Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Surname Saturday – Mulligan (Ireland / Michigan / Illinois / Canada / Ohio

James MULLIGAN is third great-grandfather. He was born on 7 December 1812 in Dublin, Ireland. By 1850, he is living in the United States. According to a genealogy compiled by my family, his daughter, Sarah Jane, was named Jane after James’ sister. He may also have had a brother, Joseph, who was listed as living with James in the 1850 census, born in Ireland, and the right age to be a sibling. Also, according to the compiled genealogy, there is a note that reads: “James Mulligan’s father kept a tavern a couple of miles from Dublin, at the cross-roads.” Beyond these few clues, I have no idea who James’ parents were, or if there are other siblings.

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Surname Saturday – Garrison (Ontario / Michigan / Illinois)

My earliest known GARRISON is James Manly GARRISON, who was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1861. I’m still trying to determine, with some level of certainty, who his parents are. I know his mother’s name was Susan, and I suspect that she herself was a GARRISON, but I need to do some more digging to learn the truth. James and his mother relocated to Detroit, Wayne, Michigan about 1871, and James later moved to Chicago, Cook, Illinois.

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Fearless Females – Favorite Female Ancestor

Back in 2010, in honor of Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo created a list of writing prompts for each day during the month of March.  I didn’t participate in 2010, so I’m going to take the opportunity to participate this year, since Lisa was kind enough to resurrect her prompts for 2012.

Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

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James Manly Garrison (1861-1909)


James Manly GARRISON, with son James Norton, ca. 1896.

James Manly GARRISON, son of James or John GARRISON [1] and Susan —?—, [2] was born on 26 December 1861 in Picton, Ontario, Canada. [3]  James died on 23 May 1909 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois at the age of 47. [4]  He was buried at Oakridge Cemetery in Hillside, Cook, Illinois on 26 May 1909. [5]

It is likely that James’ father died before 1871, as he is not listed in the 1871 Canadian census.  Additionally, nearly all mentions of Susan in the Detroit city directories indicate she is the widow of James (sometimes John).

It is not known when or where Susan died.  I have a receipt from Mt. Olive Cemetery in Chicago issued to J M Garrison for the remains of Susan Garrison dated 29 April 1894.  It is quite possible it was for his mother Susan.  No death record has been located in Detroit (her last known residence) or Chicago, the presumed place of burial.

Another speculation on James’ mother Susan is that she may have been Susan DOLAND.  In the 1871 Canadian census, she is listed in the same household as a Doland family; the ages suggest she could be a daughter.  No additional research has been done to confirm or disprove this theory.

Between 1871 and 1874, James moved from Ontario, Canada to Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  At some point between 1881 and 1893, he relocated to Chicago, Cook, Illinois.  James returned to Ontario prior to September 1895, where his first son, James Norton GARRISON was born.  By 1897 he was back in Chicago until his death in 1909.

On 23 January 1893, James married Sarah Jane “Jennie” MULLIGAN in Chicago. [6]  Sarah, the daughter of James MULLIGAN and Sarah Norton WEBSTER, was born 16 April 1870 in Flint, Genesee, Michigan. [7]  Sarah died on 26 April 1947 in Chicago. [8]  She was buried at Elm Lawn Cemetery in Elmhurst, DuPage, Illinois on 29 April 1947. [9]  Sarah was raised in Flint, and by 1892, she was living in Chicago.

Children of James Manly GARRISON & Sarah Jane MULLIGAN

James Norton GARRISON, born 19 September 1895 in Petrolia, Lambton, Ontario, Canada; [10] died in September 1962 in Ohio. [11]  He married Lorene or Lorraine PLATT 15 July 1922. [12]

Joseph Webster GARRISON, born 4 January 1898 in Chicago; [13] died 23 July 1930 in Chicago. [14]  He never married and had no children.

Emma Jane GARRISON, born 3 November 1901 in Chicago; [15] died 20 October 1970 in Elk Grove Village, Cook, Illinois. [16]  She married John Ward McMAHON, son of Timothy James McMAHON and Sarah Jane WARD, [17] 26 May 1923 in Chicago. [18]

Robert P GARRISON, born 12 November 1904 in Illinois (probably Chicago); [19] died 19 December 1984 in Kissimmee, Polk, Florida. [20]  He married Florence BOAM, daughter of William Harrison BOAM and Lillian Elizabeth ELMORE, [21] September 1929. [22]

Next Research Steps

  • Determine the identity of James Manly GARRISON’s father.  Then determine when he and Susan married, as well as when and where he died.
  • Research further to see if Susan —?— is actually Susan Doland.
  • Determine when and where Susan died.


1.  Weeks Jacob W.J. W. Weeks & Co., Detroit City Directory, 1874: 264; digital images, Footnote (www.footnote.com).  Weeks Jacob W.J. W. Weeks & Co., Detroit City Directory, 1887: 614; digital images, Footnote www.footnote.com.

2.  1871 census of Canada, district 59, sub-district F Division 2, Sophiasburgh, Prince Edward, Ontario, p. 10, dwelling 29, family 32, Susan Garrison; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed October 27, 2009).

3.  Sarah Jane (Webster) (Coffinger) Mulligan, Family Bible Records, 1801-1936, Holy Bible (unknown: unknown, ca. 1850), privately held by Julie Marie Cahill Tarr, Normal, Illinois, 2001; This Bible belonged to Sarah Jane Webster; it was given to her by her father Calvin Price Webster in 1853.  It is believed that the chain of custody is as follows:  Sarah Jane (Mulligan) Garrison, Emma (Garrison) McMahon, Joan Garrison (McMahon) Cahill, Joseph Cahill, Julie (Cahill) Tarr (current owner).  The bible is in critical condition; very frail and falling apart.

4.  Cook County, Illnois, death certificate no. 13981 (1909), James M Garrison, Cook County Coroner.

5.  Ibid.

6.  State of Illinois, marriage license no. 195934 (1893), James M Garrison and Sarah J Mulligan; Cook County Clerk.

7.  Sarah Jane (Webster) (Coffinger) Mulligan, Family Bible Records, 1801-1936.

8.  State of Illinois, death certificate, no. 13632 (1947), Sarah Jane Garrison, Department of Public Health.

9.  Ibid.

10.  Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909, 000385, 29 – 015704, James Norton Garrison; digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com: October 3, 2008).

11.  Social Security Administration, “Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed October 3, 2008), entry for James GARRISON, 1962.

12.  Sarah Jane (Webster) (Coffinger) Mulligan, Family Bible Records, 1801-1936.

13.  Ibid.

14.  State of Illinois, death certificate no. 23090 (1930), Joseph W Garrison; Cook County Clerk.

15.  State of Illinois, birth certificate, no. 241968 (1901), Emma Jane Garrison, State of Illinois Department of Public Health.

16.  State of Illinois, death certificate, no. 05180 (1970), Emma Jane McMahon, Illinois Department of Public Heath.

17.  Cook County, Illinois, birth certificate no. 11701 (1902), John McMahon, Cook County Clerk.

18.  City of DeKalb, Illinois, marriage certificate, no number listed (1923), John McMahon and Emma Jane Garrison, City Court of DeKalb.

19.  Sarah Jane (Webster) (Coffinger) Mulligan, Family Bible Records, 1801-1936.

20.  “Florida Death Index, 1877-1998,” database, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed March 31, 2010), Robert Paul Garrison (1984).

21.  1920 U.S. census population schedule, Chicago Ward 35, Cook, Illinois, enumeration district (ED) 2281, sheet 9B, dwelling 135, family 201, William Boam (head); digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed March 25, 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 357.

22.  Sarah Jane (Webster) (Coffinger) Mulligan, Family Bible Records, 1801-1936.

Saturday in the Attic – 01/30/10

This is a copy of the marriage record for my  third great-grandparents, James MULLIGAN and Sarah Norton WEBSTER.  They were married on 5 November 1865 in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan.

To my knowledge, James was married twice prior to marrying Sarah.  He was first marriage to a Margaret, and had at least four children:  Maria, Patrick, Michael, and Bridget.  He then married a Sophia, and had three children:  Joseph, James P, and Julia.

Sarah was first married to Abram Marshall COFFINGER.  The were married on 5 May 1850, in Michigan.  Together they had at least five children:  Esther Besty, Calvin William, Amos Parks, Emma Amelia, and Mary Ellen.  Abram died on 29 September 1863 in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan.

James and Sarah had at least three children together:  Edward Peter, Sarah Jane, and Margaret Elizabeth.  Margaret died on 6 February 1886 at the age of 12.

James died on 8 September 1879 in Flint, Genesee, Michigan.  Sometime between 1888 and 1892, Sarah, Edward, and Sarah Jane relocated to Chicago.