Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone! Especially to all my ancestors who made the long journey from Ireland in the 19th century:

  • John Bogue – arrived 1825, age 16, to Baltimore
  • Margaret (wife of Henry Bogue) – arrived 1825, age 43, to Baltimore
  • Mary Ann (wife of Nicholas Gorman) – arrived 1824-1826, age 26-28, from County Down to Baltimore
  • Nicholas Gorman – arrived 1827, age 48, from County Down to Baltimore
  • Henry Bogue – arrived after 1833, from County Fermanagh
  • John Cummings – arrived 1834, age 8, to Baltimore
  • Alexander Cummings (father of John Cummings) – arrived 1834, age 32, from County Tyrone to Baltimore
  • Mary McKuskey (mother of John Cummings) – arrived 1834, age 35, from County Tyrone to Baltimore
  • Thomas Leland (father of Mary Ellen Leland) – arrived after 1837, from Woodfield, Knockvicar, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
  • Mary Martin (mother of Mary Ellen Leland) – arrived after 1837
  • Patrick F. Collins – arrived before 1840, from County Cork
  • Dorothy “Dolly” Kelly (mother of James O’Conor) – arrived after 1840
  • Michael Loughran – arrived before 1842
  • Bridget Flanagan – arrived before 1842
  • Daniel Hurley – arrived before 1842
  • Maria Ann (wife of John Bogue) – arrived before 1845
  • James Lacy (father of James Joseph Lacy) – arrived 1847-1854, age 29-35, from Kilbrin, County Cork
  • James Joseph Lacy – arrived 1848, age 8, from County Cork to Baltimore
  • Mary Elizabeth Sheehan (mother of James Joseph Lacy) – arrived 1848, age 30, from County Cork to Baltimore
  • Sarah Lee Farrell – arrived 1849, age 9, from County Roscommon to Baltimore
  • Edward Francis Levelle – arrived in 1849, age 11
  • Rose McKeyley (grandmother of John Cummings) – arrived before 1850
  • Mary Josephine O’Connor – arrived 1850-1853, age 5-8, from County Cork
  • William Galvin – arrived 1850-57, age 24-31, from County Galway to Baltimore
  • James O’Conor – arrived 1852, age 23
  • Mary Ellen Leland – arrived 1853, age 16, from County Roscommon

For reference, the Great Famine lasted from 1845-1852, but there were previous failures of the potato crop:

  • 1821-1822 – Munster and Connaught
  • 1830-1831 – Counties Mayo, Donegal, and Galway
  • 1835 – Ulster
  • 1832-1834, 1836-1837, 1839, 1841, 1844 – general crop losses due to dry rot and curl

    The counties of Ireland

A Country Divided – But Not a Family

I recently stumbled onto a new piece of information about an ancestor, William P. Cummings – even though he lived and died in Baltimore, he fought in the Civil war for Ohio. I have yet to figure out the reason for this, and I am sure there is one, but it gave me inspiration for a new post.

Listed below are the relative who I know enlisted and those who registered for the draft. Obviously, my family is not full of career soldiers as no one lasted longer than a year. I lied – I just found  new one. I’m sure there are still more to be discovered, but for now, here they are:

Enlistments:

  • JamesO’Conor (1829-1911) [direct ancestor]
    • Union
    • Enlisted Date: 20 Oct 1861
    • Mustered Out: 18 Sep 1862
    • Rank: Private
    • Regiment: Company E, 1st Cavalry Regiment Maryland
  • William Peyton Cummings (1831-1901) [brother of direct ancestor]
    • Union
    • Enlisted Date: 19 Apr 1861
    • Mustered Out: 18 Aug 1861
    • Rank: Private
    • Regiment: Company F, Ohio 12th Infantry Regiment
  • John B.Thoms (1837-?) [brother of direct ancestor]
    • Union
    • Enlisted Date: 17 Jun 1861
    • Discharged: 10 Aug 1861
    • Rank: Ensign
    • Regiment: Company F, 15th New York Engineers
    • Resigned at Fairfax Seminary, VA
  • William Baker Smallwood (1843-1891) [brother of direct ancestor]
    • Union
    • Enlisted Date: 1861
    • Discharged: Sep 1865
    • Rank: Private
    • Regiment: Company A, 1st Maryland Light Artillery; Company B, Maryland Light Artillery

Draft Registration

  • James Joseph Lacy (1840-1913) [direct ancestor]
    • State: Maryland (Union)
    • Registration: Jun 1863
  • DanielWooters (1845-1920) [direct ancestor]
    • State: Maryland (Union)
    • Registration: Jul-Aug 1863
    • Remarks: Currently in service in the 1st Eastern Shore Regiment (this regiment fought in Gettysburg)
  • Gabriel Schaffer
    • State: Maryland (Union)
    • Registration: Jul 1863
EDIT - 
7/31/14 11:16 PM - added William Baker Smallwood
8/1/14 11:42 PM - added Gabriel Schaffer

How many degrees of separation to FDR?

I’m not very good at figuring out how many degrees of separation there are between me and someone, but this one is definitely less than the required six degrees.

Pictured below is Herbert Romulus O’Conor with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, taken sometime in the 1940s. I always seem to come across new photos when using Google from time to time. This one is from the Baltimore Sun.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Major General Charles Macon Wesson, and Maryland Governor Herbert O'Conor at Aberdeen Proving Grounds

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Major General Charles Macon Wesson, and Maryland Governor Herbert O’Conor at Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Maryland’s wartime governor, Herbert Romulus O’Conor, a Democrat (right), was the fourth Roman Catholic to be elected to the governorship and the first of Irish descent. He was born in 1896 in Baltimore and raised on Homewood Avenue in the old Irish 10th Ward.

 
He was a graduate of Loyola High School and, in 1917, from what is now Loyola University Maryland. After graduating from the University of Maryland Law School in 1920, O’Conor was appointed an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore, and then served a decade as state’s attorney for Baltimore City.

 
In 1934, he was elected attorney general, and governor four years later, easily beating the incumbent Harry W. Nice. In addition to serving as the state’s leader during World War II, O’Conor initiated the construction of bridges over the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers as well as the purchase of the Claiborne-Annapolis ferry route.

 
O’Conor created the Commission on Post War Reconstruction in 1944, which conducted public works programs and built highways and public buildings. The next year, he founded the Medical Care program which provided health care for those who were needy.

 
He successfully ran for the U.S. Senate seat that was held by George L. Radcliffe in 1946, and retired in 1953, when he returned to the private practice of law. He was 63 when he died in 1960, and was buried in New Cathedral Cemetery.

Quoted from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bal-oconor-20031209,0,1906444.photo

O’Conor Graves (St. Joseph’s, Cockeysville)

A few years ago, I took my first trip to a cemetery to look for my ancestors’ graves, hoping to gain more details into their lives. St. Joseph’s, Cockeysville has a small cemetery next to the parish. I am not sure how active this cemetery is anymore, but it is well maintained and easily accessible; the church and connecting school are still operational. This Catholic church was founded in 1852 in the area known as Texas, Maryland, serving the mainly Irish immigrant population who worked in the nearby limestone quarries (this limestone was used in the building of Washington Monument along with many other national and state buildings). More on the history of Texas can be found here.

This cemetery was the perfect starting off point for my “dead-people hunting” as I lovingly call it. I love old cemeteries, though they do give me the heebie-jeebies sometimes. Its small footprint made it easy to traverse the whole site within a couple hours (with some help from my family). What made it even easier was the unusual surname I was looking for, O’Conor.

O’Conor is not an uncommon name, generally speaking, but the way in which it is spelled is. Within Maryland, I can confidently say that anyone with the last name of O’Conor is almost definitely related to me, as most spell it O’Connor (with two n’s). The name actually started out as Connor when my ancestors first immigrated but decided to change it (that’s a story for another post). Any O’Conors to be found at St. Joseph’s Cemetery were my ancestors.

James O’Conor, his wife, Sarah Farrell, and almost all their children are buried here, with one four-sided marker.

I also found the grave of Margaret Carroll Connor, wife of Patrick Connor. Patrick is the brother of James O’Conor, giving additional proof to the fact that the O’Conors were originally Connors (along with many other pieces of evidence, like census records).

And then there were these plot markers:

There are a few Hugh O’Conors in the family, but my guess is that it is the plot of Hugh O’Conor (1832-abt 1880), the brother of Patrick Connor and James O’Conor.

The O’Conor-Dalton plot is probably that of Thomas J. Dalton (d. 1940), his wife Mary Elizabeth O’Conor (1863-1903), and possibly their family. Mary is the daughter of John O’Conor/Connor (abt. 1825-1912) and Elizabeth Doyle (1840-1890) and the niece of Patrick, James, and Hugh.

Hopefully, in the future, I can revisit this cemetery and go through the graves again with new information I have gained since my last visit. Stay tuned for more about the O’Conor family.

To learn more about those mentioned in this post, visit my family tree http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/15338424/family (you must be a member of Ancestry.com to view it).