Monday, April 1, 2013

8. Dennis Buggy Obituaries from Blue Earth, Minnesota

A newspaper obituary can be a good source of birth information.  It is frequently provided by next of kin who know, at least second-hand, about the birthplace and date.

A subscription-based U.S. newspaper database shows one predictable match (“…saw a man in a buggy…”).[1]  The Blue Earth Community Library provided two obituaries within minutes of a phone call. [2]  The images, from microfilms of the Faribault County Register and the Blue Earth Post, are reproduced here, followed by transcriptions.

Birthdate: 11 June 1830
The first obituary reports that Dennis Buggy was born 11 June 1830 in County Kilkenny, Ireland. [3]  This is the same date as that on the death certificate, information probably given by the same informant. [4]  The birthplace confirms other information, too, but is no more specific than County Kilkenny.

A Conflicting Death Date: Wednesday or Thursday
One obituary reports Dennis Buggy’s death Thursday night (20 May), the other Wednesday (19 May), and the death certificate states midnight on 20 May.[5]  Since he apparently died around midnight, there is understandable confusion about which day it was.  It is safe to assume the accuracy of the physician’s report on the death certificate (20 May).

Faribault County Register Obituary
Dennis Buggy obituary, Faribault County [Minnesota] Register, 27 May 1915; courtesy Blue Earth Community Library, Blue Earth, Minnesota.

  " --The death of Dennis Buggy, of Pilot Grove township, occurred at the home of his son, Richard Buggy, last Thursday night between the hours of 11 and 12 o’clock, having been sick but a few days.  He would have been 85 years of age the 11th of next June had he lived.  Deceased was born in Killkenny [sic] county, Ireland, June 11, 1830.  When about 18 years of age he came to America, first settling in Connecticutt [sic].  He enlisted in the war of the rebellion at the start of the war, when 32 years of age, and after its close moved to Faribault county, Minn., taking up a homestead where he has since resided—an even fifty years, being the last of the old homesteaders who still resided in the township of Pilot Grove.  He was bothered with asthma some but his mind had been clear up to the time of his death, which came peacefully, with seemingly no pain.  The funeral was held at the Catholic church here last Saturday morning, and the remains were laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery here."

Blue Earth Post Obituary
"Death of a Pioneer," Blue Earth Post, 25 May 1915; courtesy Blue Earth Community Library, Blue Earth Minnesota.


  "Dennis Buggy, a long-time resident of Pilot Grove, died at the home of his son Richard M., in that township, Wednesday evening, May 19th, passing out at the ripe age of 84 years.  The deceased was born in Ireland.  In 1865 he came to this county with wife and family and settled on land in Pilot Grove, established a home and remained thereon until death.  Like all the early settlers, he was poor in purse but rich in hope and energy and his early toil and frugality brought him peace and plenty in the latter years.  He was a man of honor in all things and his life was one of peace with all mankind.  Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Coleman from the Catholic church Saturday morning last.  The immediate relatives are John, of this township, Richard of Pilot Grove, Mrs. Kate Murphy of this city and Mrs. W. S. Drake of Elmore township."

Next Time: Buggy Gravestones in Blue Earth

            Microfilm of Freshford parish registers (ordered 21 March 2013)
            Microfilm of Naugatuck town records (ordered 26 March 2013)
            Response from Archdiocese of Hartford Archives (letter sent 25 March 2013)

[1] ( : accessed 18 March 2013), search for Dennis Buggy, 1830-1916 timeframe, Minnesota.
[2] Eva Gaydon, Blue Earth Community Library, Blue Earth, Minnesota (, to Judy Kellar Fox, email,  18 March 2013, “Re: Dennis Buggy.”
[3] Dennis Buggy obituary, Faribault County [Minnesota] Register, 27 May 1915; Blue Earth Community Library, Blue Earth, Minnesota.
[4] Minnesota Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate 3720 (1915), Dennis Buggy; Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.
[5] Dennis Buggy obituary, 27 May 1915; "Death of a Pioneer," Blue Earth Post, 25 May 1915; Blue Earth Community Library, Blue Earth Minnesota; Minnesota Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate 3720 (1915), Dennis Buggy.

© 2013 Judy Kellar Fox, CG,


  1. These are great obits with lots of information. It was great that you found them.

    1. Thanks, Colleen. I hope someone will incorporate the information into a story about Dennis Buggy and his family. Maybe you!