The Valley of Heart's Delight

pioneer Gilroy family


   A member of one of California's pioneer families, Mrs. Margaret White can look back over an interesting period in the development of the Santa Clara Valley, for it has been her privilege to take part in as well as witness the wonderful growth that has taken place here in the past decades.  She was born in Quebec, Canada, the daughter of the late Thomas and Johanna (O'Toole) Cullen, both natives of County Wexford, Ireland, who were early settlers of that part of Canada.

   Twelve children were born to these worthy parents: Edward, deceased, is survived by one child, Mrs. Daley, who resides in Sacramento; John, deceased, is survived by his widow and six children, living near Gilroy; Michael and Patrick are deceased; Mary A., Mrs. Thomas Fitzgerald, has five children; Thomas is single; James, deceased; Kate C., deceased, is survived by her husband, Edward Doyle; Frank P. has three children and resides in San Jose; Mrs. Margaret White is the subject of this sketch; Lawrence lives at Gilroy; William has five children and resides at Gilroy.  The three eldest brothers of the family preceded the rest of the family here, who arrived in California in 1868 and settled in the vicinity of Gilroy.  Both parents lived to be nearly ninety, the father passing away on November 22, 1895; Mrs. Cullen surviving him until October 11, 1904.

   Margaret Cullen spent her girlhood days at the family home near Gilroy and on April 21, 1879, she was married to William Fitzgerald, who was born in Frampton Township, Canada, April 14, 1845, and in 1853 came with his parents to Gilroy Township, Santa Clara County, Cal., where he was reared on a farm, later engaging in the livery business at Gilroy with his brother, Patrick Fitzgerald.  Mr. Fitzgerald, passed away in February, 1882, survived by his widow and two children, Mary and Winifred Fitzgerald, now living with their mother.  Mrs. Fitzgerald's second marriage united her with John J. White, the son of Thomas and Mary A. White, and one son was born to them, Edward A., who was a member of the Students' Army Training Corps during the World War and is attending Santa Clara University, but now employed in San Francisco. Mr. White died in Gilroy, August 26, 1910.  Mrs. White is an active member of the Civic Club and the Catholic Ladies' Aid of Gilroy.  A woman of many interests, she is the owner of a fine ranch at Hollister in addition to the home place on Second Street, where she still makes her home.

Transcribed by Joe Kral, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 375 


SANTA CLARA COUNTY -The Valley of Heart's Delight

July 17, 2005