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Monday, August 26, 2013

Family: James Madden

New York State Census - Albany page 49 Eastern District 7th Ward  
28 Jun 1855

1815/1824 Ireland - 1894 Albany NY

James Madden was born about 1818 in Ireland. Or maybe his birth year is 1824, or 1815.  Pick a record and get a different date.  The 1855 NY census lists his age as 33 (1822).  The 1875 NY census says 60 (1815).  This concurs with the 1860 and 1880 US census which list his age respectively as 45 and 65, but the 1870 census says 52 (1818).  James' death certificate (18 May 1894) gives his age as 76 which agrees with the 1818 birth date.  Complicating the issue is his Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen. Filed in 1854 it lists his age as 30 giving a birth year of 1824.

The declaration gives us further information, stating that he sailed from Limerick and that the had been living in Limerick.  This is in conflict with family tradition that states he was from County Clare.

There are multiple possibilites.....

First it is possible that the Declaration is not for our James Madden.  The information is scanty even if the timing is logical.  There might have been another James Madden arriving in Albany between 1850 and 1855.

There is one record for a James Madden sailing from Limerick.  James Madden age 30 on Lady Peel from Limerick to NY 10/17/1850.  This adds another birth year (1820).  This most likely is the immigration of the person who filed the Declaration of Intention in 1854, but the birth years are off by four years.  Is it my James??

When was James born and where in Ireland was he from?  Calling Great-Great Grandpa....please give me a hint!!

Clare and Limerick both border the Shannon River.  James' wife Anna was a Fitzsimmons and the largest concentration of Fitzsimmons families are found in Limerick, but they are very close to the river, leaving the possibility open that James is from Clare.

Unfortunately, I have not found christening or marriage records for the emigrating James in either county.  Compounding the commonness of his name is the fact that his father's name is equally common and the only name we have for the wife of the first ancestor is Mary.

Adding to the confusion is the search for the immigration of Anna Fitzsimmons Madden.  I found a very promising record for an Anna Madden sailing on the Vandalia from Liverpool in September 1851.  I liked this record because she was sailing with William (age 4) and Catherine and Patrick Fitzsimmons. [Willie Madden is listed on his parents tombstone, but found in no US records] However, in examining the complete passenger list we also find James Madden on the page before her entry.  This might still work, but that would mean that the Declaration of Intention found that states he sailed from Limerick might not he his.  Or, did the ship originate in Liverpool and stop in Limerick to pick up additional passengers.  Records are not comprehensive.  If James did not board in Limerick, we are back at square one as he could be from anywhere!

Oh, I love research!!!!

All that said, I'm still looking.  The US and NY census records found are for the right James Madden, and the death certificate is certainly his, but the ships records and Declaration might not be. Somewhere there is a linking record, a tie to Irish records....I keep searching.

James, Anna and their children Willie, Marie and Margaret are buried (or memorialized) in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, Albany, NY.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Family - James Howard Madden

(6 Mar 1865 Albany, NY - 20 Apr 1923 Chicago, IL)

My father was named James Howard, but it was a surprise when I found that his great uncle also had the middle name Howard. In fact, my father knew little of his family background.  His Madden grandparents died when his father was still a child and both Madden Great-Uncles died before my father was born.  Aunt Nell might have been able to fill in family detail, but my father had no fond memories of family chats and no family details seem to have been passed on to others.

James was the youngest child of James Madden and Anna Fitzsimmons.  Like his brothers he grew up working on the docks on the Hudson River.  He left Albany and joined his brother Thomas in Bay City sometime in the early 1880s. In 1886 he is listed as a lumber inspector with  Dolsen, Chapin & Co. He is boarding at 223 S. Monroe, the same address as Thomas.

By 1893 he had moved on to Ashland, Wisconsin, the 1893 directory lists his occupation as logger.   All indications are that he and Thomas and most likely John did at least some business together throughout their lifetime.  There are referrals in some records to the "Madden Bros."  However, on the death of his brother Thomas, James did not step in to run the shipping business, the working together seems to have been on specific projects and not in joint ownership of a business.

James married Lillian McGillen in 1898.  She was the daughter of James McGillen and Johanna Ketinge.  I have found records for three children.  Virginia Ketinge was born Nov 1906 and died in Chicago in June of 1911.  Judith Elnor was born in Wisconsin in 1912 and died in Duluth in August of that year.  Betty A was born about 1915 in Duluth.  She is living with her parents in Chicago in 1920 and with her mother in 1930 and 1940.  I have found no further records that I can prove are hers.

Like his brother John, James became involved in politics.  In 1906 he ran for Congress in the 10th district in Ashland.  He lost the nomination by just a few votes. As the newspapers of the time pointed out, the cost was considerable.

By 1910 the family had moved to Duluth where James continued in the lumber business.  This was another connection to my father, his grand-nephew, as he grew up in Duluth, again totally unaware that family had lived there before.    In 1920 James was listed as the head of a lumber company in Duluth.  The family was living at 721 First Street.

James died on 20 Apr 1923 in Chicago.  He had been living at 358 Garfield Avenue there.  The newspaper notice included a posting to Meninomee, Michigan.  I don't know why, so I explored just a bit and found a Jerry Madden, born in Canada, father born in Ireland who is the owner of a lumber company.  Is this another connection.  Or is this just a coincidence.  (I'll save this for another post)

James was buried in Appleton, Wisconsin on 22 April 1923.   Lillian lived in Chicago for another eighteen years.  She died there on 13 Mar 1941.


  1. Bay City Directory for 1886-1887: Embracing A Complete Alphabetical List Of Business Firms And Private Citizens, A Directory of the "City And County Officers, Churches And Public Schools, Benevolent, Literary And Other Associations, And A Complete Business Directory of Bay City, to which is added a complete directory of West Bay City and Esserville. (Detroit: R.L. Polk & Co., 1886). Madden James H, lumber inspector Dolsen, Chapin & co, bds 223 S Monroe
  2. Provo, UT:, 2000. Original data: Ashland, WI, 1888-89. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1888. Ashland, WI, 1890-91. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1890. Ashland, WI, 1891-92. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1891. Ashland, WI, 1893. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1893: James H Madden City: Ashland State: WI Occupation: logger - boards Chequamegon Hotel
  3. 1905 Census - : accessed 24 Dec 2012, J H Madden household
  4. The Daily Northwestern 6 May 1906 and 16 Nov 1906
  5. Bureau of the Census RG29 Micropublication T624 --1784 rolls, Thirteenth Census of the United States 1910, Population Schedules (Washington, National Archives and Records Administration), Duluth, St. Louis, MN Roll 725 SD 5 ED 155 pg 14B and 15 A
  6. Bureau of the Census RG 29 Micropublication T625 Fourteenth Census of the United States 1920, Population Schedules (Washington, National Archives and Records Administration) Duluth, St. Louis MN, Roll858; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 103
  7. Chicago Death Records MADDEN  JAMES  HOWARD   M/W 6012435 1923-04-20 COOK  CHICAGO  23-04-23
  8. Chicago Tribune 22 April 1923: Vol 82 No. 16 pg 10
  9. The Daily Northwestern Tues 24 Apr 1923

Monday, August 12, 2013

Collateral Family: The STRONG Connection

With two daughters married to Maddens, at least one a relative and common interest in vessels on the Great Lakes, it seemed prudent to investigate the Strong family of Tonawanda, New York.  Here are the basics.

The patriarch, Thomas Nicholas Strong, was born about 1820 in Ireland. He died in 1886 at the age of 66 in Tonawanda, Erie, New York and is buried in St. Francis Cemetery (1).  He married Eliza Hammond who was born on 25 Aug 1831 in Liverpool, England. She died on 23 Jun 1907 at the age of 75 in Tonawanda and was buried in St. Francis Cemetery.  Thomas is listed as a sailor in the 1860-80 census.(2)

They had the following children

A. Belinda Caroline Strong was born in 1852 in New York. She died on 29 Jan 1925 at the age of 73 in Tonawanda.  Belinda married John Rhadigan, a sailor born in Canada, about 1879.  In 1880 they were living in Port Huron, MI. (3) They had three children.  John bn about 1881 married (1) Delsia Brighton and (2)Catherine.  He also followed a maritime career.  William married Pearl and had at least one child. Belinda married Raymond Ball and had children.  

B. William H Strong was born in 1854 in New York. He died in 1908 at the age of 54. He was buried in 1908 at St. Francis Cemetery. By 1880 William had followed his father into the maritime business. He is listed as a sailor in the census.

C. Thomas N Strong Jr. was born in 1856 in New York. He died in 1865 at the age of 9 in New York, United States. He was buried in St. Francis Cemetery

D. Eliza A Strong was born in 1859 in New York.. She died in 1881 and is buried in St. Francis Cemetery.  Eliza married .... McInnis.  No further information has been found to date.

E. Clara Strong was born in 1862 in Tonawanda, New York. She died on 12 Mar 1936 at the age of 74 in Tonawanda.  Clara married William L Misner who in 1900 is listed as Clerk of Canal.  They had James, William, Rosette and Matthew.  The Misner's had an interest in at least one of the Strong vessels plying the Great Lakes. Clara and William sued other Strong family members over interest in the Emory. (Misner research). 

F. Isabella "Belle" Strong was born on 22 Oct 1863 in Tonawanda, New York.  She died on 2 Jul 1946 at the age of 82 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan and was buried on 4 Jul 1946 in Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan, United States. Isabella "Melle" Strong and Michael Madden were married about 1884 in Tonawanda.  See Great Lakes: Captain Michael Madden of Saginaw

G. Emma Strong was born in 1866 in Tonawanda, New York and in 1934 at the age of 68. She was buried in 1934 at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kenmore, Erie, New York.  Emma married Philip Heppner who was born in 1864. He died in 1917 at the age of 53 and is also buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery.  They had Elizabeth 1895-1976, who married David Reid 1895-1976 and Mary E. 1896-1985. Also see  Family: John J. Madden for information on Capt. Heppner being injured in 1905.

H. Dora Strong was born on 24 Aug 1870 in Tonawanda, New York.  See Family: John J. Madden

(1) All Cemetery Links for St. Francis Cemetery and Mt. Olivert Cemetery are found on FindAGrave
(2) 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.  TonawandaErieNew York; Roll: M653_750; Page: 566; 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. TonawandaErieNew York; Roll: M593_931; Page: 565A; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. onawandaErieNew York; Roll: 827 pg 174A

(3) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan; Roll: 605Page: 323A

Monday, August 5, 2013

Other Maddens found on the Great Lakes


  • Michael Madden - Captain - 
    1857 Oliver Cromwell; 
    1899 chief engineer Minnie M (Arnold Line) 
    1900   Ossifrage; 1901 Chippewa.  This might be two separate men and the first might be the owner of the Girl of the Period below.  There was one listing for a Capt. Michael Madden in Bay City that might also be this Michael.
  • Jerry Madden - Marine Engineers of Coasts and Rivers - 668 1/2 Royal St. New Orleans LA
  • J.H. Madden - Captain after 1900 d. 1930 - care of JA Calbick and Co. Chicago. (1)
    • 1900 FE Spinner
    • 1901-1902 Panther
    • 1904-6 Helen C
    • 1907-11 Alva
    • 1910 Pere Marquette No. 5
    • 1915 Edwin L Booth
    • 1917-18 Richard Star
    • 1920-29 Joe S Morrow
  • John Madden - Marine Engineers Beneficial Assoc.  Spring and Linden, Troy, NY (1-p303)
  • James Madden 1903 WP Rend (1903 RedBook)
  • Michael Madden -Engineer  (Jul 1867 Canada - ) Michael emigrated with his family in 1885.  He married Anna Bridget Foy who had also been born in Canada in 1870.  In 1900 they are found in St. Ignace, Mackinac, MI. Michael and Anna had at least six children: Michael Fergus Aug 1894 - 9 Mar 1913 St. Ignace, Rose M Mar 1896, Anne Nov 1897, Loretta 1901, Thomas 1905, Margaret 30 Dec 1912 - 20 Nov 1913 St. Ignace (United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623-726 p8A, ED0102;  United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1910.  T624_658, p10A, ED0170) 
  • Thomas M Madden - Master - 1905 Charles H. Hackley  ( August 16. - Steamer CHARLES H. HACKLEY left her dock at Rush Street Bridge, Chicago, to take an excursion party to view yacht races off Chicago Harbor, Lake Michigan, taking on the party at the foot of Randolph street.  Upon landing at Randolph street, Captain Barry, master, was called ashore upon urgent personal matters and left the ship in charge of Thomas M. Madden, master, and Joseph Oliver, also licensed as master; these two men being the only licensed men employed on board the vessel having authority to navigate the ship.  Case reported to proper authorities.    --   August 20. - Complaint was made, alleging that while on duty Thomas M. Madden, a licensed pilot on steamer CHARLES H. HACKLEY, was intoxicated. Upon investigation it was found that Mr. Madden, while able to handle the vessel properly, had been drinking and his license was suspended for 30 days.) REPORT OF THE STEAMBOAT INSPECTION SERVICE CASUALTIES, VIOLATIONS OF LAW, AND INVESTIGATIONS YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1905  EIGHTH SUPERVISING DISTRICT LOCAL DISTRICT OF CHICAGO, ILL., p.379

  • Girl of the Period - Built for Captain Madden launched last week for Caroll Bros. of Buffalo   Cost 5500 50 x 11.6 and 5ft 6in hold  20 May 1873 Detroit Free Press
  • Satisfaction - 1899 John Madden of Sheyboygan (Port Huron) burned for loss of $25000
  • Uncle Charley-  25 16 56x12 tug Jerry Madden of Menominee

Information on any of the Maddens listed above is welcome.

  1. 1903 Blue Book of American Shipping:   Statistics of Shipping and Ship Building in America. Lists of Ship Owners, Ship, Engine and Boiler Builders, Naval Architects, Vessel Masters, and members of various organizations made up from the Navy and Merchant Marine. Particulars of American and Canadian Steam and Sail vessels with names and addresses of owners. Cleveland OH: Marine Review Publishing Co. 1903