The Shanahan Clan

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The Shanahan Clan

Post Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:34 am -0500

Photo: From the late 1960's, Richard T Shanahan and Me, Dan Mestayer.

Although my Grandfather Richard 'Dick' T Shanahan is not my biological grandfather, he certainly filled the role. I have many fond memories of visiting my Grandparents in San Francisco. Richard had no biological decedents but helped father my Mother and her two sisters and fostered an endearing relationship with the dozens of grand and great-grand children that follow.

After his tragic death from an elevator accident and inadequate care at the hospital, my grandmother moved to Stockton. In fact she is three doors down from us, around the corner from my sister and just blocks away as a crow would fly from my parents.

I have received several contacts by email and snail mail over the last few years in regards to the Shanahan Clan and Richard T Shanahan. Below are some excerpts from these letters. If you wish to clarify anything, please use this forum with your additional details. Thank you to those whom have contributed to this forum by proxy of this collection of information. Soon to follow, I hope to have more recent photos of Richard Shanahan on the site.

From M. Moore

My mother's name is Margaret Shanahan Moore and her mother was Mary (Mayme) Sheehan Shanahan of rural Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois. My Grandmother Shanahan had a younger sister named Rose Sheehan who married Mike Shanahan, a brother to my Grandfather Jim Shanahan. Aunt Rose died in June 1925 soon after giving birth to their first child, a son Richard Shanahan.

Mom's cousin Richard was raised by her mother, my grandmother, and Mom always thought of him as a younger brother. He had moved to California by the time I was born, but I do remember meeting him a couple of times when he came back to Illinois for visits. I think Mom .may have telephoned him once during the 1960s or 1970s, but that was probably the last contact we had with Richard. My mother is now 94 and has two sisters still living, Catherine Shanahan Maurer, 93 and Irene Shanahan Hoffman, 90. Along with another Sheehan cousin from Jacksonville aged 87, they are the only surviving members of that generation of Sheehans.

From D. Woods

Hello, I wandered into your site via a search for Richard T Shanahan (1925-90) from Jacksonville, IL, who i think was my grandfather's 2nd cousin. That would make me 4th cousins with his grandchildren i guess.
I noticed references to "Grandpa" Shanahan's gravesite & navy records in 1 of your message board threads.

I'm descended from the only member of the large Shanahan family who stayed in Ireland in the 1850s, while 8 siblings emigrated to Minnesota or Illinois.

From M. Moore

I checked my family database files and found Dave, just as he described himself. I remember corresponding with his grandmother in the 1990s when she was living on the old Shanahan farm in Broadford, County Clare, Ireland. Her name is (was) Mollie Ryan and she'd married into the Shanahan clan. Her late husband James Joseph Shanahan was the grandson of the only Shanahan who remained in Ireland and farmed the land, as Dave explained. I'd have to check my old letters file to see if we ever corresponded. I know there was one genealogist from that branch of the Shanahans who had done extensive research on their folks, and it was probably him. Many of their family had moved to England. Another distant cousin from one of the Minnesota brothers is now living in Arizona and has actually written a book about the Shanahans. If you were to put the research from the three of us together you'd have a pretty full story of the family.

It's been a while since we emailed and I do have news. My mother Margaret Shanahan Moore, Richard's first cousin, passed away in March, just a week before her 95th birthday. She had a long and good life and I do miss her a lot. Her sister Catherine Shanahan Maurer, 93, is very ill too, as is her husband Eddie, 90. There is still one sister left, Irene Shanahan Hoffman, age 91, who is in pretty good health. Bernie Shanahan's wife Margie is still alive as well, age 86.

From D. Woods

This is what i have so far: Richard T Shanahan (1925-90), only son of Michael D. Shanahan (1877-1948, Jacksonville), son of Patrick T. Shanahan (1839, County Clare, IRL-1923, Jac'ville), son of William Shanahan (c1810-c1860, Ireland). This William Shanahan was my grt-grt-grt-grandfather, through my mother's side.
Patrick T. Shanahan had 8 sons, giving your Grandpa Dick 9 cousins in Illinois.

William Shanahan had 10 chidren born near Broadford, Co. Clare. All but one emigrated to Preston, Minnesota or Jacksonville, IL in the 1850-60's. So your Grandpa had tons of 2nd cousins around the Mid-West. I've traced most of their descendants, with a lot of help from a few other Shanahan family researchers, particularly a lady from Arizona & a cousin of my mothers from Birmingham, England.


Dan Mestayer

Posts: 93
Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Location: California, USA
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