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Dennis Oliver

Dennis J. Oliver (1823-1886) was born in Galway, Ireland. He emigrated to NYC in 1840 at the age of 17 and there eventually met and at the age of 25 married Bridget McGlynn (1825-1870) on May 11, 1848. For awhile in NYC he was in partnership with John A. McGlynn [from Chart II, not clear what John's relationship to Bridget was] in the paint business. Eight months later (January 1849), after receiving news of the gold discovery in California, Dennis with John McGlynn and William F. White sailed for San Francisco, arriving there 156 days later.  His pregnant wife stayed behind. He immediately reestablished his paint business in San Francisco, and despite a series of fires that destroyed at least two of his principal buildings, he prospered.

In 1854 Oliver began keeping a diary—the first entry is November 9th—which eventually grew to 14 volumes, now kept at the California Historical Society in San Francisco. The first volume contains some information on the land he bought in what is now Menlo Park. 

Notes from vol. 1 of Denis Oliver's diary

Conclusions from the notes.

Photocopy of entry of February 6, 1855, in which Denis states why he named his ranch Menlo Park.

Chart I - Family tree for Dennis Oliver

Chart II - Family tree for Bridget McGlynn

4/19/188(5?) San Francisco Reports - Obituary of Denis J. Oliver

4/24/1886 Redwood City Times Gazette - Obituary of Denis J. Oliver

For additional information see  Denis J. Oliver Diaries in research blog by Jake Fletcher, and for more detail see the finding aids for the Oliver Diaries (MS 3577) prepared by the California Historical Society 

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MS3577.pdf
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