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History of Mary Elizabeth Flood

Mary Elizabeth Flood's Father

Michael Flood


Michael was a 5 feet, 9 inches "handsome Irish fellow" with gray eyes, auburn hair and a fair complexion. He was born in 1823 in a town, Waltertown Parish, County Meath, Ireland. (another source states he was born January 1, 1881, but that document has the place of birth as Limerick). His brother Matthew who was two years younger than Michael was supposedly born in County Limerick, Ireland. Conflicting accounts state the family, which included at least two more boys, lived in an urban or rural area in Limerick, Ireland. There at least Michael and Matthew learned the trade of tailor from their father. One account states that Michael was age 18 when he immigrated to Quebec, Canada. Another states it was in 1845, which would make him 22 years old. His brother Matthew was said to accompany him. His two other brothers were found in the same area of Mifflin, Wisconsin also, so they may have all come together. Michael and Matthew drifted down into the mining country of Wisconsin and settled in Mifflin, Iowa County, Wisconsin. There Michael took up the wagon makers trade and on the 1850 census is labeled a carpenter. (History of Northwest Missouri 1238-1239)(Muster papers) ( A Bourre' Legacy)

According to his wife's memory, on January 1, 1849, 26-year-old Michael married Mary Sopphia Bourett (born March 23, 1833 Louiseville Parish, Maskinonge County, Quebec, Canada), known as Sophie. Documents have not been found to that effect using the Wisconsin state pre 1907 index and records from St. Raphael's Parish records of Dubuque, Iowa. (A Bourre' Legacy)

Sophie was the second child born to Francois, listed as a French agriculturalist by the History of Northwest Missouri, and Mary (Lemma) Burred. Sophie's heritage was French and can be found in A Bourse' Legacy 1620-1998 by Leman ski, Burred, and Thomas. However, the families were in Quebec from about the mid 1700's. By 1850, the Burette family is listed on the Wisconsin State census. It is said that her father, Francois, after declaring his intentions for citizenship in Iowa County, Wisconsin, on March 6 of 1849, had left for California late that spring to join the gold rush with Michael Flood's two brothers Thomas and John and other lead miners from Mifflin. That left Sophia's mother Mary Lemma in Mifflin running a boarding house with 6 children from ages 17 years (Sophie) to one year old. The family evidentially had been in Iowa County for 7 years as the 7-year-old son was born there, according to the census.

Michael Flood lived next door or in the same house hold according to the 1850 census. At that time, he and Sophie, had a son 5 months old, born September 15, 1850. However, this does not mathematically possible if the census was taken in 1850. Mary Bourse's brother in law, Louis, a grocery keeper, is listed in the same household as Michael. Louis had 3 children living with him, but no wife at that time. Thus it is believed that Mary was running some sort of boarding house or hotel at that time.

By 1851, Sophie's father returned to his family, it is unknown if he brought back any wealth from the gold rush. In 1852, he moved his family to a 160 acre farm in Clifton Township, Grant County, Wisconsin.

Michael and Sophie would have still been in Mifflin in 1853. During that time, Louis, Sophie's uncle ( her mother's brother in law) was taken to county court for running an illegal gambling hall called "Hogs Head". It was said, "the miners thoroughly enjoyed the card playing and gambling, but the women thought otherwise." Francis, Louis's brother, testified in his defense and Louis was found not guilty, but left the area with his children sometime after the incident.

In 1856, Michael left Mifflin, his wife and three children and came on south into Gentry County, Missouri. He probably found it to be "undulating or rolling land well divided between timber and prairie land. The eastern part of the county was well timbered and of good quality, while on the western part, it was mostly prairie with interspersed timber. The county was well watered. There were three branches of the Grand River that ran through the county from north to south until they all united a few miles above what was known as the Greenwell ford, which was about four miles south west of Albany, Missouri. The main stream was called the West Grand River." It was first settled in latter 1833 and early 34, north and east of Gentryville in Miller Township by families from Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. There were schools as early as 1838-39 and the first church, all-denominational, was built in 1842-43. The first post office came about 1838. The year after Michael came to Missouri, 1857, the first newspaper was published. It was called the Albany Courier. (1877 Atlas of Gentry County, Missouri published by the Northwest Missouri Genealogy Society)

Michael stayed about a year, then returned home to his family now with four children. No. Mary Elizabeth Flood was born September 12, 1856 in Mifflin, Iowa County, Wisconsin. By 1860 the family entire family moved to Gentryville, Missouri where Libby went to a public school in the "little city on the Grand River in Gentry County" (Albany Ledger Nov. 19, 1925 obit). There would be two more girls born to this family in Gentryville, Missouri, totaling 6 children.

By 1861, Michael owned a considerable amount of property in Gentry County, Missouri. His claim was located in Miller Township. According to the Gentry County, Missouri Assessor's books, Michael owned the following property: 120 acres section 21, township 62, range 31, value 240, prairie. The rest was in range 31, township 62, 40 acres, section 28, value 80, of prairie; 40 acres, section 29, value 80, of prairie; 15 acres, section 11, value 45, timberland. Possibly, Michael did not have a team of horses to improve the land, (In one of the histories of Gentry County, it is said that earlier settlers took timberland for their homes, as it was easier to work. The prairie land could not be turned for cultivation unless they had a team to pull the plow) so he continued to work at wagon making and millwright at Gentryville. Later, he sold most of his property and bought property closer to town. This land he improved and farmed until in his later years he when he retired from labor. (History of Northwest Missouri Vol. II Lewis Publishing Co 1915 p. 1238)

In 1861, Michael joined the Confederate Army Michael Flood joined the Confederate Army in January 1, 1862 at Springfield, Missouri as a private of Captain Thomas Jeff Patton's company under Colonel Frank Cockrell for one year of service. He was a private in Company "B" 3rd Regiment Missouri Infantry. For this he was granted his bounty of $39 in January. By July/August of 1862, Michael was detailed as a wagon maker and sent south with a team (of horses). It appears he was back in Springfield, Mo. By November/December on 1862, during his service, Michael's regiment formed a part of General Price's army from Lexington on. They took part in the battles of Lexington and Wilson Creek and the engagements of Price's army east of the Mississippi until Vicksburg, when the city surrendered. . Michael was paroled with the rest of the army and when it was found that he was a mechanic, he was given work for a few months as a wagon foreman as an employee of the Federal government. (History of Northwest Missouri by Walter Williams 1914, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, NY.) He also took part in the battles of Blue Mills and Elkhorn according to his Historic Rolls of Missouri. Here he is listed under remarks as served in the 2nd Regt. MSG as 1 Sergh. In March 18, 1863, he was discharged at Grand Gulf, Mississippi, because of being of age and completing his one-year of service. When he was discharged, he owed $5 for clothing. However, he was paid $31.16 in pay, $60.00 for mileage for 600 miles, and $56.00 for clothing totaling $147.16. With his money for travel, Michael North by boat and resumed his trade at Gentryville, Missouri. (Co. B, 3 Missouri Infantry, Confederate 1 Corporal Private card #48005713,…5796,…5905,…5990…6077,…6166,…6258,…6370.)

Michael's brother Matthew fought for the Union in the Civil War. At some time, he settled in St. Paul, Minnesota where he worked as a tailor as did his father in Ireland. During the Civil War, he contracted a disease from which he never recovered. (Williams, Vol. II p. 1239). By 1870 he went to Gentryville, Missouri, to live with his Michael and his family. By 1872 he died there, leaving a son named Matthew who was listed in Gentryville, Mo. Eloah Givaudan was his mother and possibly married an F.M. Setzer and moved to Reno, Oklahoma (Then came the Trains). Michael's two other brothers Thomas and John we said to have accompanied Francois, Sophie's father and other lead miners from Mifflin to Placerville, California. (A Bourre' Legecy) It is said that Thomas and John never married during their lives, and both died in California. (History of Northwest Missouri Vol. I, p. 1239 and Vol. II, p. 1237-38)

According to the History of Northwest Missouri, Michael Flood had "no connections with public life except, he was a democratic voter. He was not a member of any church although he had been reared and educated as a Catholic. His inclinations were to get the most out of life as a reader and on all live subjects of the times formed and was able to maintain decided opinions".

According to the 1870 Miller Township, Gentry County, Mo. Census, the family was as follows: Michael 47 born in Ireland, Mary S. 37 born in Canada, John B. 20 born in Wisconsin, Francis B. 17 born in Wisconsin, Matilda 16 born in Wisconsin, Elizabeth M. 14 born in Wisconsin, Laura 11 born in Missouri and Josephine 5 born in Missouri. There was also a Matthew 45 born in Indiana . This would be Michael's brother, however, it is strongly believed that he was born in Ireland.

February 10, 1874, Mary Elizabeth (Libby) married Kieran McKenny near Gentryville, Gentry County, Missouri. They lived for a while on the land near her father's home. It would be interesting to know the relationship between Kieran and his father in law since they served on opposing sides of the Civil War. However, the marriage must have been acceptable as Michael made a bed for Kieran and Libby for their marriage. Chris Brady a descendent of Charles Christopher now has that be at his residence in Plattsburg, Missouri. In 1879, Libby and Kieran moved closer to Ford City also in Gentry County, Missouri.

According to the 1877 Atlas of Gentry County, Missouri, published by the Northwest Missouri Genealogy society, Michael Flood owned 46 acres, section 36, township 62, range 31, and 10.5 acres section 1, township 61, range 31. This was probably the land he bought near the town after selling off his other land.

On the 1880, Miller Township, Gentry County, Missouri, Census, Michael is listed as 60 and Mary (Sophie) is listed as 46. Also in their residence is Jessie 15, which more than likely was Josephine as that would be the correct age for her at that time.

At the time of Sophia's death in 1882, she was 49 years old and Michael was 59. Later, he remarried an Ann M. Dunnagan. She was the niece of Rev. Waller Dunnagan and at the time of her death in 1907 had lived in Gentryville over 50 years, so she was probably a long time friend of the family.

Michael died at his home on a Saturday evening, April 8, 1893 according to the Darlington Record, Thursday, April 13, 1893. He was said to be "one of Gentry County's oldest inhabitants and a man highly respected by all who knew him." He was buried the following Monday. He was buried in the Gentryville Cemetery, Gentryville, Gentry Co., Mo.

Michael's probate papers were found in Box #12 Estate #183. There was not a will and Ann became administrator of his estate with K. McKenny and Stephen DeBord. Michael owed the bank $700 and was said to have a tract of land valued at $34. His land was described as 10I25 SE Cor Lot 2(EGRE) Se Sec.l, Twp 61, Range 31, in Gentry County, Missouri. His other belongings included one feather bed, two pillows, one bolzten, one blanket old, two quilts, one bureau, one clock, one cupboard, six chairs, one rocking chair, three old bedsteads, one lounge, one heating stove old, one 18 gallon cast kettle, one stand table. There was obviously some difficulty settling the estate.

Albany Ledger, Nov. 19, 1825.

Ann M. Dunnagan Flood died May 27, 1907.

Darlington Record, April 13, 1893

Lemanski, Bourret, and Carol Bourret Thomas, A Bourre' Legecy 1620-1998. Wisconsin: Cheryl D. Lemanski, 1998.

Discharge papers and muster papers: Co. B, 3 Missouri Infantry, Confederate 1 Corporal Private cards: #48005713,…5796,…5905,…5990…6077,…6166,…6258,…6370.)

Williams, Walter, A History of Northwest Missouri, Vol. I. & II, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1915.

Gentry County, Mo. 1861 Tax Assessor's Book. St. Joseph, Northwest Missouri Genealogy Society, 1982

U.S.A Census: Missouri, Gentry County, Miller Township #62, 1860/1870/1880

1877 Atlas of Gentry Co. Mo. St. Joseph, Northwest Missouri Genealogy Society, Mo.

Robertson, Then Came the Trains, Gentry County, Missouri 1888-1893.

Administrator's Bond Executor's or Administrator's Inventory, Certificate, and Affidavit.Gentry County Missouri Probate records from Box#12 Estate #183,

Compiled by Sharmin Fairbanks McKenny December 2001