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.
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