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 Bernard Lynch

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Bernard Lynch

  • Birth 12 Feb 1826 Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan, Ireland
  • Death 1914 Champaign, Champaign County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Champaign, Champaign County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 39903216

BERNARD LYNCH (12 Feb 1826 – 1914)

Bernard Lynch was born in County Cavan, Ireland, probably at the family home at Derrylea. Bernard, called Uncle Barney by nieces and nephews, was the oldest son of Hugh Lynch and Mary Clark Lynch. After immigrating to the United States in 1856, he married Bridget Reilly in 1861 at the Paulist Fathers Church in New York, New York. The couple moved to Champaign, Illinois in 1863 where Barney worked for the Illinois Central Railroad until he retired.

The 1880 U.S. Census shows a 54 year-old Bernard Lynch living in Champaign, Illinois as a widower with four children. Bernard's oldest son is listed as John, 13, followed by Thomas 12, Henry 10, and Katie, age 5. A housekeeper named Ann Riley, 40 years old, is listed with the family. Barney's wife died in 1874 according to his obituary.

Bernard worked for the railroad and was reputed to have been an outstanding mechanic .

Bernard's passion for recording the history of the Lynch family drove him to compile a Lynch family tree which he completed in 1893. It is included in the Appendices in its entirety. In 2008 when a group of Lynch descendants prepared to visit Derrylea, County Cavan, Ireland to view the homeland of Patrick Hugh and Margret Lynch, a copy of the 1893 Barney Lynch family tree appeared from the archives of an elderly cousin living near the old Lynch home site. The document was identical to copies held by descendants in Montana.

Bernard's obituary (no date or source shown) from the Margaret Daily collection is as follows:


Bernard Lynch died at Home of Daughter near Urbana -- Pioneer Gone

Bernard Lynch, more affectionately known as Barney, one of the pioneer resident(s] of Champaign died at 1:30 o'clock this morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Dillman at Ford's Crossing, four miles north of Urbana. Mr. Lynch was in his eighty-eighth year and was one of the oldest residents of the city, having lived to see many of the pioneers pass into the Great Beyond. For about six months Mr. Lynch had been ailing, the debilities incident to old age causing he final dissolution.

The decedent was born in County Cavan, Ireland, Jan. 12, 1826, and came to New York in 1856 and to Champaign in '63. He became identified with the Illinois Central Railroad company, serving in different capacities and after a service of thirty-six years was retired on a pension, being one of the road's employees to receive a pension soon after such a reward fund was established by the company. Mr. Lynch having spent so many years of his life here was about as well known a resident as ever lived here.

Mrs. Lynch died in 1874 and he is survived by three sons, John who conducts a grocery store in this city; Thomas of Denver, Col. and Henry of Winnipeg, Manitoba, all of whom were with him when the end came, and a daughter, Mrs. John Dillman at whose home he died.

Mrs. Dillman, living within a half block of Ford's Crossing, an interurban car will take the funeral party from that point to the corner of Fifth and University Avenue and the last service will be held in St. Mary's church at 10 o'clock Monday morning. Mr. Lynch had been a member of St. Mary's church since his residence in this city.

Bernard's son John, a widower who never remarried, ran a store on the University campus. The other two sons became journalists. Thomas Lynch became a reporter on a Denver newspaper. Henry Lynch worked as a freelance reporter on a Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, newspaper.

Katie "Kitty" Lynch married John Dillman. Margaret Daily suggests the couple lost two sons early in life. One reportedly died in a football accident. Kitty corresponded with Mary Mahoney for a long period of time.

While no record documents the following, it is highly likely that Barney visited his brother Patrick Hugh Lynch and baby sister, Ellen Lynch Gaffney, living on Rosebud Creek in Custer County in the spring of 1891. In September of 1890,a young nephew of the trio named Hugh Boyle was killed by two Cheyenne Indians when he discovered the pair butchering one of the milk cows he was looking for. Hugh had been staying with the Gaffney family for the summer, having come to the dry Montana climate on doctor's orders. He, and a sister who remained in Illinois, had been diagnosed with tuberculosis earlier in the year. Hugh's mother was Kitty Lynch Boyle.

Oral tradition in the Mahoney family placed Hugh's murder at about the same time as the sister's death from tuberculosis back in Illinois. Kitty and Pat Boyle were distraught with the loss of two children so close together, one in such a tragedy. The grieving mother's anger focused on her Montana brother and sister – Patrick H. Lynch and Ellen Lynch Gaffney. She accused them of not informing her of the serious danger Hugh would be placed in if/when he came to Montana. Communication amongst the three shattered. Hugh Boyle's body was buried temporarily on the Rosebud, no doubt on the Gaffney homestead, though no record remains of the burial. In the spring, a family member from Illinois came to Montana and escorted the body back to Champaign where it was interred in St. Mary's Church cemetery where other family members are buried. It seems highly likely that Barney Lynch may well have been the one who came west to bring his nephew's remains back to Illinois.


The following is the complete family tree created by Bernard Lynch.

Sketch of the Lynch Family of Cavan and Meath by Bernard Lynch, Champagne , Ill.

In 1712 A.D. Bernard Lynch left his home in Castletown, Delvin, Co. Meath as a result of a political quarrel with British tyranny and settled at Crosskeys, Co. Cavan. He became apprenticed to a blacksmith named Galligan from whom he learned his trade and later married his daughter. He had seven sons.

Henry Lynch

Youngest son settled in Derrylea one mile south of Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan in 1736. Here he followed his trade farming.
Married Catherine Galligan by whom he had five sons and two daughters.
1. Edward. Died unmarried.
2. Bryan. Was ordained to the priesthood and died in 1814. Was buried in the old Catholic burial ground at Crosserlough, Co. Cavan where his tomb remains to the present.
3. James. Was married in Kilnacrott and had four sons.
a. Edward married Julia McCabe finally settling in Drumr, Co. Cavan. Had family of seven sons and two daughters. Five sons died without issue.
b. Michael settled in Philadelphia, U.S.A., where dying left one daughter, Bessie, who was married and trace lost of her.
c. Henry married and living in Colorado has two daughters. Mary married John Smyth and lives at Drumrora Victorian Cottage, Ballyjamesduff. Had a large family. Thomas a son and two daughters live at home in Ireland and two other daughters and one son reside at St. Louis, Mo.
d. Patrick. Married in Kilnacrott had large family three sons and four girls. - Patrick settled at Joliet, Will Co., Ill. Married and has large family of sons and daughters, some living on farm and in Chicago.
- Thomas settled in Waterbury, Conn., and has large family living there.
- James ordained to the priesthood became Vicar General of the diocese of New Haven, Conn., and died recently.
e. Anne eldest daughter of the above Henry married Patrick Lynch, had large family and came to America and settled in Conn.
- Ellen Lynch, second daughter of Henry married ???? McCabe, Arlow parish of Mullagh, Co. Cavan. Had large family some of which came to America and settled in Conn. with friends.
- Julia Lynch, third daughter of Henry married a man named Clerkin, native of Ballyjamesduff, settled and resides with her father in Conn.
- Mary Lynch, fourth daughter of Henry Lynch, married Hugh Smyth of Drumrora and their family is living in Ireland.
f. Pat Smyth is living on a farm in Joliet, Will Co., Ill.
g. James Smyth was ordained to the priesthood and is at present stationed at Bridgeport, Conn.
h. Anne Lynch, second daughter of Edward Lynch and Julia McCabe, married Barney Sheridan and is now living with her family at Creston, Iowa.
i. Thomas Lynch, third son of James Lynch, married Mary Smyth, Wood??, Ballyjamesduff and resides now with large family in Illinois, U.S.A.
j. Anne Lynch, eldest daughter of Thomas Lynch and Mary Smyth married Michael McCarthy, now living in Champagne City, Ill., and has large family.
k. Mary, second daughter of above Thomas Lynch and Mary Smyth, lives unmarried in Ireland.
l. Partick, eldest son of Thomas Lynch, is married and lives at Pesotum, Champaign Co., Ill. Has two sons living and one daughter died when young.
m. Patrick Lynch, fourth son of James Lynch of Kilnacrott married and some of his family came to America but have been unable to locate them.

4 Patrick.
Married Nellie Daly, settled on the old homestead of Derrylea and had family of four sons and six daughters, namely Bryan, Thomas, Hugh and Henry, Kitty, Mary, Anne, Margaret, Alice and Nellie.
a. Bryan. First son married Catherine Gaffney of Keenagh, Ballyjamesduff. His …. A son Thomas.
- Thomas married Bridget Smyth of Lackin, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Ireland. Is living at Finaway same county on his farm.
- Thomas, second son of Pat Lynch, married Anne McDonald and settled in Kilnacrott, Ballyjamesduff. Had large family, Patrick, Hugh, Barney, Thomas, Nellie, Kitty, Mary, Anne and Margaret Lynch.
- Patrick, oldest son, married Julia McEvoy, lived on fathers farm in Kilnacrott and died without issue.
- Barney, died unmarried, in New Brittain, Conn., unmarried.
- Hugh? Married Margaret Hanley and settled in New Britton, Conn. Had large family of sons and one daughter.
- Thomas. Went to Civil War in America and it is supposed he died in a hospital.
- Nellie. Oldest daughter of Thomas Lynch and Anne McDonald, married Thomas Black, Finaway, Co. Cavan, Ireland. In 1840 at death of her husband she came to America and settled with her sons John and Thomas Black and daughters Catherine and Anne Black in New Britain, Conn., where having died a few years ago, she is buried.
- Kitty. Sister of Nellie Lynch married Bryan Daly of Kilnacrott. Has tow children, Kitty in New Britain and William in Hartford, Conn.
- Anne. Died unmarried and is buried in New Britain, Conn.
- Mary. Married Peter Reynolds, Kill, Kilnacrott, Co. Cavan, Ireland and has large family there.
- Margaret. 5th daughter married Pat Kearnan and settled in New Britain, Conn. Has large family with whom she resides.

3rd son of Pat Lynch and Nellie Daly married Mary Clark, Kildorough, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Ireland. (Daughter of John Clark and Mary ‘Nellie' Conway). Lived in Ballyjamesduff and died there April 13th 1849. Had large family all who came to America namely Bernard, Pat, James, Thomas, John, Catherine and Ellen Lynch.

Oldest son of Hugh? Lynch and Mary Clark married Margaret??? (Byron's note: married Bridget Reilly … see below)

(author of this sketch) came to America April 11, 1858. Married to Bridget Reilly, daughter of Peter Reilly and Anne ‘Nancy' Smythe, Rosoden, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Ireland in 1861 at Church of Paulist Fathers 59th. St. and 9th. Ave. New York City. Came to Champagne City, Illinois, April 1863. Had family, three sons, John, Thomas, Henry and Kitty Lynch.

Patrick Lynch (2nd son of Hugh Lynch and Mary Clark)
Married Margaret Callan of Coolkill, Kilnaleck, Co. Cavan. Family consists of daughters Mary, Katie, Rose, Lena, Alice, Maggie and Annie and one son Hugh. They settled in Lame Deek Creek, Custer County, Montana where they now reside.

James (3rd son of Hugh Lynch and Mary Clark)
Married Anne Kearns in New York City and settled in Champagne City, Illinois. Had family of one son James E. Lynch and daughter Katie (who married John Barry who is farming in Nebraska) and daughters Margaret Ellen and Alice, unmarried.

Thomas (4th son of Hugh Lynch and Mary Clark)
Married Mary Farley of Virginia Co. and settled in Astoria, Long Island, New York. Had family Hugh, Thomas, Charlie and John and daughters Annie, Maggie and Nellie Lynch.

John (5th son of Hugh Lynch and Mary Clark)
Lives in Astoria, Long Island, N.Y., unmarried.

Catherine (eldest daughter of Hugh Lynch and Mary Clark)
Married Pat Boyle, a native of Nobber, Co. Meath and settled in Champaign City. Had family of four sons John, Thomas, Frank and Pat and daughters Annie and Mary (+ son Hugh, died Montana)

Ellen (2nd daughter of Hugh Lynch and Mary Clark)
Married Hugh Gaffney, Keenagh, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Ireland. Had family of three sons and seven daughters and they settled at Lame Deer Creek, Montana.

Henry Lynch (4th son of Pat Lynch and Nellie Daly)
Married Nellie McConnell, Kilnaleck,. Settled on the old homestead and has large family of sons and daughters, amongst them were Pat, Bryan, James and Kitty but others forgotten.

Kitty Lynch (eldest daughter of Pat Lynch and Nellie Daly)
Married Pat Lynch, native of Maghera Parish of Lurgan, Virginia, Co. Cavan. Had family of sons Barney, Phill, Laurence and one daughter Bridget.
- Barney, eldest son of Kitty and Pat Lynch, married Catherine Gray, native of County Longford. Came to America in 1852, settling finally at Ramsey, Fayette Co., Ill. Had family two sons, Bernard Jr. and Henry Lynch and several daughters,
Bernard Jr. eldest son off the above is an engineer on the Cloverleaf Railroad.
Henry his brother is firing a locomotive on the Illinois Central R.R Two of the daughters are married and live around the old home.
Phil Lynch 2nd son of Kitty and Pat Lynch settled at Vallego,Callifornia and is a prosperous merchant there.
Laurence his brother died unmarried in San Francisco.
Henry 4th son of Kitty and Pat Lynch resides in New York and has two sons John and Pat Lynch.
Brigdet only daughter of Pat and Kitty Lynch married Patrick Bates and has a large family of daughters and one son Edward.
Edward,son off the above is an engineer on the Illinois Central R.R
Mary Lynch daughter of Pat Lynch and Nellie Daly married Michael Maher has family of sons John, William and James and daughters Kitty, Ellen,Margaret and Bridget.





  • Created by: Catherine Byron
  • Added: 26 Jul 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 39903216
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bernard Lynch (12 Feb 1826–1914), Find A Grave Memorial no. 39903216, citing Saint Marys Cemetery, Champaign, Champaign County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Catherine Byron (contributor 46549719) .