Category Archives: Geary

Geary Family History


Joanna Geary (1846-1925) was born in either New York State or Pennsylvania of Irish parents.  Family lore has the family coming west in a covered wagon. In the 1850 census Joanna is 8 years old, living in Keokuk Iowa with a mother, father, brother, and sisters. Her father Edward Geary was a “walking boss” for the railroad. Edward Geary died of cholera. By 1860 her mother Margaret has remarried a man named Dempsey who is farming in Monroe County Iowa.  It is here that Joanna meets and falls in love with James Cummins.

Joanna Geary and James Cummins were married at St. Patrick’s church in Georgetown Iowa on October 22, 1866.

The Mixed-up Family Stories of Johanna Geary

Contains Geary/Cummins family history researched and recorded by Jo Cummins Langdon, Johanna’s granddaughter, and by Mary Ellen Moran, whose husband John was Joanna’s grandson. Johanna Geary’s story is complicated and contradictory.   Even the most careful chroniclers can get it wrong. It should be straightforward.  She’s the only one of my eight great-grandparents born … Continue reading

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