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] .

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