Saturday, 28 December 2013

Senator Michael H. CONDRON

The Massachusetts State House, Boston (image copyright of  Shane Hawke -
Michael Henry CONDRON, a three-term Democrat senator for Berkshire in the Massachusetts Senate, was born in Pittsfield, MA, on Feb. 13, 1882, and died there on 9 May 1966. A master plumber by trade, Michael CONDRON served a term in the Massachusetts House in 1939-1940 and three consecutive terms in the Massachusetts Senate 1945-1950. Following his defeat in the 1950 election, he was appointed director of civil service registration by Massachusetts Governer Dever.

Michael Henry CONDRON was the son of Irish immigrant Michael CONDRON, who married Maria KANE in Pittsfield, MA, on 12 April 1877. The 1900 census indicates that Michael and Maria had 14 children, of whom seven were still living at that time. These were: Lizzie (born 1879), John (1880), Michael Henry (1882), Katie (1884), Patrick (1886), Nellie (1888) and Annie (1891).

The marriage record of Michael CONDRON senior indicates that he was born in King's County, Ireland, in about 1851, and that his parents (and hence the grandparents of Michael Henry CONDRON) were Patrick and Bridget CONDRON. Interestingly, two other CONDRON men who were born in Ireland and lived and got married in Pittsfield also gave their parents' names as Patrick and Bridget. One was Patrick CONDRON, born in about 1845 in "Tolemore, Ireland" [possibly Tullamore, King's County], who married Mary LALLY (also variously recorded as LARLEY and LASLEY) in 1875. The other was John CONDRON, born in "Ireland" in about 1856, who married Susannah FEEHEY (or FERREY or FUREY) in 1889. Possibly Michael, Patrick and John were all brothers, though the evidence is not conclusive: Patrick and Bridget were quite common names in Ireland, and as yet I have not found three baptisms in Ireland to match these three men.

Michael Henry CONDRON married Mary Louise CULLEN on 11 October 1905 in Pittsfield. They had eight children: Edward Henry (1907), Mary Elizabeth (1908), Marjorie Louise (1910), Michael Harold (1912), John Farley Francis (1916), Francis Joseph (1918), Elizabeth Helen (1919) and Joseph James (1924). Francis Joseph CONDRON followed in his father's footsteps of public service, serving as city clerk for Pittsfield from 1971 until 1983.

As usual I welcome corrections or additional information, and would be particularly pleased to hear from anyone related to these CONDRONs. Leave a comment here or email me at CONDRAN[AT]ONE-NAME.ORG .

Finally, Happy New Year 2014 to Condrans, Condrens, Condrins and Condrons everywhere!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

CONDR*Ns of County Durham

Painting of a colliery at Seaham, County Durham, in the mid-nineteenth century(courtesy of Google Art Project)
There were 208 CONDR*Ns in the 1881 census of England. After Lancashire (which then included both Manchester and Liverpool) and the greater London area, the county with most CONDR*Ns was County Durham in the north-east of England. The CONDR*Ns of County Durham were coal miners.

In County Durham in 1881, there were 21 CONDR*Ns in six households. (I include the family group of Thomas, Elizabeth and Elinor [sic] CONDEN, because earlier and subsequent records indicate that their family name was actually CONDRON.) These can be arranged into four (as yet) unconnected families.

Living in Brandon & Byshottles in 1881, Thomas CONDRON and his wife Ann were born in Ireland in about 1830. Thomas was a coal miner and died in Durham registration district (RD) in 1887. Ann died in 1896 and is buried in Redhills Roman Catholic Cemetery, as are various other family members. Thomas and Ann had children James (born about 1852), Thomas (1855), Michael (1862) and Patrick (1865). All the children were born in County Durham except Thomas, who was born in Ireland. Thomas (1855-1911) married Susannah THORNTON (1862-1927) in 1880 in Lanchester RD and they had children Mary Ann (1881), Catherine (1882), Susannah (1885), Jane (1886), Joseph (1888), Ellen (1890), Francis (1892), Veronica (1894) and Margaret (1896). Joseph married Maria O’DONNELL and there are CONDRON descendants of this couple in County Durham to this day. Michael (1862-1914) married Harriett  PAYNE in 1888, surprisingly in Kensington RD in London, and they had children John Thomas (1889), Ann (1890), Kathleen or Cathrine (1892), Mary Ellen (1894), Ann (1901) and Margaret (1908).

Living in Hutton Henry in 1881, James CONDREN, a coal miner, was born in Queens County, Ireland, in about 1843 and married Mary Ann McDERMOT(T) in Easington RD, County Durham, in 1869. James and Mary Ann had children Catherine (1871), John (1873), Alice (1874), Michael (1876), Mary (1878), Eliza Jane (1885) and Catherine Ann (1892), all born in Easington RD. Michael (1876-1957) married Sarah Ann SPELLMAN and there are still CONDREN descendants of this couple in the north-east of England.

Living in Wingate in 1881, William CONDREN, a coal miner, was born in Ireland in about 1844 and married Margaret GOUGH in about 1870 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. William and Margaret had children John (1871), Ann (1872), James Thomas (1880), Mary (1884) and Hugh (1890), all born in Easington RD. Interestingly, the family migrated to the USA in 1892, arriving into Philadelphia on board the British Princess on April 26th of that year. The ship’s passenger list has: William CONDRON (40), miner; Margaret (35), wife; John (20), laborer; Ann (19), spinster; James (10), child; Mary (8), child; and Hugh, infant. Yet the family (or at least some of its members) returned to the UK, because William died in 1909 in the Sunderland RD, John got married in 1905 in the Houghton RD, etc.  John (1871-1932) married Dorothy SCORER and they had children Margaret (1905), Thomas William (1906), Michael (1908), Ann (1909) and Hugh (1911). Hugh had a son (also Hugh) and I believe that CONDREN descendants continue to live in the north-east of England.

Finally, living in Crook & Billy Row in 1881, Thomas CONDRON, a coal miner, was born in about 1856 in Queens County, Ireland. In 1878, he married Elizabeth PURCELL, who was born in about 1857 in County Kilkenny. They had children Eleanor (1878), James (1881), Elizabeth (1882), Thomas (1886), Andrew (1888), John (1891) and Margureta/Margaret (1896).

In my recent post, I suggested that Doonane in Queens County is a good place to look for coal mining CONDR*N ancestors who came from Ireland. Although the above information does not definitively link any of these miners to Doonane, it is not inconsistent with the idea either. Indeed, the two who state their county of origin both identify it as Queens County. Thomas (1855), son of Thomas and Ann, who was born back in Ireland, may be the Thomas who was baptised in Doonane parish in 1855. Alternatively, the Thomas living in Crook and Billy in 1881 could be identified with the Thomas baptised in Doonane in 1855, or else perhaps the Thomas son of James who was baptised in Doonane in  1853. Interestingly, in the 1911 census (where people often gave more detail about their origins) there is a 38-year old miner James CONDRON living in Esh Winning, Co. Durham, who states he was born in Doonane, as was his wife Mary and eldest child (also Mary).

As always, I welcome corrections or additional information: please note that quoted birth dates and so on may only be correct to within one year. I would also love to hear from descendants of any of the CONDRENs and CONDRONs mentioned here. Please send comments etc. to me at condran[AT] .

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Coal-mining CONDR*Ns in Ireland

Mines in Ireland - courtesy of the Northern Mine Research Society.
Sometimes we get a fixed idea that turns out to be unfounded. Until recently I thought that there were no coal mines or coal miners in Ireland: that’s why the Irish traditionally burned peat for cooking and heating. But there were CONDR*Ns in the censuses for England, Scotland and the USA who were coal miners. Indeed, there were also a few coal miners in the Irish censuses of 1901 and 1911.

I then obtained the marriage certificates of two CONDRONs getting married in the 1850s, near the coal-mining area of Shotts in Scotland. On 3 December 1855, Michael CONDRON/CONDRAN (a coal miner) married Bridget STAPLETON, both of Cleland, parish of Shotts. Michael gave his date and place of birth as 1830 in Queen’s County, Ireland, and his parents as Patrick CONDRON, coal miner (deceased) and Dolly CONDRON. On 21 February 1859, Patrick CONDRON/CONDRIN (an iron miner) of the parish of Shotts married Maria GORMLY: he too gave his parents as Patrick CONDRON, coal miner (deceased) and Dolly CONDRON. Clearly Michael and Patrick were brothers, and their father Patrick was a coal miner, presumably in Queen’s County, Ireland.

My erroneous assumption about coal mining based on the use of peat is perhaps understandable.. Samuel Lewis, in ‘A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland’ (published in 1837) writes: “The coal at Newtown and Doonane is equal to the best Kilkenny coal, and sells at 20s. per ton at the pits; that of the other collieries, though somewhat inferior, never sinks below the price of 17s. per ton. Hence the poor people, even in the immediate vicinity of the pits, cannot afford to use it, and it is entirely purchased by maltsters, brewers, distillers and smiths … .” So the common people did burn peat rather than coal for cooking and heating.

The map above, which shows locations of coal mines in Ireland through the last two hundred years, indicates from the clustering of symbols where coal mining was most abundant. (A few of the symbols, such as the one in County Wicklow south of Dublin, indicate mining of materials other than coal.) There are three main areas: a major cluster in the central midlands (north of Kilkenny) denoting the rich coalfield of Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, which extended north into Queen’s County around the area of Doonane; a distributed coalfield in the south west of Ireland, located west of Limerick and extending down into County Cork near Mallow; and a cluster in the northwest, east of Sligo, in County Tyrone. There is also a smaller cluster west of Kilkenny, in mid County Tipperary, and less significant occurrences in the northeast in County Antrim.

The coal mining area where CONDR*Ns were to be found in some numbers is in Queen’s County. Indeed, the six CONDR*N coal miners in the 1901 Irish census are in Doonane (4 men), Ballylehane, and Newtown, all in the southeast corner of Queen’s County. Doonane is in Rathaspick civil parish, Ballylehane and Newtown are in the next-door parish of Killabban. So, if you are looking for where a coal-mining CONDR*N ancestor came from in Ireland, this corner of Queen’s County is a good place to start.

Monday, 9 September 2013

A turtle called Condron

Condron the turtle (or friend). Photo courtesy of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
I was lucky enough to spend the past few days snorkeling in the sea around Hawaii, swimming with green sea turtles and fish of all colors and sizes and seeing wonderful coral. It was like being right inside an aquarium. Which gives me the perfect excuse to write a blog post about a turtle called Condron!

Condron is a juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle that got stranded on South Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on April 21, 2013.  He (or maybe she?) was rehabbed by the wonderful folks at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island, Georgia, and was released back into the sea in Ponte Vedra on August 9, 2013.

And why is a turtle called Condron? Well, Condron was named after the person who found this turtle stranded on the beach. They have done a lot for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and so the turtle was named in their honor. I’m not going to speculate who that person is, but if they want to respond to this blog that would be great!

It turns out that this isn’t the first time that Condron has spent time with humans. Condron already had a transponder tag, and after a bit of searching it was discovered that Condron’s name used to be “Little Sunny”, and he/she was rehabbed over the winter of 2010 at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on Topsail Island, North Carolina.

I am indebted to Kristin at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center for information about Condron the turtle. And if you are a CONDR*N in the Florida/Georgia area, it would be great to hear from you. As usual, you can leave a comment or email me at condran[AT] (replace the [AT] with an @).

Sunday, 11 August 2013

From Surrey, England, to Texas and the battlefields of France

Two soldiers of the 75th Battalion Canadian Infantry with a German prisoner, northern France, 1918. (Courtesy of Les Fowler and the Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group)

Next year is the centenary of the start of World War I (the Great War), and I shall mark the occasion with a series of blogs about CONDR*Ns who gave their lives in that war. But this blog is about the family of a man who bore the name "Condron" only as a middle name, who served in the 75th Battalion Canadian Infanty and who died in the fighting in northern France.

William Condron BRAY was born on September 19th, 1883, probably in Newington, Surrey, England, son of Joseph Sidney BRAY and Sophia Martha BRAY (nee CONDRON). His grandfather was William CONDRON, a bookseller in south London, who was born in about 1814 in Christchurch, Surrey. William (senior) married Sophia Martha HEATON in 1838. Sophia died in 1845 and was buried on January 23rd of that year at St. John's, Waterloo, Surrey, by which time the couple had already had two children: William CONDRON (born about 1839) and Sophia Martha CONDRON (born 1841).

At the time of the 1851 UK census, William CONDRON (senior) had apparently married a woman called Ann, but they still only had the two children William and Sophia Martha. Subsequently, a daughter Rebecca was born in 1851 and a son Henry Joseph was born in 1853. Daughter Sophia Martha married Joseph Sidney BRAY at St. Mary's, Newington, Surrey, in November 1869. I'm not sure what happened to William senior's wife Ann, but in 1860 he married Lydia PALLETT (nee PAINTER) at St. Peter's, Newington, Surrey. At the time of this marriage, William declared that his father was "William CONDRON, Gentleman". Possibly his father was the William CONDRON born in Blackfriars, in about 1787, who with his wife Frances had at least four other children, including Thomas (1810) and Sarah (1812) baptised at St. Ann's, Blackfriars, in the City of London, and also likely Elizabeth (1821) and John (1824). This William was an upholsterer (according to the 1861 census) and died in 1863.

Henry Joseph CONDRON, who was noted as a clerk in the 1871 UK census, emigrated to the USA in 1874, arriving into New York aboard the ship "Denmark" on May 9th of that year. In 1880, Henry was recorded in the US census of that year as a timekeeper and living in Galveston County, Texas. A year later, the 1881 UK census shows Lydia CONDRON (widow) and Rebecca CONDRON (unmarried) living in Newington, Surrey, in the household of Joseph and Sophia BRAY. Lydia died in Lambeth, Surrey, in 1892.

Sophia Martha BRAY (nee CONDRON) emigrated to the USA in 1889 with her husband Joseph Sidney BRAY, six children, and her sister Rebecca CONDRON, arriving into New York aboard the "Buffalo" on August 12th of that year. Her children and their given ages were Harry BRAY (19 years), Mabel (17), Esther (16), Sophia (12), Margaret (11) and William (5). The 1900 US Census for Galveston County, Texas, shows Sophia as widowed and living with three of her children and with her sister Rebecca in the household of brother Henry Joseph CONDRON and his wife Corrine. William C[ondron] BRAY is living with his married sister Esther HUGHES not far away.

The World War started in 1914, and somewhere William Condron BRAY joined the 75th Battalion Canadian Infantry. It is recorded that his parents were Joseph Sidney and Sophia Martha BRAY, and that he had a wife, Clara BRAY , of Houston, Texas. William travelled with his comrades to northern France and there, in the closing days of the war, he was killed in action by enemy shell fire on November 6th, 1918, during the attack and capture of town of Marchipont, just east of Valenciennes. The armistice that ended the war was declared five days later.

If anyone knows more about the families mentioned in this post, I would be grateful to hear from them. Also I am keen to hear from anyone the stories of their CONDR*N ancestors who died in the Great War. Please email me at condran[AT] .

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Cardiff CONDR*Ns: Descendants of William CONDREN and Jane NEWTON

Wales (dark green) and the rest of the United Kingdom (light green)
From the start of civil registration in 1838 until 1900, there are 24 CONDR*N births registered in the whole of Wales, 17 marriages, and 5 deaths. Perhaps one would have expected more, given the proximity of Wales to Ireland.

One family accounts for three quarters of all these births, marriages and deaths. That family lived in Cardiff.

William CONDREN married Jane NEWTON on September 8th, 1849, at the church of St. Mary the Virgin,  Cardiff. On their marriage certificate, William stated that his father was John CONDREN, a housesmith (presumably someone who builds houses), and William himself was a sailor. I have not unambiguously identified John, but there are a handful of John CONDR*Ns fathering children called William in Ireland in roughly the right time period.

William and Jane had at least six children: David (born 1850), Mary Jane (1854), Elizabeth (1857), Catherine (1859), Anne (1862) and Bridget Alice (1869). All six were baptised in Cardiff: Bridget at St. Peter’s church, the others at St. David’s.

David married Sarah ROSSER in 1870. That same year, tragedy struck the larger family when Jane (Newton) CONDREN died. In the census of 1871 the following year, Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Catherine and Bridget Alice are all found living in a house where Mary is described as “housekeeper”; while Ann(e) is living in a different household where she is described as “cousin”. Quite likely, William was away at sea.

In the following decade, Mary Jane married Joseph PETERSON in 1873; Elizabeth married David John GREGORY in 1875; Catherine married James FLYNN in 1879; and Anne married John COAKLEY in 1878; all in Cardiff. In the census of 1881, Bridget is living in the household of her married sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law David GREGORY, as is Mary Jane whose husband Joseph PETERSON is away at sea. Bridget Alice married someone as yet unknown, in 1887.

Are there living descendants of this family still bearing the name of CONDREN? It seems likely. David and Sarah had at least eight children: Rosavena (1872), Mary Jane (1875), Laurence (1877), William (1883), David (about 1885), Albert (1887), Arthur (1890) and Violet (about 1891). David married a Florence SMITH in 1910, but Florence died the following year. I believe David subsequently married a Rose TARBET in 1921.

I would be interested to hear from any descendants of this family or from any other Welsh CONDR*Ns. As usual, please send comments or corrections to condran[AT] .

Sunday, 9 June 2013

CONDR*Ns in the United States in the 19th Century

The 1877 courthouse in Williamson County, Texas (image from , courtesy of William Franklin CONDRON migrated from Decatur, AL, to Williamson County, TX, in 1848.
Many CONDR*Ns today live in the United States. There was significant migration of CONDR*Ns from Ireland to the US in the nineteenth century, and this is probably typical of the migration of the Irish population as a whole for the areas of Ireland where they lived. But there were also certainly CONDR*Ns in the US whose families had lived there as early as the eighteenth century, if not earlier.

The census of 1880 was the first national US census to require respondents to specify the state or country where their parents were born. According to my extractions from the website (the precise numbers do not matter, rather the trends and ratios), there were 106 CONDR*N heads of household, of whom 56 (53% of the total) had been born in Ireland, as had their parents. So a little over half of all male CONDR*N heads of household were first-generation immigrants to the US. This is not so different from the population mix in the 1860 US census twenty years earlier, where 54% of the 46 CONDR*N heads of household were born in Ireland. Perhaps predictably, most of these immigrant heads of household in 1880 were living on the eastern seaboard, in New York (14), New Jersey (9) and Pennsylvania (9).

Some 35 (33%) of the 106 CONDR*N heads of household in the 1880 census had been born in the US and their fathers had also been born in the US, which we may consider to be established US-based families. Of these, 23 were born in Pennsylvania, 4 in Alabama, 2 in Kentucky, and one each in Arkansas, Illinois, Massachussetts, Michigan, New York and Ohio. And of the 23 born in Pennsylvania to US-born fathers, 3 had fathers born in Maryland and the remaining 20 had fathers born in Pennsylvania. Thus Pennsylvania seems to have been a focus for early US-based CONDRONs, at least in the early 19th century.

The occupations of these individuals in the 1880 census exhibit differences between the newer immigrants and their more established namesakes. Amongst the 35 established individuals, the most common occupation was farmer (16), followed by laborer (5) and carpenter (3). Amongst the 56 more recent immigrants, the most common occupation was laborer (24), followed by farmer (4) and miner (3).

In the coming months and years, I intend to research and write more here about the families and ancestry of both the established and newly immigrant CONDR*Ns in the US in the nineteenth century. In the meantime, I note two rich online family histories for established CONDRON families.

One is an extensive eleven-generation genealogy starting with James Condron, who was born about 1732 in New Castle County, Delaware: .

Another is based on a 1961 document and describes the migration of William Franklin CONDRON from Alabama to Williamson County, Texas, and his subsequent descendants: .
There is a discussion thread regarding inter alia the accuracy of this document at .

As always, I welcome your comments, corrections, additional information, etc. Please send them to me at condran[AT] .

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Condron's Globe Hotel

Photo from the State Library of Victoria collection, courtesy of Alan Condron
In a blog post last December about John (Jack) CONDRON, discoverer of the Poseidon gold nugget, I asked who had owned the Globe Hotel in Bridgewater-on-Loddon, Victoria, Australia (pictured above). The inscription on the hotel apparently reads "Condron's Globe Hotel 1890". Thanks to fine detective work by correspondent Timothy Condron, I can now say that the hotel was in the hands of James CONDRON, brother of the John CONDRON.

Digging in the Trove online Australian newspapers archive, Timothy found the following advertisement in the Bendigo Advertiser for November 6th, 1895: "Tenders are required until 11th November, for the Purchase of the Globe Hotel, Bridgewater. Title perfect. Highest tender not necessarily accepted. Tenders to be addressed to JAMES CONDRON, Globe Hotel, Bridgewater".

The same newspaper for May 19th, 1897, records the transfer of the hotel's license: "INGLEWOOD, TUESDAY. LICENSING COURT. - At this court today, Mr. Greene, P.M., granted the transfer of the license of the Globe hotel, Bridgewater, from James Condron to John Carrick".

A "Mr. Condron, of the Globe hotel", presumably the same James CONDRON, was an innocent party in the drowning of an Edward RICHARDS in the River Loddon in March 1896. According to the report in the Bendigo Advertiser for March 3rd, 1896, while taking a ride in Condron's boat, Richards stood up and being inebriated fell and drowned in the river, despite Condron's attempts to save him.

As noted in my post of December last year, James and John were both sons of Thomas CONDRON and his wife Catherine (Murphy) CONDRON. Their link to the discoverer of the Poseidon nugget is confirmed by this notice in the Bendigo Advertiser for April 1st, 1907: "Mr. Thomas Condron, a resident of the Tarnagulla district for fully 50 years, died at Newbridge on Good Friday, at the age of 85 years. His son, John, was one of the lucky party who discovered the famous Poseidon nugget."

Indeed, the death certificates of Catherine and Thomas CONDRON dated 1906 and 1907 respectively, kindly supplied to me by Timothy Condron, reveal that the couple had twelve children: Honora (died before 1906), Mary Anne, Martha, John, James, Phoebe Jane (died before 1906), Jane, Thomas, William, Catherine, Eliza and Joseph. See my posting of December 2012 for more details. The first two children, appear to have been baptised at St. Nicholas's church, Dublin, Ireland, where Thomas and Catherine were married.

As an addendum to my earlier posting, another correspondent, Danielle Condron, tells me that James CONDRON and his wife Mary Ann McDONNELL had a fifth child in addition to the four I listed in that posting: a daughter, Amelia (Amy).

I am most grateful to Timothy and Danielle, and other correspondents, for continuing to send me details of CONDR*N families. Please keep sending corrections, comments and further information for the CONDR*N one-name study to me, Michael John Condran Thompson, at:
(replace "[AT]" with an "@").

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Descendants of Morgan and Winifred CONDREN

Extract from the marriage register of the Old Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri, for 25 May 1853 (from the Drouin Collection, online at
Morgan CONDREN / CONDRON is a fairly rare name, and all the instances in my database seem to trace back to the Arklow area on the borders of County Wicklow and County Wexford, Ireland. I think it's a fair bet that all male CONDR*Ns with first name Morgan and most who have Morgan as a middle name derive from families who lived in this area in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Continuing the occasional series on CONDR*Ns from County Wicklow, this post focuses on the descendants of Morgan and Winifred CONDREN who had at least eight children baptised in Arklow in the 1820s and 1830s. Their children that I know of are Sarah (born about 1820), Michael (1822), Edward (1827), Alexander (1829), Mary (1831), Winifred (1833), Eliza (1834) and Morgan (1835).

Alexander CONDREN married a Frances Maria PARR at St. Mary's Pro Cathedral in Dublin on 5 February 1857. They had three children baptised in Avoca, Co. Wicklow: Catherine (1858), John Morgan (1859) and Frances Winifred (1860). Alexander died in 1866, and his widow Frances subsequently remarried a James REDMOND in 1868. John Morgan CONDREN and his wife Sarah Annie had a daughter, Mary (1886), in Dublin, but then migrated across the Irish Sea to north Liverpool where they had three more children: Frederick (born 1889 in Bootle), William (born 1891 in Litherland) and Joseph Morgan (born 1897 in Litherland). Frederick married a Mary Jane EDGE in 1911 and hereafter this branch of the family seem to have gone by the name CONDRON. The couple had four children: Edmund (1911), Frederick (1912), William J. (1915) and Sidney (1922). A number of present-day CONDRONs in north Liverpool and in Southport are descendants of Frederick and Mary Jane CONDRON.

Of Morgan and Winifred CONDREN's other children, I know of the marriages of only two of them. Morgan junior married a Margaret TUKE in St. Nicholas church in Dublin in 1859: I don't know whether they had any children. And Mary (1831) turns up in an unexpected place. The marriage register of the Old Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri, shows the marriage of a Mary CONDRAN and a Charles LAMBERT. The bride's parents are given as Morgan CONDRAN and Winefried LACY. Given the rarity of the name Morgan, and the coincidence of his wife's first name, I think that these parents must indeed be the Morgan and Winifred who were baptising children in Arklow in the 1820s and 1830s. In that case, we have learned also that before her marriage to Morgan CONDREN, Winifred's maiden name was LACY.

I'd be pleased to hear from any descendants of these CONDR*Ns, in Ireland, England, the US or anywhere else! And if you have a Morgan CONDR*N in your family, also please let me know. I can be contacted by leaving a comment below or by emailing me at condran[AT] (replace the [AT] with an @). 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Condrons claim slalom world champion!

Mikaela Shriffin in 2012 (courtesy
Mikaela Shiffrin is a member of the U.S. Ski Team and the new reigning World Cup and world champion in slalom. And she's a CONDRON. As is her elder brother, Taylor Shiffrin, who is also a skier.

Mikaela was born on March 13, 1995 (according to Wikipedia), in Vail, Colorado, to Jeff and Eileen (Condron) SHIFFRIN. Mikaela’s grandmother, Polly CONDRON, lives in Lanesborough, Massachusetts.

This CONDRON family has lived in Massachusetts since the 1870s. Mikaela’s great-great-great grandparents were Jeremiah and Mary CONDRON. Their son, James E. CONDRON (born about 1850 in Ireland), emigrated to the United States in 1871, and married Bridget NOONAN, daughter of Thomas and Bridget NOONAN, on November 5th, 1874, in Westfield, Massachusetts. They had a son, Joseph Edward CONDRON, Mikaela’s great-grandfather, who was born in Westfield on May 7th, 1876. James CONDRON died in Westfield in 1904.

Joseph CONDRON married Rose STEINER (daughter of Frederick and Catherine [Kate] Steiner) on September 29th, 1904, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Joseph and Rose had five children: Raymond (1905), Mildred (1907), Rosa (1908), Frederick (1913) and Joseph E. (1919). Joseph junior, born June 14th, 1919, married Pauline M. (Polly) TOWLE, and they had children Patrick, Anne-Marie, Eileen and Catherine.

I’m sure CONDR*Ns everywhere wish Mikaela continuing success on the ski slopes!

All the above information relating to living persons is available on the web, from wikipedia, media coverage of Mikaela's skiing successes, and the online obituary of Mikaela's grandfather Joseph in 2006. 

As usual, I welcome any corrections. If you know anything about Jeremiah and Mary CONDRON in Ireland, I'd love to know. Email condran [AT]  or leave a comment below.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A large CONDREN tree

St. Andrew's Roman Catholic church in Westland Row, Dublin. Built in 1832-7, James Patrick CONDREN and Mary Jane SHIEL were married here in 1861, and three of their children were baptised here.
One of the largest CONDR*N family trees I have reconstructed stretches from origins in Dublin and Co. Wicklow to London and even to Australia and the USA.

James George CONDREN (born in Dublin about 1833) and his wife Mary Jane SHIEL (or SHEIL, born in Dublin about 1834) have nearly fifty descendants bearing the CONDREN name that I am aware of. In particular they had at least eight children, born between 1861 and 1877, the first four born in or near Dublin and the last four in London.

There is some confusion amongst trees of this family on the web, and an incorrect identification of James's father as "Richard CONDREN". This error apparently arises from the assumption that James George CONDREN is one and the same as an 8-year old James CONDREN who appears in the 1841 census for Hulme near Manchester.

But thanks to the people at who have made numerous Dublin marriages and baptisms freely available on their website, we can now definitively identify James George CONDREN and Mary Jane SHIEL as the couple who got married at St. Andrew's, Dublin, on 7 January, 1861. Mary Jane's father is recorded as Patrick SHEIL, and James George's father is recorded as George CONDRAN. From the relatively rarity of the name George CONDR*N, we can tentatively identify James George CONDREN's parents as George CONRAN and Mary MORGAN, who got married in the Roman Catholic parish of Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow, in 1832. A George CONDRON and a Mary MORGAN had a son James baptised at St. Mary's, Dublin, in 1833. Given the usual variety of spellings in records of this period, I think these are the same people.

So, we have George and Mary (MORGAN) CONDREN, and in the next generation James George and Mary Jane (SHIEL) CONDREN. James and Mary had four children in Ireland (Mary Ellen in 1861, Rosanne in 1863 and George Stratford in 1864, all baptised at St. Andrew's, Dublin; and James Patrick in 1866, baptised in Rathmines near Dublin). They then moved to London, where they had a further four children (Richard Martin in 1868 and Catherine Frances in 1871 in Stockwell; William Joseph in 1875 and Margaret Josephine in 1877 in Wimbledon).

Eldest son, George Stratford CONDREN, married Emily Elizabeth NORTH in 1885, and they had seven children: George Stratford junior (1885), Emily Frances (1887), Ellen Louisa (1892), John (also called Jack, 1893), William James (1898), Alice Ruth (1901) and Ebenezer James (1904). All these births were registered in the Lambeth district of south London. All seven children got married in and around London: George Stratford junior to Edith Florence GEORGE, Emily Frances to Alfred SEGROTT, Ellen Louisa to Frederick NORRIS, Jack to Rose FOSTER, William James to Christina Frances LOWER, Alice Ruth to George SMITH, and Ebenezer James to Gladys Ivy LAWN. As discussed in this blog back in 2008, George Stratford senior fell foul of the law, was found guilty of stealing while employed in the Post-office, and was sentenced at the Old Bailey in April 1887 to five years' penal servitude.

A second son, James Patrick CONDREN married firstly Louisa MARTIN (who died in 1889) in 1886, and secondly Rose Mary DUNN in 1892, each time in St. Mary's, Lambeth, London. The latter marriage produced one son, Leslie Arthur CONDREN (1892).

Another son, William Joseph CONDREN, who also went under the name of William Stratford CONDREN,  married Caroline Matilda MISKIN in 1900 at St. John's, Newington, London. They had nine children: William Joseph ("Con", 1900), Caroline May (1902), George Stratford (1905), James Richard (1905), Lilian Alice (1907), Maud (1908), Kathleen (1911), Richard John (1913), and Margaret (1915).

Where the name "Stratford" which recurs in several family members comes from, I do not know. Do you? If so, please let me know! And, as usual, I would welcome any corrections to the above or further information, particularly from family members. E-mail condran[AT] (replace "[AT]" with "@") or leave a comment below.

And finally, do you know of any CONDR*N family spread over more than three continents? If so, I'd like to hear from you!

Monday, 21 January 2013

It's a Long Way to Tipperary

CONDR*N places on a road sign near Lorrha, Co. Tipperary
It's a long way to Tipperary, in the words of the old music-hall song - but not if you're starting from Co. Offaly (King's County). Historically almost all of the CONDR*Ns in Co. Tipperary are found in the northern part of the county, not far from Co. Offaly where the CONDR*Ns appear to originate.

It's a long way to Tipperary from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but that's where a Co. Tipperary CONDRON family emigrated to, as we shall see.

Most of the nineteenth century CONDR*N baptisms in Co. Tipperary occur in the Roman Catholic parishes of Lorrha, in the far northern tip of the county, and the parishes of Birr and Shinrone which straddle the Tipperary-Offaly border. The earliest baptisms in Lorrha of which I have records are in the 1830s, to couples such as John & Judy, John & Margaret, Daniel & Mary, and Andrew & Mary. After the introduction of universal civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in 1864, a number of CONDR*N life events are recorded in the registration district of Borrisokane in the north of the county.

The 1901 census of Ireland records only 10 CONDR*Ns in Co. Tipperary. One of these is a widow Mary CONDRON, in Curra(gh)glass, Lorrha East, accompanied by her son-in-law Thomas WATSON and her daughter Mary WATSON (nee CONDRON). I believe that Mary CONDRON was the widow of Patrick CONDRON, and that her maiden name may have been NEEDHAM. Her daughter Mary, who may have been born in Riverstown and baptised in Lorrha, married Thomas WATSON in 1894. The same household is recorded in the 1911 census also, one of only two CONDR*Ns recorded in the county in that year. (The other was a Frank CONDRON, a 50-year old shoemaker in Roscrea, whom I have not yet been able to trace.)

A family living in Ballyquirke, Lorrha West, in 1901, but absent by 1911, was that of Andrew and Margaret CONDRON. Andrew married Margaret SMITH on September 1, 1855, in Lorrha. They had twelve children. I know of the baptisms in Lorrha of seven of them: Mary (1857), Patrick (1860), Anne (1862, presumably died in infancy), Thomas (1865), Anne (1867), Andrew (1869), and Peter (1871). Another son, Daniel, was born in 1874. In 1901, Thomas (aged 73) and Margaret (aged 66) are living in Ballyquirke with just two of their adult children: Andrew and Daniel.

Less than a month after the census date, Daniel emigrated to the USA, arriving in the port of Philadelphia on 5 May 1901 on board the Noordland with his cousin Michael GLENNEN. Both give their last residence as Portumna. Daniel nmes a brother Dennis CONDRON, living in Philadelphia, as his relative in the USA. In 1904, Andrew and Margaret and son Andrew also emigrated, arriving into Philadelphia on 31 October on board the Friesland. Andrew declares his relatives in the USA as daughter Mrs Teresa KEARNEY and son Daniel CONDRON, both of Philadelphia. He goes on to state, "Have also 4 other sons and 1 daughter here".

We next find the family in the 1910 census for Philadelphia Ward 34. Andrew and Margaret are living with their son Daniel and his wife of four years, Catherine, and their two children Andrew (1908) and Margaret (1909). It is this census record that states that Andrew and Margaret had twelve children, of whom eight were still alive in 1910. There are several other CONDRONs in Philadelphia Ward 34. One is our Andrew (junior), living in the household of his brother-in-law Peter KEARNEY and his wife of 22 years, Teresa. Another is Dennis CONDRON and his wife of 20 years, Mary, and their children. Going back ten years to the 1900 census, we again find the households of Dennis & Mary CONDRON and Peter & Teresa KEARNEY: at this time, there is another brother, Peter CONDRON, living with the KEARNEYs. It seems highly likely that Dennis (emigrated 1881 or 1882 according to the censuses), Teresa (emigrated 1886) and Peter (emigrated 1891), as well as Daniel and Andrew, are all siblings and the children of Andrew and Margaret CONDRON.

There are two other CONDRON heads-of-household in Philadelphia Ward 34, who might also be related though I have no further evidence for that: Patrick CONDRON who says he was born 1862-1864 and emigrated in 1884, and Thomas CONDRON who says he was born in 1857 and emigrated in 1886.

The elder Andrew CONDRON died on February 11, 1912, and was buried three days later. The details are on in their "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915 Index" collection. This record gives a clue that takes the family back one further generation: Andrew's parents are given as Andrew CONDRON and Annie MAHER, though I have not yet managed to trace either of them or their marriage in Ireland.

As always, I will appreciate any corrections or additional information, especially if you are related to any of the above people. Please email me at condran[AT] (replace the [AT] with @), or leave a comment below. Thanks!