Francis “Frank” Degnan was the son of Catherine Donovan and Francis Degnan. He and his twin sister were born March 29, 1889, in Bernard, Iowa. Tragically, Catherine did not survive the birth and passed away the same day. Catherine and Frank had only been married nine months at the time of her passing.
Frank Jr lived with his uncle and aunt, Maurice and Mary Ellen Donovan until he was 11 years old; then his father, Frank Sr., took him to live in Chicago where other Degnan family lived. Frank Sr. had moved to the Chicago area shortly after Catherine’s death.
Not much is known about this time in Chicago. Some federal records from 1890 for Illinois were destroyed by fire. In 1900, Frank Sr. was living with his sister, Mary Ann and her husband, John Kane. … So Frank Jr. would have been living as a boarder in the Kane household with his father.
His stay in Chicago was short lived. In 1905, at the age of 16, Frank Jr. was living in Dyersville, Iowa, possibly with his aunt Maria Degnan.
Sometime between 1906 and 1913, Frank Jr. returned to Chicago, where he passed away in 1913 at age 24. Records show he is buried in Bernard but his grave has not been found.
More information and photos of Frank’s family can be found here.