Catherine “Katie” Costello was born on 9 January 1842 in Baltimore, Maryland, and baptized there at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on 11 November 1842. Her parents, William and Bridget Costello, were born in Ireland. But they may have married in New York City where Katie’s three older siblings, James (1833–1884), Margaret (1835–), and William, Jr. (1837–1855), were born. Her younger siblings Mary (1843–) and Thomas (1848–) were born in Baltimore, followed by John (1849–) in Pittsburgh, where Katie appeared with her family in the 1850 U.S. census.

In 1855, the family suffered the tragic deaths in St. Louis of Katie’s father and her brother, William, Jr. possibly from cholera. In 1860, the rest of the family is listed in the U.S. census as living in St. Louis Ward 8, in the Irish slum called the Kerry Patch. Katie also is apparently listed at her place of employment with her sister, Margaret, and six other “Irish” washerwomen, in the Ward 5 household of John Brettell, a laundryman from England.

In 1863, in St. Louis, Katie Costello married Charles Orlando Blanchard, a disabled veteran of the U.S. Army. Charles was born 13 May 1836 in Locke, Cayuga County, New York, the youngest son of six children of Charles W. Blanchard Jr. (ca. 1808–ca. 1840) and Phoebe Sherman Blanchard (ca. 1810–1895). After the death of Charles’s father and his mother’s remarriage, Charles moved west. He arrived eventually in Dixon, Scott County, Iowa, where on 5 August 1862, he enlisted in Company C of the Iowa 20th Infantry. Hospitalized with an illness in Springfield, Missouri, on 15 November 1862, he received an honorable discharge on 1 February 1863.

On 20 April 1863, three days before his old company arrived in St. Louis, Charles married Katie Costello. The couple left shortly afterwards for Anoka, Minnesota, the home of Charles’s sister, Emma (Blanchard) Pratt. Charles worked as a carpenter while living in Anoka, where he and Katie had three children: William (1864–1924), Nettie (1866–1930), and Charles (1869–1936). Another son, Fred (1873–1944), was born in Granville, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Their youngest child, Catherine “Kittie” (1875–1896), was born in Blodgett Mills, Cortland County, New York, where Katie (Costello) Blanchard died on 6 March 1883. Buried first in Blodgett Mills, her remains along with those of her daughter, Kittie, were removed for reburial in Cortland Rural Cemetery in 1912. Charles Blanchard remarried in 1888 but had no more children. While living in Hampton, Virginia, Charles died on 21 August 1920, at the National Soldiers Home with burial at the Hampton National Cemetery.

Written by Margaret A. Simons, Ph.D.
December 2018
© 2018, St. Louis Genealogical Society

Katie Costello
Catherine “Katie” Costello
Photo in the collection of Margaret Simons, Ph.D.
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 23-Feb-2019 10:50