I can only imagine the anguish of parents who lost several children.
Like James and Bridget, the parents of Margaret, Michael and Mary Ryan.
State registration of births in Minnesota began in 1900, but the rules weren’t really followed statewide until after 1915.
Death records have only been registered by the state since 1908 .
Since Margaret, Michael and Mary Ryan were born and died prior to 1900, these vital records couldn’t be used to learn more about them.
But the reverse side of their headstone in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Minneapolis had some information that was helpful.
Timothy I. and Mary I. Ryan lived in Portland Oregon when the 1930 census was taken. Both were born in Minnesota to Irish immigrant parents. 
Column 15 offered the best clue on this census; the age at first marriage.
Mary was 58 in 1930. She married Timothy at age 23 – sometime around 1895.
Here’s the couple in the MOMS  database. Mary’s maiden name was Rourk.
The couple and three of their children lived in Minneapolis in 1920:
But none of the other names from the headstone seem to be listed.
The 1910 census didn’t shed any light. Nor did the 1905 Minnesota state census.
The 1900 census helped verify I had the right Timothy and Mary. The years of birth on the census and the headstone match.
But where are James and Bridget?
It was the 1880 census that finally brought me all the way around the headstone, touching each of the names that appear.
So James and Bridget were Timothy Ryan’s parents. They were James’ [Jas. 1861-1888] parents too.
And of course they were the parents of Margaret, Michael and Mary Ryan.
 Year: 1930; Census Place: Portland, Multnomah, Oregon; Roll: 1951; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0168; Image: 4.0; FHL microfilm: 2341685; Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.
 Minnesota Official Marriage System: https://www.moms.mn.gov/