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Mathias Langan and Penelope Byrne Langan in the New York City


I did not find a naturalization record for Mathias Langan. It is quite possible that he was never naturalized. He returned to Ireland at some point after the death of his wife, Penelope.

Not all immigrants were naturalized. Estimates are that between 1890 and 1930 only about 25% of the immigrant population were naturalized.

New York City Directory Listings

"Matthew" Langan, labourer, was listed in the 1895/96 NYC directory at 445 E. 19th Street.

He was not listed in the 1892/3, 1893/4 or 1894/5 directories.

Mathias and Penelope in the 1900 Census In New York City

The United States Census in New York listed the family of "Matt Langan at 526 East Sixteenth Street as follows:

  • Matt, head of household, born June 1841, age 59, married for 24 years, born in Ireland, immigrated in 1892, occupation, laborer
  • Bedelia, wife, born April 1840, age 60, married 24 years, born in Ireland, immigrated in 1892, mother of two children of whom two are still living
  • James, son, born April 1877, age 23, single, born in Ireland, immigrated in 1892, occupation, mechanic
  • Delea, daughter, born November 1879, age 20, single, born in Ireland, immigrated in 1892, occupation, dressmaker.

  • The names Bedelia and Delea may seem incorrect, however, according to the Family History Center Research Outline for Ireland

    "some given names have nicknames that little resemble the original name. Delia, Phidelia, Bidelia, Biddie and Bride, for example, are all used as nicknames for the name Bridget."

  • I'm not sure why Penelopa is called Bedelia. Her name was consistently listed as Nappy or Penelopa in all the Irish records, but varies wildly in the US records.
  • Census returns are good sources for general information. They are not, however, very reliable for specifics. They frequently contain misinformation. Having looked at lots of census returns, I am sure that this is the right listing for Mathias and family. There are, however, a few inconsistencies:

    • The length of the marriage. Their daughter, Maggie, was already 25 by this time.

    • The number of children. They had at least five children; Pat, Martin, Maggie, James and Bridget. I am very disappointed that this particular question was answered incorrectly. I had been hoping that this census would give me an idea if they had had other children in the six year break between Pat and Martin.

      They must have interpreted this question to mean the number of children still living at home.

Langans in the 1905 New York State Census

Mathias Langan was listed at 220 E 18th Street in 1905. However, he was not listed in the 1905 New York state census at that address. Penelope Langan died in July 1905.

James Langan was listed at 239 E 28th Street in 1905. However, he was not listed in the 1905 New York state census at that address.

Langans in the 1910 Federal Census

I did not find Mathias Langan or any of his children in the 1910 Federal Census.

Family Stories about Penelopa Byrne Langan in New York City

Nappy Byrne Langan was a regular churchgoer and an Irish speaker without much knowledge of English. One day she was out and unable to find her way home. An Irish cop came to her assistance. He could not speak Irish but he knew how to help her find her way. They kept riding around past every church in the area until she recognized the one she attended. She, of course, knew her way home from church.

Instead of trying to catch the mice in her New York apartment, Nappy is supposed to have fed them because they reminded her of the field mice in Ireland.

My dad, Bud Land, used to tease my mother that her grandmother smoked a pipe. When I was a kid, I thought it was a joke, but it was very likely true. Marilyn Krausch also said the she heard stories as a child that Nappy smoked a corncob pipe. Pipe smoking among Irish woman was relatively common. Both Irish men and Irish women enjoyed their tobacco.

The Death of Penelopa Byrne Langan, 1905

Penelopa (sic) Langan died on July 10, 1905.

The death certificate listed: age at death, 57, married, housewife, born in Ireland, last address, 220 E. 18th Street, parents, James and Penelopa Nockton, cause of death, chronic nephritis.

It appears that Penelope Langan died on the street as the death certificate includes the following statement from the Coroner's Office.

"This is to certify that I, Solomon Goldenkey, coroner in and for the Borough of Man , City of New York, have this 10 day of July 1905 taken charge of the body of Man found at 225 E 43 St* in the______ ward of said Borough, and that an inquest thereon is pending. Solomon Goldenkey , Coroner."

Note *225 E 43rd Street is between 2nd and 3rd Aves. - closer to 2nd. Elizabeth (Lilly) Langan the daughter of James Langan and Anastasia Devereux was born at this address in 1903.

This is followed by the following statement.

"I hereby certify that I have viewed said body, and from Examination and evidence, that she died on the 10 day of July 1905, at____M. and that the cause on her death was chronic nephritis. J. W. Lehane, Coroner's Physician."

Penelope was buried in the Calvary Cemetery on July 12, 1905.

According to the records at Calvary Cemetery, 49-02 Laurel Hill Blvd Woodside, New York 11377-7396:

Mapey (sic) Langan was buried in section 19, range 8, plot 6, and grave 13 on July 12, 1905; a plot purchased by Mathias Langan on July 12, 1905.

The interment record provided by Calvery Cemetery lists eight bodies in this grave, Mapey Langan, Margaret Langan, Loretta Langan, Mathias Langan, Patrick Langan, Martin Langan, James Langan and Anastasia Langan.

The corresponding death records for New York City indicate these people to have the following relationships to Mathias and Penelope Langan.

  1. Mapey (sic) Langan AKA Penelope Bryne Langan, the wife of Mathias Langan and the mother of Pat, Martin, Maggie, James and Bridget Langan, who died in 1905
  2. Margaret Langan, the daughter of James Langan and Anastasia Devereux Langan, who died on January 20, 1908.
  3. Loretta Langan, the daughter of James Langan and Anastasia Devereux Langan, who died on September 4, 1910.
  4. Mathias Langan, son of James Langan and Anastasia Devereux Langan, who died on April 1, 1913.
  5. Patrick Langan who died at age 1 day on June 14, 1914. I cannot find the record of this death in the New York City Archives.
  6. Martin Langan, the son of Mathias Langan and Penelope Byrne Langan, who died on January 5, 1915.
  7. James Langan, the son of Mathias Langan and Penelope Byrne Langan, and the first huband of Anastasia Devereux Langan, who died on January 27, 1915.
  8. Anastasia Langan, the wife of both James and Pat Langan, who was buried October 19, 1965 .


  • I had hoped to obtain more information about the death of Penelope Bryne Langan from the coroner's reports which are available through the New York City Archives. Unfortunately, the coroner's reports for 1898 to 1918 are missing.
  • Martin and James died within 22 days of each other.

Return of Mathias Langan to Ireland

Mathias Langan returned to live in Ballinrobe, Ireland, date unknown.

  1. He was not listed in the 1911 census in Ireland in either Ballinrobe or Mochara.
  2. He was not listed in the 1915 Directory for the City of New York.

Death of Mathias Langan

Mathias Langan from Ballinrobe, widower, age 80, labourer, died on November 28, 1920 in the Ballinrobe hospital, cause of death, senile decay 12 months, cardiac failure, two weeks, certified by T. S(can't read), Ballinrobe Workhouse.

Other Langans in the New York City Records

Most people did not immigrate in isolation. They went to places where there were other family members, friends or neighbors from the old country.This pattern of migration is known as chain migration. Most cultures migrate in a chain migration pattern. The Irish excelled at it.

Since the established emigration pattern out of Ireland was that most non-inheriting sons and daughters left Ireland, there is a real possibility that Mathias had siblings who immigrated to America years before he and his family did.

When Pat Langan arrived in New York City in the 1880s he must have had some connections to help him get started. The question is Who were they?

I have not been able to find a large extended family for Mathias Langan in Ireland. Consequently, it is hard to know if any of the Irish Langans in New York City were related to Mathias and family. I have collected a few records for them but I have not been able to establish any connections to Mathias and family.

To see more records for Langans in New York City go to Other Langans in New York City

Catholic Church Records in New York City

It is difficult to obtain records from the NYC Catholic Churches. The problem are:

The Langans had several rites performed at Epiphany Parish whose offices are located at 239 East 21 Street, New York, New York 10010, phone 212-475-1966.

These included three marriages:

Martin and Bridgets mariages were recorded with the City of New York. Based on the information provide for the marriage of Maggie and Joseph, the church records would not give me any new information about Martin and Bridget, so I did not send to Epiphany for these two marriage records.

The Children of Mathias Langan and Penelope Bryne

For further information on the children of Mathias and Penelope, their marriages, children, etc., click on a name listed below.

Pat Langan

Martin Langan

Maggie Langan and Joseph Walsh

James Langan

Bridget Langan

The church of the Epiphany was formed in 1868. Parishioners came from 18th to 24th street and from Broadway to the East River. The cornerstone of the church was laid in 1870. The church was dedicated in 1871. With it's Lombard facade, the church was unique in in New York City. It had a front of 65 feet on 2nd Avenue and a depth of 145 feet and could seat about 1,400. The foundation was Quiney granite and the superstructure was Ohio and Belleville sandstone. The cost was $150,000. A school, run by the Sisters of Charity, was founded in 1889. The parish became predominately Italian around the turn of the century.

Mathias Langan in Ireland
Penelope Bryne in Ireland
Population and Emigration/Immigration
Photos of the Langan Homes in NYC
1951 Photo of some of the Langans
Other Irish Langans in New York City
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©Maggie Land Blanck - Page created 2004 - Latest update July 2013