According to the Richmond, IndianaWayne County Courthouse records John Ryan was born May 5, 1812 in the town(or townland or township) of Kelly, County of Kilkenney, Ireland.  In spite of a careful search with the help of Irish professionals, we havenot been able to locate John's exact birthplace.  It seems there isno townland or township anywhere in the county with the name "Kelly" ora similar name.  It is probable that the clerk who wrote "Kelly" onJohn's application for citizenship did not really hear what John recited(or felt it was not important to record it exactly.)  Nonetheless,the county (Kilkenny) is recorded correctly and the county seat of thatcounty is the city of Kilkenny.
CLICKHERE or on the thumbnail at left to view a full resolution mapof Ireland showing where the city of Kilkenny is located.  Numerousphotos from our trip to Kilkenny are in my files and our visit there inthe year 2000 was most enjoyable even though we did not locate John Ryan'sbirthplace.
CLICK HEREor on the thumnail at left to see a typical scene from County Kilkenny. This photo was chosen from among many because it is a "scene" that JohnRyan himself could have witnessed... and because it shows the lovely terrainof the county very well.

John Ryan emmigratedto the United States in 1832.  As can be seen in the court document(clickable just below) John asserts in court that he arrived in the U.S.June 5, 1832.  [No passenger list searches have been undertaken thusfar.]  He applied for citizenship in the Wayne County Circuit CourtSeptember 6, 1836, but this is the first date on which we know his whereaboutswith certainty! 

It is, in fact this document (Applicationfor citizenship) from which we can calculate John's birthdate of May 5,1812... and from which we also learn of his origin in County Kilkenny. A copy of this document was obtained and distributed by Uncle Charlie Greenen;but it has faded over time; and a newer hi-tech copy will be posted herewhen available.  In the meantime you may CLICKHERE to see an abstract of the document.

It is not certain where he landed or howhe spent his first 4 years in the U.S.; but it is assumed that he musthave accrued skills and probably some savings.  Later you will readthat he reported himself as an "iron moulder" in the 1840 census... andwas able to purchase a quite large home by 1844.


Of particularinterest is the fact that John emigrated to America a full 15 years before"the famine" in Ireland.  Also John emigrated as a bachelor at age19 or 20.  These circumstances (as well as his "stormy family life")make John unique among all our Irish ancestors.  It would be interestingto know exactly what motivated John to emigrate... and how he wound upin Indiana; but research on these questions has been a "dead end" thusfar.
Havingapplied for citizenship September 6, 1836, John actually received finalcitizenship status during the August 1838 term of the Wayne County CircuitCourt.  The court entry is begins on page 73 and runs over onto page74 of that term... and can be seen by clicking on the two thumbnails atright.  The Courthouse was located in Centerville at that time andwas moved to Richmond much later.
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
Furthermore, there is another interesting speculationregarding the events of August 1838.

The court records do not indicate the exactdate on which John Ryan was pronounced a citizen of the U.S.  However,we know that he got married on August 21, 1838... and there is every reasonto suspect that John (and Sarah) celebrated these two events as one gigantic"happening."  It is quite possible that the citizenship ceremony andthe marriage occurred on the same day.

Notice should also be taken here regardingthe appearance of the name,Thomas O'Hara; as it was noticed that Thomas'scitizenship declaration appears in the register immediately preceedingJohn Ryans.  The name of Thomas and his wife, Elizabeth, appear sooften and so strategically in this family's history; that it is speculatedthat the O'Haras were either very good friends (perhaps immigrant ship-mates)or even relatives of John Ryan.  It is even speculated that ElizabethO'Hara MIGHT have been a sister to John Ryan, who named his firstborn daughterElizabeth... and one even wonders whether her real namesake might havebeen the Grandmother Ryan, who (as far as we know) never left Ireland.

Sarah Ann Moore was born about 1818 in NorthCarolina. Her parents were John & Sarah (Nelson) Moore.  Verylittle has been discovered and almost nothing has been documented abouther origins or her family of origin.  The following is an outlineof theories and the reasons behind the theories:
1. Sarah and her family might havebeen members of the "Quaker" religion.  (Society of Friends.)
        There are reasons to disputethis idea; but the following items seem to support it:
A.It is known that a large migrationof Quakers occurred from North Carolina to Western Ohio & Eastern Indianain the early 1800's.  A fact which would "jive" with the family'sknown origin in North Carolina and their appearance in Indiana documentsby 1838.
B.Sarah never learned to read or write... a fact which is born out throughouther life by the "signing" of a myriad of documents with "her mark." (whichwas always an "X.") This would conform with the Quaker tradition of NOTeducating girls at that time.  [It also supports another theory:i.e. that Sarah might have been blind or deaf or handicapped in some otherway.]
C.The church registry entry for the baptism of her fourth child, Sarah,clearly indicates that "Sarah Anne Moore" is a non Catholic.
"1848:On the same day (there was baptized Sarah, daughter of John Ryan and SarahAnne Moore (non Catholic) who was born the 29th day of February. Sponsors were Thomas and Elizabeth O'Hara." 
[Signed W. Engeln]
The entry reads as above and also reveals why John Ryan and Sarah Moorewere married by a Justice of the Peace... and why no record of a Catholic("blessed") marriage can be located till the occasion of Sarah's "deathbedbaptism."
D."Moore" is a very common Quaker name.  It is also known that therewere other Moore families in Wayne County who were NOT Quakers.

On August 21, 1838John Ryan was married to Sarah Ann Moore in Richmond, Indiana,  byJustice of the Peace John C. Kibbey.  CLICKHERE or on the thumbnail at left to see the record of this marriagerecorded in the Wayne County Marriage Register.  At the time of theirmarriage, John would have been 26, and Sarah 19 or 20.
Additional research has been done on John Kibbey,the Justice of the Peace who married John and Sarah.  It turns outthat he and his forebearers and descendants were widely known and respected.CLICKHERE to read more about John C. Kibbey and his family and reputation.

As to the question of why an Irish Catholicwould be married by a Justice of the Peace... and why there is no recordof a church wedding, it has already been pointed out that Sarah Moore wasdefinitely NOT Catholic; and my generation can remember how militantlythe Catholic clergy attempted to avoid "mixed marriages."  My elders(as well as historians) also assert that this "injunction" (both writtenand oral) was even harsher and more militant in the days of John Ryan. Furthermore, IF Sarah was indeed from a Quaker family, there would havebeen a double dose of negativity... with Sarah's family and pastor alsounwilling to give their blessing to this marriage.

As you will read later, John and Sarah'srelationship turned out to be the very sort of "conflicted and afflicted"marriage and family life that the clergy of the time would have predicted. And yet, the record will show that the family's Catholic pastors did notdesert them... apparently being present and properly recording each andevery event in the Family's life as it occurred... all the way down toSarah's death and burial in 1905 from St. Mary's Catholic Church.

The following children were all born toJohn and Sarah in Richmond, Indiana between the years 1840 - 1856.
ELIZABETH  A. RYAN    b. 1840 
MARY  ELLEN  RYAN   b. 1841 
JOHN  ALBERT  RYAN  b. October 27, 1845
SARAH  CATHERINE  RYAN  b. February29, 1848  d. September 13, 1913
JULIA  A. RYAN  b. January 29, 1851   "presumed dead" by 1907
MARGARET  MARTHA  RYAN  b. August 31, 1853    d. 1915
WILLIAM  MARTIN  RYAN   b. March 31, 1856  d. 1910,  Evansville, IN
Click on the thumbnails at left to see the baptismalrecords.  [Links not active!  Poorquality registry copies sent to CDG to be replaced by actual certificatesas soon as someone has time to expedite this!]

The 1840 Census listed only the head of household by name. All other information was given by means of tally marks within a seriesof columns.
The summary for the household of John Ryan is as follows: The household is shown as containing one male and two females.  Thetally for John Ryan himself seems to be off by one column as it shows upin the column for age 20-30... whereas John was actually 32.  Thetwo females are tallied: one under 5 [which would correctly represent Elizabeth]and one between 20 and 30 [which would correctly represent Sarah MooreRyan.]

Tally marks are also used to indicate "How many persons" are involvedin various occupations.  John Ryan's household shows one tally under"agriculture" and one under "industrial."
CLICK HERE to see a photo of the 1840 U.S. Census. [Linknot active yet]


During the years between 1840 and 1850,not much information has been uncovered or passed down about this youngfamily.  We can assume that John was productive during those years,and we can also envision the kind of rural household they lived in until1844 when they purchased a large home in downtown Richmond.  The 1840census indicates that they were involved in agriculture... and thus wecan deduce that they probably lived outside of town and were doing somefarming, with John doing his blacksmithing (iron moulding) in addition. There is no record of John ever owning land; but further research willbe done in this regard.  It is possible that John and Sarah were livingon land owned by Sarah's family... or that they were "sharecropping."

Following the birth of the first two daughters,Elizabeth and Mary (1840 and 1841) no more children were born until afterthe purchase of the home in Richmond.  Thereafter, children beganto come at regular intervals; (see the chart above) and the baptismal registryat St. Mary's shows that each child was baptized as an infant accordingto the custom of the day.

Then suddenly on August 20, 1849, at age31, more than a year after the birth of "little Sarah," Sarah Moore Ryanfinds herself on death's doorstep from a cause (sickness? or injury?) whichhas remained a mystery.  The names Thomas and Elizabeth O'Haraemerge again as being there for this family in a time of crisis... asdoes the (obviously Irish) name of the Catholic pastor, Fr. W. Doyle. Sarah obviously (from the record) gave her consent to be baptized; andthe baptism administered by Fr. Doyle who also appointed himself sponsor...suggesting that there was serious urgency!  Most likely the baptismwas carried out with little preparation... and before John Ryan and ThomasO'Hara could be summoned from work..  Meanwhile, Elizabeth O'Harastood as the other sponsor.  These events, no doubt, occurred in theRyan Home; but were recorded in the church registry as follows:

Baptismal RegistryEntry: August 1849: 
"On the 20th of August I have baptized SaraAnn, wife of John Ryan,  (maiden name Moore) in danger of death. Sponsors: W. Doyle and Elizabeth O'Hara.   [Signed W. Doyle]"
On the same day, Sarah also gave her consentfor a Catholic "wedding."  I suppose we would call it an "emergencydeathbed wedding."  As I envision the events, the "Nuptial Blessing"would have had to wait until the arrival of the groom; and thus, I canenvision the priest pacing and waiting in Sarah's sick room, with his stoleabout his neck... and, perhaps some candles lit, until John Ryan and TomO'Hara arrived from work.  Tom was "volunteered" (probably no compromise)to be the "best man" ...and Mary Ryan (probably the 8 year old daughterof John and Sarah) stood as the other witness.  The event was recordedin the church registry as follows:
Marriage Registry:August 1849  On the 20th of August (I have given) the Nuptial Blessingto John Ryan and Sara Moore, after mutual consent of both parties, thewoman having been baptized beforehand in sickness.  Witnesses: ThomasO'Hara and Mary Ryan.  [Signed W. Doyle]
Sarah survived;and no document or tradition gives us a clue as to WHAT she survived...or how long the illness (or injury) lasted.  As discussed above, however,events and documents from her later life suggest she may have been handicappedand could not read or write.  We are only speculating as to whetherthese events of August 1849 might have been the cause of later problems...or whether she did indeed fully recover.

No doubt, Sarah'sbaptism and the "legitimizing" of her marriage to John relieved some "tension"within the family and their circle of friends.  I did not, however,serve to "transform" their relationship; for, as we shall see, John andSarah's relationship was a stormy one, and each harbored severe resentmentsand hostilities toward the other which will be expressed and documenteda few years later in behaviors and divorce proceedings.

John Ryan38.Iron MoulderIrelandIrelandIreland
Sarah29wifeHousewifeN. CarolinaN. CarolinaN. Carolina
Elizabeth A.10..IndianaIrelandN. Caroliina
Mary E.9..IndianaIrelandN. Carolina
John A.4..IndianaIrelandN. Carolina
Sarah2..IndianaIrelandN. Carolina


Two more children followed after the 1850Census: Margaret Martha in 1851, and William Martin, in 1853.  Otherthan baptism records, research has yielded no documents regarding the family'slife between 1850 and 1860 as the young family grew up.  We do know,however that John and Sarah's marriage was not a blissful one; and thatJohn must have had some rather severe problems with alcohol, with his temper,and with "staying on task" as a provider for the family... as will be Sarah'scomplaint in a divorce suit in 1859.  Many documents throughout thisfamily's history attest to the fact that they had chronic and serious financialproblems... and, in particular, there are repeated references to problemswith the payment of the taxes on their house.

Tradition (by way of grandchildren, Maryand Catherine Greenen) indicates that the family lived much of their lifein the country.  Combining this tradition with known facts and documents,it would appear that the family probably maintained a house in the countryas well as the large home in downtown Richmond.  I speculate (anddocuments tend to corroborate) that John and Sarah began to take in renters(boarders) in their home to supplement their income.  This arrangementalso allowed John and Sarah to "live apart" when things got stormy. John's 1862 letters from the Civil War battlefield make reference to thisarrangement.

On a positive note, if the children didspend considerable time living in town in the "big house" then it wouldhave been a most pleasant setting.  The house was large and spacious,and located just a block or two from St. Mary's church and downtown Richmond...and probably very close to their school.  It was on a corner lot andalso located on the main east - west (horse drawn) street car line. It was located in a "nice" neighborhood and the children would have constantlywitnessed the high moral and "bustle" of Richmond, which was a growingand thriving industrial community at that time... and becoming a significantrailroad center

In 1859, Sarah filed for divorce. The "grounds" listed in her complaint against John were abusing the children,alcohol abuse, and being a poor provider.  The court records showthat John answered this complaint to the satisfaction of the Judge; andthe divorce was NOT granted.  John's next move, however was a surprise!


This census report contains a hugemystery and a big surprise as well.  The studious reader will immediatelynotice that Sarah Moore Ryan is not listed.  [Was the household temporarilywithout a mother? ...and, if so, why?]  Also it appears that the Ryanhousehold now includes a number of men who are probably  boarders. It is believed that Mary (19) is not listed because she is already married.The table below lists the census entries with no attempt to embellish themor otherwise answer any questions.... but
NameAgeRelationshipOccupationValue of
Real Estate
John Ryan48.Iron Moulder$2,000IrelandIrelandIreland
Elizabeth20...IndianaIrelandN. Carolina
John A.14...IndianaIrelandN. Carolina
Sarah12...IndianaIrelandN. Carolina
Julia8...IndianaIrelandN. Carolina
William4...IndianaIrelandN. Carolina
Alfred Cook..Teamster....
Frank Patterson..Pedlar....
Thomas Dudley..Pedlar....
John Stearns..Driver....
John Myers..Pedlar....

By the time of this (1860) census, the Ryanfamily was complete... i.e.  No more children followed after William,who was referred to even at age 6 (in one of John's letters from the battlefield,as "Little Billy."  The mystery of where the mother of this familywas will be answered later... in an 1865 document, well after the deathof her husband, John Ryan.  She was "living in Ohio" at the time! The question of exactly WHY she was in Ohio and not with her husband andchildren will probably be a perpetual mystery... except that other evidenceseems to indicate that no house was big enough to contain the stormy andantagonistic relationship between John and Sarah by this time.

Indeed, it was not long after Sarah's suitfor divorce was "disallowed" by the Judge, John recapitulated by suingSarah for divorce.   All that is left for us to "review" in thiscase is an 1879 receipt for the "taking of the records" of this complaintout of the court house.  [These documents would have been the centralfocus of the 1879 proceedings which involved Sarah's claim for entitlementto a "widow's pension."  Although it is understandable why the documentswould have been sought (and removed) is regrettable that they werenever returned.  I suspect they contained some unpleasant recitationsand quite possibly there were parties involved who had good motives forthem to "disappear."]  We can only guess what John's complaints were,but the court docket indicates that the judge found in John's favor andgranted the divorce!


Although clerical errors are always possibleexplanations for things, it appears that John Ryan might have had to "confabulate"about his age in order to join the military.  He did indeed join theIndiana 36th Volunteer Infantry Regiment Company F on September 1, 1861. His age is listed as 44 but court records shows that he was 49. He was5 feet 11 inches tall, gray eyes and dark complexion. He mustered in October23, 1861, at Richmond, Indiana, where the new regiment (36th Indiana VolunteerInfantry) was being formed.

We can only speculate regarding the motivesJohn had for leaving a home with 5 children still at home and so many obviouslyunresolved family problems.  On one hand it could be interpreted as"desertion" of fatherly duty.  From another angle, there is plentyof evidence that John and Sarah had come to the realization that theirrelationship was too stormy to ever hope they could both live peacefullyin one home.  That is my assumption... and it is also my assumptionthat John would not have left for military duty unless he was sure thatSarah would return and provide constant care and supervision for the children.

Furthermore, there are other factors thatare believed to have motivated John to join the military.  In thefirst place was a "bounty" which was like a "bonus" which probably amountedto $300 to $500.  (a large sum in those days!)  Many documentsshow that the Ryan home was a very large one and that they had had problemsmeeting the taxes on the home for some time.  The "bounty" would haveeased this problem.  There was also "relief money" involved whichJohn mentions in his letters home.  In addition, if John did havea drinking problem, and especially if he was perceived (as per the courtdocument) as being an inadequate provider by his family and others, joiningthe military MIGHT have been seen by John as a means of demonstrating hisadequacy, ...and, perhaps, as a structured means of handling an alcoholproblem.  Regardless of all this speculation as to why...


We have created aseparate document to record John's military history.  This documentcan be found at:
For bravery at the battle of shiloh, he waspromoted to corporal July 4, 1862.
CLICKHERE to see the 3 letters John wrote to his family from the battlefieldduring the Civil War:


It is plain from the letters John wrotehome that he was not feeling well during the early months of 1862. It isclear from his letter (post Shiloh) that he was well enough to be in thefighting and that he demonstrated bravery.  His condition, however,must have gradually worsened thereafter; as the record shows that he wasadmitted to General Hospital #3 at Louisville on October 14, 1862 and diedof typhoid fever on November 25, 1862 in Louisville, Ky., He is buriedthere in Cave Hill Military Cemetery Section B Grave 1209.

Following John's death, a guardian, LewisD. Stubbs, was appointed to look after the affairs and well-being of theRyan children.  The record is not clear; but it is assumed that Sarahhad been living with the children and functioning as a family during theentire time that John was away doing military service... but we are notcertain of this.

Upon the death of her husband, Sarah's mosturgent agenda, was to "undo" the divorce that had been granted to Johnprior to his enlistment in the military.  It would seem that thismight have been more than a "face saving" endeavor, as the record of thedivorce granted to John in 1860 (Case #656 -- part of which has been "removed"from the record) seems to have given John (and his heirs) ownership ofthe Ryan home and also might have prevented Sarah from receiving widow'spension and/or child support benefits.  Regardless of her motives,Sarah filed a complicated motion on July 25, 1865 to have the divorce decreevacated, asserting that she held a life estate in the property and thatit consequently belongs to the children named in the complaint.  Amongher arguments was the assertion that she was living in Ohio at the timeJohn filed suit for divorce and that she was unaware the case was pendingand, thus, did not respond to John's plea for divorce.  The judgefound in Sarah's favor and the divorce decree was vacated.  Thus,on paper, (a very large stack of papers, in fact) John and Sarah were neverdivorced.

On August 20, 1879 Sarah (Moore) Ryan appliedfor a Civil War Widow's Pension of $8 per month until she died Feb. 24,1905.  Her children received $2 per month pension benefit until age16 commencing July 25, 1866 till Jan. 28, 1867 for Julia, Aug. 30, 1869for Margaret, and March 30, 1872 for William.


There are continued hints in numerous documentsthat the Ryan children grew up in a troubled, fatherless, and sometimeschaotic environment.  That "Little Billy" was a troubled child...and that there were long-standing religious and philosophical issues inthe family is attested to by one of John's letters home from the battlefield. In the letter, he states he is glad "Little Billy" was finally baptized...and should be congratulated for "acting so good" in church... at age 5or 6.  As for why a Catholic baptism would be delayed till this age...that also appears to indicate serious family problems in this "mixed marriage."

By 1864 (and maybe sooner) both Sarah andJulia are attending school at St. John's in Indianapolis, a reputable Catholicboarding school for girls.  Katie would have been 16, Julia, 12 or13.  The wonderful collection of receipts foundin the Wayne County Courthouse by researcher Arnold Dean, clearly indicatepayment of both tuition as well as rail transportation to and from Richmondto attend school.  Note that the receipts indicate that the schoolwas run by the "Sisters of Charity" ...but careful research by Andy Sauerhave proven that the sisters running the school were the Sisters of Providence,headquartered in Terre Haute... and that this order of nuns (as well asseveral others) were referred to "generically" as the "Sisters of Charity"because of their work with the sick and wounded during the civil war; andare not to be confused with the "Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul."CLICKHERE to see a sample of a receipt for "Katie's" schooling in Indianapolis


ELIZABETH  A. RYAN Masonb. 1840 
d. Unknown
Gravesite: [Cass County?]
Elizabeth'smarried name was Mason.  We have no information about her husbandor family.  In 1907 she was living in Cass County (Peru - Logansportarea) with Ruby & "Alvie" Smith, (or vice versa) descendants of hersister, Julia.
MARY  ELLEN RYAN  Rose Mooreb. 1841
d. [before 1907]
Gravesite: unknown
Marymarried ___Rose and then ___ Moore. Mary had offspring by both husbands,including a son, John A. Moore, some of whose history is known and is interesting. John A. married Emma Moore Moore, a niece of Judge Rupe (See Arnold Deanletters: ArnDn061800)
JOHN  ALBERT  RYAN b. Oct 27, 1845
d. date & place unknown
Gravesite: unknown
In 1907,it was reported that John had "left town" and had not been heard from formany years
SARAH  CATHERINE  RYANGreenenb. February 29, 1848
d. September 3, 1913
Gravesite: Holy Cross
Our ancestor! Her history is the impetus for this work.  CLICKHERE to see the rest of her history!
JULIA  A. RYAN  Krueger§§b. January 29, 1851
d. Date & place unknown
Gravesite: unknown
AttendedSt. John's as boarding student  during high school following deathof father. Married Carl Krueger of Cass County IN and begot one child,Ruby Krueger Smith.  Julia "disappeared" before Ruby was raised. Was never heard from again but was assumed dead by 1907.  Ruby married"Alvie" Smith and is known to have many descendants.  Primary contactas of September 2001 is Julia's ggrandson, ALVIESMITH of Rochester, IN
MARGARET  MARTHA  RYAN b. August 31, 1853
d. 1915 - Indianapolis
Gravesite:  Holy Cross
Nevermarried.  Lived with her mother, Sarah Moore Ryan till Sarah's death. Spent time with family of her sister, Sarah, and tradition is that shewas quite beloved.  May have been handicapped in some way.
WILLIAM  MARTIN  RYAN b. March 31, 1856 
d. 1910,  Evansville, IN
Gravesite: not known
Workedas miner.  As of 1907, was working at "Big 4 Mine" near Linton, IN. Terse entry in Letter from his sister Sarah Ryan Greenen to her son, Tom,announced "your Uncle Billy's" death in 1910 and burial from Catholic churchin Evansville.

§§A marriage between a Julia Ryan and William Tyneris shown in the Wayne County court records; but no subsequent documentever confirms such a marriage for "our Julia" and thus it is felt thatthis is a different Julia Ryan. 


On August 20, 1879 Sarah (Moore) Ryan appliedfor a Civil War Widow's Pension of $8 per month which she which she receiveduntil her death in 1905.  In all, Sarah would have spent 44 yearsas a widow; and records and traditions confirm that she spent the entire44 years in the large home on 8th Street in Richmond... which, in priorand subsequent legal documents, came to be known as "The Ryan Property." [Note that about 1881 the layout of Richmond was changed and all the streetnames were re-designated.  The original address of the Ryan propertywas 5th street; but the address became an 8th street address followingthe redesignation.]

It is not certain why Sarah waited till1879 to apply for her widow's pension.  Her divorce was vacated (invalidated)in 1865; but available records seem to indicate that she applied for herpension as well as the "child support" relief money she was entitled toin 1879...  some 18 years after the payments should have started...and long after the date (1872) when her youngest child, Billy, would haveoutgrown his elibibility.  It is possible that we are just mis-readingthe documents; but it is also possible that Sarah was applying retro-actively. Regardless, she was successful; and the record shows that all the entitlementsfor widow's pension and child support were paid.  This whole pension"business" contains another "mystery" and looms as another example of howdifficult it has been to reconstruct this family's history.

Sarah's daughter, Margaret, never marriedand tradition is that she remained at home to care for her mother. In fact, it seems that sometime in 1902 Sarah executed a "deed" to thehouse selling her interest in the "Ryan home" to her daughter, Margaretfor $1.  It is unclear why she would have proceeded with such a transactionin light of the fact that her son-in-law, J.W. Greenen, had "rescued" thehome for many years by payment of taxes, and actually held a deed to thehome, having purchased it at auction from the county auditor at a "taxsale" in 1888.  Perhaps Sarah's illiteracy (or ? a handicap) wouldaccount for such an apparent "defiance" of the facts... or perhaps theexplanation is just that Sarah had "gotten her way" for 40 years in everytransaction with guardians and judges... and expected to do so again.

The photo at right(from about 1898) is thought to show Sarah Moore Ryan, who would be theelderly lady standing to the left of her daughter, Katie Ryan Greenen. Katie and her husband, J.W. Greenen are positively identified in the photoand are the couple seated in the center.

The tall girl behind Mr. Greenen is hisdaughter, Blanche.  The girl to the left of Blanche is Ruby Krueger. Others in the photo are not positively identified as of 9/1/01.

Click on the photo to see it in full size

Sarah died Feb. 24, 1905.  Her funeralwas at St. Mary's Catholic Church.  She is buried in Earlham CemeterySection 2 lot 77, Richmond, Indiana.

Following her death, a long and complicatedlawsuit unfolded over the disposition of the Ryan home. In this lawsuit,J.W. Greenen (Sarah's son-in-law by reason of marriage to her daughter,Sarah,) who held a valid deed to the Ryan property, was the plaintiff andWilliam A. Moore was the defendant.  William A. Moore was the survivingspouse of Mary Ryan Rose Moore.  From the titles of the documents,it appears that Mr. Moore was claiming entitlement to the Ryan home despitethe fact that J.W. Greenen had payed the taxes on the home for some 30+years and held the deed for the property, having purchased it at tax auctionin 1888.

Professional researcher, Arnold Dean hasmanaged to track down all the pertinent documents in this case as wellas the summonses which were issued to all those entitled to shares of theestate's assets.  Not only are they amazing to read in every aspect;but the list of those with entitlements allows us to learn of descendantsof the Ryan family children still alive in 1907... and the summonses allowus to learn the whereabouts of each person who is entitled to a share. All of these documents from Mr. Dean are in my files and will be postedif there enough interest shown.  In the meantime, Mr. Dean's lettersummarizes things very well and you may CLICKHERE to see that letter.

Acknowledgement of assistance from professionalgenealogist Arnold L. Dean is hereby given:
126  SW  14th  St.
Richmond,  In  47374
(765) 935-0614
to return to the Greenen Index Page.
CLICK HEREto view John Ryan's Military History