Thomas Reed

born: Ireland
spouse: Mary FLETCHER
Richard REED
Elizabeth REED
Thomas REED
William Reed

Little is known about the elder Thomas Reed. There is a record of Thomas Reed buying land in section 35 (the SE corner) of Welton Township and 40 adjacent acres in section 2 of De Witt township in Clinton county, April 6, 1848, from John Holst and wife.

In 1874 parts of section 35 of Welton township are owned by a C. Reed and R. Reed. This apparently refers to Richard and Catherine Reed.

It is difficult to distinguish between this father Thomas Reed and his son. The interpretation presented here is that the father and son both came to Iowa from Ireland. We think the above mentioned 1848 land purchase might have been the father Thomas. But it could have just as easily been the son, and I have no evidence the father was ever in Iowa, although he might have been. The 1879 Clinton Co. history book, the section on De Witt Township, says ``Thomas Reed and family located on the old Reed farm in 1849, where he died.'' In the 1850 census, there is a Thomas Reed, 24, in De Witt Township, but he is only 24 and lives in the % Patrick Lawler % household. Thomas is listed last, but is the land owner. I think the 24yr old Thomas was a son of the older one since he (the 24 year old) has no family then and later moves to Washington township (instead of dying there in De Witt township). So the interpretation is that the father Thomas has died by the time of the 1850 census and the son inherited the farm. The other son Richard (and his wife Catherine) later took possession of the land.

We once thought the elder Thomas Reed was buried in De Witt Cemetery, close to the Luceys and Donegans, right next to the main driveway. One stone there is one of the older stones from the style --- maybe at least pre-1860. It is a flat type stone very ornate and has been broken off and has been reset in the ground, and the only thing that is legible is ``Thomas Reed Queens Ireland''. There is another line but it is not legible. It is approximately 16 by 30 and 3 inches thick and stands upright. It has been reset so that part of it is under ground. Instead of being rectangular it is sculpted on the edges. However, from the St. Joseph's cemetery index, this is probably the 1861 tombstone of the younger Thomas Reed.

Another problem with the theory of burying the older Thomas Reed at De Witt pre-1850, is that in John Lucey's history of St. Joseph's church of De Witt, he says that the cemetery there first came into use in 1853. However, it is possible that the stone was placed there in his memory at some later date.

This Reed family has really been pieced together a little at a time. I'm not positive about a lot of things. I am pretty sure that the son Thomas and Elizabeth were brother and sister since Thomas lives with Elizabeth and her husband Pat Lawlor in 1850. The son Richard is placed in the same family by records of Mary (McDermott) Ryan. See Richard's text for more details.

One 1913 obituary of Catherine (Lawler) Farrell (daughter of Elizabeth Reed Lawler) states that Catherine's funeral was held at the home of her cousin, Anna Beitenman (Richard Reed's daughter). That makes Richard and Elizabeth brother and sister. Catherine's obituary also names ``cousins and nephews'' who were pallbearers at her funeral, including a John Reed, who would seem to be John Charles Reed (1851-1938), a son of John Reed, Sr. (1812-1896), making John, Sr. a brother of Catherine's mother, Elizabeth Reed Lawler. Another of the cousin or nephew pallbearers was Michael Welch, apparently Michael Welsh, a grandson of John Reed, Sr.

Some information about the descendents of this Reed family also comes from a hand-drawn sort-of family tree found on the desk of % Catherine Geraldine (Sister Mary Florence) Fitzgerald's % desk on the day of her death.

As children of Thomas Reed and his wife Fletcher, Geraldine had Thomas, Richard, John, William, Elizabeth. In her records, the son Thomas was married to Mary Flannery, which agrees with other records. For children of Thomas and Mary Flannery were the names, Thornton, Costello (Reed lives at Daugherty, Ia.,) and McCormick. Some of those are apparently the married names of the daughters.

Sister Geraldine's records had Elizabeth (or ``Betty'') married to Patrick Lawler with children pretty much as established. Her records show the son Richard married to Catherine Mellon with children's names of Ed, Kate, Agnes, and Anna Beitenman, which agrees with Mary Ryan's records.

Sister Geraldine's records show two more sons in this Reed family: William and John. In her notes, William either never married or had no children. John married ``Mary Meagher (pron. Maker)'' and had the following children: ``Kate who married Ed Welsh, Tom (single or no kids), William (married Elizabeth Morgan), Richard (single or no kids), Mary (single or no kids), and John who married Margaret Bulg.??'' The notations about having no kids were Sister Geraldine's. The name Morgan is hard to read and the end of Margaret ``Bulg.'' is cut off. She lists children for Kate and Ed Welsh: Ed, Tom, Rich, Mike, Jim, Jack, Frank, Charles, Mamie. These children are listed for William Reed and Elizabeth Morgan: Tom, Loretta, Gertrude, Mary, Bill, Elizabeth, Lillian. These children are listed for John and Margaret Bulg.: William, Minnie, ``Lil'', Clara, John, Carrie, Genny (maybe Gary?) Flo.

That family of John and Margaret B. Reed matches up with a John Reed family found in the 1900 census of Washington Twp, Clinton County, Iowa, several of whom are buried in Villa Nova, Clinton County. We've also been able to find more information on this family, such as obituaries to firm up various facts.

Records of Regina (Shannon) Smith apparently also had some of this John Reed family connected to ours, but I don't know the details. I was given a 1995 obituary of Myrtle Mary O'Donnell, whose maiden name was Smith, the daughter of Edward P. and Mary Catherine Welsh Smith. Earlene (Seaba) Morrison sent me this and noted that Myrtle was a cousin through the Reed clan according to the records of Regina. (Regina had already died.) So it appears that this Myrtle was probably a granddaughter of Kate Reed and Ed Welsh.

I also have an obituary (received through the same path) with the same notation (``cousin of Grandma Farrell thru Reed Clan'') for Myrtle's sister, Clara E. (Smith) Hyde. It names her parents as ``Edward and Mary Smith Smith.'' (Yes, it repeats Smith twice.)

One possible inconsistency in this family is that some of the children are said to be from Co. Queens, Ireland, and others from Co. Kilkenny. Elizabeth and Thomas in particular are linked to Co. Queens. Richard's tombstone calls him a native of County Kilkenny. A biography of John's son-in-law Ed Welsh calls John a native of Queens county. However, John's funeral Mass card says he was from Ossory, Ireland, which would probably be Kilkenny. John's granddaughter Bernadine (Reed) Guinan had written ``Durrah, Kilkenny'' in a book of hers for John's home, according to Bernadine's daughter Margaret. I think this last is significant and I believe Durrah is a phonetic spelling of Durrow. The town of Durrow is in Co. Queens and Durrow parish where Elizabeth Reed and Patrick Lawlor were married. However, Durrow is at the very south edge of Co. Queens, quite near the border of Queens and Kilkenny. So it is not hard to believe that the family might have lived on either side of the border at different times.

More information: DISCUSSION

Sources for this individual: @S119@ @S121@ @S787@ @S134@ @S637@ @S788@ @S789@ @S790@

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