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O'Connor Arms 

 

     Connors Family from Ireland to America

Connors, of course, is a form of O'Connor. It is one of the most common Irish names in America and in Ireland. We know 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 all walks of life. There is a terrific website dedicated to the name. It is the Connors/ O'Connor Single Surname Study and its run by another Patrick Connors.

Pat Connors

Our family's original Connors immigrant to America came from Waterford according to family belief. The name is very common so sorting possible matches is a chancey business, but our best guess is what follows. Dates given on census records for the year of immigration vary widely from 1860 in 1900 to 1846 in 1910 with 1855 on the 1905 New York Census. 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 or of our Patrick is unknown. An 1860 census entry in Troy, New York shows a Patrick of the right age living with Michael Connors, aged 30, so possibly a brother or cousin of Patrick. The name is fairly common and other possibilities exist for the right person, but Patrick lived later in Troy. Records from nearby Adams Massachusetts show Pat Connors being wed to Ann  Taafee in November of 1860. We know her as Mary but one of the passenger manifests for 1851 lists Mary A. Taafee and this could be she. The 1865 New York Census finds Patrick and Mary Connors living in Columbia County, New York with a one month old baby called John. This, too, is within twenty miles of Troy.



Michael Connors, son of Patrick and Mary was born in 1867. His death certificate says his mother's name was Mary Taafee. However, all relevant census files subsequent to 1865 show Patrick's wife as Annie and we know from later census' that her surname was Moylan. This indicates that Mary and the baby John did not survive long. By 1870 Patrick Connors is living in Greenbush, Westchester County, New York with Annie, his new wife and two children, Michael and another John. This second John born of Annie seems to reflect the loss of the first boy. Patrick is employed as a "foreman of laborers". Several men listed on the same page of the census are called "blasters". Obviously, heavy construction was underway in Westchester County. Brooklyn Bridge construction was underway at that time and many workers lived in Westchester County, close to the work site. The family is not found in New York in 1875 but was probably living in Massachusetts where son Edward was born in 1876.

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 age 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

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! Twenty years later she is 45.
Patrick was 35 in 1870 and only 42 ten years later. In the 1910 census his age is 60, but the date of immigration is 1846, 64 years before 1910. 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 that 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.  The family, without Michael continues in the record until 1910 in the Bronx, New York where Pat was employed by the city in the Parks Department as a foreman of laborers. Between 1900 and 1905 the family name was changed to O'Connor. Michael's name stayed Connors.

Michael Connors

Michael Connors like his father, worked at road construction and traveled a great deal. In 1898 he was living in Mossgrove, Pennsylvania outside Pittsburg, where Sandy's father, Raymond Connors was born. The 1910 Census has the family living in Montour Falls, New York:


      Michael Connors age. 43 -  General Foreman
      Eva (Everts) 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 County, 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 century but has faded now.

For some reason, Michael had been 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 between them 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 three of Michael's half brothers appeared at the Raymond Connors house. They had not had contact for many years. They were Edward, Charles, and William O'Connor. 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.

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