John N Flanagan (1818-1877)

John’s headstone at the Masonic cemetery at Metropolis, Massac Co IL cemetery reads, “John N Flanagan died Nov 18 1877 Aged 59 yrs 5 ms XX ds”1

Research Notes

At this time, John’s parents are not known. His family Bible record says he was born in Louisa County, VA. He is theorized as being the son of James Daniel Flanagan by a process of elimination based on his birth in Louisa County (vs Fluvanna County) and census records showing James Daniel having a son that fits John’s age. The children of the other Louisa County Flanagans who were sons Whittle and his wife Judah (Charles, Ambrose, Reuben and Francis Whittle) are generally well accounted for.

The reason John is considered to be from Whittle Flanagan’s line is because, as he states in his Bible record, he was born in Louisa County. It was Whittle’s family who lived in Louisa County, while his brothers Ambrose and James lived in Fluvanna County.

The most puzzling part of what we know about John is, how did he end up in Howard County, Missouri at such a young age? Did he travel there with someone – an acquaintance, or relatives, or a family friend? Or did he set out on his own? If he was indeed the son of James Daniel, then he left the family unit by 1840, when he was age 22. James Daniel and family were in Grainger County TN by 1835, when John would have been just 17 years old.

Did he perhaps stay in Alabama with his uncles, and move west from there?

If he was indeed the son of James Daniel Flanagan, he may have moved west to Missouri to be with acquaintances from Madison Co KY – the Carson family, perhaps, because they were from Madison Co KY as well, and they moved to Howard Co MO, where John married Sophia Martin (see next paragraph). Was James or his wife Elizabeth Newman and her family acquainted with the Carson family there?

Sophia was the daughter of Rebecca (Robinson) Carson (1778-abt.1840) and her second husband Joseph Martin. Rebecca was the mother of famed Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson (1809-1868) by her first husband, Lindsey Carson.

Is this our John? In 1840, a John Flanagin was enumerated in Miller County, Missouri, at Glaze Township. The household includes one male child age 1-4, 1 male age 15-20, one male age 20-30, and one female age 15-20.2 Note: This is probably not John, since there was a John Flanigan in Miller County who, it appears from the 1850 census, was an immigrant from Ireland.


The timeline is being prepared very thoroughly in order to glean clues to John’s ancestry

At this time, the first record we have for John N Flanagan is his marriage to Sophia J Martin. He is 25 years old.

John married Sophia J Martin at neighboring Howard Co MO on 12 Jan 1843.[3]

On 5 Nov 1845, John N Flanagan “of Howard County” purchased part of the SE1/4 SE1/4 S14 T43 R31 from James E Skeen at Van Buren Co MO (now Cass Co), which is near Kansas City MO.[4]

On 26 Apr 1846, their son John B Flanagan was born at Van Buren Co MO, according to the family Bible record.On 14 Aug 1846, at Van Buren Co MO (now Cass Co), John N Flannigan and Sophiah Jane his wife sell 40 acres of land to Aquilla J Morrow, property in the SE1/4 of S14, T43 R31.[5]

29 Jan 1841 – Howard Co MO – Sylvester H and Luesa Davis of Howard County sell to John N Flanagan, for $150, the SE fractional quarter of S29 T49 R17, 36 56/100 acres.[6]

On 2 Feb 1848, John and Sophia’s son Lewis Cass Flanagan was born at Boonville, Howard Co MO, according to John and Sophia’s Bible record.On 15 Feb 1848, John and Sophia of Howard Co MO mortgage 36 53/100 acres of SE1/4 S20 T49 R17 for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of Township 51 Range 17. The mortgage is made to the County of Howard in the sum of $75 dated 21 Jan 1847. John recently bought it from Sylvester H Davis. Securities for the bond are Joseph Cooper and Wallace Woods.[7]

1849 is the first year John appears on the Crittenden Co KY tax list.[8]

1850 US Census – Crittenden Co KY – J N Flanagan is enumerated with Sophia and John B and Lewis C. John states he is 31 years old, born Virginia, Farmer, property valued at $600.[9]

On 11 Jan 1853, John and Sophia sold 4 acres of land in the town of Marion, Crittenden Co KY, to William C Carnahan.[10]

On the same day, John and Sophia sold 15 acres of land on Crooked Creek to John W Rutherford for $90, land entered in the name of Robert E Reaves and patented in the name of H W Bigham, who sold it to John Wright by deed bearing date 17 Jan 1846.[11]

Again on 11 Jan 1853, John purchased from William Rochester, for $1,000, two tracts of land on Crooked Creek, land taken up by Robert E Reeves and patented to H W Bigham, who sold it to John Wright on 17 Jan 1846.[12]

And on 11 Jan 1853, John and Sophia sold to James W Wilson, for $500, 64.5 acres on the waters of Crooked Creek next to the church lot near Marion on the road leading from Marion to Princeton.[13]

On 14 Jan 1853, John purchased 105 acres of land on Crooked Creek from George Elder and George W Elder, executors of the estate of John S Elder, deceased, for $504.[14]

On 28 Apr 1853, the sheriff of Crittenden Co KY sold to John Flanagan, for $60, [15]

On 1 Oct 1855, Wm K and Mary Blue sold to John, for $2,500, two tracts of land “that this day conveyed by said Flanagan to said Blue for and at the sum of nineteen hundred Dollars and Six hundred Dollars”, “all that certain lot of Ground situate in the town of Dycusburg and known on the plan of said Town as Lot No 12.”[16] 

This seems like quite a lot of money for a lot in such a small village, but the village sits on the Cumberland River, which flows into the Ohio River.

On 15 Oct 1855, John and Sophia sell to William K Blue, for $1,927.50, sells two parcels of land that John had purchased from William Rochester on 11 Jan 1853, lying on the road from Marion to Princeton on the west side of the road, where John N Flanagan now lives, except for four acres sold to W C Carnahan near the Brick Church, for a total of 155 acres.[17]

On 20 Nov 1856, John and Sophia sell to Robert D Fritts, for $135, 50 acres “near Reads line.”[18]

On 28 Apr 1858, John purchased from the Commissioner of Crittenden County, Lot 26 in Dycusburg for $51.[19

On 10 Jan 1860, John bought even more of the village of Dycusburg when he purchased from Anthony and Nancy Koon, for $500, another parcel of land in town, this one located between the Cumberland River and Walnut Street.[20]

, and they were there for the 1860 census, as well.

At the Kentucky State Senate on Friday, 20 Jan 1865, “The senate brought a bill to be discharged from the further consideration of a leave to them referred, to bring a bill for the benefit of John N Flanagan, sheriff of Crittenden County. Which was granted.”3

In 1870, they are located on the opposite side of the Ohio River, and a bit downriver, in Massac Co IL.


  1.  Find A Grave memorial no. 100262612
  2.  1840 US Census, Miller Co MO, Glaze Twp, p 107B, John Flanagin
  3.  Howard Co MO Marriage Book 2 p 213
  4.  Cass Co MO Deed Book D p 459
  5.  Cass Co MO Deed Book D p 194
  6.  Howard Co MO Deed Book X p 61
  7.  Howard Co MO Deed Book X p 108
  8.  1849 Crittenden Co KY Tax List, page 7
  9.  [ 1850 US Census, Crittenden Co KY, District 2, dwelling 457, family 457
  10.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book C p 84
  11.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book C p 92
  12.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book C p 157
  13.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book C p 160
  14.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book C p 89
  15.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book C p 163
  16.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book D p 213
  17.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book D p 214
  18.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book D p 518
  19.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book E p 299
  20.  Crittenden Co KY Deed Book F p 222


  1.  Find A Grave memorial no. 100262612 ↩︎
  2. 1840 US Census, Miller Co MO, Glaze Twp, p 107B, John Flanagin ↩︎
  3. Journal of the Adjourned Session of 1863-4 of The Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Prentice, George D, State Printing Office, Frankfort KY, 1865, page 150 ↩︎

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