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Michael & Margaret Dorgan


Posted By: LuAnn Goeke (email)
Date: 7/18/2009 at 20:46:44

Biography of Michael and Margaret (Myers) Dorgan
Or The Dorgan / Dargan / Daregan / Danigan / Lanigan Family

Michael Dorgan, Sr. was born in Ireland in about 1798. Margaret (Myers) was born there in about 1810. They also married there, probably before 1830, when their son, John, was born. The family immigrated to the United States and Iowa before 1840, when M.Dargen[sic] appeared on the census for Jackson County, Iowa Territory. Their daughter, Alice, was born there in November of 1840. At least five more children were also born in the county before 1855. The 1849 and 1850 censuses listed the family in Bellevue Twp. In the 1852, 1854 and 1860 census records, they are shown in Washington Twp. In 1860, the family, enumerated as Dangan[sic] or Daregan[sic], was shown in Jackson County, although Michael is inexplicably listed as Dennis.
But by the 1870 census, they had moved to near Altoona in Polk Co., Iowa, where Michael’s name was given as Michel[sic] Dorigon[sic]. They apparently moved on to Madison County, Iowa, before 1873 when Michael died. He was buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery there. Margaret was buried there, as well, when she died in 1878. Their younger children, Richard, Michael Jr. and Margaret all settled permanently in Madison County.

I have not found John Dorgan, the eldest child, after the 1850 census.
Alice Dorgan, the first child born to the couple in Jackson County, married Martin J. Healey in 1868. They are listed in Jackson Twp. in the 1870 census, but afterwards appeared in the Dallas County, Iowa census records.
Ann E. Dorgan was born in Jackson County, Iowa in June of 1843. One month before her sister’s wedding in 1868, Ann married Daniel Charles Manning, the son of James and Hannah Manning of Jackson and Washington Twps. Ann’s maiden name from her marriage record was transcribed as “Lanigan.” Daniel was born in April 1841 in Ireland and immigrated to America with his parents in 1847. Daniel and Ann lived in Jackson, Washington and Van Buren Twps. in Jackson County before moving to Dallas County, Iowa by the 1880 census. Daniel died there in March 1901. Ann survived until 1928.
Richard J. Dorgan was born in July 1845, probably in Jackson County. He moved with his parents to Polk County, then to Madison County, Iowa, where he lived the rest of his life. In about 1881, he married Bridget Hoy, who was born in Louisiana in February of 1853.
Margaret V. Dorgan was born in Jackson County, in May 1850. Her younger brother, Michael W. Dorgan, was born there in Bellevue Twp., in February 1855. He and Margaret apparently took care of each other. Settling in Madison County, neither ever married and in the 1880, 1885 and 1900 census records, they appeared in the same household. Margaret died in 1905 and was buried in the same cemetery as her parents. Michael lived until at least 1930, when he appeared on the Madison County census next to his nephew and niece, Joseph and Alice Dorgan.
Joseph M. Dorgan, son of Richard and Bridget Dorgan, created a sensation on his death in July 1973. (See the article on him from 8 Jul 1973 Des Moines Register.) When Joe died, unmarried, he left the bulk of his estimated $350,000 estate in a trust to be used "... to give aid, comfort, support or assistance to the people of the Negro race, singularly, or as a group, in their quest for equal rights and equal treatment." He refused any bequest to his sole heir, Marcella Harkin, his niece and the postmistress of Norwalk, Iowa, because her mother, Joe's sister, had married against their father's vehement objections. There were a series of articles on this case, right up through 19 July 1977, which carried a large article on Joe.
According to the great website of Bill Dorgan, the Irish surname Dorgan or Daregan, was originally pronounced "dare-a-gone." This, added to the assumed Irish accent of Michael and Margaret, explains why I found so many different varieties of their name, including: Dorgan, Dargan, Daregan, Danigan, even Lanigan.

Bill Dorgan's website

Dallas Biographies maintained by Conni McDaniel Hall.
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