johnny Strack)
Grace - babtized Sept. 7, 1863
Charles O'D. & Grace Gillespie had a child, Grace, baptz. Oct. 22, 1863.
He was on B.I. in Mormon times. He absconded with funds entrusted to him in Toronto. He came to the Island and worked on the building of the Lighthouse at the Head in 1854 at the Harbor. He went back to Toronto (paying back the money) and told the Irish there about B.I..
Lawrence - when he absconded with the money he was working on a construction gang on a R.R.. The foreman gave him money to pay the crew but instead, he ran off with the money. He saved the money he earned working on the lighthouse to pay it back.
There is a Charles O'Donnell mentioned 4 times in Dormer D. Book (1876-'77). Dormer paid him for teaming & for wood.
1860 census:
? O'Donald 32 (not filled in) born Ire.
Grace O'Donald 32 ---------------- born Ire.
Charles O'Donald 2 --------------- born Canada
Mary O'Donald 2/12 ---------------- born Mich.
Nancy Gillespie (age?) ---------------- born Ire.
- I have put this here, for Charlie Strack's wife was Grace Gillespie &
there is a Gillespie living in this household
Nov. 1, 1869, he patented from the U.S. under the Homestead law, E 1/2 of SW 1/4 Sec 33 T39
R10. He must also have had the SW 1/4 of SW 1/4 because in 1877 he sold that piece to Big
John Bonner. In 1884 Bowery got a tax dee on the N 1/2 of the quarter section but the title
must have been cleared because it is included in the 1903 business over John O'Donnell's
In 1895, Grace O'Donnell made the S 1/2 of NW 1/4 over to John O'Donnell. By 1903 a Catherine
Conners gave title to John's estate of SE 1/4 of SW 1/4 & in 1905 the NW 1/4 of SE 1/4 went to
John O'Donnell's estate. This John must have been Johnny Og (Johhny Strach). I have him
living in this house on this land.
Land office:
Pencil -
Feb. 8, 1859 - C. O. O'Donnell filed for SW 4SE 4 Sec 5-38-10 D.S. 409. (This is
Connolly, later Protar, land.)
Ink -
July 8, 1863 - Charles O'Donnell Hd. E 2SW 4 & SW 4SW 4 Sec 33-39-10 160A $10
F.C. Sept. 24, '68.
Death records:
Charles O'Donnell, married, age 67-5-18, died Feb. 5, '95, in Peaine Twp, of Bright's
disease. Born Ire.; parents unknown.
Wife Grace died the same year, July 20, '95, of paralysis, in Peaine Twp..
Daniel? "Lably" O'Donnell
P. 94, 131
House #53 (where Cunningham lives now)
Married Mary Gallagher (daughter of Don Father this must be wrong)
Mary, 1856-1928 - [married Dennis] Cull; then married to Buffalo Malloy
Frank, ?-1925 - never married
- [information from] same stone (Buffalo was buried with his 1 st
wife so she [Mary] was buried with her family)
These are Mike Cull's grandparents. They spoke Gaelic. He was blind many years. I think his name was Daniel - see census card.
Mrs. Lably O'Donnell is one that "went to bed," according to both Roland & Frank Nackerman. Her daughter Mary (who was first married to Dennis Cull) later married Buffalo Malloy, a second marriage for both. It was at Buffalo's house where she went to bed. She was a great talker & once when an old friend came to see her they got to talking about old times. She got so excited she jumped out of bed, acted out the whole story with gestures, got back into bed again, talking all the time in a mixture of Gaelic & English.
Because he was blind he had a cord that ran from the back door to the chicken coop. One winter night he went out to tend the chickens (went to close c_____ chicken coop). When he didn't come back his wife & a neighbor went to look for him - he had died on the way back - they think a heart attack.
Someone said Lably was Frank - only a guess.
Daniel B. "Danny Barney" O'Donnell
(2 nd Gen.)
(card #1)
Married Isabella ("Belle") Dougherty, 1866-1944; [born] Ireland
Frank Danny Barney - married Margaret McDonough (Vesty Vesty's daughter)
Teresa, July 4, '97 (birth record)
William, 1886 - married Bridget Burns
Isabella was a Dougherty & came in 1884 with the Don Father Gallagher party.
Stone (on same stone):
Daniel B. Isabella D.
1863-19__ 1866-1944
There is a baptism record:
D. O'Donnell, Oct. 22, 1863 - [parents] John O'Donnell & Bridget Boyle
- this baptism I have assigned to the John O'D. who was a brother of
Anthony (of Anth. & Sophia)
Death records:
Isabella O'Donnell, married, age 78-0-10, died Nov. 16, '44, in Peaine Twp, of apoplexy.
Born Ire.; parents William Dougherty & Mary Boyd, both born Ire..
Daniel B. "Danny Barney" O'Donnell
(2 nd Gen.)
(card #2)
Son of Barney of Barney's Lake.
Married Isabella Dougherty, 1866-1944 (came to B.I. in 1884)
Frank (Danny Barney)
Teresa, July 4, '97 (birth record)
William, 1886 - ? (stone) - married Bridget Burns
There are stones for them. "Danny Barney's wife & her family came with their party from Ireland." This is the "Don Father" party of 1884.
Daniel F. O'Donnell
1838-between 1877 & 1880
(in Gillespie's book, "Daniel L. O'Donnell died Feb. 12, 1906")
Married (Feb. 8, 1864) Grace Gallagher, 1840 -
1860 census:
Susan O'Donnell 50 widow born Ire.
Dan O'Donnell 25 laborer born Ire.
Michael O'Donnell 15 ------- born Ire.
- This is obviously a widow living with her two sons & Dan checks
fairly closely with the Daniel above who married 4 years later.
This is Shugie - Anthony O'Donnell's mother & his 2 brothers.
Land office:
Pencil -
Sept. 3, 1860 - Daniel O'Donnell filed for SE 4NW 4 Sec 1-37-11 (S. end Green's Bay)
Ellen O'Donnell
Dec. 25, 1857 -
This is one of the 1 st 3 children born on B.I. to the Irish. He father was Anthony O'Donnell but I don't know whether this was the Anthony who was married to Sophia & father of Francis in 1862 - it was Sophia.
She [Ellen] married Patrick McDonough, Vesty's son. They built the big frame house across from her father.
Other children baptized by Father Baraga - Manus Bonner & Frank Conn McCauley.
"Farragat" O'Donnell
(See census & church records.)
The man who piloted Farragat's flagship. He lived in Penn. until 1877, the year of the hanging - then came to the Island.2
Frank O'Donnell
The only Frank I have was a bachelor living in House #1, a Spanish Am. War vet. He would have been too young for this. Could this be "Lably"?
Land office:
Aug. 17, 1865 - S 2SE 4 Sec 32-39-10 & N 2NE 4 Sec 5-38-10 160A.
This is along Drky. T. Rd. & thru to beach N. of Barney's Lake. I have no cancellation
date but it was Hd. by Darky Mike Apr. 7, 1878, app. Aug. 17, 1878 F.C. July 2 ?
à Could this be the Frank O'Donnell, Barney's brother, who shows up in
the 1900 census living with Barney?
James O'Donnell [multiple individuals]
James - married Bridget O'D., Aug. 1862
[Daughter] Rose, baptz. 1863
James - married to Catherine Gallagher
[Child] Francis, baptz. 1862
James, who owned land in Sec 22-38-10 (where Hanagan's Rd. turns off K. Hwy.) & who
Claimed to be "heir to the Castle of Donegal." He wanted Father Hays to write to Ireland
About his rights. (See card, Ireland - Hospitality)
"Shamy" house 102
James O'Donnell
1840 -
By 1859
Married Bridget O'Donnell, 1837 -
Rose (Big Rosie), 1863
Both the marriage record & the baptism of Rose, Aug. 2, 1863, are in the parish records. John & Bridget Dunlevy were witnesses at their wedding. As the Gillespies & Dunlevys were closely associated & lived side by side, this probably places this James on the Slopt. Rd..
Related to Willie John's maternal grandparents. How? His Grandfather Whiskey Boyle & Grandmother Hannah Malloy, cousin of Dan Malloy. Dan Malloy's wife was Fannie O'Donnell - is this the connection?
The most reasonable connection with Whiskey's family is that Hannah's mother was either Rose's sister or her husband's sister.
[See original manuscript for James O'Donnell/Whiskey Boyle family tree diagram.]
1860 census:
James O'Donald 20 laborer born Ire.
Roesey O'Donald 60 --------- born Ire.
- This must be the James who married Bridget 2 years later & named his
first child Rose for his mother Roesey.
I don't know which James is Shamus - I have a pencil note that Maria told me the Shamus was the one married to Bridget O'Donnell (this is in my parish baptisms).
This must be the one that bought land in 1870 from John Gillespie, the E 1/4 of the W 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of the E 1/2 of theW 1/2 of the SE 1/4 of Sec 9 T38 R10. In 1877 he sold the south half of this land to Shawn Gallagher (John & Bridget Dunlevy were witnesses at their wedding).
Land office:
Apr. 28, 1859 - James O'Donnell filed for W 2NE 4 Sec 9-38-10 [Hd. by John Gillespie in
James R. O'Donnell
By 1863
He owned the NE 1/4 of Sec 21 T37 R10 (at the Head) because in 1878 he sold it to John Sawlin, & then 2 years later, in 1880, he sold the same thing to James McGee.
Land office:
July 8, 1863 - Hd. NW 4 Sec 21-37-10 $10 (between Cable's Bay & Iron Ore Bay).
James "Shamus Colum[?]" O'Donnell
1835 (census)
By 1862
Married Catherine Gallagher, 1839 - [born] Ire.
Francis, 1862
Mary - married James Carnes (Chi[cago] fireman
Catherine, Sept. 5, '73 (birth rec.)
William J. Carnes
Mounted Route, Box 218
Chesterton, Indiana
There is a baptism on Oct. 3, 1862 in the parish record of Francis, son of James O'Donnell and
Catherine Gallagher.
1860 census:
James O'Donnald 25 laborer born Penn.
Catherine O'Donnald 21 ------- born Ire.
- I have put this here because it is the only James I have whose wife was
Catherine, but the born in Penn. in 1835 is very questionable.
He lived where the oil well was, in house #102 - moved to Slopt. Rd.. He claimed to be the heir of the "O'Donnell castle in Donegal," & he wanted Father Hays to write about it to help establish his claim.
In 1879 a James O'Donnell got theW 1/2 of SE 1/4 of Sec 22 T38 R10 by tax deed. This is near where he is supposed to live so I assume it is this James O'Donnell.
John O'Donnell [multiple individuals]
1. John - "Mahane" - house #15 - this was where they had dances because it was the only
house with hardwood floors (could this possibly be the one that was supposed to be on B.I. in Mormon times, & is there any connection with the house Mrs. Williams talks about of the rich Johnsons, Mormons with ballroom & hardwood floors?).
2. John - according to Pat B., on the Island in Mormon times (is this the same as above?).
Johnny Green said this was his mother's uncle.
3. John - "the Rat" - fished out of Mackinac & Savannah, Georgia with Black Bonner. This must be the one Big Owen said came to the Island in '56 and was from Aranmore (Irish Colo[ny?]).
4. John - "Johnny Strack" - house #79; this house was log but Hannah Johnson & her son
Cornelius bought it & built the square house there now (apples).
5. John - came as a child with his widowed mother, Hannah, & brother & sister (Mrs. V.
Vesty's mother).
6. John - "Johnny Barney" - second generation
7. There is a John H. mentioned by Tip Miller as one of crew of 8 for Life S. S. season 1882.
1860 census mentions a John O'Donald, 35, laborer, born Ire., who was living in a bachelor establishment with Peter McCo__y, 30.
John O'Donnell
By 1860 (land rec.)
Johnny Green's mother's uncle - no, that was "the Rat"
Mike O'Donnell was an uncle; Anthony O'Donnell was an uncle (Johnnie's grandfather).
Married Bridget Boyle, 1825-1910
D. O'Donnell, baptized Oct. 22, 1863
There is a stone (is this John O'D.?):
Father, John M. - 1816-1905
Mother, Bridget - 1825-1910
Pat Bonner says "There was a John O'Donnell here in Mormon times."
Johnny Green - "The first of the family to come was John O'Donnell (no relation to Barney & Darkey Mike) who was my mother's uncle. He was here in Mormon times. It was Johnny the Rat, not this one.
Johnny Green also gives a John O'Donnell who homesteaded at Green's Bay. This is probably the same as above but as he didn't say it was his uncle it was probably this one.
Could this be the John O'D. who fished in the east with Black Bonner? No, that was Johnny the Rat, a bachelor.
1860 census:
John O'Donald 40 laborer born Ire.
Bridget O'Donald 38 --------- born Ire.
John O'Donald 3 --------------- born Canada
Joseph O'Donald 1 ------------ born Mich.
Bridget O'Donald 25 ---------- born Ire.
See Johnny Mahane for 1860 census & another John.
Land office[both] Green's Bay:
Pencil -
July 18, 1860 - John (D.?) O'Donnell filed for Lot 4 Sec 36-38-11
Ink -
July 28, 1863 - John O'Donnell Hd. Lot 4 Sec 36-38-11 69.1A $10 can. Sept. 3, 1877.
John B. "Johnny Barney" O'Donnell
(2 nd Gen.)
1855 -
Born Canada
Em[igrated] 1859 (1900 census)
House #81
Son of Barney of Barney's Lake
Married Emma ("Big Emma"), 1856 - ; daughter of "Big Biddie" Boyle; born Ireland
Patrick, May 18, 1897 (record)
Bernard J., 1889-1921
Bridget, died Nov. 14, '94, age 3 yrs., 4 mo., 18 days; cause - enteritis (death records)
Land office:
Dec. 6, 1902 - John B. O'D. Hd. Lot 1 & NE 4NE 4 Sec 32-39-10 64.8A $5.00 F.C. Oct. 6,
John C. O'Donnell
Johnny Strack?
Born on B.I.
House #79
Married Mary Dunlevy, born B.I.
Chas. S., Aug. 23, '99 (record)
Francis Daniel, Feb. 10, '01 (record)
Who is this? The birth record says both the father & mother born on Beaver Island.
John "Johnny Mahane" O'Donnell
By 1859
"Trail Rd. O'Donnells"
Married Bridget Boyle
"Mike Mahane"
Catherine (Kitty) - married Big Tom McDonough
He lived in house #15 & Bid says they liked to have dances there because of the hardwood floors. [Could there be any connection between this & the fine house of the Johnsons (Mormons) that Mrs. Williams talks about?]
On p. 208 Mrs. Williams says, "The Johnson house was now taken down & moved to some farm." This seems to have been around the early 1860s.
Johnny Mahane's wife was one who went to bed ( - Maria).
1860 census:
John O'Donald 52 born Ire.
Bridget O'Donald 52 born Ire.
- I have put this here because the dates are all wrong for John, brother of
Anthony. Although this seems doubtful too.
Land office:
Pencil -
Sept. 5, 1859 - John O'Donnell filed for W 2SE 4 Sec 2-38-10 80A.
Apr. 2, 1860 - Robt. Miller filed for this same land.
Ink -
July 8, 1863 - John O'Donnell Hd. W 2SE 4 Sec 2-38-10; Hd 80A $10 F.C. Sept. 19,
Death records:
John M. O'Donnell, married, age 88-11-15, died July 5, '06, in Peaine Twp, of old age. Born
Ire.; farmer; parents Hugh & Rose O'Donnell.
[See original manuscript for Bridget Boyle/Johnny Mahane O'Donnell family tree diagram.]
John "Johnny the Rat" O'Donnell
By 1857 (came with Black John)
P. 51, 61
Never married
Tony O'Donnell's notes:
He came to Mackinac around 1853-54. He had a brother Peter who drowned in Ireland "gathering seaweed from the rocks; the tide carried him out."
Their mother was "Shu'gan" in Irish.
Pat Bonner:
He was a drinker. He & Bonner fished together on the Island as well as in the east & out of Mackinac together. He was "the Rat" because he was so good at climbing "the rat lines" on the sailing vessels.
He had 2 sisters here,
  • Sophia - who married Anthony O'Donnell (no relation)
  • "Rosie's grandmother" - this is Paganog's wife
He says Black Bonner & Johnny the Rat were here before the Mormons.
Johnny the Rat must have been Johnnie Green's "mother's uncle who was here in Mormon times."
Michael O'Donnell [multiple individuals]
1. Mike "Mike Mahane" - House #6 - son of John "Mahane" of the Trail Rd.
2. Mike "Darkey Mike"
3. Mike - brother of Anthony 5 - from Aranmore - he taught the Sand Bay School & married
Maggie Gibson. House #100.
4. Michael - (21) - married Sarah Battersbee (22), Sept. 24, 1863; witnesses - Bernard O'D. &
Anna Vaughy
5. Michael F. - his wife Hannah has a stone: Hannah (1844-1868), wife of Michael F.
O'Donnell born in Rutland, died St. James, 1868, age 24 yrs.. He is mentioned by Tip
Miller as one of crew of 8 for Life S. S. season 1882.
3 & 5 are the same - Mrs. Williams mentions Michael F. as the school teacher.
Michael O'Donnell
1845 -
Brother of Anthony
  • Hannah, 1844-1868 (Rutland)
  • Margaret, 1852 - (N.Y. City) - married 2 nd, about 1871
Robert D., 1872-Nov. 4, '714
Francis J., 1874
Julia M., 1878
Charles, 1880
Walter, 1884
wife of
Michael F. O'Donnell
Born Rutland, 1844
Died, St. James, 1868
age 24 years
The marriage is in the parish records & witnesses were Bernard O'Donnell & Anna Vaughy.
He was a brother of Anthony who married Sophia, & a son of Susan (Shugie).
He is recorded in 1860 census as living with his mother & brother Ian. In 1870 he was again living with her, as his wife had died.
In 1871 at the birth of his son he listed himself as "Clerk." In the 1870 census "Clerk in store;" in 1880, "laborer."
Mrs. Williams mentions him as a teacher, p. 201.
He taught at the Sand Bay School.
[Son] Walter - the first Beaver Islander to be ordained a priest. Born Sept. 23 (13 th in church record), died Mar. 17, 1862 at Notre Dame. Rev. Walter J. O'Donnell, C.S.C. Professed Sept. 14, 1905 LITT.B. 1906, M.A. 1908. Ordained at Notre Dame June 30, 1912. Ph.D Notre Dame 1924. First mass on B.I. (Tony attended as small boy).
Michael "Darky Mike" O'Donnell
(card #1)
I think from Aranmore.
House #84; shack #84A
P. 27, 30
Married Nangog, 1848 - (census); [marriage took place] after 1884, when Nangog came; 1900
census shows 1886 to have been the date
Anthony - killed in accident
Billy Gallagher, the marriage broker, made the match. He had left a wife in Canada (Roland says Ireland), so Father Gallagher wouldn't marry them. (According to Johnny Green, Mike's wife came to B.I. with him but didn't like it & wouldn't stay.) They were married by Big Gallagher, the Justice of the Peace. In the evening they were having the wedding dance at O'Donnells'* when there was a knock at the door. Billy hid under the stair. Sure enough it was Father Logue (one of F. Gall.'s nephews). Father Logue hauled Billy out from under the stair and expressed sharp disapproval of the marriage, the party, and all concerned. - Pat Bonner (see Roland's story of the curse of the Gallaghers).
Later Father Pascal said Darky Mike & Nangog could not live together. He made Mike build himself a shanty down below the hill on Barney's Lake. When Father Pascal left (he was here 1905-1907) Mike moved back home.
Lawrence Malloy was driving a visiting priest around the Island and told him the story. The priest, speaking of the shanty, asked dryly, "Did he stay there?"
*Mary McCafferty was their sister. The famous wedding dance was held at McCaffertys' (Pat).
Darkey Mike worked in one of the saloons & was "a fine-looking man with black curly hair."
  • Johnny Green
Pat said he came to B.I. 5 or 6 years after Black Bonner ('62?).
He and his half-brother lived at Barney's Lake; his house stood back on the road before you go down to the lake on the left-hand side.
Nangog had a daughter with her when she came to B.I.. This girl married Peter Gallagher, 1869-1958, the son of Big Dominic. Nangog's daughter probably wasn't born before 1869, as the man she married, Peter Gallagher, was born then. This means she & her mother must have come to B.I. after this date.
Land record:
Dec. 30, '78 - U.S. to Michael O'Donnell, N 1/2 of NE 1/4 Sec 5-T38-R10 (north of Barney's
Land office:
Apr. 7, 1878 - Michael Boyle Hd. S 2SE 4 Sec 32-39-10 & N 2NE 4 Sec 5-38-10 160A $10;
app. Aug. 17, 1878 - F.C. July 2, ? (This land had been previously Hd. by Frank
1 Likely a reference to her birth place
2 This looks like a reference to Union Admiral David G. Farragut, the renowed Civil War naval commander. Farragut's flagship was called the Hartford, and a John O'Donnell is known to have served on it.
3 Brackets in original.
4 It is unclear what the author means here, possibly a typo?