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