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A Donlin Family History by Dan Jensen
The Powers

Delia Powers

Delia H. (Powers) Donlin
Delia H. (Powers) Donlin

Delia H. (Powers) Donlin was born in Troy, New York, probably on 19 June 1859, to Irish immigrants Michael and Brigetta (Alice) Powers. The marriage certifcates of Delia and also her sister Mary indicate that their mother’s maiden name was Brigetta Alice. Their sister Alice’s marriage certificate, however, indicates their mother was “Elizabeth Alles”[34]. We have found the name Elizabeth (and Eliza) in three censuses, but we have not found Brigetta. Though it is possible that Brigetta preceded Elizabeth, the 1860 Federal census states that Michael and Elizabeth had each been married only once, and that Elizabeth had ten children. We do not know what name Delia’s middle initial “H” represents, but it may have been “Helen”, the first name of Delia’s youngest daughter.

Given that we have all this right, we can say that Delia’s father was a carpenter[35], and that the Powers moved from Ireland to Troy, New York around 1850[36]. Whatever her name, Delia’s mother is remembered to have had an uncanny ability to detect where in Ireland an immigrant was from by listening to the person speak[37]. Delia’s father Michael Powers appears to have died some time between 1865 and 1885, whereas Delia’s mother is found living at the latter date in Iowa with her son Pat[38].

It appears that the Powers moved from Troy, NY to Lancaster, Wisconsin sometime between 1870 and 1877[39]. We presume, based on the fact that their children Pat and Mary came along, that all the younger children did as well. Delia was one of thirteen siblings. Of those, there is evidence that at least three later made the move to Iowa with their mother (and possibly their father): Pat, Alice, and Delia.

Pat Powers

George Patrick (Pat) Powers
George Patrick (Pat) Powers

George Patrick Powers appears to have remained a bachelor, and we have little more than a photo of him. We do know that his mother lived with him in Iowa, and we know that he was a godfather of three Donlins. His presence at the baptism of George Patrick Donlin in March 1887 is the last we hear of Pat, though his photograph may have been taken later.

Alice A. (Powers) Geary
Alice married Will Geary at age 16. Alice and Will had eleven children. Their marriage ended in divorce after 26 years. The children were divided between their mother and father and lived separate lives. Alice lived to age 86 or 87. Their oldest son Dennis was known to be a good friend of Mike and Delia’s son Gene[40].

Mary (Powers) Hynes
We have recently discovered that Delia’s older sister Mary was married to Patrick Hynes in Grant County on 21 April 1879. Patrick’s parents were Thomas Hines and Catharina Fannau[41]. This marriage occurred just before the Donlins (and presumably the Powers) moved to Iowa.

Patrick and Mary settled in Montana. They had three children: Harry, Elizabeth “Bess”, and Katherine. Harry was a Jeweler. He did not marry, and he died in Butte, Montana. Bess did not marry either. She worked as a housekeeper at Fort Harrison, Montana, and lived in nearby Helena. Katherine married Arthur Nelson and had a daughter, Kathryn.

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Delia Powers and Mike Donlin