b. 1832 Ireland
imm. 1850
d. 1915, Brookfield, MO
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The Carlon family intro | part 1 | part 2-photos

We know a lot about James Carlon, patriarch of the Brookfield, Missouri Carlons, from several informative obituaries found in 1915 Brookfield newspapers. This is by no means a biographical sketch, but a chronological summary of the material I have found on his life, supplemented by these obituaries.

James William Carlon was born December 17, 1832 in Easky, County Sligo, Ireland. (Easkey spelling is also in use. Barony of Tireragh, Parish of Easky, PLU of Dromore West, Province of Connaught. geography.) Easky is a coastal town that today is known for surfing. James emigrated to the U.S. at seventeen (1850) with his father William, a brother and two sisters. Names were not given, but the brother was probably Hugh, who settled in Lewis County, New York.

That James had a Catholic funeral and burial plot indicates that the family was Catholic. James married twice, fathering one family of six children in New York State and another family of six children in Missouri. Most of these children died in childhood and infancy. Only one (William) from the first marriage, and only two (Kathryn and John) from the second marriage survived at his death.

James spent his earliest US years years in Lewis County, upstate new York, the county in which his father and brother settled. But by 1860, with father William and son Hugh (and Hugh's wife) living on a farm in Constableville, Highmarket, Lewis County, the still-single James had moved to nearby Boonville (Oneida County) where he was a livery keeper, living in a hotel and possessing a personal estate of $1800.

By 1870, William Sr. was probably deceased and Hugh was adding to his growing family on the Highmarket farm. (In 1900, when "last seen", Hugh and his wife had retired to Utica). But back in 1870 James was still living in Boonville, now with his first wife Mary Redmond, (born c. 1848 in New York or Liverpool to Irish parents). The 1870 census finds them with two daughters Alice (ca 1867) and Elizabeth (ca. 1869). During the 1870s they had at least three more children: John William (1871), William J. (1875), and Annie's (1876-77). Their lives changed rapidly around 1877. According to an obituary in the Brookfield Gazette, (July 10, 1915)
For some years he conducted a livery stable at Boonville, N.Y., in which business, in addition to buying and selling horses, he accumulated considerable property, which was mostly lost by the loan of his name to friends as security. Through the influence of the New York's great senator Roscoe Conkling, he was given a responsible position on the Erie canal, in which position he earned money enough to come to Missouri and purchase a farm in the county.
It is said that he made this move to Brookfield, Linn County, Missouri in 1877. Here his oldest son John William died in Sept. 14, 1877 and his his wife Mary died Sept. 13, 1878, the first burials in the Carlon family plot at St Michael's, Brookfield.

It is difficult to know what children widower James was left with. By 1880, only son William was living with the newly-remarried farmer James Carlon, but three of his daughters were living in New York with his late wife's family members. They were in the tiny town of Ava, NY, near Boonville. In 1880 we find farmer John Redmond and his wife Mary, age 53, both born in Ireland living with their adopted son William Redmond, 13, and three Carlon granddaughters: Alice 12, Lizzie 11 and Annie 3. I don't know if any of these girls ever rejoined their father, stepmother or brother William in Missouri, but Annie died of consumption on Sept. 29, 1886 in Boonville.

An aside regarding Mary Redmond's early years: while the 1880 census lists the little Carlon girls as the Redmond's grandchildren, I did not find a daughter named Mary living with the Redmonds in the prior (1860) census. There was, however, a eldest daughter "Polly" who fit Mary’s profile. She was said to be born in England to Irish parents about 1850, though all the younger Redmond's children were born in NY. I suspect Polly was a nickname for Mary, but this is unproven. (For the record, William's census listings always listed his mother as having been born in Ireland, but the most complete biography of William says she was born in England of Irish parents, and her gravestone transcription states Liverpool.)

By the June 1880 census, a newly-remarried James Carlon (age 50), Willie (age 7) and James' new wife Joanna (age 30), were living on a farm in Brookfield, Linn County, MO. The "married during census year" flag was set, suggesting a recent marriage. The census lists Joanna Burns as having been born in NY State to Irish immigrant parents in roughly 1850. The census page on which the Carlons appeared was populated with owner-occupied farms. The Carlon family had no live-in farm-hands.

A month after the census, in July 1880, John T. was born to James and Joanna, and in February of 1882 Kathryn E. was born. All told, Joanna had six children, though only the first two survived her. Charles E, born in 1884, died just short of 3 years of age, Triplets Ella, Maggie and Theresa were born in 1888. Theresa died as an infant, Ella died at age 10 and Maggie in 1911 at age 23.

An aside about Joanna Burns' background. Although in every census, she (and her parents) listed her place of birth as New York (state), family records state that she was born in Ireland Mar 10, 1854. Because early and consistant records are apt to be correct, I personally believe she was born in New York State to the newly arrived immigrants. Her parents Thomas Burns and Delia Golden were said to have been born in Kings County, Ireland and immigrated together, though no immigration records have been found. By 1860, they were living in Lemont Township, Illinois (with Joanna and several children born in Ill.)

The Burns family's census records and family group sheets, with eight closely spaced children, born in NY, Ill and Missouri, tracks their migration through Illinois and to Missouri between 1861-64. Joanna's parents had only one son, John J., to carry on the Burns name. Her married sisters' names were Mary WARNER, Ann Elizabeth LANUS, Katherine C. YAGEL and Margaret CARROLL.

In 1898, James Carlon retired. He sold the farm and moved the family into Brookfield proper, to a house at 1119 N. Main Street (owned without mortgage). This was roughly at the same time son William was establishing himself as an attorney in the city. William was absent from the family’s 1900 census listing, but the three surviving children born to James and Joanna (John 19, Katie 18 and Maggie 10) were living with them. Nobody in the family had an occupation.

By 1910 William, a 37 year old lawyer, had returned home to his father and stepmother at 1119 N. Main. The three children of James and Joanna, now in their 20s, were also resident and all still single. The girls were store clerks and John T. was an insurance agent. John T. Carlon was also the census enumerator, so I gather this is a most reliable portrait of the family. His father’s occupation was listed as “own income” and John and William were self-employed. (“own account” in census parlance.)

James’ death on July 3, 1915, in at the age of 82, was the occasion for several long and informative obituaries in the Brookfield newspapers.

By 1920, Joanna (widowed, age 65) was head of household with three unmarried children in their 30s and 40s. For the first time, all family member’s ages were considerably understated. William was a lawyer for the city. John T. was a bookkeeper in a bank. Kathryn was still a sales clerk.

Joanna died in 1928 after a fall down the stairs of her house at 1119 Main Street. John T. (age 43) married Orba Raymer in 1923. This couple stayed in Brookfield having one son who continued the line. John died in 1963 and Orba in 1952. In 1945 William died in a Kansas City hospital, after a long and distinguished career as a lawyer and judge.

During the 1920s Kathryn was to move to Kansas City, MO to work for the George B. Peck Co., a large and rather innovative drygoods store. By the mid-1940s she had moved to Chicago. She ended her days in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, dying in 1974, but buried back with her family in Brookfield. She maintained a correspondence with Christine (Mulvey) Fagan, her cousin in Bridgeport, Connecticut, until the end.

More Carlon photographs

DESCENDANCY CHART -- of William Carlon -- D R A F T Nov 2001

William CARLON, b. Easky, Sligo, d. 1860-70, Lewis Co., NY
  & Catherine RUTLEDGE, b. Sligo?, d. bef 1850, Sligo
   |-- Hugh CARLON, b. ca. 1832 Sligo, Ire, d. aft 1900, Utica?
   | & Mary A ?, b. ca. 1842 NY, m. ca. 1859 Lewis?, NY, d. aft 1900, Utica?
   |   |-- Ellen CARLON, b. 1859 High Market, Lewis, NY, d. Oct, 1860-69?
   |   |-- Catherine CARLON, b. ca. 1860 High Market, d. aft 1870 NY?
   |   |-- Margaret CARLON, b. ca. 1861 High Market
   |   |-- Francis CARLON, b. ca. 1863 High Market
   |   |-- Fannie CARLON, b. ca. 1866 High Market, d. aft 1870
   |   |-- Mary F. CARLON, b. 1868 Lewis, NY
   |   |-- Ellen CARLON, b. ca. 1869 High Market
   |   |-- John CARLON, b. Mar, 1876 High Market, d. aft 1900 NY?
   |   \-- William CARLON, b. Mar, 1879 High Market, NY, d. aft Jun, 1880 NY
   \-- James CARLON, b. Dec 17,1832 Easky, Sligo, Ire, d. Jul 3, 1915 Brookfield, Linn Co., MO
       & Mary (REDMOND), b. ca. 1848? Ire or NY, m. ca. 1866 Boonville?, d. 1878, MO
         |-- Alice CARLON, b. 1866-67 Boonville, NY, d. aft 1880, NY
         |-- Elizabeth CARLON, b. 1868-69 Boonville NY, d. aft 1880, NY
         |-- William J. CARLON, b. 1873-75 NY, d. 1945 Brookfield, Linn, MO
         \-- Annie CARLON, b. c1877? Boonville, NY, d. Sep 29, 1886 Boonville, Oneida, NY
        & Joanna (BURNS) CARLON, b. 1854 NY, m. ca. 1879 Brookfield, d. 1928 Brookfield
         |-- John Thomas CARLON Sr, b. Jul 1880 Brookfield, d. 1963 Linneus, MO
         |   & Orba (RAYMER) CARLON, b. 1892 Ill, m. 1923 Brookfield, d. c.1952
         |      \-- 1 son, 3 grandchildren, etc.
         |-- Kathryn E. CARLON, b. Feb, 1882 Brookfield, MO, d. Apr, 1974 Fort Lauderdale
         \-- Maggie F. CARLON, b. Oct, 1888 Brookfield, MO, d. 1911 Brookfield

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Updated Feb 2002
Patty Fagan