For over 100 years, our Gartlan family in Ontario believed that our James Gartlan (1821 – 1883) was the son of James Gartlan (1754 – 1837) of Monalty, Carrickmacross. After many years of research and with much help, I now believe he came from Lisdoonan, a townland near Carrickmacross, and is most likely related to James of Monalty at a higher level. See: James’ Origins.
I have recently discovered several hints about Gartlans from Monaghan, especially from Lisdoonan, immigrating to the copper mines in Anaconda, Montana in the 1890s. With the immense help from Anita Roberts in Reno Las Vegas and the ever helpful Kevin Gartlan at the Carrickmacross Workhouse, we’ve managed to piece together some of their stories. See: Gartlans to Anaconda, Montana.
For many years now, we believed James Gartlan of Monalty died “Aug Ye 1834 Age 93” as recorded in several publications . Last week, Joe Callan, who works at the Carrickmacross Workhouse discovered James’ obituary in the Newry Examiner. He died in Gresham’s Hotel in Dublin August 7, 1837. In addition, Joe went back to the Old Donagmoyne Cemetery and re-examined James grave stone. While terribly eroded and encrusted, he believes James’ age at death was 83, not 93 as previously reported. So for now, I’m going with his birth year as 1754 and his age at death as 83. Thus, he would have been about 45-46 when he married Alice McEvoy – a much more plausible age. See: Gartlan, James – Monaty – Obit
For several years now, ever since I found a mysterious entry in the 1861 Canada Census listing one of James Gartlan and Matilda Mill’s children (transcribed) as “Authries?”, I’ve wondered who this mysterious “Authries?” was. We have no record of such a child.
…and then there was the puzzling mention of an Ambrose in one of James’ letters to Michael during the Civil war:
“Give my love to Anny and let [me] know
how James is Ambrose and Tommy.” [JG – 2]
Well, today I found the record of Ambrose’s baptism Unfortunately, it doesn’t give a birth date, but since he (i.e. “Authries” ) was recorded as being 6 in the 1861 Canada Census, he was born ~1855 (the same year as Anne – twins or Irish twins?).
Since there is no further mention of him in any of our existing documents (such as his brother’s obituaries), he may have died in childhood.
So Michael had four brothers – John Andrew, James, Thomas and Ambrose!
P.S. On closer look at the original 1861 Census record, it could possibly read “Ambrose”
 In the baptismal records of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Barrie, Ontario) Baptisms 1858-1875 https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-24494-16007-81?cc=1927566&wc=13976027
For more than 100 years now, our branch of the family (from Michael Gartlan, who hoarded letters, photos and newspaper clippings), had no knowledge of what happened to James Gartlan Sr. after his last letter to Michael from the oil fields in Western Pennsylvania in 1868!
There were various rumours – he started another family in the US (maybe?), disappeared in one or another gold rush, et cetera. Now, thanks to Dwayne Pittman we know for sure.
So, it would appear that James spent his last fifteen years working with his sons in the oil fields of Western Pennsylvania and died tragically in the oil business, much like his son, James, would do 18 years later.
Mystery solved! Tragically!
 A descendant of Dr. John Andrew Gartlan
I’ve just connected with a previously unknown branch of the US-based Ontario Gartlans.
Dwayne Pittman in Indianapolis is the great grandson of Dr John Andrew Gartlan the eldest son of James Gartlan, Jr. and Sarah McAllister. I connected with him on MyHeritage.
We knew that Dr John had a surviving daughter, Helen (Floe?) Gartlan, but had no record of any descendants. Now thanks to Dwayne, we have the continuing line (of which he is part) plus the promise of many photos that he and his relatives are putting together as a DVD project.