Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My ancestors - Flanagan - Contents

Michael Flanagan


Michael Flanagan buried with his parents at Glasnevin Cemetery.
See full size.

Michael Flanagan,
born 24 September 1872, Portmahon House, Co.Dublin.
His father Alderman Michael Flanagan was a wealthy and successful market gardener, who ran a big Dublin business. He was a nationalist Dublin Corporation councillor and Alderman. The Alderman was a religious Catholic and went to mass daily.
The family home was a big house, Portmahon House, Rialto, Co.Dublin.

See Michael attending funeral of Laurence Dunne in 1886 with his father.
Michael wanted to be a solicitor, but the Alderman wanted him to get involved in the farming.
Liam Cosgrave said: "Whatever else the sons were, none of them were farmers". The result was, like his brothers, he became a "gentleman".
Michael used play tennis with Irish player Joshua Pim, who won Wimbledon in 1893 and 1894. The story was (of course) that he could beat him.
He didn't marry.
Finola Flanagan heard that Michael travelled on business and spent time out of Ireland.
He is listed in 1901 census living at home with parents in Portmahon House. Occupation listed as "farmer's son", unmarried.

He had a long relationship, starting in 1904 or earlier, with Muriel Jackson [born 9 Apr 1882].
With her he had a secret family, whose existence was only uncovered in 2021.

His mother died 1910.
He is listed in 1911 census living at home with widowed father in Portmahon House. He is listed as an "agriculturalist" along with his father. Not married. Also living there are his brother Frank and sister Louisa.
His sister Louisa married W.T. Cosgrave (first prime minister of Ireland) in 1919.
Their son Liam Cosgrave (born 1920) recalled Michael Flanagan living at Portmahon House in the 1920s with father and Frank.

Michael dies, 1929:
He died before his father. He died of cancer of throat. They said "he didn't change his pipe" [Liam Cosgrave].
He died at Portmahon House, 19 Mar 1929, age 56 yrs.
See death cert from here. Lists him as bachelor, of independent means.
See item in Irish Independent, March 20, 1929.
Funeral 21 Mar 1929. Mass celebrated by Fr. Paddy Flanagan. Also present was Fr. John Flanagan.
He was bur with his mother at Glasnevin Cemetery. (Father buried there in 1931.)
See item in Evening Herald, March 21, 1929.
Identical item in Irish Independent, March 22, 1929.

Death of Michael Flanagan.
From Irish Independent, March 20, 1929.

Funeral of Michael Flanagan.
From Evening Herald, March 21, 1929.


Michael Flanagan had a secret family

I discovered in Oct 2021 that Michael Flanagan had a secret family with a Protestant woman called Muriel Jackson.
What led me to this was DNA testing:
  1. There is an incredibly strong DNA match between the Jackson family, descendants of Muriel Jackson, and my family, descendants of the above Michael Flanagan's brother.
  2. Mo Jackson is my no.1 match on MyHeritage DNA! She is closer than my 1st cousin once removed.
  3. Peter Jackson is my mother's no.1 match on Ancestry DNA! (Apart from her son and nephew.) He is closer than her 1st cousin two times removed.
So I looked into Muriel Jackson's family.
And I discovered a "Michael Flanagan" listed as the father of the Jackson children in 1907 and 1911. Two other children have no father on their birth cert.
In addition we have the following:
  1. 1911 census is clearly fake:
    • The 1911 census lists a "Michael Jackson", age 38, living with Muriel as her husband. But Muriel's maiden name is Jackson. So this seems a fake name. Did she marry someone also called Jackson? No. We know the census is fake because it claims they are married 7 years. But we know that "Michael Flanagan" is the father of the youngest child shown here in the census, born in 1907. Also Muriel is pregnant and when she gives birth later in 1911 the father is again "Michael Flanagan".
    • So "Michael Jackson" in the 1911 census is clearly the Michael Flanagan of 1907 and 1911. But why the fake name? And why do the children use her surname, not his? Obviously they never married.
    • And note one huge point: The age of "Michael Jackson" is 38 which is exactly correct for our Michael Flanagan.

  2. The family knew they were related to Cosgrave:
    • The Jackson family forgot the name Flanagan, but they remembered they were related to the Cosgraves. This is a huge clue.
    • Mo Jackson says (about her father Ronald): "My Dad always used to say when Liam Cosgrave was on tv that we were related ... I think my grandfather came from a wealthy family because my Dad used to say there was money for him to go to Trinity but somehow or another it was all spent." Ronald said there was money for the sons to go to TCD but it was all "squandered". Which sounds like the Flanagans alright.
    • Ronald did not really explain: "my Mum used to say she didn't know if Michael Jackson (my grandfather) was the right name and she said my Dad always mentioned the Cosgrave name but she didn't want to pry."

Michael Flanagan is clearly father of at least 4 of Muriel's children. Two are proved by DNA matches with Flanagan. And the other two are proved by the birth certs. Having fathered 4 he must be father of the youngest too.
So those children are 1st cousins of my mother. That would sure explain the DNA matches!
Those children are also 1st cousins of the Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.

We can only speculate as to why he did not marry her. She was Church of Ireland. This may be why he kept the relationship secret and never married her, for fear that his father would cut him off. Though his father's own sister married a Protestant in 1866 and the families stayed friendly. Note that Michael died before inheriting from his long-lived father.

He must have supported the children to some extent, or why would she keep coming back to him and having more children? But he did not marry her. Unless some letters turn up, we may never know why.


Michael Flanagan,
born 24 September 1872.

Michael had a long relationship, starting in 1904 or earlier, with Muriel Jackson [born 9 Apr 1882].
She was Church of Ireland. He was Catholic.
Michael and Muriel clearly never married. (Or else the 1911 census would use his real name not a fake name. And the children would be Flanagan.)
It is incredible that she held on to all her children without a husband, in those days. Her children were always devoted to her afterwards.

Muriel is listed at her son's birth 1905 as of 17 Ovoca Rd, South Circular Road, Dublin (see map). No father is listed on the birth cert.
At her son's birth 1906 Muriel is listed at 10 Upper St. Columba's Rd, Drumcondra, Co.Dublin. No father is listed on the birth cert.
At their son's birth 1907, Michael Flanagan is listed as the father. He is commercial agent, of 5 Prussia St, Dublin.

Jackson family lived at 9 Somerset St, Ringsend, from 1910-1911 to 2002.
Muriel lived from 1910-1911 to her death in 1934 at 9 Somerset St, South Lotts Rd, Ringsend, Dublin (see map), and her family lived there afterwards until 2002.
They were not yet at 9 Somerset St in [Thom's, 1910, p.1804], which lists a "Mrs. Killeen" there.
Muriel and the children are listed in April 1911 census at 9 Somerset St (census numbers match house numbers). Lists them as using her surname Jackson. It has a "Michael Jackson" living with them, but that is clearly a fake name. "Michael Jackson" is a "commercial traveller", age 38, born Co.Dublin.
1911 census lists them all as Church of Ireland. But that would just be Muriel's faith. Children were brought up Protestant.
At their dau's birth in June 1911, Michael Flanagan is again listed as the father. He is listed as a commercial traveller, of 9 Somerset St. "Michael Jackson" has vanished.
"Ml. Jackson" (could be Muriel or Michael) is listed at 9 Somerset St in [Thom's, 1914, p.1834].
Her mother came to live with her in old age. She has an address of 9 Somerset St when she died in 1919 in the Workhouse, South Dublin.
Michael Flanagan died in 1929.
"Ml. Jackson" is listed at 9 Somerset St in [Thom's, 1931, p.1646] and [Thom's, 1935, p.1548].

Muriel dies, 1934:
At death 1934 she is "Muriel Jackson". She and son Ronald are living 9 Somerset St. She is listed as widow of (commercial) traveller.
She died 9 Somerset St, 28 Oct 1934, age 52 yrs.
See death cert from here. Death registered by her son Ronald.
She was bur Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin. "Muriel Jackson" on grave. No husband listed.
Michael Flanagan and Muriel had issue:

  1. Cecil Jackson,
    born 17 Mar 1905, 11 David Rd, Glasnevin, Co.Dublin.
    See birth cert from here. No father listed on birth cert.
    He was a bookmaker. See him renewing his bookmaker's licence in notice in Evening Herald, October 28, 1949. His address is given as 9 Somerset St.
    He mar Maura ----.
    Death cert says he is mechanic, of 88 Lr Mount St, Dublin.
    Though death notice says he is of 2 Connolly Gardens, Inchicore.
    He died 17 Aug 1956, Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, Dublin, age 51 yrs. See death cert from here.
    See death notice in Evening Herald, August 18, 1956.
    Funeral Mon 20 Aug 1956, bur Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.
    Maura fl 1956.
    They had issue:

    1. Peter Jackson.
      DNA match to me and my mother on Ancestry.

  2. Ronald Jackson,
    born Michael Ronald Jackson, 25 Mar 1906, 11 David Rd, Glasnevin, Co.Dublin.
    See birth cert from here. No father listed on birth cert.
    His mother died 1934.
    He lived at 9 Somerset St.
    "Ml. Jackson" is listed at 9 Somerset St in [Thom's, 1939, p.1481] and [Thom's, 1945, p.1205] and [Thom's, 1951, p.1217] and [Thom's, 1958, p.898]. Think entry just shows his mother's old name.
    At mar he is "meter tester" for Dublin Corporation. Living 88 Lr Mount St, Dublin.
    He mar 2 Mar 1954 [him age 47, her age 29] to Eileen Goodman [Ellen Frances Goodman, born 30 May 1924, Dublin, dau of James Goodman].
    See mar cert. Gives him fictional father of "John Jackson".
    They lived at 9 Somerset St.
    He died 17 Dec 1972, age 66 yrs.
    He was bur Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.
    Eileen lived at 9 Somerset St until her death 2002.
    Somerset St was always rented, never owned, but the family managed to stay there for 90 years.
    She died 20 Apr 2002, age 77 yrs.
    They had issue:

    1. Mo Jackson.
      DNA match to me and Michael Peevey on MyHeritage.
      She mar John O'Dwyer.

  3. Henry Jackson,
    Harry, born 19 Sept 1907, 4 Hendrick St, Dublin.
    Birth cert has him born Henry William Flanagan. Shows Michael Flanagan as father.
    See birth cert from here.
    Went to England.
    He had issue.

  4. Phyllis Jackson,
    Muriel Phyllis Jackson, born 23 June 1911, 9 Somerset St, Dublin.
    Birth cert has her born Muriel Phyllis Flanagan. Shows Michael Flanagan as father.
    See birth cert from here.
    "Miss P. Jackson" of 9 Somerset St is in a list of crossword competition winners in Sunday Independent, May 28, 1939.
    She mar Joe Hendley and had issue:

    1. Brian Hendley.
    2. Pauline Hendley.

And Michael Flanagan is probably also father of Muriel's youngest child:

  1. Edna Jackson,
    Can't find birth cert.
    She is NOT the Edna Jackson who was born 1913 in Dublin. Note this (p.649) is incorrectly indexed in some places as 1918.
    Went to England.
    She mar Leslie Collins [English].
    They lived at 2 Merryfield Ave, Hockley, Essex.
    They had issue:

    1. Graham Collins.
    2. Paul Collins.
    3. Joy Collins.

Baronetcy story: The Alderman was apparently offered a baronetcy in 1900 if he would become Lord Mayor and receive a Royal visit, and he refused.
If he had accepted, he would have been the 1st Baronet.
To add a second hypothetical to that, if Michael here had married the mother of his sons, then the 2nd Baronet would have been in this line. And indeed the Baronetcy would still exist.

Muriel Jackson (born 1882).
See full size.

Birth cert of Cecil Jackson, 1905. No father listed.

Birth cert of Ronald Jackson, 1906. No father listed.

Birth cert of Henry Jackson, 1907. Father is Michael Flanagan.

1911 census form showing Muriel and the children at Somerset St, using the name Jackson.
Has a "Michael Jackson" living with them, but that must be a fictional reference to Michael Flanagan.

Birth cert of Muriel Jackson, 1911. Father is Michael Flanagan.

Jackson grave, Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.
From IGPArchives.
Inscription says: "Erected | In Loving Memory of | our dear mother | MURIEL JACKSON | who was called home | 28th Oct. 1934, aged 52 years | Also CECIL | eldest son of above | Died 17th August 1956 aged 51 years | Devoted and dearly beloved husband | of MAURA | "Thy will be done" | Also her son RONALD | Died 17th Dec. 1972 | "Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of death, I will bear no evil | For thou art with Me" Psalm 23. 4."

9 Somerset St, Ringsend (brown door to RHS of no.11).
Click to rotate. From Google street view.


Investigating the Dublin addresses above

Muriel and Michael are associated with various Dublin addresses before 1911. Think these are all just short term rented lodgings. We have looked at these but cannot see any link to Flanagan. We just get the names of random landlords.

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