The Dolan Project Part Two: Are You My Dolans?

The Dolan Project Part Two: Are You My Dolans?

PLEASE NOTE: Melody is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

This post contains affiliate links. When you click on these links and make a purchase, I earn a percentage of the sale which allows me to keep providing you great content for free on this website.


You may remember that I’ve been trying to figure out the parentage of Michael and William Dolan who appeared in the obituary of Patrick Dolan, my Great Great Uncle, who died in 1905.  I had been searching one family for a couple of years, only to realize they did not connect to my tree.  So, I started over.

I have been going through census records, city directories, and newspaper.  I think that I might be on the right track.  Surprisingly, there was only one Dolan family living in San Francisco prior to 1900 who had the two sons, William and Michael, who fit the right age group.

I found this obituary in the The Morning Call Newspaper [10 Nov 1890, pg 8, San Francisco, CA]

Dolan–In this city, November 9 1890, Michael, beloved husband of Hannah Dolan, and father of Thomas, Michael, William, and Mrs. Finnigan, a native of Athlone, County Roscommon, Ireland.

Michael is from the right place–County Roscommon.  He has two sons, Michael and William.  Darn it!  Why didn’t they put down if he had any siblings?

How am I going to figure this one out?  There are death certificates available for San Francisco pre-1906.  In order to find a link I am going to have to get creative:

1.  I could get really lucky and find someone online researching Michael (that is probably a long shot…LOL)

2.  I need to locate a mortuary record which might give the names of his parents and siblings.

3.  Figure out where he is buried and see if there is any connection to known family members buried in the same cemetery

4.  Figure out when Bridget Dolan and Margaret (Dolan) Coyne in Massachusetts died, then locate their obituaries to see if Michael’s name appears.

5.  Track Michael back to Massachusetts to see if he married there.

6.  Try to find a city directory listing in Massachusetts or San Francisco which shows Michael living with possible Catherine (Dolan) Kelly, Bridget Dolan, Margaret (Dolan) Coyne, or Patrick Dolan.

7.  Locate probate files for any of the Dolan’s to see if Michael’s name appears (he doesn’t come up in Patrick Dolan’s probate file).

Beyond that I am at a loss.  Why is San Francisco so danged difficult?  I know.  It has something to do with that pesky earthquake and fire.  Sigh…

2 thoughts on “The Dolan Project Part Two: Are You My Dolans?

  1. I have been researching Michael Dolan, who’s 1890 SF Call obit you discussed. His son Thomas is my Great grandfather. I have traced him to Massachusettes where he and Hannorah (sometimes Hannah) Mc Donald(?) had two children before moving to SF in about1858. I only have birth records in Mass., so I do not know if any sibIings are living with them. There is a 1855 Mass state census, but i had no luck with it. I believe he emigrated in 1849. From his name and age and the birthplace in the obit, there is a matching baptism in 1831 with parents Patrick and Nabeth (both in Latin, of course!)

  2. Ed, thanks for leaving this information! I was disappointed when I couldn’t link this family to my own. But, I am happy to see that you’ve been able to take the family back to Massachusetts and Ireland. Good luck with your research!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *