Three Sons of Patrick Flynn

Flynn Brother Markers

There are currently three Flynn markers in the graveyard, Father Thomas Augustine Flynn, Serg. Charles E. Flynn, and John L. Flynn. We learn from Catholicity in the Carolinas and Georgia, Pages 219-220, that the three were brothers, sons of Patrick Flynn and his wife, the widow McKenna. More information about the book is HERE.

All we know about the youngest son, John, is that he was married and died in 1870 at age 24. We know he was married only because his grave marker has this epitaph: “This tablet is erected to memory of my dear husband, John L. Flynn.

Author Father Jeremiah Joseph O’Connell, had this to say about second son, Charles: “…an exemplary and virtuous young man, fell at the battle of Chickamauga, while cheering on his men to victory. On visiting the scene of carnage, his bereaved father discovered the remains scantily covered with clay, where he had died on the battle-field, and transferred them to St. Peter’s for interment.

Father O’Connell wrote a lengthy paragraph about the eldest son, Thomas Augustine Flynn, who “was called to the Holy ministry,” was educated at St. Mary’s in Columbia and at College of Cholet in France, and was “the first native-born Columbian ordained priest.” At the end of his education in France, his health was failing, and he was sent home, “in the hope that the mild climate of the South might re-establish his enfeebled constitution.” After a very brief period of service, “his pulmonary complaint made speedy inroads, and terminated, after a short struggle, his earthly existence for a life and crown in heaven.” Father Flynn was only 28 years old. These words from Father O’Connell would have been an appropriate epitaph for his marker: “Tall in stature, mortified and meek in mien, he seemed a very angel at the altar. Enrolled in the shining ranks of the apostolic choir, he was translated before a breath of calumny had sullied his name or a sin stained his conscience. Who would deplore such a death?

According to Fr. O’Connell, dad Patrick died about 1871. Of his three sons, the first, the priest, died in 1867, the second, the soldier, in 1863, and the third, John, in 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Flynn, described as “the old stock of Catholic pioneers, pious and edifying,” suffered much sadness.

Patrick Flynn           (???? – 1871)
Thomas Augustine (1839 – 1867) Age 28
Charles E. Flynn       (1844 – 1863) Age 19
John L. Flynn             (1846 – 1870) Age 24

Current photos of the markers in this graveyard and the epitaphs as recorded in 1936 by the WPA can be found in alphabetical order on this page.

The WPA workers also recorded a marker for Mrs. Hetty Flynn who died October 2, 1884, but that marker has not been found during this investigation. There is some evidence (Ancestry.com) that she was Mrs. Hetty McKenna (or McKinney) Flynn and was the mother, not only of the three Flynn brothers, but also of Elizabeth McKenna (or McKinney) who married a local man named Coleman Walker. Coleman and Elizabeth Walker are both buried in this graveyard, so that is another opportunity for some research and a family story. If she was the mother of the three Flynn boys and wife of Patrick, she outlived her second husband by 13 years and apparently never had a third one. No evidence yet on where Patrick was buried.

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