Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Bradford County PA
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Laughlin Family of Bradford County, Pennsylvania
6 Generations
by John Lewis Laughlin (MacLochlainn)
Table of Contents

Dedication....................................................................................pages 3-7

Descendants of John Laughlin, 8

Generation 1.................................................................................pages 9-15

Generation 15-20

Generation 3.................................................................................pages 21-26

Generation 4................................................................................ pages 26-29 

Generation 5.................................................................................pages 30-31

Generation 6.................................................................................pages 31-32

Other Laughlins in Bradford County..........................................pages 32-35

List of Names...............................................................................pages 36-38

Known and Potential Laughlin Relatives in Bradford Co.........pages 39-41 42-47

Genealogical Resources.............................................................pages 48-55

Book shops, Church records, Maps, Societies & Embassies

Irish records at the LDS

Genealogical centers in Ireland


Bradford Notes...................................................................pages 55-60

Irish surnames...................................................................pages 61-63

The Great hunger...............................................................pages 64-69

Land divisions of 70

The MacLaughlins of Tirconnell........................................pages 71-73

End Notes.....................................................................................pages 74-85

Dedicated to Robert Donald Laughlin(1902-1969) (1)

I dedicate this work to my father who, dead now many years, would have deeply appreciated this compilation. Dad was not much of a reader, having only a grade-school education, but his love for his heritage and family would have him turning these pages with an ever widening smile and adding to the text his own memories and details. The resultant enlarged edition would have become a joint creation by a father and son who, though they were often in conflict, were bound by a shared heritage and a love for the land of their birth that had been home to the Laughlins for 100 years since they emigrated from Ireland in the early 1840's.

Beginning when I was seven or eight, Dad and I would load up his old Plymouth or De Soto early in the morning and leave our home in Brooklyn, NY, to head for the mountains--the Endless Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania. We made this annual excursion as a twosome leaving behind Mom, who was never excited about Towanda and my younger brother, Bob, who didn't care for the place at all. Dad and I would start the family vacation early and they would follow in a week or so coming up on the Black Diamond train, pride of the Lehigh Valley RR. After a few days of Mom visiting her Towanda in-laws, we all left to see her family in Ontario. As a teenager, I would stay on in Canada and work over the summers on my grandfather's and uncle's farms, a rare treat for a guy growing up on the streets of 1940-50's Brooklyn.

Like our father and grandfather, my brother Bob and I, were born and baptized in Towanda. At the time, Dad owned the Circle Booth Bar and Grill on Main Street that did a brisk business serving fresh eels cut into snack size pieces to go with cold tap beer. He later sold his business to "Chick" Chiccarilli. His father, John, Jr., had owned a general grocery store in Towanda up by the High School that he later sold to the Chubbick Family. 

Our trip up from Brooklyn to Towanda did not get exciting for me until we had turned off the throughway and were on the other side of Scranton. There we picked up Route 6, The Great Warrior Path, Highway of the Republic, Route of Sullivan's March, our road back home. How clever we thought were those who attached such musical names to the small towns dotting the winding road as it followed the Susquehanna River. We would pronounce the town names as we came to them and joke about their meaning never knowing if we were, by chance, correct: Chinchilla (home to the small fur coat trade), Clarks Summit (what happened to Lewis?), La Plume (international headquarters for the French cigarettes smoked by Marie Antoinette), Factoryville (which is it: a factory or a village? Is this an oxymoron?), Tunkhannock (founded by descendants of the Egyptian Boy-God, Tun kh nook), Meshoppen (recovery center for home-shopping addicts and shoppers anonymous), Skinners Eddy (if you only have a half hour to loose 40 lbs., this is the place), Wyalusing (mantra for those who still cannot grasp why that sure-fire get-rich scheme left them penniless), Asylum (vacation haven for the emotionally challenged) and finally, Towanda (Indian proverb: to wander is to wonder.)

In Towanda, Dad and I visited his siblings and aging father, John Laughlin (called John. Jr., when his father, John, Sr. was alive). I was named for both of them. After Dad's father died in 1945, we visited his grave site and those of other family members buried at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in North Towanda. Sometimes, we would ride up through the Black Pond area of Sheshequin, where once the family had a farm, and then continue on the back roads that roamed this majestic hill county in all directions. We always stopped at the county courthouse, whose front steps and surrounding benches were filled with Dad's old buddies and seniors who sat like judicial advisors chewing tobacco, inspecting passers-by, and reducing the world's problems to the size of their ready-made solutions. These men were as much a part of that grand structure as the ever flowing Susquehanna on whose shoulders it stood. The courthouse remains the architectural centerpiece of Towanda, a majestic dome of stone worthy of any Capitol.

We usually stayed with his sister, Eleanor Brown, who lived and breathed Bingo and was working on a fourth husband. Sometimes I stayed over with my aunt and uncle, Nan and Martin Dempsey, and played with my cousin, Tony. Tony was mentally retarded, but brilliant in his capacity to delight and improve one's spirits. He loved to ride around town on his bike waving at all he met, dispensing smiles like blessings. We would drive over to Wysox to visit with Dad's affable older brother, Jim, whom I wish I knew better. He was my favorite along with his brother-in-law, George Lewis, who emigrated from Canada after W.W.II, and worked for Sylvania Electric. He married my babysitter, Edna Bahl, whose family line was linked to Napoleon. 

Dad never introduced me to his mother's side of the family and oddly I never asked. About 14 years ago, I set out to meet the McDonalds of Cherry Township, Sullivan County, and had a wonderful reunion. None knew why the two families were estranged. Perhaps some bad blood developed after Dad's mother, Cecilia, died for it was painfully clear to all who lived with him that he never fully recovered from her death.

Dad and I were not close until I became an adult. I now realize that at a certain point in my life, mid-adolescence, I had a growing responsibility for our relationship. Yet, I persisted, as did he, in maintaining the distance. We behaved as remote planets whose solitary orbits rarely came close for fear of colliding. It was like that with my friends and their fathers. We were all reading the same book, all on the same sheet of music, marching in step to a battle with no winners, only wounded and scarred survivors. Our heroic efforts were sustained by a kind of paranoia that kept us ever vigilant for signs of emotional weakness.

I cried only twice in Dad's presence: the first time when I was about four or five and had been in some conflict with two other boys and felt beaten up. I went home crying and Dad met me standing on the other side of a closed screen door. With tears streaming down my face, I told him what happened. Dad stood like a giant peering down at me and in his sternest voice commanded me to stop crying and acting like a sissy and to go back and fight my own battles. I felt bewildered. What did this mean? I walked down the steps like one shunned and it was a long journey to find where I belonged.

I was too young then to comprehend the ceremonial nature embedded in that brief exchange. Yet in a thousand other ways, I and the boys I grew up with, learned the painful lessons of manhood until they were as natural as speaking English. Only much later did I realize that the most important of life's lessons were learned by rote, not by inquiry; that my identity as a man was less created than formed, shaped more by reaction than invention. One did not assume a masculine identity so much as one was consumed by it. 

For Dad and all the other men I knew growing up, my friend's father the cop; Mr. Buckley, father of five girls; the falsely revered priests and others, the secret to being a man was terribly elusive, hidden behind a poker face that held all aces to their loosing hand. They were actors of a part, shadows silhouetted against a wall moving to a force beyond the light of consciousness.

That day I could not grasp why Dad was not going to help me. If his intent was to make me stand on my own two feet, I felt weaker than ever; if he wanted me to grow up strong, I donned a hollow suit of steel armor; if he wanted me to stop crying, I never cried again until he was dead. I vowed to be better than my father, only to find myself wandering around an emotional desert pursuing mirages that led me back to where I began. Hate can never promote self-worth; it is a parasite that devours its host 's esteem. Somehow in the midst of these struggles, I came to realize that all was not lost between my father and me, that in little ways he let me know that I was important to him and that he was suffering with a deep sense of failure as a father. After all had he not taken the same vows against his father?

What I saw only dimly before became clearer after I became a stepfather. My worst fears about myself sprang up and loomed over me. How impatient! How imperious! How like my father I was. Frontal attacks to conquer these demons with will power ended in quick defeat. It was only in the humility of defeat that I began to identify with my father's struggles. I had his problems and I was unable to do any better. I began to understand what he was up against and I embraced him and let loose a weight of despair and self-condemnation. If I were to do better than he, I would have to do so from the vantage point of his shoulders. From there I saw an indelible truth: The sins of the father are visited upon the son who is to heal them through understanding and love. Thus, sin is transformed by grace. 

The last time I cried was when I came to see Dad in the hospital. He had died alone, strapped to a chair looking out of the 5th floor hospital window. Dad had suffered a second stroke and had to endure a long hospitalization that wore on him and frightened him. I responded to his neediness like a true son, and was revolted by it. My last sight of Dad is engraved in my memory like a tattoo. In those last moments of his life, I imagined that Dad's thoughts went back to where he and I were born as he rode his imagination out of that dreary hospital room and headed over the East River and Lower Manhattan, over the Hudson River and into New Jersey and Delaware circling Wilmington and into Pennsylvania. From there he shot straight north over spectacular vistas of lush farm valleys created by retreating glaciers that left behind the ever-twisting, majestic Susquehanna River with power to nourish or destroy whatever land and towns it

cut through. At last he arrived in the heart of the Endless Mountains where his deepest memories were preserved in the land and people of Bradford County.

When I recall that time, I pray that in his loneliness, Dad found comfort in the thoughts of the places and people he loved and shared with me. I pray that he has forgiven me for I long ago forgave him. As one who desperately wanted not to be anything like my father, I am now proud to be his son. My self-righteousness and sense of superiority over my father have given way to the wisdom of time, to an appreciation for his gifts and to insights about myself that have redefined who I am and made this paper possible. I now see that Dad had the courage to have children despite a childhood worse than mine, and my decision to remain fatherless as an act of protest against him was in reality a phobia of being a failure as a father. While I have learned to emulate his great Irish wit, I am still an apprentice to his generous nature and his ability to attract a multitude of long-lasting friendships.

John Lewis Laughlin

9918 Locust Street,

Glenn Dale, MD 20769

Descendants of John Laughlin, Sr. and Mary [Surname Not Known]

1.John LAUGHLIN Sr. (1810-1909) & Mary (1815-1885)

1. Terrence (1841-)

2. James (1842-1883) 

3. Anna (1848-) & Bernard HEARN (1841-)

4. Mary (1851-1929)

5. John LAUGHLIN Jr (1854-1948) & Cecilia McDONALD (1855-1921)

1. Anna (1889-1972) & Martin DEMPSEY (1892-1971)

1. John Anthony DEMPSEY (1934-)

2. James Bernard (1891-1974) & Helen Suzanna ROSS (1898-1974)

1. Patricia Ann (1932) & Thomas Kennedy Michael McGOVERN (1915)

1. Michael James McGOVERN (1952) & Debra Lynn HOMAN (1955)

3. John Francis (1895-1921)

4. Mary Eleanor (1897-1965) & Harry WILKES (1895)

4. Mary Eleanor & Frank WHITE 

4. Mary Eleanor & Joseph H. BROWN 

5. Joseph Thomas (1899-1944) & Ethel (1902)

6. Robert Donald Laughlin (1902-1969) & Eva BRENNAN (1900-1921)

1. Donald BRENNAN (1921-) & Dorothy [BRENNAN] (1920)

1. BRENNAN (1942-1950)

2. William BRENNAN (1950)

3. James Allen BRENNAN (1955)

6. Robert Donald & Elizabeth M. SLATER (1904-1995)

6. Robert Donald & Mary Ann LEWIS (1906-1975)

1. John Lewis Laughlin (1937) & Virginia LEE (1940)

1. John Lewis & Beatrice Pearl HIBBARD (1940)

1. Timothy Bert NAGEL (1968) & Andrea SHETTLE (1973)

1. Sarah Rachael NAGEL (1994)

2. Sean David NAGEL (1970) & Glenda GALLETTI 

1. Loguan Mychal GALLETTI (1990)

2. Sean David & Keri-Beth PETTENGILL (1972)

2. Robert Arthur Laughlin (1939) & Judith Ann JERICO (1939)

1. Mary Ann (1961) & Donald George KETCHAM 

1. Christopher Robert KETCHAM (1995)

2. Jenifer Nichole KETCHAM (1996)

2. Susan Ann (1963) & Larry Salvatore BORGESE (1963)

1. Jonathan Michael BORGESE (1995)

3. Robert John (1965) & Diane PETROSINO 

2. Robert Arthur & Reta SHANNON 

Generation One

On 12 Sep 1844, at the Bradford County Courthouse in Towanda, (2) PA, John Laughlin, aged 26, took his first step toward becoming a citizen of the United States. (3) His papers state that he emigrated from Liverpool, England in April 1841 and arrived in Ogdensburg, NY, that July. (4) With him were his wife, Mary, born in Ireland about 1820, and their son Terence born in Ireland about 1839/1840. (5) The couple were married in Ireland about 1838 and were likely tenant farmers possibly from the southeast. (6) While we often associate large Irish emigration with the Great Famine, the Laughlins were part of some 83,000 people who left Ireland in 1841 for the United States or Canada. (7) Why they left is a factor of the social and economic events of the preceding years. Following the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, grain prices collapsed and Anglo landlords pushed up their rents bankrupting many tenant (i.e., peasants) farmers. (8) Absentee landlords, who hired villainous intermediaries to manage their property, owned most of the land. These agents had total power over the tenants. They increased profits by subdividing the land and writing at will leases that allowed them to dislodge a family at anytime. (9) As there was no industry in Ireland to speak of, economic disaster was never far away. (10) In 1841, during the reign of Queen Victoria, over half a million Irish lived in one-room mud cabins. (11)

The Irish population had been growing steadily since the last quarter of the 18th century until, by 1841, it was the most densely populated country in Europe reaching more than eight million. (12) A diet of potatoes and buttermilk proved healthy and balanced but when the potato became diseased by blight, there was no substitute. (13) Their low standard of living encouraged the Irish to marry early, between 16-17. They needed little more that a cooking pot and a bit of land to get started. "Asked why the Irish married so young, the Catholic Bishop of Raphoe told the Irish Poor Enquiry of 1835: They cannot be worse off than they are . . . and they may help each other." (14) This Irish Poor Enquiry Commission found that 3/4 of Irish laborers could not find regular employment and unless potatoes were being cultivated, nearly two and a half million people were without work. Without a patch of land to grow potatoes, families starved. Such was the increasing prospect before the famine as land was repeatedly divided among families until some were trying to exist on half an acre.

John and Mary's destination was Ogdensburg, NY, the first United States port on the Saint Lawrence River. (15) To afford the fare, many Irish received money from American relatives, or went as indentured servants. Others sold what they had: fishing boats and gear and bought the cheapest fares, which were those on British ships. Many of these ships had been built during the heyday of timber trade. Britain was importing most of its timber from Canada and the ship owners were looking for a way to fill their vessels with outgoing cargo as they headed back to British North America. (16) The solution became known as the passenger trade. Passenger brokers were sent throughout Ireland competing for business and encouraging people to emigrate. Great Britain offered the cheapest fares to offset the desire of most Irish to emigrate to the United States. Once in Canada anyone wanting to go to the United States just walked across the border - and many did. In 1843, for example, less than 300 out of almost 21,000 emigrants to Canada remained in the eastern townships and Montreal. (17)

The first part of the long journey began with a miserable 14-30 hour ferry ride across the cold and stormy Irish Sea. As livestock and freight had priority, passengers were huddled in open decks, holding on to each other or anything else to keep from being swept overboard. Pigs, which were valued property, were housed below decks in safety. One ship crowded 1400 people onto its open decks. Safety precautions were slim and anyone who fell overboard was lost. Most became seasick and vomited on each other. They traveled drenched in cold sea water that washed over the decks. Many upon arriving at Liverpool had to be carried off because they were so weak. (18)

In Liverpool the new arrivals were set upon by crooks and swindlers. Emigrants waited several days before boarding outbound ships that first had to be loaded with cargo. Liverpool was an infamous slum city with up to 10,000 people packed into a square mile. They crammed the Irish peasants into filthy cellars devoid of circulating air, light, drainage and fresh water. The squalor and filth of these underground lodgings were notorious. Thousands who had escaped typhus in Ireland became infected in these lodging-houses. One medical officer at Grosse-Isle stated in his report that the filthy Liverpool slums were a main cause of the ship fever disaster. (19) On board the ship emigrants remained on the floor packed twenty and thirty in a row.

Famine fever referred to two illnesses: typhus, (black or spotted fever), and relapsing fever. Typhus is transmitted via lice infected with the bacteria, Rickettsia. The louse bites the victim, who in scratching breaks the skin allowing the infection to enter the blood stream. This horrible disease causes high temperatures, violent twitching, delirium, rash, agonizing sores and sometimes gangrene followed by the loss of fingers, toes and feet. The odor of a typhus patient is an intolerable stench. Relapsing fever is also transmitted by lice but a different micro organism is involved. Its symptoms include jaundice leading the Irish to call it yellow fever.

To get to Ogdensburg, Mary, John and their infant son endured eight or more weeks at sea in these horrendous conditions. (20) Much has been written about this aspect of Irish emigration including the penetrating sketches in Herman Melville's novel,Redburn: His First Voyage. (21) Some ships seemed to make the journey losing few passengers, but with each advancing year of the Great Famine years, mortalities rose sharply. 

The Agnes arrived with 427 passengers but disembarked only 150 after a quarantine of fifteen days. Almost 45 percent of the steerage passengers of the Ceylone, out of Liverpool bound for New York, were buried at sea before reaching the quarantine at Staten Island. Dr. John Griscom, a counter part of Liverpool's Harvey, as a pioneer in public health, entered theCeylon steerage to find scores of emaciated half-nude figures, suffering from typhus, some . . . just rising from their berths for the first time since leaving Liverpool having been suffered to lie there all the voyage wallowing in their own filth. The Loosthank lost 33 percent before entering quarantine. (22)

Having survived the voyage, they traveled down the 750 mile-long Saint Lawrence River (23) stopping north of Quebec City to unload the sick at Grosse-Isle, the infamous 19th and early 20th century immigration quarantine station. (24) The sick were transported from the ship to Grosse-Isle, which had no pier and the ill and weak were thrown overboard into the mud and stones to crawl to dry land as best they could. (25) The sick passengers of these coffinships stayed until they were well or, more likely, died. The quarantine hospital on the island, built to hold 150, was quickly inundated: On May 31 (1847) forty vessels were waiting, extending in line two miles down the Saint Lawrence; about 1,100 cases of fever were on Grosse Isle in sheds, tents, and laid in rows in a little church; an equal number were on board the ships, waiting to be taken off; and a further 45,000 emigrants as least were expected. (26) Between 1832-1937, four million European immigrants stayed at Grosse-Isle. Those who continued down the river took towed barges to Montreal, a journey of two or three days. Many carried the seeds of fever with them. So many died en route from Great Britain to North America that one US Commissioner of Emigration wrote, If crosses and tombs could be erected on the water, the whole route of the emigrants' vessels from Europe to American would long since have assumed the appearance of a crowded cemetery. (27)

John and Mary's second child, James was born about 1842 in New York. (28) It is unknown where in New York he was born, how long the family stayed there or why they went to Bradford County. Anna, their third child, was born in 1848 in Pennsylvania, most likely, Bradford County. (29) At first I thought they came to this part of northeast Pennsylvania in order for John, Sr. to work on the North Branch Canal of the Susquehanna, but by that time work had stopped for lack of funds. 

The Laughlins might have come there not knowing that work on the canals had stopped given the poor state of communication. They may also come to Towanda having heard of the growing prosperity of the County due to the canals and the laborers needed for construction of a railroad. Possibly John or Mary had family in the area.

By 1854 the family was settled in Wysox Township where John, Jr. was born. Wysox, like Towanda, was one of the original ten townships of Bradford County and in 1868 had a population of 1,425. Wysox also borders the Susquehanna River,Mississippi of the East, which nearly bisects the County on its 420-mile journey southward from Otsega Lake, NY, to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, MD. In 1859 John, Sr. became a trustee for land sold to Alice Kilduff for $200. The property was in the Shores Hills District of Wysox Township. (30) I can only decipher part of the faded script and have no idea about the identity of Alice Kilduff or why John, Sr. served as the trustee. She could have been a family relative. The deed identified John, Sr. as being from Wysox Township.

On 12 Dec 1866, John, Sr. purchased 33 acres in the Unions Corners District of Sheshequin Township (31) for $1000. from Jasper Horton and Laura Jane Shores. (32) This property was near Breakneck Farm, off RR 240. (33) The area where they lived was also called by my father Black or Black Pond. The lowland soils around Towanda and Sugar Creek were rich alluvial flats well suited for growing tobacco, corn and wheat. The highlands, which include Wysox and Sheshequin, were also well suited for growing wheat and corn. The property's northern boundary was an unnamed creek that drained into the Susquehanna River after crossing the famous path of Sullivan's march. Today, the property would lay between Water and Castle Hill Roads, northeast of Quarry Glen.

In 1875, John, Sr. sold his 33 acres to his 21-year-old son John, Jr. for $1.00. (34) The sale was part of John, Sr.'s last will. (35) Mary died about 1885 as John, Sr. is listed in the 1890 census as a widower. I believe she is buried at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, North Towanda. In 1900, John, Sr. was living with his son John, Jr. and family on 100 Western Avenue, Towanda. On 6 Feb 1909 John, Sr. died at home and was buried at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, North Towanda.

Generation Two

Children of John and Mary Laughlin

Terence was born in Ireland about 1839. He worked as a farm hand on his father's farm according to the 1870 census. He was not in the 1880 census.

James was born about 1842 in New York, maybe Ogdensburg. (36) On 12 Sep 1862 he joined Company F, 13th Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia mustered under Lieut. Col. John F. Means. Other officers mentioned were Capt. E. O'Meara Goodrich, 1st Lieut. James Macfarlane and 1st Sgt. William T. Bishop, Jr. He served as a private from September 12-25, 1862. (37) He may have married Ethel A. about 1866 and died Saturday, 17 Mar 1883, in Wysox. (38)

Anna was born in 1848, most likely in Towanda or Wysox. (39) She worked as a domestic. On 28 Apr 1886 she and Bernard "Butch" Hearn (1841-before 1907) were married by Rev. James A. Martin. Bernard was born and lived in Burlington Township in Bradford County, a farmer and the son of a farmer, Michael Hearn. Bernard had been a widower since Sep 1876. (40) From 1880 until at least 1907, Anna lived at 100 Western Avenue, Towanda. She died after 1909 and was likely buried at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery or the Catholic Cemetery in Burlington.

Mary was born in 1855 in Wysox Township. The seven years between these two children suggest one or more miscarriages or stillbirths. In 1907 she was a domestic at 244 Poplar Street. (41) I have not found any record of a marriage. The 1920 census lists her as age 65 and living at 319 Poplar Street in Towanda with two lodgers:William McGuire, age 20 and Ella Mary McGuire age 10 both born in Pennsylvania. (42) Mary's nephew, James B. Laughlin, was appointed Executor of her will, filed 17 Aug 1928. She left all to him, except $50.00 that went to Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church for Masses for the repose of souls. Joseph W. Beaman and Nellie Ronan noted her mark. (43) She died about 1929.

John, Jr., my grandfather, was born on 20 Dec 1854 in the Shores Hills area, of Wysox. (44) John married Cecilia McDonald on 1 Feb 1888 in Towanda. On the marriage license she is 29 and a domestic and he is 33 and a grocer man. (45) Her parents were Peter McDonald and Catherine Waters, both Irish immigrants during the Great Famine who settled as farmers in the Cherry Mills section of Cherry Township in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. (46) Cecilia (Celia) was born on 3 Nov 1855 and raised in Cherry Mills. (47)

On 28 Apr 1890 John purchased property at the corners of State Street and Western Avenue, Towanda and opened a grocery store. (48) The grocery store was in the front and the living quarters were in the back or top. The store was later sold to Lee T. Chubbuck and was known as the High School Grocery. (49) Between Sept 1895 and Oct 1919, John and Cecilia bought and sold several parcels of land. (50) In the 1910 census, John, Jr. was 54 working as a merchant and Celia was 50. James, 17, was a delivery person, likely working for his father and their address was 100 Western Avenue. In the 1920 census no occupations are listed and all the family is still living at 100 Western Avenue. Mary, John Jr.'s sister, is listed as living at 230 Poplar Street. In John, Jr.'s obituary (below) it stated that he and Cecilia owned and operated the store for 40 years. This is unlikely given that Cecilia died in 1921, although he may have kept it going for a while. (51) On 1 Jan 1921 Cecilia died of angina pectoris as she sat in her chair following a family dinner. (52) She was survived by her husband, two daughters (Anna and Eleanor at home), four sons (James, John, Joseph and Robert), and three sisters: Anne Burchill (1857-1923) of Towanda, (53)Catherine Mey of Sparks, Nevada andEllen Powers (54)of Brooklyn, NY. Cecilia's niece, Mary (McDonald) Moriority, described her as the most wonderful, warm, good-natured and a hard-working person she knew. (55)

In 1923 John, Jr. lived at 128 Ward Ave, with his son Joseph, who by 1926 has moved out and John, Jr.'s daughter, Eleanor has moved in from 319 Poplar Street. (56) In 1937, he was living at the same address with his son, Robert and his new bride, Mary Lewis, who is listed as a waitress. Eleanor has moved out perhaps to marry Frank White. Meanwhile, Robert and Mary moved to Poplar Street. John, Jr.'s death certificate, filled out by his daughter Anna, gave his address as 128 Ward Avenue. Did he move from 128 to 122 and then back again? If so, what happened to the house at 128 as it is not mention in his will? I recall a corner house my grandfather owned and sold or gave to the high school next door, which is now the Middle School, for their expansion. This might have been 128 Ward Avenue.

In his will of 1945, John, Jr. named his youngest son, Robert, as Executor. (57) The attorney for his estate was Robert Bennett. He overlooked his older son, James, because, according to James' daughter, Patricia, her father did not get along with his father over the poor way he had treated his mother. The two had little to do with each other except near the end when James would take his dad to the doctor. (58) John, Jr. left James $1.00 and never mentioned his only granddaughter, Patricia, in his will. For the price of $1.00 Robert received the house on 120 Ward Avenue. (59) His daughter Eleanor and her husband, Frank White, with whom John, Jr. was living, received the house on 122 Ward Avenue. In the will he emphasized that he had paid for their groceries and Frank's paint and felt he had adequately reimbursed them. He seemed anxious that Eleanor and Frank might contest the will. His grandson, Donald Brennan, received $200.00. He gave $200.00 to his niece, Elizabeth "Lizzy" O'Hearn, (60) and $250.00 to his niece, Mary Roe. (61) $5000.00 was deposited in Trust with Citizens National Bank of Towanda for the care of his retarded grandson, John Anthony Martin Dempsey, upon whose death any remaining principal was to be equally divided among his other grandsons, John and Robert Laughlin. $100.00 went for the perpetual care of his lot at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery and another $100.00 for Masses to be said for the repose of Laughlins' souls. 

On 23 Mar 1946, John, Jr. wrote a Codicil changing the will so that any remaining principal on Anthony's trust funds would go to his daughter, Anna, instead of John Jr.'s grandsons. This money was put in trust with a Robert Lambert who may have been the trustee all along or a new one Anna selected. When they discovered this, Robert, James and Eleanor believed that Anna had put her father up to this and none of the three ever talked to her again. There must have more to this story as there was little chance any money would be left.

John, Jr. died 17 Aug 1948 at his home, 128 Ward Avenue at 9:30 a.m. (62) He was 94! He was buried two days later following services at Maryott's Funeral home. The causes of death were acute perinea, prostatitis, chronic nephritis and arteriosclerosis. The headlines of the Aug 18, 1948 the Towanda Daily Review read: 

Former County Seat Business Man Dies

Former County Seat Business Man (John Laughlin, Sr.) dies. Born at Shores Hills, Sheshequin and came to Towanda at age 25. He worked on the Lehigh Valley RR for a while and then at Ward House, now Newberry's. For 30 years he owned a grocery store now run by Chubbick's family on the corner of State and Western Avenue. He was an active man with great vitality. He retired at age 80. He served as a mail carrier on five separate rival rural routes. He also plowed gardens, hauled ashes and did odd jobs. He had a keen mind until the end. He was a member of Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church. To be buried at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery, in North Towanda on 19 Aug 1948. (63)

The family members are John Laughlin (seated, my grandfather), Robert (my father on his knee), Joseph (seated with bow tie) standing children form left to right are Anna, Eleanor,James and John.  My grandmother Cecilia (McDonald from Cherry, Sullivan County, PA) seated far left.
Towanda 1903

Generation Three

Children of John and Cecilia Laughlin

Anna "Nan" was born Mar 1889 in Towanda. She attended Saint Agnes Catholic School in Towanda. On 16 Feb 1931 she was married to Martin Dempsey by Rev. J. J. O'Brien. They had one child, John Anthony "Tony." Anna died of cancer in 1972. She was closest of her family to the McDonalds according to her 1st cousin, Mary (McDonald) Moriority. Martin Dempsey was born on 26 Dec 1892 in Dushore. He served in the 2nd Army, 166 Transportation Corp. in WWI and his asthma may have been related to his military service. For several years, he worked part time for Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church as the Bell Ringer and perhaps Sextant. They were devoted parents and I was especially fond of my Uncle Martin who died 15 Mar 1971.

James Bernard was born on 5 Sep 1890 in Towanda (SSN: 160-14-2343). He married Helen Suzanna Ross, the daughter of Charles Ross and Ida Jane Vosburg, on 24 Apr 1930 at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church. Helen was born in Wysox on 29 Sep 1898 and died in Towanda on 13 Oct 1974. For many years she was the Tipstaff (Bailiff) and Matron for the Bradford County Courthouse. Jim's 1st cousin, Mary McDonald Moriority, recalled taking The Black Diamond on the Lehigh Valley Railroad from New York City to Towanda and then changing trains to Dushore. On one of her first trips to Towanda, Jim met her and joked with her that since no one in Towanda knew her, they could pretend that she was his new girlfriend. She remembers going to dances in Wysox with Jim and his brothers, Bob and Frances and how friendly the Laughlins were. 

Jim was appointed Executor of his Aunt Mary Laughlin's will. Jim was a truck driver between 1937-1942 and lived at RD 5, East Towanda. He used to buy roosters on Saturdays and join some friends for cock fights near the farm that his father sold to Jim Perry. In 1974, a widower, he resided in Towanda in a house that was close to the Susquehanna, which once flooded the first floor of his home. Jim died 20 Mar 1974 at Towanda at age 83 and was buried in Wysox. My Uncle Jim was a warm, outgoing man, about the size of Dad. He was the last of his family to pass away and I would be certain to visit him anytime I came to Towanda. He was well liked and well known in the area and had I the wisdom to inquire about the family, Jim would have offered volumes. He remains to me the archetypical Towandian

Daily Review obituary of James Laughlin:

Highly regarded Towandian, died at age 83. He was a World War I Veteran who after the war was engaged in highway construction in New England, New York and MD. He returned to Towanda where he and another WWI Vet, Bernard Kirwan (deceased April 4, 1965), formed a partnership for the conduct of a trucking business known as Kirwan and Laughlin. In 1946, Jim was named as Courthouse Custodian by the County Commissioners and held that position until he retired in 1955. 

Mary Eleanor was born on 28 May 1897 at 100 Western Avenue. She worked at the Towanda Silk Factory on the Plank Road (64) where they made nylon parachutes during WWII. (65) In 1923 she lived at 319 Poplar and in 1926 at 128 Ward Avenue. She married Harry Wilkes, a lineman and son of Ira and Anna Wilkes on 17 Jan 1927. Harry Wilkes was born in 1895 at Mauchunk [sic] Pennsylvania. Later she wed Frank White and was married to him at the time her father died. Then she married a Mr.Brown, a farmer from Wyalusing, (66) who died within weeks of their marriage. Later she was living with a man named Sully, a colorful character who could drink with the best. Eleanor died in Towanda of a heart attack in 1965, though her gravestone gives her dates as 1898-1963. Aunt Eleanor was a generous host to us whenever we stayed with her. She was devoted to her nephew, Tony. Her love for Bingo was unparalleled; it was nothing for her and some of the "girls" to travel an hour each way for a game.

Joseph Thomas "Sharky" was born on 31 Mar 1899 at 100 Western Avenue, Towanda and attended Saint Agnes Catholic School. He married Ethel about 1920. He was a Private in WW I serving with the 120 Tank Corp, 19th Grand Division and, according to Mormon cemetery records, he went overseas. He drowned in 1944 when he fell off a boat into the Delaware River and was buried at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Cemetery. (67) According to my cousin, Patricia Mc Govern, who has lived in Towanda all her life, Joseph left behind a wife named Ethel who may have gone to Philadelphia to work as a telephone operator. Perhaps they lived there at the time of James' death and/or Philadelphia was her hometown.

John Francis "Lunk" was born on 25 Dec 1894 at 100 Western Avenue, Towanda. In 1900 he lived at 201 Main Street, Towanda and worked as a clerk and delivery person. He served in W.W.I with the 120 Transportation Corp, 19th Grand Division. He drowned 10 Jul 1921 while swimming in the Susquehanna River, near a Towanda ball field. He was 27. He was survived by father John, two sisters (Anna and Eleanor at home) and three brothers (James, Joseph and Robert) all of Towanda. He was buried 13 Jul 1921 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery. (68)

Robert Donald "Big Bob," my father, was born on 29 Sep 1902 (69) at 100 Western Avenue and baptized at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Oct 1902. (SSN: 186-10-0126) (70) Around 1920 he married Eva Brennan, daughter of William E. Brennan, of South Fourth and Elizabeth Streets, Towanda. They had a child, Donald Robert born on 14 Jan 1921 at Towanda and baptized at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church. Eva had a previous child named Raymond (c.1915-) whom I on only discovered a few years ago and have no idea what happened to him. When Eva died on 27 Dec 1921, her parents adopted Donald and his name becameDonald Brennan. Dad tried to get his sister Nan to take Donald, but she refused. Robert and his third wife tried to get Donald back without success. Eva was buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery with services conducted by Rev. Andrews of the Methodist Church. Robert lost his wife and his mother within a month of each other, which always made that time of year painful for him. Eva was survived by her husband, two sons, parents, three sisters and two brothers: Mrs. Robert Chamberlain of Wysox, Mrs. Ray Beardsley of Athens, William of Towanda and Robert and Omenta at home. 

Robert and his second wife, Elizabeth M. Slater, daughter of Walter W. Slater and Lauren Pruyne of North Towanda, were married on 15 Aug 1925 at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Towanda, by Rev. W. L. Farrell. She was a clerk and he a truckman. Elizabeth was born in Mountain Lake, Pennsylvania and grew up on her family's farm in North Towanda. Her father was born in Mountain Lake and her mother in Luthers Mills. She and Robert lived at 10 Second Street, Towanda and divorced in 1928. According to the application, Bob was divorced before. This is inaccurate as his first wife, Eva Brennan, died 11 months after the birth of their first child, Donald. 

Bob's third wife was Mary Ann Lewis (SSN: 186-10-0127) born on 06 Apr 1906 in Bedford Township, ON, Canada, the daughter of Robert George Lewis and Rose Anne Lewis of Frontenac County, ON. She graduated Nursing School in Utica, NY and was naturalized on 24 Feb 1932. Bob met Mary while he was a hospital attendant at Utica State and they married in Watertown, NY about 1935. Mary converted to Catholicism to marry Bob. Mary's family did not approve of Robert at first because he was Catholic and American and they were Anglicans and wanted their daughter to return to Canada. In time they came to love Bob. Her brother George Lewis emigrated to the US after WW II and settled in Towanda. He married Edna Bahl, who traces her family history back to Marie Antoinette. Another brother, Rayburn, also emigrated to the US after WW II settling in Brooklyn near where we lived. My parents helped to get him a job at Brooklyn State Hospital as a painter. There he met and married Nina Losardo. They are both retired and living in Vacaville, CA.

Mary and Robert spent every vacation in Towanda and Ontario. In Ontario they split their time between Mary's parents' farm in Elgin, her sister Peggy's farm in Westport, visiting other various relatives and with their very close friends, the Millers (Tom and Edith, Leona and Bill), from Binghamton and Endicott, NY, who had cottages on Sand Lake, Westport, ON. 

Among their friends in Towanda were Mr. and Mrs. Ted Dempsey, Mrs. Thayer, C. H. Maryott, Henry "Grassy" Hoffman, Helen Jones, Rip Gority, George M. Fairchild, Floyd R., Helen Gale, Henry Lewis, Carrie Stroud, Bessie Vincent, Doris Fleming, Mary Coon, Mame Fleming, Helen Hoffman, and D. Santee.

From about 1936-40 Robert owned and operated the Circle Booth in Towanda where they served fresh-caught eels from Nicols, NY. He and Mary lived at 128 Ward Ave and at 7 Porter Place, Towanda where they had two sons: John Lewis and Robert Arthur. Soon after Bob's second son was born, he sold the Circle Booth toTheo "Chick"Chicarilli, and they left Towanda as Mary wanted to return to psychiatric nursing. (71) They lived for a few months on Washington Ave, Pearl River, NY, before settling in Brooklyn, NY. Both worked at Brooklyn State Psychiatric Hospital until they retired: Mary as Head Nurse and Robert as Chief of Security. 

Because of Robert's prior divorce from Elizabeth Slater, it took nearly 30 years to have his marriage to Mary recognized by the Catholic Church. On 9 Jun 1964 they celebrated a Catholic marriage at Saint Catherine of Genoa's Catholic Church, 520 Linden Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY. Services were performed by Rev. George Conroy and witnessed by Patrick and Anne Kerrigan

Mary's sister, BerthaEthelMcFadden, (72) said that Mary went to the US with her Uncle Harry and Aunt Susie to study nursing. Uncle Harry had no family and Aunt Susie had a son from a previous marriage. When they came to Canada to visit, they told Mary, my mother, of the opportunity for herself in the States. At the time she was working at a Home for the Aged, which helped her choose a nursing career. Nursing training was very expensive in Canada and her parents still had four children in school and a baby, Vernon "Bun." When she left home, Bertha took over Mary's job saved some money and with some government help she was able to attend Teacher's College. 

Bertha said that Mary was always close to their mother. She helped the most, partly because she was the oldest at home. Aunt Bertha was always small; and when she got older, she worked outside with her Dad, and Mary worked inside with her Mother. 

From 1942-1949 Robert and Mary and their tow sons lived at 497 Linden Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY. Between 1949-1971 they owned a house at 958 Albany Ave, Brooklyn NY. Robert had his first heart attack and stroke in 1962 and died in 1969. Mary died at her apartment at 45 Fairfield Way, Comack, Suffolk County, NY of a blood clot in the brain 10 Apr 1975. Both are buried at Saint Charles Roman Catholic Cemetery, Long Island.

Generation Four

Child of James Laughlin and Helen Ross

Patricia Ann was born on 12 Jun 1932 in Sayre, PA and baptized Jul 1932 at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church. She married the late Thomas Kennedy Michael McGovern, son of James McGovern and Lucy Kennedy on 19 Aug 1950 at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church. She presently at 10 Foster Road, Towanda, PA.

Child of Anna Laughlin and Martin Dempsey
John Anthony "Tony" was born in 1934 at Towanda. He was mentally retarded and went to an institution after his parents died. As a boy he was well loved by his parents and many people of Towanda. He loved the movies and when we were together, he repeatedly asked, "Go show, go show?"
Child of Robert Laughlin and Eva Brennan

Donald was born on 14 Jan 1921 in Towanda. His mother died the following December and shortly after this her parents adopted him. They changed his name from Robert Donald Laughlin, Jr. to Donald Brennan. Donald joined the US Air Force about 1939 retiring about 1969 as a Warrant Officer. He later became manager for Sears Roebuck Co., in Bakers Field, CA. He married Dorothy ? and lived in Bakers Field and Riverside, CA. His father, Robert, and stepmother, Mary, kept in frequent contact with him, but he and his two half-brothers have no contact. In 1968, he lived at 4785 Merrill Ave, Riverside, CA. 

We saw almost nothing of Donald growing up. He was older and off in the Air Force. The few times I met him proved unpleasant. Dad was faithful in answering his or Dorothy's letters by pecking out a return on his old typewriter. Once or so after Dad died, Mom went out to visit them, identifying closely with Dorothy. When Dad had his first stroke, Donald came to see him and told me in his typical gruff manner that he wanted to see his father when he was alive and would not be back for the funeral. Whatever happened to Donald growing up did not fare him well as a person. He was not one with whom to spend time. He was openly racist and broadly prejudicial. Against Bob's better judgement, I persuaded him to divide into three what little we received from our mother's estate. I believed Dad would have wanted it that way. Bob warned me that we would never get a reply. He was right. No card of condolence, no thank you, not a wold from Donald or his wife. 

Children of Robert Laughlin and Mary Lewis

John Lewis was born on 21 May 1937 on Main Street, Towanda and delivered by Dr. J. Kielty. He was named after his mother's family name and his paternal grandfather and great-grandfather. At birth, he had two large birth marks, one on his forehead and another on his right thigh. In removing these at Waverly Hospital, Dr. Woodhouse over radiated them and left visible scars. This medical incompetence left a visible one inch wide indentation in John's skull and a wider 1st degree burn scar on his right thigh. Such over-radiation has been linked to the development of tumors and was undoubtedly the contributor to John's later pituitary tumor, which had to be removed before it became cancerous.

John was baptized on 20 Jun 1937 at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church by Rev. J. F. Nolan. His godparents were Mathias and Helena Lynch. Pictures were taken at Johnston Studio. He was confirmed Joseph on 18 May 1948 at Saint Catherine of Genoa, 520 Linden Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY. His sponsor was George Althisar. Illnesses included 1940, Whooping Cough; 1941, Chicken Pox; 1942, Mumps; 1943, Measles; 1944, German measles; and in June 1977 surgery to remove a Craniophrengenoma by Dr. Russell Patterson, New York Hospital, NY. In Oct 1977 he stayed with a friend, John Low, in Malaga, Spain while recovering. John served for three years (1954-1957) as a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne Division stationed at Fort Campbell, KY and Augsburg, Germany. He was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant. John has a Ph.D. in Humanistic Psychology and did his dissertation on Thomas Merton. 

John married Virginia Lee, daughter of Bryce Lee, in 1962 at a Lutheran Church off Fordham Road, Bronx, NY. At the time she lived with her parents and younger sister Connie, at 4050 Monticello Avenue, Bronx, NY. After they were married, they lived in the Fordham area of the Bronx near the "L." Ginny was Dean of Students at Upsala College, East Orange, NJ, and later, Dean of Students, Bergen County Community College, Bergen, NJ. In 1972 they moved to 300 E Homestead Avenue, Palisades Park, NJ and John commuted to Long Island where he was Assistant Executive Director of Family Services of Nassau County. They were divorced in August 1977 in New Jersey.

John and Beatrice Pearl Hibbard, daughter of Rev. Theodore "Ted" James Hibbard (Aug 10, 1911-Aug 18, 1994) and Jeova Beatriz DeRivero (28 Oct 1915-) were married 5 Mar 1983 at Saint John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Riverdale, MD by Rev. Dale Thorngate, Executive Secretary for the Seventh Day Baptists Denomination, Janesville, WI. They met at the Common Boundary Conference at the Virginia Theological Seminary and became engaged shortly after on 12 Dec 1982. Pearl was born on 4 Jan 1940 in Pittsfield, MA and baptized 15 Jan 1940 at Saint Helen's Episcopal Church, Lennox, MA and again by immersion in 1950 in Alfred, NY at the Seventh Day Baptist Church. Her father was a Seventh Day Baptist Minister and the family historian who traced his family back to Alexander the Great. Her mother's family emigrated to Hawaii from Castile, Spain. Pearl has her M.A. in Psychology and Family Therapy and presently working toward a Ph.D. and a dissertation on the psycho-spiritual aspects of illness and healing. Pearl is an expert in the field. John and Pearl live at 9918 Locust Street, Glenn Dale, MD, 20769, where they are partners in their own psychotherapy private practice, Living Toward Wholeness.

Robert Arthur "Bob" was born on 2 Mar 1939 at Towanda. He was named after his father and maternal grandfather. His middle name Arthur may have been in honor of a family friend or a McDonald relative. Bob was baptized 6 Mar 1939 at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Towanda. He graduated from Brooklyn College in Accounting and went on to become a CPA and a senior partner with S. P. Cooper, Inc. He married Judith Ann Jerico (28 May 1939-) daughter of John Jericho and Maryann Lupinazzi on 4 Sep 1960 at Saint Catherine of Genoa Roman Catholic Church, Brooklyn. For many years she suffered serious depression requiring shock treatments and was looked after most caringly by her mother-in-law, Mary Laughlin. She and Bob were divorced 1973. In 1982 she married James Cameron. Bob married Reta Shannon from Tucson, Arizona on 17 Apr 1975 but this was annulled in 1976. Bob's address is 333 East 55th Street, New York City, NY, 10022. 

Bob and I were not close growing up. We fought, blamed each other and sought separate friends. After our parents died and we were each divorced and age wore away our hubris, we sought each other out. Despite geographical distance, we keep in touch and the few times a year that we manage to see each other are filled with laughter, talk of our grand trip to Ireland in June 1986, another round of whatever we're drinking and the private wish on both sides that we could have been so close when we were growing up.

Generation Five

Child of Thomas McGovern and Patricia Laughlin

Michael James was born on 13 Apr 1952 at Sayre, PA and baptized on 4 May 1952 at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Towanda. He married Debra Lynn Homan (13 Mar 1955), daughter of Stanley L. Homan and Imogene Williams on 8 Sep 1990. The family is from Kane, PA. Mike and Debra are attorneys residing at 1722 Green Street, Harrisburg, PA.

Children of Donald and Dorothy Brennan

A son born about 1940 in Pearl Harbor, HI. He was born deaf and was hit and killed by a truck that he did not hear coming. Two other efforts to have a child led to miscarriages and thus Donald and Dorothy adopted their next child. 

William born 1950, adopted. 

James Allen born May 1955. 

Robert Donald born 1975.

Children of Pearl Hibbard and John Nagel

Timothy Bert Nagel born on 27 Jun 1968 in Albuquerque, NM. He married Andrea Olivia Shettles (14 Aug 1973-) daughter of Clinton and Bernadine Shettles on 26 Jun 1993 at the United Methodist Church, College Park, MD. Timothy enlisted in the Army in August 1996 to receive training in computers. Andrea is completing a nursing program.

Sean David Nagel born on 28 Aug 1970 in Washington, DC. Sean married Keri-Beth Pettingill (14 Apr 1974) of Frederick, MD on 4 Jun 1994 at St. John's Roman Catholic Church in Frederick. Sean served four years in the US Navy stationed at Virginia Beach, VA. He is a computer technician and Keri-Beth is a microbiologist.

Children of Robert Laughlin and Judith Jerico

Mary Ann was born in Brooklyn on 25 Jun 1961 and baptized 10 Jul 1961 at Saint Catherine of Genoa, Brooklyn. She married Donald George Ketcham, son of Elvin George Ketcham and Margaret Meyer at Huntington Marina, Huntington, NY on 5 May 1990. Donald is a telecommunications expert and Mary Ann is on a sabbatical from insurance claims management to take care of their newly born twins. They all live at 60 Oakley Drive, Huntington Station, NY, 11746. 

Susan Ann was born in Brooklyn 28 Jun 1963 and married Lawrence Borgese on 9 Jul 1994 at Saint Rocco's Roman Catholic Church, 18 Third Street, Glen Cove, NY. Susan is the comptroller for Super Teams, a nonprofit organization that trains groups of specialists to work with drug abusers. Larry is a junior executive with Canon Photocopy Company of Tokyo. They live at 4 Fifth Avenue, Smithtown, NY. 

Robert John was born in Brooklyn, NY on 14 Sep 1965 and baptized on 1 Oct 1965 at Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Ave 'M', Brooklyn. John Lewis Laughlin is his godfather. He married Diane Petrosino at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, NY in 1990. Rob is a CPA and a probate lawyer and Diane is the comptroller for Institutional Investor Magazine. They live at 301 East 48th Street, New York City, NY, 10017.

Generation Six
Child of Sean Nagel and Glenda Galletti

Loguan Mychal Galletti born 9 Nov 1991

Children of Sean Nagel and Keri-Beth Pettengill

Devon born 24 Jul 1998 and Zoe born on 18 Oct 1999

Children of Timothy Nagel and Andrea Shettle

Sarah Rachael Nagel, born 21 Jan 1994 

Baron born 9 Jan 1999 and Aiden born 18 Oct 2003.

Child of Larry Borgese and Susan Laughlin

Jonathan Michael Borgese born on 21 Jul 1995

Children of Donald Ketchum and Mary Ann Laughlin

Christopher Robert born 25 Jan 1996 and Jenifer Nichole born 25 Jan 1995. 

1. Man is the sum of his ancestors. Emerson

2. Towanda is an Indian term meaning where we bury our dead or a town among the hills by thewaterside. The Writers' Program of the Pennsylvania WPA, Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1940), p. 518.

3. According to his stated age, he was born in 1818. The 1850 Census gives his age as 30 instead of 32. "Declaration of Intent of John Laughlin," 12 Sep 1844, Court of Common Pleas, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. There is no Naturalization record for John, Sr. in the Bradford County Courthouse. Until 1922 when they naturalized a man, his wife and children (under 21) automatically became citizens. George K. Schweitzer, Pennsylvania Genealogical Research, (Knoxville, TN: the author, 1986), p. 134.

4. In 1830, Liverpool was the 3rd largest English port of emigration. Donald Harman Akenson,The Irish in Ontario: A Study of Rural History, (Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1984), p. 141. For a good description of 19th century Liverpool see Kerby A. Miller, Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985). According to the 1841 British Census, there were nearly 420,000 Irish-born living in England, mostly in the counties of Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumberland and Durham. Ruth Dudley Edwards, An Atlas of Irish History, 2nd ed., (New York: Methuen, 1981), pp. 150-152.

5. Naturalization records can be divided into three periods: 

1-Colonization period: British Citizens were not naturalized. Non-British people took an oath of allegiance. Many such records have been published.

2-Revolutionary War to 1906: Naturalization records after 1802 are more available and complete. They were filed in any federal, state of local court of choice.

3-After 27 Sep 1906: Naturalization proceedings could take place in any US District Court or any court of record. A copy of all the proceedings was sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520.

Three records are associated with becoming a citizen:

1-Declaration of Intention or 1st papers. This is the primary record of an alien requesting citizenship and was often filed with a court soon after arrival in the US. Aliens honorably discharged as veterans of the Civil (Union), Mexican, Indian or Spanish-American wars could skip this step.

2-Petition for Citizenship or 2nd papers. Usually filed three to five years after the 1st papers declaring that the applicant had resided in the county for the required length of time.

3-Certificate of Naturalization. This was given to the new citizen with a stub of the record remaining with the court where the naturalization took place.

6. In 1841 more than 3/4 of the population in southeast Ireland were dependent upon agriculture and only 20% lived in towns. T. W. Freeman, Pre-Famine Ireland, (Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1957), p. 25. Up to 1900, six counties made up 48% of the emigration: Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Limerick in the province of Munster, and Galway and Limerick in the province of Connought.

7. Akenson, op. cit., p. 11. Also recommended is, Glenn J. Lockwood, Smiths Falls: A Social History of the Men and Women in the Rideau Canal Community, 1794-1994, (Carleton Place, Ontario: Motion Creative Publishing, 1994).

8. Ireland is an island of 32, 424 square miles. At its maximum length it is 302 miles and 189 miles at it absolute widest. Because of its irregular coastline, no place is more that 70 miles from the sea. Ireland has 800 lakes and rivers and its highest mountain, Carrantuohill, in County Kerry, is 3, 414 feet high. Its longest river is the Shannon and its largest lake is Lake Neagh in the north-east. It is an older island that Britain having broken away form the mainland about 6000 BC. Ireland is divided into 4 Provinces (Meath, site of the Hill of Tara, was once the 5th) referred to in song as the Four Green Fields. There is an old Celtic saying: Ulster for battle; Leinster for learning; Munster for farming; Connacht for magic." Most of Ulster (" the six sorrowful counties) still belongs to England and is referred to as Northern Ireland. Counties Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal belong to the Republic of Ireland. In all there are 32 counties. Ireland's national anthem, frequently sung in Gaelic, is " A Soldier's Song," ("Amran na bFiann") supplanting "The Wearin O' the Green," "A Nation Once Again," "God Save Ireland," and "The Rising of the Moon." The tri-colors that make up the flag of Ireland are: green (old Ireland) orange (new Ireland) and white(peace and national unity). The land in inhabited by an uncountable catagories of fairies, whom the country folk consider to be fallen angels. These wee folk are but a few inches tall, transparent, wearing white garment and red-flower hats. The leprechaun is but the luckiest tribe of fairies who know where the crock of gold is hidden. See, Frank O'Connor, ed., A Book of Ireland, (Glasgow: Fontana, 1971) and Mary Murry Delany, Of Irish Ways, (NY: Barnes & Noble, 1980).

9. Robert James Scally, The End of Hidden Ireland: Rebellion, Famine, and Emigration, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 31.

10. The domestic wool and linen industries took heavy losses largely affecting the Irish from the southern and western counties. John J. Mannon, Irish Settlements in Eastern Canada, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1947), p. 15. Another good reference is W. H. Crawford, Domestic Industry in Ireland: The Experience of the Linen Industry, (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1972).

11. T. A. Jackson, Ireland Her Own: An Outline History of the Irish Struggle, (New York: International Publishers, 1979), p. 208. For a classic study of Irish peasant life read Conrad Arensberg,The Irish Countryman, (New York: Natural History Press, 1968).

12. Cecil Woodham-Smith, The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849, (London: Penguin, 1962), p. 31.

13. The potato had been brought to Ireland from America in the 16th century.

14. Woodham-Smith, op. cit., p. 30.

15. In an attempt to find some record of my Laughlin family in the Ogdensburg area, I searched unsuccessfully the following records at the local Mormon Family History Center:

Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Waddington, 1841-1915. 

Saint Mary's Cathedral, Ogdensburg and Lisbon, 1839-1915. I received from the Office Manager, Gail G. Bouchard, on 16 May 1996, a copy of the Baptismal Register for1853. While my family was gone from the area then, this person could still prove related. The poorly written stated: James of Jas Laughlin and M. Sponsors - ? Mallan and Mary McCormick, 12 Feb 1853

Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic Church 1843-1915.

Saint Lawrence County Census 1845. There was a Thadeus Laughlin family. 

A Supplemental Index to the Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Ports (excluding New York City), 1820-1874. Mostly Philadelphia. Records in bad shape.

16. The real founders of Ontario were the United Empire Loyalists who were persecuted as Tories in the United States for supporting Great Britain during the American Revolution. By 1783 about 10,000 of them had settled on the northern shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario and along the upper Saint Lawrence River. Refusing to adopt the French civil law and the Roman Catholic faith of their neighbors to the east, forced the division of Canada into two provinces--Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec). The fears of a United States take over propelled Canada into a Confederation. Following the British North America Act of 1867, a new state, the Dominion of Canada, was formed. Full independence came to Canada after World War I. J. A. Lower, Canada: An Outline of History, rev. ed., (Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1973), pp. 116-118.

17. Ibid., p. 211. The National Archives has microfilmed Border Crossing Cards, 1895-1925.

18. Miller, op. cit., p. 253.

19. Ibid, p. 278.

20. The most complete descriptions of the horrid conditions in Liverpool and the Crossing can be found in, Terry Coleman, Passage to America, (London: Hutchinson and Company, 1974).

21. Herman Melville, Redburn: His First Voyage, (New York: Anchor, 1957). In contrast to Melville's sympathetic view, Hawthorne wrote of the Irish in Liverpool: The people are as numerous as maggots in cheese; you behold them, disgusting, and all moving about, as when you raise a plank or log that has long lain on the ground, and find many vivacious bugs and insects beneath it. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The English Notebooks, (New York: MLSA, 1941), p. 18.

22. Scally, op. cit., p. 219.

23. At the time of their arrival the Saint Lawrence Seaway had not yet been built. Jacques Cartier, discovered the Saint Lawrence while seeking a Northwest Passage to the East Indies in 1534 and named it in honor of the saint on whose feast day he arrived at the entrance. Seaway construction was from 1955-1959. Seven big locks replaced 22 small ones. The Detroit, Saint Clair, and Saint Mary's rivers, the Straits of Mackinac and the Welland Ship Canal were deepened. The Saunders-Moses Power Dam began producing power in 1958. In the 115 miles from Prescott, ON to Montreal, QB is a series of rapids with a 226-foot drop. Across from Prescott is Ogdensburg, NY. Between Ogdensburg and Saint Regis, NY, is the International Rapids section. At Galop Island are rapids, now drowned by the backwater of Iroquois Dam. This 2,700-foot dam controls the river's level. The 18-mile Laprairie Basin Canal , Cote Ste. Catherine and Saint Lambert locks take ships past the Lachine Rapids, at Montreal .

24. Surprisingly there are two Grosse-Isles in Quebec. The one I am referring to is in the Saint Lawrence River just north of Quebec City; the other is one of a dozen islands in the Saint Lawrence Gulf that make up the 60 mile-long Magdalen Archipelago, often referred to as Iles de le Madeleine or Magdalen Islands. M. O'Gallagher, Grosse-Isle Gateway to Canada 1832-1937, (Quebec: Carrig, 1984). For a discussion of the cholera outbreak on Grosse-Isle, see, C. M. Godfrey, The Cholera Epidemics in Upper Canada, 1832-1866, (Toronto: Secombe House, 1968).

25. Robert Whyte, The Ocean Plague, this was a private diary kept by a cabin passenger during a voyage in 1847 and quoted in Delaney, op. cit., pp. 75-76.

26. Woodham-Smith, op. cit., p 220.

27. Ibid., p. 238.

28. 1870 United States Census, op. cit.

29. Ibid.

30. "Deed of Trust from Samuel and Mary Owen to John Laughlin," 9 Nov 1859, Deed Book 98, p. 104, Recorders Office, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda, PA.

31. Sheshscunnuck, Indian for Sheshequin means the place of a rattle.

32. Deed from Jasper Horton Shores and Laura Shores to John Laughlin, 12 Dec 1866, Deed Book 128, pp. 467-469, Recorder's Office, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda, PA. The property is noted in, F. W. Beers, Atlas of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, (New York: Beers, Ellis and Soule, 1869), p. 23. This land was previously owned by Stephen Shores and wife.

33. Clement Ferdinand Heverly, History of the Towandas, 1770-1886, (Towanda: Reporter-Journal Printing Company, 1886), p. 3.

34. Deed from John Laughlin, Sr. to John Laughlin, Jr. 9 Oct 1875, Deed Book 130, pp. 251-253, Recorder's Office, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda, PA. Witnessed by E. Gridley and Nathan Fidd. Land previously owned by J. H. Shores.

35. Description of property: Beginning at a point in a little creek on the North side of a Pond leading from the Susquehanna river to the Union Corners School House at a corner of W. D. Shores and Clark Smith's land, thence northerly along the west line of W. D. Shores and Jackson Shores to the east and west line of Jackson Shores, thence westerly along the said east and west line of the said Jackson Shores to the north and south line of said Jackson Shores then southernly along the said north and south line of Jackson Shores to the creek aforementioned, thence easterly along said Creek to the place of the beginning.

36. Information taken from the Bradford Republican, 17 Apr 1883. On file with the Bradford County Historical Society, Towanda, PA.

37. Clement Ferdinand Heverly, Our Boys in Blue, vol. 2, (Towanda: Bradford County Historical Society, 1908), p. 356.

38.Information from the Bradford Republican, on file with the Bradford County Historical Society.

39. In the 1870 Bradford County Census, Anna is 21, born in Pennsylvania.

40. Marriage Application, #143, 17 Apr 1886, Bradford County Court House, Towanda.

41. George Hamford, Bradford County Pennsylvania Directory. (Elmira: author, 1900), p. 508.

42. 1920 Census, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, vol 70, sheet 11, line 83, M1584.

43. Will of Mary Laughlin, Will Book 32, p. 249, Probate Court, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda.

44. 1860 United States Census, Wysox Township, PA, M1080. He is listed as age 6, born in Pennsylvania. His birth date is accordingly 1854.

45. Marriage license,# 642, Book 3, 30 Jan 1888, Recorder of Deeds, Bradford County Court House, Towanda.

46. Peter McDonald's gravestone states that he came from County Sligo, Ireland. Like many other McDonalds, he is buried at Saint Basil's Catholic Church Cemetery, Dushore, Pennsylvania. The McDonald family is a very large one in Sullivan County. Another McDonald family, whose Sullivan county primogenitor is Patrick instead of Peter, coexists with my McDonald line though to date no one has found a connection between the two.

47. While McDonald is a famous Scottish name, it should be remembered that all the Sottish Clans descend from the Irish and that one of the variant spellings of the name is McDonnell, a distinctive Irish Sept.

48. Merrill, op. cit., p. 185.

49. Lee T. Chubbuck owned and operated the store for 35 years and is still in the family. He died on 27 Feb 1956. Merrill, op. cit. p. 292.

50. 9 Sep 1895, John and Cecilia sold seven acres of land in Sheshequin Township for $375.00 toClark Smith. This is the same land conveyed by John, Sr. to John, Jr. (Deed Book 130, p. 25, Recorder's Office, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda.)

10 Sept 1895, John, Jr. purchased four lots of land from Clark and Patience Smith (Deed Book 209, pp. 45-46, Recorder's Office, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda).

25 Mar 1913, John and Cecilia sold four lots in Sheshequin Township for $2000.00 toHarry L. Darner of Wysox. Sale notarized by L. M. Osborn and recorded by Martin Elsbee. The plots bordered those of J. D., Jessie & James SmithGeorge GardL. G. Vought &NathanielLorenzo, Joshua, Abram, William D., & Wallace Shores.

25 Mar 1918, John Laughlin bought for $1.00 a lot in Towanda from Harry B. and Claudine Beverly Wells and Fred B. and Emma N. Wells. (Deed Book 337, p. 165, Recorder's Office, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda). 

22 Oct 1919, John and Cecilia of Towanda, sold two lots to Fred A. Mills for $2400.00 (Deed Book 337, p. 165, Recorder's Office, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda).

51. Deed from A. B. Fanning to John Laughlin, 28 Apr 1890, Deed Book 183, p. 184, Recorder's Office, Bradford County Court House, Towanda, PA. Albert Canedy Fanning, born 1851 who later became the District Attorney of Bradford County and President Judge. His law office was in Towanda. The Settler, September, 1957, p. 44.

52. Death Certificate for Cecilia Laughlin, #10298, 1 Jan 1921, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This gives her age as 65 and that she will be buried 4 Jan 1921 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery following services at Maryott's Funeral Home.

53. Mary E. Burchill, wife of William E. Burchill, died 21 Mar 1955. William died 1933. Abraham B. Burchill, a Towanda businessman, died 13 Nov 1933 at 75. Miss Elizabeth Burchill, County Office Assistant for Farmer's Home Administration retired 16 Jan 1975. Hazel (Vogt) Burchill, 59, esteemed Towandian and wife of John Burchill, died 15 Dec 1967.John F. Burchill, of 111 Elizabeth St., Towanda, retired 1 Jun 1970 after 56 years with the Towanda Printing Company. Monsignor William E. Burchill, 62, native of Towanda and pastor of Saint Vincent's Church, Plymouth, PA died 7 Nov 1970. Merrill, op. cit.

54. Fred R. Powers, Rome resident died 21 Jun 1947. George D. Powers, 67 retired undertaker of Athens, died 10 Oct 1942. Ivan Powers, 74, of Macedonia, retired from the Lehigh Valley Railroad and died 11 Oct 1949. Merrill, ibid.

55. Shortly before her death in 1994, Mary told me this when I visited her for the first time in Long Beach, NY. We spent several enjoyable hours talking about the McDonald family. How ironic it was that I had lived in Long Beach for two years without knowing that Mary and her husband lived a short distance away. It was only when I was in Dushore doing research on the McDonald line did I find this out.

56. Towanda Pennsylvania Directory, 1923 and 1926, (Binghamton, New York: The Calkin-Kelly Directory Company, 1923, 1926). Between 1940-1942 a John Laughlin lived at 10 Mill St., Towanda. No one in the family recalled living there, and I suspect that this was John A. Laughlin who married Citnah Mooney. Towanda, Pennsylvania Directory, 1940 and 1942 ( Binghamton: The Calkin-Kelly Directory Company, 1940, 1942). It is interesting to note that Mill Street, Ward Ave., and Western Ave. almost intersect at the end of Ward Ave. These are short streets and the two Laughlin families of John and Cecilia and John A. and Catherine must have known each other or may have been related.

57. Will of John Laughlin, Will Book 47, pp, 237-240, Probate Court, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda.

58. By this time John, Jr.'s two other sons, had drowned.

59. Deed from John Laughlin and Robert D. Laughlin, 8 Apr 1946, Deed Book 432, pp. 188-189, Recorders Office, Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda. John, Jr. owned two or more houses in Towanda.

60. Miss Elizabeth Agnes O'Hearn of Towanda died 7 Oct 1952, at 65 (b. 1887). She was a former grammar school teacher for 34 years at Ulster, Pennsylvania. Merrill, op. cit., p. 247. Lizzy was a spinster and Pat McGovern's godmother. In a letter from Pat, 21 April 1996, she states that she does not know how Lizzy or Mary are related to the Laughlins. She wrote, Our fathers always called them cousins. George Lewis bought the Roe's house on Ward Avenue.

61. Mary and Bernard J. "Butch" Roe had a general store in Wysox. Butch died at age 79 on 20 Mar 1956 and was the son of the late W. J. Roe who founded the store.

62. Death Certificate for John Laughlin, Jr. #68898, 17 Aug 1948, Clerk Orphans Court, Bradford County Court House, Towanda. Merrill, op. cit., p. 185 gives birth place as Wysox Township.

63. Towanda Daily Review, August 18, 1948.

64. Plank Roads were toll roads that became fashionable around 1850. This plank road was to connect Towanda with Burlington but construction stopped after 2-3 miles. It began on the west side of Main Street across from the Episcopal Church. Today, it runs only a short distance up to 4th Street. Thomas Barnes, the sexton at the Riverside Cemetery was the toll road keeper. The toll gate stood opposite his house, a half mile from the start. When the road fell into disrepair, a farmer with a team of horses yanked down the toll station. George Parsons Cash, "Reminiscences of Boyhood," The Settler, November 1989, pp. 25-27.

65. In 1924, Joseph Berlinger, a German immigrant, and his in-laws purchased the Harley Silk Company of Towanda. Earlier they had acquired silk mills in Northampton and Weatherly, Pennsylvania. There was little employment in Towanda at the time and the Towanda Chamber of Commerce worked hard to get Berlinger to buy the mill. Silk yarns from Japan and China arrived in New York by ship and were trucked to Towanda by Bun Kerwan and Jim Laughlin. After the war, silk became unavailable and synthetics were in demand. The company pioneered fiber glass cloth and a material known as "Towanda Crepe," which was purchased and advertised in Sears and Spiegles catalogues. After Joseph died, the company was sold to Spiegles, who sold it in 1950 to Towanda Textiles of New York City, who manufactured jacquard (figured weave) for the upholstery and decorating trade until the building burned down on 12 Sep 1955. Agnes Mitchell, "The Towanda Silk Mill," The Settler, November 1989, pp. 22-27.

66. Indian for the place of the old man, or good hunting grounds.

67. I have a note that it was a tug boat, meaning that he moved away from the area also and may have worked for a tug boat company in the Philadelphia area.

68. How ironic that two brothers nicknamed after fish should have drowned.

69. Birth Certificate of Robert Donald Laughlin, registered 3 Dec 1902. Bradford County Register of Births, Bk 2, p. 141.

70. He got his nickname, "Big Bob" for his protruding beer belly. Any reference to dieting he met with the prideful response that it had taken a million dollars worth of food and beer to reach this size and he was not about to give any of it up for a pitiful slim figure.

71. The Circle Booth was located on Main Street near Park Street. On its left was a book store and Swank's Soda Store and next to them was a double flight of stairs leading to several apartments. Behind or above the apartment rooms was a dance hall. On the right side, separated by a hallway and stairs, was the Lilly & Wilson Law Office. On the Park Street side was the Park Hotel across from the County Court House. The Circle Booth was named for the half moon-shaped booths in the back where the customers ate. The place was long and narrow and ran back toward Water Street. Behind the bar was a long mirror. One entered the Circle Booth through a hallway that ran from Main Street back to the kitchen. Restrooms were off the hallway as well as the entrance to the basement. The kitchen paralleled the back eating area with 8 or 9 circle booths. On the back was a porch. The cook was a classy lady named Mame and one of the great bartenders working there was Squash Fairchild. In its time it was a prosperous bar/grill famous for eels and cutlets. It was the only time I knew Dad to own a Buick.

72. Letter of 6 Jun 1978 to author dated.

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Bradford County PA
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 21 MAR 2009
By Joyce M. Tice
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