However, in those early years finding the census records for Ontario was difficult. We now have a census record for the Haffey family in 1861 which states that Joseph is 13 years old. The 1871 census gives his age as 22. So lacking any evidence to the contrary including the 1851 census I contend that the Joseph christened in 1847 is ours!
In a family of farmers, it seems Joseph was not meant to stay on the farm. In 1871 he is listed with his family in the census, the entry giving the information that he is a clerical student at college. Joseph spent six years studying at St. Michael's College (now part of the University of Toronto) and then stayed on for one year as a teacher. Following that he taught in the public schools for two years. When Joseph passed away, the family wrote to St. Michael's at the behest of the University of Michigan in a quest to get a list of the degrees he had earned there. They received a letter stating that no one had ever received as many awards. Marie, his daughter, remembers that they were listed in the letter, however, the letter did not survive the ensuing generations.
In 1879, Joseph left Canada to attend the School of Law at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In 1882, newly graduated, he applied for citizenship and went to work for Lindner and Porter in Bay City. Two years later he was admitted to the bar. Eventually he became a partner and when Lindner retired the firm was known as Porter & Haffey
Joseph was known for his honesty and integrity, he gave of himself and did not let the pursuit of power or money take over his practice of the law. While this earned him the respect of his colleagues, it did not always cushion him from the realities of the practice of law. He was quick to tell his sons not to follow him into the practice.
In 1888 Joseph married Mary Ann Murphy in Port Huron, Michigan. The record of the marriage is found in the Bay County Marriage Register. They had met while he was in school in Ann Arbor.
It was, perhaps, not the happiest of marriages. It seems, according to the memoirs of daughter Grace, that Mary was not content with his decision to not pursue riches. Perhaps the childhood of hearing stories of the mill that should have been in the family, or the poverty she had supposedly endured as a child caused her to always want more. Bridget Lonergan's Legacy of discontent did not lead to a happy life and it seems that there was a sad aura over the family.
Joseph was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The 1894 Bay City Directory lists him as the Vice President of the Bay City chapter.
In 1905 Joseph joined his siblings in quit claiming his share of the family farm to their brother John.
All of the children of John and Margaret are mentioned in this quit claim.
On 8 Nov 1917 the Bay City Times Tribune reported.....
Joseph P Haffey is Called to Reward
Well known lawyer and citizen succumbs to long illness
Had Practiced law here for past Thirty-Three Years
Joseph P. Haffey died early this (Thursday) morning, at his residence, Tenth street, following a long illness. Death came peacefully and quietly, as it was not known that the end had come until members of the family went to his room and found that he had expired. Mr. Haffey's illness started about three years ago, but he apparently was on the road to recovery after spending a winter in the south. Within the past few months, however, his ailment became incipient and he gradually declined.
|Bay City Times Tribune|
10 Nov 1917
A few days later the paper reported on the funeral and the resolution passed by the County Bar Association.
|Uncle Tom with his Madden |
grand-nephews at Lake Tahoe
Joseph Haffey and Mary Murphy had five children
- Joseph (1890-1970) lived in the family home his entire life. A banker, he never married.
- Marie (Ree) (1891-1971) was a teacher. She also remained in the family home and never married.
- Grace (1893 - 1986) also started out as a teacher. She married John O'Connell in 1921. They were living in San Diego, CA by 1940. Grace and John had five sons.
- Thomas (1895 - 1978) graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1915. He spent his entire career with the Navy. After retirement he returned home, although he spent quite a bit of time visiting various relatives.
- Isabel m. Frances Martin Madden