Michael Scannell was born in Rathcormack, Cork, the fifth of nine children. His father was Patrick Scannell, and his mother was Catherine Barry. The family emigrated to the United States in 1846. His father died during the ocean passage and was buried at sea.
Patrick arrived in America May 11, 1846 on the ship Pandora. The date of the ship arrival and passenger list were found on the “Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild web site: http://www.immigrantships.net/. The ship arrival matches the date given by Michael on his citizenship certificate. A Boston Irish aid group helped Michael obtain a railroad job in New Hampshire. He married Ellen Fitzgerald on April 1, 1848 in Keene New Hampshire, daughter of Patrick Fitzgerald and Bridget Slattery.
Ellen was a born in Sachfield, County Kerry, April 11, 1826. Ellen had settled in Boston upon her arrival in the United States in 1846 with her mother and sister. Shortly thereafter she moved to New Hampshire. After Michael and Ellen were married they moved to Massachusetts where he was employed on a railroad.
Soon after their marriage, the young couple came to Wisconsin where they briefly resided in Milwaukee. In October, 1848, they moved to Fond du Lac County where they purchased 40 acres of wild land. That section of Wisconsin was sparsely populated and there were only two houses between the Scannell farm and the city of Fond du Lac about 7 miles to the North. Michael and Ellen stayed at the Morgan home while building a log cabin on his place. They moved into the new cabin on October 27. The cabin served for the family residence for some years.
Michael received his citizenship papers on May 20, 1848 in the Territory of Wisconsin. Wisconsin became the 30th State May 29, 1848, the same year Michael bought his land. The land is still owned by a descendent Scannell.
In 1857 Michael purchased 160 acres of land. On January 20, 1868 he purchased and signed for another forty acres of land in Osceola township. He purchased the land from Patrick Daly for the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars. By 1874 he owned 200 acres of land. He walked to Appleton to have the papers made out when he purchased another 40 acres known as ‘the swamp.’ The round trip to Appleton was approximately 100 miles.
Michael built a new house on the original forty acres and lived on this property in the township of Osceola until his death September 14, 1900. Michael is buried in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Armstrong.
Michael and Ellen had eight children.
His wife and daughters, Ellen "Nellie" and Mary, lived on the homestead until 1909, when Thomas Patrick Scannell (Michael and Ellen's grandson through their son Thomas and his wife Mary Foy) and his bride, Mamie O'Brien, moved onto the farm. Ellen moved to Fond du Lac with her daughters Nellie and Mary and resided at 167 4th Street. Ellen died in Fond du Lac on March 27, 1913 and is buried in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery.
Michael’s obituary in the Tuesday, September 18th, 1900 edition of "The Commonwealth" printed in Fond du Lac , Wisconsin, USA stated:
"Michael Scannell, an old and respected citizen of Osceola died at 10:15 p.m. of Friday last. The deceased was born in County Cork Ireland June 16 1820 and emigrated to America in the year 1846. He was married to Ellen Fitzgerald April 1st, 1848, in New Hampshire and moved to Osceola Fond du Lac County, Wis. in October 1848 which has since been their home.
He was a man of firm character as is demonstrated by the fact that when he was only 16 years of age, he joined the temperance society established by Right Rev Theodore Mathew, in Ireland, and received a medal which he cherished very much. It was inscribed 'I promise to abstain from all intoxication drinks, except for medicinal purposes, by the order of a medical man, and to denounce the cause and practice of intemperance'. That promise he kept, likewise every promise made he would adhere to as he did that sacred pledge.
To the deceased and wife belong the honor of being born to them the first white child in the town of Osceola. He is survived by a wife and four children. T.J. Scannell, Misses Nettie (sic) and Mary of Osceola, and Mrs. James Foy of South Dakota. Four are dead."
Michael Scannell’s birth date is commonly recorded in Wisconsin as June 16, 1820. However, the baptism records in Rathcormack Parish show that he was baptized two years earlier on 22 July, 1818. http://registers.nli.ie/registers/vtls000635046#page/106/. His younger sister Mary also has a commonly used birth year of 1823 that is 2 years after the Rathcormack baptism recorded date of 24 July, 1821. All of the other children of Patrick Scannell and Catherine Barry have commonly used birth years that match the Rathcormack baptism records.
|Date of Birth||16th Jun 1818||VIEW SOURCE|
|Date of Death||14th Sep 1900||VIEW SOURCE|
|Number of Siblings||Father: Patrick Scannell Mother: Catherine Barry Baptism: 1818.04.22 Cloyne Diocese, Rathcormac and Gortroe Parish|
|Number of Siblings||8 Siblings: John (1810- ), James (1812- ), Patrick (1814-1878), Jeremiah (1817- ), Mary (1821-1894, Catherine (1823-1864), Cornelius (1827- ), Hannah (1829-1869)|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||Patrick Scannel - died 1846 on the Ocean Passage to USA|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Catherine Barry|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||Ellen Fitzgerald - daughter of Patrick Fitzgerald and Bridget Slattery. Born Sachfield April 11th County Kerry|
|Place & Date of Marriage||1848, Keene, New Hampshire, USA|
|Number of Children||8 children: Patrick (1850-1871), John (1851-1900), Thomas James (1854-1929), Catherine (1856-1864), Bridget Frances (1858-1934), Michael (1861-1883), Ellen 'Nellie' (1864-1931), Mary (1866-1925)|