James McNulty: Tracing his Journey from South Bend, Indiana to Omaha Nebraska, Chicago Illinois, Louisville Colorado and Newton Iowa in Church and Census Records

James McNulty was born on somewhere between 1859 and 1869 in South Bend, Indiana. He was the son of James McNulty and Margaret Whelan. Family lore collected by Barbara (Gray) Cutter from her Grandmother Anna Brennan suggests that Michael Brennan went west with the Gold Rush. I believe that James McNulty most likely journeyed west with him. In the 1880 St Joseph Church Census, South Bend, Indiana, Michael Brennan is listed as being in "New Braska" and James McNulty is listed as being in Omaha. I plan to include the research I have been doing in search of James McNulty in Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa on this page. There are some discrepancies that need to be researched further and proven with marriage and birth records. I believe that there is a high probability that these are the same James McNulty but I am not certain, only time and further research will tell. If anyone feels they are related to this family please contact me so that I can make any corrections in my findings and so that we can share information.

A page in the "Register City Directory" in 1882 states that James McNulty Junior, laborer was residing on Notre Dame Avenue, 3 S. Moreau as was James McNulty, Farmer and Michael, Edward and Martin, his brothers. This would seem to indicate that he returned from Nebraska. Edward (his brother employed at Singers) and James, Laborer was residing at 1002 Notre Dame Avenue in the 1883 Farr's City Directory. James is absent from the 1896 W. E. Farr's City Directory. An obituary in the South Bend Tribune, (South Bend Indiana) for James's father, James McNulty in September 1895 states that James is in Chicago (along with brothers Michael, Thomas and Mathew). An obituary form his mother, Margaret in May 1912 states that James was in Louisville, Colorado, and an obituary from his brother Edward in April 1928 states that James was in Newton Iowa.

Conflicting Evidence to rule out: There was a marriage certificate dated April 26, 1883 that shows a James McNulty and Mary Healy were married by William J Piepenbrink on April 21, 1883. Further down on the record her name is written Mary Haly. An announcement in the South Bend Tribune on May 2, 1883 acknowledges this marriage as well and says, "They didn't want to, but - they had to." (This information was obtained by the South Bend, Indiana Genealogical Society). There was a Mary Hally 17 born in Ireland niece living with the McCartey Family in the South Bend 1880 Census who is listed as single on Givil Tayor Street in South Bend, District 163. I am unsure if this could be the same Hally or Healy? If this is James the son of Margaret Whelan and James McNulty then all of the census records in Colorado and Iowa are in conflict because of his wife's name Mary vs. Samantha. With that caveat in mind, I will include the census records below because they appear to fit his journey and timeline. The County of Jasper, (Newton) where he was reported as being in 1928 when his brother Edward died is right next to Marion, Mahaska and Keokuk counties where I have found census and christening records.

The Nebraska and Colorado Directories are only possibilities to look into. Family lore has it that Michael Brennan went west with the gold rush, at one point going to Idaho, so the occupation of miner that is listed in these Colorado records for both James McNulty and Michael Brennan wouldn't seem so remote. It would also tie into the census records in Boulder Colorado and Newton Iowa that list James McNulty as a miner. It is obvious that I have traced the same James McNulty family from 1900 to 1930. The question is, is it James McNulty from South Bend, Indiana and that thus far is inconclusive.


Type of Record/ Date/ Location Father/ Husband Mother/ Wife Child or others in Census or Birth Record Age Born Miscellaneous
South Bend, Indiana Portage Twp, 1860 Census Record James McAnulta, 25 Born in Ireland (They are next door to Brennan Family- my ancestors) Margarett, 25 born in Ireland James 1 born in Indiana     James (Head of family) was a laborer with $250 in real estate (for Rest of family)
South Bend, Indiana, Harris Twp, 1870 Census James McNulty, 46 farming born in Ireland Margaret 50, born in Ireland James 11 born in Indiana     James (Head of Family) was a farmer and Margaret - keeping house. (Rest of family)
1876 and 1880 St Joseph Church Census, South Bend Indiana James McNulty, 50 in 1876; listed as 49 in 1880; Marg McNulty 47 in 1876; listed as Mary Weelon 48 in 1880 James 17 in 1876; 20 in Omaha in 1880;     Microfilm 1617235 St Joseph Church; Rest of family
Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska, District 17, Capital Avenue 1880 Census (1 possibility) McNulty, James,     19 Indiana (dad born in Germany? mom in Ireland) Occupation: Hostler. There are numerous McNulty's in this town (this is only a possibility)
Omaha Douglas, Nebraska, District 9 1880 Census (another possibility) McNulty, James, border     23 Indiana (dad born in Ireland, mom in Delaware) Occupation Laborer

Wolfs Omaha City Directory 1881-1882; Omaha Nebraska

(Possible link)

McNulty, James         Stableman at J Stephenson, beds at Planters House (pg 120 of 199) (a John McNulty was here as well). The 1881-1882 Wolfs Directory for Omaha had Michael Brennan, foreman J Stephenson's Stables, bds at Planters House.
Corbett and Ballenger's 4th Annual Leadville City Directory, Leadville, Colorado 1883 (Only a possibility) McNulty, James, Miner 603, E 6th Street (there are several McNulty's on this page         Leadville is in Lake County Colorado (several counties away from where James McNulty was noted as being in Louisville, Boulder County around 1912)
Corbett and Ballenger's 7th Annual Leadville City Directory 1886 (only a possibility) McNulty, James, Miner, bds 708 E 6th Street (two other McNulty Miners noted this directory)         The 1887 Corbette and Ballengers 8th Annual Leadville City Directory lists a Michael Brennan, Miner r. rear 521 E 2d as well and the 1889 directory has Michael Brennan miner at 611 N Orange and in 1890 at 717 E 5th.
Iowa, Marriages, 1809-1992, Index Familysearch website Marriage took place March 10, 1895 Eddyville, Iowa McNulty, James born South Bend, IN West, Samantha A. age 22 born Mahaska County, Iowa       James was the son of Jas McNulty and Maggie Whailand; Samantha the daughter of Frank West and Charlotte Davis; both were listed as white and single.
Iowa Births and Christenings 1830-1850 familysearch.org possible McNulty, James, Father West, Samanthy, Mother female McNulty (likely Lilian)   April 6, 1897 Evans, Keokuk, Iowa Christening Keokuk, Iowa see familysearch pilot project
1900 Mahaska, Iowa, Garfield District 60, McNulty, James, Head (possibility) McNulty, James 39, born October 1860 Indiana (parents born Indiana) McNulty, Samantha A, 26, born July 1873 Iowa (dad born Iowa, mom in Indiana) 3 children, 3 living; Charlotte, 4 born August 1895; Lillian M 3, born April 1897; Chester 1, born December 1898; all born in Iowa.     James's Occupation: Mine labor; married 6 years (1894)
Iowa Births and Christenings, 1830-1950 on familysearch.org possible McNulty, James, Father West, Samantha, Mother McNulty Child ?   August 21, 1901 unsure which child this would be Chester born Dec 1898, James 1902 possibly
1910 Census Boulder Colorado, Precinct 27, Denver Road (possibility) McNutly, James, Head 49 born Indiana (dad born Ireland, mom in Indiana) McNutly, Samantha, Wife, 37 born Iowa (dad born Iowa, mom born Indiana) Charlotte, 14; Lillian 13, Chester 12; James 8; all born in Iowa     James, Head is a coal miner; married 14 years; 4 children, 4 living
US WWI Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918 McNulty, Chester of Knoxville, Marion, Iowa (this is a son of James)     19 December 30, 1898 Occupation Truck Driver at 4th and Locust Des Moines Polk, Iowa; Nearest Relative Mrs Samantha McNulty of Knoxville, Marion, Iowa (I believe this is his mom)
1920 Census, Marion, Knoxville, Iowa, Ward 2, District 48, East Robinson Street possible McNulty, James, Head, 60 born in Indiana (dad in Ireland, mom in Scotland) McNulty, Samantha A, Wife 46, born in Iowa (dad in Iowa, mom in Indiana) Lillian 22; Chester 21; James S 18; all born in Iowa     James Senior Occupation Timberman Coal Mine; Chester is a Steel Worker at a Foundry
1925 Marion, Knoxville Ward 2 Iowa State Census Collection possible McNulty, James, Head, 61 McNulty, Samantha, wife 52 McNulty, Chester, son 26? D? Divorced? James son 23 single      
1930 Marion, Knoxville, District 9, 1009 Main Street possible McNulty, Samantha, Head, 56 born Iowa (dad born in Iowa, mom in Indiana)   McNulty, James, Son, 29 born in Iowa     Samantha is listed as being married but is head of household; is this an error has James died? Age of first marriage 21; she is a cook in a restaurant. James her son is a waiter in the restaurant
1940 US Census for Iowa, Marion, Knoxville 1209 W Main Street McNulty, James, Head McNulty, Samantha, Wife James was 75, Samantha 66      
California Death Index 1940-1997 (Possible death record for James and Samantha Wests' son Chester?) McNulty, Chester L died June 7, 1969 Alameda, California       December 30, 1898 His mom's maiden name was West.