Thomas McManemon was born November 6, 1792 in County Leitrim, Ireland. Around 1814, Thomas married Bridget Kelley. Thomas died in Muscatine, Iowa, on June 26, 1865.
Thomas and Bridget had nine children according to a biographical sketch about son James, but only 8 children are known by name:
Thomas' daughters, Margaret and Bridget both married in Ireland prior to 1846, Margaret to William Kelley and Bridget to James Conlon.
Between 1846 and 1849, The Great Famine occurred in Ireland and County Leitrim was especially hard hit. Due to the crop failures which caused the famine, in 1849 County Leitrim landlords began to evict their farmer tenants for non-payment on their leases. Whatever the impetus was, in 1850, Thomas and most of his family members embarked from Liverpool on the sailing-vessel "Dewitt Clinton" and after a “fair voyage of thirty days” landed at Castle Garden, New York on September 18th. The family members who were not listed on the ship's manifest were Margaret McManemon Kelley, Bridget McManemon Conlin and Michael McManamon. However, Thomas' grandson James Sylvester Kelley, son of Margaret, made the voyage with them. The McManemon family remained in New York for a year, and then moved to Wayne County, Indiana - a county on the country's National Road. In Wayne County, Thomas' daughter Ann married Bernard Beasty in 1852 and his son James married Mary Freal in 1853. Also in Wayne County, Thomas' son, Michael, was assigned a land warrant in Muscatine, Iowa, from a resident of Wayne county.
Around 1854, the McManemon family continued its migration westward along the National Road, took the northern fork through Peoria, crossed the Mississippi River and settled in Muscatine County, Iowa. His daughter Ann M. Beasty gave birth to Thomas' grandson John, somewhere in Illinois along the route. Thomas leased land from Joseph Jean along the Cedar River in western Muscatine County. Thomas' son Michael was nearby and his other sons and son-in-law leased land also. They all likely lived in log cabins. In 1855, Thomas' daughter Bridget M. Conlin and her family arrived and lived with Thomas, his wife Bridget, and his grandson James S Kelley. Thomas spent his entire life farming according to son James' biographical sketch.
In 1856, Thomas' son Michael married Mary Gannon in Muscatine County. In 1857, Thomas' daughter Bridget died, followed by the death of his wife Bridget a few months later. Both were buried at Jean's Cemetery across the road from his property. His daughter Ann died 2 years later in 1859 and was buried near her mother and sister. In 1860, Thomas lived with his youngest daughter Ellen, Bernard Beasty and grandson John Beasty. Upon turning 18 in 1862, Thomas' grandson James S. Kelley enlisted in the Iowa Infantry and served for the Union Army in the Civil War. He was wounded at Tupelo, Mississippi and discharged for his wounds in 1865, his discharge occurring 2 weeks before Thomas' death.
In 1864, Thomas' son Michael became one of the early pioneers to migrate to the Montana territory, eventually settling in what is now known as Walla Walla, Washington, where Michael became a rancher. Also in 1864, Thomas' daughter Ellen married Archibald Cook.
On June 26, 1865, Thomas died at the age of 72. He was buried in Ardon Cemetery in Muscatine, Iowa.
Genealogy research and life sketch completed: 15 Jul 2020
"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch , Thomas Mcmenamon, 1850; citing Immigration, New York City, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 175,448.
Thomas McManemon household, 1856 state census of Iowa, Muscatine County, Cedar Township, p. 579, line 19-26; microfilm 008984721, FHL, Salt Lake City, Utah.
"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch , Thos Mc Minion, 1860.
"Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch , Thomas McManemon, 1865; Burial, citing record ID , Find a Grave.
"Iowa, Death Records, 1904-1951," database with images, FamilySearch , Thomas McManemus in entry for Ellen Judge, 28 Jan 1908, Iowa, United States; citing certificate #, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines; FamilySearch digital folder 102869874.
"Indiana Marriages, 1811-2019," database with images, FamilySearch , James Mcmanniman and Mary Freel, 14 Aug 1853; citing Wayne, Indiana, United States, Marriage License, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 007030217.
"Indiana Marriages, 1811-2019," database with images, FamilySearch , Bernard Besty and Ann Mcmanniman, 01 Nov 1852; citing Wayne, Indiana, United States, Marriage License, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 007030217.
Joseph Meek (Muscatine, Iowa), Military Warrant no. 5.119; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records
“Portrait and Biographical Album of Louisa County, Iowa”, Acme Publishing Company, 1889. Web. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
"Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1861-1949," database with images, FamilySearch , James S Kelley, 1861-1949; citing Iowa, United States, Military Service, State Historical Department, Des Moines; FHL microfilm 1,509,087.