Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Kerry O'Connells

     St. Thomas had Cork O'Connells and Kerry O'Connells.  
     The immigrant ancestor of the Kerry O'Connell families is John G. O'Connell.  He was born about 1829 in County Kerry but the exact place has not been found.
     He first settled in Brown Township, Delaware, Ohio.  He was married on 9 April 1861 at St. Mary's Church in Delaware to Mary Ann Pyle (or Piles). The first four children were born in Brown Township and baptized at St. Mary's.  They were Mary Agnes, Ellen Theresa, John W. and Elizabeth.  
     By 1870, the family was living in Minnesota.  They appear in the 1870 in Belle Plaine. By November of that year, they appear in the St. Thomas Church records.  David Thomas was baptized 18 Nov 1870. Two more sons were born to them:  Daniel and Sylvester. By 1875, they appeared in the state census in Derrynane Township. 
John G. O'Connell, Ellen O'Connell Ronayne, James Doherty & Mary  Ronayne Doherty
     The three O'Connell sisters all married Ronaynes.  Mary Agnes married James Ronayne. Ellen married Cornelius Ronayne.  James and Cornelius were brothers.  Elizabeth married Dennis Ronayne (he may have been a cousin to the brothers Ronayne).  
     John W. O'Connell married a Cork O'Connell.  She was Catherine O'Connell, daughter of Michael O'Connell and Mary Slattery.  
     Daniel O'Connell never married. 
     David Thomas O'Connell married Margaret Doherty, daughter of James Doherty and Ann Heatherston. 
     Sylvester O'Connell married Margaret Murray who also has roots in St. Thomas. 

     John G. O'Connell had no siblings in the area. He may have had a brother, David, in Brown Township, Delaware, Ohio.  Soon there may be DNA results to prove or disprove that!  He did have relations in the area.  In Belle Plaine, was Johanna O'Connell Kelleher.  Johanna and her husband Martin Kelleher also lived in Brown Township, Delaware Ohio near David O'Connell before coming to Minnesota. David O'Connell was the godfather for Johanna's son Martin.  David was also the godfather of John W. O'Connell, John G.'s son. Johanna's descendant, Agnes Bailey, said that Johanna and John G. were cousins. Johanna O'Connell Kelleher claimed to be "related to" Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator. 
This photo was submitted to by  Kathy Finn. 
     Another relation in the St. Thomas area was Catherine Galvin O'Leary. Her husband was James O'Leary.  They also lived in Derrynane Township.  Information from Ann O'Connell Burns says that Catherine Galvin O'Leary's father was John G.'s uncle.  His name was Maurice Galvin or Gallivan.  He was from the Ballybunion area of County Kerry.  Maurice and his family lived in St. Paul. 


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Memorial Day Mass

There will be a Memorial Day Mass at St. Thomas Church at 9 AM on Monday, May 28th.
Father Roger Hessian will be the presider.

150 Years, Battle of New Ulm

     August of this year marks the sesquicentennial of the event known by a number of names, including the Battle of New Ulm, the Sioux Uprising and the Dakota Conflict.
     A number of St. Thomas area men were members of the Le Sueur Tigers No. 2. (Roster)

 Luke Smith appears in the 1860 census.  He was living in Hillsdale Township (later renamed Tyrone). According to the census he was born in Ireland in 1832.  He was single at the time of the census and a farmer. 

     Mathew Ahern is indexed as Herron in the 1860 census. He was 30 years old and born in Ireland.  He is living in Hillsdale Township with his family.  His wife is identified as Bridget Foley Herron. (Unusual to have a maiden name in the census record!) The children are Catherine, William and Mary A.  Living in the household is Catherine Herron, possibly Mathew's sister. 
     Other volunteers who survived the conflict were James Doherty (1st Corporal--Tyrone), Samuel Doherty (Private--Tyrone), Daniel Burns (Private--Tyrone), Thomas Fowler (Private--Derrynane), Michael Heatherston (Private--Tyrone), William Murray (Private--Tyrone), and Henry Regan (Private--Tyrone).  Also in the roster is "C. Roman".  This is quite possibly Cornelius Ronayne.  Ronayne is sometimes rendered as Ronan.

      Some on the roster who also lived in Hillsdale were P. Horrisberger, Pete Stauff, William Snell, and William Luskey (No. 1).

     There will be a memorial dedicated to the Le Sueur Tigers in Le Sueur on August 19, 2012.
     The Brown County Historical Society is acknowledging the sesquicentennial as well--150th Commemoration of the U.S.-Dakota War.
     A Google search will bring up a wealth of information about this historical event that a number of our St. Thomas ancestors participated in.