Family Stories

The Flanagan Family of Marion County

James Tarrence Flanagan and Elizabeth Roney

James Tarrence Flanagan was born in Cork County, Ireland, in 1760.  His oath of Fidelity is recorded in Baltimore County, Maryland, in 1778.  He married Elizabeth Roney about 1786, and by 1790 they were living in Kentucky.  The Flanagans first moved to Mercer County, and in 1797 moved to Washington County, the area that would become Marion County in 1834.  James Flanagan bought a small farm of 107 acres between the small towns of St. Joe and Raywick.  Tarrence and Elizabeth had ten children:  Patrick married Catherine French; Mary married James McAlister; James remained single; John married Sussana Buckman; Margaret remained single; Nancy married John Mills, Jr.; Stephen remained single; Elizabeth married George Buckman; Catherine became Sister Bibanna; and Benedict married Mary Jane Russell.

Benedict Joseph Flanagan and Mary Jane Russell

Benedict J. Flanagan, born February 8, 1812, died April 30, 1874.  St. Charles Catholic Cemetery, St. Mary, Marion County, Kentucky.  ‘A faithful husband by my side, he filled our house with glee, but now our homes are on distant tides and as a far distant be.’

According to tax records, Benedict Joseph Flanagan, Sr., purchased a farm two and one half miles from St. Mary, Kentucky, on Hardins Creek, in 1844.  It is the Flanagan farm located now on Sam Browning Road.  Benedict married Mary Jane Russell in 1845, daughter of James and Nancy (Mudd) Russell.

Mother, Mary J. Flanagan, December 3, 1825 – July 18, 1894.  At rest.

Ten children were born of this union:  James Tarrence married Eliza Walker

James T. Flanagan, August 13, 1847 – February 27, 1919.  Anna Eliza, his wife, March 13, 1859 – August 6, 1944.

William Patrick married Mildred Hollis; John Albert married Eliza Hamilton; Amanda Catherine married William C. Hamilton; Elizabeth Frances married Jim Ed Mattingly; Benedict Jr., married Nannie Pike

Benedict J. Flanagan, 1864-1935.  Nannie V. Pike, his wife, 1866-1934.

Annie Mary married Bernard Mattingly; Charles Kendrick married Florence Clayton; Sarah Eliza remained single and Thomas David married Louise Cynthia Pike.

Thomas David Flanagan and Louise Cynthia Pike

Thomas D. Flanagan, 1869-1947.  Lula C. Pike, his wife, 1870-1921.

Thomas David Flanagan married Cynthia Louise Pike, daughter of John Pike and Anna Minerva (Vittitow) Pike.  Six children were born to this union:  Mary Lea became Sister Mary Angela; Joseph Elbert married Mary Burke; Joseph Edward married Catherine Roberta Mudd; Althea David married Joseph William Ray; John Thomas married Roberta O’Bryan and Ida married Ernest Byrley.

Joseph E. Flanagan, Sr., June 18, 1900 – August 8, 1988.  Catherine Roberta, September 29, 1909 – March 30, 1993.

In 1947, Thomas David Flanagan deeded to his son, Joseph Edward, the farm.  Joseph Edward Flanagan, Sr., married Catherine Roberta Mudd, daughter of Martin John and Teresa Barbara Blandford Mudd, on November 25, 1937.  Their eight children include:  Joseph Edward, Jr., married Carolyn Hardy; Francis Jerome married Mary Ann Rice; Mary Cecilia married Kenneth Slater; Frances Patricia married David Langley; Barbara Alice married Benedict Miles; Charles Louis married Alice Peters; Dorothy Jean married David Kehm; Teresa Martin married Larry Richard Hawkins.

A later descendant, Charles Gerard Flanagan, bought the Flanagan farm and built a new home on the location of the original Flanagan homestead.  The Flanagan farm has been in the same name for 156 years.

Information from History of Marion County Kentucky Volume I, compiled by the Marion County Historical Society.  All photos taken by Ritchey and Phyllis Brown, Kentucky Kindred Genealogy, at St. Charles Catholic Cemetery in St. Mary, Marion County, Kentucky.  This was my home parish for many years.

30 replies »

  1. My grandmother is one if the lost that is buried there. The times of 1933 and leaving behind 6 children were the reason a stone couldn’t be purchased. God bless her soul.

  2. Oh how I wish I could find the resting place of my grandmother at St.Charles. I would love to be able to have a monument put at her grave.

  3. Are there any male Flanagan line descendants of this line living? I descend from John Flanagan who settled in Russell County Kentucky, my third great grandfather (his son) married Mildred “Milly” French, the sister of Catherine French who married Patrick Flanagan mentioned at the beginning of this article. As for as I know, my Russell County Flanagans have no direct connection with the Marion County Flanagans, except for the French family connection. However, I am in contact with descendants of Patrick and Catherine who also share atDNA with me and shared this with one, as we have never found any Kentucky descendant of this line, so finding this page was a “be still my heart” moment. I also admin the Flanagan Y-DNA Project and am a co-admin for a project called the Sons of Aodh, both at Family Tree DNA. I tested the Y-DNA of 3 lines descendant from Bryant Flanagan. Two of those fall into a Y-DNA pattern associated with NW Ireland and we seem to be pinpointing Galway, Mayo, and Donegal as where my line originated. Descants of multiple branches descended from the oldest son do not match those of the other 2 but does match the French surname. If there are any male direct paternal line descendants of Terrance Flanagan I would love for them to consider a Y-DNA test. I have started subsidizing tests (a modest amount) for folks in Northwest Ireland and Ulster, but I am also very interested in early Kentucky lines, of which this is one, and mine another – others were the Flanagans in the Winchester area, the Flanagans in Barren County, and there was also a Dominick Flanagan who received a land grant in the Fayette County area for Revolutionary War service. I would love to connect with Flanagans of any early Kentucky lines.

    • I believe that my 4th great grandfather was James Tarrence Flanagan married to Elizabeth Roney; my 3rd great grandfather was Patrick H. Flanagan (born in KY; died in IN) married to Catherine French; my 2nd great grandmother Malinda Flanagan married to Joseph Wilson (Harrison County, Indiana). Is this information of any use to you? FR

      • Hi, interestingly my cousin Tracy just contacted me, I think about you, she found a Reale match in Ancestry related through the Tarrence Flanagan line. My third great grandmother was Milly French, Catherine French’s sister. Both married Flanagans but as far as I know are unrelated. Y-DNA points to my Flanagans being from the area of Kilmacduagh in Galway or the Burren of Northern Clare based on the tribal alliances indicated by Y-DNA (Hynes, Shaughnessys, etc).

        Although it is based on Y-DNA (i.e. a Flanagan male son of a Flanagan male, etc through the generations) if you are interested please consider joining our Y-DNA project. You can create an account with the company that hosts the project and upload your data from elsewhere for free. The project link is here:

        I am keen too, if any are reading this, for Flanagan males descended from Tarrence to test. Although I don’t think he was related to my Flanagans despite Patrick in Marion Co. and my Bryant in Russell Co. marrying two French family sisters, it would be good to know and also I would like to identify the Y-DNA of the various Flanagan families that settled in Kentucky before 1800. Hope to hear back from you. 🙂

      • Hi Grace! I mentioned to you that my uncle and brother not h did the y-Dna test. I got my uncle enrolled in the project you told me about but for some reason I keep having trouble enrolling my brother. By the way, my uncle Phil Flanagan passed away about a month ago. He was my dad’s last surviving sibling. 😔. I haven’t tried recently to enroll my brother it I’ll try to get that done this week. Pat Flanagan Mikels

      • James Hardesty Peterson Jr James Tarrence Flanagan & Elizabeth Roney were my Great Great Grandparents. There son Benedict Joseph Flanagan & Mary Jane Russell were my Great Grandparents. Their son James Terrance Flanagan & Anna Eliza Walker were my Grandparents, My mother was Mary Addie Flanagan.

      • My name is Nathan fine again I was reading your article and that James Turner Flanagan would be my 1st great grandpa and Patrick Flanagan will be my 3rd great grandpa so I feel that we’ve got the same people in our family

      • My name is Nathan Flanagan I think James Terrence flanagain was my Force great grandpa and that Patrick Flanagan was my 3rd great grandpa

    • I am Jim Peterson 80 living in Louisville, My mother was Mary Addie Flanagan daughter of Janes Terrance Flanagan of St Mary, Ky

    • Not sure if this is still active and being monitored… From the information that I have found James Terrance Flanagan was my 4th great grandfather. His son, Benedict Joseph “Ben” Flanagan Sr., was my 3rd great grandfather. His son, John Albert Flanagan, was my 2nd great grandfather. His son, Ben Beatrice “Bennie” Flanagan, was my great grandfather. His son, James Bueford Flanagan, was my grandfather.

      • Tony, I occasionally check this thread, as I have an interest in early Kentucky and colonial period Flanagans. As far as I know the Flanagans in Marion County are not connected to my Flanagans in Russell County, Kentucky and were in Kentucky at least a few years before mine (who seem to have arrived around 1803 from North Carolina and have been Protestant while the Marion County Flanagans arrived from Maryland and were Catholic); however there is a connection with at least some of this line through the French family. My third great grandparents were Bryant Flanagan and Mildred (French) Flanagan. Most of the French line (Daniel French) went on to Marion and then on to Harrison County, Indiana but Mildred’s sister Catherine stayed on in Marion County, having married Patrick Flanagan there. I’m in contact with Tracy Owens who descends from them and will let her know there are new posts here.

        I’m the admin of the Flanagan DNA project at FTDNA ( It’s focused on Y-DNA but if you’ve done autosomal testing (Ancestry, 23andMe, I think MyHeritage, etc) feel free to add it at FTDNA and join the project. It’s free to add there, though they strip any Y-DNA information. Also, if you like feel free to join the Clan Flanagan Facebook group (

      • Hi Tony! I was glad to see your post. My name is Pat Flanagan Mikels and James Tarrence (who came from Ireland) is my ggg-grandfather, Benedict Joseph is my gg-grandfather and James Tarrence (brother to John Flanagan) is my great-grandfather. If I calculate correctly (and I’m not sure I am!) we are 4th cousins and maybe once removed? I’m not good at this!! Anyway, I would love to communicate with you any time. Looking forward to hearing from you.


      • James Terrance Flanagan was my 2nd great grandfather and his last child Benedict Joseph was my great grandfather, his son James Terrance was my Grandfather, his daughter Mary Addie married my father James Hardesty Peterson Sr. I am the last of 10 and name James Hardesty Peterson Jr. My oldest brother was named Benedict Joseph Peterson ,he was born 1918 and I was born 1940. one of my sisters was named Lillian Beatrice. I believe my grandfather James Terrance had a daughter named Lillian that died in infancy. I am only one left from my clan will be 83 soon..

  4. Patrick Flanagan & Catherine French. Patrick was a older brother of Benedict Joseph Flanagan 1812-1874, my Great Grandfather, their father was James Tarrence Flanagan 1760 Cork Co Ireland, took fidelity oath Baltimore Maryland 1778, married Elizabeth Ronny also from Ireland in 1786. James Tarrence & Elizabeth owned 107 acre farm in Marion Co Ky. their son Benedict Joseph Flanagan & Mary Jane Russell also owned farm & lived in Marion Co Ky,their son James Terrance Flanagan & Anna Elizabeth Walker owned mercantile store in St Mary ,Marion Co KY and his daughter was Mary Addie Flanagan married James Hardesty Peterson, my parents, I am James Hardesty Peterson Jr. from Marion Co Ky. live in Louisville Ky

    • Hi James! I think we’ve communicated in the past and if I remember correctly, Ben Peterson was your father. Is that right? I have some pictures of Ben along with my father, John Richard Flanagan, who was Ben’s first cousin, and my dad’s sister, Rosemary. Then I have another one of my dad, Ben and Betty Ruth Abel – who I’m thinking is another first cousin – daughter of Bert and Anna Mary Abel perhaps? Anyway, I’d love to reconnect with you. Pat Flanagan Mikels

      • This is all correct. My father died 1940, 6 mos after my birth, last of 10. We moved to farm outside Lebanon. Ben enlisted Navy Pilot WW2 and brother Buddy 18 @ time ran the farm. Anna Eliza Walker Flanagan my grandmother lived with us, died 1944. I remember Betty Ruth Abell would visit with us during summer, full of life and fun to be around. After war Ben returned and we moved into Lebanon, We were all very close family, Ben & Buddy got into Lumber Business, we all married and remained close. 2 sisters and self still living Age 90, 86 & 80.

      • Good to hear from you. So you still live in the area. Did you ever meet Theresa Hawkins? She lived in Loretto, KY and passed away last year I believe. She was my source of so much info on the Flanagan line that I was really sad when I heard she passed. One of my grandfather’s sisters, Anna Mary Flanagan, married Bert Abell. How was he related to Betty? I met them when I was little and he was a character! I haven’t done much on that branch but it’s on my ever growing “to do” list! Take care and be safe! Pat

  5. I have only recently begun researcing my ancestry, but I’d love compare notes with you. My grandfather, Harry Leo Quinn Flanagan (1901-1988) ended up spending the later part of his life in Kentucky. He spent his younger years in Pennsylvania and later in Detroit before moving to Kentucky. I always wondered how he ended up there, so I decided to see if there were other Flanagans in Kentucky. That’s how I stumbled across your page.

    So here’s why your post caught my eye. I have been searching for ANY information on a Bryant Flanagan, and your post is one of the few references I’ve found. I know that Peter Flanagan is my 4th Great Grandfather (1759-1861), but I believe his father is Bryant Flanagan. The few citations I’ve found seem to indicate that he was married to Nelie French (1745-?).

    Do you have a family tree on I do, and have also done the DNA testing. I’d be very intrigued to see if we share any DNA.

    You were asking if there were any remaining male Flanagans from this line…I have three brothers, and I have five male Flanagan cousins. Between them, there are about 6-8 sons with the Flanagan name.

    • Sheilagh, I just stumbled across your post here. I don’t admin it but try to follow it due to my French connection to it and an interest in colonial and early Kentucky Flanagans. Disappointed I missed this as I saw you posted in 2020 and I’m just catching it.

      The name Bryant caught my attention. The name Bryant or a variant occurs in at least three Flanagan families with colonial roots (all had a father named John). There was my fourth great grandfather John Flanagan, whose son was named Bryant in Russell County, KY – John and his family came to Russell County from Wilkes County, NC around 1803, as far as I can determine, and was born around 1768. There was also John and son named Bryant in South Carolina that moved on to Tishomingo County Mississippi. Also, there was a John Flanagan with a son named Bryan who settled in Barren County KY by the early 1800s and were from Virginia. I don’t know if these lines were connected but the naming pattern John>Bryant/Bryan is interesting. I’ve also found the name Bryant Flanagan in Ireland, in connection with some land transactions in 1720.

      Autosomal DNA may be too far back to confidently show a relationship, but would be interesting to see if some small amount can be found. Y-DNA testing would be far more reliable. I do have ny tree on Ancestry ( as well as a more basic one on Wikitree ( If you’ve tested at Ancestry, please feel free to add it at FTDNA (free) and join the Flanagan DNA project which is focused on Y-DNA but any type of testing is welcome ( and to join the Clan Flanagan Facebook group (

    • I found some trees on Ancestry with a Peter Flanagan son of Bryant with a wife named Nellie but they aren’t really documented. There is a source for Bryant Flanagan but it is an incorrect source. The marriage record is for Bryant and Millie Flanagan in Wayne County, KY 1813. Those were my third great grandparents and I have a scan I photocopied myself of their marriage record (it’s in the gallery for my third great grandfather). The Bryant O’Flanagan listed there is listed as born in 1735 (unsourced but seems a lot of trees copied this data) and the Nellie listed as his wife in 1745 (also unsourced). I suspect someone put this info out there and it replicated in numerous trees.

      Although I don’t see any supporting evidence, I do think the name Bryant has some basis in fact as I know the name appears in the three lines I mentioned, and it also occurs in Ireland (but with seeming Galway connections). I would really like to connect outside this forum so we can try to share information.

  6. Very happy to have found this site (thank you Grace!)
    My 4th great grandfather was Patrick H. Flanagan, who married Catherine “Kitty” French.
    My 3rd great grandfather was Terrance (Tarrance?) Wilford Flanagan, who married Mary Ann Dugins and Joanna Barker.
    His daughter Margaret Flanagan Reed was my 2nd great grandmother.
    I’m eager to peruse the site to find all the missing pieces of my puzzle. Thank you for posting all of the research!
    Hello Pat Mikels and Frank! We have communicated 🙂

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