Category Archives: O’Connell

Sentimental Sunday – Grandpa’s Wallet

In the late 90’s I spent some time it the basement of my father’s house looking through an old metal file box that had belonged to my grandma (Ida Jaeger O’Connell). There were many items in the file box that are worthy of discussion. But, the one that touched me the most is grandpa’s (A. Larry O’Connell) wallet. It was made of a hard plastic and when I held it,  I could feel the past with in. The past of a poor man, who loved his family. The only items remaining in the wallet were pictures of his daughter and a few of the grandchildren. 

What really touched me was that grandma saved his wallet. One can only assume it was for sentimental value. It was obviously not worth anything. 

As I held his wallet, I thought about many things. But one thing that I really thought about was how far our family has come. Grandpa never owned land,he  always lived in apartments or with other family members. When he died, my dad purchased his first home, it was a two flat. An apartment for us and one for grandma upstairs. Convenient babysitter upstairs and he was close enough to help her with what she needed. From that house, we moved to a single family home that had room for all of us. The family moved a few more times, always to a bigger home. When I think of the house dad lives in know, I wonder if his parents would be proud of how he changed the life of our family?


My favorite female ancestor, Rose Springer

Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has put together a great list of writing prompts for Women’s History Month. The first prompt asks if you have a favorite female ancestor, one you seem drawn to or would like to learn more about. Write about the key facts or what you would like to learn. Outline your goals and what potential sources you can check.

I have two females that I would like to know more about, it was a hard choice. My decision is to write about my Great Grandmother, Rose/Rosa May (Springer) O’Connell McAvoy, the reason I decided on Rose is because she is the closest generation to me. 

Rose/Rosa May Springer was born 30 Mar 1888, in Maine. Her Mother’s name was Mary. She had a sister named Sophia and a brother named William. I currently do not have information on her father.

About 1897 Rose married Dennis O’Connell. They were both Catholic and raised their children in the Catholic Church. Rose gave birth to 4 children, with 1 child dying in infancy. The surviving children were:

Ambrose Lawrence 17 Dec 1905 – 28 Feb 1975

Linus Joseph 5 Mar 1908 – 31 Oct 1980

Theresa May abt 1909 – 1990

The fourth child is still unknown at this point. 

Dennis and Rose lived in a few different places. Son Ambrose was born in Berlin, NH while Linus and Theresa were both born in the state of New York. I have traced Rose in the following locations:

Moreau, Saratoga, NY

Glens Falls, Warren, NY

Chicago, Cook, IL

In 1917, Rose’s husband Dennis signed the World War 1 draft card and then proceeded to move to Canada, where he died in 1950. Rose continued to raise her children alone in NY until the 1920’s when her boys rode the rails to Chicago. She soon followed with daughter Theresa. By 1930, Rose is found remarried to Frank McAvoy. Within the past year, I have found the gravesite of Rose and Theresa just blocks from my home.

What would I like to know about Rose?  How can I find the information?

Who is her father? Check for her birth information, some type of index or registration list for Maine 

Where did Rose and Dennis get married? An exact date would be good too. Find marriage record, in either NY or NH

When and where did Rose and Dennis get divorced? Assumption would be NY which is where they last lived together. Would have to check with the courts. I am unsure of this process since I do not have any dates.

What happened to Frank? He is not in the same cemetery. Check with his family. They are connected on my family tree. I sent a request for information once, I need to follow-up.

What happened to her fourth baby and where is that baby buried? Again, back to NY check Moreau, Saratoga County which is where the family was living in 1910.

There are many other questions I have, but  research would never answer them. They would be more of the personal questions that only Rose would be ale to answer.

This was a great exercise, not just to put information out there. But because Lisa has prompted me to think about where I can find the answers to the questions I have. Thanks Lisa for putting thought into the prompts for this month. I look forward to doing as many as possible. 

35th Anniversary of my Dear Grandpa

It is the last few hours, of the last day of February and in beginning my posts for Women’s History Month, I have come across an important date. Today is the 35th anniversary of the death of my Grandfather, Larry O’Connell. 

35 years, is a long time! I was just a small child when he passed, but I do have many fond memories of him. He would sit me on his lap and let me dunk my toast into his coffee. I would never dream of doing this today. I do not even like coffee. But I remember this like it was the best treat ever. Please read more about Larry in my previous posts, Grandpa Larry and Treasures of Mine (which was a post from SNGF).  

Rest peacefully dear Grandpa!

Larry O'Connell with son Danny

Summing up 2009 Goals

The next installment of Carnival of Genealogy is about our goals for 2010. I could not very well write new goals with revisiting the ones I set for 2009. Below are the goals for 2009 in bold and what I have accomplished so far.

1. Find out who the parents are for John O’Connell.

Still trying to find out. I have found where John is buried, I need to order his death certificate to continue my research.

2. Find out who the parents are for Bridget Curran O’Connell.

Again, I have found where she is buried and need to get more records to continue research on the Curran line. According to church records, they believe she had a sister named Catherine.

3. Place the remaining 2 O’Connell’s at St Paul’s/St Mary’s Cemetery into the family tree.

Still have to place Marie O’Connell (1859 – 1950). I am thinking she is either a second wife for John or an unmarried sister.

4. Go to NY and visit the cemeteries and get photo’s of grave markers (St Paul’s/St Mary’s, Black River and Mount Carmel). Plus meet the family I have found.

Since I have been unemployed for most of the year, I have not been able to make it to NY. I have written letters and spoke on the phone with one of the relatives I have found. Theresa is willing to meet with our family and interested in whatever family information I have found.

5. Continue to blog my research and findings on a regular basis.

Still blogging about my research

6. Start more in-depth research on the Springer line.

The Springer line starts with my Great Grandmother Rose Springer (30 Mar 1888 – 22 Aug 1966). So far, I have found her Mother in once census record. Mother is Mary, she also has a brother, William and a sister, Sophia/Sophie.

Though I have done a lot of research this year, it seems I need to work more on these goals. To be precise, I need to set precise goals and go from there.

My Irish Ancestor

The 16th edition of the Irish Heritage and Culture has asked bloggers to submit a story on an Irish ancestor and share a photo, if possible. When I started researching the family tree, the one question I really wanted to answer was where in Ireland did my Irish ancestors come from? At this point I am no closer to answering that question, but I am still working on it.


Larry (Ambrose) and Dennis

Copyright © 2009 Terri O’Connell (original photo held by Terri O’Connell)

Dennis O’Connell was born 6 Sep 1883 to John and Bridget (Curran) O’Connell of Granville, NY. Dennis was third of seven children. He was also the first son born into the family. He was baptized 10 days after his birth at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Middle Granville, NY. His sponsors were Edward and Mary Leanord. He married Rose Springer circa 1897.

Rose and Dennis had 4 children, Ambrose Lawrence (my Grandfather), Linus Joseph, Theresa May and the fourth child died as a toddler. They started their family in New Hampshire, where Ambrose was born in 1905. In 1910, the family was living at 11 New Street, Town of Moreau, Saratoga County, NY. Also living with the family was Mary E. Robichaud and William Springer (Rose’s Mother and brother).

Dennis is found in 1918, in Thorold, Alberta, Canada on 15 Jan 1918. This record states he has been living there for three months. Dennis continues his career in papermaking, working for the Ontario Paper Company.

By 1920, Dennis and Rose have divorced.  Rose is raising the three children, between the ages 11 and 14, alone. They are living at 12 Jay Street, Queensbury, Warren County, NY.

Dennis died in 17 Nov 1950. His body was returned home to Hudson Falls, NY. Where he is buried surrounded his father, brother – John W, sister  – Harriet and other O’Connell family members at St Paul’s/St Mary’s Cemetery, Hudson Falls, NY.

Though  few relatives remain that were around when Dennis was alive, I unfortunately have no stories to share. Dennis spent his remaining years in Canada and his grandchildren were raised in Chicago, IL. Though they lived far apart, it seems that Dennis did remain in touch with his children through the years. Through conversations with family members, I know that his oldest son went to Canada and stayed with his Dad for work reasons at one point. I also have pictures of Dennis with his three grown children.

Since I have not found any official divorce records at this point, I can only assume that the reason Dennis left NY for Canada is to find employment. I hope that one day, I will be able to find the truth to this.

In his private records that I have, I can see that he was a hard worker and had many friends. In these records is a poem written upon his death by co workers. I will add this to my blog another day. 


1 Letter from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Middle Granville, dated 7 Jul 1940, Original,  held by Terri O’Connell

2 1910 Federal  Census,  Town of Moreau, Saratoga County, NY ED 119, SD 9, sheet 7A, line 7,,

3 1920 Federal Census, Queensbury, Warren County, NY ED 163, SD 10, Sheet 1B, line 77,,

Wordless Wednesday, Dennis O’Connell

Dennis O'Connell and sons, Joe and Larry

Dennis O'Connell and sons, Joe and Larry

Larry’s Ships

On Monday, I wrote about the beautiful ships my Grandpa built when I was little. This is one of the few photo’s I have of his ships. 


Breaking through the Brickwall

A few days ago I posted my brickwall ancestor, John O’Connell,  in  Most Wanted! Ancestors Lost and Found on Genealogy Wise. I had previously posted on a different group there as well and replies were few, but with some great ideas I had tried out. Unfortunately, I had not found any information through their suggestions. Thanks to the wonderful people that continue to check in on Most Wanted, not only have I been given some great advice, but GeneJ also found a State Census Record for John and his family in 1892 on Family Search. 

I have tried to upload the record here, but had no luck tonight I will try to edit tomorrow and see if I add it.

This newly found record confirms a few things for my family:

1. Bridget is the mother, though I have her burial info, I have not placed her in any census with her family.

2. Hattie is listed with the family as well. I have her burial info as well and I found that accidentally. She is buried in the same area as my Great Grandfather Dennis O’Connell. Most of the O’Connell’s buried there I could place. Once I had Hattie’s name, I was able to find her father John  in the 1910 Federal Census. He was living with her and her husband. 

3. According to every other census I looked at Hattie was born in 1880, NJ. This is also the same year as Elizabeth, I assumed one was born early in the year and the other, towards the end. According to this record, Hattie is 2 years older then Elizabeth.  Since both were born in NJ, I assume the family lived in New Jersey for a few years before moving to the area of Granville, NY.


Today’s lesson learned, go back and recheck websites that you previously have looked at. I go through Family Search about every six months to see if I can find anything. Usually I come out empty handed. 

For more information on my search, please follow our comments Most Wanted – John O’Connell.

Tombstone Tuesday – O’Connell Grandparents



Lawrence A.


Ida M



Ida and Larry are buried at Memory Gardens and Monuments in Arlington Heights, IL. Learn more about Ida and Larry from previous posts.


Unfortunately, while I was in the cemetery to take these photographs, the weather was changing quickly. I was limited with what I can do while I was there. I will need to go back to the cemetery to clean up the family plots and take some more pictures of the older part of the cemetery. 

Grandpa Larry


Larry and daughter Theresa

Larry and daughter Theresa



Born Ambrose Lawrence (Larry) O’Connell on 17 Dec 1905 in Berlin, NH to Dennis O’Connell of Grangerville, NY and Rose May Springer of Maine. Ambrose was raised in the Hudson Falls area of NY. In his 20’s, he road the rails with brother Linus (Joe) to Illinois, where both brothers settled, for the most part. Soon after their Mother Rose and sister Theresa followed. Both brothers started life using their first names, but somewhere in the 1930-1940’s both boys started using their middle names.  Larry died 28 Feb 1975, Chicago, IL.

Larry was married 3 times. His first marriage was to Janet, they had a son Bobby.

His second marriage was to Rose, they had son Dennis and daughter June Rose.

His third marriage was to Ida Jaeger, they had daughter Theresa, and sons Lawrence and David.

Larry is my paternal Grandfather, through his third marriage to Ida. Last week I wrote about my memories of Ida, you can read more about her here.

I was very young when my Grandpa passed, but I wanted to share the memories I do have. When I gave birth to my first child, my father and I were sitting in the hospital talking about my Grandparents. When we discussed them, he could not believe the things I remembered because they passed when I was young.

Grandpa Larry treated his grandchildren well. You could say that we were spoiled by him to a point. The family did not have much money, but we had love. I remember Grandpa  would walk home from work, he would always have candy in his pockets for the grandkids. If it was something I did not like, he would bring me home some Swiss Miss Chocolate Pudding. He wanted all of us to be happy. 

Grandpa had his hobby of building ships. I remember we were allowed to look, but that was it. I recall sitting there watching him work with these small parts and how fascinated we were with them. Unfortunately, I do not have one of the beautiful ships he built. I do however have the next best thing, I have some pictures of them. Make sure to come back on Treasure Chest Thursday to see them.

Once, when we were in his room watching him build, he taught us how to siphon water from one glass to another. Strange memory, I know! 

He loved the first snow. It was peaceful and beautiful. I remember him waking me in the middle of the night so that we could watch that first snow come down. How it looked so beautiful on the trees. It was pure, unspoiled beauty! To this day, this is my favorite time to watch the snow. This past year, I went outside with my camera in hand to enjoy the beauty of mother nature.

I remember sitting on his lap, watching Frosty the snowman. How I cried at the end when Frosty melted, to his calm reply “he will be back again next year.” Yes, I realize that is how the show ended, I was four and found the comfort from my Grandpa instead of the cartoon.

He taught us to dunk our toast in coffee, and did not mind when we did it to his coffee!

The last of my memories happen sitting on his lap and how he would sing to us The Animals Fair. He also would pretend to eat a wad of paper, we would watch it go into his mouth. Do not ask me what happened to the paper, I have no clue. I was so young when he died.

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