Letter Found Written by Robert Mahegan Senior to Robert Mahegan Junior 1911  
  HIstory of letter  
  When Jack found a letter written by Robert Mehegan, a printer for the Boston Herald, to his son Robert Mehegan, junior, written in [[September]] 1911 to Evanston,Wyoming, where the son worked in the Land Office, he [[Jack 1967]] renewed his interest in the history of the Barrett family. Jack found the letter in his [[childhood]] home at East SeventhStreet South Boston [[after the death of his sister Mollie of cancer October 11, l967]]. Robert Mehegan senior was the son of Jack's father's aunt Ellen Barrett Mehegan, who emigrated from Ireland to Boston. The 'John Barrett' referred to in the letter is Jack's father, and the boy 'who was serving Uncle Sam' was Jack himself. The letter, written in Boston, to Robert Mehegan, junior, in Evanston, Wyoming, gives a great deal of the Barrett family history: [[September l9ll letter of Robert J Mehegan l857-l925 to his son Robert junior then working in Evanston,Wyoming in Federal Land Office:]]  
  References for letter  
  ---p.96-1431 BARRETT FAMILY HISTORY Part 3 Chapter One Barrett Family History p 75 #1254 From 1116 skeleton for`Chapter One" History of the Barrett family" in Notebook Two of Sophie Ruth Meranski Barrett "Red Headed Stepchild" - additions by John Barrett marked with double parenthesis [[....addition]] from website p 58 #1116 [[#100 Robert Mehegan letter- #100 "Red Headed Stepchild- Memoir of the Century "-]] TEXT: Chapter One- The Barrett Family History---  
  The Letter written by Robert Mahegan Senior 1911  
 

"As long as you have fully made up your mind to visit San Francisco,we will have to put you wise to the people that you will see and visit.Had we known some years ago that you should be so far away from home we could have talked over these different relatives of ours to a greater satisfaction than to write.You will be asked a number of questions about the relatives in Boston and vicinity.Consequently I shall have to climb the family tree for your inspection. The Barrett family came from Ireland and landed in Boston in 184l sixty-nine years ago.The family consisted of five members,four women and one man.The man was the oldest of
the family, his name was Robert Barrett.After being in Boston some years he married and settled in South Boston. They had four children, two boys and two girls.Mr. amd Mrs. Barrett died when the children were very young.Michael the eldest of the family was about sixteen or seventeen years old at the time and went West and went into the cattle business.When the Grand Army had their convention in Boston in l89l (sic-actually August,l890) he came on from the West and visited us when we were living on Carlyle Street in Cambridge.The last I heard of him shortly after leaving Boston he was in a place called Somerville,New Jersey. If he is living today he must be over sixty years old.The two girls of the family was taken by your grandmother and lived with us in South Boston (East Fourth near I Street until l871) when their aunts sent for them to live with them in San Francisco.The names of these two girls are Mary and Kate Barrett. Mary after being in California a short time entered religious life and has been a Sister of the Presentation order for a great number of years. You have seen her picture surrounded by her cholars in one of our rooms at home.She is now in a convent located at Berkeley,a town near San Francsico. By all means you must see her,but the best of my opinion you will have to be accompanied by some female relative or friend.Katie the yonger of the two girls and about my age, never married and always made her home with her aunts.

The other member of the Barrett family is John, and at the death of his parents went to live with a family by the name of Thompson at City Point (640 East Seventh) and when a young man learned the plumbing trade.He is now in business for hmiself. and has been for some time located on Harrison Avenue Boston directly in front of St. James Catholic Church.He is married and owns and lives in the Thompson house that he went to when a small boy. His first wife died and left one boy who is now an officer on one of Uncle Sam's battleships (correctly a Revenue Cutter School cadet l9ll).I never saw his second wife but there are some children. He is quite distant and does not visit his relatives much. That is about as much as I can say about my uncle Robert and his family who came out from Ireland.

Now for the four women of the original Barrett family.Kate the oldest married Charley Mehegan's father and is dead between forty and fifty years. She left three
children; Robert the oldest (l848-l9l6),whom you know, Mary, who you never saw,and who married a widower named Barry Sullivan who had quite a large family, and when she died there were four children left after her.[[ (Mary l852-l885 died in childbirth.)]].One of her stepdaughters married Dr. Devine, one of the leading doctors of South Boston.Regarding her own children they are all grown up and able to care for themselves. As for Charley of course you know all about him. [[(l857-l9ll letter carrier City Point, five children - wife accidentally drowned l9l0 surname Sullivan).]] You will probably be asked about Robert: [[the writer's double cousin, whose name was the same as his own.]] Of course you know the kind of life that he has led and you can make it as pleasant for him as you can,not unless you are unable to do otherwise. You know that he has a daughter [[(Elizabeth l880-l978 lived to age 97 years seven months) ]] who was married and had one child. Both husband and child are dead ( she remarried l9l2 to Joseph Hoarde in Waltham - four children, seven grandchildren more than twenty-two great-grandchildren).

The third member of the original (Barrett) family was Ellen,who was your grandmother (l822-l895,married John Mehegan). The other two women of the original family is Margaret and Johanna.The left Boston in l854 for California and are at last account living at 2043 Polk Street,San Francisco. Johanna married a Mr. Hession,a very industrious and good man.They had four or five children.Mr. Hession has been dead for a number of years and the children [[(INSERT-all the children) ]]
likewise, with the exception of one married daughter Mrs. Fahrbach, who has been an invalid for years (Elizabeth,died l907).

The last member of the old family is Margaret.She never married and always made her home with the Hessions.These two old ladies at the time of the great San Francisco fire lost all their property,which consisted of three houses on Polk Street which was their principal income.Since the fire I think they have only rebuilt one of the houses,which they live in themselves.I have gone over the Barrett family to the best of my ability but there are numerous other relatives there that you will see and hear about.

The Colemans and Murphys and several others whose parents in coming from Ireland to Boston (sic) never settled in Boston but went to the Golden horn of
California. Your grandmother was the second oldest of the four women of the Barrett family and died when we lived on Elm Street in Cambridge sixteen years ago, and if she lived to the present day would be eighty-nine years old.Her sisters,whom we hope will be alive when you reach San Francisco are about eight-five and eighty-seven years old respectively.When they left Boston for California,it was a far different thing than going there at the present time.The was no railroad running from the Atlantic to the Pacific and only taking a few days to get there.The only way overland was the prairie schooner, and the other way was by boat from New York to the Isthmus of Panama and then up the Pacific Cost to San Francisco. It was a far different place than you will find on your arrival.Among other people you will be asked about is "Auntie Mehegan." She was the second wife of Charley Mehegan's father and came over Charlie when he was a very small boy.As you are well aware,she died last November (1910) and she did not die in South Boston but at the home of her nephew Timothy
Sullivan on Hanover Street,Boston.He is a bachelor and over sixty years old., and his housekeeper is his aunt,who is a sister of "Auntie Mehegan" who is over eighty years old and blind and never married. She spent a great number of years in San Francisco and is well known to the old ladies there.They were acquaintances of theirs when the lived in Ireland years ago.These things that I have gone over you will find useful on your visit. (Sophie Barrett note - Jack
spoke often to me about his aunt Sister Mary Joseph and about his great aunts who crossed the isthmus of Panama by muleback.) [[Robert Barrett died Dec. 1859 of lung disease on Goddard St., which became W. Eighth Street between Lark and E Sts,. Charles Mehegan immigrant railraod builder to Concord N.H. died l868. His first wife Kate Barrett died l863. His seond wife "auntie" Mehegan lived to l9l0. A grandniece Mrs. Kelleher was located Ballinreesig Cork l971. -add end-]] SOPHIE text at p 305: [[From

 

 
     
 
 
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