John Fagan
Oldest son, baptized Dec 16, 1831
immigrated ca 1855?
d. May 28, 1895, 337 E 31st St., Manhattan
bur. Calvary 3, section 17. range 3, plot 0, graves 9-10
McCaffrey: Calvary 2, section 55, range 15, plot L, grave 20
Cassidy: Calvary 2, section 55, range 27, plot G, grave 12
[home] [TREE] [Immigrants] [Caffrey townland]
Narratives: [John] [Eugene] [Edward] [Lawrence]
[Matthew 1] [Matthew 2] [Obit] [Baps/Births] [Children 1][& 2]
Carlons intro | part 1 | part 2

John Fagan's common name and unpredictable patterns made him the most difficult to research of the Fagan brothers in Manhattan. In our Fagan family papers is a slip of paper on which are listed the siblings of out great grandfather Matthew. Though the name John was among those listed, and we knew of his Castlerahan baptism and his position in the family as the oldest boy, it took years of research before we stumbled on a link between known family and one of the many John Fagans listed in the New York City directories.

We find the link in the will of his nephew John Vincent Fagan (1876-1921) the last surviving son of Eugene Fagan. Having no immediate relations, John V. appointed a cousin named Johanna Fagan to administer his estate. Who was Johanna Fagan? The 1900-1920 censuses showed that she was older than any known childrenborn to the NYC immigrant Fagans. Trailing Johanna Fagan to her 1928 death, we learn that she was, indeed, the daughter of our missing John Fagan.

Johanna, a dressmaker, was also custodian of two sets of her own presumably orphaned nieces and nephews: the MCCAFFREYs and the CASSIDYs. Thus Johanna became the bridge that connects for us Eugene's family and both the ancestral and descendant families of John Fagan.

Further sheltering John Fagan from our scrutiny was his apparent absence from the 1880 federal census and the atrocious handwriting that masked his presence in the 1870 census. John also failed to follow his brothers' patterns: he was the only brother who was didn't earn a living as a blacksmith; and he lived for long periods on the west side, rather than east side preferred by his brothers. Even after John emerges (sporadically) between 1862 and 1895, he doesn't quite come into focus.

John's 1895 death certificate gives the only clue to his immigration date, a vague one unfortunately. It says he was in the country over 40 years. If accurate, that would place John's immigration earlier than 1855, which is the earliest date suggested for any of the other family migrations. If true, John may have been the advance guard for the family. Not surprising, as he was the eldest brother, and aged 23 in 1855.

John was also the first of the Fagan brothers to marry, probably around 1859-1860. His wife was an Irish immigrant named Johanna CAHILL. Johanna's 1895 death certificate puts her immigration at 1850 and names her parents as Michael and Maria CAHILL.

John Fagan was listed in the NYC city directories as a ostler, more often than not, but he was alternately listed as coachman and laborer. His shifting occupation was an anomaly in a family of blacksmiths. That his address changed frequently suggests that his job as ostler may have involved several different places of work.
1862-63 - 88 W. 39th (betw. 5-6 Ave., ward 21), occupation: ostler
+1864 - 70 W. 37th (betw. 5-6 Ave., ward 21), ostler
1869 - 143 W. 39th (betw. 7th Ave & Bway, ward 20), ostler
1871 - 589 7th av (betw. 42-43 St., ward 22), ostler
1871-72 - 143 W. 39th, coachman
1873-78 - I was not able to distinguish John's listing during this span.
1879-85 - Listings appeared for a John Fagan, ostler, during this span, but I can't confirm that they were our John. They were in quite different areas than before or after.
1879 - 416 E. 47th? (betw. 1st Ave.-river, ward 19) unconfirmed as our John, but listed as Ostler.
1881 - 307 E. 60th? (betw. 1-2 Ave., ward 19) unconfirmed, listed as ostler
1885 - 252 W. 47th? (betw. Bway/8th Ave., ward 22) Unconfirmed, listed as ostler
John reappears at an identifiable address in the 1886 directory, and he was to remain at this address until his death in 1895.
1886-95 - 337 E. 31st (betw. 1-2 Ave., ward 21)
1886 - ostler
1891 - coachman
1892 - driver
1893 - laborer
1894-95 - painter
1895 - ostler (John and his wife died at the 337 E. 31st St address in 1895.)
1897 - John's son Edward, painter, shows up at 223 E 21st St
John and Johanna had at least five girls born between 1860 and 1870, and one boy (Edward) born in 1874. I believe their oldest daughter Sarah, born around 1860, was the earliest Fagan birth in the U.S. John's pivotal child, to my research, as well as to members of the John Fagan family, was his second daughter, Johanna Fagan, born August 6, 1862 at 88 West 39th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues). By the time of the 1870 census, there were three more girls: Mary (ca. 1864), Annie Irene (ca. 1866),and Catherine (1870).
July 1, 1870, Manhattan Ward 20, dist 22, r#1008, p.748 (1st enumeration)
FAGAN John 36, Groom? Ire, no real or personal estate, not a citizen
FAGAN Johanna 36 Ire,
FAGAN Sarah 9 NY,
FAGAN Johanna 8 NY,
FAGAN Mary 6 NY,
FAGAN Anne 4 NY,
FAGAN Kate 3?/12 NY
January 9, 1871, 143 W. 39th Street, Manhattan, Ward 20, enumeration district 14, page. 12 r#1047 (2nd enumeration)
FAGEN John 34, coachman, Ire,
FAGEN Johanna 29 Ire,
FAGEN Sarah 10 NY,
FAGEN Johanna 8 NY,
FAGEN Mary 6 NY,
FAGEN Annie 4 NY,
I know of only one other child, the boy Edward F. Fagan, born ca. 1874, but I suspect there may have been at least one more child. There were later developments that suggest the existence of a 6th daughter, born possibly during the early 1870s. The family's absence from the 1880 census, which would have given a more complete portrait of the group, leaves a gap that's difficult to overcome.

During the 9-year span (1886-95) on East 31st Street, John lost one daughter (1891) and his wife. Catherine died on Mar 12, 1895 of nephritis at (roughly) age 64. Two months later, on May 28, 1895, John himself died of pneumonia at the age of 63. After his death, John's remaining single children lived together. His son Edward appeared at 223 E 21st, and it was Edward who was listed as head of household in the 1900 census.

The CASSIDYS. John Fagan's third daughter Mary married Irish immigrant Michael CASSIDY and had four children known to us. However, I have never found Mary in census after her childhood (1870, age 6-7), nor have I found her husband. I did not find any record of the children until after their parents were not in the picture.
The Cassidy children were Edward M., b. 1887, Selena M., b. ca. 1890, Anna, b. ca. 1893 and Francis Michael b. 1894. I found these four children living with their Aunt Johanna Fagan in the 1910 census, so one would assume their parents were deceased. However, there is evidence Mary was still alive at that time. Johanna's 1929 death certificate names her sister as informant, oddly enough by her maiden name, Mary Fagan. There are scenarios that accommodate these factors, but I'd rather reserve judgement until contradictions are resolved.

The MCCAFFREYS. Roughly 1905, the 5th daughter Catherine Fagan married Irish immigrant John McCaffrey, a Postal Clerk. They had had three children: Helen b. ca. 1905, John, b. 1907-08 and Catherine b. 1909, all born in Manhattan. Catherine died in 1919, after which the family split into two. The boy John stayed with his father, who eventually remarried. The girls moved in with their aunt Johanna and the Cassidy children. In 1930, on the decease of Johanna Fagan, Helen J.McCaffrey was living in Richmond Hill, Queens with her cousins the Cassidys. Anna Cassidy was married to a man named Charles Harm.

I know of no living descendants of John Fagan, but based solely on my own (admittedly superficial) historical research, the best chance for potential descendants would be in the Catherine MCCAFFREY HANKINS line.

    John Fagan's known children
  • Sarah (b. 1860. Couldn't trace after 1890.)
  • Johanna, (1862-1929, died unmarried at age 66.)
  • Mary (c1864-after 1929, married Michael CASSIDY. Had at least four children.)
  • Annie Irene (c1866-1891, died unmarried at age 25 of Bronchitis)
  • Catherine (1870-1919, married John MCCAFFERY. Died age 49 of nephritis. Left husband with three children.)
  • Edward F. (1874-1911, died unmarried at age 37 of TB.)

John FAGAN, b. ca. Dec 16, 1831 Barconey Grattan, Castlerahan, Cavan, Ire, d. May 28, 1895 Manh., NY, bur. Calvary
& Johanna (CAHILL) FAGAN, b. ca. 1831 Ire, m. ca. 1860 US or Ireland, d. Mar 12, 1895 Manh., NY, bur. Calvary
|-- Sarah FAGAN, b. 1860-1861 Manh. assumed, NY, d. aft 1890 NY?
|-- Johanna FAGAN, b. Jul 06, 1862 Manh., NY, d. Jan 25, 1929 Richmond Hill, Queens, NY, bur. Calvary
|-- Mary (FAGAN) CASSIDY, b. ca. 1864 Manh. assumed, NY, d. aft 1929 NY?
|   & Michael CASSIDY, b. ca. 1860? Ire, m. 1885-1886, d. 1898-1910
|   |-- Edward M. CASSIDY, b. Mar 06, 1887 Manh., d. May 09, 1933 Manh., bur. Calvary
|   |   & Julia A. COLLINS, b. ca. 1888 NY, m. Apr 29, 1914 Manh., d. Oct 5, 1948, Manh, bur. Calv
|   |    \-- children?
|   |-- Selena M. CASSIDY, b. Jan 19, 1891 Manh., d. Dec 14, 1950 Richmond Hill, Queens, NY, bur. Calvary
|   |-- Anna F. (CASSIDY) HARM, b. 1893 Manh., d. aft 1950 NY
|   |   & Charles William HARM, b. Oct 20, 1891 NY, m. Aug 03, 1919 Manh., d. aft 1942 NY?
|   \-- Francis Michael CASSIDY, b. Oct 15, 1894 Manh. assumed, NY, d. Jun 01, 1946 Manh., NY, bur. Farmingdale, NY
|       & Julia (---?) CASSIDY, b. Jul 14, 1884 NY, m. ca. 1917, d. Sep 10, 1946 Ozone Park, NY, bur. Farmingdale, NY
|        \-- children?
|-- Annie Irene FAGAN, b. Mar 12, 1866? Manh. assumed, NY, d. Apr 17, 1891 Manh., bur. Calvary
|-- Catherine M. (FAGAN) MCCAFFREY, b. ca. Apr, 1870 Manh., NY, d. Aug 14, 1919 Manh., bur. Calvary
|   & John MCCAFFREY, b. Jul 6, 1873 N. Ire, m. ca. 1905 NY?, d. aft 1930 NY
|   |-- Helen J. MCCAFFREY, b. ca. 1906 NY?, d. aft 1930 NY?
|   |-- John J. MCCAFFREY, b. 1907-08 Manh., NY, d. aft 1930 NY?
|   \-- Catherine (MCCAFFREY) HANKINS, b. 1909 NY, d. aft 1930 NY?
|       & Michael HANKINS, b. ca. 1905 Treton, NJ, m. Dec 06, 1926 Manh.
|       \-- Edward T. HANKINS, b. Dec 10, 1926 NY, d. Jan 10, 1997 Fort Lauderdale, FL, bur. Farmingdale, NY
\-- Edward F FAGAN, b. 1874 Manh., NY, d. Oct 30, 1911 Manh., NY, bur. Calvary

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