Mary Ellen was born on a Monday in Jefferson County. Mary was the oldest (known) daughter of George Walter and Margaret Ann Hunter Caton.
June 29, 1860Census
A 10 year old Mary E. is enumerated in her parents', George and Margaret Caton, household in Jefferson County, [West] Virginia. While no district or specific location is stated, the post office of the district is noted as Charles Town, although neighboring households appear to suggest a location in the vicinity of Moler's Crossroads. Mary's father notes that his current occupation was boatman, and that he was born in the District of Columbia. Her mother and siblings are listed as being born in Virginia.
September 2, 1869Marriage
Mary Ellen married James Smith Flanagan on a Thursday in Jefferson County. Mary's father consented to the marriage in person. The couple was married by the Rev. William Gwynn Coe, a Presbyterian minister. James was a son of the late James Flanagan and grandson of the late William Flanagan, owners of the Flanagan quarry at Oak Grove, present day Bakerton.
June 7, 1870Birth of Child
James and Mary Ellen's first child, Martha Lee, was born on a Tuesday. A birth record has not yet been found. A few records favor an 1869 birth year, which would put Martha as being born before her parent's marriage in September. According to the 1870 census, she was just one month old and went by the name of Lucy.
June 28, 1870Census
A 22 year old James and a 21 year old Ellen were enumerated in the 1870 census on a Tuesday, alongside their one month old daughter, Lucy [Martha Lee]. Mary's husband, James, is currently working in the stone quarry. Neighboring the household is the couple's soon-to-be son-in-law's father's household, Thomas Welsh, and James' grandmother, Martha Flanagan.
January 10, 1872Birth of Child
Mary and James' second child, Annie Frances, was born on January 10th, sometime between 1871-1873. Given the birth years for the previous and next children, Annie was most likely born in 1872. A birth record has yet to be found.
October 14, 1873Birth of Child
James and Mary's daughter, Margaret "Maggie" Virginia, was born on a Tuesday in Bolivar district, near Bakerton. James lists his occupation as farmer.
October 21, 1873Event
Soon after the birth of their third child, Mary's husband James decides that he no longer wishes to farm, and instead wishes to work the family's quarry. He runs an advertisement in the paper for the sale of all of his farming equipment.
July 5, 1875Birth of Child
On a Monday, the couple's fourth daughter, Essie Katherine, was born.
1877Birth of Child
James and Mary's first son, Charles William, was born in October of 1877 in Bolivar district, near Bakerton. James lists his occupation as laborer.
June 12, 1880Census
A 30 year old Mary E. is enumerated with her husband and 5 children in Bolivar district near Bakerton. James lists his occupation as both farmer and laborer. James was likely working in his family's quarry.
July 13, 1880Birth of Child
Only one short day after being enumerated in the federal census, the couple's second son and sixth child was born. They named their son Walter Jerome.
October 13, 1883Birth of Child
On a Saturday, James and Mary's seventh child and third son was born. They named their son James Alvey.
1886Birth of Child
Sometime during the month of March, 1886, Mary gave birth to a son, whom they named John Griggs.
1888Birth of Child
The couple's ninth child was born in September of 1888. They named the little girl Berna A.
August 2, 1889Death of Child
On a Friday, the couple's youngest daughter, Berna, died from an alleged cold. She was only one year old.
July 20, 1892Birth of Child
James and Mary's tenth child, Oscar, was born on a Wednesday near Bakerton.
February 2, 1895Event
Mary assisted her brother-in-law, John Griggs Flanagan, and his wife throw a large, grand party at their Castle View Home near Bakerton. The party was thrown in honor of young people.
April 9, 1896Death of Family Member
Mary's mother-in-law, Frances M. Griggs Flanagan, passed away at the home of Mary's sister-in-law, Alice Hopper. It appears she never fully recovered from an illness she became stricken with only a few months earlier.
August 6, 1896Event
It is reported in The Shepherdstown Register that Mary and James attended a Jewish wedding in Baltimore last week. The identity of the couple to the Flanagan's nor their identity is known.
July 22, 1897Event
Mary and her family entertained Mrs. Fannie Hedges and daughter, of Martinsburg, Miss Nellie May Norris, of Frederick, and Miss Lulah Bender, of Bolivar the prior week.
September 9, 1897Event
It was reported that Mrs. M. E. Smith and her son, Johnson, were visiting the family of Mr. James Flanagan the prior week.
September 9, 1897Event
The Shepherdstown Register reports a break-in at James' and Mary's residence. The thief appears to have stolen a Flanagan family heirloom -- an old-fashioned silver watch with the initials W. F. engraved upon the case. Also stolen were about 5 dollars, a half dozen fine handkerchiefs, a various other items. It was noted that a reward would be given for return of the watch, however nothing was ever reported about its return.
October 21, 1897Event
The Shepherdstown Register reports that Mary and her daughters surprised her husband, James, with a 50th birthday feast. Some 60 or 70 persons were in attendance. The paper reported that the dinner was fit for a king and included chicken, turkey, being extremely bountiful. After dinner, Rev. J. L. Kibler rounded up the children and baptized several of them. It is noted that James was asked several times to celebrate his birthday much more often, and that the guests wouldn't have objected to celebrating it monthly.
October 21, 1897Event
It is reported in The Shepherdstown Register that Mary, her husband, and their son John are visiting friends in Frederick this week.
April 20, 1899Event
The Shepherdstown Register reports that Mary's mother, Mrs. Margaret Caton, is visiting with Mary at the Flanagan's home in Bakerton.
June 1, 1899Event
The Shepherdstown Register reports that Mary and her husband, James, entertained Mr. A. Young and Mr. H. Shaffer of Middletown, Maryland, and many Harpers Ferry friends.
November 30, 1899Death
Mary died late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning from an extremely sudden attack of apoplexy. According to newspaper reports, Mary told her oldest daughter, Martha, to take care of little Oscar, and her other family members that "All is well" before becoming unable to speak. She died surrounded by her family.
Mary's husband buried her in Elmwood Cemetery in the Flanagan family's plot. By early spring of 1900, it is reported that a very fine monument was erected in the cemetery in her memory.