Mr Patrick Connors

Mr Patrick Connors 1 was born in Charleville, Co Cork, Ireland around April 1847.2

Details about his background and early life remain vague but he is known to have had a sister, Mary Anne (b. 1863).

The year 1874 was an eventful one for Patrick; census records and contemporary 1912 media confirm that he emigrated that year. Settling in Manhattan he met a woman named Ellen Clifford (b. 1852), another Irish immigrant who was the daughter of John Clifford and Ellen Hayes. Ellen fell pregnant and she and Patrick were married on 8 June 1874, their first born arriving three months to the day on 8 August 1874.

They went on to be the parents of seven children: James (b. 1874), John (b. 1876), Mary (b. 1877),3 Patrick Charles (b. 1880), Hannah (b. 1883),4 Elizabeth Cecilia (b. 1886)5 and Helen "Nellie" (b. 1894).6  Their second child John died aged ten years on 22 April 1886. 

The family appears on the 1880 census, Patrick described as a labourer residing at Bethune Street in New York City, a street he would apparently reside at for the rest of his life; they appear there on the 1905 census and the 1910 censuses. 

By the time of the 1910 census Patrick was a widower, Ellen having passed away on 8 November 1909. Still living with him then were two of his offspring, Patrick Jnr and Nellie, both men being described as building teamsters. Contemporary media reported that Connors had amassed a considerable fortune whilst in America.

On 11 June 1911 his youngest daughter Nellie was married to John J. O'Shea (b. 1892). Shortly after he departed New York to return to pay a visit to Ireland and ended up spending ten months with his sister Mary Anne Shanahan7 at her home in Charleville, Co Cork. The Cork Free Press (May 1912) stated that Mr Connors, during his time back in Ireland "presented a splendid appearance of robust health."

For his return to New York Mr Connors boarded the Titanic at Queenstown; described as a farm labourer he travelled as a third class passenger (ticket number 370369 which had cost £7, 15s) but details about his time aboard remain unknown. His destination was stated as 361 West 12th Street, New York, possibly the home of one of his children.

Patrick Connors died in the sinking; his body was recovered by the MacKay Bennett (#171) and was buried at sea on 24 April 1912.

NO. 171. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 70. - HAIR, WHITE.

CLOTHING - Black overcoat; cardigan jacket; blue pants; blue shirt; black boots.

EFFECTS - Letter of credit £80; £12 in Irish notes; £2 in purse; silver watch and chain; 7s. 10 1/2d.

THIRD CLASS.

NAME - PATRICK CONNORS.

Possibly dying intestate his eldest son James was granted administration rights by the Surrogate of the County of New York on 19 June 1912; in July 1912 he received the following personal items taken from his father's body:

  • Watch, chain and locket
  • Seven £1/-/- Irish notes, one £5/-/- Irish note
  • Letter of credit for £80/-/- drawn by the National Bank, Limited, in favour of Patrick Connors, addressed to the Bank of Montreal, 64 Wall Street, New York
  • Miscellaneous papers
  • Purse containing two sovereigns; 1 half crown and 2 florins in silver; 4½ pence in copper; 25 cents in silver
  • Pair spectacles (broken)
  • Cross on chain
  • Key on chain
  • One cuff link
  • Three studs
  • Two lead pencils
  • Two note books

Notes

  1. Frequently listed as Patrick O'Connor
  2. Age disputed; the Cork Free Press (May 1912) states that he had turned 62 the previous month. However the US census records alternate in birth years between 1847 and 1849. When he boarded Titanic at Queenstown his given age is illegible but may be deciphered as either 62 or 66. The 1880 US census (taken 1 June 1880), which declares his year of birth as 1847, is probably the more accurate snapshot of his age and it can be assumed that he was born in April 1847.
  3. Later Mrs Frank Cahill; died in Brooklyn 11 February 1915 and buried in Holy Cross Cemetery there.
  4. Later Mrs August O'Connor(?)
  5. Later Mrs John P. Moriarty
  6. Later Mrs John J. O'Shea
  7. Mary Anne was married around 1887 to agricultural labourer Michael Shanahan (b. 1855) and had ten children. She appeared on the 1911 census living with her family at house 6 in Rathgroggan, Charleville. 
 

Comment and discuss

  1. Patricia Jones said:

    Iam looking for any info, on Patrick Connor,who embarked on Titanic at Queenstown as a steerage passenger.He appears to have been travelling alone,and at the age of 65, I cannot imagine he was doing anything other, than going to join family in US.Patrick perished in the disaster, and was picked up by the Mackay-Bennett, and was buried at sea 0n 24/4/1912. He was fully identifiable.Patrick was probably a distant cousin of mine, and I would love to hear from anyone who knows anything about him. Pat Jones

  2. avatar

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Patricia - Hello. Here is a bit of extra information on Mr. Connors (note the 1912 spelling of his name) - I hope this helps: (From The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913). No. 87. (Irish). A motorman, 34 years old, was drowned while returning from a visit to his parents in Ireland. A widowed sister and four children were dependent upon him for support, and his brother and wife and two children had also been helped by him. The appropriation made will be administered by the local Charity Organisation Society for the benefit of the dependent sister and her family.... Read full post

  3. Bob Godfrey said:

    Hallo, Pat. Patrick had emigrated to the US as a young man and was returning home to New York after an extended stay at his sister's home back in Ireland at Charleville, County Cork (not far from Queenstown). By some accounts he had done very well for himself in the 'States and could easily have afforded to travel 2nd Class. He was certainly carrying a lot of cash and credit by 1912 standards (the modern equivalent of more than £6,000). Maybe he preferred the company of fellow Irishmen who were in good supply in 3rd Class - or maybe he was the kind of man who accumulated money by... Read full post

  4. Lester Mitcham said:

    Question: According to a list I have No 87 is probably Thomas Henry Conlin. The Red Cross details do not seem to support the identification as Partick Connors. At the age of 65 did Connors have parents in Ireland; a widowed sister and four children and a brother and his wife and two children dependent upon him for support? I also note that No 87 is said to have been a motorman. According to occupation informations on the Queentown Passenger/Ticket List; Connors was a Farm Labourer; Conlin a General Labourer. So is No 87 Patrick Connors?

  5. avatar

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Lester - Greetings - I think you are right in that No. 87 on the Red Cross list is not Mr. Connors. I will ask Phil to delete it from his Biography until we sort it out. I also dont think that Mr. Conlin fits no. 87 either. Best regards - Brian

  6. Lester Mitcham said:

    Greetings Brian, Thank you for that appreciated. - I must confess to not looking beyond Conlin. - Having belatedly done so I note that Senan Molony identifies No 87 as Patrick Dooley. - I wish I had looked yesterday! With all good wishes for 2005. Regards, Lester

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources

Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia) (#171)
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society
Search archive Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Patrick Connors (ref: #733, last updated: 7th February 2018, accessed 3rd July 2020 19:04:46 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/patrick-connors.html