Information on Thomas Francis Dunigan, son of Bernard Dunigan, and descendants
My name is Kathleen Dunigan Hayes Day â€“ Dunigan being my middle name, Hayes my maiden name, and Day my married name. I am the daughter of Thomas Francis Dunigan Hayes, born October 11, 1929, who died on July 24, 2003. My father was the son of Edmund Anthony Hayes and Jane Dunigan. Jane was the daughter of Thomas Francis Dunigan, who was a son Bernard Dunigan and Julia (Ryan) Dunigan, whose history is detailed by Barry Riordan. I can offer the following information on second son, Thomas Francis, as found in the New Jersey Biographical files of Middlesex County:
â€œThomas Francis Dunigan, who for many years was a leader in the business, financial and political life of Middlesex County, was one of the esteerned and representative citizens of Woodbridge, New Jersey, until his passing away, April 30, 1921.
Mr. Dunigan was a son of Bernard and Julia (Ryan) Dunigan, also prominent in the community life of Woodbridge. He attended the public schools of Woodbridge and the parochial schools of Perth Amboy, subsequently completing his education at St. Johnâ€™s Academy, Fordham, New York. Mr. Dunigan at first started in business with his father, who was a prosperous clay miner and contractor, with properties in Woodbridge, but remained with him but a short time. His next connection was with the Ostrander Fire Brick Company, Fords, New Jersey, as a foreman in their clay banks. Here he gained much experience, and after being thus associated for a few years, he was tendered an offer to become associated with the Henry A. Maurer & Sons Company, Maurer, New Jersey. For a time he acted as foreman, but later contracted with this company in mining clay. This connection was a pleasant one, and quite permanent, for he remained with the company for some twenty-eight years, until his health required him to relinquish it, much to the regret of the Maurers. While associated with them he established, during the year 1898, a retail coal and wood business, which grew rapidly to large proportions, and still later added buildersâ€™ supplies, which also proved a success. His next venture was that of a contractor on a road construction work, and in all of these activities he became a leader and known throughout the State of New Jersey.
Mr. Dunigan was a director and vice-president of the First National Bank of Woodbridge; a town committeeman; president of the fire commissioners, and a county freeholder. He was a staunch Democrat, and a leader in the councils of the party. In his religious belief he was Roman Catholic, being a member of St. James Roman Catholic Church, Woodbridge, of which he was a trustee up to the time of his death. Mr. Dunigan was equally well known in fraternal circles, being a member of New Brunswick Lodge, No. 324, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Knights of Columbus, of Perth Amboy; the Royal Arcanum, of Woodbridge; and the Catholic Benevolent Legion of America.
Mr. Dunigan married, in Woodbridge, May 28, 1884, Jane M. Finn, daughter of Robert and Margaret (Meagher) Finn, who were among the first settlers of Irish ancestry in Woodbridge. The following children were born to Mr. an Mrs. Dunigan: Florence, now the wife of James J. Dunne, of Brooklyn, New York, and they have three children: James J., Jr., Jane M., and Regina M.; George, now living at Woodbridge; Jane L., now the wife of Edmund A. Hayes, and they have two children: Edmund A., Jr., and Jane; Anna B. who resides with her mother.
In the passing away of Thomas F. Dunigan, Woodbridge lost one of its most substantial sons and citizens, a man who was a good father, a firm friend and neighbor, and a builder in every sense of the word, which means so much to any commonwealth.â€
I can add that Jane Dunigan, mentioned above, who married Edmund Hayes, went on to have two more children after the two listed. Mary, (born 1925, died 2004), and my father, Thomas. Jane (the daughter) died at age two. Edmund A. Hayes, Jr., married Beatrice (last name unknown) and had one son, Edmund A. Hayes, III. Edmund Jr., died young, at age 32 and his widow eventually remarried and she and Edmund III were lost to the family. Mary married Gene Griggs and had four sons, Gene, Jr., Geoffrey, Mark, and Peter Scott. All of Maryâ€™s sons have married and have children.
Jane Dunigan died in 1931, when my father Thomas was two years old. Her sister, Anna, moved into the Hayes family home to raise her sisterâ€™s children.
My father, Thomas, married Betty Fail, of Tuskeegee, Alabama, in 1953. I was born in 1959 and I have one brother, Timothy, born in 1966.
Cancer runs in the family, with Anna (sister of Jane); Edmund, Jr., Mary and Thomas all dying from cancer.