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Eleanore Birmingham Kilcoyne's collection of

Between 1990 and 2002 Eleanore compiled a notebook of photographs of Birminghams, some going back to the 1800s. She organized into four sections. The material below reproduces each page in Eleanore's notebook unless it is blank (and is then so marked).In 2009 Eleanore shaped this information into a narrative that she called High Cupboards, some of which she read to us on her 80th birthday in Clinton in 2010. A PDF of the entire text is available here. It is a good idea to read through these pages before looking at the documents below, which are Eleanore's sources.

Part 1: Patrick Birmingham, b. 1803, her great-grandfather
Part 2: James Patrick Birmingham, b. 1832, her grandfather
Part 3: Martin E. Birmingham, b. 1869, her father
Part 4: Eleanore Ann Birmingham, b. 1930, aunt of Allen Frantzen, sister of his mother, Dorothy Birmingham, who created two picture books from her high-school and college years; they are at this link.
Part 5: Allen Frantzen, observations on Eleanore's collection of documents

Page 1
Patrick's oldest son, James Patrick Birmingham, 1832-1921, undated. Picture by H. A. Moore, Elma, Iowa.
Page 2
Back of photo on page 1: dates of James Patrick and his father
transcribed below

(in a different hand): Enloe
In black ink, in a different hand: (James xxxxx Patrick)
Notes written by Eleanore on white paper:
James Patrick Birmingham
b. 1823 d. 1921
His father
Patrick Birmingham b. 1803
d. 1878
In pencil at bottom, upside down, by hand that wrote "Enloe" above, "J. P. Birmingham"
The identities of "Sarah" and "Enloe" are unknown.

Page 3-10 concern Patrick Birmingham
Page 3. EK's worksheet: children of Patrick and Bridget Birmingham
Page 4
US Census 1850

Page 5
US Census 1855

Page 6
US Census 1860

Page 7
US Census 1865

Page 8
Great-great-grandfather W. Patrick Birmingham burial record, listing survivors. He died in 1878.

Page 9
Original 1850 census listing Birmingham household.

Page 10
1850 census page, map of West Union Co.
Page 11
Note to EK from Steuben Co., NY, clerk concerning 1850 and 1875 census data. The note identifies Bridget Sheehan, daughter of John and Ellen, age 12 in 1850. This is Bridget, wife of James Patrick. James is listed as age 17 in the 1850 Lindley Co. census (see page 9, above). He was born in 1832, Bridget in 1835. James and Bridget were Eleanore's grandparents and our great-grandparents.


Page 12
EK's worksheet for James Patrick and Bridget Sheehan O'Kieff and their 8 children
Page 13
US Census 1865, New York, Steuben County, West Union township. Lists James, age 33; Bridget, age 26, 2nd marriage, with 2 children. John age 1 to 1 1/2 (not 11-12). Identity of Ellen Doud unclear 9/17/22.
Page 14
US Census 1870, Iowa, Howard County, Paris Township. Lists James, age 37; Bridget, age 34, John age 6, Bridget age 4; James, age 2, Martin, age 7 months. This Martin is Martin Edward, Dorothy's father.
Page 15
US Census 1880, Iowa, Howard County, Paris Township. Lists James, age 48; Bridget, age 48 [incorrect], John age 15, Bridget age 14; James, age 12, Martin, age 10. This Martin is Martin Edward, Dorothy's father. Also: Mary, age 8; Teresa, age 5; Patrick, age 3; Harriet, 1 month old. Mary and Teresa are listed as "at school," all the other children as farming.
Page 16
US Census 1885, Iowa, Howard County, Paris Township. Lists James, age 52 and now widowed. John age 21, farmer; Bridget A., age 19, keeping house; James, age 15, Martin, age 15; Mary E, age 12; Teresa, age 10; Patrick, age 7; Harriet, 4 month old. All the girls are listed as keeping house.
Page 17
US Census 1895, Iowa, Howard County, Paris Township. Lists James, age 63; James, age 26, Martin, age 24; Mary E, age 22; Teresa, age 20; Patrick, age 18. Eleanore note that John no longer lives at home, that Bridget has died, and that Harriet is not at home (perhaps in school in Dubuque? A page from Visitation Academy listing her is given below).
Page 18
Data sheet for death certificate of James P. Birmingham. Died Jan. 28, 1921. Cause of death "organic heart disease." Photocopy of certificate itself p. 24, below. Mother's name mistakenly given as Ellen; it was Mary. Informant: Martin Birmingham, son of James P.
Page 19
Obituary from Cresco Plain Dealer, Feb. 3, 1921.
Pages 20-21
Obituary, 2 pages, from funeral home? See note at end of 2nd page.

Photocopy of 1885 Iowa census. Birmingham family names occupy the last 9 lines.
Photocopy of 1885 Iowa census. Birmingham family names occupy the last 9 lines.
Birmingham names being 11 lines up, betwen left margin 33 and 44.
Page 24
James Birmingham's death certificate, Jan. 28, 1921.
Born Dec. 17, 1832, in Ireland. Father: James Birmingham, mother Ellen [sic] O'Donnell. Both parents born in Ireland. Mother's name was Mary. Informant: Martin Birmingham, son of James P.
Page 25
James Birmingham's printed obituary, signed "His children," and photograph of tombstone of James and Bridget, Lourdes, Iowa.
Page 26
Data sheet for birth certificate for John Birmingham, 1864, eldest child of James and Bridget, the only one born in Pennsylvania.
Page 27
Visitation Academy, Dubuque, Iowa, showing Harriet Birmingham (youngest child in family, b. 1883) enrolled for the scholastic year 1896.
Page 28
Baptism certificate for John Birmingham, 1864, Pennslvania.
Page 29
Estate papers of James Patrick Birmingham, d. 1921, dating from 1921 to 1936. Baptism certificate for John Birmingham, 1864, Pennslvania.
Page 30
Obituary of Alma Littig Birmingham, Beach, North Dakota. Wife of Patrick, married 1907. Patrick was the brother of Martin Edward and a son of James Patrick, d. 1921.

Page 31: Reverse side of page 30 is blank.
Opposite blank page is a yellow section divider for "Martin E."

Page 32
Estate of Bessie Birmingham, first page (1951)
Page 33
Estate of Bessie Birmingham, second page (1951)
Page 34
Pedigree Chart Birmingham - Falada

Reverse side of this page is blank.
Page 35 Eleanore's data sheet for her own family, contined next page
Page 36 Continuation of Eleanore's data sheet for her own family
Page 37 Data sheet, death certificate of Martin Edward Birmingham, 1946. He and Elizabeth had been married 58 years.
Page 38 Death certificate of Martin Edward Birmingham, 1944, and two copies of Cresco newspaper obituary.
Page 39 Funderal card for Martin Edward Birmingham and two pictures of tombstone for Martin and Elizabeth, Lourdes cemetary.
Page 40. Data sheet for Eleanore Kilcoyne.
Page 41. Second data sheet for Eleanore Kilcoyne, with information about her marriage added
Page 42. Data sheet for Eleanore's husband James Kilcoyne
Page 43. Eleanore's birth certificate
Page 44. John Sheehan 1789-1862, father of Briget, wife of James Patrick Birmingham. James Patrick and Bridget were Eleanore's grandparent on her father's side. Born in 1789, John is the earliest of EK's relatives to be mentioned in this collection.
The next page recaps what EK found out about her.
Page 45. EK's notes on Ellen Doud, not dated.
In an undated note, Eleanore writes:
“Little information available on Ellen. Census records list her as John’s wife. John’s will states her name as “Ellen Doud,” does not refer to her as spouse, but provides for her tombstone. Mary Sheehan, d. 1857, calls her “dau. John and Ellen.”
No records of Ellen’s death. Last mention is Nov. 1865 transfer (sale) of real estate of John Sheehan by James P and Bridget Birmingham and Ellen Doud." (end of EK's note)
Page 46. 1860 Data sheet for John Sheehan, Steuben Co., New York. He was the father of Briget, who was the wife of James Patrick Birmingham. John married Ellen Doud.
John Shean age 55 ... b. Ireland
Elliner (?) age 55 b. Ireland
Bridget O'Keef age 21, servant [sic], b. NY
Note that following page gives more information on this family.
Page 47. Second data sheet for John Sheehan. No date given, but appears to be from US Census 1860.
John Shean age 55 farmer b. Ireland
Eliner age 55 b. Ireland
Bridget O'Keef age 21 (no husband named)
Jeremi O'Keef age 2
There are additional notes headed "1855 West Union," mentioning John at 40 and Ellen Shean at 30, daughter Bridget 15 and daughter Mary 14, the two girls born in different counties.
From the West Union Cemetery: John 1789-1862, d. age 63. Mary d. 1857, age either 10 or 16, daughter of John and Ellen.
Page 48. 1850 sheet for John Sheehan.
John Shean age 45 farmer b. Ireland
Ellen age 44 b. Ireland
Bridget age 12
Mary 10. All are listed as born in Ireland.
Page 49. 1850 Census sheet, handwritten copy. The Sheehan family occupies the last 4 lines, marked by red bracket, top of page,left side.
Page 50. 1850 Census sheet, handwritten copy, second side (to p. 49). The Sheehan family is not mentioned on this page.
Page 51.
Photocopy of page from From Clayton’s History of Steuben County, New York, 1879.
Transcription of 2 paragraphs on this page follows p. 52, below.
Page 52.
Bottom half of photocopied page from From Clayton’s History of Steuben County, New York, 1879.
Transcription of 2 paragraphs on this page follows p. 52, below. Note yellow highlighting about 12 lines in from left-hand side of page, referring to John Sheehan.


The first homestead of John Sheehan, near the towns of Rexville and West Union, New York
Home of the New York Birminghams
From Clayton’s History of Steuben County, New York, 1879. A mile and a half from the Olmstead place, now Rexville, in a westerly direction, the Kyder Creek rises in a deep, narrow valley where a spring stream flows from the hill at the south, and, following the course of the swamp, which fills the narrow valley for a distance of two and a half-miles around to the west and south, between the high hills, describes a semicircle when it reaches the open valley at "Pine Sapling," and flowing southwest, joins the south branch of Kyder Creek, in Allegany County, flows into the Genesee River, and finds an outlet through the great lakes into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A branch of Bennett's Creek, rising in a large spring at the head of this swamp, is also fed by this stream from the hill, which passes the thirty-feet boundary in the wet seasons, and whose waters, thus divided, flow aIso north to the Canisteo, and thence south into the Chesapeake Bay. A mile and a half to the south of this spring, and at an elevation of 450 feet above its level, is the place of the settlement on the ridge which forma the central part of the town; and is the highest point of land in the county.

. . . .

This high central ridge, which extends east and west across the town, was for years after the settlement of the surrounding country, the unmolested home of the deer and other wild animals, and was known as “the Big Woods.” The first settlement was made after the completion of the old BIoomburg Railroad, in 1840, by John Shehan, who settled on its highest point, and was joined the year after by Dennis Malone, who made his first clearing on the Mike Kieffe place, on the Whitesville road. These men were both natives of Ireland. . . .

END OF Eleanore's genealogy notebook.

PART 5: ALLEN J. FRANTZEN, thoughts on EK's genealogy notebook, October 2022, and memories of Dorothy Birmingham Frantzen

Thanks to Eleanore's perseverance and industry, those who survive her have some knowledge of both the Birmingham and the Falada families we come from. We have much more about the Birmingham lines, but at least we know the birth dates of her maternal EK's grandparents, Vaclav Falada, 1857-1940, and his wife Mary Papach, 1862-1936. We also have information about Eleanore herself. On page 41, above, she notes the dates of her membership in the Sisters of St. Francis (1948-1969), and her marriage in 1971 to Jim Kilcoyne (1921-2007).
Starting in Spring 2013 I began calling Eleanore on Saturday evenings. Between then and the decline of her health that began in February 2021 we rarely missed our weekly conversation. The first call that I noted was April 4, 2013, and the last one was April 17, 2021, some 16 months before her death.
EK had many stories to tell.

· She remembered watching her sister Mary Ellen with Mary Ellen's husband-to-be Charles Chihak kneeling before her parents asking them to bless their marriage. EK and her younger sister Cyrilla watched by looking under a door.
· She remembered playing with an axe, she and Cy considering landing the blade between the fingers of their outstretched hands; fortunately they did not experiment further.
· EK remembered that she and Cy discovered that their brother Pat was keeping bottles of beer cool in the tank used to water the livestock. They took one (or two?) and poured out the beer, then refilled the bottle with water. She did not remember if they were confronted about this, but she enjoyed telling the story.
· EK remembered my mother Dorothy fainting and alarming her new husband, my father John Frantzen, when EK was visiting (as a child of 5). It was 1935 and my mother was pregnant with her first child, Carmen. That was EK's later explanation for mother's fainting.
· EK recalled being very jealous of John when he came to call on Dorothy at the Birmingham home because EK considered Dorothy her second mother. At 5, EK was not much older than Carmen, born late in 1935, or than many of her neices and nephews born to her older sisters, including Mildred and Audrey.
· EK recalled John and Dorothy's wedding, to which she and Cy did not go. The calla lilies that our mother carried were kept in a pail that sat overnight on the stairs going to the second floor of the house. Martin, the father pf the bride, spent the next morning taking family members by sled to the highway where they could be picked up and driven to the church.
· EK told me on July 16, 2008, that mother went to her wedding in a truck, the only vehicle that could get through the snow. The wedding breakfast was held at the family farm, with guests eating in shifts because there was not room for everybody to be at the table at once. All of dad's family stayed over at the Birmingham house that night, Jan. 21, 1935, because they could not get home through the snow. The wedding had to be held on Monday, Jan. 21, at the insistence of the priest (Fr. Woerdehoff, d. 1949), because the church would still be warm from Sunday Mass.
· EK's stories reminded me of one that our mother liked to tell about her wedding. They got a late start, no surprise, given the frigid temperatures and the snow--it was -20 degrees, she wrote in her brief family history, written in 1979 and at this link. Mother's sister Mary Ellen began the music, and Audrey, maid of honor, started up the aisle, mother behind her. Then Audrey turned around and said, "Oh, Dorothy, we forgot our flowers." They went back and picked them up and started up the aisle again. Nobody knows what John thought of this, and as is the case with young people, I never asked him, I am sorry to say.