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 .