IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.
new content added 12/17/2021
page edited 02/27/2022

Album Index

Allamakee Album
Thomas Gavin family

Thomas Gavin family, ca 1900 (restored photo)
Thomas Gavin family, ca 1900 (restored photo)

Back row: Ellen (Nellie) Gavin Hennessy, Daniel Gavin

Second row: Josephine LaTronche Shields Gavin, baby on lap is Ben Gavin, Peter Gavin, Thomas Gavin, boy on lap is Joseph Gavin

Front row: Little boy sitting on chair is Philip Gavin

Missing in the photo is Cecilia (Gavin) Cota who was born after the photo was taken. The estimated date of photo is 1900 based on the children's ages

The Gavin children also had half-siblings from their mother's first marriage to John Shields. Their names were Francis "Frank" Shields, William "Bill" Shields, Anna Shields Smith and Mary Agnes Shields Kernan.

The photo is from the collection of Mary Lou (Gavin) Meade & contributed to this website by Mollie Meade. The original photo was damaged and dark before Mollie had it restored to the beautiful version above.

Obit of Thomas Gavin (1841-1937) Gravestone of Thomas Gavin in St. Joseph's Catholic cemetery
Obit of Josephine (Latronche) Shields Gavin (1860-1935) Gravestone of Josephine Gavin in St. Joseph's Catholic cemetery


Family gathering, Wexford / Harpers Ferry area (restored photo)
dated ca1929 based on the apparent ages of the children

Back row, L-R:
Thomas & his wife Josephine Latronche (Shields) Gavin; un-named woman (w/hair blowing); Adeline (Boardman) Gavin holding baby Mary Lou (Gavin) Meade; Marcella (Hennessy) Keenan (hair parted); Mary (Hennessy) Nelson; Nellie (Gavin) Hennessy (short woman); Rose (Arsenault) Shields holding Annabelle (Shields) McMahon; John Leo Hennessy (gray hair); William 'Bill' Shields (tall man) and on the end is Pete Gavin (wearing tie)

2nd row children L-R::
Rita Hennessy McGeough (tall girl); John Thomas Hennessy (bow tie); Regina Hennessy Gamboni (in dark dress); William Hennessy holding James Hennessy

Front row children L-R:
Mary 'Dolly' (Shields) Harjehausen (little skirt); Jerry Shields (hand in mouth); Thelma Ann (Hennessy) Keenan and William 'Bud' Shields (on end with striped sweater)

- The names for the young women & babies as ID'ed include their maiden and later married names

~This photo was contributed by Mollie Meade. The original photo was yellowed and dark before Mollie had it restored to the brighter & clearer version above.


This picture was taken at the same time as the family gathering photo, ca1929.
L-R: Rita Hennessy, William Hennessy, James Hennessy, Regina Hennessy, Thelma Ann Hennessy, John Thomas Hennessy, Jerry Shields & Bud Shields
The two little girls in the front are Annabelle & Dolly Shields

Shields siblings:
*Bud Shields (boy in the striped sweater)
*Jerry Shields (little boy standing in front of Bud)
*Dolly Shields (little girl sucking her thumb)
*Annabelle Shields (littlest girl in the front)

Hennessy siblings:
*John Thomas Hennessy (the boy in the back wearing a white shirt & bow tie)
*Thelma Ann Hennessy (standing next to John in the white dress.)
*Rita Hennessy (later Rita McGeough, on the far left)
*Regina Hennessy (later Regina Gamboni, she's in the dark dress)
*William Hennessy (boy in the back holding the little boy)
*James Hennessy (little boy being held by William)

~The photo was contributed by Mollie Meade. The original photo was damaged and dark before Mollie had it restored to the beautiful version above.



Here is Mr. Thomas Gavin of Harpers Ferry, believed by many persons to be the oldest living person in Allamakee county.

Mr. Gavin is 98 years old, and in February 1937 will celebrate his 99th birthday. Born in Ireland at Westport on Clew Bay, County Mayo, Ireland, he left his father's home May 29, 1865, for America.

Arriving in New York, he went to Kentucky, where he stayed three years then coming to Allamakee County in 1868, where he has made his home ever since, in Taylor township.

In Allamakee he married Mrs. John Shields of Harpers Ferry, and they lived on a farm 2 1/2 miles north of town until March 1926. Mrs. Gavin who is shown in the above picture, passed away May 9, 1935.

"Grandpa Gavin," as he is familiarly known to all of the residents in and near Harpers Ferry, is now living with his son Benedict of Harpers Ferry.

He has seven living children, in the following order of age: Daniel of Harpers Ferry, Mrs. J.L. Hennessy of Postville, Peter of Bird Island, Minn., Philip of Harpers Ferry, Joe of Dubuque, Mrs. William Cota of Harpers Ferry, and Benedict of Harpers Ferry.

~Source: newspaper clipping & photo ca1936, unknown paper & date, from the Gavin family archives

Note: Thomas Gavin's date of birth is shown as 1837 or 1841 depending on the record. His gravestone shows 1841. He died in 1937.


Pete and Philip, two of the sons of Thomas & Josephine Gavin served in WWI.

Pete's service is still being researched as there are conficting records. His gravestone is engraved: Co. E, 69th Infantry, 7th Division but several other records indicated that he served in Co. F, 64th Infantry, 7th Division. He was born 03/13/1893 in Harpers Ferry, IA & died in Bird Island, MN 09/09/1967. Burial is in St. Joseph's cemetery, Harpers Ferry. He never married.

Philip Gavin served in Co. A, 42nd Engineers. He was born 06/13/1895 and married Adeline Boardman. He died in 1970 and is buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery, Cedar Rapids, IA. More about both men is on the World War I Honor Roll.

Mollie Meade ...
Great-Grandaughter of the Thomas and Josephine Gavin
Grandaughter of Phil Gavin
Daughter of Mary Lou (Gavin) Meade
Great-niece of Pete Gavin


Back to Album Index