Michael Blake and Hannah (Jordan) Blake were my great-great-great-grandparents. Their son John Blake was my great-great-grandfather, and his daughter Elizabeth (Blake) Gotsche was my great-grandmother.
born 1799 in County Clare, Ireland
died November 1, 1877 in Ossian, Iowa
Johanna “Hannah” (Jordan) Blake
born 1814 in County Clare, Ireland
Michael Blake and Johanna Jordan were both born in County Clare, Ireland, where they were married and their first six children were born. They lived on the Loop Head peninsula. Between 1856 and 1859, the Blake family moved from Ireland to Clinton, Ontario, Canada, where their youngest child was born. Michael and Johanna moved to Ossian, Iowa, sometime between 1861 and 1870. Michael died there in 1877 and Johanna died before 1880. Both are buried at St. Francis de Sales Cemetery in Ossian.
Their seven children:
- Ellen (Blake) McNamara (1836-1910)
- Timothy Henry Blake (1840-1924)
- Catherine E. (Blake) Moran (1845-1917)
- John Edward Blake (1847-1909)
- Michael Blake (1853-1935)
- Mary Theresa (Blake) Ormsby (1856-1939)
- James Blake (1859-1908)
1. Ellen (Blake) McNamara
born June 17, 1836 in County Clare, Ireland
died November 21, 1910 in Hennepin County, Minnesota
Ellen was born in Ireland and moved to Canada when she was in her 20's. She moved to the United States in about 1869 and married Michael McNamara, also an Irish immigrant, in 1869 or 1870. Ellen and Michael lived in Claremont and Rockwell, Iowa. Michael was a laborer at a quarry. They did not have children, but they helped to raise several of Ellen's nieces and nephews. Ellen died in 1910 and Michael died on March 20, 1914. Both are buried at St. Francis de Sales Cemetery in Ossian, next to Ellen's parents.
2. Timothy Henry Blake
born August 15, 1840 in County Clare, Ireland
died April 26, 1924 in Sherman, Michigan
Timothy moved along with his family from Ireland to Canada. He lived in Tuckersmith, Ontario for a time before moving to Muskegon, Michigan in about 1862. He later moved to neighboring Newaygo County, where he worked as a sawyer and farmer. Timothy married Catherine McClery on Apr. 5, 1869, in Teeswater, Ontario, Canada. They had three children: Johanna, Mary, and Michael, before Catherine's death on Jan. 18, 1875 in Muskegon. Timothy then married Johanna Elizabeth O'Connor on Apr. 4, 1882 in Clermont, Iowa. Timothy and Johanna also had three children: Margaret, an unnamed infant daughter, and Timothy. Timothy died in 1924 and Johanna died on June 24, 1938 in Muskegon. They are both buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Fremont, Michigan.
3. Catherine E. (Blake) Moran
born December 1845 in County Clare, Ireland
died March 26, 1917 in Dougherty, Iowa
Catherine was born in Ireland and moved to Clinton, Ontario, where she married Thomas Moran on Feb. 1, 1864. They moved to Bloomfield, Winneshiek County, Iowa between 1865 and 1868, and then to Geneseo, Iowa. Thomas was a farmer. Catherine and Thomas had nine children: James, Mary, Catherine, Anna, Henry, Lillian, Thomas, Irene, and William. Thomas died on Feb. 12, 1913 at their home in Dougherty, Iowa, and Catherine died in 1917 at her daughter's home. Catherine and Thomas are buried at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Dougherty.
4. John Edward Blake
October 29, 1847 in County Clare, Ireland
died November 18, 1909 in Ashland, Wisconsin
John was born on the Loop Head peninsula and moved to Clinton, Ontario with his family. While living in Canada, John married Mary Ann Lavin. In about 1863, John and Mary moved to Muskegon, Michigan. John worked in a lumber mill, and continued to do so for the rest of his life. John and Mary had nine children in Muskegon between 1868 and 1885: Hannah, John, Catherine, Thomas, Michael, Ellen, Mary, Martha, and Elizabeth. In 1890, John and Mary moved to Ashland, Wisconsin with six of their children. Mary died on Aug. 18, 1894 in Ashland, and John died in 1909 at the home of his daughter Mayme. Both attended St. Agnes Catholic Church in Ashland, and are buried in the church cemetery.
5. Michael Blake
born September 28, 1853 in County Clare, Ireland
died April 7, 1935 in Mason City, Iowa
Michael moved with his family from Ireland to Canada, and then to Iowa, where he worked as a carpenter. On Jan. 14, 1886, Michael married Johanna Mary Kelly in Rockwell, Iowa. They lived in Rockwell and Mason City in Iowa and had four children: Edward, Clement, Jerome, and Francis. Johanna died on Aug. 30, 1924 at their home in Mason City, and Michael died there in 1935. They are both buried at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery in Mason City.
6. Mary Theresa (Blake) Ormsby
born August 15, 1856 in County Clare, Ireland
died December 1, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois
Mary moved from Ireland to Canada when she was very young. She moved to Ossian, Iowa with her parents before 1870, and worked there as a domestic servant. She married John Francis Ormsby on Dec. 31, 1878 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Ossian. They moved to a farm in Dougherty, Iowa and had seven children: Loretto, Mary, Martha, Robert, George, John, and George. Mary and John moved to Chicago, where John died on Feb. 18, 1921. Mary followed in 1939, and they are both buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.
7. James Blake
born March 15, 1859 in Canada
died November 28, 1908 in Washburn, Wisconsin
James was the only one of his siblings to be born after the Blake family left Ireland. He grew up in Canada and Iowa before moving to Muskegon, Michigan, where he married Sarah A. Quigley on Nov. 26, 1883. James and Sarah had one son, Thomas, before moving to Washburn, Wisconsin. James died in 1908. In about 1920, Sarah remarried to Michael “Mike” Aspel. Sarah died on Feb. 11, 1931 in Detroit, Michigan and is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Detroit.