Cornelius J.  Leary1864

Cornelius J. Leary 1864

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Born in Ballynabloun, Co. Kerry, son of JOHN LEARY and Mary Moriarty,

Emigrated to Bridgeport circa 1883. Brother to PatrickTomTimothyMikeNed and Jeremiah . All but Patrick went to Bridgeport, Conneticut between 1880 and 1895.

Cornelius J Leary married Mary Moran on May 4th 1886  in New London, Connecticut. He ran a tavern at 125 Main Street. The couple had 5 children John b 1887, Frank b 1889, William 1893, James Edward 1895 and Mary Gertrude 1898.

The family visited Kerry in 1894.

Mary died in 1902 and Con married  secondly Ellen Sullivan in 1906 .

Con, his wife Mary and their three sons came to Ireland in May 1894. His son Patrick Frank told the story of the visit in 1967.

We boarded  the ship Etruria late April 1894 and got to Queenstown, Cork on May 5th. I was 4years old. I felt the sea voyage very long. We then had to take a few different trains  before we got to Cahersiveen, Co.Kerry the following evening.

We were met there by Pat Moran my uncle who took us to Sussa by pony and trap. At our arrival there was much excitement meeting our grandparents, aunts and uncles. They loved seeing us.

They referred to us as "the yanks*. They mostly spoke in Gaelic though they also spoke English. After a few days in Sussa, Dad decided that John and I walk to THE GLEN to visit his parents. It was a 5 mile walk so Mom and baby William stayed home.When we reached the house another great welcome was  given to us. Dad's brother Pat  and his parents Sean (97 years old) and Maire Eamonn and her mother Ellen Moriarty were all present.

Dad's father had a white beard, carried a walking stick and spoke in Gaelic, and smoked a pipe. He referred to us as "buachailli deasa o Meiricea". I was awe struck by the view from the front door of The O 'Leary house across St. Finan's Bay out as far as The Skellig's and beyond. We stayed the night and walked to Mass the following morning at Keel. I noticed all the women wore shawls in Church and all the people that welcomed Dad home was amazing. Later in the week uncle Pat ad Dad took us out fishing in their small boat. They rowed back as far as Puffin Island. Dad caught some pollack with his line and Pat showed my brother how to steer the boat. We had pollack for supper that evening We left Ballynabloun before dark to go back to Sussa. Just as we were nearing the crossroads in The Glen we heard music. On the roadside people were  dancing to the noise of a fiddle. My father knew the fiddler and they talked for a small bit. My father told us later that the poor fiddler was blind.

We stayed in Sussa for the rest of the time. I saw Pat Moran cut hay with the scythe and we helped him gather it into small cocks. I saw them bring up the turf from the bog with the donkey and car. We helped to milk a cow ad make butter. Time flew by and we were back in Queestown again on 31st August. We were going back on a ship called The CATALONIA and there were lots of Irish travelling with us but we were going back home to 125 Main Street, New London, Connecticut. Dad had one hundred dollars on him a lot of money back then. Most people would have about 10 dollars on them"

Frank Leary returned to Ireland again in 1967, 74 years after the trip with his family. Ireland had changed a lot in the interveening years but his account of the 1894 visit sheds light on how we The Irish lived toward the close of the 19th century. He also met his four grandparents and one great grandmother Ellen Moriarty.

Chronicle published courtesy of Pat O'Leary.


Additional Information
Date of Birth 28th Jul 1864 VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 23rd Jan 1934
Townland born Ballynabloun, Co. Kerry,
Father (First Name/s and Surname) John Leary
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Mary Moriarty
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Mary Moran (First wife died 1902) Ellen Sullivan (Married in 1906)
Place & Date of Marriage
Names of Siblings Brother to Thomas O'Leary 1860 VIEW SOURCE
Names of Siblings Brother to Patrick Leary 1862 who was the only one of the 7 borthers who stayed at home in Ireland to work the farm VIEW SOURCE
Names of Siblings Brother to Michael 1868 VIEW SOURCE
Names of Siblings Brother to Edmund O'Leary 1870 VIEW SOURCE
Names of Siblings Brother to Timothy O'Leary 1873 VIEW SOURCE
Names of Siblings Brother to Jeremiah O'Leary 1875 VIEW SOURCE
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  • See addtion to above Chronicle, the story of when Con returned to visit Kerry. This has been incorporated into the original Chronicle by IrelandXO moderator.

    patrickjoseph35, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 3rd October 2018 01:35PM
  • OMG this is mine too, acording to DNA these are my names, moriarty and mary moran, oh wow, im in australia please contact me somehow.


    Sunday 17th February 2019 09:18PM
  • Wonderful family history Pat!


    Monday 18th February 2019 12:39AM
  • Thank you both for your comments.

    patrickjoseph35, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 18th February 2019 03:30PM
  • What a treasure to have this account of his journey at such a pivotal time in Irish history!  My grandparents emigrated to the U.S. in 1890-1891 so I can imagine the lives they left behind as I read this account.  Thank you so much for posting it.



    Monday 18th February 2019 10:06PM
  • Thanks for the nice comment.

    patrickjoseph35, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 19th February 2019 07:34AM
  • Hi Pat -

    The story of the return trip to Ireland was fascinating.  I have stumbled across your Cornelius J. Leary several times in researching my family's past.  My great-grandfather's name was Cornelius D. Leary, also from Kerry - his family was from Annaghili.  He also ended up in New London, Connecticut, where I grew up.  He was 15/16 years older than your Cornelius but they lived there at the same time.  I read a couple of articles from the local newspaper about your Cornelius and his bar on Main St.  My Cornelius was a New London policeman and a co-founder of the Total Abstinence Society at the local Catholic Church so they probably didn't interact much :)  Anyway, just wanted to let you know how interesting your chronicle is.

    Best regards, Peter Bowler


    Friday 25th October 2019 10:21PM
  •  Hi Peter, Thanks for your comments on Cornelius J Leary.Iwould love to  see the newspaper clippings/ articles about his bar on Main St.New London.

    You can contact me at Iam also looking for a picture of him also.

    Kind Regards,

    Pat O Leary.

    patrickjoseph35, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 26th October 2019 07:16PM
  •  Hi Peter Bowler 7, I would be grateful if  I could get your email address from you at your own convenience.

    Thanking you so much, Pat O'Leary.

    patrickjoseph35, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 2nd August 2023 04:50PM

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