Now, normally, one would have an "immigrant ancestor" - this being a direct ancestor (grandfather/grandmother). And, maybe, a brother or sister , spouse and children, or some other relation would immigrate with the direct ancestor. In the case of the Mitchell family, the parents remained in Ireland, and the children (from what I can tell - all of them) moved to the United States, each coming at various times starting about the mid-1800s.
The research into the Mitchell family began with a basic descendant chart passed on to me by my brother from one of his Mitchell cousin researchers. If I recall correctly, it was very basic - with few dates/places, and no source citations. So began the research for facts and provenance.
It began with the Mitchell Patriarch and Matriarch - Bernard ( sometimes I found researchers who labeled him with the nickname of "Beck") Mitchell and Bridget/Jennie Mullranel. Now, I have a probelm with Bridget/Jennie as I have not been able to find anything on that name, but more about that later.
Bernard and Bridget/Jennie had nine known children - all who immigrated to the United States although daughter, Bridget, is somewhat sketchy still. The children were: Catherine, Mary, Michael, Bartholomew, Bridget, James, Patrick, Margaret and Bernard.
I will start with Catherine (sometimes Katherine in the records), and this is where the confusion of the two Catherine's come in.
Catherine Mitchell, daughter of Bernard and Bridget/Jennie, married a man named Mannion and settled in Whiteside County in Illinois. Okay, so many of the Mitchell children of Bernard and Bridget/Jennie settled in Whiteside, but, for now, I'm just talking about Catherine.
A general search into the Federal Census records for Whiteside County would first reveal a Patrick Mannion with wife, Catherine, and their children. Most people would look at Catherine, her approximate birth year and place being correct, and say "I've found her". However, a little more research, particularly into the Illinois Death Records, reveal that this Catherine, married to Patrick Mannion, had the maiden name of Ratican....and records her father as Thomas Ratican.
So, where is Catherine/Katherine Mitchell Mannion? And to whom was she married to?
A little research into the Mannion family is in order here. And, on a side note, it is often beneficial in researching to delve into marriage-related branches. You'd be surprised at how often siblings from one family married siblings from another family. But what happened with the Mannion family is that two brothers - Patrick and Michael - immigrated to the U.S. and both brothers married women named Catherine. Patrick married Catherine Ratican and Michael married Catherine Mitchell. Be aware that there are still many online trees that have Catherine Mitchell married to Patrick and not Michael, and just a few that have the correction applied to them. I figure, eventually, everyone will be sorted out.
So, we now have Catherine Mitchell married to Michael Mannion. and Catherine Ratican married to Michael's brother, Patrick. I'm now going to throw a wrench in the pile and add another Catherine - the mother of Patrick and Michael.
The parents of Patrick and Michael were Edward Mannion and Catherine Mulrans (some have Mullranel or Mulrennen. Catherine's findagrave listing has it as Mulrans). Other siblings of Patrick and Michael are Margaret, Bridget and John. It has been said by other researchers that Patrick and Michael sent for their mother and siblings after arriving in the States. Either way, eventually, the whole family ended up in Illinois.
Catherine Mitchell Mannion died in 1897. She and Michael had 4 children - Mary, Margaret, Bernard and Michael.
Whereas, CatherineRatican Mannion died in 1924. She and Patrick had 9 children - Catherine, John, Edward, Mary Ann, Michael, William, Ella, Winifred, and Bridget.
Now, even more confusing, is the fact that Catherine Mulrans Mannion (mother of Patrick, Michael, Margaret, Bridget, and John, died in 1897. So, a mental note must be made not to confuse the deaths of Catherine Mitchell Mannion and her mother-in-law, Catherine Mulrans Mannion.
So, began my research into the Mitchell clan, which, by the way, with every generation, had confusing family connections such as with the Mannions!
Also, I did find the marriage record for Michael and Catherine in Nashua, New Hampshire. Catherine records her parents names as Bernard and Jane Mitchell.