Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Charles McConnell

You are looking at the gravestone of my 3rd great-grandfather, Charles McConnell. Something that makes him particularly interesting to me is the fact that, as far as I know, he was my most recent immigrant ancestor. According to the inscription on the stone, he was "Born in Co. Donegal, Ireland 1800" and "Came to America 1820". I've never seen immigration information on any of my other family graves.

He died on December 25, 1871.

I actually know very little about him. I don't know who his parents were. I don't know what ship he came to America on. I do know that in 1850, he lived in the home of his future father-in-law, John Morrow. The census claimed he was 65 at that time, and his future wife, Ann Jane Morrow, was 28. They must have been married soon after because my great-great-grandmother Mary F. (McConnell) Fife was born in 1851. In the 1860 census, Charles listed his age as 60, which matches the date on his tombstone. Charles and Ann Jane lived all of their married life in Upper Saint Clair Twp, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, but they must have attended church in Bridgeville, PA. They were buried in the churchyard at Fawcett Methodist Church located there.

One mystery in my research were two people living in his home in 1860: Gerry and Anna McConnell who were born in Ireland. It seems likely that they were relatives, but I have not been able to locate them in any other census. I do not know if they were a married couple or perhaps brother and sister. I used to wonder if they were his children from an earlier marriage, but if Charles McConnell came to America in 1820, then Gerry and Anna, born in 1831 and '37, could not have been his children, perhaps his niece and nephew.

Charles and Ann Jane were the parents of two daughters, my previously mentioned g-g-grandma, Mary Fife, and Sarah (McConnell) Dunlap.

You can see Charles McConnell's entry on Find a Grave HERE.

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