forefather was David SHUNICK (or SHINNICK, or SHUNNICK). He came to this country
in 1851, landing in Boston, Massachusetts. With him came six sons: Edmund,
Richard, Morris, John, David, and Thomas. They went first to Fletcher, Vermont
in the same year. Edmund was already married and the father of one son, David,
who was born in County Cork, Ireland. The rest were unmarried.
David was born
about 1796 and died 14 August 1879 in Spring Grove Township, Warren County,
Illinois. His wife was Mary LEE, but little more is known about her at this
time. There is no indication she ever came to Illinois. Search for the passenger
list had proven unfruitful so far, so it
is not known if she came with the family. Ireland was in the midst of a potato
famine, which killed many thousands of people, so she may have, died in Ireland
previous to her family’s emigration.
David is said to
have been buried in Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois although there is no record
of it. The cemetery experienced some flooding years ago which washed away many
of the markers. lie is, however, listed as a taxpayer and voter in Warren
County, Illinois in the "Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois"
published Chicago: H. F. Kett & Co. in 1877. He had settled on Section 13,
P. 0. Gerlaw, and owned 240 acres of land. tie was Catholic and a democrat. The
family had established their residence in Warren County, Spring Grove Township,
Although it is
not known at this time the place of birth of the six sons of David Shunick, the
marker of Thomas and Ellen (Mahoney) Shunick in the St. Mary’s Cemetery,
Monmouth, Illinois gives their place of birth as Killeagh, County Cork, Ireland.
IL is possible the rest of them were born there, also.
Mr. Joseph Barry,
who is the local historian for the parish of Killeagh, County Cork, Ireland,
indicated there were no SHUNICK/SHINNICK graves in Killeagh. The parish priest
there promised Helen Laughlin he would send her records of SHUNICK marriages,
baptisms, deaths, etc. which he located in his church records, but no
information has been forthcoming so far.
I have written to
the local SHINNICK families, and both can trace their families to County Cork:
one from Midleton, which is very near Killeagh, and the other from Ballingerry,
a few miles away.
Valuation" of the Parish of Kilcredan, township of the same name, County
Cork, Ireland (1846 to 1853) lists a David SHANNIG (another spelling of the
name) and also a Laurence LEE. The Parish of Kilmacdonough, Township of
Ballymacoda shows an Edmond SHUNNICK owning a house and garden. Kilcredan is a
village about eleven miles south of Killeagh, and Ballymacoda is also nearby.
This may be the origin of our SHUNICK/SHINNICK family.
Another point of
interest, a family story has it that the SHUNICK family is somehow connected to
Kit Carson, frontier scout. This remains to be proven.
was the eldest child of David Shunick’s sons. He was born about 1824 in County
Cork, Ireland. He had married Hanora CROFT before coming to America and was the
father of one son, David, born circa 1849 in Ireland. Hanora was born in 1826
and died in 1902. They were the parents of ten children: David, Margaret, Mary,
Hannah, William, Ellen, Morris, Nora, Julia, and Edmund.
Margaret and Mary
were born in Fletcher, Vermont in 1852 and 1854 respectively. The rest were born
in Warren County, Illinois: Hannah in 1856, William in 1858, Ellen in July 1860,
Morris in 1862, Nora in 1866, Julia in 1868,
and Edmund in 18’71.
Not a great deal
in known about this family. David is said to have married Annie BURNS. Ellen and
Julia married NOONAN brothers, James Michael. and John. Edmond was known as
"Cameron Ed" and lived in Cameron, Illinois at the time of his father’s
death (1914). He and his wife used to come to Monmouth
to church. They had no children.
Ellen Shunick and
Mike NOONAN had two daughters: Nora, who was unmarried; and Florence, who
married Sylvester HELLHAKE. They still live in Galesburg. They also had two
sons, one was named Fred. He went to South America when a young man. The other’s
name has been forgotten.
Julia and John
NOONAN had two daughters, one was Kate who married Henry JOHNSON. They also had
two children, Mary Louise and a boy. The other daughter, Louise, married
Clarence PYLE and lived in Burlington. Their son, Freddie, age six was killed
while crossing a street.
At the Monmouth
Public Library, we discovered a clipping of the article "Do You Remember
Away Back Then’?" in which appeared the obituary of Edmund Shunick:
Shunick died at the home of his daughter, Mrs.’ John M. WELSH, in Galesburg,
March 17, 1914, senility being given as the cause of his passing. He was born in
Ireland in 1822, came to America in 1851, and in 1863 bought a farm near Alexis,
where he lived for many years, and later moved to Alexis. He married Miss ZORA
CROFT (should be Nora) in Ireland in 1858 (should be 1848), and to this union
eleven children were born, six of whom were living when the father died. They
were: Dave Shunick of Alexis, Ed Shunick of Cameron, Mrs. James Noonan and Mrs.
John Noonan of Monmouth, Mrs. Pat Conroy of Bloomington, and Mrs. John Welsh of
Galesburg. He was a member of the Catholic church at Alexis and the funeral was
held at that church with burial in the Alexis cemetery."
Shunick is also buried there.
and Present of Warren County, Illinois" Voters and Taxpayers of Warren
County (Pg. 316) shows Edmund, farmer, Section 12, P. 0. Alexis, democrat,
Catholic, 360 acres; born in Ireland.
I found a
clipping of the obituary of Mrs. Edmund SHUNICK. It did not give a date of
death, and there is no date written on it. It says:
Shunick died suddenly Friday afternoon at the family residence in Alexis. She
had appeared to be in about her usual
during the day and Mr. Shunick was absent in the afternoon. The granddaughter,
Miss Nora Shunick, went in between 4 and 5 o’clock and found her lying on the
bed and dead. She might have been dead for two hours or more, when discovered.
It is thought an attack of heart. trouble was the cause.
Shunick was about 75 years old and she and her husband were old settlers in the
Alexis neighborhood and highly respected by all who knew them. Seven children
and the husband are left to mourn her death."