Breaking down an Irish Genealogy Brick Wall

Patrick and Mary McTygue about 1920, Eddyville, Dawson County Nebraska.

Patrick and Mary McTygue about 1920, Eddyville, Dawson County Nebraska.


My father has only Irish ancestors, therefore I have some genealogy “brick” walls.  Mary O’Connor McTygue has been one of those brick walls.

I know from her death certificate that her father was Timothy O’Connor, born in Ireland.  Mary’s mother was Mary Kennedy and she was also born in Ireland.  Mary’s death certificate said she was born in Rome, New York.  Mary died in October 1922 a couple of years before my father was born.  Her husband Patrick died a couple of months later in February 1923.  Their son Fred McTygue filled out both death certificates.  Fred was knowledgeable about his father’s information including naming ‘Shrule’ Ireland as where Patrick was born. I have those baptismal records from Shrule County Mayo. Thank you great-uncle Fred for putting that on the death certificate for you father!

Mary O'Connor McTygue's death certificate from 1922

Mary O’Connor McTygue’s death certificate from 1922


I also have a copy of the Certificate of Marriage for Patrick and Mary 10 November 1863. Remember when working with Irish ancestors you have to work with variations of spellings of names.  I have Patrick’s surname spelled a variety of ways. Mary’s name was listed as Connor.  The O’s and Mc’s are added and dropped often.

Patrick McTyuge & Mary O'Connor marriage record.

Patrick McTyuge & Mary O’Connor marriage record.

Facts I have for Mary O’Connor McTygue

1. Names of Parents, Timothy O’Connor and Mary Kennedy

2. Mary was born about May 1844 in New York

3. Mary married Patrick Tiague/McTygue in November 1863 in Moosup, Plainfield, CT

I had tried to find Mary’s family in New York, but Timothy & Mary O’Connor are very common names.

This morning I tried a new approach.  Why not look for the family in Connecticut!  That is where I found the family in the 1860 census.  Timothy & Mary O’Connor and their children:  Jeremiah age 22, Mary age 18 (born in New York), Julia age 14 and Joanna age 13.  The family was living in Brooklyn Windham, Connecticut – their post office was West Killingly. The piece of the puzzle that fit – where was Patrick McTygue in 1860?  Living with his family inKillingly, Windham, Connecticut and his post office was West Killingly.

Mary O’Connor McTygue moved with her husband after the Civil War to Wisconsin and by 1870 they had one daughter Julia and they had made their way to Nebraska.

Mary Kennedy O’Connor born about 1804 Ireland- found in 1875 Rhode Island Census, is listed as the Mother-in-law and Widowed. No further records.

Jeremiah O’Connor – born 1838 in New York found in 1860 census living with his parents, and 1875 New York Census living with his sister Julia and her husband Adelbert Trask in Providence, Rhode Island.

Julia O’Connor Trask born about 1846 New York. Married Adelbert Trask.  Adelbert Trask is found on Find-A-Grave (1845-1880)They have three daughters: Elizabeth Mary Trask born 1869, Julia Bell Trask born 1874 and Johanna Trask born 1879.  No record of May after 1880.

Johanna/Joanna O’Connor born about 1847 in New York.  Found in 1860 and 1870 Census and in the 1875 Rhode Island Census.  No record after 1875.

Timothy O’Connor’s family uses Connor as a surname.  I need more time to research to see if Jeremiah O’Connor served in the Civil War. I need to research Adelbert Trask and his Civil War Record.