Monday, February 3, 2014

#52Ancestors Week 5: Charles McConnell've made it to week 5 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Be sure to take a look at what other people are writing.  You can see the list of recaps HERE

This week, I've chosen Charles McConnell, my 3rd great-grandfather and, as far as I know, my most recent immigrant ancestor.  According to the information on his gravestone, he was born in County Donegal Ireland in 1800, he came to America in 1820, and he died on Christmas Day in 1871.  

I first found him in the census for Upper St Clair, Pennsylvania, for 1850 as a single man living in the household of John Morrow.  By 1860, Charles was married to John Morrow's daughter, Ann Jane and they had two daughters, Mary F. (my g-g-grandmother, Mary Frances) and Sarah C.  John Morrow also lived with the family as well as three other people whose connection to the family I have not yet determined.  Their names were George McConnell (whose name I originally recorded as Gerry because the census taker's handwriting was difficult to read), Anna McConnell, and Samuel Corti (or perhaps "Corle" which was how his name has been transcribed on  They were all born in Ireland.  At first I theorized that George and Anna were possibly children from a previous marriage of Charles.  Once I discovered that Charles McConnell immigrated in 1820, that seemed unlikely, so perhaps they were his cousins or his niece and nephew.  

Charles and Ann Jane McConnell are buried at Fawcett Methodist Church Cemetery in Bridgeville, PA.  A George McConnell is buried in the same small graveyard.  I found this interesting because my research indicated that most of my family on my dad's side were Presbyterians.  My grandma, her parents and siblings were all associated with the First Methodist Church in Canonsburg, PA, and my grandfather joined that church after he married Grandma.  Charles and Ann Jane were my grandmother's great-grandparents.  This could explain why my father grew up belonging to the Methodist church.

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