My great grandmother Margaret McAuliffe was the first member of the family to settle in San Francisco. She arrived with a couple of siblings in the spring of 1865 when she was 17 years old.

Margaret was the daughter of Patrick McAuliffe and Honora Sullivan who were married in Castlemagner in northwest County Cork in 1834. It looks like Patrick and Honora lived with Honora’s mother for a couple of years. Their first child Cornelius (1834) and second child Katherine (1836) were both baptized in Castlemagner. The next two children (Johanna and Richard) were baptized in Newmarket. Margaret was born in 1847 and her younger sister Ann in 1849. I haven’t yet found their baptism records.

Patrick and Honora’s marriage sponsors were Cornelius McAuliffe (most likely Patrick’s father) and Edward Kelly. We don’t know exactly how Edward was related to Honora but it is likely that her father was no longer living at the time of her weddiing and Edward was then the family patriarch. Maybe Honora’s mother was a Kelly.

Patrick had an older brother James and a younger brother Richard. James was married to a Bridget Kelly (Edward’s daughter?). They had one child born in Ireland and then they migrated to the US, settling down on a farm near Lewis in Essex County in upstate New York. All of their remaining children were born in New York.

By 1850 Patrick and Richard had both followed James to New York and by 1860 all three brothers were living next door to each other in Essex County. Patrick and Honora were living all by themselves, though. I located their oldest son Cornelius living in Peru in nearby Clinton County where he was working in an iron mill. And their daughter Kate was living with her husband Patrick Hughes in Black Brook along the Ausable River which forms the border between Clinton and Essex counties. I still haven’t discovered where Margaret and her siblings Ann, Richard and Johanna were living then.

In 1861 Margaret’s brothers Cornelius and Richard went off to war along with Kate’s husband Patrick. Kate had a baby that year and she named him Jerry. He died before he was a year old.

Cornelius was wounded at the battle of Bull Run and returned home in 1862. I believe Richard was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg but both James and Richard had sons named Richard and I am not sure exactly who this Richard is.

Patrick Hughes was killed in the war and Margaret’s sister Kate lost her mind.

It seems that both Patrick and Honora died in the 1863-64 time period and Margaret and her siblings decided in 1865 to leave New York and move to California. They probably hoped that some new scenery would help Kate with her depression. Also, Ann’s boyfriend, William Gleeson, had recently moved to California with his family and I’m sure Ann wished to follow him there. So Margaret, Ann, Kate and Cornelius boarded a ship for Panama in April 1865. The ship, by the way, was delayed for two weeks because the authorities were looking for John Wilkes Booth who had just assassinated Abraham Lincoln. The family then walked across Panama and boarded another ship that sailed for San Francisco.

By 1868 Margaret was working as an assistant teacher at the 10th Street Primary School. Around this time she met James Dwyer who had arrived in San Francisco in 1867 and was attending St Ignatius College.

In 1868 James enrolled in the California State Normal School in San Jose and James and Margaret were married at St Joseph’s Church in San Jose on February 2, 1869. Their first child, James, was born in San Jose on October 17, 1869 and by 1870 the family had returned to San Francisco where the rest of their ten children were born. James settled down to work either as a teacher or principal for the San Francisco Public Schools and Margaret continued with her primary school teaching off and on (mostly at Hayes Valley Primary School) and between babies for the next 38 years, finally retiring for good in 1908. In 1922 she moved to a house on Lorton Avenue in Burlingame with her daughters Nora, Mary, Kate and Teen and Teen’s daughter Evelyn. She died there in 1927 at the age of 80, outliving her husband by 31 years.

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