Friday, February 24, 2012

Naturalized Woman – Hanora Coleman

B. about 1825 in Ireland
M. before 1846 in Ireland
Husband: Timothy Toole
D. 2 Sep 1890 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Emigrated: July 1853

Hanora Coleman was born in about 1825 in an unknown part of Ireland; nothing is known about her childhood except that she was probably poor and had no formal education. Her name was Hanora, but is listed on some documents as Nora and others as Hannah. When she was about 20, she met a man by the name of Timothy Toole, and they married. She gave birth to a girl named Mary on May 3, 1846.

Like many Irish, the Tooles must have suffered during the potato famine. Timothy migrated to America in 1848, leaving Hanora and Mary behind. They joined him and arrived in July 1853. The family first settled in Ohio, possibly the Cincinnati area. At some point they lived adjacent to a relative of Timothy named Dominick Toole, but it isn’t certain how they were related. Hanora had at least two more children in Ohio, one named Thomas in 1857 and another named Margaret in 1859. By 1860, Dominick relocated to Sibley County, Minnesota, and Hanora and Timothy followed a couple of years later. Both families appeared on the 1865 Minnesota census. By the 1870 census, Timothy had died.

On October 16, 1873, Hanora filed a declaration of intent to become a U.S. citizen. This is remarkable since women rarely took that step. She was only entitled to it as a widow; most likely she did so in order to own her farm. There is a record from 1881 showing that she filed for a homestead, a tract of land consisting of 80 acres. On the 1880 census, Hanora was living next to Dominick Toole and his large family. In her house, her only child was 23 year-old Thomas; Mary was married by then, and Margaret appears to have been living elsewhere. Hanora was listed as being a farmer, as well as keeping house. Everyone on the census page where she was listed was either from Ireland or their parents were.

Hanora's declaration of intent to become a U.S. citizen

Hanora moved to Minneapolis not long after filing for the homestead. Margaret was with her, and Mary came to live nearby a couple of years later after her husband died. Margaret eventually found work as a cook. Hanora died on September 2, 1890 of dysentery; presumably the conditions of living in Minneapolis contributed to her death.

1. Mary Toole – B. 3 May 1846, Ireland; D. 14 Dec 1904, Minneapolis, Minnesota; M. Patrick McGuire (1834-1882), 7 Jan 1867, Henderson, Minnesota

2. Thomas Toole – B. about 1857, Ohio

3. Margaret Toole – B. about 1859, Ohio

Death certificate of Hanora Toole
1870 and 1880 U.S. Censuses in Minnesota
1865 Minnesota State Census, Sibley County
Declaration of Intent of Hanora Toole, Sibley County, Minnesota, 16 Oct 1873
Homestead record of Hanora Toole, Sibley County, Minnesota, 30 Jun 1881
City directories of Minneapolis, 1885-1890
Tombstone inscriptions of St. Brendan's Cemetery, Green Isle, Minnesota
Death certificate of Patrick McGuire, 31 Dec 1882, Gaylord Minnesota
Death certificate of Mary McGuire, December 1904, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Marriage record of Patrick McGuire and Mary Toole, 4 Feb 1867, Henderson, Minnesota

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