John & Liz Flynn

Sure. Sure. It sounds like I know them. Well, after spending a week with them, I kind of do! Too bad they have been dead for about a hundred years! They were my 2nd great grandparents. And, until this week, they were as far back on the Flynn-side of the house as we knew. John Flynn was born in 1847.

But, in researching one of their five sons, I stumbled across an article listing not just the names of John and Elizabeth (Lemay), but of John’s parents!

James Henry Flynn, Troy, New York, physician and surgeon, was born in Lansingburg, New York, October 28, 1873, son of John Flynn and Elizabeth Lemay, his wife. His paternal grandparents, James and Ann Flynn, emigrated from Ireland about 1835 and settled in Quebec, Canada. Four years later they located in Lansingburg. New York, and engaged in farming. Dr. Flynn’s maternal grandparents were Canadians, who also settled in Lansingburg.

Thank you, Dr. Flynn!

Now, tracing a couple of Micks with names such as James (b. 1805) and Ann (b. 1810) (she also went by Nancy) back across the Canadian border into Quebec (?) in “about” 1839 is going to be tough enough. Tracing them back to Ireland? I am not holding out hope of that. I also found the three brothers of John Flynn, as well. These would be the famous Flynn Brothers of the same named brush factory. The eldest of these brothers, Patrick, was born in Canada in 1836. It is amazing just how many Patrick Flynns were born in Canada in 1836! And then to move to the US at three years of age? Did he just assume US citizenship or did he actually go through the naturalization process? I have yet to find any record of that.

So, that is my blog post on this fine New Year’s Eve. This news has tickled my mother, who never knew just how long the Flynns had been in the States and it also helped to explain why she could never find any records or hints on Ellis Island. I just sealed up the envelope containing the application request for a copy of John and Elizabeth’s wedding certificate. I am hoping, if it can be found, that it might contain some more detailed info on James and Ann/Nancy, as well as Ms Lemay’s parents.

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12 Responses to John & Liz Flynn

  1. James B. Flyn says:

    I am

    I am the great, great, grandson of John Flynn and Elizabeth Lemay and from Troy. Keep up the search – I grew up in Troy and can share alot about the shop and family

    • kathy says:

      I am also related to the Flynn’s who owned the brush co. in lansingbugh ny. My mother’s maiden name is Gregg. Her mother was a Flynn. I was told the family came here from Ireland before Ellis Island.

      • matthannan says:

        That is true. Before Ellis Island and through Canada. The records of Catholic crossings to Canada from Ireland before the Famine are few and far between. For one, it just wasn’t that common an occurrence. And secondly, records of all kinds from that period are few and far between!

        Nice to meet you, cousin!

      • matthannan says:

        Hi, Kathy. Could you email me the full trail from you back to the Flynn family, please? I do not seem to have any Gregg surnames on my tree, which is a pity. I would like to get your family represented. Thank you.

  2. matthannan says:

    James! Can you believe that I have only seen your comment now? I am trying to be a bit more focused on this blog, but since 2012? Embarrassing.

    John and Elizabeth are my 2nd great grandparents, which I think makes us peers as cousins. I would love to know which line you descended from. And where did your missing “n” go? 😉

    My mother was born in Troy, but moved to Manhattan as a young girl. I am sure that anything that you have to share would be greatly appreciated by her. And me. And several of my first cousins.

    I sure hope you get this.

    • James Flynn says:

      Matt please send me an em

      • James B Flynn says:

        All – please send me an email to and put Flynn in subject line I have significant information on Flynn family of lansingburgh and the brush business, etc, etc – more than will believe

        • Rose cawood says:

          Hello James my father Bill Flynn was born 8/3/21 his great uncle, whose name we do not know was an owner or co owner of the brush factory. Unfortunately we have little info other than my fathers father was William Michael Joseph Flynn and his brother’s name was Andrew. Michael Joseph had seven sisters (there may have been twin girls). As a youth Michael worked in the brush factory.

  3. Pingback: The Ancestors Are Restless | Matt's Blarg

  4. James L. Owens says:

    Before Ellis Island there was Castle Garden at the foot of Manhattan. Unfortunately a fire there destroyed many of the immigration records. I was able to find my Trojan GGrandfather in a list of passengers from a ship arriving in New York.

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