William Logsdon and Honor O’Flynn were real people; they are the author’s seventh great-grandparents. They are the likely immigrant ancestors of nearly all the Durbins and Logsdons in Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, including one United States Senator. Documented details about their lives are few, but what follows is, at least, one interpretation of the available data.
William was born in Bedfordshire, England, in 1664. At the age of 10, he came to Annapolis in January 1674 where he was sold as an indentured servant. He is listed on the tax rolls as owning a farm called “Brotherly Love” from 1692 through 1703. He married Honor O’Flynn in 1702 when he was 38, and died in Carroll County, Maryland, in 1742 at the age of 78.
Honor was born somewhere in Kerry County, Ireland, in about 1685. I chose the seaside town of Dingle in Kerry County as her fictional childhood home. Some suggest that she came from a wealthy family and was, possibly, a princess. She was kidnapped in 1701 and brought to Annapolis. She died in Carroll County in about 1740, at the age of 55.
Ann (Comfort) Logsdon was born to William and Honor in 1703. She married Samuel Durbin and had sixteen children with him. William and Honor’s second child, William Logsdon, Jr., was born in 1705. He married Ann Davis, and the couple had five children. Two of William and Honor’s grandchildren, born to either Ann or William, were Christopher Durbin (1742-1825) and Elisha Logsdon (1735-1815), and one of their great-grandchildren, Samuel Durbin, Jr. (1726-1817), are significant in history. All three immigrated to Madison County, Kentucky, in about 1788.
From the Honorable Benjamin Webb’s 1844 book, entitled Centennial of Catholicity in Kentucky, we learn that these three families were among the very first to bring Catholicism across the mountains into Kentucky. Several chapters of that book are devoted to the efforts of Honor and William’s great-great grandson, Father Elisha Durbin, who planted the seeds for many of Kentucky’s Catholic churches. For example, on page 364, we read:
"Catholicity in Union County, and in all Southwestern Kentucky, indeed, is to the present hour so intimately connected with the name and personal labors of Rev. Elisha J. Durbin, that the writer regards it here necessary, and as a preliminary to his account of that important mission, to present to his readers a short sketch of the life of this venerable and most meritorious priest: Elisha J. Durbin was born in Madison County, Kentucky, about sixteen miles from Boonesboro, on the 1st of February, 1800. His parents were John D. Durbin and Patience Logsdon."
Further, we read:
"Neither were the Durbins nor the Logsdons descended from stock that was known to be Catholic beyond a couple of generations previous to the appearance in Kentucky of the families spoken of in the text. An ancestor of one of the families — I am uncertain as to which — intermarried with one Honor O'Flynn, an Irish girl of great piety, and it was through her, no doubt, that is to be traced the faith that has distinguished one or the other of the Kentucky families referred to, both of which have for generations been consistent exponents of its teachings."
And thus did Honor O’Flynn accomplish the will of God.