O'Leary Family

Main Page

O'Leary, Files, Fletcher, Hutchinson, Raworth

Martin O’Leary, husband of Elizabeth Files

Compiled by Judy Griffin, 2007 - email address


Martin O'Leary

Information and photos have been provided by Judy Griffin, Jim Fletcher and Linda Smania. Please email us with comments or information on this family line. A huge thanks to all the researches who have provided the information!

Martin O’Leary was born circa November 2, 1809 in Ireland (calculated from tombstone) and died on February 20 or 28, 1879 in Lynchburg Township, Mason County, Illinois. The Mason County Deaths record stated that Martin was born in Ireland. He married Elizabeth M. Files, date unknown. Elizabeth was born on August 13, 1813 or 1812 in New York and died on January 9, 1877 in Lynchburg Township, Mason County (see Elizabeth Files history). Researcher Bill Greibling has Martin’s birth on February 24, 1810 in County Cork, Ireland, and died on February 28, 1879. Martin came to Illinois circa 1857 (from death record). Martin and Elizabeth’s tombstones at Fairview Cemetery in Mason County were transcribed and photographed:

Martin O'Leary gravestone         Elizabeth Files O'Leary gravestone

Martin O’Leary, d. 20 Feb 1879 a 69 y 3 m 18 d

Elizia M. O’Leary wf of Martin O’Leary b. 13 Aug 1813 d. 9 Jan 1877 a 63 y 4 m 26 d (birth calculated 14 Aug 1813)

Fairview Cemetery Church and More Tombstones

The probate files for Mason County were checked but nothing was found. However, there was a deed book entry. In this record, Martin’s heirs, daughters Margaret and our Elizabeth, sold their interest in the property of Martin’s estate for $5,800 on November 23, 1882. (1) Sons George D. and John H. also sold their interest.

The Public Domain Sales Land Tract Records show a Martin O’Leary purchasing land in Woodford County, Illinois in 1858. The Mason County Deaths notes that Martin died at 69 yrs and 4 days of age in Lynchburg Township and was buried in Fairview Cemetery. (2) He died February 28, 1879 and was born in Ireland. It also says he had lived in Illinois for 22 years. That would put him coming to Illinois in 1857, which would fit with this land sale record (but see below).

It is quite frustrating that Martin was not found in the 1860 census, though there are other family lines that also seem to be difficult to find in 1860. There was a Martin Leary, age 33, farm laborer, born Ireland with Mary Leary, age 32, and Daniel Leary, age 32 in the 1860 Woodford County census. These seem to be part of a large Leary family in Woodford County, that seemed to have come from Ireland between 1855 and 1860. This Martin was a farm laborer, but not living on a farm, it seems. The 1858 land sale seems to be the sale of two lots in Woodford County, not a farm. This land sale was probably not our Martin.

In the 1830 census there were several O’Learys – two in New York State, two in Maryland, and one in Ohio. In 1820 when our Martin would have been about 11 years old, the only O’Leary shown in the nationwide census index was a Humphrey living in Washington, DC. In the New York Census for 1840 there was a Martin O’Leara in the town of Mohawk, Montgomery County. Note that Fonda, where Martin’s daughter Elizabeth said she was born, is in Mohawk Township, Montgomery County. The ages are right for the two adults (between 20 to 29), and two of the children found in the 1850 census could be the two listed under age five. However, there are one male and one female ages five to under ten, and one female age 10 to under fifteen that were not found in the 1850 census. If Elizabeth Files married circa age 16, she could have had her first child by about 1830. These three children between ages five to under fifteen in 1840 could be additional children of Martin and Elizabeth.

Martin and his family were found in Mohawk Township in the 1850 census, cleverly disguised under the transcribed name Martin O. Jacy. Martin was age 39, a laborer, born in Ireland. Elizabeth M. was age 37, born in New York. Their children Anna (12), John (10), Sarah (8), George (6) and William H. (1) were listed with them, all born in New York. Anna was undoubtedly Margaret Ann. Martin was found in the 1870 census. Martin was a farmer, age 60, with real estate valued at $3,500. Elizabeth was listed, age 58, born in New York. Listed with them was their granddaughter, Georgia, daughter of Elizabeth O’Leary and William H. Hutchinson. On the same page were Henry Howarth and his wife Rebecca. On the next page was John W. Howarth, with Martin’s son George O’Leary, his wife and child living with John W. These Howarths are related to our Elizabeth Abbott who married Richard Tomlinson. See Abbott history.

The known children of Martin and Elizabeth were:


John H. O'Leary

John H. O’Leary (Martin1) was probably born December 26, 1839 (from tombstone) in New York, and died on August 5, 1918 in Bath, Mason County. One source states that he was born in Schenectady, New York. John served in the Civil War in Company B, 85th Illinois Volunteers from August 27, 1862 until July 22, 1865. His record states that he was a paroled prisoner who deserted on November 8, 1862 at Mitchellsville, Kentucky and was captured at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia on July 19, 1864. (5) He was held a prisoner at the notorious Andersonville Prison during the war, exchanged at the end of the war, April 1, 1865. (6)

After John returned from the war, he married Mrs. Mary E. Bunton on December 1, 1865 in Mason County. (7) Mary E. was born circa 1843 in Illinois and died in 1877 in Bath Township, Mason County. Her maiden name may have been Daniels. She had one child with her previous husband, a daughter Bell. Bell Bunton, a daughter of Mary E., was born about 1859 in Forrest City Township or Plains Township, Mason County, Illinois. On his marriage record, Mary E.’s son Charles and daughter Minnie both stated that their mother was Mollie Daniels. A marriage for a Mary E. Daniels and John N. Benton, May 6, 1858 in Mason County was found on the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index.

John & Permelia O'Leary

John H. and Permelia O'Leary in front of their home in Bath

John’s farm was valued at $6,400 and his personal estate at $600 in 1870, so he was doing. In the 1891 Mason County Plat book, he was said to have come to Mason County in 1856 (another source says the Plat Book has this date as 1842). (8) John was a Police Magistrate and Pension Agent at Bath in Mason County. (9) After Mary E.’s death, John, age 38, married Miss Permelia Ellsworth, age 27, on December 30, 1877 in Mason County. (10) They were married at the home of Permelia’s father, James Ellsworth. Permelia was born on April 4, 1852 and died on October 10, 1915. John and Permelia, as well as John’s first wife, are buried in the Bath Cemetery. John’s obituary indicates that he owned land in Montana: “John H. O’Leary died at his home in Bath, Illinois, Monday morning at 1:15 o’clock. He was seventy-eight years, seven months and nine days of age and his demise is the result of a general breaking down following a paralytic stroke, which he suffered a year ago while on his ranch in Montana. Mr. O’Leary was a veteran of the Civil War, and a man of intense patriotism. He was in the company with David Sigley of this city and the two were Andersonville prisoners at the same time. Mr. O’Leary served a longer period than did Mr. Sigley, because the latter was wounded. He re-enlisted from Havana in Company B, 85th Illinois Volunteers, Aug 4th, 1862, and served in many engagements with conspicuous bravery until 22 Jul 1865. While maintaining his home in Bath, he had large interests in Montana, where two of his sons reside. He is survived by one daughter, Mrs. D. L. McCarty, of Bath, and six sons, Nelson & Roy of Montana, George, who is in the service, Orie, Willis and Charles. Funeral services were held on Tuesday from the Methodist church in Bath. Interment in Bath cemetery, with military honors, the G.A.R. having charge.” (11)

The children of John O’Leary and Mrs. Mary E. Bunton were:

The children of John O’Leary and Permelia Ellsworth were (in son Nelson’s birth record, he was listed as Permelia’s fourth child, three living, there may have been one additional child born before 1883): (13)


George D. O'Leary

George D. O’Leary (Martin1) was born on February 3, 1845 in Montgomery County, New York and died on March 5, 1901 in Pueblo, Pueblo County, Colorado. He was buried on March 7, 1901 in Mountain View Cemetery in Pueblo. He married Nancy I. Howarth on January 21, 1866 in Lynchburg Township, Mason County, the daughter of John Howarth and Alice Abbott. Alice Abbott was the sister of our Elizabeth Abbott who married Richard Tomlinson. Nancy was born on 15 July 1848 in Lynchburg Township, and died on August 6, 1874 in Lynchburg Township.

During the Civil War, George was living in Bath, Illinois when he entered a 100 day enlistment in Company I, 139th Infantry. He enlisted on 16 March 1864 and was discharged on October 28, 1864 at Peoria, Illinois. His brother, John H. O’Leary from Bath, had enlisted in the same Company on August 4, 1862. George was described as five feet, two inches tall with dark complexion, dark hair and blue eyes. While in the service he came down with the black measles on July 15, 1864 and spent six weeks in the Post Hospital in Cairo, Illinois. This illness left him with rheumatism which plagued him throughout his life. In 1870 George O’Leary, his wife Nancy and daughter, Alice age 7 months, were living with Nancy’s parents, John and Alice Howarth. Also living in the John Howarth household were three Fletcher children: Charles, age 5; John W., age 4; and Minnie, age 1.

When George and Nancy’s daughter, Alice, was three years old, she and her cousin Amy Howarth, who was ten years of age, were playing in the barn on the Howarth farm. Nancy had placed her baby boy, William, in the barn to sleep while she was busy about the yard. Amy and Alice had some matches and started a fire in the runway of the barn. When they came running out screaming, Nancy saw the smoke and rushed into the barn to save her baby. Nancy died shortly after, and William died two months later.

Two of George and Nancy’s infant children died and were buried with Nancy in Fairview Cemetery. The cemetery records of Mason County, Illinois show that there were two infant children buried with George’s first wife, but does not identify either their sexes or ages (the tombstone/sexton records identify them as infants). According to the affidavits in her husbands military pension record, Nancy died in the fire about eight months after she gave birth to her fifth child. Based on the birthdates of her known children, the two children buried with her may have been twins born about 1867.

After Nancy’s death, George D. married Mary Ann Raworth on June 23, 1875 in Virginia, Cass County, the daughter of our Joseph Raworth and Alice Tomlinson. (18) Mary Ann was born on May 14, 1855 in Cass County, and died May 9, 1923 in Dorchester, Saline County, Nebraska. See the Raworth history for more information on Mary Ann and her children after George’s death. Their marriage license stated that George D. O’Leary and Mary Ann Raworth resided in Chandlerville, Cass County, Illinois at the time of their marriage and they were married in the bride’s father’s home by Rev. M. E. Elder of Chandlerville, Illinois. When their child, Nancy Elizabeth, was born in 1876, George’s occupation was listed as a tenant farmer.

After George married Mary Ann Raworth, the family moved from Illinois to Crete, Saline County, Nebraska in 1883, where Mary Ann’s father, our Joseph Raworth was living. By 1890 they had moved to Bucklin, Ford County, Kansas. In April of 1890, George briefly returned to Illinois to visit his brother John in Saidora and to sell property on behalf of his minor son John Martin O’Leary to Timothy Fletcher. Just why George and Mary Ann decided to leave Bucklin is unknown, but the economic conditions may have been a factor. By 1899, the family was living in Pueblo, Colorado, where they still lived at the time of George’s death in 1901. Mary Ann was left destitute and had to wash for a living after George’s death. After his death, Mary Ann and their youngest living child, Lloyd, moved back to Nebraska to live with her father, Joseph Raworth. Mary Ann and her children William C. and Lloyd were living with her father, Joseph Raworth, in Dorchester, Saline County, Nebraska in 1910. Mary Ann died there in 1923. On April 2, 1902 Mary A. O’Leary filed a pension application based on George’s Civil War service that gives some family information: (19) Original Pension Claim of Mary A. OLeary w? - Geo. D OLeary late co. I ? and co. I 39 Ill Inf. Mary A. Oleary aged 46 years, a resident of Pueblo in the County of Pueblo and State of Colorado, post office address is 710 West 7th Street, Pueblo, Colorado. “That she is the widow of Geo D. Oleary who died on March 5th 1901 in Pueblo Col. _?_ he left no property and I am supporting myself and two children who are under 16 years of age by laboring. I had three children by Geo D Oleary (under 16 years of age Mch 19 1901 _?_ living) one names Mildred J. Oleary who died June 29 1900 and Lloyd and William C. Oleary who are now living with me. Mildred J. Oleary was one year old past when she died being born June 15 1899. she was buried in Pueblo Colorado in Riverview? Cemetery [probably Mountain View]. William C. Oleary was born Dec. 17 1890 and is living and Lloyd Oleary was born Aug 17 1894 and is living both of them children and Mildred was born in bucklin Kansas.”

Children of George D. and Nancy:

Children of George D. and Mary Ann Raworth O’Leary were: (25)


1 Mason Co., Illinois Deed Book 51, p. 2/3.

2 Mason County Deaths, my note, probably published by the genealogy society.

3 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Vol. A2, p. 2, licence 110, Mason County.

4 George A. Ford household. 1870 Illinois Federal Census, Lynchburg, Mason County, Roll M593-255, p. 103, post office Snicarte, dwelling 109, family 105.

5 Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database (Online), Illinois Civil War Detail Report. John H. O’Lary, Private, Company B, 85th Illinois Infantry, age 22, joined for three years on August 4, 1862 at Mason County, Illinois by Captain Griffith. Mustered in on August 27, 1862 at Peoria, Illinois. Mustered out on June 12, 1865 at Springfield, Illinois by Captain Montgomery. Remarks: Paroled prisoner (deserted November 8, 1862 at Mitchellsville, Kentucky) captured at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 19, 1864.

6 John H. O’Leary, Union Army, 85th Illinois Regiment, Company B, Private, held at Andersonville and survived, capture date unknown, exchanged April 1, 1865, when the war ended. enlisted 4 Aug 1862; Company B; 85th Illinois Infantry; pension application #599.600; certificate #952302; filed 26 Feb 1887.

7 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Vol. A2, license 557, Mason County.

8 Platbook of Mason County Illinois, Chicago: Alden, Ogle & Co., 1891.

9 Historical Directory of Mason Co., IL for the village of Bath; J. H. O’Leary, born 1840 in New York, came to Mason Co., IL in 1856; residing in Bath, was the Police magistrate and Pension Agent.

10 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Vol. 1, p. 1, licence no. 6, Mason County.

11 Mason County Democrat, Friday, August 9, 1918

12 Transcribed marriage record from Mason County Marriage Records, Havanna, Illinois.

13 The birth records for Nelson Otho O’Leary, Florence Allen and Floida Allen were transcribed from at Havanna, Illinois.

14 Dora L. McCarty household. 1930 Illinois Federal Census, Bath Village, Mason County, Roll: 537; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 3, dwelling 63, family 63.

15 Lewiston Daily News, Newspaper, 2 Oct 1966. Fergus County, Marriage Records.

16 Transcribed marriage record from Mason County Marriage Records, Havanna, Illinois.

17 Dora L. McCarty household. 1930 Illinois Federal Census, Bath Village, Mason County, Roll: 537; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 3, dwelling 63, family 63.

18 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Vol. III, p. 63, license 3008, Cass County.

19 Pension Application Affidavit 2 April 1902, State of Nebraska, County of Saline.

20 The Fletchers in Mason County Illinois, by James Eugene Fletcher edited by Joann (Sarff) Lynn.

21 Jno M. Oleary household. 1900 Colorado Federal Census, Precinct 14 and part of Precinct 13, 4th Ward, Pueblo, Pueblo County, Roll T623-128, p. 9B, ED 99, 623 W. 5th(?) St., dwelling 200, family 211.

22 John Oleary household. 1910 Oklahoma Federal Census, Hooker Township, Texas County, Series T624, Roll 1273, p. 139B, dwelling 99, family 97.

23 Letter from E. O. Allen, Hooker, Oklahoma to George T. Fletcher, postmarked May 14, 1935 at Liberal, Kansas.

24 Amarillo Globe-News, June 4, 1999.

25 Elizabeth A. (O’Leary) Hutchinson, aunt, provided the information for the 1941 delayed birth records of Nancy Elizabeth, George Washington, Ethel and Maggie. These records were transcribed at Havanna, Mason County, Illinois.

26 Email, September 18, 2007. I am descended from Martin O'Leary through George D then William Clyde and my Father was Roy William O'Leary.