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!