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The Cushing Family

Name Spelling Viking Origins Data and Sources

The Irish-Born Children

When the rest of the family moved to Wisconsin in about 1848, Edmund and his youger brother, William, 22 and 18 years old, respectively, stayed in Stoughton, a small town known principally for its boot manufacturing companies.  When William married in 1856, Edmond moved out but remained in Stoughton.  He was living with Maryann Barrett O'Donnell from at least 1865.  They married in 1871.  They had no children.  Edmund made boots and shoes for at least 30 years in Stoughton (1850 to 1880), surviving the enormous upheavals of the 1860s.  The original manufacturers, established in the early part of the century, were so successful that several men set up their own businesses, becoming quite successful making boots.  The largest market for their high quality boots was in the southern states, and as the Civil War approached, this market dried up.  Factories broadened their products to include shoes, but nearly all went out of business during the War.  After Maryann's death in 1882, Edmund moved out to a farm in Frontier Co., Nebraska, between the Platte and Republican rivers in the south-central area of the state, not far from Arapahoe where his brothers Francis and Adam lived.  Because of later connections with his nephew, J. Frank Cushing, I'm guessing that Adam, Francis and Edmond were quite close, being the only Cushing family in that area.  In 1892, Edmond was committed to a state hospital for the insane.  I'm guessing that the stresses in Edmond's life just got to be too much, and he suffered a nervous breakdown. His wife died in '82, he moved from urban Stoughton/Boston to rural Nebraska, he began farming in his fifties after 30+ years as a bootmaker, his nearby brothers, upon whom he may have relied for help, moved to Oregon, became fugitives, were extradited and tried, and one, Francis, was sent to prison in 1891.  Or perhaps Francis had been doing something to help Edmond, who may have been suffering from some dementia or something that required some assistance, and when Francis was incarcerated Edmond could no longer live by himself and, with no local family, was put in the state hospital.  I don't know where Adam was at this time.  Family records say he died in Kansas in 1893. And when Francis was released and moved back to Nebraska in about 1894, Edmond stayed at the state hospital, so maybe his condition was more serious.  We know that nephew Frank asked Uncle Edmond for financial help while the former was a student at Notre Dame, I think after Francis died, and Edmond sent him some money.  Frank graduated in 1905 and moved to Chicago, where he married in September of 1906.  A year later, in October 1907, Edmond was released from the state hospital and moved to Chicago where he passed away just 2 months later.  He was buried in Calvary cemetery in Evanston, Illinois.

The first US record we have of John Cussen is his purchase of 154 acres of land near his parents in Fort Winnebago in 1856.  (The property extended approximately 8 miles south of the present day Clark Road, from the Fox River west about 8 miles.)  Later that year, he married Bridget Ryan in Hartford, Connecticut, and they returned to Fort Winnebago. John became a prominent and respected member of the Portage community, achieving success both as a harness-maker and through the "operation of his land" (leasing his farmland?).  He and Bridget had 12 children:  Mary (1858), John (1860), Edward (1862), Honora (1863), James I (1864), Nellie (1866), Frank (1868), Rose (1872), Esther (1874), James II (1875), Thomas (1876), and Monica (1877). John passed away in 1908; Bridget in 1914. They are buried in St. Mary's cemetery in Portage. Click here for more information on John and Bridget's kids.

William Cussen married Winifred Nugent in about 1852 in Stoughton, where they started a family before coming to Wisconsin in the early 1860s. Born in Stoughton were Martha I (1854-56), Katharine (1855), William I (1857), Martha II (1859), and Dennis (1861). Born in Fort Winnebago were Honora (1863), John (1865), William II (1867), Frank (1871?), Margaret (1871?), Mary (1871?), Mary (1872), and James (1875). (Frank, Margaret, and Mary were not triplets.  Variations in ages reported in various documents confuse their years of birth.)  William and Winifred also acquired a farm in Fort Winnebago, probably from his parents. Winifred passed away in 1893, William in 1904. They are buried in Portage.

Johanna Cussen married George Connel in about 1858, and they raised their family on their farm in nearby Lodi.  They had thirteen children before George died in 1877, though two had already died as infants. Johanna raised the kids, then moved to Portage (presumably selling the farm) sometime around 1890. Most of the kids headed to Chicago, though three adventurers made good use of coast-to-coast railways to head west and north and east. I've lost track of a couple of kids, but none of the eight I did follow became a farmer.  The kids, all born in Lodi, were Katie (b. 1859), Nellie (1861), John (1863), George (1864), Mary (1865), Joanna (1866), James (1868), Maggie (1869), Frances (1871), William (1873), Daniel (1874), Alice (1875), and Mark (1876). Johanna (mom) passed away in Portage in 1923 and is buried with George and several of the kids in Lodi.  Virtually every record of this family, and I've probably logged over 100 of them, uses the name Connell, which I have adopted.  The one exception is the markers in the Lodi cemetery, which use the name O'Connell.  Learn more about the Johanna and George's children here.

We have no US information on Timothy, Michael, or Patrick Cussen.  George is last seen with his parents in 1850.  Henry died in 1859 at the age of 22 and is buried in Portage.

Ellen, the youngest of Dennis Cussen and Katherine Casey's Irish-born children, was living with her family in Fort Winnebago in 1850 and 1860. In 1869 she married Michael Welch, a butcher from nearby Juneau co. They settled in Necedah where twins Katie and William were born in 1870.  Ellen's sister, Mary Cushing Lupient, also lived in Necedah in 1870. I believe that Necedah was part of land recently (ca. 1840s) purchased from Native Americans and was experiencing rapid settlement and growth. It is located on the Yellow River, which flows into the Wisconsin River near Portage, so perhaps there was a fair amount of river traffic to and from Portage, and that is how Michael and Ellen met.  In 1883, Katie died.  In 1886, the "M.W. Welch building" was destroyed in a major fire in Necedah. It looks like they sold their home and moved away shortly thereafter. I can't find any record of them until 1908 when Ellen is mentioned in her brother's, Edmund's, death notice in Chicago.  Ellen (Walsh), a widow, passed away in Chicago in 1913.  She was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Evanston.

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[Background photo: farmland in Ft. Winnebago, approximate location of Cushing farms]

Copyright Michael Cushing.

cushing02.shtm; last updated 31 January 2017