James and Margaret’s children

Back row, left to right: James, Nora and Ignatius. Middle row, left to right: Everett and Justina. Front row, left to right: Alice, Kate and Mary.

James and Margaret raised ten children, eight of whom posed for this picture at their father’s funeral in 1896. Two siblings died earlier during their childhood years.

James T was born on October 17, 1869. He married Agnes Hennesy in 1907 and they lived in San Mateo, California for most of their lives. James and Agnes had three children — Bert, Clare and Aileen — and they also raised Agnes’s two sons from a previous marriage, Erle and Darrell Seike. James was estranged from the rest of his family and my father never knew these cousins. James died on October 22, 1948.

Hanorah (Nora) was born on August 20, 1871. She followed in her parents footsteps and taught at the Longfellow grammar school in the outer Mission for many years. She was also the primary caregiver of the family, taking care of her mother in her old age as well as her sisters Mary and Justina and Justina’s daughter Evelyn. She also took care of her sister Kate for a short while. Nora never married and died on January 14, 1949.

Katherine Monica (Kate) was born on October 29, 1873. She married Humphrey Moynihan in 1905. Humphrey (better known in the family as Uncle Pete) died young on August 6, 1908 and the two never had any children. Kate lived alone for awhile but then moved in with her mother and sisters. She worked at the White House department store on Union Square in downtown San Francisco for many years and died in Burlingame on July 7, 1936.

Mary Bernard was born on May 21, 1875. She suffered from dementia following a head injury as a child and had to be taken care of for the rest of her life, first by her mother and then by her sister Nora. I remember Mary. At family functions she always played with the children and avoided all of the adults. She died on September 29, 1951.

My grandfather Ignatius Dominic was born on August 2, 1876. During his youth he was a prominent officer in the League of the Cross Cadets. In later years he was quite active in the YMI (Young Men’s Institute) and served as president of that organization for a few years. Nash worked for the Registrar’s Office at City Hall for most of his working career and he retired in 1940 as Deputy Registrar. He married Mabel Theler on November 17, 1905 and the couple had two children, Elise (born on May 12, 1907) and my father Donald (born on March 22, 1910). In 1918 the family moved to a new house on Westwood Drive in the city’s new Westwood Park neighborhood. That house would remain in the family for the next 65 years. Mabel died on November 20, 1940 and Grandpa lived an active life for the next 12 years with his children and their spouses as he watched his nine grandkids grow up on Westwood Drive. He died on July 19, 1952.

Alice Eonid was born on November 4, 1877 and died three years later on December 10, 1880.

Margaret was born on February 7, 1880 and died on November 28, 1887 when she was 7 years old.

Alice Josephine was born on January 28, 1882 and named after her sister Alice who had recently died. Her two older brothers sent her to UC Berkeley and she was the only member of the family to have graduated from college. Alice met Richard O’Connor at Cal and the two were married in 1913. They had four sons — Richard, Francis, Lawrence and Gerald. Dick, Fran and Larry all served during World War II but Jerry suffered from various illnesses for most of his life and stayed home. Alice was very close to her mother and sisters and the O’Connors lived for many years in Burlingame just a few blocks away from the Lorton Avenue household. Alice’s husband, Uncle Dick, was a prominent lawyer and an active member of the Bohemian Club. He died on January 21, 1958. Alice listened to all the stories her parents told her and embellished them slightly as she passed them on to younger generations of the family. She died on October 4, 1974 at the age of 92.

Everett Aloysius (he later changed his middle name to James) was born on June 17, 1884. He married Mabel Duncan in 1908 and the two lived at first in Washington state and then in southern California. The two had five children — Margaret, Olive (Pat), Kathryn, Dorothy and George. Everett died on January 30, 1934 and Mabel on May 8, 1936 and the Bay Area Dwyers gradually lost track of this family. We went on a genealogy trip to southern California in 2003 and I found two of my Dad’s first cousins (Dot and George) and several other relatives including a half-dozen second cousins.

Justina Eveleena was the baby of the family, She was born on September 28, 1886 and we called her Auntie Teen. She married John Barry in 1908 and they had one child, Evelyn. Uncle Jack abandoned his wife and daughter and they went to live with Teen’s mother and sisters. Teen came down with cancer in the mid 40s and after Nora died Teen’s daughter Evelyn took care of her. Teen died on December 4, 1965. Evelyn then took care of her Aunt Alice until she died.

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