Please send any information you may have
ROOTS IN IRELAND
Born Nicholas John O'Connor, my great grandfather's name was changed (at the time of enlistment into the U.S. Army) to CONNOR. Research as of 2001 has not yielded information as to the origins of the O'Connor Family in Ireland; however, Nicholas' daughter -in -law, Mary Agnes Egan Connor, asserted that they came from County Sligo. Mary Agnes, my grandmother, also reported that the family "subscribed" to the (in)famous "Milesian Tradition" (scoffed at by scholars) that the "O'Connors decended from Milesius (King of Spain) through his son, Heremon" during the early middle ages. What is amazing, however, is that my grandmother (in her 80's at the time) could recite this tradition, spelled correctly, just as it appears in Irish literature.
What is credible, however, is the scholarly report by Nicholas' Grandson, Larry "Bo" Connor, that Nicholas came with his family as a youngster "from New York" to settle in Lafayette, Indiana. Details regarding the family's emigration have not yet been discovered; however, we can calculate from the tradition that "he was 18 at the time of his military enlistment" on Feb. 15, 1867, that he was probably born in 1849; and subsequent documents confirm that he was born in Ireland! The names (and origins) of his parents have not been passed down except as above; however there is a tradition that his father's given name was also Nicholas, and census data confirms the tradition that both his parents were born in Ireland.
There is no tradition or research to indicate how many siblings were in young Nicholas' family; but it is known that he had sisters named Jane and Kate. Jane married Peter Noonan; and Kate Married Walter Clark. [Ellen married Tim Splann????] (This latter assertion needs confirmation)
Click here to import or review the website for Margaret's family.
(Patrick and Bridget Foley)
TIPPECANOE COUNTY INDIANA
Recalling that the Civil War ended in 1865, Nicholas "came of age" for military duty just two years later; as the U.S. military's focus and mission had turned to activities in "the west" ...generically referred to as "Indian fighting." The record shows that Nicholas enlisted for a 3 year "hitch" on February 15, 1867, suggesting (since it was no longer wartime) that he had an "interest" in things military ...or, at least, in adventure.
MILITARY SERVICE: NICHOLAS CONNOR
It is rather unusual for the military record of enlisted soldiers of this era to be recorded in detail; but the circumstances of Nicholas' early death from a service-connected illness, and the documentation required to investigate his death and his widow's eligibility for a pension, prompted the U.S. War department to command a full summary of Nicholas' service which was forwarded to the pension authorities, and which has been preserved. CLICK HERE to see War department's response and recital of Nicholas' military record. A typewritten transcription of that record is as follows:
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE
Washington, D.C. January 3rd, 1888
Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions
Nicholas Connor enlisted on the 15th day of February, 1867 and was assigned to Company I, 22nd Regiment of U.S. Infantry. Was forwarded to Regiment from Newport Barracks, Kentucky February 26th, 1867. Detachment Roll February 28, 1867 reports him: "Present for duty" at Winona, Minnesota. Muster roll of Detachment April 30, 1867, reports him: "Present for duty" on board steamer Northern Belle, Mississippi River. (Detachment was at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, from March 1, 1867 to April 29, 1867.) Was assigned to and joined Company I May 23, 1867.
Transferred to Company A, same regiment in May 1869 by consolidation of companies. Muster roll February 28, 1870 reports him: "Discharged February 15, 1870 by expiration of service at Fort Sully, Dakota Territory, as Private."
Not reported sick on any muster roll during service.
Stations of Company:
Fort Randall, Dakota Territory: May 23-25, 1867 Fort Rice, Dakota Territory: June 16, 1867 to June 22, 1869. Fort Sully Dakota Territory: June 23, 1869 to date of discharge.
Report of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army herewith....
[bottom of document seems to be clipped; but new & full records are being requested]
CLICK HERE to see the complete history of the 22nd Infantry!
Nicholas Connor (formerly O'Connor) married Margaret ("Maggie") Foley April 24, 1876, in St. Ann's Catholic Church in Lafayette, Indiana. He was 27; she was 19. Five months later, their first child, John, was born. Seven other children followed, one of whom, May, died as an infant, and Gertrude, the second child, died at the age of 6.
|Name||Age||Relationship||Occupation||Birthplace||Father's Birthplace||Mother's Birthplace|
John October 1, 1876 Gertrude 1878 Died at age 6 Henry ("Harry") Nicholas January 3, 1879 - July 3, 1940 Arthur ("Tommy") January 4, 1881 May ??? Died in infancy Florence August 9, 1884 Frank March 15, 1886 - Nicholas February 16, 1888 -
After the death of Nicholas Connor, the family had to be split up!
Harry Connor quit school after grade 3 and went to live with the Splann's.
Tim "Cap" Splann became Harry's surrogate father and role model.
Peter Noonan married Jane (O')Connor, sister of Nicholas Connor. [Bo Connor]
Corroborates: Noonan affidavit: "My first wife was sister of said soldier"
Nicolas's sister "Kate" married Walter Clark. [Bo Connor]
Corroborates Clark affidavit!
Steve Hannigan, (Harry Connor's uncle) was married to Margaret Foley's sister Sally. [Rita and Bo concur on this]
Nicholas Jr. was raised (in Lafayette) by Steve and Sally Foley Hannigan.
QUESTION: Who was Mrs. Walter Gay? "Gram Connor" kept in touch with her and sent me her address in 1970 as someone who was a relative and who might know something of the family history. Anyone with info, please CLICK HERE and tell me whatever you know via Email!
DEATH OF NICHOLAS O'CONNOR
The entire "affair" of Nicholas' disability, his post war activities, and death is probably best summarized in the "addendum" to "Bo" Connors book, Hampton Court, which I take the liberty to adapt as follows: Nicholas' name was changed from O'Connor to Connor at the time of his enlistment. He was discharged as a private after serving a three year hitch. Joining the service proved to be a mistake. He contracted "lung fever" in the harsh winter at Fort Rice in the Dakota Territory (where he spent the vast majority of his time in the service.) This was followed by acute rheumatism due to exposure. After his discharge from service, he became a railroader but for the rest of his life he was bothered by pain in his hips and legs, often being forced to spend weeks in bed, until he died in 1887 at the age of 38. The Tippecanoe Health Department listed his death as due to typho-malarial fever.
CLICK HERE to see Nicholas O'Connor's death certificate.
MAGGIE'S TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
PHOTOS OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS ARE ON LINE:
Maggie's affidavit regarding Nicholas' illness and her request to locate his military commanders.
War department's response and recital of Nicholas' military record
Maggy's official application for Widow's pension for her 4 children. [Still pregnant with Nick Jr.]
In 1895, Maggie was apparently required to furnish more proof of her eligibility for widow's pension. By this time, her eldest son, John would have been 19 and her youngest, Nick Jr. would have been just 7. The family was still living in Lafayette, Tippecanoe County. Maggie apparently had no problem rounding up relatives to provide the necessary sworn statements (Affidavits.)
PHOTOS OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS ARE ON LINE:
Affidavit by Catherine Clark in support of Maggie's claim.
Affidavit by Lawrence Clark in support of Maggie's claim
Affidavit by Stephen Hannagan in support of Maggie's claim.
Affidavit by Peter Noonan in support of Maggie's claim
Affidavit by Timothy Splan in support of Maggie's claim
MAGGIE'S LIFE WITH GROWN CHILDREN
DEATH OF MAGGIE CONNOR
At the time of Maggie's death, a "drop report" was generated by the Indianapolis office that managed her pension payments. CLICK HERE to see a copy of that report.