Finding Aid of the Alice Kennedy Lynch Diary C015978
Finding aid prepared by Lacey Lieberthal
Society of California PioneersAugust 8, 2012
300 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107-1272
Title: Lynch, Alice Kennedy Diary
Identifier/Call Number: C015978
Contributing Institution: Society of California Pioneers
Language of Material: French
Physical Description: 1.0 manuscript box (1 photostatic copy)
Date: July 19, 1857-January 1, 1865
Abstract: Photostatic copy of the Diary of Alice Kennedy Lynch, dated July 19, 1857 to January 1, 1865, written in French. There is a typescript of the diary, translated to English by Alice's son, Francis William Lynch, on September 7, 1930. The diary consists of short entries telling of various events in Alice's life and that of her friends and family members in San Francisco and on her husband's Ranch in San Luis Obispo County during these years.
creator: Lynch, Alice Kennedy
Collection open for research.
There are no restrictions on access.
Alice Kennedy Lynch Diary. The Society of California Pioneers.
Gift of Francis William Lynch and Alice Clare Lynch, January 30, 1942.
Information on Alice Kennedy Lynch is limited to what can be discerned from her diary. Since the diary is written in French, she is probably from France. She lived in San Francisco, as did her mother, sisters, and brothers, so it appears as though they may have come to the United States and California together. The sisters mentioned in the diary were named Lizzie, Kate, Delia, and Mary, and she had several brothers although names are not given.
Alice was born on January 17, although no year is given. She was married to James Lynch on November 27, 1856 when he was 31 years old. Alice and James had six children: James K. (born September 7, 1857), Francis William (also known as Frank; born August 18, 1861), Lizzie Kate (born March 16, 1864), Alice Clare, Henry W., and Katherine. James, Frank, and Lizzie are mentioned in the diary, but Alice, Henry, and Katherine must have been born after 1865 when the diary closes. They are mentioned in James' Mortuary Record at the Society of California Pioneers.
The diary notes twice (entries on February 6 and February 20 of 1859) that Alice wrote articles that had been published, one for "the paper" and one for the "Bulletin." No other information is given.
Photostatic copy of the Diary of Alice Kennedy Lynch, dated July 19, 1857 to January 1, 1865, written in French. There is a typescript of the diary, translated to English by Alice's son, Francis William Lynch, on September 7, 1930.
Photostat is 18 x 23.5 inches, and it is rolled. Although it does not appear as though the paper that Alice wrote on was quite that size, it was still rather large. Alice's style of writing was very direct; she wrote the entries on Sundays (one or two entries on other days of the week if they were holidays such as Christmas or New Year's) and wrote about events of importance from the previous week. Most of the entries are very short. The translation in English is mostly written in the same manner, more literally translated from the French than idiomatically. Although the label on the folder that contains the typescript indicates that the diary was translated by L.W. Lynch, the end of the diary is signed "Translated by Frank W. Lynch."
The diary tells of Alice's life, her family, and her friends between the years of 1857 and 1865. She had many friends in San Francisco, and, since her whole family lived nearby, she also spent much time with them. It is unclear when Alice was born, but during these years, many of her sisters and friends married and had children. Also, many of her friends and their children passed away during this time.
On December 28, 1857, after the birth of their first son, James, Alice and her husband moved to a house on the corner of Green and Mason streets, probably having lived with her mother prior to this.
Throughout the diary, Alice mentions events going on in the city and national and international news as well. For example, she mentions the "laying of a telegraphic cable under the Atlantic" from Ireland to Newfoundland in August of 1858. She also discusses the American Civil War from time to time, and she mentions the election of President Abraham Lincoln in the entry from December 9, 1860.
On January 23, 1859, she writes that her husband decided to sell his company to Alice's brother and also to sell their house. At this time, her husband began to travel often to look for a place for them to live. He settled on a Ranch near Tierra Redonda in San Luis Obispo County (James Lynch is included in Bancroft's California Pioneer Register, and Bancroft notes that this ranch was in Pleito [sic.]). James began working on the Ranch around July of 1859. Alice joined her husband there for the first time on June 1, 1860, traveling with her mother and son. For the remainder of the diary, Alice travels back and forth between the Ranch and San Francisco.
The last entry of the diary is from New Year's Day 1865, although there is a final note: "Sunday, February 5," with no entry.
Alice's husband, James, was a member of the Society of California Pioneers, joining in 1897. Her son, Francis William, was also a member, joining in 1919.
The Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA, 94107.
The Society of Californa Pioneers also has:
Membership card: James Lynch. Arrived in California March 6, 1847. Joined September 6, 1897. Mortuary Record 1906-1933, p. 239: James Lynch. Membership card: F.W. Lynch, son of James. Action date December 6, 1919. Accounts/ledger (C005523): James Lynch. Honorary Membership Certificate (C019608): James Lynch, Associated Veterans of Mexican War. Manuscript (C058083): Scrapbook, Lynch Family Papers.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Lynch, James, 1825-1909
San Francisco (Calif.)
San Luis Obispo County (Calif.)