William Carroll – A journey from St. Columban to California

From An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California… published 1890.

William Carroll, an enterprising and successful farmer of Lee Township, was born in 1833, in Canada East, about forty-five miles from Montreal, in a settlement almost entirely Catholic, known as as St. Columban.  His parents, William and Catherine (Cunningham) Carroll, were both born Irish, the father being a native of Fermanagh, and the mother of Longford.  They were married in New York State about 1828, and their oldest son was born there, being about two years old when they settled at St. Columban’s in 1831.  They were the parents of ten sons and two daughters, all living in 1889, except one, who died at the age of fourteen.  William received the usual education of what was the equivalent of our district schools, but with a certain fee or contribution attachment.  At the age of nineteen or twenty he hired out as a steamboat hand, and worked at different lines of work until he was twenty five.  In the fall of 1858 he set out for California by way of New York and Cape Horn, arriving in San Francisco in March, 1859, after a voyage of 133 days from New York, in the clipper ship Gray Feather.  He engaged in the sheep-raising business on Government land, free to all, until he bought a possessory right in 1863, part homestead and part purchased from the railroad, which he increased by further purchase at intervals until he owned 720 acres.  About 1881 he sold 320 acres, making his present holding about 400 acres, on which he raises the usual grain crops.  He was married in 1878 to Mrs. Lucy (Scanlan) Kavanaugh, a native of Kerry, Ireland.  They have no living children, but Mrs. Carroll is the mother, by her previous marriage, of two, a son and daughter, the latter now being Mrs. Louis K. Callison, of San Jose.

So, John Carroll is the oldest son and he was born in New York and William and Catherine Cunningham were married in New York and settled in St. Columban in 1831.  Very interesting.  Also, all the children are alive in 1889, except Patrick.  A little correction, the daughter of Lucy Scanlan Kavanaugh (Lucy Kavanaugh born June 14, 1856 in Kenton, Kentucky died September 29, 1901 in San Jose, California) was the wife of Louis Callisch not Callison.  The son is Michael A. Kavanaugh (can’t find anything on him). 

Gregory Carroll