John Reagan was born in Ireland around 1807, the son of Christopher Reagan (born 1775) and Honora Murray (1777-1870). With his parents and siblings he emigrated as to the United States after 1819. John married Julia Grady, born around 1808, also in Ireland, and the couple settled in Ansonia, then a village in the town of Darby, Connecticut, where their seven children were born:
Between 1850 and 1855, both John and Julia died, leaving seven children without home or support. Having learned that their grandparents, Christopher and Honora Reagan, were living in North Adams, Massachusetts, the children set out on foot, making their way up the Connecticut River to Greenfield, Massachusetts, then over the Hoosac Range via the Mohawk Trail to North Adams, where they located their grandparents, who took them in and raised them.
William H. Reagan, born in December 1839, was the third child of John and Julia Reagan. As a young man he moved to Troy, New York, where in 1866 he married Caroline O. Newcomb (1849-ca. 1922), daughter of Cyrenius William Newcomb, shoemaker, and Elizabeth Adaline "Betsey" Chase. The couple moved to Vermont for a few years, and then, around 1875, to North Adams, where he is listed in census records as an engineer (1880) and shipping clerk (1900). He was member of the Universalist church, and served as "dictator" of lodge no. 487 of the Knights of Honor. The couple's first two children were born in New York, the third (Bessie) in Vermont; their remaining children were born in North Adams. William H. Reagan died in 1905. They had nine children; the following are known:
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