John & Margaret Duffy
was born in Ireland. The
exact place, day and year of his birth are unknown. At the time of the
1850 census John's age was listed as 36 which would have made his
birth sometime around 1814. However,
his tombstone listed his age at the time of his death in 1876 as 72
years old. This would have
made his birth around the year 1804.
The names of his parents are not known.
It is also
not known exactly when John Duffy arrived in the United States. It is known that he purchased 80 acres of farmland in Monroe
County, Illinois from the U. S. Government for $1.25/acre on May 31,
1841. The land he purchased
is in Section 22, Township 3 South, Range 10 West, which is just outside
the small community of Madonnaville and several miles southwest of
Waterloo, the county seat. The
area is also known as New Design Precinct.
married Margaret McCauly on Feb. 9, 1848.
The marriage record is recorded in the record books of St.
Augustine Catholic Church in Hecker, Ill. In St. Clair County.
However, since the marriage license was issued by Monroe County,
the marriage probably took place in Madonnaville since the priests were
visiting Madonnaville on a circuit prior to the construction of the
permanent church in 1857. The
marriage produced at least six children.
The second oldest girl was Margaret Duffy Kipping.
McCauly was born Feb. 9, 1828 in County Galway, Ireland in the Parish of
Bullaum/Grange. She was baptized three days later on Feb. 12th.
Her father was John McAuley, her mother, Mary Cummins.
(Note: When the family first arrived in the U.S. they changed
their surname from McAuley to McCauly, later the spelling was changed to
It is not
known exactly when Margaret arrived with her family in the United
States. However, in the
1850 census, Margaret's younger sister, Mary, who was 14 at the time
and still living at home, was listed as having been born in Maryland.
Margaret's cousin, Michael, who was living next to his aunt and
uncle, was listed as 15 years old and having been born in New York.
Therefore it is probable the McCauly family arrived on the East
Coast sometime in the mid 1830's. Margaret's father purchased 320 acres of land from the U.S.
Government in Monroe County on Aug. 24, 1839.
Also at the
time of the 1850 census there was a Thomas Duffy, age 60, living with
John and his family. In the
census column for occupation, Thomas's occupation was listed as
"none." It is possible, although there is no proof at this time, that
Thomas was John's father. This listing in the 1850 census is the only
record for Thomas Duffy that has been found to date.
It is not known when or where he died.
apparently never did learn how to write as a copy of a note he signed
just months before his death reveals that he signed the document with an
X. It is also apparent that
John had money problems throughout his life.
newspaper published in Waterloo reveals that practically every year
during the 1850's and 1860's John Duffy was listed as being
delinquent in the payment of his real estate taxes. John
Duffy died on Dec. 12 1876. He
is buried in the cemetery at Madonnaville.
At the time of his death he had a number of outstanding debts,
some of which were past due. After
his death court papers reveal that his widow stated that the debts
exceeded the value of the estate.
John's death his widow, Margaret, was appointed Executrix of the
estate. On March 22, 1877,
she filed what was known as a Widow's relinquishment and selection
document whereby she relinquished her claim to $1100.00 worth of estate
property to pay estate debts and asked to retain ownership of various
items she valued at $2042.40. Apparently
the debts were not paid and towards the end of 1883, Margaret asked the
court to allow her to sell two parcels of land to generate funds to pay
off the remaining debt.
children and grandchildren opposed the proposed sale of land to pay off
the debts. In their
opposition in court the children and grandchildren claimed that:
-a proper inventory of the real and personal property of the estate
was never filed
-a correct appraisal of the assets was never filed with the court
-a correct account of the true debts was never filed with the court
-the value of the estate assets was more than $3779.00 as claimed
-at the time of his death John was the owner of a large amount of
which was not included in the inventory of the estate and large
credits were owed
him in excess of $1000 and were not included as part of his assets
-Margaret kept assets for herself which would have brought more
than $1800 if
-Margaret kept for herself all income from the rent she received
form the estates
land which had been rented out
-Margaret paid off at least $2000 of her personal debts from the
from the estate
-there were sufficient funds from the estate to pay off all debts
without selling the
land owned by the estate
the judge agreed with Margaret concerning the dispute.
A notice was filed in the local newspaper stating that two parcels
of land, a 55 acre parcel and an 80 acre parcel, were to be sold at
auction on June 21, 1884 to the highest bidder to pay the estate's
record at this point is confusing. The
55 acre parcel was apparently sold in 1884; but for some unexplained
reason not the 80 acre parcel. On
July 30, 1891, another notice was filed in the newspaper stating that the
80 acre parcel was again to be auctioned off on Aug. 27, 1891, to pay
debts as previously ordered by the court in December 1883.
Apparently this sale did take place and presumable the estate's
debts were finally paid off nearly 15 years after John Duffy's death.
It is not known what effect this family dispute had on the relation
ship between Margaret and her children and grandchildren.
Margaret died of influenza on May 15, 1898 in New Design Precinct near Burksville, Illinois. She is buried in the cemetery in Madonnaville, Illinois. However, cemetery records indicate that no tombstone was placed on her grave site. It is not known if the lack of a tombstone was the result of family financial difficulties or if it was related to continuing family strife due to Margaret's handling of her late husband's estate and the subsequent sale of the family farm to pay off debts.
Click the below links to view more data about this family.
The following links all pertain to the Probate and distribution of John Duffy's properties.
Submitted by Gene Block: Note Anyone related to these families is welcome to contact me at [email protected]