The Tonita Ridgway Martin Papers comprise the personal papers of longtime Georgetown resident Tonita Ridgway Martin along with some of her relatives' materials. Of note are a few documents relating to the life of New York Catholic Dominick Lynch I, whose will is included, and more documents relating to U.S. naval officer Dominick Lynch III, whose two brief but fascinating journals regarding Ecuador and Hawaii are retained. Also preserved is Tonita Ridgway Martin's personal collection of autographs of American military leaders, American religious leaders, and American astronauts. Some of her own correspondence is included, together with genealogical information, and a large number of family photographs and other photographs of local Washington, D.C. interest. The collection is stored in 10 archival boxes (12.5 linear feet).

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES: (Sarah) Tonita Ridgway Martin, the daughter of Thomas Edwin Ridgway (1826-1919) and Josephina Lynch (Ridgway) (1849-1925), was a longtime resident of Georgetown in Washington, D.C. She was born on March 13, 1888. On June 8, 1926, in Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown, she married Robert H. Martin, who died on November 15, 1966, in Hollywood, Florida.

(Sources: "Capital Society Events" marriage notice of Tonita Ridgway Martin in "Washington Post" 6/12/1926, p. 7. Robert H. Martin death notice in "Washington Post" 11/17/1966, p. B6.)

Dominick Lynch I (1754-1825) was a noted Roman Catholic businessman and founder of Rome, New York, and born in Galway, Ireland in 1754. After prospering as administrator of his father's business in Bruges and taking part in the flax trade in Ireland, he emigrated to New York in 1785. Once in America, Lynch focused on real estate and the China trade. He donated large sums to Catholic causes, and he contributed to the construction of New York City's first permanent Catholic Church, St. Peter's, in 1786. Lynch was among the four laymen signers along with Daniel Carroll, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and Thomas Fitzsimmons of a document sent by American Catholics to congratulate George Washington upon his election to the presidency. In addition, Lynch contributed to the establishment of Georgetown College as he was authorized to receive subscriptions in New York in support of the new college. The Christian Brothers received Lynch's Westchester County property and established there the Academy of the Sacred Heart. Dominick Lynch III died on June 5, 1825.

(Sources: "Dictionary of Christian Biography" (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2001). Joseph Gurn, "Four Lynches of New York." "Columbia" 11/1928 (preserved in Box 3 Folder 9 of the Tonita Ridgway Martin Papers). Biographical Sketch by Richard H. Clarke, "American Catholic Historical Researches," vol. 5, no. 2, 4/1888, p. 73-78 (preserved in Box 5 Folder 12 of the Tonita Ridgway Martin Papers). Thomas F. Meehan, "Some Pioneer Catholic Laymen of New York: Dominick Lynch and Cornelius Heeney," "U.S. Catholic Historical Society, Historical Records and Studies," vol. 4, parts 1 & 2, 10/1926 (preserved in Box 5 Folder 13 of the Tonita Ridgway Martin Papers).

Dominick Lynch II entered as a student at Georgetown College in 1792. He became a New York wine merchant. It is believed that Dominick Lynch II was instrumental in brining Italian opera to the United States. Dominick Lynch II died in Paris in 1837.

(Sources: Joseph Gurn, "Four Lynches of New York." "Columbia" 11/1928 preserved in Box 3 Folder 9 of the Tonita Ridgway Martin Papers. Also, Georgetown University Alumni Files).

Dominick Lynch III (1813-1884) had a long and distinguished career as a U.S. naval officer. Born in New York City in 1813, he became a midshipman in the Navy on February 2, 1829. After serving with the Mediterranean Squadron aboard the vessels "Ontario," "Concord," "Java," "Delaware," and "United States," Lynch became a passed midshipman on July 3, 1835. Subsequently, he served on the "Hudson," "United States," and "Constitution." Next joining the Pacific Squadron, Lynch was on the "St. Louis," "Dale," and "Shark." In September 1841, he was promoted to lieutenant and attached to the "Plymouth" in the Brazil Squadron. Then Lynch once again transferred to the Pacific Squadron aboard the "San Jacinto."

From 1846 to 1848, the time of the Mexican War, Lynch served on the "Mississippi" of the Home Squadron and the "Pennsylvania" before returning to the Pacific Squadron on the "Vincennes" and "Vandalia." From 1851 until his retirement in 1855, Lynch worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. When the Civil War began, Lynch came out of retirement to serve on the "Daylight" of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He participated in the victory at Fort Macon and the battle with the batteries in Lynnhaven Bay. Soon, on July 21, 1861, Lynch was appointed commander, and he assumed command of the brig "Bainbridge." Then he was in charge of the ordnance ship "St. Lawrence." Between 1863 and 1865, he commanded the naval station at Beaufort, North Carolina.

After the war, from 1866 to 1867, Lynch worked as the naval storekeeper in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He was commissioned captain in 1867 and given charge of the Naval Asylum in Philadelphia, a post he held until 1871. Finally, he spearheaded a receiving ship in Boston. His long, varied, and illustrious naval career spanned many decades. Dominick Lynch III died in 1884.

(Sources: Transcript in the Tonita Ridgway Martin Papers (Box 1 Folder 48) of a "New York Times" obituary dated 10/11/1884 of Dominick Lynch III.)

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Dominick Lynch I (of Ireland) (1754-1825) married (8/31/1780) Jane Lynch (1761-1829).

Dominick Lynch II m. (6/9/1808) Margaret Shippen Lea (Lynch), daughter of Thomas Lea (1757-1793) and Sarah Shippen (Lea). Sarah Shippen (Lea) was the daughter of Edward Shippen.

Dominick Lynch III (1813-1884) m. (3/22/1845) Antonia Buena Ventura Argumbou (Lynch). Antonia was the daughter of Joseph Argumbou, who had married Marian Bosquet (Argumbou).

- Children of Dominick Lynch III and Antonia Buena Ventura Argumbou (Lynch): Dominick Lynch IV [brother of the mother of Tonita Ridgway (Martin)], Lattie, Maggie, Jennie, Josephina (1849-1925) (married 5/16/1883 Thomas Edwin Ridgway), Lulu.

(Sarah) Tonita Ridgway (Martin) was the daughter of Thomas Edwin Ridgway (1826-1919) and Josephina Lynch (Ridgway) (1849-1925).

(Sarah) Tonita Ridgway (Martin) married Robert H. Martin on 6/8/1926.

John Ridgway's son was Thomas Ridgway, who married Sarah Pancoast, the daughter of John Pancoast and sister of Hanna Pancoast, sister of Elizabeth Pancoast (m. William Newbold and had daughter Carrie Newbold and grandchildren Daisy and Will), sister of Lucy Abbot Pancoast, brother of Joseph Pancoast (who married Rebecca and had a son Dr. William Henry Pancoast), and brother Samuel Abbot Pancoast (who married Rachel Newbold).

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Status: Open.
Provenance: Gift of the Estate of Tonita Ridgway Martin, 1987.
Processed by Scott S. Taylor, September 2006.

BULK DATES: 1840 - 1949
SPAN DATES: 1796 - 1967

EXTENT: 10 Boxes (12.5 lf)


SERIES: 1. Dominick Lynch I & Dominick Lynch II Materials

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Dominick Lynch I and Dominick Lynch II Materials. Dominick Lynch I documents appear first, and Dominick Lynch II documents appear second.

SERIES: 2. Dominick Lynch III Materials

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Dominick Lynch III Materials. Arranged chronologically.

SERIES: 3. Military Autographs

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Military Autographs. Arranged alphabetically by individual.

SERIES: 4. Religious Autographs

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Religious autographs. Arranged alphabetically by individual.

SERIES: 5. Space/Astronaut Autographs

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Space/Astronaut Autographs. Arranged alphabetically by individual.

SERIES: 6. Other Autographs

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Other Autographs. Arranged alphabetically by individual.

SERIES: 7. Tonita Ridgway Martin Materials

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Tonita Ridgway Martin Materials.

SERIES: 8. Other Family Members

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Other Family Members. Arranged alphabetically by individual.

SERIES: 9. Genealogical and Miscellaneous Materials

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Genealogical and Miscellaneous Materials.

SERIES: 10. Printed Materials

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Printed Materials. Arranged Alphabetically.

SERIES: 11. Walter Reed Photographs

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Walter Reed Photographs.

SERIES: 12. Family Photographs

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Family Photographs.

SERIES: 13. Negatives


SERIES: 14. Oversized Materials

SERIES DESCRIPTION: Oversized Materials found among the Tonita Ridgway Martin Papers.