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Magner Genealogy

Thomas Magner (1827-1891), son of James and Margaret Fruin Magner born in the Glen of Aherlow.  "A Thomas Magner" age 22, left Cork, Ireland aboard the Ship Swift and arrived in Boston on May 20, 1850 (List 56, Roll M265).  This could be the same Thomas as the age would be a match. 

Research indicates Thomas Magner first settled in Naugatuck, about 4 miles south of Waterbury, CT.  Several members of the Magner, Kiely and Fruin families from the Glen of Aherlow area had settled near Waterbury and Bridgeport, CT.  Thomas married Eliza Fruin near Naugatuck, CT and then moved to Willmington, Illinois in 1858.   Waterbury, CT (New Haven County)  is 30 miles from Bridgeport, CT, 127 miles from Boston, 96 miles from New York,  and 815 miles from Will County.  Elizabeth Fruin (born 1829 in Tipperary; died 1893) parents of Elizabeth are   Robert and Ellen Cussen Fruin.

William Fruin was born in April 1798 in Aherlow, County Tipperary Ireland and died October 8, 1880 in Waterbury, CT.  He married Johanna Magner who was born in 1811 and died January 12, 1891.  William and Johanna had three children:  James J. died 1906; Johanna (1839-1887) and Robert (1843-1893).  James J. married Mary Jane Slocum and owned the Fruin Hotel in Waterbury, CT.  

Elizabeth Fruin, the wife of Thomas (1829-1893)   should be related to Margaret Fruin, the wife of James Magner.  Thomas and Elizabeth lived in a large plantation style home in Wilmington.  The house was later used as a funeral home for over fifty years.

 Thomas Magner (1827-1891) from Illinois 1870 Census:  Will County, Wilmington Twp.  page 515.  Thomas-age 45, Elizabeth (Fruin wife) age 34, children:  John-age 14, James-age 12, (John & James were born in CT) Robert-age 10, Ellen-age 7, Margaret-age 5, Elizabeth-age 3.  Living on the farm next to John Henneberry.

Parents of Thomas:  James Magner and Margaret Fruin.  Magner/Henebry

Thomas Magner from Illinois 1880 Census:  Vol. 58  ED 218  Sheet 6  Line 3 Thomas age 52 born in Ireland.  Residence Wilmington Twp.  Will County, Illinois Elizabeth (wife) age 51 born in Ireland.  Children:  John, age 24 born in Connecticut: James, age 22 born in CT: Robert, age 20 born in IL:  Ellen, age 16 born in IL:  Margerate, age 15 born in IL:  Elizabeth, age 13 born in IL: Mary, age 9 born in IL.

  • Thomas Magner from New Haven, CT became a citizen in the New Haven District Court on March 14, 1861 at the age of 32.


  • Thomas Magner sold E 1/2 NE, 1/4 S18, T33, R9 to Patrick Green for $500 on June 1, 1889.  Will County Deed Book 248, p. 460.

Thomas, Elizabeth and their children James, Margaret and Ellen are all buried in Mt Olivet Cemetery in Wilmington, IL.  Jane Cushing Henneberry and many other Henneberry's are also buried in the same cemetery.

Children of Thomas and Elizabeth:

  • James  (1857-1937)   married Margaret Follen on April 20, 1881 in Will County.  Lic. # 8485. 
  • Elizabeth (Nov. 2, 1867-Dec. 20, 1944) married William Coveny on Jan. 8, 1896.   
  • Mary Agnes (Jan 1, 1874-Mar 4, 1970) married John Vincent Coveny on Jan  23, 1901, she is buried in St. Patrick Cemetery in Ransom, Livingston County, IL. 
  • Robert Magner: m. Margaret Dooley on Oct. 11, 1887 in Cook Co.
            Children of Robert Magner:  Thomas, Elizabeth, Margaret, Ann, James K., Edward and Sister Robertine.
    James K. Magner was the only descendant of Thomas & Elizabeth whose sons did not enter the clergy or died without having any male children.
  • Thomas:  died at early age.
  • Margaret: d. 1888.  
  • Nellie:  d. 1892.


Magner - Coveny - Henneberry Families

From:  Prairie Farmer's Directory of Grundy County 1917.
    John V. Coveny and Mary Magner with children; John, Thomas and Francis  were living on R 2 in Highland.
    William Coveny and Lizzie Magner with children; Marie, Veronica, William, and Joseph  were living on R2 Highland.
    Lorengo Coveny and Julia Curtin with children; Monica and Geraldine were living on R 2 Highland.

David S. Henneberry (Dec. 31, 1857 - Oct. 15, 1910) married Anna Veronica Coveny on July 1, 1895 in Kinsman, Grundy County, IL.  Anna Veronica was born May 4, 1870 in Highland, Grundy County and died August 5, 1948 in Joliet, IL.  Click for marriage license.

John Henneberry son of David Henneberry and Bridget Reeves married Ida Coveny daughter of John Coveny and Nancy McCullem.  John was the brother of David and it is believed that Ida was the sister of Anna.  John:  Nov. 12, 1859-Jan 2, 1944.  Ida:  Jan 15, 1873-March 6, 1922.

    Henneberry-Coveny Nuptials  Newspaper Article-date unknown.  Joliet Herald News.

   " The marriage of Miss Ida Maria Coveny daughter of Mrs. N. Coveny, 906 Western Avenue to John Henneberry was solemnized yesterday morning at 8 o'clock at St. Patrick's church.  Rev. Fr. Francis Magner of St. Mary's officiating in the nuptial high mass.  Miss Clara Coveny, sister of the bride was the honored maid, and John H. Henneberry, a cousin of the groom of Minooka served as best man.  the bride's wedding gown was a becoming suit of French blue silk moire rose design, elegantly tailored with a bodice of silk shadow lace.  With this she word a white hemp Watteau hat wreathed with tiny pink rosebuds and ornamented with handsome French blue plumes.  A corsage bouquet of fragrant sweet peas added a bride-like touch to the tout ensemble.
    The bridesmaid wore a tailored suit of mode gabardine with hat to match.  The wedding was designed to be a very quiet affair by the principals but their friends disappointed them by gathering at the church in large numbers to witness the administering of the matrimonial sacrament.  A wedding breakfast followed the ceremony at the home of the bride's mother.  After this function, Mr. and Mrs. Henneberry left on a short honeymoon trip to be a home after May 22 at Perry, Ia where the groom is in business.
    The out of town wedding guests were Mr. and Mrs. William Coveny and daughters, Marie and Veronica, Mr. and Mrs. John Coveny and Mr. and Mrs. D. P. McCambridge all of Kinsman, Ill, and Mrs. A. V. Dempsey of Chicago.  The bride is a devout member of St. Patrick's parish and has made her home in Joliet for the past half dozen years coming from Grundy county where she taught school for a number of years."

Newspaper articles:  "John V. Coveny, 79, retired farmer, 305 S. Washington St., died Tuesday at 3:10 am. in the hospital at Morris.  The body is in the Baker Funeral Home where friends may call after 7 pm today.  The rosary will be recited Wednesday at 8:30 pm. in the funeral home, the Rev. M. A. Tracy officiating.  Funeral services will be held Thursday at 9:30 am. in St. Patrick's church, Rev. Tracy officiating.  Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Ransom.
    Mr. Coveny was born Oct. 20, 1875 on a farm near Verona, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Coveny.  he spent most of his live farming in Kinsman and Verona.  In 1942, he retired and moved to Dwight.  he was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Dwight.  Mr. Coveny was married in Chicago to the former Mary Magner on Jan. 23, 1901.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Jan. 23, 1951.  He was preceded in death by his parents, two children, five sisters and four brothers.  Surviving are the widow, sons, John L. of Dwight, Thomas F. of Morris, and Frank J. of Verona, five grandchildren, a brother, Lorenzo Coveny of Streator, several neices and nephews."

"Mrs. Mary A. Coveny, 96, died at 3:45 pm. Wednesday at St. James hospital in Pontiac.  She had been a patient for two weeks.  Visitation was at the Von Qualen funeral home Friday afternoon and evening and the Rosary was recited at 8 o'clock.  funeral services were held at 11:30 o'clock saturday morning at St. Patrick's church with Rev. John Nabb officiating.  Burial was in St. Patrick's cemetery at Ransom.
    Pallbearers were Dr. Raymond Coveny, Kenneth Coveny, Robert Coveny, Carl Adams, Danny Bleau and Vincent McCambridge.  She was born January 1, 1874 at Wilmington, a daughter of Thomas and Eliza Fruin Magner.  She was married to John V. Coveny January 23, 1901 at Chicago.  Surviving are two sons, Thomas of Morris and Francis J. of Verona; five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
    She was preceded in death by her husband, a son, two daughters, five brothers and three sisters.  She was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Dwight, its Alter and Rosary society, the Catholic Daughters of America and the National Catholic Order of Foresters."

James Magner 1857 - 1937

James was the son of Thomas Magner (1827-1891) and Elizabeth Fruin Magner (1829-1893).
  James married Margaret Follen (1862-1925), and they had eight children.  James and Margaret were married April 20, 1880 in St. Mary's church in Joliet, Illinois (Will County Certificate #8485).

Margaret Follen: daughter of John Follen and Bridget Connell.  John Follen was from County Sligo near the capitol city.  He arrived in America and settled about eight miles southwest of Joliet, Illinois.  Bridget Connell was born in County Clare.  (notes from My Faces & Places, Msgr. James A. Magner, The Palm Press, 1990)

Other children of John Follen and Bridget Connell:

Mary:  married Richard Haley, eight children
Sarah:  married Herbert ??, two children: Mary and Francis
Michael: married twice.  five children: Michael, Theresa, Francis and Laura, John and Celia.
Cecelia:  first husband Walsh.  second husband O'Brien and child Mary Angela who married Niles Burke.


Children of James and Margaret:

  • Bishop Francis Joseph Magner (March 18, 1887 Wilmington Twp, Will County, IL  died June 13, 1947 in Marquette, Marquette County, Michigan.  Buried in the Crypt of Marquette Cathedral, Marquette, MI.  He was the bishop of the dioceses of Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. 

  • Chicago Herald; December 24, 1940:  "Msgr. Magner Named a Bishop.  The Right Rev. Monsignor Francis J. Magner, pastor of St. Mary's Church, Evanston, has been appointed bishop of Marquette, Mich., by Pope Pius XII.  Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognant, apostolic delegate to the United States announced today.  Msgr. Magner will succeed Bishop Joseph C. Plagens who was transferred two weeks ago to the diocese of Grand Rapids.  He will take over his new duties after the first of the year.  The new bishop was pastor of St. James Church, Highwood before he was placed in charge of St. Mary's by the late Cardinal Mundelein following the death of Father Hugh P. Smyth in 1927.
        Previously Msgr. Magner had been assistant pastor at St. Pius Church, St. Mel's and Precious Blood in Chicago; St. Mary's at Joliet and St. Francis Wilmington, Ill.  He was born at Wilmington, Ill., March 18, 1887 and attended St. Ignatius College, Chicago St. Mary's, Kan., and the North American College in Rome before being ordained May 17, 1913.
    A brother, James A. Magner, founder of the Charles Carrol forum in Chicago is a member of the faculty at Ibero-American Institute of Studies in Washington.  A sister, Sister Mary Josepha, R.S.M. is at St. Ita School here."


    Early in 1855, His Holiness Pope Pius IX first expressed to members of the American hierarchy his interest in the establishment of a national seminary in Rome for the formation of candidates from the United States.

    More than four years later, on December 8, 1859, the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the patroness of the United States of America, Pope Pius IX formally inaugurated the Pontifical North American College on the Via dell'Umiltà, a property that the Holy Father himself had given to the bishops of the United States for the purpose of initiating this seminary. In this sixteenth-century former monastery of the Visitation Sisters, located in the historical center of Rome, twelve students began their studies. Since that time, these buildings have continued to serve the North American College community, and are currently being used as the Casa Santa Maria, a residence for the priests who are pursuing graduate studies in theology or canon law at various pontifical universities in Rome.  Francis Joseph Magner was ordained on May 17, 1913.  


  • Msgr. James A. Magner (1901-IL - 1995 Palm Beach, FL) "author, professor at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.  Magner Hall a dormitory at the university is named after Msgr. Magner.  Both of these priests were the children of James Magner (CT 1857-1937 IL) and Margaret Follen (Ireland 1862-1925 IL).  The parents are both buried in Mt Olivet Cemetery in Wilmington, IL.  The grandparents were Thomas Magner and Elizabeth Fruin.  Msgr. Magner attended Mundelein Seminary near Chicago.   "And how did James Magner get to the seminary in 1921? His parents were both Catholic, but James attended a public grammar school and a public high school. He went to Campion College and graduated in 1921. His journey to the priesthood was an unusual one for the time. He came straight from College into the Major seminary. He would do very well at Mundelein. He had a good mind which caught the attention of Cardinal Mundelein. Eventually Fr. Magner would go on to become the Procurator at Catholic University of America. How did he get to Mundelein Seminary in 1921?"      source: Mundelein Seminary

Msgr. James Magner at St. Patrick's Cross, Cashel, Ireland


Obituary of Msgr. James Magner.

Children of James & Margaret

  • Elizabeth:  b. July 31, 1881.  became Sister Mary Josepha of the Sisters of Mercy.  Photo
  • Mary: b. Dec 6, 1884.  d.1977.  m. William Kaffer on Nov 6, 1938.  One daughter.
  • Francis Joseph:  b. March 18, 1887.  d. June 13, 1947 in Marquette, Michigan.  At the time of his death, he was the bishop of the Dioceses of Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie, MI.  see above
  • John Ignatius Magner: b. Oct 10, 1890. d.1973. m. Marie Higgins (1893-1982) in Evanston, IL.    Served in army in WWI.  Two daughters: Colette and Mary Francis.
  • Cecilia (Celia): b. Feb 12, 1892.   m.  Wayne McIntyre in Wilmington.  both Celia and Wayne died of influenza on April 4, 1919.  Their three children, Margaret, Mary Agnes and George,  were adopted in court by James & Margaret.
  • James A.  b. Oct 23, 1901.  Msgr. Magner see above
  • Agnes:  b. May 10, 1904.  d. May 15, 1925  m.  Joseph B. Harte on April 4, 1923 in Wilmington.  Two daughters.  One died at age seven weeks in Kankakee, IL.  daughter Cecelia married Edmund McCarthy
  • Marguerite:  died at age four.


Obituaries from the Joliet, IL newspaper

Mrs. James Magner:  The death of one of our prominent and well beloved women, Mrs. James Magner, occurred in St. Joseph Hospital, Joliet, Tuesday evening, June 16, at 6 o'clock after a brief illness.  Funeral services will be held from St. Rose's church Friday morning at 10:30 o'clock.

Joliet Evening Herald News:  Wed. June 17, 1925:
"Mrs. Margaret Magner, 64 years old, wife of James Magner and a member of one of Wilmington's most prominent families, died at 6 o'clock last night in St. Joseph's hospital following a short illness. 
A resident of Wilmington all her life, Mrs. Magner had the distinction of having three of her children engaged in religious work.  One son is the Rev. F. J. Magner, former assistant pastor of St. Mary's Catholic church and now in charge of the Homewood, Ill church.  Another son is James Magner, a student for the priesthood at Mundelein Seminary.  Sister Josepha, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, is a daughter.

In addition, Mrs. Magner is survived by her husband; a son John Magner, and a daughter Miss Mary Magner.  Two other daughters, Mrs. Agnes Hart and Mrs. Cecelia McIntyre, preceded their mother in death.   Funeral services will be held at 11 o'clock Friday morning in St. Rose Catholic church.  Burial will be in the Wilmington cemetery and friends are requested to omit flowers."

James Magner:  James Magner, prominent figure in the civic life of this community, died Saturday evening, November 20 at home in Wilmington.  He had been ill for six weeks.

Mr. Magner was born September 27, 1857 in Naugatuck, Connecticut.   When he was six months old, his parents brought him to Wilmington, where he remained for the rest of his life.  On April 19, 1880, he married Miss Margaret Fallen.  They became the parents of seven children, five of whom are living.

Farming provided an occupation for several years, later he became a merchant.  Mr. Magner served the city repeatedly as commissioner and alderman.   He was interested in the activities of the city and devoted a great deal of his time to them.  Mr. Magner was well known and a host of friends mourn his passing.

Three grandchildren, Margaret, Mary and George McIntyre, orphaned by the death of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne McIntyre came to make their home with Mr. and Mrs. Magner in 1925.  Another grandchild, Cecelia Harte, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Harte has lived with her grandparents since the death of her mother.  Mrs. Magner passed away on June 15, 1925.

Surviving Mr. Magner are three sons, Rev. Francis J. Magner, Rev. James A. Magner and John J. Magner, two daughters, Sister Mary Josepha R.S.M. and Mrs. William Kaffer.  Two sisters, Mrs. William Coveny and Mrs. John Coveny, and six grandchildren, Mrs. Walter Hughes, Mrs. Michael Leider, Misses Cecilia Harte, Mary Frances and Colette Magner and George McIntyre.

The funeral mass was held in St. Rose's Church at 10:30 am Tuesday, November 30.  Rev. Francis J. Magner of St. Mary's Church, Evanston was the celebrant.   He was assisted by Rev. James A. Magner of St. Lawrence's Church, Chicago, Rev. Joseph M. Kiely of St. Attracta Church, Cicero and Rev. James Duffin of St. Mary's Church of Evanston.  Rev. P. Kiely of St. Timothy's Church, Chicago preached the sermon.   The Most Reverend Eugene McGuinness, Bishop Elect of Raleigh, North Carolina, Monsignors Purcell, Quille, Keary and O'Brien of Chicago and Monsignor Anthony of Cincinnatti were in the sanctuary.  More than eighty priest attended the services.   Thirty sisters of various religious orders were also present.

Mass was sung by the choir of St. Rose's Church.  Mrs. Peter Joyce sang an Ave Maria by Rosewig and Edward Donohoe sang Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck.  Mrs. A. B. Towle presided at the organ.

The pallbearers were Louis Kaffer, A. J. Kelly, E. P. Harry, Joseph J. Quinn, Frances J. Coveny and Joseph Coveny.  Burial was in Mr. Olivet cemetery at Wilmington.

Joliet Herald News, Sun. Nov 21, 1937

"James Magner, 80 years old, a resident of Wilmington since childhood, died last night at his home there following an illness of two months.  Born in Connecticut, Mr. Magner came to Wilmington with his parents as a small child.  He was prominent as a merchant for many years, previous to his retirement 15 years ago.

He is survived by two daughters, Sister Mary Josepha of Chicago and Mrs. W. H. Kaffer, of Wilmington; three sons, the Rev. Francis Magner, of Evanston, the Rev. James R. Magner, of Chicago, and John I, of Chicago; two sisters, Mrs. William Coveny, of Joliet and Mrs. John Coveny, of Kinsman, Ill; and six grandchildren.  Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed."


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