North Street, Newry, County Down

North Street, Newry, County Down
North Street, Newry, County Down

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Bridget Jennings [1807-1865] and Daniel McCartan, Newry, County Down.

Bridget Jennings [1807-1865] was the daughter of Daniel Jennings [1765-1830], of Mill Street, Newry, and his wife Bridget.

She married Daniel McCartan in Newry in 1841. There is some suggestion that Daniel had spent time in Canada teaching before returning to Newry but this has not been confirmed.

MARRIAGES. On the 17th inst, in Newry, Daniel M'Cartin, Esq., to Miss Bridget

Jennings, both of that town.[1]

They had four children:

1. Daniel [1841-] born Newry, County Down.

2. Bridget [1842-1926] born Newry, County Down. Baptised in Clonallen, sponsors John Cavanagh and Catherine O’Hagan.

3 .John Charles [1850-1926] possibly born in Wisconsin.

4. Mary [1850-1872] possibly born in Wisconsin.

The family emigrated to the United States and settled in Dekorra, Wisconsin. It is probably necessary here to quote quite extensively from the official history of Dekorra in order to do justice to its origins:

Dekorra was first used by Native American Indians who entered the region and began using the rich water and land resources for travel and as a living place. Several major Indian trails arrive at Dekorra. The Prairie du Chien to Four Lakes (now Madison) to Portage to Green Bay Trail and the Port Washington to Wisconsin River Trail intersect near the old village of Dekorra.

The “portage” lies eight miles to the north of Dekorra. With only a mile and a half to walk, one could travel down the Fox River to Green Bay and out the St. Lawrence River. Going down the Wisconsin River, one could travel all the way down the great Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and up the Missouri River to Yellowstone. This area near the “portage” has for years been a strategic meeting and gathering point for much of the mid-America continent.

In 1729, Joseph DeCaris, a French fur trader, came to Wisconsin. That year, he married Glory of the Morning, a sister of a Ho-Chunk (called by whites Winnebago) Chief. (Hopenka, Glory of the Morning, later became Chief herself.) Their descendants were the beginning of the Dekorra family, many of whom became Ho-Chunk chiefs with many village sites. This is the source of the names for Dekorra Village and Town of Dekorra. The first land entered in Columbia County land claims was the Town of Dekorra by trader Wallace Rowan (for whom the Rowan Creek was named).

 In 1837, Lafayette Hill settled in what was named Kentucky City. A “paper plat” was drawn up but never officially accepted. Here, Hill built his first inn which served as the political center of the area until Dekorra Village was platted over the same area and developed in 1843. Dekorra grew as an active pioneering village and included several businesses. The census of 1847 records 201 white residents.

The Dekorra Village plat in 1847 had a 1000-foot wharf for commercial river traffic used as a log raft landing and for exporting farm produce. Loggers of Wisconsin’s Pinery sent their logs by river raft for construction of homesteads…

A ferry that transported people, animals, and crops across the Wisconsin River to Caledonia was located at the east end of the village. The Village of Dekorra had two blacksmith shops, a general store, a post office, a local school, a shoe and tailor store, a wagon making business, three inns for travelers, and several residences. A quarter mile east of the Village, a grist mill operated and Wisconsin settlers traveled up to fifty miles to the mill to grind their grains…

Immigrants came from France, Scotland, England, Germany, and Norway to occupy and work the land which was later named Town of Dekorra, Columbia County in 1848. Other villages were platted: Inch, 1846, Oshaukuta 1848, Hartman 1857, Pauquette 1837 (changed to Poynette in 1851)… The earliest churches were Inch Methodist, founded in 1856, and Dekorra Lutheran founded in 1869. The names of the early settlers and families are recorded on the tombstones in six area cemeteries. Nine one-room schools were located throughout the Town.

The military road (Prairie du Chien/Portage/Green Bay) was constructed through Dekorra leading to the establishments of stagecoach inns at Inch, Oshaukuta, and on the Rowan Creek. These inns flourished until the railroad arrived in the 1870”s.[2]

Daniel McCartan died in an accident in 1864. His wife Bridget died in 1865. Both are buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Portage, Columbia County, Wisconsin, together with their children, Bridget and John Charles, their daughter-in-law Harriet Hagan and their grandson John C. McCartan and his wife Anna Ryan.[3]

Their great grandson, also John C. McCartan, who fought in the US Army in World War II, is buried here too.

There were to be two more generations bearing the name of John C. McCartan.


[1]Freeman’s Journal 22nd January 1841



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