Finally! For some reason, neither the Mulvanys nor the Toners show up when I search the 1880 census of Brooklyn. It's very frusturating, because I think they simply have to be there. So this morning, I started paging through the 98th district of the Kings County census pages, just scrolling down and looking at every name on every page. I was hoping to come across the Toners, as I have reason to believe they'd be in that district (some Brooklyn Eagle clippings, that I believe are our Toners, that I hope to be able to post soon. But this is more exciting, for the moment). However, there they were, on page 22 (of 59 - I'm still hoping to come across the Toners as I continue) - the Mulvanys!
This census shows the Mulvany family living at 194 King St. James gives his age as 52, and Bridget gives hers as 48, which correlate to birth years of around 1828 and 1832 - consistent with what we've seen. Their only 3 children stil living at home (or still alive, and it's a testament to health conditions of the era that we can't say which) are Thomas, age 23, Patrick, age 20, and Mary A., age 17. They have a boarder named William Anderson, a carpenter like James, who was born in Denmark though his parents were Irish, and who, at 42, is a widower. Bridget "keeps house," Thomas (b. 1857) works in a cotton mill, Patrick, (b. 1860) is a machinist (just like he's listed in all later censuses), and Mary is "at home."
Who's as excited as I am to learn that the family didn't just fall off the face of the Earth for a decade?