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The first generation

Edward Magner (1815-1890) married Nancy Cotter (1816-1876) somewhere in County Cork, Ireland, according to family tradition; the record of the marriage has not yet been found. Their three children – Thomas, Michael and Mary - were all born in or near Kilmihil ("Michael’s Church" ) in County Clare.

It would no doubt surprise Edward and Nancy Magner, were they to learn that they are the first generation of this family tree. Records of their parents and grandparents may yet be discovered in Cork.

According to the Clare Heritage Centre, there is a record of a baptism in Furroor in the Parish of Lissycasey which is about 3 miles from Kilmihil; the record shows that Bridget, the daughter of Edmond [sic] and Nancy Magner, was baptized on Jan. 3, 1848. The witnesses were William and Margaret Cotter. She may have been baptized as Bridget Mary but later preferred to use Mary. The records in this parish begin only in 1846, after the births of Thomas and Michael (see below). That Thomas and Michael were also born in Clare is stated in their obituaries in the Yale Expositor, a Yale, MI, newspaper.

This family of five immigrated to Ontario, Canada, staying for a time in the town of St. Mary’s and from there moved to the Emmett-Brockway area in MI in 1853. Edward Magner and his Cotter relatives received land grants for farming. The US census of 1860 records this Magner family as follows:

Edward Magner Age- 45, Occupation – Farmer, Value of Real Estate 500.00, Value of personal property – 300.00, Birthplace – IRE.

Nancy Age 44, Birthplace - IRE.

Thomas Age 19, Occupation - son, Birthplace – IRE.

Michael Age 16, Occupation – son, Birthplace – IRE.

Mary Age 13, Occupation – daughter, Birthplace – IRE.

This census information would indicate that Edward was born in 1815, Nancy in 1816, Thomas in 1841, Michael in 1844 and Mary in 1847. Ten years later the 1870 census assessed the farm’s value as 2000.00 and personal property as 300.00. Edward is now 55, Nancy 54 and listed as a "housewife," Thomas 28 and listed as a "laborer," Michael 26 and also a "laborer," and a "John ?" who is 16 and "works on farm." Mary is no longer on her father’s farm but living in Port Huron with her husband, John Hoskin, and their four children.

Edward and Nancy are buried in the cemetery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Emmett, MI.

Associated surnames: Cotter, Hoskin.


The second generation

I. Thomas Magner (1841-1911) died at Sault St. Marie, MI. He had never married but, according to his obituary, he was "one of Michigan’s greatest land prospectors."

II. Michael Magner (1844-1910) married Mary Reidy (1857-1918), sometimes spelled Reedy. Mary Reidy had come from Ohio. Michael and Mary were married at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church in Emmett on November 18, 1878. The witnesses were Patrick Cotter and Mary McGill. Michael was 33 years old and Mary 21. Michael and Mary had six children, all born in Brockway (now part of Yale), MI: Edward, William, Mary (nickname Mae), Nell, Thomas, Ann (nickname Bird).

Like most of the men in rural Michigan, Michael was initially a farmer but later he opened a general store and supplemented his income by driving the stage between Brockway and Yale to Port Huron.

Associated surname: Reidy/Reedy.

III. Mary Magner (1847-1927) married an English immigrant, John Hoskin (1823- 1896) at St. Stephen RC Church in Port Huron, MI on July 24, 1862. She was 16 years old, he 39. They raised a family of 12 children: William, Edward, Nellie, Louise, Emma, Nancy, Selina, Katherine, Thomas, Charles, Florence and Edith Mary.

John Hoskin had married Mary Francis Pearce in England in 1844. They had two sons, Philip and John. The family came to America in 1851 where Mary died in Toronto in 1853. Mary Magner somehow made her way to Port Huron where her landlady, "Aunt" Bridget Scanterberry, arranged her marriage with the tailor and saloon-keeper, John Hoskin. John and Mary raised their boys as Protestants, John’s religion, and the girls as Catholics, Mary’s religion. However, John became a Catholic in 1894, two years before his death.

Associated surnames: Armstrong, Brown, Connors, Gossman, Guba, Holcomb, Hoskin, MacFarland, Major, Rumptz, Young


The third generation

William Magner and his older brother Edward had worked as seamen on ships plying the Great Lakes and ended up in Buffalo, NY , where both married and raised families.

I. Edward Magner (1879-1953) married Matilda Baird. They had seven sons: Francis, Edward, William, Eugene, Vincent, Robert and Thomas. All but Francis married.

Edward, the father, had lost one leg in a shipping accident and had it replaced with a wooden leg; removing that wooden leg for comfort was a sight that fascinated us children. He established a successful firm, E. Magner & Sons, Marine Supplies, on lower Main Street in Buffalo.

Associated surname: Baird.


II. William Magner (1882-1940) married Mary Teresa Carney (1880-1964). Their marriage took place at Immaculate Conception Church in Buffalo on December 17, 1911. Mary Carney had been born in Lismegan, Aghamore, near Ballyhaunis in County Mayo, Ireland, on February 12, 1880. She was the eldest of the ten children of James Carney and Margaret (Freeman) Carney; the children were Mary, John, Patrick, Margaret, Bridget, Ann, Thomas, James, Irene, Michael. Mary immigrated to the US on the S.S. Oceania, arriving at the Port of New York on May 15, 1901. (A probable reading though the shipping lists at the National Archives are barely legible.)

William and Mary Magner had six children: Marie, John, Rita, Thomas, Patricia and William.

William Magner had in his life been a farmer, a forestry-worker, a seaman, a streetcar conductor (in Buffalo), a delivery-man and a maintenance worker for a Buffalo museum. A caring husband and father, he died at the age of 58. His wife, Mary Magner, was a very religious woman (morning Mass every day possible), a superb wife and mother, taking care of six children in the difficult times of the Great Depression, sewing clothes for them and encouraging them to achieve the education which had been denied her. In the fall of 1943 a headline in the South Buffalo News read: " Mrs. Mary Magner … has problem keeping track of five children in Armed Forces. The article cited her youngest son, William, who was an air cadet in the Army Air Forces; another son, John Magner, then a soldier at an army base in Florida; son Thomas who was in the airborne artillery; a daughter, Rita Magner, who headed the women’s division of the USO in Long Branch, NJ; and Patricia Magner who was stationed with her husband, James Gavigan, at Fort Knox, Ky. The eldest daughter, Mrs. Harry B. Wright, "rounds out the family ‘service record’ by defense work in Buffalo."

Associated surname: Carney.

III. Mary (/Mae) Magner married Ellery Harriman. Children: Jacqueline, Lucille.

Associated surname: Harriman.

IV. Nell Magner married Clifford Halsey. Five children: Ann, Robert, Helen, Dorothy, Thomas (/Fred).

Reflecting the denominational differences of the day, Nell is buried in the Catholic cemetery in Yale while Clifford is buried in the Protestant cemetery.

Associated surname: Halsey.

V. Thomas J. Magner served in the US army in World War I and died in France in 1918, unmarried.

This Tom Magner, "a red-headed Irishman," as described in the Yale Expositor, entered the service as a Private in Company C, Headquarters Battalion, General Headquarters and died in France on July 12, 1918. He did not die in combat but rather as a result of a farm accident; it seems that at war’s end he was awaiting return to the United States and, to overcome boredom, volunteered to help French farmers with their harvest. Somehow he cut himself near the eye with a sharp instrument and subsequently died at Chaumont, France.

VI. Ann (/Bird) Magner did not marry


The fourth generation

This section is limited to the children of William and Mary Magner (see II above).

I. Marie Magner (1912-1974) married Harry B. Wright (1896-1974).

II. John J. Magner (1914-1974) married Molly Busillo; two children: Susan, Nancy.

III. Rita Magner (1916-) married William K. Collinge; four children: William J., Mary Rita, Paul M., Robert A.

IV. Thomas F. Magner (1918-) married Irma Ellen Estes (1924 -); three children: Ann, Mary, Timothy N.

V. Patricia Magner (1920-) married James P. Gavigan (1920-1971); seven children: Patricia Maureen, Sandra, Donna, James, Christopher, Timothy, Sean.

VI. William J. Magner (1923-1998) married Eileen O’Byrne (1925-2002); two children: William, Kevin.

Associated surnames: Busillo, Collinge, Estes, Gavigan, O’Byrne, Wright.


The fifth generation

The Roman numerals below correspond to those in the listing above.

II. Susan Magner (1949-1990) married Thomas Kuebbing.

- Nancy Magner.

III. William J. Collinge married Susan Harris: three children: William O., Matthew, Daniel.

- Mary Rita Collinge married David M. Thissen; two children: Anne, Paul.

- Paul M. Collinge married Mary Lyons.

- Robert A. Collinge married Mary Harris.

Associated surnames: Harris, Lyons, Thissen.

IV. Ann Magner married William L. Griever; two children: Paul, Ellen. Div. Ann remarried Bernard D. Norfolk, Jr.

- Mary Magner married Manouch Shahbaz: one child: Kayvon.

- Timothy N. Magner married Janet Kelly; two children: Thomas K., Grace.

Associated surnames: Griever, Kelly, Norfolk, Shahbaz.

V. Patricia Maureen Gavigan married Hugh Burtis; four children: Keith, Hugh, Laura, Patricia.

- Sandra Gavigan married Irvin Peterson; two children: Daniel, Daryl.

- Donna Gavigan married Patrick E. Dundas; two children: Courtney, Christian

- James Gavigan married Molly O’Connor.

- Timothy Gavigan married Sandra Mueller; two children: Tara, Timothy.

- Christopher Gavigan married Jennifer Heeson; two children: Ryan, Colin.

- Sean Gavigan married Ellen Todtenhagen; two children: James. Jessica.

Associated surnames: Burtis, Dundas, Heeson, O’Connor, Peterson, Todtenhagen.

VI. William J. Magner married Jodelle Sue Wuertzer.

- Kevin P. Magner married Patricia Kenrick.

Associated surnames: Kenrick, Wuertzer.


Submitted by Thomas F. Magner (4th gen., IV) at

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