The Ancestors Are Restless

Wow, what a week that was!

As I studied for my math and Java finals, my ancestors woke up and decided to mess with me. All of them. All at once.

It started with a message here to this post. James B. Flynn asked me to contact him regarding some Flynns of Troy, NY items. I dutifully set aside relearning amortization and sent him an email asking what was up. This started the flood, most of which he has asked me to post here so that other people interested in the Flynn family from Troy, NY might also enjoy them, too.

From the Tuesday afternoon edition of The Troy Times, May 29, 1900, in the Personal section (which meant a whole different thing than it does now) of the Lansingburgh column, we have this:
James F. Flynn Jr. was one of the “famous” Flynns of brush factory fame. He was the business traveler of the firm. I have stories from my mom about him travelling hither and yon in search of horse hair or bore bristles. Europe was pretty much nothing for him. His biggest trip, that I have record of somewhere, was to the Far East. I’ll see if that one turns up. Now, what I find interesting about this clipping is the inclusion of his middle initial. james F flynn JR. Junior, here, was one of the first generation Americans born to James and Ann, both of whom were born in County Someplace, Ireland. That would be james F flynn SR. I have never seen reference to the middle initial before, so this is a great clue! It will help narrow the field of James Flynns born in County Someplace, which is vast. Thank you, James B. for that!

Next, from the very interestingly named periodical, “Brooms, Brushes and Handles, Volume 15”, we have this ad:
I am unsure of the year, but that is some crazy niche trade publication. Brushmaking was a massive business back in the day. I have searched the Lansingburgh 1850 US Census line by line, all 84 pages of it. Even in 1850, brushmaking was massive. It is something that we don’t even think about in this day and age. Actually, my cheap, Chinese-made shoe brush just gave up its bristles tonight. Does anyone have a good, quality, Flynn Brothers brush that I could have?

I have to admit, I am still working through the meaning of this one. Perhaps James B. will enlighten me about its importance. From 1900’s “A Review of the American Hardware Market, Vol. 22”.
Seems they were spinning off part of the business? Also, I am not 100% clear who John Flynn Jr was. I have a John F. Flynn Jr, but he was a policeman, I believe. Again, if James B. could shine a light on this, that would be great.

I like this one, as I don’t think I have ever actually seen a picture of the factory.
1940_Flynn Bros brush factory 111th street looking South on 5th

Next is a copy of the Lansingburgh Historical Society newsletter from Feb 2015. In here is a pretty decent description of the brushmaking process, with, of course, a mention of Flynn Brothers.

But here is where things got kicked into overdrive. It is the April 2015 LHS newsletter, which gives a very detailed family history of the Flynns of Flynn Brothers. I was amazed at what was covered. It verified my genealogical efforts and provided a missing maiden name to boot. But there was one thing in there that sat sideways with me and I had to know where the author came up with the records to support his claim that James & Ann had lived in New York City while eldest son Patrick started the business. Nothing in my research even hinted to James & Ann ever even visiting NYC, let alone living there. Ireland to Quebec, Quebec to Troy. So, I contacted the LHS and asked if I might be put in touch with the author to discuss this. I did hear back from the author of the article and I will cover that in another blog entry. VERY interesting stuff. Sorry to leave you hanging.

Sad news from the Wednesday Evening, Feb 14, 1934, edition of the Troy Daily Times. James Flynn Jr is dead.
This, it turns out, is the source of the maiden name that I had been missing. Mary A. Burke.

And here is the last piece that I received last Monday. This might be my favorite of the bunch.

Now, all of that hit my inbox before noon on Monday, May 11. To give you an idea of how nuts this past week has been, I am only now, Monday the 18th at 10:30 at night, getting to posting these items. There is so much more behind these that I will be days making these blog posts. Not all of it is Flynn related, but a good amount of it is. Look for more in the days to come.

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