Mad in Pursuit Notebook

Ballaghduff, County Galway, Ireland

Curran Family of St. Louis

My mother was connected to the Curran family in two ways: Ewald Curran was a family friend throughout her lifetime, then married her mother Catherine Flanagan Barrett in 1937. His older sister Mary Abigail "Molly" married my mother's uncle Francis Barrett.

Ewald's grandfather Florence Curran (1827-1893) was born in Cahirciveen, County Kerry, Ireland about 1827. He emigrated to England and met Bridget Keenoy (1816-1901). Keenoy was also from Ireland. In County Roscommon, she had married Patrick O'Brien before emigrating to England. O'Brien died, leaving her with three children: Mary Ann, James, and Michael. The widow married Florence Curran on 1 July 1858.

Florence and Bridget had four children: John P., Florance J., Cornelius Patrick "Con", and Mary. They emigrated to St. Louis, Missouri, about 1869. Very poor, Florance worked as a laborer.

Bridget Curran's obituary:


Children of Bridget Keenoy and Florance Curran

John P. Curran (1859-1930) was a child prodigy singer and yodeler, who became a vaudeville performer, ultimately partnering up with Frank F. Ward as "Ward and Curran." He was married to Ann Henry and had a daughter. (Learn more...)

Florance J. Curran (1862-1936) was a businessman who joined his brother Con in building their successful printing business, as Vice President and Assistant Treasurer. At the age of 24, he married 16-year-old Bridget Delaney (1870-1946). They had twelve children (not including the neonatal deaths of three others): Florance John Jr, Mary Abigail "Molly," John Patrick, Cornelius W., James Patrick, Harry Aloysius, Ella Rose, Douglas Arthur, Westlyn Charles, Ewald Thomas, Catherine, Vincent Delaney.

Cornelius "Con" P. Curran (1865-1935) embodied the American rags-to-riches story as he rose from a street huckster to President and Treasurer of Con P. Curran Printing Co. of St. Louis. With Margaret Ann Scully, he had six children: Genevieve, Abigail, Cornelius Patrick Jr., John Francis, Eugene Philpot "Potter," and Marie June. After Margaret passed away, he married his secretary Mary Elizabeth Gahan. In the 1930s, he became chairman of the St. Louis County Democratic Party, and was given credit for a major roll in flipping St. Louis County to the Democratic Party in 1932.

Mary Curran (1867-abt. 1933). I have not discovered much about her. She was living with her family in 1870 [U.S. Census]. In 1880 (assuming I found the correct person), she is residing at the Convent of the Good Shepherd (17th and Chestnut), which was a large combination industrial school and boarding school for "wayward girls," with many of the "inmates" working as seamstresses or laundresses. She is not mentioned in Mrs. Curran's obituary above.

Full family history in DESCENDANTS OF BRIDGET KEENOY pdf.

Photo above: James Curran's funeral in St. Mary's Cemetery, Evergreen Park, Illinois Aug. 3, 1970. Left to Right: Douglas, Con, Westlyn, Flory, and Ewald Curran


[1] Public data

[2] Kacy Curran Murray & Doris Curran Murray

[3] Curran O'Neal

[4] Michael Curran

[5] Kathleen Barrett Price

[6] James Chandler Curran


Books by Susan Barrett Price:

THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.



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