Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The CONDRON discoverer of the Poseidon nugget

I have posted twice before about John (Jack) CONDRON, who in 1906 shared in the discovery of the Poseidon gold nugget with his fellow-miners Sam WOODALL, Frederick EVA and George BROOKS (John Condron strikes it rich and Australian Gold!). Today, with the help of correspondent Karen, I can definitively identify the CONDRON discoverer of the Poseidon nugget and his family.

The crucial document, a copy of which Karen sent me, that identifies John CONDRON is an Order of the Supreme Court of Victoria, dated 26 March 1908, granting administration of the estate of John CONDRON late of Newbridge-on-Loddon (Victoria), miner, to his brother James CONDRON of Bridgewater-on-Loddon, labourer. John left property at Newbridge valued at forty pounds, comprising a piece of land gifted to him by his grandfather, James MURPHY, in 1872, and a six-room house. (The land was granted to James MURPHY in 1855.) Together with other assets - principally money on deposit at the Union Bank of Australia, Tarnagulla - his estate was worth almost four hundred and forty four pounds. The clincher for me that identifies this John CONDRON as our man is that his assets include a twenty pounds debt owed by "Frederick Eva of near Bendigo Hotel-Keeper, money lent on or about September 14 1907" - i.e. money lent to his fellow miner and co-discoverer of the nugget. John died without leaving a Will, and according to his brother James's sworn statement the beneficiaries of his estate were to be "his brothers and sisters equally who are his only next of kin him surviving".

The picture above is a plaster replica of the Poseidon nugget at Museum Victoria. According to a report in a Melbourne newspaper, The Argus, for 22 April 1933, the four miners who shared in the nugget's discovery divided about three thousand five hundred pounds on its assay value. So John CONDRON's net worth on his death, though rather less than one quarter of this amount, is consistent with him having received a substantial fraction of what the nugget fetched.

From the records of the births, marriages and deaths in the state of Victoria, we can piece together the details of John CONDRON's larger family. His parents were Thomas CONDRON (son of John CONDRON and Mary O'DONOHUE) and Catherine MURPHY (daughter of James MURPHY - mentioned above - and Mary BOLTON). Thomas died in 1907 and Catherine in 1906, both in "Tallegalla" (which may be the same as Tarnagulla), Victoria. I cannot positively identify the marriage of Thomas and Catherine. There was a marriage of a Thomas CONDRON and a Catherine MURPHY at St. Nicholas's Roman Catholic church in Dublin in 1851; but if this is the same couple, I have been unable to find any immigration record of them moving to Australia, and we also know that Catherine's father James was obtaining land in Australia by 1855. Thomas and Catherine are presumably the two people each identified as "old-age pensioner" in the early 20th century as mentioned in my earlier post.

I believe that Thomas and Catherine had at least seven children: Martha (born about 1854), John the discoverer of the nugget (1856), James (1858),  Jane (1859), William (1865), Catherine Theresa (1867), and possibly also Joseph (1873). William was born in Newbridge, and Joseph was born in Tarnagulla, but where the other children were born is unknown for now. John's sister Jane may be the person identified as doing "house duties" in my earlier post. She married a Thomas RYAN fairly late in life, in 1916. James appears to have married a Mary Ann McDONNELL in 1887. James and Mary Ann had at least four children: William Richard (1888), Aileen (1890), Albert James (1892) and George (1896, died in infancy). Of these, at least Albert James CONDRON went on to have further descendents.

I would be pleased to hear from any descendants or anyone else having additional information about this family,  and as always I'd welcome any corrections to any of the above details. The email address is condran[AT] (replace the "[AT]" with an "@").

One last puzzle. Correspondent Alan CONDRON, who is not related to this family, kindly sent me a photograph (below) of "Condron's Globe Hotel" from the State Library of Victoria collection. I understand that the building still exists, at Bridgewater, Victoria, next to the Loddon river. It has an inscription "1890". As all the CONDRONs I've come across in Bridgewater are part of this family, the question is, who owned the hotel? If you know, please tell me!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Cavan to Victoria

The newspaper announcements that became more frequent in the second half of the nineteenth century complement and in some cases add poignancy to the records of births, marriages and deaths.

I have written previously of Thomas and Eliza (nee McGovern) CONDRON, who were married in 1823 in Kildrumferton, Co. Cavan, Ireland, and who made a new life with their family in the state of Victoria, Australia. Their eldest children, Maryanne (b. 1824), Catherine (b. 1826) and Martha (b. 1829) emigrated to Australia first, arriving aboard the "Wallace" on 3 Nov. 1844. The rest of the family - parents Thomas and Eliza, and children Elizabeth (b. 1831), John (b. 1833), Robert (b. 1836), Jane (b. 1838), Thomas (b. 1841), Isabella (b. 1844) and William (b. 1846) - are recorded as living in Kirkdale, Lancashire, in the 1851 census of England, and most of them appear to have arrived in Australia aboard the "Runnymede" on 3 June 1852.

The marriage records for the state of Victoria give supporting evidence to a number of family trees uploaded by members to It appears that Maryanne married Robert WHITE in Melbourne in either 1846 or 1848, Martha married  James Nall MARRIS in 1848, Eliza married John DICK in 1854 and Jane married James McILROY in 1861.

From 1862 we start to find mention of the family in the announcements column of The Argus newspaper published in Melbourne. (These are available online at Trove.) In December of that year, the paper records the recent marriage of "Isabella, sixth daughter of Mr. Thomas Condron, Fitzroy, late of the County Cavan" to Joshua MOONEY. In April 1872 it records the death "through an accident" of "Thomas, the third and beloved son of Thomas and Eliza Condron, of Brunswick-street, Fitzroy, aged 30".

Youngest son William married Margaret Annie RAINSFORD in 1870, but the death of "Margaret Annie, the beloved wife of Mr. William Condron of Brunswick-street, Fitzroy" is recorded in the paper two years later. William is described as a "corn merchant", and the couple appear to have had no children. The death of Thomas CONDRON senior at his residence, 390 Brunswick-street, Fitzroy, is recorded in The Argus the next year. William remarried, this time to Louisa Agnes ARNOLD, in 1874, and The Argus carries the joyful announcement in July 1875 of the birth of a daughter to the "wife of W[illia]m Condron, produce merchant". Sadly, in February of the next year, the paper announces the death of "Eliza Evaline, the only and beloved child of William and Louisa Condron, aged six months", and further tragedy follows in March with the announcement of the death of "Louisa Agnes, the beloved wife of Mr. William Condron, aged 26".

Meanwhile, William's elder brother Robert had married Margaret E. BOURKE in 1855, and had three children, including William (b. 1856). Margaret died in 1860, and Robert married Caroline PEACHEY in 1863. The couple had seven children, but Caroline died in 1876, aged 32 years. The Argus for 2 May 1876 announces, "The friends of Mr Robert Condron are respectfully invited to follow the remains of his late wife to the place of interment, Coburg Cemetery". The first five of Robert and Caroline's children - Sarah Jane (b. 1863), Robert (b. 1865), Mary Ann (b. 1868), Elizabeth Henrietta (b. 1869) and James (b. 1871) - were born in Pentridge, while the last two - Susan (b. 1874) and James (b. 1876) - were born in Coburg. Robert appears to have married a third time, in 1876, this time to Mary QUINN. They had one son, Fredrick (b. 1877), who married Ethel Kate PHILLIPS in 1900. Fredrick and Ethel had five children, all born in Coburg: Ethel May (b. 1901), Mary Lillian (b. 1903), Elsie Freda (b. 1907), Robert Charles (b. 1909) and Fredrick (b. 1912).

Eliza CONDRON senior died in September 1881: "at her residence, 386 Brunswick-street, Fitzroy, Eliza, relict of hte late Mr Thomas Condron, aged 78 years".

The births, marriages and deaths records for the state of Victoria record a further marriage of a William CONDRON to Rebecca Ann SHEARER in 1877. Several of the online family trees state that this is the third marriage of William, son of Thomas and Eliza (i.e. after his second wife Louisa died in 1876). This may well be correct, but for now I can find no definitive evidence to decide whether this is indeed the correct William or whether perhaps it is William, son of Robert and  Margaret, who was born in 1856 and who therefore would have been of marriageable age by 1877. William and Rebecca had eight children, most of whom were born in Fitzroy: Ada Eliza (b. 1878), May Eva (b. 1880), Maud Margaret (b. 1882), William (b. 1883), Lottie (b. 1885), Harry (b. 1887), Mellie (b. 1890) and Nora (b. 1891).

What of the other two children of Thomas and Eliza CONDRON? Online trees indicate that Catherine, who had emigrated with her sisters in 1844, married a William CLARKSON in New South Wales in 1845. As for John (b. 1833), quite probably he is the John CONDRON of Wangaratta mentioned in my previous blog post, "Australian Gold!".

The above details are pieced together from the newspaper announcements and from the indexes of births, marriages and deaths for Victoria. Perhaps the living descendants of Thomas and Eliza CONDRON have copies of the actual certificates, or other records of family history that add definiteness or further information to what I have found. I would be delighted to hear from them: Condran[AT] (replace the "[AT]" with "@").

Please note that, as usual, the above birth dates could be off by one year because the year given is that in which the birth was recorded or, in some cases, is derived from census ages or baptismal dates.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

CONDRONs in unexpected places

CONDRAN, CONDREN, CONDRIN and CONDRON are not common names, but you are more likely to find CONDR*Ns in some places than in others. When it's a sparsely populated area, you are even less likely to find a CONDR*N there by chance. So I was very surprised to spot this sign ("The CONDRONS") hanging outside a house this summer. At the time I was driving up a rather inaccessible dirt road in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  In order to respect their privacy, I shan't give the location more precisely.

A correspondent recently told me of CONDRONs in another unexpected place. Those CONDRONs are a family living in Sweden -  the only CONDR*Ns in Scandinavia, as far as I know.

I have recently been researching CONDR*Ns in the records of passengers leaving the UK on board ships. The records cover the period 1890 to 1960, and are for long-haul voyages from the UK to destinations outside the UK and continental Europe. Mostly the CONDR*Ns recorded there appear to have been emigrating, or in a few cases are emigrants who have returned to visit home. The most common destinations are the US (174 instances), Canada (37 instances) and Australia (28 instances). But a few destinations are more surprising. One CONDREN girl aged 15 sailed to Bombay in 1935 with the declared intention of living permanently in India. In other cases, CONDR*Ns sailed to Kenya, South Africa, Jamaica, Martinique (en route to St Lucia), Malta and the Canary Islands, to name some of the more unusual ones. Are there CONDR*Ns there still?

Perhaps in your travels you will find CONDR*Ns in these or other unexpected places!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

An old Wicklow family

Bond Street bridge, Wicklow

County Wicklow, which lies to the south of Dublin on the east coast of Ireland, held 26 households containing at least one CONDR*N in the 1901 Irish census, and 28 such households in the census of 1911. Throughout the nineteenth century, few CONDR*Ns are to be found in the interior of the county, but there are quite a number of CONDR*N baptisms and marriages along the west side of county - particularly in the Roman Catholic parishes of Clonmore and Dunlavin - and along the eastern seaboard - particularly in the Roman Catholic parishes of Kilquade, Wicklow and Arklow (though in the last case, many of these CONDR*Ns were actually living across the county border in Co. Wexford).

In the coming months I shall attempt to establish the family lineages of a number of the Co. Wicklow CONDR*Ns, but for now I focus on just one such family, who are found in the county town of Wicklow Town in both the 1901 and 1911 censuses. In 1901, the widow Maria CONDRON is living in Bond Street, Wicklow Town, with four daughters. In 1911, the same widow is still living in Bond Street but with just two of her daughters.

In Irish genealogy, it is generally hard to trace most families back before the 1820s or so, because of the paucity of parish records and the destruction of the all-Ireland censuses that took place before 1901. In the case of this family, however, I have made a reasonable reconstruction back to the eighteen century ... just. The family are variously recorded as CONDREN and CONDRON. Here I shall refer to them consistently as CONDRON, while noting that e.g. in the 1901 census they appear as CONDREN.

Pat CONDRON was father to four children who were baptised in the Roman Catholic parish of Wicklow in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: Owen (baptised in 1798), Edward (1802), Hanna (1806) and Pat (1810). So Pat the father was probably born in the 1770s or earlier. His son Owen himself fathered four children also baptised in the parish of Wicklow: Pat (baptised in 1827), Edmund (1830), Owen (1833) and James (1837). I infer from the rarity of the name "Owen" that this is the same James who marries Maria CONWAY in Wicklow parish in 1872, because his father's name is recorded as "Owen". James and Maria had nine children, all baptised in Wicklow parish: Robert (1873), Eugene (1875), George (1876), Maria L. (1878), Edward (1880, died 1884), Rose (1883, died 1884), Jane Frances (1884), Elizabeth (1891) and Christina (1893).

James died sometime before the 1901 census, for it is his wife Maria who is the widow living in Wicklow Town in 1901, together with daughters Maria L., Jane F., Elizabeth and Christina. Two of her sons, Eugene and George, are recorded in the 1901 census of England on board a vessel in Bristol, Eugene being the captain and George a mate. In 1911, Maria is still living in Wicklow Town with daughters Maria L. and Christina, while son George is now a ship's captain himself, on board a vessel in New Ross, Co. Wexford. Maria declares that she had nine children, of whom six are still alive at the time of the 1911 census. I believe that Maria herself died in Co. Wicklow in 1935, and that George died in 1944.

It would be interesting to know whether James and perhaps others in this family were also seafarers. If you are related to this CONDRON/CONDREN family, or know anything about them, I would love to hear from you: condran[at] .

[The picture above of Bond Street bridge is copyright of user "speurder". The map below is copyright of Google.]

Map showing Bond Street and Wicklow harbour today

Sunday, 12 August 2012

CONDRONs of County Longford

County Longford, in the province of Leinster, is bordered by the counties of Westmeath (also in Leinster), Roscommon and Leitrim (both in the province of Connaught) and Cavan (in the province of Ulster).  The county is covered by three registration districts: Granard in the north-east (which extends also into Cavan and Westmeath), Ballymahon in the south (which extends into Westmeath) and Longford in the west. Unlike for Co. Cavan across the border, the Co. Longford CONDR*NS appear all to be Catholics. From the beginning of universal civil registration until 1910, the only births, marriages and deaths in the county are to be found in the Granard registration district, and the baptisms of the period are found in the parishes of Abbeylara and Edgeworthstown.

The 1901 and 1911 censuses show CONDRONs in just two households (apart from a Gerald CONDRON who shows up also in his grandparents’ household in 1901, and a servant called Mary CONDRON, born in Co. Westmeath, who appears in the 1911 census). One family is that of James CONDRON , born about 1872, who married Mary Ann KELLY in 1895. Their children, who were mostly baptized in Edgeworthstown, include Gerald (born 1896), James (1899), Bridget (1900) who married in 1924, Peter Joseph (1904), Mary Catherine (1906) who married in 1926, Elizabeth (1909) who died in 1911, Agnes (1912), Christopher (1913) and William (1918). The other family is that Anne CONDRON (nee ARKINS), widow of Patrick CONDRON (born about 1852). Patrick married Anne in Delvin, Co. Westmeath, in 1886, and died at the age of 40 in 1892. The couple had a son, William Joseph CONDRON (born 1890) and baptized in Abbeylara. I believe that William married Rose Anne CASSIDY in 1920 and proceeded to have a number of children who were all baptized in Abbeylara: William Joseph (1923),  Emily (1926), Brendan Thomas (1929) who married Gertrude “Cherry” JOY, Ernest Philip (1933), Aidan Augustine (1935) who married Mary O’LEARY, and Anna (1939).

As usual, I’d be very happy to receive any corrections to the above information, or to hear from any descendents of these families: Condran [AT] .

Monday, 6 August 2012

Condr*n as a given name

Some weeks ago I had a few hours to spare in Washington DC and visited the library of the Daughters of the American Revolution (see picture), which is located close to the White House. I didn’t have high hopes of finding any CONDR*N leads, but in fact there was one book in the library catalogue with CONDR*N connections: “The Ancestors and Descendants of Michael Dan Mitchell (1759-1995)” compiled by Marlene Wilkinson (revised July 1996).

The book details the genealogy of Michael Dan MITCHELL, son of Charles Reeves MITCHELL (1890-1953) and Grace Lenora CONDRAN (1887-1962). As stated there, Grace was the daughter of Patrick CONDRAN and Rachael MORRISEY, both offspring of unknown parentage. Grace was born on 15 May 1887, married Charles MITCHELL on 1 August 1910 in Mitchell, South Dakota (Grace’s home town), and died on 18 February 1962. Charles worked for the Chicago Milwaukee Pacific Railroad and the family lived variously in Aberdeen, South Dakota; Spokane, Washington; and Linton, North Dakota. Charles MITCHELL and his wife Grace (nee CONDRAN) had five children as detailed by the book:
            Condran Finch MITCHELL (1913-1921)
            Charles Thomas MITCHELL (b. 1915)
            Rachael Beverly MITCHELL (b. 1918)
            Mary Patricia MITCHELL (b.1924)
            Michael Dan MITCHELL (1926-1994).

Has anyone else come across Condran, Condren, Condrin or Condron used as the given name (first name, Christian name) of a child, as in Condran Finch MITCHELL?

The U.S. 1910 census shows Grace CONDRAN (aged 22) shortly before her marriage to Charles, living in Mitchell, South Dakota, with her parents Patrick (born in Iowa about 1861 of an Irish-born father and Canadian-born mother) and Rachael, and her younger siblings Michael (aged 20), Anna (18), Harry (17), William (15) and Lucy (13). All the children were born in Iowa. Another child (Patrick and Rachael had seven in total, following their marriage in about 1883) is not present in the household.

Do you know anything more about this family?

Incidentally, announced this week that they have completed the indexing of the U.S. 1940 census. According to the indexation, there are 1352 CONDR*Ns in that census: 164 CONDRANs, 277 CONDRENs, 78 CONDRINs and 833 CONDRONs. There’s quite a bit of research to be done to fit all these people into CONDR*N trees! I happened to note that only one male CONDR*N in this 1940 census was born in England: that was Edward CONDRON (aged 13) in Passaic, New Jersey, son of John (aged 39, a dyer, born in Ireland) and Emma CONDRON (aged 41, born in England). Their other child, Mary (aged 12), was born in New Jersey. Research in the UK births and marriages records reveals that John CONDRON married Emma TAYLOR in the Salford registration district (in the county of Lancashire) in the second quarter of 1924, and Edward CONDRON was born also in Salford registration district in the first quarter of 1925.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A personal puzzle solved, perhaps ...

My great-grandfather Joseph CONDRAN's origins are unclear. His marriage certificate in 1884 gives his likely birth date as 1844 and states that his father is Charles CONDRAN (deceased), a provision merchant. (I think a provision merchant could be a grocer.) I have found Joseph in only two censuses, the 1881 UK census which suggests his birth date as 1841 and gives his birth place as Manchester, Lancashire, England, and the 1891 UK census which suggests his birth date as 1844 and gives his birth place as Cardiff, Wales. Family lore has Joseph CONDRAN as Irish.

In spite of years of searching, I have found no trace of a Charles CONDRAN, provision merchant, either in Ireland or on the UK mainland. I was therefore very interested a few weeks ago to find a marriage record for January, 1884, on the Lancashire Online Parish Clerk project ( of an Eliza CONDRON in Lytham, Lancashire: Eliza is aged 43 and gives her father as Charles CONDRON, grocer. Could Joseph and Eliza CONDR*N, born within a few years of one another in the same county, and giving the same father's name and occupation, be brother and sister?

I sent away for the birth certificate of the only likely Eliza: an Eliza CONDREN born in Manchester in 1840. When a copy of Eliza CONDREN's birth certificate arrived,  it named her mother as Catharine CONDREN but left the father's name blank, suggesting that Eliza was illegitimate.

Quite a number of the 1851 census returns for Manchester were not indexed until recently, because the original census books had been damaged in a flood, but heroic efforts in recent years have meant that many of the missing Manchester census returns have been restored as best they can be and have been indexed. Thus it was that I was able to find Catharine (now recorded as Catherine) CONDRON (aged 43, general servant) and her daughter Eliza CONDRON (aged 10) in the 1851 census for Manchester, in the household of ... Charles CORNER (aged 60), provision dealer. After that I found Catherine and her infant daughter in the 1841 census for Manchester, also in the household of Charles CORNER (aged 50, at that time a baker). In both censuses, both Charles CORNER and Catherine are recorded as having been born in Ireland.

So it's probable that Catherine told her daughter Eliza that her father was called Charles and was a provision dealer / grocer. Subsequently, either through misinterpretation or a deliberate attempt to hide her illegitimacy, Eliza, when she got married in 1884, gave her father as Charles CONDRON, grocer. The father could be Charles CORNER, or possibly his son (also Charles) who was aged 20 in the 1841 census.

Which brings me back to my great-grandfather. The evidence is circumstantial - I have not yet found a record which firmly ties him as a son of Catherine CONDRON. But given the lack of any evidence whatsoever for a Charles CONDRON who was a provision merchant, the coincidence of two people (Joseph and Eliza) of similar age and possibly both from Manchester giving their father as Charles CONDR*N with an occupation of provision merchant or grocer, I think it quite likely that Joseph and Eliza are brother and sister, illegitimate offspring of Catherine CONDR*N who was an Irish-born domestic servant in Manchester, and that their father was not Charles CONDR*N but her employer Charles CORNER who was also born in Ireland.

So perhaps my great-grandfather Joseph wasn't born in Ireland but in England, albeit of two Irish parents. Whether that means I'm still an eighth Irish, as I had always been told, or only one-sixteenth, I haven't yet worked out.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Kilkenny CONDR*Ns

County Kilkenny lies in the Irish province of Leinster. It is bordered on the north by Co. Laois or Leix (Queens County), on the east by Co. Carlow and Co. Wexford, on the south by Co. Waterford and on the west by Co. Tipperary.
CONDR*Ns are uncommon in Co. Kilkenny, but historically there are some living there: between 1864 (when universal civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in Ireland) and 1910, a span of 46 years, there were 23 CONDR*N births registered, 13 marriages and 18 deaths. Fifty of these life events were recorded in the Castlecomer registration district, which covers the north-east corner of the county, and the remaining 4 events in the Kilkenny registration district which covers a band from west to east across the northern half of the county. This geographical restriction to the northern part of the county lends support to the idea that the Kilkenny CONDR*Ns perhaps migrated from Queens County. The most common variant of CONDR*N to be found in Co. Kilkenny is CONDREN.

Although I have not yet fitted all nineteenth-century Kilkenny CONDR*Ns into family trees, those found there in the 1901 and 1911 censuses are mostly accounted for. In each of 1901 and 1911, there are five households in the county containing CONDR*Ns, in addition to one nun in 1901 and two nuns in 1911 who were living in religious houses in the county but were born in Co. Wicklow. Apart from a widow Margaret CONDRON who is living in Clogh in both 1901 and 1911, and a widower Martin CONDRON living in Greenshill in 1901, all households in the censuses are related to just two married couples. Although they are variously spelt CONDREN and CONDRON in the censuses, in what follows I use the spelling CONDREN throughout.

The first couple is Brian (sometimes recorded as Bernard) CONDREN, who married Mary COLLINS in the Roman Catholic parish of Muckalee, Co. Kilkenny, in 1861. I believe that the following 14 children are theirs: Bridget (1861), Ellen (1863), Mary (1865), Margaret (1866), Edward (1868), Anne (1870), Michael (1871), Martin (1873), Bernard (1876), Margaret (1878), Bernard or Brian (1880), Thomas (1882), James (1884) and Patrick James (1887). Brian CONDREN senior died before 1901, but his widow Mary is found in the 1901 census with her daughter Mary and sons Michael, Martin and Bernard. Mary CONDREN senior died in 1904. In 1911, son Michael is living with his wife Mary (nee HARDING), whom he married in Clogh in 1907, and their three children. Martin, who is recorded as a widow (he may have married a Bridget HARDING - Mary's sister, perhaps? - in 1908, in which case she probably died in 1910), is living with his brothers Bernard and Thomas. All these households are living in the townland of Chatsworth, near Clogh. Another son, Edward, is living with his wife Mary (nee BROPHY), whom he married in Castlecomer in 1901, in the townland of Croghtenclogh with their three children. All these places are less than a mile from the border with Queens County.

The second couple is also - confusingly - Brian (sometimes recorded as Bernard) CONDREN, who married Bridget FOGARTY in 1873. I believe they had two children: John (1876) and Thomas (1878). By 1901, Brian has died and his widow Bridget and son John are living in the townland of Uskerty, together with Brian's sister Eliza. By 1911, Eliza has died but Mary and her son John are still living in Uskerty. Two years later, in 1913, John married a Julia BANIM in Coon, Co. Kilkenny, and their descendants now live in Ireland, England and Australia. I am grateful to correspondent Kathy Clare who has given me information about this CONDREN line.

As always, I would welcome any corrections or additional information about the topic of this post: email condran [AT] .

Monday, 4 June 2012

Little Ireland, and an Offaly update

Three months ago I wrote about a puzzle of three CONDRON families of Cloghan, Co. Offaly ("Family 1", "Family 2", "Family 3") because I could find no link between them. I still have not solved that puzzle, though I have found out some more about at least one of the families. In the 1871 UK census, the following members of "Family 3" are living in Hulme, south Manchester: John (age 2) with his parents William (age 28) and Judith (nee ROURKE) and younger sister Jane (age 10 months). In the same household are two other CONDRON families: Thomas (age 30) with wife and one child, and Michael (age 32) with his wife Joanna (nee WALSHE or WELSH). Everyone except Thomas's child was born in Ireland. Could Thomas perhaps be the same Thomas who was head of "Family 2" in Cloghan? It seems quite likely though not proven that William, Thomas and Michael are brothers. One small piece of supporting evidence is that Michael's marriage record to Joanna at St Wilfrid's RC church in Hulme shows that his father was called John, which I know also to be the name of William's father.

The historic townships of Hulme and Chorlton-on-Medlock (not to be confused with Chorlton-cum-Hardy) lie within the registration district of Chorlton, which is located just to the south of Manchester and was separated from it by the River Medlock. (Today this area is very much part of Manchester). Many Irish immigrants lived in Hulme and Chorlton-on-Medlock in the nineteenth century, many CONDR*Ns among them. More than 70 CONDR*N births are recorded in Chorlton between 1845 and 1900.

One area adjacent to the Medlock was known as Little Ireland because of the high density of Irish immigrants living there, and is described in horrific detail by Friedrich Engels in his 1844 book, The Condition of the Working Class in England. Of the Medlock, Engels say, "Along both sides of the stream, which is coal black, stagnant and foul, stretches a broad belt of factories and working-men's dwellings, the latter all in the worst condition." And he goes on:
But the most horrible spot ...  lies on the Manchester side, immediately south-west of Oxford Road, and is known as Little Ireland. In a rather deep hole, in a curve of the Medlock and surrounded on all four sides by tall factories and high embankments, covered with buildings, stand two groups of about two hundred cottages, built chiefly back to back, in which live about four thousand human beings, most of them Irish. The cottages are old, dirty, and of the smallest sort, the streets uneven, fallen into ruts and in part without drains or pavement; masses of refuse, offal and sickening filth lie among standing pools in all directions; the atmosphere is poisoned by the effluvia from these, and laden and darkened by the smoke of a dozen tall factory chimneys. A horde of ragged women and children swarm about here, as filthy as the swine that thrive upon the garbage heaps and in the puddles. ... The race that lives in these ruinous cottages, behind broken windows, mended with oilskin, sprung doors, and rotten door-posts, or in dark, wet cellars, ... this race must really have reached the lowest stage of humanity. ... [I]n each of these pens, containing at most two rooms, a garret and perhaps a cellar, on the average twenty human beings live.
Apparently, and fortunately, Little Ireland was demolished in about 1847. One can only hope that the CONDR*Ns and others who lived in Chorlton district lived in better conditions than Engels so harrowingly described.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Rooting for Jedward!

I admit I'm not a a great fan of the Eurovision Song Contest.  But CONDR*Ns everywhere will have reason to cheer on the Irish entry in the contest this Saturday, 26 May. For the second year in a row, Ireland will be represented by the pop duo Jedward. And Jedward (pictured above) - real names John and Edward GRIMES - are CONDRONs through their mother's side.

I don't generally blog about living CONDRONs, but as all the information here has been obtained from the web, I can say that the twins were born in October 1991 to parents John GRIMES and Susanna CONDRON. Their grandparents were Kevin and Susan CONDRON, of Lucan, and their mother Susanna is one of three sisters. Here's a picture of their granddad Kevin (front row, far right) and great-uncle Francie (front row, far left) as boys in Lucan in 1936 on making their first Holy Communion, according to the Lucan Newsletter.

If any family member, or anyone else, can tell me more about Jedward's CONDRON ancestry, I'd be interested to know.  There have been CONDRONs in Lucan - which is located west of Dublin, near the border between Co. Kildare and Co. Dublin - for more than two hundred years. According to the Lucan Newsletter, the CONDRON family came to Lucan as lock keepers of the 12th Lock on the Grand Canal in the 1750s, and generations of CONDRONs have been lock keepers there since: I plan to post a blog about this CONDRON line some time in the future. But whether the Jedward CONDRONs are related to the lock keepers I have yet to establish. Any further information on the Lucan CONDRONs would be gratefully received.

Good luck, Jedward!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

One hundred and eleven descendants of the Widnes CONDRONs

One of the largest CONDRON family trees that I have reconstructed in the UK contains many CONDRONs in Widnes and the northwest of England who are descendants of Patrick CONDRON (born about 1840 in County Wicklow, Ireland). Patrick and his wife, Bridget HAYES, have at least 111 descendants who bear the CONDRON name by birth (rather than by marriage), including their six children, 23 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, 30 great-great-grandchildren and 28 3xgreat-grandchildren (that I know of).

John Hutchinson founded an alkali factory in Widnes in 1847
Patrick and Bridget probably got married in Ireland, since their first daughter Mary Ann was born in Dublin, but I have not yet located their marriage (can you help me?). In the 1871 census the family is living in Windle, near St Helens in the historic county of Lancashire. By the time of the 1881 census, the family had moved some ten miles south to Widnes. Patrick and at least four of his five sons worked as alkali factory (or chemical factory) workers in Widnes. They may well have worked at the alkali factory founded by John Hutchinson (pictured) which was situated near where the Sankey canal joins the River Mersey in Widnes. The alkali factory is likely to have produced caustic soda and caustic potash, used in many commercial applications including soap-making.

 Patrick and Bridget's children were Mary Ann (born about 1863, who married Thomas WELSH in 1884), Richard (1867), John (1870), Thomas (1873), Patrick (1875) and James (1879).

Richard (1867) married Jane SLATER in 1900. Jane died in 1906 and he then married Ellen SLATER - Jane's sister, perhaps? - in 1915. Richard had children Mary Ann (1900), Ellen, Jane, Alice, Thomas, John, Anthony and Philip.

John (1870) married Mary O'CONNOR in 1896. They had children Michael (1897), Sarah (1899), John (1900), Mary (1903) and Frances (1905).

Patrick (1875) married Margaret GLEAVE in 1898. They had children Thomas (1899), Margaret (1902), Martha (1904), Eileen (1906), James (1910), Sarah (1912), Lilian, Alan, Francis and Cyril. Patrick and Margaret gave rise to quite a number of Widnes CONDRONs today, in particular through their son Thomas (1899) who married Jessie GLOVER.

I have omitted birth dates which occurred less than 100 years ago. I can though share further details with any descendants of Patrick and Bridget who contact me.  As usual, I’d be grateful for any further information or corrections. Email condran[AT]  .

Most dates above should be read as “about …”: they could be off by a year – for example, if a birth was registered in the first quarter of 1897, it could have occurred in late 1896 or early 1897.

I’m grateful to Gemma Condron for sharing Patrick (1875)’s birth certificate via this is the source for Bridget’s surname as HAYES.

Friday, 11 May 2012

What's in a Place Name?

The places in Ireland some of our CONDR*N ancestors came from have such evocative names.  Many times, the place name is an anglicized version of the Gaelic, which is descriptive of the place's physical geography, topography or history.

For example, Tullamore in County Offaly (King's County) comes from the Gaelic Tulach Mhór, meaning Big hill.  Tulach means hill, and Mhór or Mór means big.

Dublin is an anglicized version of Dubh Linn, meaning Black pool.  Dubh means black and Linn means pool.  In this case, as can be seen from the road signs pictured above, the modern Gaelic name is different: the modern Gaelic name for Dublin is Baile Átha Cliath (or just Áth Cliath), meaning Town of the hurdled ford.

And some place names in English and Gaelic are straight translations of one another.  So in the picture above, the names Blackrock and Carraig Dhubh are literal translations of one another (Carraig = rock, and Dhubh or Dubh = black).

Some place names are even older, and derive from the Norse name.  For example, Arklow in County Wicklow comes from the Norse meaning Arnkell’s meadow.

Here are some places that CONDR*Ns come from, their Gaelic names, and their meaning.

  • Athlone (Westmeath), Átha Luain, Luan’s ford
  • Ballylynan (Queen’s Co.), Baile Uí Laigheanáin, O Laigheanan’s homestead
  • Clogh (Kilkenny), Cloch, Stone castle
  • Cloghan (King’s Co.), Clochán, Stony place
  • Clonmacnoise (King’s Co.), Cluain Mhic Nóis, Pasture of the descendants of Noas
  • Clonmore (Carlow), Cluain Mhór, Large pasture
  • Donaghmore (Wicklow), Domhnach Mór, Big church
  • Kilbeggan (Westmeath), Cill Bheagáin, Beagan’s church
  • Rahan (King’s Co.), Raithean, Ferny place
  • Rathdrum (Wicklow), Ráth Droma, Fort of the ridge
  • Screggan (King’s Co.), Screagán, Rough place
  • Shandrum (Cork), Seandroma, Old fort
  • Stradbally (Queen’s Co.), Sráidbhaile, Street-town
  • Tubber (King’s Co.), Tobar, Well
  • Tullamore (King’s Co.), Tulach Mhór, Big hill

My source for this information is the book, “Irish Place Names”, by Deirdre and Laurence Flanagan.  If there are any other Irish place names you’d like to know the meaning of, let me know – I’ll do my best!  Email condran[AT]

Friday, 4 May 2012

Michael CONDRAN of Ellalong, Wollombi

Panorama near Ellalong, NSW.  © Stuart Johnson
In my last blog post I said that newspapers are a great resource. Their announcements can provide extra detail and corroborative evidence of information from other sources.

Here then for those researching Michael CONDRAN of Ellalong, Wollombi (born about 1812, and patriarch of many present-day CONDRANs in New South Wales) and his descendants are some snippets from The Sydney Morning Herald (unless stated otherwise) between 1880 and 1910.

28 August 1880 - MARRIAGES, in The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser
DOYLE-CONDRAN.-July 23, at St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney by the Rev. Father Ryan, Michael Doyle, of the Star Hotel, to Katie, fifth daughter of Michael Condran, Ellalong, Wollombi.

23 August 1884 - MARRIAGES
BARDSLEY--CONDRAN. -August 19, at St. Mary's Cathedral,   by the Rev. Dean Mahoney, Robert Bardsley, of Chapel-on-le-Frith, Derbyshire, England, to Mary Ann (Annie), second daughter of the late Michael Condran, Ellalong, Wollombi.

30 April 1887 - MARRIAGES (also in The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser on 16 April)
FERGUSON-CONDRAN,-April 12th, at St, Michael's, by the Rev. Father Coue, John A. Ferguson, of Sydney, to Victoria Elizabeth, sixth daughter of the late M. C. Condran, of Wollombi.

4 May 1895 - DEATHS
CAZEAU.-March 16, at Sydney, late of Marrickville, after a long and painful illness, Frederic, dearly-beloved husband of Julia Alice Cazeau, and son-in-law of the late M. Condran, Ellalong, Wollombi, aged 43 years.  R.I.P.

6 May 1897 - MARRIAGES
JONES-CAZEAU.-April 28, at Sydney, by the Rev. W. Woolls-Rutledge, Charles Dury Jones, of Sydney, to Julia Alice, third daughter of the late M. Condran, Ellalong, Wollombi.

21 September 1906 - DEATHS
BARDSLEY.-September 20, Mary Anne, second eldest daughter of the late M. Condran, of Ellalong, N.S.W., aged 53 years.  R.I.P.

12 September 1908 - DEATHS
CONDRAN-September 10 at her residence 3 George-street North, Mary Condran, widow of the late Michael Condran, of Wollombi, in her 84th year. R.I.P.

This is all consistent with information I previously had from other sources, that Michael CONDRAN and Mary Ann CONDRON (nee HANLEY) had the following children, born between 1848 and 1867: Ellen, Maryanne, Julia, Bridget, Thomas Henry, Michael, John, Catherine (Kate), Joseph Andrew, Elizabeth and Agnes.

As always, I'd welcome corrections or further information about this family.

I am grateful to Tracy Rogers for drawing my attention to Trove, the wonderful online archive of Australian newspapers which is the source for the above information.

The panoramic photograph is copyright of Stuart Johnson, who has taken a number of striking photographs of the Australian natural environment. Higher resolution versions of the photograph may be obtained via Google Earth or from the photographer.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Marriages and Deaths

Newspapers provide a great additional resource for tracing family ancestors, particularly from the second half of the nineteenth century onwards. Below are some announcements of marriages and deaths that appeared in the Dublin newspaper, The Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, between 1874 and 1895.

According to the British Library newspapers website, The Freeman's Journal was established in Dublin in 1763. It was a four-page daily paper until it doubled in size in 1872. In 1854 at least three Irish newspapers enjoyed far larger readerships than the Journal, but by 1900 it could claim to be the leading Irish newspaper. 


Wed Oct 18, 1876
CONDRON and CULLEN - Oct. 15, at the Church of the Star of the Sea Irishtown, by the Rev. Thomas Leahy, CC, Mr. Francis Condron to Alicia, second daughter of Mr. Wm Cullen.

Sat Feb 14 1880
WHITE and CONDREN - Feb. 9, at the Church of SS. Mary and Peter, Arklow, by the Rev. J. Dunphy, P.P., Michael, third son of the late James White, of Killabegs, to Honora (Oney), second daughter of Morgan Condren, Scarnagh, county Wexford.

Wed Feb 20 1884
CONDREN and WOOLOHAN - Feb 19, 1884, at Ballycooly Catholic Church, by the Rev P Germain, PP, Avoca, assisted by the Rev J Dunphy, PP, Arklow, and the Rev N Barry, CC, Avoca, Daniel Condren, TC, Arklow, youngest son of the late Thomas Condren, to Julia, eldest daughter of the late Edward Woolohan, Ballykilagar, county Wicklow.

Sat Aug 8 1891 
CONDREN and SHEEHAN - July 29, 1891, at the RC Church, Johnstown, Co Wicklow, by the Rev Pierce O'Donnell, Edward, youngest son of Morgan Condren, Scarnagh, to Mary, second daughter of Andrew Sheehan, PLG, Barnaclay, Arklow.

Sat Oct 22 1892
GRANELL and CONDREN - October 17, 1892, at St Patrick's Church, Castletown, by the Rev James Dunphy, PP, assisted by the Rev LJ Farrelly, CC, Rev P Doyle, CC, &c, Peter, son of the late John Granell, Esq, Curranstown, Arklow, to Sarah, eldest daughter of the late John Condren, Esq, Hill View, Arklow.


Mon Mar 9 1874
CONDRON - March 8, at her residence, 2 Little Strand-street, Mrs. Mary Condron, the beloved wife of Mr. Michael Condron, aged 87 years. Her remains will be removed on to-morrow (Tuesday) morning at ten o'clock to Glasnevin Cemetery. Friends please accept this notice.

Thu May 7 1874
CONDREN - May 6th, at his residence, Main-street, Arklow, Thomas Condren, aged 58 years. His remains will be interred in Castletown on to-morrow (Friday).

Fri Jan 24 1879
CONDRAN - Jan. 22, at Cork-street Hospital, Patrick Francis Condran, late of Kiltegan, county Wicklow, aged 30 years, deeply and deservedly regretted. R.I.P. American papers please copy.

Tue Aug 19 1879
CONDREN - Aug. 18, at his residence, 2 Little-strand-street, Mr Michael Condren, aged 76. Interment at 10 o'clock on to-morrow (Wednesday) at Glasnevin.

Mon Feb 2 1880
CONDRON - Jan. 31, at his residence, 10 Poplar-row, Spring-gardens, Mr John Condron, aged 82 years, fortified by the rites of the Holy Catholic Church. His remains will be removed to Glasnevin Cemetery at 10 o'clock on to-morrow (Tuesday) morning. R.I.P.

Tue Sep 12 1882
CONDRON - Sept 1, 1882, at her residence, 133 North Strand road, fortified by the rites of the Catholic Church, Mrs Bridget Condron, aged 75 years. RIP.

Fri Sep 14 1883
CONDREN - Sept 9, 1883, at his residence, Hill View, Gorey, John Condren, aged 80 years, deeply regretted by his wife and family and numerous firends. R I P. American and Australian papers please copy.

Tue Sep 22 1885
CONDRON - Sept 21, 1885, at 24 Little Mary street, after a short illness, to the inexpressible grief of his [...] and family, Charles Condron, aged 29 years. RIP. Funeral will leave above address at 2 o'clock to-morrow (Wednesday) for interment at St Margaret's.

Mon Sep 6, 1886
CONDRIN - August 30, 1886, Anna Maria, eldest daughter of the late John Condrin, Hill View, Gorey. R I P. Interment on yesterday after Solemn Office and High Mass.

Mon Jun 4 1888
CONDRON - June 3, 1888, at her residence, 4 Nicholas street, Mrs Elizabeth Condron, aged 34 years, to the inexpressible grief of her sorrowing husband and family. RIP. Interment on to-morrow (Tuesday) morning at 10 30 o'clock for Glasnevin Cemetery. Provincial papers please copy.

Wed Jun 20 1888
CONDRON - Jun 19, 1888, at his residence, 6 Green street, after a short illness, Michael Condron, fortified by the rites of the Holy Catholic Church, to the inexpressible grief of his wife and family. RIP. Interment at two o'clock on to-morrow (Thursday) at St Margaret's.

Sat Mar 23 1889
CONDRAN - March 22, 1889, at 105 Upper Dorset street, Mr John Condran, late of Tullamore, of acute bronchitis, deeply and deservedly regretted by his sorrowing wife and a large circle of friends. On his soul sweet Jesus have mercy. Interment at Rincle, Tullamore.

Wed May 25 1892
CONDRON - May 24, 1892, at her residence, 41 Lower Sheriff street, Mrs Bridget Condron, after a long and painful illness, fortified by the rites of the Holy Church. May she rest in peace. Interment in Glasnevin Cemetery at 10 30 o'clock on to-morrow (Thursday) morning.

Thu Aug 4 1892
CONDRON - August 3, 1892, at Jervis street Hospital, Thomas Condron, aged 31 years. RIP. Funeral at 10.30 to-morrow (Friday) morning from 4 Nicholas st. Provincial papers please copy.

Sat Feb 10 1894
CONDRON - Feb 8, 1894, at Clarendon street, Mary Madeline, the darling child of Mary and Edward Condron, Stn-Sergt DMP, aged 1 1/2 years. Funeral will leave at 10 30 o'clock on this (Saturday) morning for Glasnevin Cemetery.

Tue Aug 13 1895
CONDRON - August 12, 1895, at her residence, 39 Belton[?] street, Mary, the beloved wife of John Condron, and daughter of the late Michael Byrne, Garr. King' County. RIP. Interment in Glasnevin cemetery on to-morrow (Wednesday) morning, 14 inst, at 11 o'clock. Friends please accept this notice.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Protestants and Catholics in County Cavan

County Cavan is one of the nine counties of the ancient province of Ulster, the northernmost province of Ireland. When Ireland was partitioned in 1921/2, six of the nine Ulster counties formed Northern Ireland, which is still part of the United Kingdom, while the three remaining counties (Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan) became part of Southern Ireland and subsequently part of the Republic of Ireland. 

The vast majority of CONDR*Ns in nineteenth century Ireland were Catholics. Few CONDR*Ns were located in Ulster, and few CONDR*Ns were Protestants. Most of the Protestant CONDR*Ns are found in Co. Cavan.

The Cavan CONDR*Ns are to be found in south and central Co. Cavan, in the registration districts of Bailieborough and Cavan, which lie wholly in the county, and in Granard, Oldcastle and Kells (which lie only partly in Co. Cavan). In the 1901 census of Ireland, 34 CONDR*Ns were living in Co. Cavan: half of those were Protestant (Church of Ireland).

There are two Catholic CONDR*N families in Co. Cavan in 1901. One is John CONDRON (a coachman, born in King’s Co. in about 1844) with his wife Margaret WARD from Co. Monaghan.  The second is James CONDREN (a retired policeman, born in Co. Westmeath in about 1854) with his wife Sarah DIVER from Co. Donegal. John and Margaret had children Margaret (1876), Bridget (1879), Elizabeth (1881), William (1883), Andrew (1886), John Joseph (1890), Henry Edward (1892) and James (1894). James and Sarah had children Mary Anne (1886), Catherine Sarah (1887), Anne Mary (1889), John Francis (1891), Margaret Teresa (1892), James Patrick (1895), Elizabeth Agnes (1897) and Thomas (1901).

There are three Protestant CONDR*N families in the county in 1901. All have roots in Co. Cavan, as far as I have traced them in the early or mid nineteenth century. Thomas CONDRON (a farmer, born about 1861 and son of a Thomas CONDRON) and his wife Jane DOUGLAS had children Thomas (1885), Charles (1887), John (1888), Harriet (1890), William (1894) and Eleanor Jane (1895). James CONDRON (also a farmer, born about 1853 and son of a Thomas CONDRON) and his wife Jane FAULKNER had children Eliza Jane (1881), Thomas (1882), Isabella (1885), James (1888) and Louisa (1895). The third family is Eliza STEPHENS (formerly CONDRON, nee CUMMINS), wife of James STEPHENS and widow of John CONDRON (son of a Thomas CONDRON), with her daughters Elizabeth CONDRON (1869) and Mary Jane CONDRON (1871).

A Protestant family who emigrated from Co. Cavan and therefore don’t appear in the 1901 Irish census were Thomas CONDRON (born in about 1803) and his wife Eliza McGOVERN. They had children Maryanne (1824), Catherine (1826), Martha (1829), Elizabeth (1831), John (1833), Robert (1836), Jane (1838) and Thomas (1841), all of whom were baptized in Kildrumferton parish, Co. Cavan, and Isabella (1844) and William (1846). In the 1851 UK census, the parents and younger children are found in Kirkdale, Lancashire, England; whereas the three eldest daughters all emigrated to Australia in 1844 aboard the ship “Wallace”. According to various public family trees on, the rest of the family subsequently emigrated to Australia and have descendants there.

As always, I would welcome further information about any of these families: email Condran [AT] .  

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Australian Gold!

Back in October 2008, I wrote about John ("Jack") CONDRON, who shared with his three fellow miners in the discovery of an enormous gold nugget called the Poseidon nugget ("John CONDRON strikes it rich"). The nugget, which was discovered by the four men in December 1906 at Tarnagulla, central Victoria, Australia, weighed 960 ounces (over 26 kilograms).

Since then, I have been in correspondence with a descendant of one of the other miners, Frederick EVA. That descendant, Tracy Rogers, has kindly provided me with various pictures and other information about the discovery, including the pictures reproduced here. Apparently Frederick EVA used his share of the money raised by sale of the nugget to buy a hotel on the Loddon River, but according to family lore the hotel was swept away in a flood. So the question is, what did John CONDRON do with his share of the money, and what happened to him? Perhaps there are living descendants of John CONDRON reading this blog! I'd love to hear from you.

The lower picture shows the four miners who shared in the discovery of the Poseidon nugget: Frederick EVA (left), Sam WOODALL (right), and the two in the middle are John CONDRON and George BROOKS (but I don't know which is which man).

Tracy also informs me that the picture of the four miners and the nugget they found featured on the cover (see picture below) of a record by Australian country rock band Stars, which formed in 1975 and disbanded in 1979.

What became of John ("Jack") CONDRON? According to newspaper coverage of the discovery, John CONDRON and Sam WOODALL were miners from Newbridge.  In the Australian Electoral Rolls on, there were two John CONDRONs recorded in Victoria in electoral rolls for 1903. One was in Wangaratta, Victoria, living with or near a Maria CONDRON and Robert CONDRON: this John CONDRON may have been born in County Cavan, Ireland, in 1833 and have died in 1908. The other is in Newbridge, where we know the miner came from: this Newbridge John CONDRON is listed as a labourer, and is living with or near a Jane CONDRON ("house duties"), and a Thomas and Catherine CONDRON (both listed as "old-age pensioner"). It's possible that Jane is John's wife, and Thomas and Catherine are his parents. From later electoral rolls, it looks as if John and Jane CONDRON may have moved to South Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria: a couple of that name are there in Cardigan Street in 1909, in Drummond Street in 1914, and in Little Elgin Street in 1919 (by which time John CONDRON is listed as a "foreman" rather than as a labourer) and 1924.

Possibly the same John and Jane CONDRON later moved to Glenhuntly, Victoria. In 1936, a Jack CONDRON (labourer) is living there with Jane CONDRON, John Desmond CONDRON and Martin Leonard G. CONDRON. And in 1942, possibly the same couple are listed there again, in Ulupna Road: John CONDRON (factory employee), Jane CONDRON (home duties) and Alice Margaret G. CONDRON (typist). If this is indeed the John CONDRON who found the Poseidon nugget, the money doesn't seem to have raised him from the life of an employed labourer.

Do you know what became of the John CONDRON who shared in the discovery of the Poseidon nugget? If so, please let me know.  I can be contacted by leaving a comment on this blog, or by emailing condran[AT] (replace "[AT]" with "@"). Thanks!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

CONDR*N migrants to the USA from Ireland

I have barely begun to scratch the surface of researching CONDR*Ns in the USA. It's a big area of research: according to, there were 1,086 CONDR*Ns in the 1900 US census, 1,315 in the 1910 census, 1,497 in the 1920 census, and 1,537 in the 1930 census. The 1910 US census seems as good a place to start as any.

Given my databases of CONDR*Ns in Ireland in the nineteenth century and in the Irish censuses of 1901 and 1911, I decided to look first at CONDR*Ns in the 1910 US census who were born in Ireland. I have restricted myself initially to looking only at male heads of household who were born in Ireland. There are 37 of them. They are listed below in alphabetical order of state, with their town of residence, occupation, year of birth, year of arrival in the USA, and year of marriage and wife's name if applicable. Note that all dates are somewhat approximate, as they are based on the information given to the census collector and may be out by one year or even more.

Do you know more about any of these people, where in Ireland they came from, or what ship they arrived on when they came to the USA? Perhaps you are descended from one of them. If so, I'd be very pleased to hear more from you, either by adding a comment to this blog or by email to condran[AT] (replace the "[AT]" with "@").

CONDR*N male heads of household in the US 1910 census who were born in Ireland

  • Bernard CONDRON, Hartford, Connecticut (Gardener), born about 1874 immigrated to US 1881, married about 1906, Mary
  • Patrick J. CONDRON, Hartford, Connecticut (Painter), born about 1864, arrived in USA 1880, married about 1904, Mary
  • Michael CONDRON, Hartford, Connectict (Conductor), born about 1882, arrived in USA 1905, married about 1906, Helen
  • Luke F. CONDRON, Chicago, Illinois (Laborer), born about 1867, arrived in USA 1884, married about 1882, Kate
  • James CONDREN, La Salle, Illinois, born about 1848, arrived in USA 1855, married about 1877, Sarah
  • Robert CONDRON, La Salle, Illinois, born about 1842, arrived in USA 1868
  • Patrick CONDRON, Clay, Indiana (Farmer), born about 1855, arrived in USA 1880, married about 1894, Jane
  • Mike CONDRAN, Eminence, Kentucky (Farmer), born about 1846, married about 1880, Phoebe
  • John CONDRON, Berkshire, Massachusetts (Laborer), born about 1857, arrived in USA 1870, married about 1890, Susan
  • Patrick CONDRON, Berkshire, Massachusetts (Turnkey), born about 1849, arrived in USA 1868, married about 1876, Mary
  • Michael CONDRON, Berkshire, Massachusetts (Saloon proprietor), born about 1852, arrived in USA 1875, married about 1877, Maria
  • James CONDRON, Jersey City, New Jersey, born about 1838, arrived in USA 1860, married about 1864, Mary
  • John CONDRON, Auburn, New York (Laborer), born about 1857, arrived in USA 1875,, married about 1881, Catherine
  • James CONDRON, Bronx, New York (Laborer), born about 1866, arrived in USA 1885, married about 1891, Nora
  • Matthew CONDRON, Brooklyn, New York (Clerk in grocery store), born about 1867, arrived in USA 1893, married about 1887, Sarah
  • Patrick T. CONDRON, Brooklyn, New York (Engineer), born about 1868, arrived in USA 1883, married about 1893, Hattie
  • Simon CONDRON, Buffalo, New York (Engineer), born about 1867, arrived in USA 1879  
  • Robert J. CONDREN, Buffalo, New York (Coachman), born about 1865, arrived in USA 1888, married about 1895, Margaret
  • Matthew CONDRON, Lewiston, New York (Farmer), born about 1843, arrived in USA 1856, married about 1888, Bridget
  • Thomas[?] CONDRON, Manhattan, New York (Guard), born about 1882, arrived in USA 1898, married about 1905, Nellie
  • Bernard CONDRAN, Manhattan, New York (Driver), born about 1860, arrived in USA 1874, married about 1894, Mary
  • Michael CONDRON, Manhattan, New York (Watchman), born about 1850, arrived in USA 1872, married about 1874, Bridget
  • Michael CONDREN, Manhattan, New York (Clerk – grocery), born about 1866, arrived in USA 1888, married about 1895, Ellen
  • James CONDRON, Manhattan, New York (Clerk –groceries), born about 1875, arrived in USA 1897, married about 1901, Mary
  • Thomas J. CONDREN, Queens, New York (Driver), born about 1867, arrived in USA 1884, married about 1895, Julia
  • Lawrence CONDREN, Royalton, New York (Farmer), born about 1846, arrived in USA 1868, married about 1883, Johanna
  • Robert CONDRON, Washington, New York (Laborer), born about 1852, arrived in USA 1868  
  • John J. CONDRON, Ashtabula, Ohio (Engineer), born about 1874, arrived in USA 1876, married about 1898, Jennie
  • Michael CONDREN, Cincinnati, Ohio (Chauffeur), born about 1868, arrived in USA 1885, married about 1903, Julia
  • Thomas B. CONDRON, Springfield, Ohio (Machinist), born about 1847, married about 1875, Margaretta
  • John CONDRON, Lower Merion, Pennsylvania (Coachman), born about 1880, arrived in USA 1901, married about 1906, Margaret
  • Thomas CONDRON, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Laborer), born about 1869, arrived in USA 1889, married about 1891, Annie
  • Dennis CONDRON, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Melter - US Mint), born about 1858, arrived in USA 1881, married about 1890, Mary
  • Patrick CONDRON, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Dyer), born about 1862, arrived in USA 1884, married about 1887, Jennie
  • Daniel CONDRON, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Paster), born about 1874, arrived in USA 1901, married about 1906, Cathrine
  • Patrick R. CONDRON Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Warehouse man), born about 1865, arrived in USA 1883, married about 1886, Mary
  • Patrick CONDRON, Watertown, Wisconsin, born about 1820, arrived in USA 1851  
I'll post here more about the origins of these CONDR*Ns in Ireland and their journeys to the USA as I research them. If you know about any of these people, please help me add those details by commenting or emailing me: condran[AT] (replace "[AT]" with "@"). Thank you!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

CONDR*Ns of County Cork

County Cork is the largest county in Ireland, at 2,895 square miles. Cork city is the largest city in the province of Munster, and the second largest city in the south of Ireland. It is therefore not surprising at first sight that a number of CONDRONs I’ve had contact with on email and Facebook relate their roots back to Co. Cork. 

Yet in fact, the nineteenth century and early twentieth century records show that there were not many CONDR*Ns in Co. Cork, and most of those came from the small Roman Catholic parish of Shandrum in the north of the county, close to the border with Co. Limerick. (There were even fewer CONDR*Ns in Co. Limerick.)

From the start of civil registration of births in Ireland in 1864 through to 1911, there were only 30 CONDR*N births registered in Co. Cork. Nineteen of those (nearly two-thirds of the total) were in the registration district of Kanturk, which contains the parish of Shandrum. And seven births in the neighbouring registration district of Kilmallock are all for the family of James CONDRON who was baptised in Shandrum parish in 1853, son of Patrick CONDRON and Margaret REIDY. The names Denis and Michael seem to be common amongst the male Shandrum CONDRONs, but John, William, George, Richard, Patrick, James, Timothy, Simon, Arthur, Jeremiah and David also occur.

There were 24 CONDR*Ns in Co. Cork in the 1901 census by my count, out of 839 CONDR*Ns in the whole of Ireland, and 25 in Co. Cork in the 1911 census. The only CONDR*Ns in Co. Cork in the 1911 census who were not born in that county were:  
  • Joseph CONDREN in Ballymurphy, who was born in Stradbally, Queen’s County (Co. Laois) in about 1896 to James CONDRON and Bridget HEWITT;
  • Denis CONDRON and his family in Knocktemple, who was born in London in about 1855 (though I have not found any record of this birth); and 
  • Michael CONDRON in the city of Cork, who was born in Queen’s County in about 1835, married Elizabeth PRICE in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and had eight children (born variously in Wales and Scotland) before he returned with Elizabeth to Ireland.

After 1911 the number of births and marriages in Kanturk registration district declined. More and more births and marriages took place in Cork registration district, which includes the city of Cork, starting with the marriages there of Thomas CONDRON in 1915, Albert CONDRON in 1920, and James CONDRON in 1924.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


As I have commented before (see my posting on Name Variants), surnames can be mispelled or can evolve according to local pronunciation. So when searching for our ancesters, or conducting a one-name study, it's necessary to look for records with variant spellings of the name. There are many instances of where CONDRON has evolved to say CONDRAN or CONDREN, or vice versa. It may change our understanding (one day!) of how our family surnames CONDR*N originated.

Sometimes it's claimed that CONDON and CONDRON are variants of the same name. So for example, it's not possible to set up a new DNA group at to study CONDR*N (as far as I know, I haven't actually tried), because the owner of the CONDON DNA Group Project has set up the project on the presumption that the names CONDON, CONDREN, CONDRON, CONGDON and CONRON are all connected.

So my question for readers of this blog is, does anyone have any well-documented example of the family name CONDON changing permanently to CONDRON (for example, when the family migrated from one country to another)? I don't mean an occasional misspelling - I have examples of where baptism records of a family sometimes spelled the name CONDON and sometimes CONDRON, apparently almost at random - but a permanent change.   I'm skeptical that these names are connected, but probably someone reading this will correct me!

Similarly, does anyone have a well-documented example of CONRAN changing permanently to CONDRAN, or CONRON to CONDRON in their family tree?  I think it's far more likely that such transitions have occurred, because putting a "D" in (or taking one out) might make the name more pronounceable. But I cannot see how a local pronunciation would lead to inserting an "R". So I think CONRAN, CONDRAN, CONRON, CONDRON are connected, but that CONDON and CONDRON are not. But I could be wrong, so .... .

If you have an example, please send it to me at Condran[AT] (replace the [AT] with an @ sign), or post here using the Comment facility. Or post to FaceBook.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

CONDRANs in New South Wales

As I have previously remarked, today most CONDRANs (with an "A"!) in the world are to be found in the USA, Australia and Canada. That of course is due in part to migration, and in large part to the vagaries of which genealogical branches have led to prolific offspring.

To judge by the activity on the Condran Clan Facebook group, most Australian CONDRANs today desend from a single ancester who arrived in New South Wales (NSW) from Ireland in the first half of the nineteenth century. That patriarch is Michael CONDRAN, who was born in about 1812 in Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland, and who died in Wollombi, NSW in 1882. He married Mary Ann HANLEY in 1848: Mary Ann was born in about 1822 in County Tipperary, Ireland. Michael CONDRAN's parents are recorded as Patrick CONDRAN and Julia O'CONNELL.

Michael and Mary Ann appear to have had about ten children, born between about 1848 and 1867. Amongst them were three sons who had large families. Thomas Henry CONDRAN (1854-1911) married Ellen Winifred O'HERAN (or possibly O'HERAU) in 1876 in Maitland, NSW, and had four children, Frederick W. (b. 1877), Edwin Thomas (b. 1878), Albert Clarence Clive (b. 1880), and Gertrude (b. 1885). Michael (1856-1918) married Christina B. KERR in Wollombi, NSW, and had six children that I am aware of: Agnes Ruthina (b. 1884), Vincent Peter (b. 1886), Elizabeth Mary (b. 1888), Catherine (b. 1890),  Hyacinth (b. 1893), and Michael Hugh (b. 1895). Joseph Andrew CONDRAN (1862-1930) married Clara Jane MONNOX in 1887 in Wollombi, NSW, and appears to have had twelve children: Andrew John (b. 1888), Ernest Thomas (b. 1890), Millicent (b. 1890), Edward Albert Charles (b. 1892), Alfred George (b. 1895), Mary (b. 1898), Sabina (b. 1900), Frederick Arthur (b. 1905), Emma (b. 1907), William Joseph, Charles, and Henry Daniel ("Jim").

When, how, and why did Michael CONDRAN arrive in Australia?'s "New South Wales, Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849" show three possible Michaels arriving in the early nineteenth century. Two of them appear to have birth dates that are too early and do not fit with the other available evidence: Michael CONDRON who arrived aboard the "Lord Sidmouth" in 1821, aged 35, and Michael CONDRON who arrived about the "John Barry" in the same year, aged 24. The most likely candidate in my view is Michael CONRAN, who arrived aboard the "Royal Admiral" in 1833, aged 21 (and hence born about 1812). Michael CONRAN and fellow transportees Michael MANNING (aged 30) and Owen HUNT (aged 24) were tried in County Westmeath, Ireland, in July 1832 of stealing two powder horns and convicted to transportation for seven years. According the ship's records, Michael CONRAN was 5 feet 7 inches tall and had blue eyes, brown hair and a "fresh" complexion.

If you have additional information about these Australian CONDRANs or can correct any of the above information, I would be pleased to hear from you!

Sources for this information quoted here include, postings by fellow researchers at the Condran Clan Facebook group, and the birth, marriages and deaths records for New South Wales available at .

Saturday, 25 February 2012

CONDRONs of Cloghan, Co. Offaly

In the nineteenth century, the densest population of CONDRONs was in County Offaly, Ireland (called King's County back then). Oops, that sounds like I might be insulting the Offaly CONDRONs! What I mean is that Co. Offaly had the largest number of CONDRONs as a proportion of the total population, or something like that. Anyway, that means it's quite a puzzle to sort out how the different CONDR*Ns in Co. Offaly in the nineteen century fit into different families. So here's a puzzle that I hope someone might be able to help me with.

Cloghan is a town in the west of Co. Offaly (see map below). It's not far from the town of Banagher. I have three CONDRON families all living in the Cloghan district electoral division (DED) in the 1901 census, and all three families were baptising children in the Roman Catholic church in Banagher in the period 1888-1900. The puzzle is, I cannot find any blood relation between the three families. So are they all related, or is it just coincidence that they're in the same place at the same time? Below are some details of each family.

Family 1 are living in the Ballingowan Glebe townland of Gallen civil parish in the Cloghan DED in 1901. The head of this family is Martin CONDRON who was born in about 1853 and died in 1906/7. He married Mary GUINAN in the parish of Moore, Co. Roscommon in 1878, and they had 7 children that I know of: Kieran (born 1880), John (born about 1882), Mary Jane or Marianne (born about 1884), Lucy (born 1886), Thomas (born about 1887), Edward (born 1891) and Martin (born about 1897). The last three children were baptised in Banagher, most of the earlier children were baptised in Ferbane.

Family 2 are living in the Tonlemone townland of Gallen civil parish in the Cloghan DED in 1901. The head of the family is Thomas CONDRON who was born in about 1840. He married Mary CLANCY in 1877. They too had 7 children that I know of: William (born about 1879), Kieran (born about 1880), Julia (also born about 1880), Patrick (born 1882), John (born about 1885), Kate (born about 1888), James (born 1890), Francis (born 1891) and Bernard (born 1894). Most if not all the children were baptised in Banagher.

Family 3 are living in Cloghan town in the Cloghan DED in 1901. The head of this family is John CONDRON, a railway porter who was born in Co. Laois (Queen's County back then) in 1868 and baptised there in Borris in Ossory. John married a Johanna (surname unknown) and they had two children: William Joseph CONDRON (born 1899) and James CONDRON (born 1900). The two children were baptised in Banagher. Unfortunately, Johanna died in 1902, and so by the 1911 census the two boys are living with their grandmother near Borris in Ossory, Co. Laois, while John himself is living in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. I also know that John's father was William CONDRON, who brought up a moderately large family in Borris in Ossory with his wife Judith or Julia (nee ROURKE) and was still living there in 1901. Going back a further generation, John's grandfather was also called John CONDRON: I don't know whether the grandfather lived in Co. Offaly or Co. Laois. William and Judith/Julia had 8 children, of whom I know of seven: John (head of Family 3), James (born 1870), Anne (born 1873), Michael (born about 1875), Thomas (born about 1877), Peter (born about 1880) and Johanna (born about 1883): most if not all were baptised in Borris in Ossory.

So, three CONDRON families with apparently separate origins, but living in the same place in 1901. Coincidence? Maybe.

If you know anything about any of these families, I would love to hear from you!

(Click to enlarge map).

Map of western Co. Offaly showing location of Cloghan and also parts of the adjoining counties of Roscommon, Galway and Tipperary. CONDRONs lived in quite a few places shown on this map. In particular, places nearby to Cloghan with early nineteenth century occurances of CONDRONs are Eglish (about 10km to the south), Lemanaghan (about 11km to the north-east) and Clonmacnoise (about 12km to the north-west: not indicated on the map, but approximately at the location of the R444 road sign on the banks of the River Shannon).

The map is copyright of Google Maps.