Children of Molly Quigley and William McLaughlin Sr.

James '40 Acres' McLaughlin (1821-1911)
James McLaughlin was one of nine children born to William McLaughlin Sr. (1793-1853) and Molly Quigley (1796-1856) in Ireland. Their home was on the western shore of the peninsula of Inishowen on the east shore of Lough Swilly (pronounced Sooley) in the hamlet of Linsfort Glebe in the Parish of Desertegny in County Donegal, 14 miles from the city of Londonderry.

James McLaughlin (1821-1911) was the first member of his family to leave Ireland for the United States, emigrating in 1848, then sending for his wife, Ann McKinney (1822-1888). By the time she left for the United States all three of their young children were dead, starvation victims during the potato famine. James and Ann McLaughlin settled in Skaneateles, NY. He bought 40 acres in Skaneateles, started a teasel business, and picked up a new nickname. After his son, James Jr., was born, "40 Acres" McLaughlin also became known as James McLaughlin Sr.

(There was another James McLaughlin in Skaneateles at the time, also from County Donegal. He probably was a first cousin of "40 Acres" McLaughlin, and a very interesting character whose death kicked off a legal battle.)

The eleven children of James and Ann include Mary, Donald and William, all of whom died in Ireland, and eight who were born in the United States – sons James Jr., Dennis, William, John, Daniel, Hugh and Cornelius, and daughter Margaret. For some there are more detailed family trees on separate pages.

Photo of James McLaughlin (right) is from "Notable Men of Central New York," Dwight J. Stoddard, publisher (1903)

1. Mary McLaughlin (1844-1848), born and died in Ireland during the "potato famine."

2. Donald McLaughlin (1846-1846), died in infancy.

3. William McLaughlin (1846-1848), born and died in Ireland

4. James McLaughlin Jr. (1849-1914) m. Mary Jane O'Neil (1850-1940). James McLaughlin Jr. took over his father's teasel business. His wife, Mary Jane, was born in Canada; her family moved to Skaneateles several years later

5. Dennis R. McLaughlin (1851-1925) m. Mary O'Hara (1851-1905). After the death of Mary O'Hara McLaughlin, Dennis married Bridget Quinn O'Brien (1866-1922).

6. William McLaughlin (1853-1914) m. Anna Conroy (1854-1942) [More below]

7. John McLaughlin Sr. (1854-1934) m. Elizabeth (Libby) Kerwin (1857-1939). John McLaughlin was a partner in the McLaughlin Brothers teasel firm. He also was mayor of Skaneateles in 1903. [More below]

8. Daniel McLaughlin (1856-1881). An 1876 newspaper story had him going to Europe with his brother James. According to the story, Daniel intended to remain in France for a year as a student. The 1880 U. S. census had Daniel listed as working in the family's teasel shop.

9. Margaret McLaughlin (1859-1910 ) m. Dr. Dennis J. McLaughlin (1857-1909). [More below]

10. Hugh McLaughlin (1861-1918). The 1880 United States census had Hugh McLaughlin working in the family teasel shop in Skaneateles, NY. Newspaper obituaries for family members in the 1900s have Hugh living in Arkansas, then Missouri, finally Chicago where he died in 1918.

11. Cornelius McLaughlin (1862-1943) m. Elizabeth O'Hara (1864-1916). After Elizabeth's death in 1918, Cornelius McLaughlin married Helen Casey Purcell. He was a Skaneateles village trustee for 22 years.

Obituary for James "40 Acres" McLaughlin

Marcellus Weekly Observer, 1911
James McLaughlin, Sr., died at the home of his son, James McLaughlin, Jr., at Skaneateles Falls, at 6 o'clock p.m., Wednesday, July 5, 1911, in the 90th year of his age. He had been confined to his bed the past year. Death was due to old age.

Mr. McLaughlin was born November 15, 1821, in the little hamlet of Linsfort Glebe, County Donegal, Ireland. He took passage April 1, 1848, from Londonderry, on the sailing ship, James Whitcomb, Jr., of Kennebunkport, Me., for America. He arrived in Skaneateles June 1, 1848, residing in this town until his death. He had been a resident of Skaneateles for 63 years and at his death had probably lived longer in this town than any other Irish-born resident.

From 1848 to 1855 he lived at Mandana, then came to this village to follow his trade as blacksmith for Elson & Gale. Later he bought out Mr. Elson and ran a shop for himself until about 1870, when he discontinued it.

His wife died May 24, 1888, and the following year he went to live with his son, James McLaughlin, Jr., at Skaneateles Falls, at whose home he died. He had lived a retired life for the past 20 years.

Mr. McLaughlin was the father of 11 children, of which six survive—James McLaughlin, Jr., of Skaneateles Falls; Dennis R. McLaughlin of Syracuse, John McLaughlin and Cornelius McLaughlin of this village [Skaneateles], William McLaughlin, Fulton, N. Y. and Hugh McLaughlin of Arkansas.

He is also survived by two brothers and one sister—Hugh McLaughlin of Brooklyn, John McLaughlin of Solvay and Mrs. Timothy Donohue of this village [Skaneateles].

The funeral of the late James McLaughlin, Sr., held at St. Mary's church Saturday morning, was very largely attended. Grandsons acted as pallbearers.


This is the cemetery in Linsfort Glebe where the three young children of James and Ann McLaughlin are buried. The photo was taken in 2002 by Maureen McLaughlin Lester, youngest daughter of Edward F. McLaughlin.


William McLaughlin (1853-1914)
William McLaughlin was the second son of James "40 Acres" McLaughlin and his wife, Ann McKinney to be so named. The first William was born and died in Ireland during the potato famine. Two other McLaughlin children born in Ireland also died.

As for this Skaneateles-born William McLaughlin, I found no mention of him in "The History of the McLaughlin Family," which is strange because he was the central figure in one of the most tragic and bizarre stories in the family's American experience. Eventually this story had a happy twist, at least in the newspaper telling, but unfortunately the tale is like an iceberg – most of it lies well below the surface. For what is known, read "William McLaughlin was lost for 19 years".

There also seems to be confusion over two Williams McLaughlins who were about the same age. The other one was born in Ireland and was the son Cornelius McLaughlin who returned to Ireland and left the teenaged William in the care of his brother, James "40 Acres" McLaughlin. This William McLaughlin is mentioned in the book about the McLaughlin family.

The family tree that follows, such as it is, belongs to the forgotten William McLaughlin. By 1880, according to that year's census, this William was married to Anna Conroy (1854-1942) and at that time had two children.

A complete list of their children is an educated guess, based on St. Mary's Cemetery Records, the 1880 census and a newspaper account of William McLaughlin's 20-year disappearance. The newspaper account and the cemetery date for the death of the fourth McLaughlin child (in a five-year period) do not agree, nor does the age of William McLaughlin, who, according to the newspaper story, was born in 1860 (again reflecting confusion between the two Williams who grew up in the home of James "40 Acres" McLaughlin.)

Anna and William McLaughlin had a tragic life, losing four of their six children within four years. This series of tragedies was offered as an explanation for William McLaughlin's state of mind when he abruptly deserted his family.

However, no story of his disappearance accounts for the children who survived, or that Anna McLaughlin was pregnant with her seventh child at the time. Shortly after her husband's disappearance, she left Skaneateles and moved to Fulton, New York.

After William was found by his brother, James McLaughlin Jr., he and his wife were reunited and lived in Fulton. After his death in 1914, she moved to Syracuse.

Their children:

James McLaughlin (1876-1930)

Ellen Louise McLaughlin (1879-1883)
Mary Ellen McLaughlin (1883-1883)
Louise Marie McLaughlin (1884-1888)
Sara Elizabeth McLaughlin (1886-1887)
Genevieve McLaughlin (1888-1907)
William McLaughlin (1891- ). The Fulton Patriot (June 17, 1915) reported that William McLaughlin, formerly of Fulton, was living in Cleveland, Ohio, and had visited his old home town and also gone to Syracuse to spend time with his mother.
Obituatry: Genevieve McLaughlin

Skaneateles Free Press, April 26, 1907
Miss Genevieve McLaughlin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William McLaughlin of Fulton, died in Philadelphia, Pa., Wednesday, aged 19 years. She had recently submitted to an operation for appendicitis, while recovering from a severe attack of typhoid fever and failed to rally from the procedure.

Her parents were former residents of this village. She spent some time in Philadelphia visiting relatives. The remains are expected to arrive in town this evening.

Funeral services will be held at St. Mary's Church in this village tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. Interment in St. Mary's Cemetery.

She was buried in a plot with other children of William and Anna Conroy McLaughlin, and eventually was joined by the remains of her parents.

John McLaughlin Sr. (1854-1934)
John McLaughlin was a partner in the McLaughlin Brothers teasel firm. He also was mayor of Skaneateles in 1903. He and James McLaughlin Jr. and Dennis McLaughlin arranged for the installation of electrical power at the Glenside Woolen Mills in Skaneateles Falls. Dennis was the engineer in charge at Glenside. At the same time John McLaughlin arranged for installation of transmittal lines to supply electrical power to the village of Skaneateles, which led to the formation of the Skaneateles Municipal Power Company.

John McLaughlin and Elizabeth "Libby" Kerwin (1857-1939) were married December 11, 1878. They had two sons:

Frank J. McLaughlin (1880-1960) married Mabel Slattery (1884-1967). He grew up in Skaneateles, attended Skaneateles schools and with his brother, John, started in the teasel business in 1924. Though there were several teasel growers in Skaneateles, all of whom sooner or later went out of business here as machinery replaced the teasels, the McLaughlins were the last to go, adding their name to the industry which once flourished here and which lent a new significance to the name of Skaneateles as being one of the few places in the world where teasels were successfully grown as a commercial proposition.

Finally, in 1954, the McLaughlins joined other teasel marketers who quit the business, finding no further market for their product.

Frank McLaughlin had another business. From 1907until 1933 he and Leslie Barber operated a mail boat and passenger service on Skaneateles Lake. Their boat carried 50 passengers and plied between Skaneateles and the Glen Haven Hotel and Sanitarium, a famous health resort of the time.

Frank McLaughlin married Mabel Slattery McLaughlin, who was born in Auburn, but her family moved to Skaneateles when she was a toddler. For 27 years she was organist at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church. She also was a member of the Skaneateles Garden Club. She and Frank McLaughlin had four children:

Virginia E. McLaughlin (1910-1957) worked in the Treasury Department in Washington, DC.

Mabel McLaughlin (1912-2000) married Dr. Paul Brandly (d. 1979). Born in Skaneateles, she was a graduate of Syracuse University and a retired Navy WAVE veteran who for several years lived in Washington, DC, where she was a medical librarian for the Veterans Administration. She and her husband also lived in The Bahamas and Kenya, Africa.

Gladys McLaughlin (1916-1967) married Ernest Pitman (1915-1992). (Her obituary, below). Pitman married Karoline Spring (1915-1991) after the death of his first wife. Children:

David O. Pitman
Eric Pitman married Janice Sumida
Christopher Pitman
Monica Slattery Pitman married ??Atkins, Robert Hambrecht
Jonathan Spring
Wallace Spring
Deborah Spring Dammer

Vincent F. McLaughlin (1915- ) married Mrs. Warren Hoaglund in 1961


John J. McLaughlin Jr. (1882-1961) married Twila Haynes (1891-1941). They had one son:

John Haynes McLaughlin (1920-2008) married Patricia Scott. John Haynes McLaughlin was born in Cortland, NY, but grew up in Skaneateles and graduated from Skaneateles High School. He then graduated from Central City Business School in Syracuse and served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. After leaving the service, he attended Syracuse University and graduated from Fredonia State University. He earned his master’s degree from Syracuse and did further graduate work at Teachers College, Columbia University.

He taught in Fulton, NY, and then served as an assistant principal there. He was a principal in New City, NY, for more than 20 years. Later he taught at Hawthorne College in New Hampshire for 25 years. John and his wife, Patricia, also ran an antiques business. They had two daughters:

Kathleen McLaughlin (1951- ) m. L. K. Stewart (1953- ); Raymond, NH.
Carolyn McLaughlin (1952- ) m. Francis Pelkey (1949- ); Bowie, MD.
Jared H. Pelkey (1975- ) m. Staria ??
Apryl Pelkey (1982- )

Margaret McLaughlin (1859-1910)
Margaret married Dr. Dennis J. McLaughlin (1857-1909). They moved to Philadelphia, where Dennis J. McLaughlin was born.

His father was Hugh McLaughlin, who was born in Ireland about 1830 and emigrated to Philadelphia with his wife, Catherine. Their son, Dennis J. McLaughlin, became a doctor, practicing for awhile in Skaneateles Falls, New York, where he lived with James "40 Acres" McLaughlin and his family, which included Margaret McLaughlin.

Margaret and Dr. Dennis J. McLaughlin had seven children. Their first born, Daniel, also became a doctor, but died in 1906, at the age of 25. His father died just three years later, and nine months after that Margaret passed away. (Obituaries follow.)

Skaneateles Press, November 12, 1909
Dr. Dennis J. McLaughlin, formerly of Skaneateles, died at his home, 1622 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, Thursday morning, November 11, 1909, after a long illness, aged 52 years.

Dr. McLaughlin was a native of Philadelphia and came to Skaneateles to practice medicine at thirty-one years of age. He married Miss Margaret McLaughlin, daughter of James McLaughlin of this town. He resided for a time on Railroad Street in this village, removing from here to Skaneateles Falls about twenty years ago, where he practiced several years. Eight years ago he returned to Philadelphia, where he built up a good practice. During his residence in Skaneateles, Dr. McLaughlin made many friends, who will regret to learn of his death in the prime of life.

Skaneateles Free Press, August 9, 1910
Mrs. Margaret McLaughlin, widow of Dr. Dennis J. McLaughlin, died Saturday, August 6, 1910, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Philadelphia, of cancer in the 52d year of her age.

Mrs. McLaughlin was the only daughter of James and Ann McLaughlin and was born on Jordan Street, in this village, November 4, 1858. She was married to Dr. Dennis J. McLaughlin of Philadelphia about 30 years ago. They resided several years at Skaneateles Falls, but some years ago removed to Philadelphia. Her oldest son, Dr. Charles McLaughlin, died a few years ago and her husband died about a year ago.

Skaneateles Press, December 11, 1906
A telegram received in town Friday announced the death the day previous of Dr. D. Charles McLaughlin, son of Dr. and Mrs. D. J. McLaughlin, in Philadelphia. Deceased was a native of this village (Skaneateles), and spent the greater part of his life in this place and at Skaneateles Falls. He was a bright boy and graduated from Skaneateles High School in June 1898.

Removing with his parents to Philadelphia he studied medicine,, winning a scholarship in the University of Pennsylvania, from which institution he graduated in June 1905 since which time he had been practicing his profession in Philadelphia.

Deceased was in his 25th year, and besides his parents is survived by two brothers and four sisters. The funeral services were held at the home of his parents in Philadelphia yesterday.

The Philadelphia Ledger of Friday contains the following concerning the death of Dr. McLaughlin:

“As a martyr to his profession, Dr. Daniel Charles McLaughlin, a young resident physician at the Philadelphia Hospital, died yesterday at that institution of tuberculosis, contracted by overwork and constant exposure to the disease by contact with the patients under his care."

Children of Margaret and Dr. Dennis J. McLaughlin:

Dr. Daniel Charles McLaughlin (1881-1906)

Anna McLaughlin (1885- )

Louisa McLaughlin (1888- )

Mary McLaughlin (1892- )

Margaret McLaughlin (1892- )

Hugh Dennis McLaughlin (1895- ) m. Florence Hartley. They had six children:

Myrtle McLaughlin (1918- ) m. ?? Rippenger
Lorraine McLaughlin (1924- ) m. ?? Crossin
Bernice McLaughlin (1925- ) m. ?? Pierce
Florence McLaughlin (1926- ) m. ?? McCarthy
Joan McLaughlin (1931- ) m. ?? Coleman
Hugh Dennis McLaughlin Jr. (1935-2011, obituary below) m. Lucy Flacco.
Annamarie McLaughlin m. William G. Klingenberg, Somerdale, NJ
Thomas McLaughlin m. Helen ??, Geneva, IL
Michael McLaughlin m. Elizabeth ??, Basking Ridge, NJ

James McLaughlin (1897- )


Subject of the following obituary is a grandson of Margaret and Dr. Dennis J. McLaughlin. Among his survivors are five grandchildren not included in the family tree above.

Courier-Post (NJ), June 27, 2011
Colonel Hugh D. McLaughlin Jr. (Retired), age 75, of Somerdale, passed away Saturday, June 25, 2011 at Saint Mary's Catholic Home, Cherry Hill, NJ.

Hugh was the Environmental Safety Manager and Chemist for Elf Atochem. Retired Colonel US Army (1958-1995) and US Military Academy at West Point Recruiter. He was a member of the NJ School Board Assoc., RCIA, American Chemical Society, Boy Scouts of America, and the American Society of Metals. Hugh was the holder of 4 US Patents.

Beloved husband of Lucy (nee Flacco) McLaughlin. Devoted father of Annamarie Klingenberg of Somerdale, Thomas (Helen) McLaughlin of Geneva, Illinois, and Michael (Elizabeth) McLaughlin of Basking Ridge, NJ.

Grandfather of Thomas Jr., Paige, Angela, Joseph, and Megan. Brother of Bernice Pierce, Florence McCarthy, Joan Coleman, and the late Myrtle Rippenger and Lorraine Crossin.