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Narratives & Biographies

While the purpose of this site is to document the story of a family, the documents themselves--the letters, photographs, newspaper articles and the occasional legal document--don’t provide a narrative. This part of the site, then, is meant to do three things:


Members of the family, starting with John C. Cahalan Sr’s parents, James and Mary Mulfahy Cahalan, are given pages linked to this one. These pages are presented in order of birth year, and contain linked references to all known documents and materials specific to that person (with the exception of photographs when the number of surviving images would make this impractical), with commentary to allow anyone looking for information about a specific family member to find the biographical material in a narrative sequence.

Individual narratives here, when appropriate, contain material repeated verbatim from other narratives. This may make for repetitive reading, but each narrative is as complete and discrete an entry on its subject as possible.


Occasionally information comes to light that, while not specific to any one person, provides information about the family from a particular aspect or at a given time. (A good example of this is the Federal Census forms available on, which describe the demographic data of the neighborhood around John C. Sr’s house on Orange Street in Wyandotte.) These subjects are also described and interpreted here with linked references.  


Also, legal documents and letters (such as the deeds to the land on which the Orange Street house was built) often refer to other parts of the collection (for example, a photograph of the Cahill brothers, whose family seems to have originally owned the land). These documents will also eventually be given their own linked pages, dated to the earliest documented year. It is hoped that these more ‘historical’ narratives will help fill in the family’s history and milieu over the years.


For privacy’s sake, no living person is given an entry, and any information from living family members has been added with permission. It bears saying that any comments made here, unless otherwise documented, are those of the author--that’s me, Greg--and I’m solely responsible for any errors in content or attribution.  


As always, any comments, suggestions or corrections are most welcome!

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