Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sullivan Marriages: Michael J Sullivan & Sarah Ryan and John M. Sullivan & Marie T O’Neill

Michael J Sullivan & Sarah Ryan, 30 Apr 1900
My great grandfather’s brother, Michael J. Sullivan had three children: Margaret Mary Sullivan, Daniel J. Sullivan, and John M. “Jack” Sullivan.  Michael’s wife was Sarah V. “Sadie” Ryan and they were married in Anaconda, Deer Lodge County, Montana on 30 April 1900.[1]

This family lived in Butte, Montana most of their lives and I searched the Silver Bow county records for Michael’s and Sadie’s marriage but couldn't find it. Well, today, I had luck. I found marriage indexes and images at There they were, right in Deer Lodge Co in Anaconda. Why were they married there?  Well, the marriage record gave Sadie’s residence, and she was a resident of Anaconda! Still don’t know how they met.

The marriage included the license so I learned that Michael Sullivan lived in Butte, was 31, and born in Michigan to Jerry Sullivan and Mary Sheehan. Sarah Ryan was 25, lived in Anaconda, born in Iowa to Dave Ryan. No mother was listed. They received the license on 28 Apr 1900.  From the marriage certificate I learned that two days later they were married by the Catholic Priest, C.G. Tollet in Anaconda and the witnesses were John Sullivan and Agnes O’Boyle.

So who were Agnes O’Boyle and John Sullivan? Michael had a brother named John, who lived in Anaconda at this same time period. John went by the name of John H. Sullivan. The witness name at the bottom of the certificate record gave the name of John W. Sullivan. This is a clerk’s copy. Either this John is really a John W. Sullivan and not related or the H in John H Sullivan’s signature was difficult to read and was perhaps transcribed incorrectly. I have not figured out who Agnes O’Boyle was. She was in an O’Brien household in the 1900 census as a niece. So far I haven’t found a relationship with the Sullivans.

A little over a month later, Michael and Sadie listed in the 1900 census in Butte, Silver Bow county, living at 48 Mercury street.[2] Michael was an electrician.

John M. Sullivan & Marie T O’Neill
Michael & Sadie’s youngest son, John M. was married to Marie T. O’Neill also in Anaconda on 5 Sep 1936 by the Rev. D.J. Sullivan.[3]  The license portion of the record stated that John Michael Sullivan was 27 years old, the son of Michael Sullivan and Sarah Ryan, and lived in Butte.  Marie O’Neill was 24 years old, daughter of Timothy J. O’Neill and Margaret Shea, and lived in Butte. Ah, but they, too were married in Anaconda, even though neither of them lived in Anaconda. What was the connection this time?

It was Rev. D.J. Sullivan, who was John’s brother, Daniel J. Sullivan, a priest who was serving at the time in Anaconda.[4] Perhaps that was the reason for the marriage in Anaconda.  The witnesses were Donald O’Neill, who was probably Marie’s brother, and Margaret M. Sullivan, who was probably John’s sister.

[1] "Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950," database & digital images, (, Deer Lodge Co, 1900, p 255, Sullivan-Ryan, citing FHL film 1906089, Marriages, v. 2-3 1894-1903.
[2] 1900 U.S. Census, Silver Bow County, Montana, population schedule (digital image, (, citing NARA microfilm publication T623), Butte, ED 120, sht 7b, dwl 121, fam 162, Michael J Sullivan.
[3] "Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950," database & digital images, (, Deer Lodge Co, 1936, Sullivan-O'Neill, p 3730 citing FHL film 1906092, Marriages v. 11-12 1935-1942.
[4] Polk's Anaconda (Deer Lodge County, Mont) City Directory, R.L. Polk & Co, digital image, (, 1936, p 140, Rev. D. J. Sullivan.

Copyright © 2013 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

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