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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Michael Flanagan Part 1

I often wonder what Michael Flanagan was like. In the history of my Flanagan’s, he seems to be the hero relative to jump in and save the day when needed. He never did marry and never had any children. I can’t say that his life was uneventful or boring though.

Michael Flanagan was born in Co. Louth, Ireland, in 1839 and died there on November 10, 1904. He was one of the 11 children of John and Anne (Maguire) Flanagan. From what I understand, life on the farm in Ireland was not so grand in the mid 1800s. While the potato failure might have been plaguing a large area of the southwestern part and other areas of Ireland, famine was not necessarily why Michael left Ireland. Maybe it was the thought of a future working on a dairy farm that he would likely never inherit because of the large family. Or was it a down economy because of crop failure? Or maybe, just maybe, it was the miserly grandfather who still ran the farm. Just an aside here, I do think that Grandpa Patrick Flanagan (b. 1780, Co. Louth) was probably just being frugal in those troubled times. Young people don’t always take too kindly to this though. When you are young, you dream of making it on your own. Also, there was the chance of finding gold at the end of the rainbow.

In July of 1857, Michael and his older brother, Patrick, departed from home to Liverpool, England. That same month they departed from Liverpool to Australia for the “gold rush down under”. This story so interests me as it was the road of immigration less traveled and it was by choice. Also, Grandpa Patrick funded the trip. Maybe he was not so unreasonable with his money.

In October of 1857, Michael and Patrick arrived in Melbourne, Australia. They went their separate ways for a while. Patrick was on a mission to find gold wherever the digging was best. I think that Michael was too but maybe not as vehemently as his older brother. At any rate, the family back home in Ireland thought that they had dropped off the face of the earth since it was quite a while before the brothers started writing home.

To Be Continued………

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