The O’Connor Family

Descended from King Feredach the Just,

Born in A.D. 75

In the spring of 1995, Dianne O'Connell decided to make another try at finding additional information regarding her husband Chuck's grandmother's family -- the family of Margaret O'Connor O'Connell.  She sent letters of inquiry to all the O'Connor families still living in the Vermillion, South Dakota area -- since she knew that Maggie had married William G. O'Connell near that community.

Sure enough, a few weeks later, a telephone call came from J. Byron O'Connor, 82, of Sioux City, Iowa -- not too far from Vermillion, South Dakota.  Mr. O'Connor was full of stories told to him as a boy about his Aunt Maggie and her "famous" husband Billy O'Connell -- the sheriff of Flathead Co., Montana, who hanged the outlaw Lebeau.  O'Connor also knew of an O'Connell who had a bridge named after him in Alaska, but he wasn't sure of his relationship to Billy.  Chuck explained to him that the bridge was named after his father John O'Connell, and that Billy O'Connell was his grandfather.  A fast friendship developed.

Soon after, family information and photographs began to flow between Sioux City, Iowa, and Anchorage, Alaska.  The information which follows is from that exchange.

Byron reported that the O'Connor family tree of Ireland could be traced back farther than any other in the Western World.  Some 61 generations had been accounted for all the way to King Feredach the Just, born in A.D.75.  (L.M. Boyd newspaper column, 1978)

O'Connor is the name of the family which once ruled Connacht and provided Ireland with her last two High Kings.  It is now one of the ten most common surnames in Ireland.   There were septs of O'Connors in County Kerry, County Kildare, and County Clare.

But the history of Byron’s and Maggie’s O'Connors begins about 1780 with the birth of Denis O'Connor of Balloughtragh, County Kerry, Ireland.  A great grandson of this Denis, also named Denis O'Connor (of Ballyferriter, Ireland) provided Byron with the history of the family and descendants living in Ireland and Canada from which this information is obtained.

Denis O’Connor of Balloughtragh

County Kerry, Ireland

Denis O’Connor1, born about 1780, married Mary O’Sullivan. Denis and Mary were the parents of:

1.         Jerry2, born 21 DEC 1807 at Balloughtragh; married9 FEB 1834 Mary O’Sullivan (sic). The register of births and marriages at Balloughtragh begins in   the year 1807.  It is possible there were other members of the family born prior to Jerry, but he is the first recorded. The year 1843 was when the great famine was at its height.  It caused an upheaval everywhere.  Jerry O'Connor, as a result, moved from his farm of 27 acres in Balloughtragh to the one of the more of less same acreage in Ballaglishe.  His youngest son, Timothy, is listed as born in Ballaghlishe, while all his other children are listed in the Balloughtragh register. To the best of our knowledge, Jerry and Mary (O’Sullivan) O’Connor were the parents of:

            1.         Denis3, born 10 NOV 1834. This is the line which leads to the family who, by and large, remained in Ireland. If you are looking for OUR line here in America, follow brother Patrick's family. Denis was born in Balloughtrach; moved with his parents to Ballaghlishe; and married 1 FEB 1862 a girl from Ballyferriter, Mary Manning. Denis and Mary (Manning) O’Connor were the parents of:

                     1.         Patrick4, born22 FEB 1863; died about 1923.

                     2.         Catharina4, born9 JUN 1865.

                     3.         Catharina4, born30 JUN 1866. Katie married John Kavanagh and lived in Lispole.  Both were teachers.

                    4.         Joseph4, born19 SEP 1870. Joseph married Joan Shea and stayed on farm at Ballaglishe.

                     5.         Hannah4, born 12 FEB 1873; “died inAmerica.”

                     6.         John4, born 24 MAY 1875; “died young.”

                     7.         Margaret4, 5 AUG 1877. Margaret married Michael Fenton, Ventry parish.

                    8.         Ellen4, born2 APR 1880. Ellen became Sister Margarite Joseph S.N.D., Notre Dame Normal Institute, 555 Plantation St.,  Worcester,MA,USA.

                     9.         Michael4, born 14 SEP 1883. Michael married Nellie Garvey.  Michael was principal teacher Ballyferriter school, now retired. Gaelic is the spoken language, all subjects taught through Gaelic at the school. Michael's son, Denis, succeeded him as principal of this school, and is our historian who provided the information on the Irish members of the family.  Michael and Nellie O’Connor were the parents of:

                                    1.         Denis5.

                        10.       Mary4, born14 SEP 1883.  Informant had not yet found Mary's birth date.  She went toAmerica where she married Michael Manning of Ballyferriter.  She was the mother of Mrs. Dunphy,  Lovell, and of Mrs. Josie Keeffe. Mary's husband travelled to Ireland accompanied by his infant son.  He died on board ship and was buried at sea.  The son remained with his grandparents at Baliglishe for a few years.  Ellen, his aunt, went toAmerica, taking him with her.  She remained inAmerica and became Sister Margarite Joseph, S.N.D. Mary’s daughter Mrs. Dunphy had seven sons and five daughters. All five daughters entered the Order of Notre Dame.  The family is engaged in the hotel business inNew Hampshire.

            2.         John3, born11 MAY 1836 inIreland; married Ellen Dowd, born in Ireland. John O'Connor was age 40 in the 1880 census for Clay Co., South Dakota. He was born inIreland, of course, as was his wife, "Ella", 34.  Children included Tim, 11, bornIowa;  Thomas S., 10, bornIowa; Lerunah J. (son), 8, bornIowa; James J., 6, bornIowa; and John P., 3, bornIowa. I could not find the family in the 1900 or 1910 censuses for South Dakota.  Family tradition says that this family re-located toDenver, CO. No soundex for 1900 or 1910 forColorado. John and Ellen (Dowd  O’Connor were the parents of:


                        1.         Timothy4, who became a priest.

                        2.         John4, who became a priest.

                        3.         Tom4,

                        4.         Austin4,

                        5.         Bernard4, probably “Lerunah” above.

                        6.         Ed4,

                        7.         A son4.

            3.         Mary3, born 25 OCT 1838 married Daniel Sullivan; died April 1924 at Vermillion, SD.  Daniel was born 6 JAN 1834 County Kerry, Ireland; and died 13 MAY 1911 at Garryowen, SD.  Dutch Blair of Madison, South Dakota, gives his grandmother's birthdate as 27 SEP 1838 rather than 25 OCT 1838.  One could be a baptismal date. In any event, Blair writes:

                        The Daniel Sullivan family came toAmerica fromIreland sometime

                        around 1866, as near as I can determine at this date.  They came to

                        Dubuque,Iowa, first; don't know exactly how long they stayed there.

                        (Mary O'Connor obviously married Daniel Sullivan inIreland.  The family

                        followed Mary's brothers toAmerica, settling in Garryowen. Two of Dan's

                        brothers were also in the Garryowen area.)


                        I do remember my mother saying they came to Garryowen when Katherine (Aunt Kate)

                        was a baby.  The railroad at that time came as far as Sioux City,Iowa,

                        and the Sullivans walked to Garryowen, a distance of  some forty miles.  They

                        homesteaded on a quarter section just south of the Garryowen Cemetery,

                        where the firstGarryowen Church was located.  Daniel, Mary, Margaret,

                        Dennis and Josie are buried in the Garryowen Cemetery.


                        Daniel (Sober Dan) was a cooper by trade inIreland, a barrel maker.  I

                        don't know much about the other Sullivan families.  I know Dan's brother

                        lived on the quarter section just south of Dan, but I can't remember his

                        first name.  This family included Con, Tom, Hannah, and Mike.

                        I can remember my Raddi Dan Sullivan, I remember when he used to

                        drive the horse and buggy to our farm, a distance of seven miles.  He

                        chewed tobacco, I can remember him cutting a chunk off the plug with

                        his knife and putting it in his mouth.  He had to gum it; as I recall he

                        didn't have many teeth.  When we went into the house for dinner, he

                        would drop the chunk of tobacco from his mouth into his left hand and

                        then put it into his shirt pocket.  He apparently never chewed on it very



                        I was four and a half years old when Granddad Dan died.  I can

                        remember the funeral very distinctly.  Harvey, Nellie, Harold and I went

                        to the funeral.  I remember the gray hearse and horses and the buggies,

                        the last of which was coming out of the lane when we turned left (off

                        what is now Hwy. 770 to go to the Church.  When we came out of the

                        church I couldn't figure out why we walked by the buggy, I was telling

                        Dad we went too far.  The coffin was lowered into a pine box at the

                        bottom of the grave by straps, then someone got down in the grave and

                        nailed a cover on the box.  A half dozen then shoveled dirt over the grave.

                        No one left until the grave was filled.  I have been back to Garryowen

                        cemetery many times since that spring day in 1911, to funerals and just

                        to visit, but my memory of Dan Sullivan's funeral stands out more

                        clearly than all the others.


                        We visited the Sullivan home in Garryowen for quite a few years, always

                        by horse and buggy or wagon or sled.  The Sullivans moved into

                        Vermillion, I think in 1916 or 1917.  They bought a house right close to

                        St. Agnes Church.  The address was119 N. Franklin Street.  Here the

                        family resided until the last one, Aunt Josie died in January, 1958.  At

                        one time or another during that time others members of the family there

                        included Margaret, "Mrs. Fair", who died in 1922;  Katherine, who spent

                        about half the time in Vermillion and the other half inPasadena,CA;

                        Grandma Sullivan, who died in 1924; and Dennis, who returned to

                        Vermillion from the Murdo-Kennebec country in 1918 and became a

                        member of the city police force until shortly before he died in 1947.


                        For some reason unknown to me, none of mother's brothers Tom, Pat or

                        Dennis ever married.  My mother and two of her sisters, Mary and

                        Margaret were the only ones in that family who married.  The Sullivan

                        name from this family passed into eternity when Dennis Sullivan died in

                        1947.  Perhaps this bachelor state was somewhat typical of the Irish in

                        those days.


                        Of the other Sullivan family, Sober Dan's brothers Tom and Mike were

                        married.  I have a better recollection of my Grandmother Mary O'Connor's

                        family, perhaps because there were more of them that lived in South



                        In my Grandmother's family there were seven boys and one girl.  All but

                        one came toAmerica and settled in the Garryowen community.  Besides

                        Mary was Tim, Tom, Pat, John, Jerry, and James.  Dennis stayed in



                        Daniel and Mary (O’Connor) Sullivan were the parents of:

                        1.         Thomas D4., born 29 MAR 1860 in County Kerry, Ireland.

                       2.         Patrick J4, born 15 DEC 1861 in County Kerry, Ireland; died OCT 1945 at Los Angeles, CA.

                        3.         Mary4, born 12 DEC 1863; died24 NOV 1934 atCulver City, CA. Following the death of her husband, Mary Sullivan Manni  re-located toCalifornia.  She died in 1934 and is buried in theCulver City Cemetery -- along with her brothers Tom and Pat Sullivan .Nephew "Dutch" Blair remembers that Aunt Mary had a son, Leo, and two daughters, Leila and Udell.  "Don't think they left any descendants," he says.  Mr. and Mrs. Manning were the parents of:

                                    1.         Leo5,

                                    2.         Leila5,

                                    3.         Udell5.

                        4.         Katherine4, born14 MAR 1869 atDubuque,IA.

                        5.         Margaret4, born6 MAY 1871 at Garryowen,SD; died5 NOV 1922 at Vermillion, SD.

                        6.         Dennis4, born 1 DEC 1872 atGarryowen, SD; died DEC 1947 at Vermillion, SD.

                        7.         Ellen Anastacia4, born16 JAN 1875 atGarryowen, SD; died3 FEB 1955 at Vermillion, SD. She married3 SEP 1904 Harvey Leroy Blair. Leroy and Ellen Blair were the parents of:

                                    1.         Harold Lewis5, born 19 AUG 1905.

                                    2.         Francis Leroy (Dutch) 5, born 13 OCT 1906; married 27 JUN 1939 Grace Tanner. Dutch Blair wrote an extensive review of the Family of Daniel Sullivan and Mary O'Connor, his grandparents.  He also includes considerable information on his own life.  The full document is included  in the paper files. Dutch and Grace Blair were the parents of:

                                                1.         Mary6. Mary was Grace’s daughter by a previous marriage.  She was five years old at the time her mother married Dutch Blair.  Blair formally adopted  Grace "sometime in the late forties."

                                                2.         John6, born22 JUN 1940.

                                                3.         David6, born25 JUL 1941.

                                                4.         Patricia6, born10 FEB 1944.

                                                5.         Thomas6, born4 NOV 1946.

                                    3.         Joseph Pearl5, born 3 MAY 1908.

                                    4.         Hazel Catherine5, born 20 JUL 1910.

                                    5.         Esther Viola5, 2 NOV 1913.

                                    6.         Ethel Lenore5, born 1 AUG 1915.

                        8.         Josie4, born MAY 1877 at Garryowen, SD; died JAN 1958 at Vermillion, SD.

            4.         Thomas3, born 15 DEC 1840; married Catherine Dowd.  Called "Smashem" Tom.  Tom and family lived in the Vermillion area. Tom and Catherine O’Connor were the parents of:

                        1.         John4,

                        2.         Vincent4,

                        3.         Ella4,

                        4.         Marcella4,

                        5.         Joe4,

                        6.         Tillie4,

                        7.         Agnes4,

                        8.         Kate4.

            5.         Patrick3, born 20 MAY 1843. (More of whom below).

            6.         James3, born 2 NOV 1845; married Casey. "Long Jim" O'Connor and family lived in Newcastle, NB. Jim and Casey O’Connor were the parents of:

                        1.         Jerrie4,

                        2.         Mollie4, who married aConway.

                        3.         Anne4,

                        4.         Dick4.

            7.         Jerry3, born15 OCT 1848; married a Donahue.  We have a photograph taken by Dutch Blair of a grave marker inGarryowen Cemetery, Vermillion, SD:

                                    Mary N. O'Connor

                                           Wife of

                                 Jeremiah J. O'Connor

                                Mother of 13 Children


The fact that Jerry O'Connor lists himself as having 13 offspring in a letter written in 1932, leads us to believe that this is the tombstone for his wife Mary, who died at age 50.

Jerry O'Connor wrote a letter to his nephew Michael inIreland in 1932.  The entire letter is in the files and is, indeed, worth reading.  It gives a history which is probably replicated, with minor modifications, for most branches of the O'Connell/O'Connor family.

Jerry was born in Ballyferriter.  He bid adieu to the village on 5 AUG 1875 and arrived inIowa on the 15th day of the same month.  He was 27 years of age when he leftIreland.

Brothers John and Thomas O'Connor were living on a farm inIowa.  After his arrival inIowa, Jerry stayed with his brothers until the following March, 1876.  He then hired on with a different farmer for eight more  months.

At the expiration of this time, Jerry started for Dakota, at the bidding of brother Pat.  Jerry taught school there for two years and then bought a farm and got married.  He worked the farm for 43 years before selling it and moving to Vermillion, S.D.  He resided at Vermilllion for two years and then re-located toCalifornia.  He had been living inCalifornia for nine years at the time he wrote the letter (1932).

Jerry gave this run down of his and his siblings' offspring:  Two of John's sons are priests inMinnesota; one child is inMontana, another inNorth Dakota, another inSan Diego, and one, a lawyer, is in New York City. (Total: 6)

                        Tom's offspring:            8.

                        Mary's offspring:           8.

                        Pat's offspring:   17  (our records only list 16).

                        James' offspring:           4.

                        Tim's offspring:              7.

                        Jerry's offspring:         13.

                                                             Total:  63 cousins.

Jerry's assessment was that there was an O'Connor family member living in every state of the union.  It is, indeed, mathematically possible. We only know the names of four of Jerry and Mary O’Connor’s contribution to this  population boom:

                        1.         Joe4, known as "Sheller" Joe.

                        2.         Luke4.

                        3.         Agnes4, who married John Walsh and moved toCalifornia in the 1920s.

                        4.         Annie4. Annie married Bill Ballard and lived on a farm about two miles from Dutch Blair's family near Garryowen.

            8.         Timothy3, born 2 MAR 1851; married Mary Manning, who was born about 1863 in Iowa.  Tim O'Connor and family lived close to St. Agnes Church in Vermillion, right next to the Clay County Fairgrounds.  He seemed to visit his mother Mary more than the others, according to Dutch Blair.  Two of Dutch's younger sisters lived at Uncle Tim's while going to high school. Mary was mentioned in her father's will as Mary O'Connor.   She received one dollar from the estate, as did sister Margaret Manning  O'Connor and brother James Manning.  Her father was John W.  Manning. Timothy and Mary (Manning) O’Connor were the parents of:

                         1.           Jerry4.

                        2.           John4. "Jack" O'Connor married a Lee.  The Lees lived next door to Dutch Blair's grandmother in Vermillion.  Doc Lee was Jack's brother-in-law, he reports.

                        3.         Pat4. Pat married Margaret Kyte and moved onto the Sullivan farm in 1917 or thereabouts.  Dutch Blair was sure he was living there on4 JUL 1918 when the Blair family was there for a picnic.

                        4.         Josephine4. Josie died of tubuculosis in the 1930s.

                        5.         Alice4. Alice taught at Saginaw School from 1918 to 1920, and was Dutch Blair's seventh and eighth grade teacher.  Alice married Ernest Reedy.

                        6.         Veronica4. Veronica married Phil Oden.

                        7.         Bernard4. Bernard died of tuberculosis in the 1930s.

2.         Patrick2, born 15 FEB 1810,

3.         John2, born 7 AUG 1812,

4.         Joanna2, born 15 MAY 1814,

5.         Joanna2, born 15 FEB 1818. The two Joanna girls could mean either of two possibilities, according to the materials:  a). that the first Joanna died in infancy, or b). one Joanna stood for Hannah and the second for Nora. My inclination would be to go with possibility a).

Patrick O’Connor

Garryowen, Dakota Territory

Patrick3 (Jerry2, Denis1) O’Connor was born 20 MAY 1843 at Balloughtragh, County Kerry, Ireland; married about 1870 Margaret Manning; died 1903 at Union County, SD.  Margaret was born FEB 1852 at Garryowen, SD; and died 1902 at Garryowen. 

In the 1880 census for the Dakota Territory, the Patrick O'Connor family consisted of Mary A., 9; Margaret J., 7; John, 6; Ellen, 5; Catherine, 4; and Patrick and James, age  2.  All the children were listed as born in the Dakotas.

Patrick O'Connor moved to Kalispell, after half of the family was decimated by tuberculosis, three of the family being deceased in the year 1902, namely the Mother Margaret, Patrick and Ruth Viola.  The Elder Patrick took what was left of the family to Kalispell where he had purchased a farm.

In 1903, Patrick suffered a heart attack and died while he and his son Timothy Francis were returning home in a horse and buggy.  The body was shipped back to Garryowen for burial.  This information came from a J.J. O'Connor who said he guessed he knew what he was talking about because he helped escort the body from Burbank, South Dakota, to the Garryowen Cemetery where he was buried along side wife Margaret, Patrick and

Ruth Viola.  No marker for many years -- but sonar check indicates body is there.  J. Byron O'Connor had a stone erected later.

Birth date and death year for Patrick O'Connor are the ones given in the material provided by J. Byron O'Connor of Sioux City, Iowa, in May of 1995.

Byron also provided us a photograph of the homestead of Patrick and Margaret (Manning) O'Connor, located one quarter mile east of Garryowen Church, and one quarter mile off the main road (south), Union Co., South Dakota.

Margaret, wife of Patrick

Margaret Manning was born in 1852 somewhere in Ohio.  She was the daughter of John W. Manning and his first wife Mary Sullivan.  She had, at least one brother, James, and possibly a brother Michael.

Margaret Manning O'Connor was the mother of 16 children. She shows up in the 1880 census for Brule twp. Union Co., Dakota Territory, with her husband Patrick O'Connor, and the first seven children: O’Connor, Patrick, husband, 34  b. Ireland; Margaret, wife , 29, b. Ohio; Mary, daughter, 9, b. Dakota; Margaret J., daughter, 7, b. Dakota; John, son, 6, b. Dakota; Elen, daughter, 5, b. Dakota; Catherine, daughter, 4, b. Dakota; Patrick, son, 2, b. Dakota; and James, son, 2, b. Dakota.

The remaining nine children are of listed in the 1900 census for Brule  Township, Union County, Dakota Territory: O’Connor,  Patrick, husband, b. 1846, age 56, Ireland; Margaret, wife, b. FEB 1852, age 48, Ohio; Jerry, son, b. AUG 1880, age 19, SD; Agnes, daughter, b. MAY 1883, age 17, SD; Teresa, daughter, b. APR 1885, age15, SD; Michael, son, b. DEC 1886, age 13, SD; Bessie, daughter, b. APR 1889, age 11, SD; Rachel, daughter, b. FEB 1891, 9, SD; Frank, son, b. NOV 1891, age 6, SD; Laurina, daughter, b. JUL 1895, age 4, SD; Ruth, daughter, b. FEB 1896, age 2, SD.

Margaret Manning O'Connor was mentioned in the will of her father John W. Manning who died in 1885.  She received one dollar from the estate plus one bay mare named "Puss."

Following Margaret's own death in 1902, from tuberculosis, her husband Patrick moved the remainder of the family to Kalispel, Montana.  He died the following year and was returned to Garryowen Cemetery, Union County, SD, to be buried beside Margaret and two of their children who had also died from tuberculosis.

Patrick and Margaret (Manning) O’Connor were the parents of:

1.         Mary Ann4,born 29 NOV 1870. Mary Ann married Elmer E. Miller.  She died in 1902 at the age of about 32. Byron O'Connor notes:  "I corresponded a lot with Elmer and met his daughter Pat for the first time when she and Ben came to one of our O'Connor reunions in Garryowen." Pat, now Mrs. Ben Erhart, and her sister Audrey, now Mrs. Ray Bogue, sent Byron a copy of their father's death notice, June 3, 1980.

Carlsbad -- Elmer E. Miller, 85, of5300 Carlsbad Blvd., died Thursday in a local convalescent hospital. Born inMontana, he lived inNorth County for 17 years and had been employed in General Telephone's maintenance department for 15 years. He was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church inCarlsbad.  Survivors include two daughters, Margaret P. Erhart ofCarlsbad, and Audrey F. Bogue ofParadise; two grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Mass will be held Monday,8 a.m., at St. Patrick's Catholic Church.  Elmer and Mary Ann (O’Connor) Miller were the parents of:

            1.         Margaret P.,

            2.         Audrey F.,

2.         Margaret Jane4 (wife of William Henry “Billy” O’Connell).

3.         John Joseph4, born29 MAR 1873; died 1957. Byron O'Connor, 82, writes in 1995: "My uncle Jack fromButte (Montana) and later Helena (Montana) has told me a lot about the O'Connors and the O'Connells......" Jack told the boy about Aunt Maggie and her husband Billy O'Connell, theFlathead County sheriff who hung the outlaw Labeau.  His story, however, indicated that Maggie and Billy had grown to like Labeau and weren't all that sure that he was guilty.  Billy hanged him anyway.  Newsclippings indicate that Billy had no regrets (but it is interesting to have this little bit of family insight).

4.         Nellie A.4, born 12 JAN 1875; died 1955. Nellie married a man named Sweeney.  Byron believed the family lived in Santeo, CA.

5.         Katherine C. 4, born 1 DEC 1876; died 1905.

6.         Patrick4, born 11 MAR 1878, died 1901.  Patrick and Jim were twins.

7.         Jim4, born 11 MAR 1878; died 1901.

8.         Jeremiah Austin4, born 20 AUG 1881 at Garryowen; married Sarah Jane Glass; died 30 MAY 1934.  Sarah Jane was born 1886 at Garryowen and died FEB 1910.  Jeremiah married second 3 JUN 1925 Margaret Ladenthin.  Jeremiah was called Jerry.   He was with the Sioux City Street Car Department, the Sioux City Fire   Department, and the Sioux City Police Department, as a police officer and, at the time of his death, was with the detective division. Jeremiah, his wife Sarah Jane, and their son Patrick Lawton, are buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Garryowen area, Union Co., South Dakota. Jeremiah and his second wife, Margaret, had no children.  Jeremiah and Sarah Jane (Glass) O’Connor were the parents of:

            1.         John Byron5, born15 JUN 1907,South Dakota Territory; married first 11 DEC 1930 Elizabeth Adelline Huls; died9 SEP 1997 atSioux City, IA.  Byron married second8 AUG 1962 Arlynn Stolpe Forney.  J. Byron O'Connor retired from the Sioux City Fire Department in March 1973.  For some years he tuned pianos on his days off while on the Fire Department.  Now, in retirement, tuning could be full time if he so desired.  While Byron had no formal musical education he has a gift and can play well by "ear", also in the art of combining musical sounds or sequences of notes into harmonious patterns. Byron was specifically requested to tune the Baldwin Concern Grand pianos at theUniversity of  South Dakota.

At the age of 82, Byron was our primary O'Connor family researcher.  He is a member of the Garryowen, Union Co.,South Dakota, Cemetery Association, and theRiver City Anglers Conservation Committee, Sioux City, Iowa.  Earlier in his career, he was active in, and president of, the Iowa Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, 1952-1953.

Byron and his first wife had two children. Byron and his second wife did not have children, but she brought five of her own to the marriage.   Together, in 1995, they had 18 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Byron writes that by 1902, half of the family of Patrick and Margaret (Manning) O'Connor and half the members of his mother's family (the Glass family) were decimated by tuberculosis.  His Aunt Maggie O'Connell died of tuberculosis, as did his own mother.

"I was seven, my sister Stella four, and our brother was 18 months old, when our mother passed away, and like so many of both the Glass and O'Connor families, from tuberculosis.

"My father filed for a claim out atKadoka, South Dakota, in 1906.  I was born there in a sod shanty in '07.  We had to leave there and take my mother toColorado, where me and my sister lived with her inDenver and Boulder.

"My father did not change jobs, but visited us regularly.  We were very fortunate as my mother had three married sisters within a ten mile radius of Garryowen -- and I love the farm, working with horses and farming, in general.

"After high school, my father re-married, Margaret Laudenthin.  My brother, Patrick Lawton, was adopted by one of his Aunts and during school years my sister and I were sort of moved from pillar to post.  We couldn't wait to get back on the farm during vacations and the summer months.

"We lost Patrick to Brights disease; Stella was practically adopted by a loving family; and I finished my education "in the school of hard knocks."

"My first wife, Elizabeth, fought cancer for eight years.

"After Elizabeth's passing,  I married a Swedish Republican Lutheran from Nebraska. She is always involved in retired teachers, Alpha Phi Delta, interfaith activities, and has spent the better part of a year in  bringing the genealogy of her family up to date.

"She went toIreland with me, and me toSweden with her.

"(My) granddaughter (Cynthia) single-handedly took on the mighty forces of A.T. & T.   She was the only woman, thirty years of age,  as chairman of the negotiating commttee, who kept them in line as secretary of Local 7101, Cedar Rapids,IA, and was asked to run for an International vice presidency slot."  Byron and his first wife Elizabeth were the parents of:

                        1.         Stella Elizabeth6, born 7 MAR 1932 at Sioux City, IA; married 7 JAN 1950 Dale Lee Booth. Dale was born 10 SEP 1928 at Tilden township, Cherokee County; and died 21 JAN 1955. She married second 15 JUL 1961 Keith Udell Klingler, born 9 NOV 1928 at Mariandahl Township, Yankton County, SD. Ketih (1982) was a construction supervisor, splicing division, with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Iowa City, IA. Dale and Stella (O’Connor) Booth were the parents of:

                                    1.         Cynthia Lee7, born 27 MAR 1952 at Cherokee, IA; married 26 JUN 1971 Vernon Edward Maher. Vernon was born 11 MAY 1950 at Iowa City, IA.  In 1982, Vernon was a cable splicer, Conformance Testing, with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, Iowa City, Iowa. Cynthia was a senior clerk, D.S.S. Input, with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, Iowa City, Iowa. They resided in rural Oxford, IA. Vernon and Cynthia (O’Connor) Maher were the parents of:

                                                1.         Keista Lynn8, born 22 APR 1976,

                                                2.         Sean Michael8, born18 JUL 1978.

                        2.         Patrick Joseph6, born 22 FEB 1940 at Sioux City, IA; married 1 JUL 1961 Judy Anne Lorenzen, born 16 JUL 1939. Patrick was a master patrolman with the Sioux City, Iowa Police Department.  Judy is with the Soo Federal Credit Union.  In 1982, daughter Chell was a sophomore at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, majoring in accounting, and daughter Tara had just graduated from high school. Patrick and Judy (Lorenzen) O’Connor were the parents of:

                                    1.         Chell Anne7, born10 OCT 1962,

                                    2.         Tara Lynne7, born8 NOV 1963,

                                    3.         Kimberly Jane7, born3 AUG 1965,

                                    4.         Jerald Patrick7, born21 AUG 1967.

            2.         Stella Margaret5, born 12 OCT 1911 at Sioux City, IA; married 16 DEC 1929 Roland Thomas Burke. Roland was born 4 MAR 1909 at Minneapolis, MN and died 5 MAR 1965 at Austin, TX.

            3.         Lawton Patrick5, born 1913 at Sioux City, IA. Patrick Lawton "Lottie" died in JUL 1925 at age 14 years as a result of Brights disease.

9.         Agnes Irene4, born 12 MAY 1883; married Henry Byrde; died 1962. Henry and Agnes (O’Connor) Byrde were the parents of:

            1.         Irene5. Byron O'Connor writes in 1995: "I'm sending the address of a cousin in Seattle...she would be a daughter of Aunt Agnes, who was the ninth oldest of the sixteen.  Aunt Agnes was married to a Henry Byrde.  Their daughter Irene Coen is a really nice person, but has had terrific physical and medical problems with two very fine daughters.  Irene's address is 3212 11th Avenue, West Seattle, WA 98119-1806.  I know it doesn't make any difference but Irene was an adopted daughter, but a full fledged member of the O'Connor Clan."

10.       Teresa Rose4, born 16 APR 1885; died 1901.

11.       Michael Charles4, born 1 DEC 1886; died in 1945.

12.       Alice Elizabeth4, born 26 APR 1889; died in 1919. Alice married a man named Shaw.

13.       Loretta Rachael4, born 15 FEB 1891; married a man named Ouellette; died in 1972 at San Jose, CA.  A granddaughter wrote a lengthy, beautiful poem in commemoration of Loretta’s life, which is sadly  too long to include here.

14.       Timothy Francis4, born 8 NOV 1893; died in 1945.

15.       Viola Ruth4, born 29 FEB 1898; died in 1902.

16.       Laurina Veronica4, born 23 JUL 1895; married a man named Beseau; and died in 1963.

Margaret Jane O’Connor

Wife of William Henry ‘Billy” O’Connell

Here ends the story of Margaret Jane “Maggie” O’Connor’s roots and extended family. Uncle Jeremiah was right, through all the struggle, pain and disease of the western frontier, the family had grown and prospered.  There was, no doubt, an O’Connor in every state of the union.

 Maggie’s own story is contained in the William Henry “Billy” O’Connell narrative. 

What comes next is the story of Claudia Irene Lewis’s roots.  It was she who married Billy and Maggie’s youngest son, John Willard O’Connell.

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