Patrick was a founding member of St. Simon's (later called St. Joseph's) Catholic Church in De Witt Township. According to the 1879 Clinton Co. history: In September, 1850, at the request of Patrick Lawler, Thomas Reed, Francis Brogan and others, the Bishop came down from Dubuque and celebrated mass. In the year 1852 Father McKenna was established as Priest. The families connected with the Church here at the time were those of Patrick Lawler, Thomas Reed, John Lucy,
Patrick is also mentioned in John Lucey's history of the St. Joseph's parish. It mentions that Paul Gillen, a traveling agent for the Boston Pilot newspaper, book salesman, and recruiter for Notre Dame University arrived in Clinton County in June of 1850. Gillen found Thomas Reed and Patrick Lawler who then lived together at what became known as Old Vickory Farm. (The 1850 census also shows Thomas Reed, age 24, living with the Patrick Lawler family.) They showed Gillen around the countryside, and Gillen later ``wrote a letter to the Boston Pilot describing it in glowing terms and advising the Catholics to leave the small worn-out Eastern farms and the crowded cities and come to Clinton, Iowa. This letter was the cause of increasing the first Catholic settlement around De Witt.'' The parish history also names Patrick Lawler as one of twelve men who made several needed repairs to the log house which they had purchased as a church building in November, 1850, as well as building an altar and cross.
Between then and 1860, Patrick Lawler and family moved to Washington Township where he had his farm on sections 2 and 11.
Sometime in the early 1880s, Pat moved to Crawford County, Iowa, near Vail. Many other families from Clinton County, including other Lawlers, moved to Crawford County at the same time. Apparently Father Scallon, who was a priest at Villa Nova for a long time, convinced them to move to Crawford County. (Villa Nova is a small spot on the map in Clinton Co. It's in Washington Township near where Patrick (and many others in this genealogy) lived. St. Patrick's church and cemetery are still there now.)
We have been able to find the Irish marriage record for ``Patt Lalor'' and ``Betty Reade of Ballinalough'' which fits this couple. The Abbeyleix baptismal register 1824-1899 shows the birth of two of their children: ``Anty'' (which fits Ann) and ``Fintan'' (Fenton). Patrick is named as Patt Lalor both times while the mother is named ``Eliza Reed'' for Anty and ``Betty Reid'' on the other.
Patrick was probably born in either Ballinaclough or Orchard townland, both in the Stradbally Catholic parish. According to the Offaly History Center (which covers Co. Queens (now named Laois or Leix)) The baptismal register for Stradbally commenced in 1820 and there are no previous records.
According to another Lawlor family researcher, Bessie Keenan Brady, Patrick settled first in Scranton, Pennsylvania after coming to America. Bessie is a granddaughter of Richard Lawler and Alice Duff (see the description of Richard's connection under Patrick's father, Phenton). Bessie also remembers seeing a photo of the six daughters of Patrick Lawlor a long time back and being told the photo was of the ``Lalors of Scranton.'' I have a theory that perhaps Scranton refers to the town of Scranton, Iowa, not the more well-known Scranton, Pennsylvania. My theory is described under Patrick's father, Phenton Lawlor.
The obituary of Patrick's daughter Catherine says she was born in Philadelphia, but that is apparently in error as Catherine was born in Ireland before they came to the US.
According to some records passed down to Amy (Hanson) Stewart, Patrick and family settled in Beaver County, Pennsylvania just after immigrating. However, she couldn't find the origin for that statement, and we've not seen any other record which names Beaver Co. as a place where they settled.
Patrick shares a tombstone with both his wives, Elizabeth and Margaret. It reads: ``Patrick Lawlor, Died, Oct 11, 1889, Aged, 82 years'' and ``Elizabeth Lawlor, Died, June 28, 1862, Aged 40 years'' and ``Margaret Lawlor, Died, Mar. 20, 1893, Aged, 65 years''
The executor of the estates of Patrick and his second wife Margaret was John Cranny, who was also the manager of the Vail Lumber Co. Mary Flannery Reed, the widow of Thomas Reed (brother of Patrick's first wife Elizabeth Reed) remarried to Timothy Cranney in Clinton Co. Mary and Timothy had a son John, but this executor John Cranny was someone different. According to the 1900 census of Vail, John Cranny, lumber merchant, was born in 1845 in Ireland and came to the US in 1848. John has a wife and six children in the 1900 census.
With some big exceptions, I think my collection of Patrick's descendents is pretty good, at least through roughly my generation (his ggg-grandchildren). The exceptions are primarily in the McGarry line of his descendents. John Leonard McGarry and his wife Bernice had 94 grandchildren and descendents of grandchildren as of 1999 that I don't know names of. Paul Spain (son of Mollie McGarry) had 24 grand and great-grand children as of 2000. Those are just two of the bigger examples -- there are several other lines of the McGarry's where I don't know much. There are probably easily 200 descendents in the McGarry's that I don't know anything about, making my list of Patrick's descendents only about 80 per cent complete (as of January, 2001)
Sources for this individual: @S165@ @S154@ @S134@ @S166@ @S167@ @S168@ @S169@ @S170@ @S171@ @S164@ @S699@