None of the dates are matching up for this family which is making it really hard to confirm I'm following the right family through the census records and has made it impossible to figure out accurate birth dates.
Timothy Riley and Mary Dooly were both born in Ireland. It is currently unknown if they married in Ireland or if they met and got married in Illinois. I found a marriage record for the couple in LaSalle county in 1856 but their first son was born in Ireland. Surely they would not have had a child before getting married, right?
1. Patrick Riley, born abt 1856 in Ireland and died May 3, 1896 in Iowa
2. Maggie Julia Riley, born 1860 in Illinois, died in 1915 in Kansas
3. Catherine (Kate/Katie) Riley, born Illinois, probably died between 1889-1905
4. Thomas W. Riley, born 1857 or 1866 in Ottawa, Illinois, died January 19, 1945 in Iowa
5. Mary Agnes Riley, born 1861 in LaSalle county, Illinois, died in Minnesota
6. Anna Riley, born 1869 in Illinois
In the 1860 census, the family is living in Rutland, LaSalle, Illinois:
Timothy Riley, age 27, is head of household and born in Ireland.
Mary Riley, age 24, wife, born in Ireland
Patrick Riley, age 6, son, born in Ireland
Catharine Riley, age 5, daughter, born in Illinois
Margaret Riley, Daughter, age 4, born in Illinois
Thomas Riley, son, age 1, born in Illinois
I can't find them in 1870. By 1880 they are living in Grundy County, Illinois. I feel pretty confident about this family in 1860 because I've tracked throughout the years and they eventually moved to Iowa and my ancestor, Margaret , moved to the same county in Iowa a few years later. A newspaper article regarding Margaret's estate lists T W Riley as the administrator and I later find T W Riley living with Mary Agnes Riley in Minnesota, only to find him listed as Thomas Riley the next decade.
The problem with the 1860 census (and most other years), is the ages seem to be completely made up. Margaret's marriage record and death certificate both state she was born in 1860, yet she was supposedly 4 years old during the 1860 census?
Patrick died May 3, 1896. The obituary says he was born in Ireland 38 years ago but moved to Ottawa, IL with his parents when he was just two years old.
I know the family was Catholic. Every grave I can find for this family has been in a Catholic cemetery. Would a Catholic church have records about their births or baptisms? Would a Catholic church provide that information to someone who is not a member of the Catholic church (me)?
Where should I go from here?