Martin Phelan

(before 21 October 1790 - after 8 June 1870)

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Relationship4th great-grandfather of The 3 Tracys
Family Group:Ohlheiser
Trees14 Generations of Our Ancestors
Our Ohlheiser Family Pedigree

Some Background

Martin Whelan (Whalen/Whelen/Whalan/Phelan) and his wife Margaret may be the parents of Daniel, Roseanna, Patrick and Julia. This possibility is based on the fact that they are of about the right ages (Martin b. about 1790-96 and Margaret b. about 1791) to be the parents of Daniel b.1818, Roseanna b.1821, Patrick b.1824 and Julia b.circa 1825; that both Daniel and Patrick have named their first-born sons "Martin", and Daniel named a daughter "Margaret", Roseanna named a son "Martin", Julia named sons "Martin" and "Daniel"; and that in 1860 Martin, Daniel, Roseanna, and Julia are all living within close proximity to one another in Taycheedah (with their brother Patrick nearby in Empire), all in Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin. (Not that living in proximity necessarily makes an such a family association fact, but coincidences can help direct research.)
     However, more compelling are the coincidences that Roseanna's (Ann's) and Julia's husbands, Kieran Cody and William Flanagan served as witnesses for Martin's 1852 petition for United States citizenship, and that on the 1870 census for Taycheeda, Martin Whaland (sic) is included in the family of Ann Cody (nee Roseanna Phelan).
     This family of siblings (Daniel Whelan, Roseanna Phelan, and Patrick Phelan, Julia Phelan, plus Catherine Phelan) is derived from family listings made by descendants of Daniel and Patrick which are apparently based on family tradition and stories passed down orally through the generations. But those listings instead name a Patrick Whelan (or Phelan) "b. Abt. 1803" in County Cork, Ireland, and his un-named wife as their parents.
     If the "Abt." birth date of 1803 for Patrick is only as precise as the "circa" dates used elsewhere in this genealogy, i.e., to mean within +/- 5 years, this date of birth could be reasonable for the father of Daniel who is known to have been born in 1818. Otherwise, this Patrick would have to be considered somewhat precocious by most standards. Further, there is no Patrick Whelan (et al) of an appropriate age to be their parent shown as living in Fond du Lac County or any of the adjoining counties in the 1860 U.S. Census for those counties. (Again, living in proximity would be certainly not be required to make an such an association but, as said, coincidences can help direct research.)
     It could also be noted that while each of the four siblings for whom we have found children have a son named Martin, none of these siblings at issue have named any of their children Patrick (well, brother Patrick did name his second son "James Patrick").
     None of this reasoning is by any means conclusive. However, here, for this genealogy, without more concrete evidence than described above for either set of parentage, the choice has been made to provisionally attribute these siblings to Martin and Margaret Whelan. This is done using the reasoning that the coincidences as explained in the paragraphs above, when combined with the rational that Daniel was more likely born to a 23 (+/-5) year old father than a 15 (+/-5) year old father, make for a credible assumption.
     Better evidence for the parentage is hoped for and this entry will of course be updated should any such evidence be found.4,5,6,7 Martin Phelan was also known as Martin Whelan.
FatherWilliam Phelan1,2
MotherHonora Dugan3

Birth - Marriage - Death

ChildMartin Phelan was born before 21 October 1790, in Errill, Queens County (County Laois), Ireland. According to Family Tradition, Martin was born in Errill, a village in Queens County where there is evidence that his father William owned property, not far from Durrow where Martin was baptized. Martin gives his age in 1860 as 70 years (1790), and that would be consistent with the recorded date for his baptism.8,9,1,10
ChildHe was baptized on 21 October 1790, in Durrow, Queens County (County Laois), Ireland. His sponsors (godparents) were Wm Byrne and Margt. Spencer.
The record indicates Martin's family was living in Bunlackan at the time. Bunlackan (Bunlacan) is within a few miles of Durrow where the Church was located.11,1
GroomHe married Margaret Dunne, daughter of Charles (Turb) Dunne and Honor Costigan, on 2 March 1813 in Ballinakill, Queens County (County Laois), Ireland. Their marriage witnesses were Patt Moore and Mary Coogan.12,13
DeceasedHe died after 8 June 1870. Martin appears living in Taycheeda with his daughter, Roseanna Cody, and her family at the time of the 1870 census.14

Children with Margaret Dunne:

Immigrant Ancestor

In May 1849, Martin Phelan arrived in New York, New York Co., New York.15

Some Life Events of Interest

On 10 August 1852, in Circuit Court No. 2963, Town of Taycheeda, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin,Martin Phelan petitioned to become a naturalized citizen. Martin's petition was filed with the surname "Whealon" and was witnessed by his sons-in-law, William "Flannigan" (Flanagan) and "Kien" (Kieran) Cody. His final papers were processed 23 August 1856. His wife, Margaret, also gained her citizenship through his naturalization.15

Residences and Censuses

Martin Phelan and Margaret Phelan, appeared on the 1860 Federal Census of Taycheedah, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin, enumerated 30 July 1860. Their surname is spelled Whelen on this census return. Martin, shown as 70 years of age and listed as a day laborer, values his real estate at $50 but does not give a value for any personal estate (perhaps the enumerator put the figure in the wrong column). Margaret gave her age as 69 years.
     Martin's and Daniel Whelan's households are the only two Whelan families listed in Taycheedah and this may give support to the speculation that they are father and son respectively.16
He appeared on the 1870 Federal Census of Town of Taycheeda, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin, in the household of Ann Cody and Kieran Cody. Martin's surname is spelled Whaland. Ann Cody, nee Phelan, is said to be the sister of Daniel Whelan and Patrick Phalen/Whalen who are said to be the children of Martin Whelan and his wife Margaret... all of whom, in 1860, lived in Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin - Martin and Margaret Whelen, Daniel and Mary Whelan, Ann and Kieran Cody, Julia and William Flanagan in Taycheeda, and Patrick Phalen nearby in Empire.14

Sources - Citations

  1. [S739] Lina1911 (ancestry.com member name), “Malnory-Silbernagel Family Tree;” Family Tree; Online at: (http://person.ancestry.com/tree/340960/person/-596989818/facts; Accessed: 6 Feb 2016.
  2. [S1033] Martin Phelan, Registration of Baptism, Gives names, events, dates, locations (21 October 1790), National Library of Ireland, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland.
  3. [S1033] Martin Phelan, Registration of Baptism, Gives names, events, dates, relationships, locations (21 October 1790).
  4. [S604] Martin Whelen household, 1860 U.S. Census, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin, population schedule, Taycheedah, Sheet 141, dwelling 1007, family 997, Washington: National Archives. Names, ages, occupation, and birth place.
  5. [S737] Carron Coday household, 1870 U.S. Census, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin, population schedule, Town of Taycheeda, Post Office Taycheeda, Sheet 11, dwelling 72, family 72, Washington: National Archives. Is Kieran Cody household despite spelling of his name... all known to be family membersincludes Martin Whaland in family.
  6. [S717] Sharon Whalen Siefert, "Descendants of Martin Phelan," (MS, 12 Jan 2016; Brookfield, Wisconsin), names siblings of this family: Daniel Whelan, Patrick Phelan, Roseann(a) Phelan, Julia Phelan, and Catherine Phelan; father as Patrick Phelan, son of Martin Phelan; Whelan - TMG#717, Paper Files of Sean C Tracy; Tracy Home Office.
  7. [S310] Carolyn Jean Whelan Gustafson, “Daniel Whelan Family Tree;” Family Tree; Online at: (http://person.ancestry.com/tree/1995478/person/-1871365144/facts; Accessed: Nov 2011 and 16 Jan 2016.
  8. [S1033] Martin Phelan, Registration of Baptism, names, events, dates, relationships, locations (21 October 1790).
  9. [S604] Martin Whelen household, 1860 U.S. Census, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin, gives age and country of birth.
  10. [S742] Daniel Whealon, Naturalization Petition Index Card, W - 450; Vol. A--- pg 512, gives date and place of immigration, date of certificate, final papers, names of wittnesses and where born (10 August 1852); Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy, Tracy Home Office.
  11. [S1033] Martin Phelan, Registration of Baptism (21 October 1790).
  12. [S1034] Martin Phelan and Margaret Dunne marriage, 2 March 1813, in Catholic Church Register - Diocese: Kildare and Leighlin; Parish: Ballikill (Catholic Parish Registers; Natnl Library of Ireland Microfilm 04200 / 01 | Page 99; Mar. 1813 to June 1814): National Library of Ireland, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland, Gives names, events, dates, relationships, locations.
  13. [S604] Martin Whelen household, 1860 U.S. Census, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin, gives names, ages, country of birth, name spelled Whelen.
  14. [S737] Carron Coday household, 1870 U.S. Census, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin.
  15. [S742] Digital Files of Sean C. Tracy Naturalization Petition Index Card, W - 450; Vol. A--- pg 512, gives date and place of immigration, date of certificate, final papers, names of wittnesses (10 August 1852), Tracy Home Office.
  16. [S604] Martin Whelen household, 1860 U.S. Census, Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin.
  17. [S1108] Mary Phelan, Registration of Baptism, Church Record of Baptism, 7 Dec 1813; Ballinakill, Queens County (Co. Laois), Ireland: names, events, dates, relationships, locations.
  18. [S1109] Bridget Phelan, Registration of Baptism, Church Record of Baptism, 3 Mar 1822; Ballinakill, Queens County (Co. Laois), Ireland: names, events, dates, relationships, locations.
  19. [S717] "Descendants of Martin Phelan,", names siblings of this family: Daniel Whelan, Patrick Phelan, Roseann(a) Phelan, Patrick Phelan, Julia Phelan, and Catherine Phelan.
Last Edited16 Feb 2019

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