Thursday 28 March 2013

Cordens of Waterbury

I received a  lovely  email from  Chuck Corden who sent me a copy of his Family Tree – dating back to Thomas  Corridon , born 1708 in Ballyheigue.  This Thomas had a Grandson, Edmund Corridon (1780-1830) who married Elizabeth Sears.  They had two Children Mary (1821-1909) and Henry (1822-1899). Elizabeth Corridon married a second time to Pierce Rice from Kerry and had four children.

Mary and Henry Corden and Pierce Rice were known to be in America in September 1850. By 1853, perhaps earlier, they made their way to Waterbury, Connecticut . In that year Mary married Patrick Bunce and Henry married Bridget Mitchell of Ballinasloe. Chuck’s Great Grandfather was Pierce Corden (1891- 1951), a son of Henry Corden and in 1919 he started a store in Waterbury called CORDEN’S  MARKET .  Pierce’s son,  Mitchell P Corridan (Mitch)  ran the store for a while before buying a second ( COOKSON’S  MARKET)which he had until his death  in the early sixties, before he passed them to his son James W Corden (02/091935- - 18/03/1993) who kept them going until 1978. James W (Jimmy) unfortunately died in a horrific auto accident. James had 3 daughters- Anne , Irene & Mary and two sons – Charles (Chuck) and James.

At a Corden  reunion  in 2002 , a book entitled “ An American Family; The History of The Corden Family in Waterbury” was launched by  Charles Mitchell Corden. It would be nice to see a copy of it sometime.

The above information was supplied to me by Chuck  Corden and his wife Kathy who along with their cousins  Charlie  Corden  and Genealogist  Mary Katherine Conlan Hall.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Corridans of Convent Street, Listowel

Whilst looking at the source of blog views one assumes that there would be hits from North America and Ireland, but when you see them from Greece, Germany, Australia, Uzbekistan and many more, you just wonder who they are. The Greek Corridan Connection was solved when I got an email from Terry Corridan in Athens. Terry was hoping some of our readers may be able to assist her in finding a little more information about her family. Terry was born in Dublin and was one of 6 children of Thomas Corridan and Annie Connolly. Thomas was born in Listowel in about 1920 and along with his younger brother Seamus (born around 1922) attended Listowel National School. Thomas went to Dublin and worked in the Civil Service. Seamus went to London and married a Lady from Listowel to where they retired in their latter years. Their father again we think was Patrick and he (we think) was married to a local lady Eleanore (Nell) Connor or O'Connor. Patrick died when the two boys were in infancy. It is thought that he may have come from Curraghtoosane area. Any help or suggestions would be most welcome.
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Monday 11 March 2013

Knockmaol Corridans, Colberts and Connors


The Corridans over time moved inland from Ballyheigue   and sprinklings of them appeared in Ballybunion , Kilgarvan  (Corridans Cross),  Drombeg (4 miles north of Listowel) , the town of Listowel, Knockmaol and Rylane near Duagh, Ballyhennessey, Lixnaw, Tralee, Fossa and other nearby pockets.

 Joseph O’ Connor in his autobiography Hostage to Fortune , recalls how his father Daniel managed to join Her Imperial Majesty’s 10th Light Infantry familiarly known as the Lincolnshire Yallabellies . To join the forces of the oppressor was a mortal sin in the eyes of many, but to those who did, I think it may have afforded them a little bit of  food and security of their familiy’s future.



“We lived on Knock Maol.  That’s a wild old hill six miles out  from  Listowel . There were three families of us on the hill, Colberts , Corridans, and Connors and Lord Listowel   was our  landlord. We had to pay him twenty pounds for our share of the hill ;  the others had to pay the same. It was too much for them. We never knew anything but hunger   an’   starvation in our  house , eating spuds three times a day and easin’  them with sour milk,  when we had it. Everything else, oats, calves, and pigs, went to pay the rent. Would you believe it?  I had never tasted a mouthful of bacon, mutton or beef until I joined the Lincolns, although I spent all my time feeding pigs, sheep and cattle. The nearest we went to it was the odd time we boiled a sheep’s head for soup or filled  its  puddings with blood and mashed potatoes for a Sunday dinner.

To make a long story short, we failed to keep up with the rent and Lord Listowel gave orders to clear us all out,  Colberts , Connors and Corridans alike. They came on small Christmas Day in January 1863, bailiffs , peelers an’ soldiers, an’ had us out on the cold bog before dawn. They burned down the houses for fear we’d go back into them when their backs were turned and took my father and the other grown up men to the Workhouse in Listowel with them. They did that ‘out of charity’ they said because Lady Listowel wouldn’t sleep the night, if the poor creatures were left homeless on the mountain.

They left me and my brother Patsy to look after ourselves We slept out with the hares, a couple o’ nights,  eatin’  swedes that had ice in the heart o’ them an’ then we parted.   He went east an’ I went west towards Tralee. I must ha’   been a sight, after  walkin’ twenty miles on my bare feet an’ an empty belly. But I wasn’t hungry for long. A nice fellow in a red jacket an ribbons flyin’ from his cap took me into a baker’s shop, gave me two penny buns to eat and a cup of tea , to wash them down. The first tea I ever tasted. He gave me a shilling all for  myself   and invited me to go with him where he lived.  Ha!  Ha! I have been a soldier of the Queen ever since."

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Kerry Head Eviction 1883

The following Article appeared in the Kerry Weekly Reporter on September 29th 1883. After reading this , you really cannot blame the Famine alone for people wanting to leave Ireland in their droves!!

“The work of eviction is not yet at an end in Kerry. At eight o clock on Tuesday morning a party, consisting of Messrs. H. F. Browne, Leary, Dennehy  and  Scannell  , left Tralee on outside cars for Dreenagh, to the west of Ballyheigue, where cottiers on the Swanzey estate were to be evicted for non – payment of rent. They arrived at their destination , after several hours drive , accompanied by a large force of police.

The holdings of the cottiers are situated on one of the wildest mountains in this wild country. It is  however, a district rich in scenic beauty and profuse in historic surroundings, so that the ‘Cromlach of the Druid’ and the ‘Battery of Helen and her soldiers’ , go hand in hand in Dreenagh  with one of the finest views of the Irish coast that could be desired.

There has been some uncertainty about the ownership of Dreenagh  town land  for a number of years. The present  eviction proceedings have arisen because the tenants have refused to pay rent to the Rev. Henry Swanzey , on the grounds that he is not the proper landlord. The tenants to be evicted were Pat O’ Hara, Jim O’ Hara, Pat Ned O’ Hara, John Ned O’ Hara, Widow O’ Hara, Edmond Corridon, John Hurley and Denis O’ Connell. Pat and Jim O’ Hara were the first to be visited, and were promptly evicted from their joint holding. A settlement was reached however, in the cases of Pat Ned and John Ned O’Hara and the Widow O’ Hara.

In the next house visited, that of Edward  Corridon , there were no less than seventeen human beings –  thirteen  children , the parents and their Grandparents. The latter were a patriarchal old couple, the Grandfather being 105 years old and his wife about 90. It was really a pitiful spectacle, as the bailiffs   threw the furniture out of the house, to see these old people, whose days were well numbered, rendered homeless.

The final tenants visited, John Hurley and Denis Connell were also evicted. As soon as the bailiffs had finished their work, the police and themselves set off at a quick march for the road where the train of sidecars awaited them, and in a short time the entire party was on its way home from the scene of the campaign”