Family Tree Information

This picture, most probably taken in 1902 on the occasion a family reunion at the first Mass said by Fr. James Needham, is a rare group photo of the entire Cahalan family.  In the chair, below, left, is Mary Mulfahey Cahalan, immigrant from Ireland. Above her left shoulder, in the back, is John C. Cahalan, Sr., who built the house at 100 Orange Street pictured here, and from whom the Cahalans in Michigan descend.

Hello! This is NOT a family tree! A tree diagram is currently beyond the capabilities of this site--and thie skills of this writer--since such diagrams are unwieldy and tend to spread out in ways that websites don't accommodate well (go to for a good example--and check out the tree I (Greg Loselle, most likely your cousin) maintain there for information, if you like).

Instead, this is all of the information, arranged by generation, that you'd want for a bare-bones family tree: names and dates and a few other assorted facts. Everything is listed so that you can draw your own tree, or follow the site here and look up family members to get things straight. It's the best I can do at the moment. Links are provided to the Narratives and Biographies pages, and will eventually connect to photographs, documents and letters.

Information for this page comes several sources, including two letters, one written by Marion Cahalan to her nephew Patrick McInerney, and a second, from Sr. Aline Needham, to Joseph Cahalan MD; they seem to have been the first attempts to establish a family history. Further information is taken from inscriptions in the family plot in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Wyandotte, and from web sources such as Find a Grave, an excellent site on memorials. (When in conflict, information from cemetery inscriptions are followed.)

As always, any errors here are mine and I'd appreciate any corrections--send me an email!

Above is a useful chart for finding out when we all are in relation to each other.  

This site mentions the first two generations--the immigrants from Ireland--but the bulk of the information here is about the immediate family of John C. Cahalan, Sr., who built the house on Orange Street, and from whom most of us, locally, are descended.

The First Two Generations: Parents & Children, Immigrants from Ireland

The first immigrants, from a village called Borisokane, in Country Tipperary, Ireland, are James Cahalan (1809-1883) and his son, John, who emigrated and settled in Lima, NY around 1853. They worked there to earn money to bring the rest of the family over. John died before his mother, James' wife Mary Mulfahey Cahalan (1819-1902), could join them in 1857. The specific dates of John's birth and death and the whereabouts of his grave is not known.


The family moved to Wyandotte in 1858, where Mary had her last child (the only one born in the US), John C. Cahalan Sr.. The children of James and Mary were John (born circa 1838 and died before 1857), Catherine Cahalan Norton (1841-1916); Bridget Cahalan Needham, (1845- ); Anna Cahalan McInerney (1846-1916); James Cahalan MD, (1850-1903); Richard E. Cahalan, (1852-1909); and John Charles Cahalan Sr. (1859-1939). All but Bridget and Anna are buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Wyandotte. 

The Third Generation: The Children of 100 Orange Street and Their First Cousins

Catherine Cahalan Norton, known in the family as Aunt Kitty, married Michael Norton (1845-1904).  They had no children, and she lived in or near 100 Orange Street during her widowhood. They are buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Wyandotte.

Bridget Cahalan Needham married (circa 1869) Patrick Needham (1847-1905), and lived initially--with most of the Cahalans in Michigan at the time--in Hubbardston, Michigan, in Ionia County. They had eleven or twelve children, of one of whom (John Francis) no other information is currently known. The others are Fr. James (1870-  ); Michael John Needham (1870?-  ): Richard Edward Needham (1872-1956); William Patrick Needham (1874-1917): Julia G. Needham (1875-  ); John P. Needham (1877-  ); Joseph Michael Needham (1879-1905): Mary Needham, known as Mollie (1880-  ); Catherine Grace Needham, also known as Kitty (1884-1903): Fr. Dennis G. Needham (1882-1925); and Anna D. Needham (1886-  ). For reasons we do not know, Patrick left his family sometime before 1902. He is buried in Oakwood Catholic Cemetery in Traverse City, Michigan.  (He is possibly pictured somewhere above, as a news story of his son's first Mass mentions that intends to be present.)  While the Cahalan's are generally easy to locate, the Needham branch is very difficult: Bridget and Patrick moved often in the Hubbardston area; then again in Traverse City where they seem to had several addresses, and also lost three of their children as young adults; then to Detroit; and finally it seems that Bridget moved to California, where she settled with one or two of her surviving children.

Anna married Patrick McInerney & had five children--John F., Jimmy who was deputy sheriff of Wayne County and May and two small children who died of scarlet Fever and your father nearly died of it too.  

Dr. James married Anna Melody and had one son James Emmet.


Richard was not married.


John C. Married Anna Hogan of Hubbardston Michigan and had eight children.

©2019 by Gregory Loselle