Share This:

Good Day, 

I hope this note finds you well. I am writing to you from Canada, in Hamilton, which is close to Toronto. 

I am looking for information on Thomas O'Connor (Connor) and his wife Hannah Cotter, and their two "Boot and Shoe Shops", one on Harbour Row, possibly 14 Harbour Row, as that was their residence, and then more of a repair shop on Middleton. In Guys Directory it says "Thos" for Thomas.

Thomas O'Connor born 1842 in Cobh, was a Seaman on the HMS Revenge - as per his marriage certificate, January 23rd, 1875 - his last name being Connor, on the document. His father was John Connor - a Farmer 

Hannah Cotter, was born about 1856, in Ashgrove, as her father John Cotter was a Farmer. Most likely they leased land from the Beamish family in Ashgrove, so I have been told.  Her parents passed away when Hannah was 19 years old, she was an only child, and she inherited the farm. When she married Thomas the farm was sold, and they started their boot and shoe shops about 1875, and they were open until at least 1924.

I have looked at Google maps with street view and I cannot find 14 Harbour Row, its missing, or torn down, and yet the space looks too small to even have held a home for themselves, and their 10 children, and possibly a shop. 

Two of their children are interesting:

1.) Eileen "Eily" O'Connor, our grandmother, Born: 13 SEP 1892 • Queenstown, and married our grandfather Peter McNeice, from England. They married 05 Jun 1934 in Cobh, at the Cobh Cathedral, but did not pay for a Mass at their wedding, and instead used that money to rent a home. Interestingly, when she was 22 years old on May 7th, 1915 in Cobh, the Lusitania sunk and the bodies were lined up in front of her house, we are assuming it was 14 Harbour Row.

2.) Thomas O'Connor - Born: ABT. 1893 in Queenstown. In 1911 the Census says he is a "Shoemaker". When he was 30 years old, he was sent away. Thomas landed in Boston in 1923. His mother paid for First Class on the ship so he would by-pass Ellis Island Inspection in New York. There were suspicions he was caught up in the troubles in Ireland, and therefore sent to relatives in Boston. It is his family that we have stayed in touch with all these years.

I am wondering if there are archives with the Shop information, or the name of the shops. I was wondering if there are any old photos of 14 Harbour Row or the shops. I am wondering where they were buried and if any of them have tombstones. I am wondering about anything to do with our great grandparents? Any old photos of these important dates, or information, would be most appreciated.

Thank you so much for your kindness, this is most appreciated. 

Best wishes, 




Friday 19th May 2023, 08:14PM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi, I looked at the census record and saw the page for house no. 14 in Harbour Row.  That is not an address. It means the house was the 14th house enumerated by the census taker. I hope this helps.


    Friday 19th May 2023, 11:53PM
  • Harbour row ,Queenstown, Co . Cork    Click on the thumbnail prints on the right to see more photo's.


    Sunday 21st May 2023, 05:59PM
  • Good day Patricia and Eileen, 

    Thank you both for your replies and I hope this email finds you well. 

    Patricia - Thank you for pointing out that the Census's house numbers are not necessarily the actual number on the house, but the number in which the numerator was at that house, in order of how his day was going. However, I find it odd that in 1901 and 1911 their house was 14 Harbour Row, also I found a directory for Leather goods and it says Thomas O'Connor's dwelling was 14 Harbour Row. So I will go with that for now. Which still makes me wonder what happened to 14 Harbour Row, and by the description of how many doors and windows it had, and that it was considered a 2nd class home in 1911, that it must have been like one of the thinner and smaller homes, that still stand today. Your assistance is most appreciated.

    Eileen - Thank you for the link with photos, as I can almost see the house, but the quality of photos back then were more hazy, so I can not see it for sure. They are wonderful photos, and different than the ones I had seen online with Almay, and a few other sites. Thank you and your assistance as it is most appreciated. 

    I am still wondering where they were buried, and if any of them have tombstones. Is there a website for that? 

    Also what is the reason the Connor's, and other families, added the O' to their names, now O'Connor, was that a thing to do ion those days?

    Thank you again for your assistance, it is most appreciated. 
    Take care

    Best wishes, 


    Thursday 25th May 2023, 05:57PM
  • Hi Laura,

    People were usually buried in a local cemetery. For instance, my Catholic forebears in Granard, Co. Longford, are buried in the Catholic cemetery there.

    I hope this is helpful.


    Friday 26th May 2023, 01:55PM
  • Thank you Patricia.


    Saturday 27th May 2023, 12:20AM
  • Hi Laura, looking at the first photograph if you count up the shop fronts from left to right going by the numbers and zoom the photo you can see no 14 was a smaller infill hse between two higher houses that had dormer windows. The front  wall of no 14 appear to have been faced with slate and half of the upper floor windows ran into the roof. If you go to the last photograph showing Harbour Row from the water with the boats. Zoom in to the centre of that photo you will see a building with a glass roof with a small cone shape in the middle on the waterside of the street, to the right of the cone you can get a view of no 14 showing the outline of the slate facade with the 2nd floor windows running in to the roof.  Going to google street view no 14 is demolished no 13 is the Hairdressers dark mauve colour. no 14 lot has grey hoarding . 


    Saturday 8th Jul 2023, 12:07AM
  • Thank you Willmc! Thats very interesting! Slate you say, I thought that was wood slates. I would never have thought about slate, was that common. The person I am doing this for, she lived at number 14 , as a child, and now she also says they rented number 17, as it was bigger than 14 and that was really the store. After all they had 10 kids. She is child of one of those 10 children. She has an amazing memory of Cobh. She says one of her uncles married the daughter of the pub owner of Top of the hill bar - first one in last pub out. Is that now the "Roaring Donkey Pub?" I can't find any old photos of when it was "Top of the hill". Have a wonderful day, 

    best regards, 



    Sunday 9th Jul 2023, 06:43PM

Post Reply