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O'Connor Arms 

      

Connors Family from Ireland to America

Connors, of course, is a derivation of O'Connor. It is one of the most common names in America and in Ireland. We know a great deal about the O'Connor family in Ireland. Rory O'Connor was high king, the Ard Re. They are a very big clan with hundreds of well known members from entertainment to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, we know but little of our original Connors immigrant to America. Naturalization records indicate that Patrick came to this country from Ireland in 1850 via Liverpool, England. There is only one entry in the book set Famine Immigrants that matches. On November 6, 1850 the ship Patrick Henry from Liverpool carried a 12 year old named Patrick Connors. He was not alone. With him on the ship were other Connors'; Darby, 35, Sally, 40, Michael, 20, Thomas, 10, Jeremiah, 6, and Nora, born at sea. Another family of Connors' were also aboard; Michael, a blacksmith and his wife and four children, one of whom was also named Patrick. Whether relatives of each other is unknown.

The Census of 1860 shows a 22 year old Patrick working in Saratoga County, NY as a farm laborer and living with Mary Connors, age 50. This is the point at whicPatrick O'Connorh a mystery must be addressed. Michael Connors, Patrick's oldest son and direct ancestor of this family, was born in 1867. His death certificate says his mother's name was Mary Taafee. However, all subsequent census files show Patrick's wife as Annie.  1870 finds Patrick Connors living in Greenbush, Westchester County, New York with Annie, his wife and two children, Michael and John. Patrick is employed a "foreman of blasters". Several men listed on the same page of the census are called "blasters". Obviously, heavy construction was underway in Westchester County. The census of 1880 for Troy, New York shows Patrick Connors living there and working in a stove factory. He now has six children:

      Patrick Connors aged.42 b. in Ireland
      Annie Connors age.30 b. in Ireland
      Michael Connors age.13 b. in New York
      John Connors age.10 b. in New York
      Patrick Connors age. 7 b. in New York
      Edward Connors age. 4 b. in Massachusetts
      Annie Connors age. 1 b. in New York
      Charles Connors age. 5M b. in New York

What then of the mystery? Ages listed on Census records can be very misleading and should not by themselves be taken as proof. For instance, in 1870 Annie Connors is 33 years old, but in 1880 is clearly listed as 30! Patrick was 35 in 1870 and only 42 ten years later. Everything depended on who was answering the questions when the census enumerator came to call. Usually, it would be the woman of the house during the day. She would know her children's birthdays exactly, but maybe not the age of her husband. Also, they may have given wrong dates on purpose for one reason or another. Sometimes I think the census taker just guessed. All this leads me to make an educated guess that the Mary listed with Patrick in 1860 is the mother of Michael. If she died when he was a child and father remarried Annie, then all the records are consistent. Family understanding has been that Patrick remarried after Mary died. A woman 50 years of age married to a 22 year old is unusual. More unusual is it that she would have a child at 57. Unusual, but not impossible. More probable is it that the enumerator got the age wrong in 1860.

Michael Connors worked at road construction and traveled a great deal. In 1898 he was living in Mossgrove, PA outside Pittsburg, where Raymond Connors was born. The 1910 Census has the family living in Montour Falls, NY:

      Michael Connors age. 43 General Foreman
      Eva Connors age. 43 Housewife
      Marguerite Connors age. 16 Telephone operator
      Blanche Connors age. 13 student
      Raymond age. 11 student

Marguerite was born in Philadelphia and Blanche and Raymond in Montour Falls, New York. Another child, Anne, was born in Hector, Schuyler Co., New York in 1893 and died in infancy. We will not quickly forget her.  We first saw her picture, taken in her little coffin, as the photo fell from the family Bible. This custom of photographing the dead was not uncommon at the end of the 19th C. and has faded now.

For some reason, Michael was alienated from his family of origin. Possibly this was due to his father's second marriage. Whatever the reason, he was on his own at an early age. In his late years he came to live with his son, Raymond. Tension was evident there as well. During his earlier life Michael was working construction and was away from home often. Also, Michael and his wife Eva Everts each married outside their religion. Eva was Episcopal and Michael Catholic. Perhaps this caused a rift. In any case, Michael's contact with his family was minimized. In the late 1950s two of Michael's half brothers appeared at the Raymond Connors house. They had not had contact for many years. They were Edward and William O'Connor. At some time they had resumed the original name. Noone but Michael knew of these brothers. Contact was renewed but Michael died soon after and Mary Harrison Connors, his daughter-in-law, maintained letter writing with Edward for a time, but contact has now been lost. To the best of my knowledge, there were no children from any of Michael's siblings.

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