Meath – Biographies: Mulvany, Matthew 1796 - October 18,

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Meath Index


File contributed by: Mike Mulvaney
January 17, 2012, 10:21 pm


Source: Handwritten letter by granddaughter of Matthew
Mulvany, Mary (Matie) Mulvaney. Author: Mary (Matie) Mulvany

The following is the actual transcript from the handwritten
biography, written by Mary (Matie) Mulvany Day, as told to
her by Grandma Margaret Mulvany in 1932. This was passed on
to me, Michael Alan Mulvaney, by my father, Howard Clayton
Mulvaney, Jr. He received the letter from Grace Mulvaney
Snyder, daughter of William Henry Mulvaney, son of Thomas
Mulvany, son of Mathew Mulvany:

A short biography of Mathew and Margaret Mulvany. Written by
their fourth granddaughter, Matie Mulvany Day. 10 Logan St.
S. E. Grand Rapids 3, Michigan

In the year 1946, composed and read at a Mulvany party in
1932, by Matie Mulvany Day. Mathew and Margaret are as far
back as any Mulvanys we know of.

In beautiful {Ould} Ireland, about 135 or 136 years ago, the
morning sun, its glorious rays of light, peeped in a home in
county Meath Ireland, and for the first time in this life,
kissed with one of those soft rays of mellow light the
dimpled flesh of a baby girl, christened Margaret Boyle.

In another home, possibly two or three years previous, in
the same county Meath, the evening sun shone from the
western horizon, and spread its halo of lovely light over
the green sod of Ireland, a baby boy drew its first breath
in this life and was christened Mathew Mulvany.

These children, the principle characters of my story were
petted and loved as most children are in their respected
homes by their parents to whom God had given them to.

They like many boys and girls do, in fact most {of} them
lived and dreamed, and built many an air castle of their
future, it has always been like this.

Childhood in its innocence, Childhood in its glee, Children
running after, The cloud of age to see.

Sometime through the period of both of these young people,
reaching the age of girlhood and manhood, Cupid play'd a
part in its most beautiful way, and Mathew began to think of
a home he might build and was casting shy glances at
Margaret. She became attracted by the attentions of Mathew.
They were soon building a path to their future home, and
with grand and fine thoughts of their future.

Margaret and Mathew plighted their troth, and set their
wedding day and became as one. In that beautiful Emerald Ile
in county Meath Ireland, two children were borne to this
united couple, sons they were, Peter and James. To these
young people, God gave the blessings of love's endless tide
to bestow on their children in this world wide. Their lives
manifested the same all along life's pathway. Many times at
evening tide when these little boys were their all, they
walked and talked of what they might do to better the
condition for Peter and James. Many times they conversed
with one another of the better advantages and better
opportunities, a wider field for education for their sons.
They finally decided to cross the broad Atlantic Ocean, and
try their skill doing for themselves and their boys in
America, "the land of the free". In due time, their plans
were completed and all of their belongings were packed and
loaded on the great boat named "The Duncan Gib", and bidding
their loved ones goodbye they, with their two little sons,
were on their way crossing the briny wave of the Atlantic.
This boat, "The Duncan Gib", was burned at sea the next
year. On this voyage, they were tossed about on the waves of
this great ocean seven long weeks. Their hearts were
saddened very much during this voyage, as little James was
very sick. The possibility of his not getting well was
feared greatly by them. Night and day, for some time they
prayed. They watched for his strength and health to return,
and as he gradually got better, they enjoyed their trip
better. What feelings and longings they must have had to see
dry land again. The lantern of hope with its rays becoming
more bright, their aspirations were soon to be fulfilled,
the captain had announced they could see dry land and soon
would be in the harbor. In reaching this place of safety,
what feelings of gratitude they surely experienced, as they
walked off of the boat which had brought them across that
great body of water to the American soil, that they, in the
future were to trod. They made their home for a few years in
Canada on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. There,
another brother, John, was born. Then another son, Thomas,
then somewhere along this line a little girl was given to
them. They gave her the name Mary, and this little one grew
tired and weariness of living, whispering in her dreams,
that her soul might leave the body, here on earth, and ride
away on sun beams. I can [see] in my mind's eye, see these
parents, and their little family so bereaved over the loss
of this little daughter and sister, and the light in the
mother's eyes, the knowledge of her little one being in
better surroundings in another sphere, to progress
throughout eternity And then to bless the life of this great
mother, two daughters came within a year or so of each
other, Jane and Margrett. In cheering and keeping in [dayly]
touch with their fine mother was what these daughters did,
as long as their mother lived. I will tell you of a little
incident of the lives of this family while they were yet
living in Canada; this is authentic. I will give it as
nearly as I can as Uncle Peter told it to me. Peter had
become to be quite a boy, possibly eight or nine years old.
An old Indian man had taken quite a liking to him as well as
he to the Indian. This Indian man helped to fix up a raft
for him and tied it to some tree or shrub, leaving the rope
long enough so he might get on the raft and ride out on the
water of the St. Lawrence River. One day, by consent of his
mother, he went away with the Indian, and saw in his
absence, his younger brother James with his childish
ingenuity, untied the rope that held the raft from going
very far. He and his younger brother John, started out for a
ride on the raft. It so happened their father saw them, and
they were well out on the river. He called to the mother, so
she would know where he was going, and broke a chain of a
boat that was fastened close by, and started out on a [
perilus] boat ride to save his boys. He overtook them before
the raft had reached the rapids, and very quickly got them
in his boat, and left the raft to go on its way, and
[hurryed] back to the mother. A joyous household we can
imagine. I asked Uncle Peter how he felt about it all when
he got home. He said his greatest pang was to realize his
raft was gone, and the pleasure of being on the river he
must forego, for he was not to have another, and he was
somewhat provoked at his younger brother James, and John.
While living in Canada, the father found it was necessary
for him to get more work than he was able to secure there.
Leaving his family there, he went to New York and worked
awhile, until he could make money enough to send for them.
He was helping to clear timber off of land not far from
Syracuse, New York and worked awhile until he could get
money to send for them. He did so and they arrived a day
before he expected [them to]. Peter went to the woods to
find his father. As I remember Uncle Peter telling this, he
went down to the woods, and standing on a hillside, he
looking down to where the men was working, he saw his father
among those men, but he had a different hat on than he had
ever seen him wear, and Peter was somewhat awe- stricken. He
stood and watched for quite awhile, until at last his father
saw him, and up the hill his father ran, and a happy son and
his father met, and not long after, a happy family was
reunited. For sometime after, their home was in that great
state, the empire of the Union. Many of you who will be
interested in this short biography of your great-
grandparents, will remember your great uncles and aunts who
are mentioned, are the sons and daughters of Mathew and
Margaret Mulvany. Your Uncle Elmer and I are the only ones
living of the James Mulvany family. The grandmother was a
very small woman, exceedingly quiet and very ladylike. She
always wore a lace cap, white or black, usually black, and
always a small shoulder cape like the dress she wore. She
was very neat and loved to knit. I was always very happy
when she came to visit us. One little story she told me I
will relate as it was one that was of her and your
grandfather in early life. While they were on the great
ocean voyage, Jamesy, as she spoke of him, was very sick. I
asked her why she called him Jamesy? She told me she was so
happy when he got well enough for them to pet and love him.
She called him Jamesy because it seemed a little more
endearing to her and she had kept it up more or less ever
since. She told me of her troubled heartaches and of the
awful fear of it being possible he might not get well and
they would have to lay his little body out on the waves of
the ocean, and they would not have him when they reached the
great American soil. She told me of how she prayed that he
might be spared, and when the pink came back to his baby
cheeks, how happy they were, and when he could smile and
laugh and play again. Words could not express just how she

This story had a great impression on me, possibly sixty-five
or sixty-six years ago when I was a child, six or seven
years old, told to me by this loving grandmother. This story
never comes to mind, but what I feel as I did then, a deep
thankfulness that "Jamesy" was not sick anymore, and that
his mother felt so happy, and I still feel a thrill of
happiness and gladness that they got across that great
ocean. Jamesy grew to be a man and was my father, your
grandfather, and your children's great grandfather. I do not
know just how many years they lived in this great state of
New York, but James came to Michigan when he was about
sixteen years old. He found work on a farm in Maple Grove,
not far from Nashville. He remained a year with these people
whose name was Ellis, and then he started afoot with fifty
dollars in his pocket, for Jackson, Michigan, passed through
Marshall and met a man who was walking to Jackson to take
[the] train to Buffalo, New York, just as he was doing. This
man invited him to go with him seven miles from Jackson.
They could get supper, lodging and breakfast there, with his
sister. He accepted the invitation and the next day, he was
on his way home to see his parents and brothers and sister.
While there, he made the wagon they had into what is known
as a covered wagon, and Margaret and Mathew moved again,
Margaret riding in the covered wagon, with her three sons,
James, John, and Thomas, and her two daughters, Jane and
Margaret, Mathew remaining for a few days with Peter as he
was attending school. Then he came by train, reaching Battle
Creek about the same time Margaret did with her five
children in covered wagon. They settle about fifteen miles
from Battle Creek and seven miles south of Nashville, and
eight miles west of Bellevue, in Barry County, Assyria
Township, where they lived until they went home to their
heaven, Mathew a number of years before Margaret did. She
remained on the farm with good help to do and carry on the
farm work. In the springtime of 1876 she made a visit to her
son James home, to be present at her second granddaughter's
wedding, and while there, she was taken sick and passed
away. A short service was held at the house and regular
services at Assyria Center church. Her faith and fine
understanding of life, enable her to be [fare], and to love
all mankind, and as she came to go she said to her son
James, "Be of good cheer, God understands, and he will take
care of us all, in His own good way." Thus, a great and good
woman who lived seventy-seven years passed away fifty-nine
years ago. Uncle Peter had some very fine pictures made of
her the year of her death, and presented one of them to his
brother James, my father, at that time. After my father?s
death, his children met at the old home and divided the
household goods. Our Uncle John who had no children of his
own, was with us for the day, and we gave him the picture of
his mother. He said under one condition I will except this
gift from you, and that is I have the privilege of willing
it to where I feel it should go. He said he appreciated very
highly our desires of wanting him to have the picture and he
thought it should be an heirloom in the family. We all
agreed to his suggestion and was very glad he wished to do
this. He accepted the precious gift with a very fitting and
beautiful eulogy to his mother. He made the will in the
[presents] of us all. My husband was present and being an
attorney, Uncle John asked him to write the will as he would
dictate it, which was done. The will was "that this picture
of Margaret Boyle Mulvany be an heirloom in the James
Mulvany family throughout time. It must be handed down to
the oldest child of the present family as long as any one of
them were living and after that to the oldest grandchild and
so on down." Two members of this group signed this will. It
was the last time I ever saw my Uncle John. I have the
picture now. It came to me from my brother Thomas. He was
the oldest son of James Mulvany. I will put the names of
this family down as they come in line. -Peter Mulvany raised
one child, called Charley -James Mulvany raised eleven, six
girls and five boys: Anna Marie, Sarah, Margaret, Thomas
Elwood. These were the children of his first wife. Now of
his second, Gilbert, Julia, Mary (called Matie), Ellen June
(called Nellie), Elmer James, Alice Eliza, Mathew Paul ,
Rollin. -John raised two children -Thomas six children
-Peter raised Emma, Minnie, Silas and Charley -Jane raised
three, Harry, Robert, Fred Mayo -Margaret lost one child,
adopted two, William and Katie, Burgess

I shall place the story on the back of this picture inside
of an envelope that may be opened and read if anyone desires
to do so and read the short biography of the lives of Mathew
and Margaret Mulvany, who came into this life in Ireland
about one hundred and thirty seven years ago, and made their
way with their first two sons, Peter and James, bid goodbye
to their dear ones and friends and native land they loved so
well and make their home in America, the "land of the free".

Since writing this story, I have had given to me my
grandmother's rosary. It is of ebony beads about three
quarters of a yard long, double. It was given to me by my
cousin Fred Mayo. Grandmother's bureau was given to him and
in that, he found the rosary. I gave it to my daughter as
she was the first one of the family to marry a Catholic, and
go in that Church. She kept it on her bed the last few days
of her live. She learned from a priest that it was a French
missionary rosary and five hundred years old, and possibly
older. The priest told her, "It was something we priests
haven't got and it should be well-cared for. She left it to
her cousin's oldest daughter, [name undecipherable] O'toole
Vanderpole, as she was the firstborn Catholic in the family.

After grandmother's death, James expressed this by pen and
it was placed on the marble monument that was placed to mark
the spot {whear] his loved parents were laid in Barry
County, Assyria Center, Michigan:. "These parents strong and
brave With an unfailing trust, Crossed the briny wave, Their
monuments to rear. May their descendants, True and just, Ere
revere, the dust reposing here."