Our Family Gallery

Portraits of our Family -- in Words and Pictures.

Click on the name you want.

The Gaffney Family


Find a Name Return to the Gallery

 

 

  The Gaffney Family

The Gaffney family were pioneers in Connecticut and in southwestern Texas as early as 1830, coming from County Meath in Ireland.

Two brothers, Charles and Owen Gaffney, came from Ireland to America.  In their new land they met their brides, married and brought up their families, and became prominent members of their communities.

Charles Gaffney (born 1813 in County Meath, Ireland) settled in the New Britain, Connecticut area.  Family tradition is that he came initially to Texas with his brother Owen but did not find the climate to his liking.  He left Texas and traveled northeast until he found a climate that felt like County Meath, Ireland -- and that was in New Britain, Connecticut.

Owen Gaffney (born 1814 in County Meath, Ireland) was an early settler in the Texas community of San Patricio de Hibernia (St Patrick of Ireland).  He was a pioneer and prominent merchant in the area.  Various members of his family became the town's surveyor and assessor, mayor, county judge, postmaster, editor of its first newspaper, school trustee, and also served in the U.S. Congress.

You  can  see
our  Gaffney  family
ancestry  here.


Gaffney Family Tree

This is an Adobe PDF Document.
It is a very large tree,
so you might want to "zoom" it.

Connecticut  -  South Carolina  -  Texas

A strong and lasting connection exists among the families of Charles Gaffney who settled in Connecticut and Owen Gaffney who settled in Texas.  Correspondence and photographs have been exchanged among them for generations.

So far a connection has not been found between Charles' and Owen's families and those of the Gaffney family descendants in Gaffney, South Carolina.

If a connection is not found in America, it is likely that one exists through an earlier generation in Ireland.  Both of the Gaffney brothers were born in Ross, Ireland, barely five miles from the town of Granard.  Today the town of Gaffney, South Carolina has a Ross Street, and Granard Street is one of its main avenues.


Owen and Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney

Owen Gaffney and his wife Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney are cited in histories of the southwest Texas area for their services to the communities there.

Their son James Owen Gaffney was San Patricio's surveyor and tax assessor, and became a county judge.  A memorial plaque in the neighboring town of Odem, Texas commemorates his service in mapping the county's roads in 1903.  Photographs of the Odem memorial are shown below on this page.

James Owen Gaffney served in the Civil War, in the First Texas Cavalry (Yager's command, First Texas Mounted Rifles).  He enlisted on 14 May, 1862 at Cayman Lake, Texas (about 70 miles south of San Antonio), for the full duration of the war:

James Owen Gaffney -- Civil War Service

His enlistment paper describes him:  22 years old; 5 feet 9 inches; fair complexion with blue eyes and brown hair.

John Gaffney also served in the same cavalry unit.  He enlisted with his brother, at the same place and on the same day, for the full duration of the war:

John Gaffney -- Civil War Service

He was:  19 years old; 5 feet 10 inches; fair complexion with gray eyes and brown hair.

Gaffney family members served also as San Patricio's mayor, editor of its first newspaper, and trustee of its school.

Another son, Michael Thomas Gaffney became a prominent businessman in Corpus Christi, Texas.  His descendants through several generations include county attorneys, and a judge and Congressional Representative who served in the U.S. Congress for 22 years.

The Gaffney family became united in marriage with other pioneer families from Ireland:  the Fadden, O'Reilly, Molloy, and McGloin families.

Property records show land transactions among their families:

Gaffney, Fadden, and Molloy lands
O'Reilly lands

Family members have preserved a large collection of records, photos, letters and other memorabilia.  They help us to piece together the images and stories of our rich heritage in the Gaffney family.

 

Our Gaffney Family Heritage

Here is a view of our Gaffney heritage.  You can see all of the family's relationships on our Family Tree and Kinship pages.


Owen Gaffney was born 1814 in the Townland of Ross, County of Meath, Ireland.

He married Catherine Fadden who was born about 1818 in Ireland.

Owen Gaffney died 14 Jan 1879 and is buried in the Saint Patrick's Church Cemetery, San Patricio, Texas.  His headstone is marked, "Erected by his wife Mary" -- he remarried in 1873 after the death of his first wife Catherine in 1871.

Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney apparently had been formerly married to a Molloy, having a daughter Mary Frances Xavier Molloy who became a nun in a New Orleans convent.  Historical accounts of San Patricio, Texas show her visiting her daughter in New Orleans.  Catherine died 26 Jan 1871.


Owen Gaffney and Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney had three children:

  • *  James Owen Gaffney, b. 28 Dec 1839, d. 22 Nov 1912.
  • John Gaffney, b. abt. 1842, d. 6 Jun 1899.
  • Michael Thomas Gaffney, b. Feb 1846

*  Their son James Owen Gaffney married Margaret T. O'Reilly.

A newspaper article    shows they were married in the home of Hugh J. O'Reilly, in Bee County.

*  Our family is descended from their marriage.

Margaret T. O'Reilly was born at Wolverhampton, England on 19 Nov 1850.  Some documents recording the deaths of her children show her as born in Ireland, but other documents including a family Bible and US Census records all show her as born in England.  She kept a piece of green glass as a memory -- perhaps it had belonged to her parents in Ireland.  It is preserved in the family and shown below.

Her parents were Philip and Margaret (maiden name unknown) O'Reilly, and census records show both parents as born in Ireland.  Philip died 1 Jun 1874; Margaret died 22 Jan 1875.

James Owen Gaffney's parents (Owen and Catherine), and Margaret T. O'Reilly's parents (Philip and Margaret) are buried in the Saint Patrick's Church Cemetery, San Patricio, Texas.  Their names are inscribed together on one monument.

James Owen Gaffney and Margaret T. O'Reilly were married on 26 Oct 1869.

Margaret T. (O'Reilly) Gaffney died 25 Sep 1896 at Beeville, Texas.  She is buried in San Patricio, Texas.

James Owen Gaffney died 22 Nov 1912 at Rockport, Texas.  He is buried in San Patricio, Texas.


James Owen Gaffney and Margaret T. (O'Reilly) Gaffney had ten children:

  • Catherine Mary Gaffney, b. 15 Jan 1871, d. 16 Sep 1941.  Married John T. Johnson.
  • *  Anna Agnes Gaffney, b. 7 Feb 1872, d. 7 Feb 1946.  Married Jesse Perry Shore.
  • Owen Phillip ("Bud") Gaffney, b. 1 Nov 1873, d. 11 Oct 1957.  Married Helen Jordan.
  • Charles Joseph Gaffney, b. 20 Apr 1875, d. 29 Jul 1944.  Married Agnes B. (maiden name unknown).
  • Margaret Camilla Gaffney, b. 15 Apr 1877, d. 15 Aug 1971.  Married James A. Finegan.
  • James Francis Xavier Gaffney, b. 23 Apr 1880, d. 16 Feb 1945.  Married Grace Katherine Murphy.
  • Mary Estella ("Mayme" or "Mamie") Gaffney, b. 21 Mar 1882, d. 5 Apr 1958.  Married Albert Rachal.
  • John Bernard ("Bernie") Gaffney, b. 30 Apr 1884, d. 19 Dec 1956.  Married Jennie Lee Hudgins.
  • Michael Hugh Gaffney, b. 13 Mar 1887, d. 29 Jan 1954.  Married Thelma Oliver.
  • Robert Emmet Lee Gaffney, b. May 1890, d. 21 Jul 1908.

*  Their daughter Anna Agnes Gaffney married Jesse Perry Shore.  Our immediate family is descended from their marriage.  They have their own page in our Family Gallery.


The rest of this page is devoted to the greater Gaffney family.

 

Notes

Catherine Mary Gaffney's name:

Two deeds for her home on Denver Boulevard, San Antonio, Texas show her name as Katherine.  Her holy card, issued when she died, and also her obituary, both show her name as Catherine.


Owen Phillip Gaffney and Helen (Jordan) Gaffney had three sons:

  • Owen Jordan Gaffney, b. 20 Jun 1907, d. 16 Feb 1974.
  • James Russell Gaffney, b. 19 Dec 1908, d. 16 Jan 1954.
  • Charles Malcolm Gaffney, b. 26 Mar 1911, d. 16 Mar 1997.

Charles Malcolm Gaffney married Aline Schwartz (b. 20 Nov 1916, d. 21 Jan 1976).  They had one son, Jack Owen Gaffney (b. 07 Jul 1935, d. 13 Jun 1990).

Jack Owen Gaffney married Hallie Ann Denny (b. 16 Apr 1937, d. 14 May 2016).  They were married on 22 Jun 1957, and had two children:

  • James Michael Gaffney, b. 27 Jan 1960.
  • Susan Elizabeth Gaffney, b. 30 Jul 1962.

James Michael Gaffney married Nancy Anne Hopkins (b. 15 Mar 1961).  They were married on 05 Mar 1983, and have two children:

  • Jacqueline Michelle Gaffney, b. 14 Jul 1987.
  • William Denny Gaffney, b. 29 Sep 1989.

Susan Elizabeth Gaffney married Robert Barnes Thornton, Jr.


Margaret Camilla Gaffney's birth date:

Her birthdate is 15 Apr 1877.  A Gaffney family Bible (shown below) records her birth on "Sunday April 15th 1877" and her baptism on "Sunday April 22nd 1877".  At some later time, her entry on the Bible page was changed from 1877 to 1879, by marking a "9" over the "7".

Her holy card, issued when she died, also shows her birth year as 1879.  A copy of her death certificate shows it as 1884.

To resolve the dates of her birth and baptism, one can view the calendars for 1877, 1879 and 1884.  Only in the year 1877 do April 15 and April 22 fall on Sunday, agreeing with the original entry in the family Bible.

Also the 1880 US Federal Census shows her age as 3 years, indicating that she was born about 1877.

The reasons for the birth year being altered from 1877 to 1879, and for her death certificate showing it as 1884, are not known.

Our Family Heritage uses the original Bible entry of 15 April 1877 and 22 April 1877 for Margaret Camilla's birth and baptism.


Family Bible

James Michael Gaffney has provided images of a Gaffney family Bible to our heritage.  It records many important events in the Gaffney family's history.

Some of the Bible's entries are faded and becoming hard to read.  James Michael's father Jack Owen Gaffney (1935-1990) made typed transcripts of the entries, preserving them for future generations.  Jack gave a copy of the transcripts to John Brian Gaffney on his visit from Connecticut to Texas in April 1987.  Brian has provided the transcripts to our heritage.

The Bible and transcript images are shown below.


Family Heritage Records

Jack Owen Gaffney (1935-1990) researched our Gaffney heritage using Latter Day Saints archives in Utah.  He recorded a great deal of information about the family's generations, and gave a copy to John Brian Gaffney on his visit from Connecticut to Texas in 1987.  Brian has provided the records to our heritage.

Images of those records are shown below.


Traditional Stories

Here are some traditional stories that have been shared and passed down in the family:

Charles Joseph Gaffney (1875-1944):  He made a fortune in oil wells in Mexico in the early years of the 20th century.  In 1921 he purchased a home on Denver Boulevard in San Antonio, across from Denver Heights Park.  He gave it to two of his sisters Margaret Camilla Gaffney and Katherine Mary Gaffney.

The two sisters are recorded in Bexar County land deeds as purchasing the home on 21 Nov 1921, for the sum of $4,000.  One month later, on 29 Dec 1921, they are recorded as selling the property to Charles for the sum of $10 -- copies of the deeds are shown below.

Charles gave new automobiles to his nieces Mary Louise, Margaret Ann and Jessie Kathryn Shore for their birthdays, but their father (Jesse Shore) had them returned as inappropriate -- the country was deepening into the Great Depression and neighbors were losing jobs and livelihood.  Later, Charles lost his fortune when the wells were nationalized by the Mexican government after their revolution.  He spent his later years as a boarder in the home of Jesse and Anna (Gaffney) Shore, one of the two properties he had conveyed to his sisters.

Owen Jordan Gaffney (1907-1974):  One of the three sons of Helen (Jordan) Gaffney and Owen Phillip Gaffney, who is Anna (Gaffney) Shore's brother.  Owen is great-uncle to James Michael Gaffney.  (James Michael is known in the family by his middle name "Mike" and recalls that the three Gaffney sons called themselves by their middle names also.)  Mike recalls the following story:

I remembered that Owen Jordan Gaffney was in fact briefly married at the age of 40.  He divorced because his wife called him a son of a bitch on his birthday.  In Jordan's words, "you can call a man a SOB on any day of the week except his birthday..."

Robert Emmet Lee Gaffney (1890-1908):  A family tradition is that he was killed in a railroad holdup, 1908 at Sinton, Texas.  A Holy Card in his name shows the date as 20 July 1908; a Gaffney family Bible (shown below) records it as:

July 21st about 30 min. after five o'clock A.M. and was buried the same day by Fr. Puig of the St. Patricks church San Patricio Texas.

Jesse and Anna (Gaffney) Shore's home at 716 Denver Boulevard was near a railroad track.  During those Great Depression times, their house was a regular stopping place for men who were 'down on their luck'.  They hopped off a passing train and walked the several blocks to Jesse and Anna's house for a square meal.  Those who had come before them had painted a small mark on the street curb to identify the house and to help in spreading the word about it.  They came to the house, sat on the back steps, and got a full plate of hot food with thick slices of bread (spread with lard sprinkled with sugar, because butter was scarce), and coffee.  The plates were always full and ample, and no one asked for 'seconds'.  They handed the empty plates back to Anna and thanked her, before leaving through the back yard, down the alleyway to the street, and onto the next train.  There were also figs, walnuts, and pecans on the ground for stuffing into pockets for the road ahead.

Jesse and Anna (Gaffney) Shore's home had a large park (Denver Heights Park) across the street.  Their grandson Joe Roberts, as a little kid, found a nickel in the park.  He took it to a restaurant at the corner and bought a hamburger and a dill pickle:  total cost five cents.  He remembers how good the burger and pickle tasted.

The park had a long row of picnic tables set end-to-end, many yards long.  A massive Dominoes game was kept running down the long stretch of tables, with many hundreds of dominoes in play continuously.  Retired men (and probably others who were out-of-work during the Great Depression) smoked and kept up a running conversation as they walked the full length of the tables on both sides, finding the best place to play their domino.  It isn't recalled whether they played for money or for the sport.

Jesse and Anna (Gaffney) Shore's daughter Jessie Kathryn, born 1912, was rather underweight as a young girl.  (She was thin all her life.)  During Prohibition (1919-1933), Jesse obtained a doctor's prescription for helping the young girl to gain weight.  It was for homebrew, made in the family garage.  Beer graced family meals and no one in the family or guests suffered from anemia.

Jesse and Anna (Gaffney) Shore's home had a high arbor over the driveway, with stone pillars.  On the arbor grew rich vines of morning glories and hot peppers.  Between the stone pillars was a long seat, shaded by the vines, where one could sit and read or just watch the world go by.  The shade and fragrance under the arbor added to the pleasure of being there; Anna pickled the peppers into a hot vinegar sauce, and they spiced many a meal at the family's table.

Here's a  View  of one side of the Arbor, from 1943.

 


  Documents

All of these Family Documents are shown below.

Census records:

The 1850 US Federal Census shows the Owen Gaffney family, San Patricio, Texas.

Owen (37) and Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney (32), parents;
James (11), John (8), and Michael (5).

All five pages of the 1850 census are shown below.  The Gaffney family was enumerated first, followed by the McGloin, Fadden, and other families in San Patricio.

The 1850 census shows a total of 38 households.  It also numbers three slaves, unnamed, for one household.

The 1860 US Federal Census shows the Owen Gaffney family, San Patricio, Texas.

Owen (47) and Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney (47);
James (21), John (18), and Michael (15).

The 1860 Slave Schedule shows "Owen O'Gaffney" having one slave.  She is a female, age 55 (slaves' names were not recorded).

The 1870 US Federal Census shows the Owen Gaffney family, San Patricio, Texas.

Owen (57) and Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney (54);
John (28); also Mary McGloin (14) and James McGloin (12) are living in the Gaffney home.

Owen's name is listed as "O.N.", written as it sounded to the census taker.

James Owen Gaffney and Michael Thomas Gaffney now live separately in Refugio, Texas.

The 1870 US Federal Census shows the James Owen Gaffney family, Refugio, Texas.

James Owen (30) and Margaret (O'Reilly) Gaffney (20);
Margaret's name is given as "Maggie".

A female child Jennie is shown, age 2.  She does not appear in other family records.

Ten children were born after 1870.

The 1870 US Federal Census shows Michael Thomas Gaffney, Refugio, Texas.

M. T. (24) is single, living in the John Hines home.
He married and his children were born after 1870.

The 1880 US Federal Census shows the James Owen Gaffney family, San Patricio, Texas.

James Owen (age 40) and Margaret (O'Reilly) Gaffney (age 31), parents;
Catherine (9), Anna (8), Phillip (6), Charles (5), Margaret (3), and James (2 mos.).

The other four children (Mary, John, Michael, Robert) were born after 1880.

Note:  The 1880 census shows the mother Margaret (O'Reilly) Gaffney as 31 years of age, indicating she was born in 1849.  Her headstone, however, reads 1850.  The census lists her as born in England, with both of her parents born in Ireland.

The 1900 US Federal Census shows the James Owen Gaffney family, San Patricio, Texas.

James Owen (age 60), Catherine (29), Anna (28), Phillip (26), Charles (25), Margaret (23), James (20), Mary E. (18), John (16), Michael (13), and Robert E. L. (10).

Note:  The mother, Margaret (O'Reilly) Gaffney had died in 1896, before the census was taken.

The 1930 US Federal Census of Bexar County, Texas shows Owen Phillip Gaffney and Helen Gaffney living at 1145 W. Agarito Street, San Antonio:

Owen P. (age 56), Helen (51), Jordan (23), Charles M. (19), and sister-in-law Miss Hattie Jordan (55).

The 1930 US Federal Census of Victoria, Texas shows James F. Gaffney and Grace (Murphy) Gaffney living in Victoria.

James (age 49), Grace (43).

The 1930 US Federal Census of Nueces County, Texas shows Catherine (Gaffney) Young, her children and Aunt Mary Gaffney living in Corpus Christi.  Catherine is the widow of Phillip Young (d. 1918).

Catherine (age 52), Phillip (son, 26), Claude (24), Richard (23), Thomas (21), Mary (18), Charles (15), John (13); Aunt Mary Gaffney (60).

The 1930 US Federal Census of Bexar County, Texas shows Charles J. Gaffney married.  His wife is Agnes B., and they have a son Charles J., age one year and one month.

The 1940 US Federal Census of Bexar County, Texas shows shows Agnes B. Gaffney and her son Charles living separately from the husband and father.  The elder Charles J. Gaffney is living in the home of his sister Anna (Gaffney) Shore and her husband Jesse Shore.  Charles had become wealthy owning oilfields and other properties, but had lost all during the Great Depression and in the Mexican Revolution when the Mexican government confiscated foreign-owned properties.  He had a room in his sister's home.

The 1940 US Federal Census of Bexar County, Texas shows James A. ('Tim') Finegan and Margaret Camilla (Gaffney) Finegan living at 226 Porter Street in San Antonio.  Their home is on the street across the park from the home of Jesse and Anna (Gaffney) Shore.

Owen Gaffney Property:

Owen Gaffney owned land and livestock in San Patricio County.  Here is an 1860 property record:

1860 Owen Gaffney Property

The record shows he had 7650 acres with 4 horses, 40 "milch cows", and 60 other cattle.

He also had a retail store.  Here is an 1866 tax record for his business:

1866 Owen Gaffney Business Tax

His wife Catherine died on January 26, 1871 and he remarried to Mary (maiden name unknown).

At his death in 1879, he left a large estate to his wife Mary, sons James Owen, John, and Michael, and to the church.  His will and estate are shown below on this page.

John Gaffney Voter Registration:

John Gaffney registered to vote in San Patricio County.  Here is his 1867 registration:

John Gaffney Voter Registration

The record shows he is a Texas native, has lived 24 years in the state and 17 years in San Patricio County.

Bonds and Oaths of Office:

James Owen Gaffney served as Aransas County and San Patricio County Assessor and Surveyor.  Here are his oaths taken and bonds posted for his offices:

James Owen Gaffney

Michael Thomas Gaffney served as Aransas County Treasurer.  Here are his oaths taken and bonds posted for his office:

Michael Thomas Gaffney

John Gaffney served as San Patricio County District Court Clerk.  Here are his oaths taken and bonds posted for his office:

John Gaffney

Postmasters:

John Gaffney and James Owen Gaffney both served as San Patricio Postmaster.  Here is a record of their service:

John Gaffney and James Owen Gaffney

Other Documents:

The page of early life among the Irish settlers in San Patricio is from a history book (title is not known).

The 1837 Texas Area map shows the original land grant given by the Mexican government to the McMullen and McGloin families, first settlers of San Patricio.  It is along the Nueces River, just above the "Mustang and Wild Horse Desert".  The detail view shows the San Patricio area.

Some photos of the Gaffney Family have been preserved and are shown below.

A photo shows Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney.  The date is not known.  The writing on the back is "My Great-grandmother Gaffney", in Margaret Ann (Shore) Roberts' handwriting.

A photo shows James Owen Gaffney and his wife Margaret (O'Reilly) Gaffney.  The date is not known.

Another photo shows a family home.

  • On the back of the photo, in handwriting of James Owen and Margaret's granddaughter, Margaret Ann (Shore) Roberts, is:  "Grandfather and Grandmother's home in San Patricia, Texas  James O. Gaffney."


  • On the front, in another handwriting, is:  "Residence of (illegible) Shiner Tex 1910".  San Patricio and Shiner, Texas are about 80 miles apart.

Eight photos have family names written on the backs in Anna (Gaffney) Shore's handwriting, with additions by her daughter Margaret Ann (Shore) Roberts.  The front and back side of each photo are shown below.

  • A picture of Michael Thomas Gaffney (b. Feb 1846) and his family.  The photo dates from about 1883.  Handwriting on the back in Anna (Gaffney) Shore's hand shows him as "Uncle Mick".  Writing in Margaret Ann (Shore) Roberts' hand mentions him as "Uncle James", but is in error as the 1900 Census identifies the "Michael Gaffney" children in the photograph.  (Michael T. Gaffney married Maggie T. Daly, 10 February 1872; after her death he married Honora T. Carnes, 6 September 1883.)

    In the photo are:  Helen Carnes (stepdaughter, 13), Honora (Carnes) Gaffney (42), Catherine (7), Elizabeth (8), Ellen (9), Michael T. Gaffney (37), and Mary (10).

    Two US Census records are shown just below the photo to help in identifying the people.  The 1900 Census shows the family after his marriage to Honora.  The 1880 Census shows Michael Gaffney with his four daughters; also living in his home at that time are two Fadden cousins.


  • A picture of Charles Joseph Gaffney (b. Apr 1875) at one of his oil wells in Tampico, Mexico with his crew.  Charles is at the center of the picture.  The date is unknown.


  • Two pictures showing James Francis Xavier Gaffney (b. Apr 1880), and his wife Grace Katherine (Murphy) Gaffney.  The photos' dates are unknown.


  • A picture of Owen Phillip "Bud" Gaffney.  Anna (Gaffney) Shore's handwriting on the back identifies him as "Bud (brother)".  Margaret (Shore) Roberts' handwriting identifies him as "Mama's second oldest brother", but both the 1880 and 1900 census have "Charles" as the second oldest brother.  Owen Phillip was Anna's oldest brother.  The photo's date is unknown.


  • A picture of Robert Emmet Lee Gaffney.  He is the man in the center, on the bicycle.  The date is unknown, but Emmet died in 1908 at the age of 18.  The other two men in the photo are not known.


  • A picture of Ernest Albert Rachal, age 6 months and 5 days.  He is the only child of Mary Estella (Gaffney) Rachal and her husband Albert Rachal.  Their birthdates, marriage date and other facts are unknown, as is the date of this photo.


  • A picture of "Father Puig".  Fr. Puig was parish priest of St. Patrick's Church, San Patricio, Texas by 1908 (he officiated at the funeral ceremony for Robert Emmet Lee Gaffney in July of that year).  The name is in Anna (Gaffney) Shore's handwriting.  Her daughter Margaret Ann (Shore) Roberts has added  "He did us grandchildren out of our inheritance.  Claiming the church and surroundings were his by squatter's rights".  The date of the photograph is unknown.

A picture shows James Samuel (on his tricycle) and Thelma Gaffney.  They are children of John Bernard Gaffney and Jennie Lee (Hudgins) Gaffney.  On the back of the photo is written:  "Dear Kate -- What do you think of these.  Does Samuel look natural.  He is a case -- Bernie couldn't have equaled him.  Wish you could see both.  With love from Bernie & Lee."

A Bexar County Land Deeds excerpt shows land purchases and sales made by Charles Joseph Gaffney.  They include his transactions within the Gaffney family, as well as with others.  In the records, "GTR" indicates he was the Grantor of the property; "GTE" shows he was the Grantee.

Family Chronicles:

Margaret Ann (Shore) Roberts (1910-2004) is a daughter of Jesse Perry Shore and Anna Agnes (Gaffney) Shore.

She is a granddaughter of James Owen Gaffney and Margaret (O'Reilly) Gaffney;  and great-grandaughter of Owen Gaffney and Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney.

She wrote pages of chronicles about the Gaffney family heritage.  She made them manually, many years before the existence of an Internet, World Wide Web, and online databases.

Her resources were family documents, library records, and her own recollections of the family traditions she had heard.  Many parts of her chronicles are accurate, furnishing insights into our Gaffney family history; naturally some may be superseded by later information becoming available.

Her Gaffney family chronicles are shown below, in her own handwriting.


Many more pictures and records from our Gaffney heritage are shown below.


Recent Discoveries:

March 2006:  A discovery was made that added new items into our Gaffney heritage.

James Roberts, grandson of Anna (Gaffney) Shore, wrote a letter to the rector of Corpus Christi Cathedral requesting information about the Gaffneys.  A remarkable exchange of letters and e-mail resulted in finding more living Gaffney relatives in Texas and Connecticut.

Below are some of the new items they have provided to the Gaffney heritage.


County Meath, Ireland:  John Brian Gaffney, great-grandson of Charles Gaffney (1813-1893), has supplied photos and accounts of the Gaffney family's origins in County Meath, Ireland.

Headstone:  A photograph shows the headstone of Charles Gaffney and his wife Bridget (McEnnerreny) Gaffney, in Drumlumen Cemetery, town of Finnea, West Meath.  It reads:

Pray for the soul of
Charles Gaffney who
Depd this life Dec the 10th
1801 aged 78 yr also his
Wife Bridget McEnnerreny

Erected by their four Sons
James Phillip Michael
and Owen Gaffney

The same headstone also marks the grave of Molly Gaffney, who died 28 Sep 1979.  She is the last relative who had lived in the family's home.

Gaffney Family Home:    The old house was still standing but abandoned when John Brian Gaffney visited there in 1987.  His photos are in the collection of images on this page.

Brian describes his visit to the Gaffney house and the gravesite in Finnea:

1987 Visit to Ireland

Birth Certificates:  In addition to his visit to the Gaffney home and gravesite, Brian also visited the county offices to search for family records.  He found two birth certificates for the district of Oldcastle, County Meath, recorded in 1867 and 1898:

Birth Certificates:  1867  1898

Owen Gaffney Last Will and Testament:  John Brian Gaffney has supplied a copy of Owen Gaffney's Last Will and Testament.  It is a certified copy made in 1879 in the handwriting of the San Patricio County Clerk, A. McGloin.

Owen Gaffney made his will on 10 Jan 1879; he died four days later on 14 Jan 1879.

In his will he gives money to the parish priest for offering the funeral mass; gives another sum to the church for his burial ceremony; and gives an additional sum to the church for its own use.  He gives his dwelling, storeroom and all of their merchandise and goods to his present wife, Mary; and divides his other properties equally to his three sons by his first wife, Catherine (Fadden):  James O. Gaffney, John Gaffney, and Michael T. Gaffney.

He requests that a stone be erected showing the dates of his birth and death, and the place of his nativity.  A photo of his headstone (also shown below) shows that his request was carried out by his wife Mary.


Owen Gaffney's Headstone:  Owen's headstone has a large crack where it had been damaged and broken, years ago.  In the photo, the headstone has been repaired.  It was repaired by John Brian Gaffney on a visit to the San Patricio cemetery.


Michael Thomas Gaffney Photo:  Michael J. Westergren, a descendant of Michael Thomas Gaffney, has supplied an image of a photographic portrait of his ancestor.  It is framed, and was colorized by the studio photographer.

It matches two other photographs, unframed and in sepiatone, that have been passed down in the family.  One belonged to Michael Thomas Gaffney's niece, Anna Agnes (Gaffney) Shore, who lived in Texas.  Another is from John Brian Gaffney, a descendant of Charles Gaffney in Connecticut.  These photographs have a rich gilt edging, and are shown below.


Michael Thomas Gaffney's home:  A photo of the family home in Corpus Christi, Texas is shown below.  Mike Westergren provided the photo and recalls what happened to the home:

Unfortunately it is after the government during the war made my grandmother Katherine Young who was then renting it out, split it up into multiple units.  Housing was scarce during the Second WW so I'm not complaining but the place was never the same.  My brother Phil and I looked into trying to save the old place but it just wasn't feasible.

Owen Phillip Gaffney Bible:  James Michael Gaffney, great-grandson of Owen Phillip Gaffney and Helen (Jordan) Gaffney, has supplied images of a Gaffney family Bible.  Its pages record the family's births, marriages, and deaths, even showing the dates and hours of the day.

The Bible records the family's baptisms, showing the dates and names of the parish priests and baptismal sponsors.

Through the entries found in this family Bible, vital information has been discovered about our relatives' lives which had hitherto gone unknown.

Seeing the handwriting in such a treasured record, kept by the family over several generations, brings their lives into focus for today's family.  Future generations can touch upon the faith their ancestors had, and can feel the care they felt for each other.  Their record is preserved for the family's future.

Owen Phillip Gaffney and Helen (Jordan) Gaffney:  James Michael Gaffney (Owen's great-grandson) sent a photo of the family taken in December 1945.

Top Left:  Charles Malcolm Gaffney (James Michael Gaffney's grandfather)
Center:  Helen (Jordan) Gaffney
Top Right:  Owen Jordan Gaffney
Lower Left:  Russell Gaffney
Jack Owen Gaffney (James Michael Gaffney's father).

John Bernard Gaffney and Jennie Lee (Hudgins) Gaffney:  James Michael Gaffney (Mike) sent a photo of their daughter Thelma as a young woman.

James Owen Gaffney:  Mike Gaffney sent a letter written on 29 Aug 1893 by James Owen Gaffney to his cousin Miss M. J. Gaffney in New Britain, Connecticut.  It was written by James Owen on receiving news of the death of his uncle, Charles Gaffney:

"... the only uncle I knew on my father's side and the remembrance of his attention, care and love for me when I was a little boy (almost always with him) made him very dear to me ..."


James Owen Gaffney:  A prayerbook, "Glories of Mary", belonged to James Owen Gaffney.  It was sent in to our heritage in May 2006 by Carole Ann Roberts, great-granddaughter of James Owen.  The book was printed in 1852.

James Francis Xavier Gaffney:  A prayerbook, "Garden of the Soul", belonged to James Owen Gaffney.  It was sent in to our heritage in May 2006 by Carole Ann Roberts, grandniece of James Francis.  The book bears signatures and the inscription:

"Present from Rev. Mother De Pazzie, Dec. 25, 1892".

All of these documents are shown below.


Burial records:

The newspaper clipping has Catherine (Gaffney) Johnson's obituary, 1941.  It lists the names of her surviving relatives.

The holy card is from Margaret Camilla (Gaffney) Finegan's funeral, 1971.  Her birthyear is shown as 1879 but that is apparently an error.  A family Bible shows her year of birth and baptism as 1877.  She is shown in the 1880 US Federal Census as 3 years of age.

Owen Gaffney's headstone is in the Saint Patrick's Church Cemetery, San Patricio, Texas.  It shows that it was erected by his wife Mary.  (Owen's first wife, Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney had died in 1871.)  The headstone records his birthplace in Ireland, as he had requested in his will.

James Owen Gaffney and his wife Margaret T. (O'Reilly) Gaffney are buried at the Saint Patrick's Church Cemetery, San Patricio, Texas.  Toward the right in the photo, Owen Gaffney's headstone can be seen in the background.

Here are some images.


1850 US Federal
Census
San Patricio
Page  1  2  3  4  5

1860 US Federal
Census
San Patricio
Owen Gaffney


1860 Slave Schedule

1870 US Federal
Census
San Patricio
Owen Gaffney

1870 US Federal
Census
Refugio
James O. Gaffney


Detail

1870 US Federal
Census
Refugio
Michael T. Gaffney

1880 US Federal
Census
San Patricio


Detail

1900 US Federal
Census
San Patricio


Detail

1930 US Federal
Census
San Antonio
Owen P. Gaffney

 

1930 US Federal
Census
Victoria
James Gaffney

 

1930 US Federal
Census
Corpus Christi
Catherine (Gaffney)
Young

1930 US Census
San Antonio
Charles J. Gaffney


Detail

1940 US Census
San Antonio
Agnes B. Gaffney


Detail

1940 US Census
San Antonio
Charles J. Gaffney

1940 US Census
San Antonio
James and Camilla
(Gaffney) Finegan

Gaffneys in
San Antonio
Directories
1927   1929   1931

Gaffney Family -- Early Settlers from Ireland to America
The family came from
Finnea and Ross, County Meath.
They were early settlers in
San Patricio County, Texas and New Britain, Connecticut.



Finnea and Ross,
Ireland


Gaffney Home
Finnea, Ireland

1  2

Composite


1987

John Brian
Gaffney
Visit
to Ireland

Charles and
Bridget (McEnnerreny)
Gaffney

Finnea, Ireland

Owen Gaffney

Born Ross,
Ireland
Died San Patricio,
Texas

From
Ireland
to
Texas

1837

Texas Area


Detail

Another View

Early Towns

Modern Map


1903

James Owen
Gaffney

(San Patricio
Town Surveyor)
Map

San Patricio
Life
(excerpts)

1  2  3
4  5  

San Patricio
Life
(excerpts)

6  7  8
9  10

1999
San Patricio

1999
San Patricio

1999
San Patricio

1999
San Patricio

1999
San Patricio
Gaffney Family Bible and Transcripts
The Bible's images are provided by James Michael Gaffney,
great-great-grandson of James Owen Gaffney (1839-1912) and Margaret (O'Reilly) Gaffney (1850-1896).
The Bible was passed down from his father, Jack Owen Gaffney (1935-1990)
and shows earlier generations.

The transcripts from the Bible's record of births, marriages, and deaths
were made by Jack Owen Gaffney.
Jack Owen also made transcripts from county, federal, and Latter Day Saints archives.
The transcripts are provided by John Brian Gaffney,
great-grandson of Charles Gaffney (1813-1893).

Family Bible
Cover

Family Bible
Inner Leaf

Family Bible
Page  1  2

Family Bible
Page  3  4

Family Bible
Page  5


Family Bible
Transcripts
1  2


LDS
Transcripts
1  2


LDS
Transcripts
3  4


LDS
Transcripts
5


County and Federal
Transcripts
1  2  3
McGloin, Molloy, and O'Reilly Families


Patrick
McGloin

Obituary
and
San Patricio
History

Mary Ann
(Molloy) McGloin
Patrick's Wife

Mary 'Lizzie'
McGloin's Children
Gaffney Cousins

Graves
O'Reilly

Space
available
Owen Gaffney and Catherine (Fadden) Gaffney

Space
available

Catherine
(Fadden)
Gaffney
Front  Back

Catherine
(Fadden)
Gaffney
Photo

Owen
Gaffney
Last Will and
Testament

Page  1  2

1987
Owen

Owen
Gaffney
Estate

Page  1  2

Owen
Gaffney
Estate

Page  3  4

Owen
Gaffney
Estate

Page  5  6

Owen
Gaffney
Estate

Page  7  8

Owen
Gaffney
Estate

Page  9  10
The photo above of Owen Gaffney's headstone was made in 1987 by John Brian Gaffney.
The photo at the left below was made in 1999 by James Roberts.
The other four photos below were made in 2007 by Michael Westergren.
The photos show how Owen's headstone has deteriorated in just a few years.

Brian is great-grandson of Charles Gaffney, Owen's brother.
Jim and Mike are great-great-grandsons of Owen Gaffney.

1999
Owen

San Patricio
Cemetery

Cemetery
Detail

2007
Owen

2007
Owen
James Owen Gaffney and Margaret (O'Reilly) Gaffney

James Owen and
Margaret (O'Reilly)
Gaffney
Photo

Margaret O'Reilly
in Ireland
Front  Back

Margaret O'Reilly

Glass Carried
to America
from Ireland

James Owen
Gaffney
Lapel Pin

Margaret (O'Reilly)
Gaffney
Photo

Zoom

Margaret (O'Reilly)
Gaffney
Front  Back

James Owen
and Margaret
Gaffney's
Home

Front  Back

29 Aug 1893

James Owen
Gaffney

Letter to
M.J. Gaffney

1896
Margaret (O'Reilly)
Gaffney
Holy Card
Front  Back

1912
James Obituary


James Owen
and
Margaret
James Owen Gaffney
Prayerbook

from Carole Ann Roberts,
great-granddaughter of James Owen Gaffney.


Cover


Inside
Front


Imprimatur
Page


Inside
Back


Signature
Detail
James Owen Gaffney
Memorial,  Odem, Texas

from Michael Westergren,
great-grandson of Michael Thomas Gaffney.


Gaffney
Memorial


Gaffney
Memorial


Gaffney
Memorial

Space
available

Space
available
Michael Thomas Gaffney and Maggie (Daly) Gaffney, Honora (Carnes) Gaffney

Michael Thomas
Gaffney
Family
Front  Back

1900 Census

1880 Census


Michael Thomas
Gaffney
Photo
Anna (Gaffney) Shore
Collection

Michael Thomas
Gaffney
Photo
John Brian Gaffney
Collection

Michael Thomas
Gaffney
Photo
Michael Westergren
Collection

 
M. T. Gaffney
Home
Corpus Christi,
Texas
John T. Johnson and Catherine (Gaffney) Johnson

John T.
Johnson
Photo

Space
available

Catherine
(Gaffney)
Johnson
Death Certificate

Catherine
(Gaffney)
Johnson
Obituary

Catherine
(Gaffney)
Johnson
Obituary
Owen Phillip Gaffney and Helen (Jordan) Gaffney

Owen Phillip
"Bud"
Gaffney
Front  Back

Owen Phillip
"Bud"
Gaffney
Photo

O. P. Gaffney
WWI Draft
Registration

Space
available

Space
available

Dec 1945
Gaffneys:
Charles Malcolm
Helen (Jordan)
Owen Jordan
James Russell
Jack Owen
Photo

Space
available

1957
Owen Phillip
Gaffney
Death
Certificate

Space
available

Apr 2006
James Michael
Gaffney
(Great-grandson)
and
James Jesse
Roberts
Photo
Charles Joseph Gaffney

Charles Joseph
Gaffney
Front  Back
Detail

Charles Joseph
Gaffney
Malaria Recovery
Hospital

Charles Joseph
Gaffney
Bexar County
Land Deeds

Denver Blvd
Home Bought
for
Two Sisters
21 Nov 1921
29 Dec 1921

Charles Joseph
Gaffney
Prayer Cards
Front  Back

Charles Joseph
Gaffney
Death
Certificate

Space
available

Space
available

Space
available

Space
available
Robert Emmet Lee Gaffney

Robert Emmet Lee
Gaffney
Front  Back
Detail

Space
available

Space
available

Space
available

1908
Robert Emmet Lee
Gaffney
Holy Card
James A. ('Tim') Finegan and Margaret Camilla (Gaffney) Finegan

24 Aug 1873

James Aloysius
Finegan
Baptism

16 Apr 1879
(cert. 1931)

Margaret Camilla
Gaffney
Baptism

1880 US Federal
Census
Philadelphia
Finegan Family

Date Unknown
James A. ('Tim')
Finegan
Front  Back

Date Unknown
Valentine
Tim to Camilla
Front  Back

Date Unknown
Valentine
Tim to Camilla
Front  Back

1907
Christmas
Sister-in-Law
Grace
to Camilla
Front  Back

1908
Birthday
Sister
"Mayme"
to Camilla
Front  Back

1913
Letter of
Recommendation
Front  Back

1916
Ann Shore with
Uncle Tim and
Aunt Camilla
Finegan


Zoom

1931
Tim and Camilla
Marriage License

1931
Camilla
Front  Back

1941
Card from
Sister "Mamie"
to Camilla
Front  Back

1948
Card from
Sister "Mamie"
to Camilla
Front  1  2  Back

Date Unknown
Camilla and Tim

1945
Finegan Family
Christmas Card
(Cover)

1945
Finegan Family
Christmas Card
(Photo)

1945
Finegan Family
Christmas Card
(Photo)

1955
James A.
Finegan
Death
Certificate

1955
James A.
Finegan
Holy Card

1958
James A.
Finegan
Holy Card

Date Unknown
Margaret Camilla
(Gaffney)
Finegan
Handwriting

Date Unknown
Margaret Camilla
(Gaffney)
Finegan
Handwriting

1971
Margaret Camilla
(Gaffney)
Finegan
Death
Certificate



Texas Record

1971
Margaret Camilla
(Gaffney)
Finegan
Holy Card
Front  Back
James Francis Xavier Gaffney and Grace Katherine (Murphy) Gaffney

James Francis
Gaffney
Front  Back

Grace (Murphy)
Gaffney
Front  Back

Grace (Murphy)
Gaffney
and
Unknown

James Francis
and
Grace (Murphy)
Gaffney
Marriage

Newspaper  Back

James Francis
and
Grace (Murphy)
Gaffney
Front  Back
James Francis Xavier Gaffney Prayerbook
from Carole Ann Roberts, James Francis Xavier's grandniece.


Cover


Inside
Front


Inside
Back


Inside
Back



Signatures
Details  1  2
Ernest Albert Rachal and Mary Estella "Mayme" (Gaffney) Rachal

Space
available

Space
available

Space
available

Ernest Albert
Rachal
(Photo 1)
Front  Back

Ernest Albert
Rachal
(Photo 2)
Front  Back

Ernest Albert
Rachal
Front  Back

Space
available

Space
available

Space
available

1958
Mary E.
(Gaffney)
Rachal
Holy Card
Front  Back
John Bernard Gaffney and Jennie Lee (Hudgins) Gaffney

John
Bernard
Gaffney Sr.

John
Bernard
Gaffney Sr.

Nov 1909
J. B. Gaffney
and
Lee Hudgins
Marriage

J. B. Gaffney
WWI Draft
Registration

J. B. Gaffney
WWII Draft
Registration

James Samuel
and Thelma
Gaffney

James Samuel
Gaffney

1918
Shore Children
and
Gaffney Cousins

Thelma, J.B. Jr.,
and
James Samuel
Gaffney

Thelma
Gaffney

1910
Thelma
Birth
Certificate

1913
James Samuel
Birth
Certificate

1941
James Samuel
Birth
Amendment

Space
available

1920
Census
J.B. Gaffney
Family


Zoom

1956
Jennie
Death
Certificate

1956
John Bernard
Death
Certificate

Space
available

Space
available

1970
Thelma
Death
Certificate

Jennie

John Bernard

Gaffney
Memorial
Clute, Texas

James Samuel

Thelma
1  2  Alba

Space
available

J.B. Jr.
Wife
Louise Olive

J.B. Jr.
and Wife
Vivian Bernice

Space
available

Space
available
Michael Hugh Gaffney and Thelma (Oliver) Gaffney

Michael Hugh
Gaffney
1  2

Michael Hugh
Gaffney
WWI Draft
Registration

Michael Hugh
Gaffney
WWII Draft
Registration

Space
available

1954
Michael Hugh
Death
Certificate
Our Connecticut Gaffney Heritage
Charles Gaffney (b. 1813, Townland of Ross, Ireland) married Ann Mulligan (b. 1833, Ireland).
They settled in New Britain, Connecticut
where their sons James, Bernard, Charles, and John,
and their daughter Mary Gaffney were born.

Other than for the census,
these photos and records are from Dorothy Anne Richter,
great-granddaughter of Charles and Ann.

1860 US Federal
Census
New Britain
Charles Gaffney

1870 US Federal
Census
New Britain
Charles Gaffney

1880 US Federal
Census
New Britain
Charles Gaffney

Space
available

Space
available

At the
Gaffney Family Farm
Stanley Quarter
New Britain



At the
Gaffney Bros. Store
John, James
and Charles



1888
John Gaffney
at left
New Britain
(written on back)

5 Mar 1894
New Britain
Record
Advertisement
Gaffney Store

1 May 1903
Accounts and
Inventory
of
Gaffney Store

Bernard F.
Gaffney

12 Sep 1911
John R. Gaffney
and
Mary McNamara
Wedding
Announcement

Abt 1936
John and Mary
(McNamara) Gaffney
at center --
other ladies
unidentified

Abt 1936
John R. Gaffney
Memorial Photo

May 1937
John R. Gaffney
Obituary

1934
Anne Gaffney
College of St Elizabeth

Abt 1940
Anne Gaffney and
Mary McNamara

19 Jun 1941
Anne Gaffney

Abt 1942
Anne Gaffney
and
Otto Richter

2007
Anne (Gaffney)
Richter

Aug 1942
Mary (McNamara) Gaffney
Obituary

Jan 1963
Mary A. J. Gaffney
91st Birthday

1893 - On
Gaffney Family
Cemetery Records

Space
available

Jan 2008
Anne (Gaffney)
Richter
Obituary

Gaffney Memorial
St Mary Cemetery
New Britain,
Connecticut

Gaffney Memorial
St Mary Cemetery
Reverse
Side

Mary A. Gaffney
and
John R. Gaffney
Footstones

Gaffney
Family
Area

Space
available
Irish Texans Heritage
University of Texas, Institute of Texan Cultures
San Antonio, Texas

This display describes the life of early settlers
like the Gaffney family.


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

Photo 7

Photo 8

Space
available

Space
available
More From Our Gaffney Heritage

Anna's Uncle
James M.
Gaffney
New Britain,
Connecticut
Front  Back

Anna's Uncle
John R.
Gaffney
New Britain,
Connecticut
Photo


Unknown


Photo belonged to
Anna Gaffney

5 Jan 1907
Postcard to
Catherine Gaffney
(Person unknown)

Old St Mary's
Church
San Antonio

San Patricio
Pastor Puig
Front  Back

1935
Pastor Puig
Letter to Anna Shore

Envelope
Back

Page  1  2

Reply


1879
Judge
John Gaffney
Signature

Gaffney
Oil Field

Marker in
Gaffney,
South
Carolina

Heritage Note
by
Margaret Ann
Roberts

Heritage Note
by
Margaret Ann
Roberts

Heritage Note
by
Margaret Ann
Roberts

Heritage Note
by
Margaret Ann
Roberts

Heritage Note
by
Margaret Ann
Roberts

March 2006
James Roberts
Letter to
Corpus Christi
Cathedral
Letter  Reply
Announcement

April 2006
Cousins
Mike Gaffney
and
Jim Roberts

Gaffney
Family Crest

1890
Civil War
Veterans
Pensions

1992
Pres. Bush
Thanks to
John Brian
Gaffney
Page  1  2

Gaffney Burials
Ft. Sam Houston
National
Cemetery

James
Russell
Gaffney

Owen
Jordan
Gaffney

Charles
Malcolm
Gaffney

Aline Mae
(Schwartz)
Gaffney

Hallie
Ann
Gaffney

Space
available

Space
available

Space
available

Space
available

14 August 2017


Return to the Gallery