Introduction to Lynch Clan

My Lynch ancestors from Ireland came to America in 1848. The group included my Grandfather James Lynch and his five siblings, ages 10 to 18, who sailed without their parents to New York City. Soon they were living in a tenement house in Massachusetts working in a textile mill. From there they gradually migrated west. This blog will contain information gathered by my mother, Hazel Lynch Skonberg from her father, giving details of the trip over and life in America. There is also a diary written by his son, Will Lynch, who was with the American Consular Service of the State Department, and was taken hostage on Dec. 8, 1941, by the Japanese Army who had captured Shanghai that day. I hope you enjoy this blog about the James Lynch family in America.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

James Lynch Biography Part 2

Continuing the biography of James Lynch by his daughter Hazel Lynch Skonberg.    Roselyn    

     They then went to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and the boys did farm work.  Later sister Ellen married James Main.  They lived at Oak Grove and later at Juneau, Wisconsin.  Sister Mary married Alonzo Wagner in Beaver Dam and later moved to Reading Kansas.
     In January 1854, James, Thomas and Patrick left from New York for California by the Nicaragua Route.  They sailed the Atlantic to the Isthmus of Panama and then rode across on mules to the Pacific side.  The Atlantic trip was rough, but the Pacific side was smooth sailing.    
     They panned for gold around Sutter's Mill (Coloma), Yuba City and Marysville.  Life was dangerous, and robbing and killing for gold was common.  Supplies were scarce and expensive. A plug of tobacco was five dollars and boots fifteen dollars.  Gamblers took over.  James panned almost $2000 in gold nuggets and gravel.  He kept it in a leather pouch tied around his waist at all times.  His brothers had almost as much as he did but lost it all when the bank president left fort New York with all the depositors' money.     
     In 1859, James and his brothers returned by the same route to New York.  James then went to Illinois where he got work as a farm hand.

James Lynch in Union uniform
     On August 12, 1862, James enlisted and joined the Company G of the Illinois Volunteer 74th Infantry on the side of the North in the Civil War.  His commander was General Thomas, whom he liked.  Some of the battles he fought in were:  Cableorchard (the first one), Peachtree Ceek, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Francisville, Liberty Gap, and Perryville.  He was never wounded, but a bullet hit his canteen and he lost all of his drinking water.  He and his comrades were hungry many times.  They were sent out to forage from the farms around them.  Once he and another soldier tried to rob a bee tree, with many stings and little honey.  
James Lynch's discharge paper from the Union Army of the Civil War
     After the war, he was discharged at Nashville, Tennessee on June 10, 1865.

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