Frances was born about 1808 in Virginia to Mr. John Griggs, of Charles Town, Jefferson County, [West] Virginia. The identity of her mother is currently unknown, however her maiden name was likely Clanahan or McClanahan.
Two year old Frances is likely enumerated in her father's household near Smithfield. She would have been enumerated as Female, under 10, with two possible sisters.
Frances is likely enumerated in her father's household in the 10 & under 16 category. Two females of this age are in the household.
A twenty two year old Frances is likely enumerated in her father's household in the 20 & under 30 category. There are two females in the household in this age bracket. The next census line states that Frances' father, John, was keeper of the poor of Jefferson County.
November 19, 1835Marriage
Miss Frances Magdalena Griggs, daughter of the elite John Griggs, farmer of Charles Town, married Mr. James Flanagan. The couple was married on a Thursday by the Rev. Septimus "Septs" Tuston, a Presbyterian Clergyman who two years later would serve as Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. Born in York County, PA, James was the son of William and Martha Smith Flanagan. James and his parents were residents of Jefferson County, [West] Virginia by the date of their marriage.
November 1, 1836Birth of Child
James and Frances' first child, Laura Frances, was born on a Tuesday in Jefferson County.
June 6, 1839Birth of Child
James and Frances' second child and second daughter, Martha Elizabeth, was born on a Thursday in Jefferson County.
February 2, 1842Birth of Child
The couple's third child and third daughter was born on a Wednesday in Jefferson County. They named their little girl Mary Catherine.
April 4, 1844Birth of Child
The couple's fourth child and first son, William McClanahan, was born on a Thursday in Jefferson County. William was likely named after his grandfather, James' father, William and took his maternal grandmother's maiden name of Clanahan.
February 27, 1846Birth of Child
The couple's fifth child, Nancy Rebecca, was born on a Friday in Jefferson County. Nancy was the couple's fourth daughter.
September 17, 1846Death of Child
At only a little under 7 months old, Nancy Rebecca passes away. A cause of death has not yet been discovered.
October 16, 1847Birth of Child
The couple's sixth child, and second son, was born on a Saturday in Jefferson County. They named their son James Smith. The little boy took his father's name and his paternal grandmother's maiden name.
September 13, 1849Birth of Child
Frances gave birth to James' seventh child and third son on a Thursday. They gave their son his maternal grandfather's name, John Griggs.
July 24, 1850Census
A 42 year old Frances was enumerated with her husband and children on a Wednesday in Harpers Ferry district, near Bakerton. James lists his occupation as boatman, and likely boated limestone and farm commodities to the city. During this census, the couple's three girls were attending school.
August 12, 1852Birth of Child
The couple's eighth child and fourth daughter was born on a Thursday in Jefferson County. They named their little girl Alice Lee.
April 14, 1856Birth of Child
The couple's ninth child, Charles Fenton, was born on a Monday. Charles was the fourth son of the couple.
1855Death of Family Member
Frances lost her father-in-law in September of 1855 due to bilious dysentery. His health had been failing for many years, causing him to become blind. Frances' husband, James, was named executor of William's estate, and took over the family quarrying and farming businesses.
August 13, 1856Widowed
Frances' husband, James, was murdered, on a Wednesday, by a disgruntled employee less than a year after his own father died. His murder left his Frances with many young children to care for.
September 29, 1857Death of Child
Frances' second child and second daughter, Martha Elizabeth, passed away due to consumption. She was 18 years old.
June 29, 1860Census
Recently widowed, Frances is enumerated near Bakerton on a Friday. She states that she is 54 years old. She lists her value of real estate at $7657, the value of her personal estate is listed as $5,575. Four of her children, William, James, John, and Alice were currently attending school, while her two oldest daughters, Laura and Martha, had left the home.
June 28, 1870Census
A 62 year old Frances is enumerated in Bolivar district (near Bakerton) on a Tuesday. She lists her profession as farming. Frances lists the value of her real estate at $8,000. The value of her personal property is listed at $500. Of her children, only John, Alice, and Charles remain at home. John works on his mother's farm while Alice and Charles are still attending school. Also listed in the household is a domestic servant, Harriet Warner and young son Charles, and two young black brothers, Jesse and John Moore, ages 9 and 2 respectively. From the neighboring households and occupations, we gather that the men Thomas Hackley and George W. Haines likely worked for Frances. Also working for her was her son William.
February 20, 1873Death of Child
Molers Cross Roads
Frances' first son, William, passed away in his 29th year at Knott's Mill due to consumption.
June 12, 1880Census
By 1880, we surmise Francis' health was quickly deteriorating. Frances is enumerated at 68 years old in her youngest daughter's household, Alice Lee Hopper. Her youngest son, Charles, is also enumerated in the home.
1880Death of Child
In October, Fannie lost her youngest son, Charles, to miscellaneous causes. He was only 24 years old.
January 23, 1896Illness
In the Shepherdstown Register, it is reported that Frances had been very ill the past week at the home of her daughter, Alice, near Bakerton. It appears that she never fully recovered from her ailments.
April 9, 1896Death
There is a one year discrepancy with Frances' year of death. The Jefferson County Death Registers place her death on April 10, 1895. Newspaper reports her death as taking place on April 9, 1896. As the death register appears to have been copied from the original sources and the newspaper likely wouldn't report a death as happening one year after the fact, my instinct is that she actually died in 1896. All sources indicate that she was in her 89th year, however this number is likely incorrect as well -- Frances was likely in her 79th year at the time of her death.