Life in Corning, New York
The first time I found a record of Thomas in the
U. S. was in the 1860 New York State Census for Corning, (Steuben County) New York. He was living
with the family of Michael Kilmartin, who was also listed as Gilmartin on
property bought. Michael appears to have been a close relation, possibly a
brother or a cousin. Michael arrived in America in 1848. He moved to Onandaga
County, Skaneateles Township, and met Jane Connolly, who lived in Auburn with
two sisters. They were married on September 16, 1859 at Holy Family Church, 85
North Street, Auburn, N.Y. Their first child, James, was born on July 16, 1851.
James was baptized on August 3, 1851, at Holy Family Church. The family moved to
Corning sometime in 1853 or early 1854. Their second child, Luke, was born in
1854 in Corning. Their daughter, Catherine, was born in 1856. Michael was
naturalized in 1853. His family was listed on the 1855 N.Y. State Census.
The photo depicts Market Street in Corning viewed
from the west looking east. East Market Street until 1972 was residential ( all
of East Market Street was razed in 1972 for an urban renewal project after the
Hurricane Agnes flood ). As I remember from his obituary, Michael Gilmartin
resided somewhere in the 200 block of East Market Street at the time of his death. The present library is close where the 200 block of East Market was prior
to 1972. While I don't know for certain if that was the Gilmartin residence in
1860's, it is fairly likely that it was. If you look at the 1867 photo, you will
see some residential structures in the background. That is probably the first
block of East Market Street. That being the case, the Gilmartin residence would
have been just beyond the right hand limits of the photo.- by Ron Yost,
great-great grandson of Michael Gilmartin.
the Corning History Website
Click on the map to see a large view of this panoramic map of Corning, circa
Michael was a tailor by profession. He seemed to
be successful as he bought property, owned homes, and remained in Corning until
his death in 1903. Michael is buried in St.
Mary’s Cemetery, in Corning.
the Corning History Website
Thomas seemed to have a special relationship with
Michael. I have been unable to determine from the records in what way they were
related. Thomas was Godfather to their daughter, Catherine. According to the
1860 census, the two families apparently lived together. Let me show, by listing
their children, how they were so friendly:
Kilmartin married Jane Connolly
Thomas Kilmartin married
James, 1851-1922 Born inNY
Mary born 1851-1909 Born in England
Luke, 1854- (unknown) Born in NY
Margaret, 1853-(unknnown) Born in England
Catherine, 1856-1883 Born in NY
Michael, 1857-1933 Born in England
Thomas,1857- (unknown) Born in NY
John, 1859- (unknown) Born in England
Mary Ann, 1859- (unknown) Born in NY
Catherine, 1862-(unknown) Born in NY
William, 1863 - (unknown) Born in NY
Thomas, 1864-(knknown) Born in NY
James, 1865 -(unknown) Born in NY
We can see that Thomas worked and planned for the
arrival of his wife, Ann, and their four children. They arrived in November
1860, on the Great Western. They stayed in Corning and had three more children.
It is probable that they had watched the developments of the mines and
railroads, along with the increase of activity of the coal fields of Blossburg
and Fallbrook, and decided to move south in 1865. I am sure they kept in contact
with the Corning Kilmartin’s, because on many occasions the children visited
and stayed with them. My mother told of visiting them, with Dad, soon after
their marriage in 1911. We found from court records at the probate of the Will
of James, in 1922, that there were five addresses listed. Three of the girls
were married and had the names of Heverly, Dunleavy, and Yost.
Fall Brook Hotel, Fallbrook, Pa,
Fall Brook Hotel, Fallbrook, Pa, from
the Kevin Neimond collection, used
Obituary of Thomas from the August 23, 1911 Brooklyn Daily Eagle:
Note the spelling is "G"ilmartin- which leads me to believe that was
the correct family name spelilng.
It was likely that Thomas was illiterate and his brogue caused the
mispelling when his name was transcribed.
Editor's Note: In November
2002 I was contacted by Ron Yost, a great-great grandson of Michael Gilmartin,
referred to in this chapter. Ron was able to research the relationship between
Michael and Thomas and reasonably determined that Michael and Thomas WERE
brothers. Ron states, "...the obituary for Michael Gilmartin in the June 12,
1903 Corning Evening Leader listed Thomas Gilmartin of Arnot, Pennsylvania as
Michael's surviving brother. Reasonably assuming its accuracy, this establishes
that Thomas and Michael were indeed brothers. However, the obituary did not give
Michael' place of birth. Likewise, his gravestone states, "Native of Ireland"
without giving a specific town."
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