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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Sunday, April 8, 2012

WR Lynch, American Consulate in Shanghai, China

These are the obituary and eulogy for Will Lynch, who spent nearly 30 years with the US State Department in the Consular Service.  I have enjoyed his company through his diary--his lifetime interest and curiosity about all things, his sense of humor, his intelligence and my memories of him when he seemed to be a larger than life presence during his times home from China.  He was certainly a relative to remember!


     William Ruben Lynch, son of James and Caroline Lynch, was born on a farm north of Miller, Kansas, June 5, 1885, and passed away in his home in Long Beach, California, on July 14, 1956.
     He was a graduate of Kansas Normal College of Emporia, (now Emporia State University), and taught in Kansas  schools.  In 1913, he went to the Philippine Islands as a government teacher.  Later, he took a position in the United States Consular Service in Canton, China.  From there he went to Shanghai, China, where he became Vice-Consul.  He remained there until he was taken prisoner by the Japanese in World War II.   
     After he was released in the prisoner exchange, the United States government sent him to Cairo, Egypt, for a year and to Istanbul, Turkey, for a year, before he was returned home when the war was over.
     After furlough, he was sent back to Shanghai to reestablish the Consular Service, where he remained until his retirement in 1950.
     He was united in marriage to Miss Christie P. Campbell, who survives.  Besides his wife, he is survived by one sister, Mrs. Hazel Skonberg of Osage City, three brothers, Carl Lynch and Frank Lynch of Miller, and Floyd Lynch of Reading, all of Kansas.  He is also survived by many relatives and friends.
     Mr. Lynch was a member of the Congregational Church of Long Beach and was a Mason.


William R. Lynch--
     His early boyhood was a typical pioneer life--chores at home and an ambition for an education for a useful life.  During his recent retirement he recalled his high school and college years with these words:
     "I swept the dormitory, washed dishes and tended furnaces for my board and room, and thought I was a lucky fellow.  I didn't know I was underprivileged".
     This philosophy of work and self improvement continued throughout his life.  His political curiosity was world wide.
     After he graduated from Emporia State Normal, it was his first teaching assignment in the Philippines that gave him his first taste of life in the Orient and led to his interest and life long connections with the government foreign service.
     He served in the American Consulates in Canton and Shanghai before World War II and was interned there during the Japanese Occupation.  Upon release he was assigned to Cairo and later Istanbul, before returning to Shanghai after World War II ended.
     The gentler side of his nature was evidenced in his love of fine music and his companionship with little children.

Hazel Lynch Skonberg, sister of Will Lynch.

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