Catherine Donovan Degnan

CATHERINE DONOVAN DEGNAN is the daughter of Richard and Honora O’Brien Flanigan Donovan. She was born in 1855 in Garryowen, Jackson County, Iowa.

Photo of Frank and Catherine Donovan Degnan

Catherine married Frank Degnan. They had two children:

  • Frankie and Katie Degnan (twins)

Catherine Donovan Degnan died on March 29, 1889, the same day her babies were born. She and Frank had been married only nine months at the time of her death. She is buried in St. Patrick Cemetery, Garryowen, Iowa.

Frank Degnan Jr. died on May 9, 1913, at the age of 24. He is interred at St. Patrick’s Cemetery (Section 3 Lot 18 grave 1), in Garryowen, Iowa.

Frank Degnan Sr. died on December 16, 1923, in Chicago. He is interred at St. Patrick’s Cemetery (Section 3, lot 18 grave 2,) in Garryowen, Iowa.

Katie Degnan married John Ryan. They had one son: James Aloysius Ryan. He was born on June 21, 1920.

  • James Aloysius Ryan married Mary Elizabeth Heiar. They had five children.
    James Aloysius Ryan passed away on June 2, 2001. He is interred at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Dubuque, Iowa.

Photo credit: Thought to be Frank Degnan Sr. and Catherine Donovan Degnan

5 thoughts on “Catherine Donovan Degnan

  1. This site is very valuable to us. One question I had is where Frank Degnan is buried in Chicago. His twin, Katie Degnan Ryan was my grandmother. We never learned what happened after Frank Degnan took his son, Frank Jr.

    Any information you can provide would be beneficial. Thank you.

    Doris Kay (Ryan) Henry

    1. Hi Doris,
      The information here was compiled mainly by Rita Donovan McCarthy in the 1980’s. Additional facts and sources have been supplied since then by family members.
      unfortunately, not much else has been found concerning the Degnan’s.
      Francis “Frank” (Sr) died in Chicago on December 16, 1923, and is buried at St. Patrick’s, Garryowen, Iowa. In the 1910 US census Frank is listed as a widowed lodger in the household of Fred and Lydia Syrig in Cook County. His obituary states he had a brother, John, of Dubuque; and sister, Maria from Chicago.
      Frank (Jr) is even more elusive. According to Illinois/Cook County Death Index: Frank died May 9, 1913 at 24 years old in Chicago. The records also note that he was buried May 12, 1913 in Bernard, Iowa. We have not found any other info to date.
      I’ve added more information in a reply to your sister?, Mary Ann.
      DonovanTribe has been formed to collaborate and build upon our family history if you care to share any information you have.

  2. Wow, this website is amazing! Thank you so much for posting all of this information about the Donovans!
    My name is Mary Ann (Ryan) Sgroi. All of your information on this page is correct except my mother’s maiden name is spelled Heiar rather than Heier and my sister Linda’s middle name is spelled Mae rather than May.
    I have an old picture album that belonged to my grandmother, Katie (Degnan) Ryan. I know I have pictures of Katie and her twin brother Frankie when they were young, if you’re interested in them.
    You say that Katie (Degnan) Ryan was raised by the Maloneys who were relatives of the Degnans. I know that she was raised by the Maloneys but I can’t seem to find a relationship between them and the Degnans. Do you know how they are related?
    Also, I have information about Richard Donovan, Sr.’s wife Honora O’Brien Flanigan Donovan. Did you know that her mother Catherine O’Brien came over from Ireland and is buried at St. Patrick’s in North Garryowen? Also, you can see a picture of Honora’s father’s tombstone in Ireland at this link: Moving your cursor over the tombstone magnifies the print so you can see it better.
    I look forward to hearing from you! How exactly are you related to me?

    1. Hi Mary Ann,
      First off, we are 4th cousins. We share Richard and Honora as Great-grandparents, for me 3rd g-grandparents and I believe they are your 2nd g-gparents. Maurice Donovan was their son and my gr-great grandfather. I think Maurice was your great uncle, right?
      You added much to the party here and I thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
      I would very much appreciate any photos and information you can add on the family.
      I have not found anything on how the Degnan’s and Maloney’s are related. My great aunt Rita Donovan McCarthy researched and put together that information in the 1980’s. I have to assume it was oral history from family members. I have not found any paper trail or other family trees that show their link as relatives.
      I don’t have any reliable sources concerning Honora’s O’Brien’s parents and find your info of great interest. I haven’t had time yet to look into it, but am wondering if Hanora’s father died in Ireland or if the grave in Ireland is a family memorial? Also, do you have any sources that show Michael O’Brien and Catherine Ahern as Honora’s parents? I have looked at a number of O’Brien family trees. Some show Michael and Catherine as parents, and others have Cornelius O’Brien as father.
      DonovanTribe is just beginning and I am not experienced in all the features the website provides. I think you can contact me at a “Contact Me” link located at the top of the page. We can exchange personal info from there and again, I would LOVE and photos you have from your Grandma’s album.

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