Bridget Conboy Carr

  • Birth 1841 Mount Bellew, County Galway, Ireland
  • Death 1905 Mount Bellew, County Galway, Ireland
  • Burial Unknown
  • Memorial ID 7787816

Bridget Conboy (1841-circa1905) Carr, was a farmer's wife who could read but not write. (b. 1841; Hollygrove, Killeroran, County Galway, Ireland - d. circa 1905; Hollygrove, Killeroran, County Galway, Ireland)

Her name is known from the birth, marriage and death certificate of her daughter, Katherine Carr (1865-1952) Kennedy; and from the marriage and death certificate of her daughter, Sarah Jane Carr (1864-1950) Norton. Both married and died in the United States. Sarah was born before civil registration began.

Her parents are not known, she and her siblings are the earliest Conboys and no record of her birth has been found yet. Parish marriage record do not list the name of parents and parish burial records did not record every death.

She was born in 1841 in Hollygrove, Killeroran, County Galway, Ireland. This information comes from the 1901 Ireland census. Civil registration of births in Ireland began in 1864. Her birth may appear in the Athleague parish records.

She would have been baptized in Athleague, County Roscommon, Ireland in the Diocese of Elphin. It served the townlands in County Galway that were adjacent to County Roscommon.

Winifred Conboy (c1833-c1905) who married John Hogan (c1835-c1886) who had many of their children come to the United States; and James Conboy I (1837-1902) who was lived in Hollygrove and married Bridget White (c1840-1866?) around 1860, and he emigrated to the United States.

She married Thomas Carr I (c1840-bef1901) between 1860 and 1865. Civil registration of marriages in Ireland began in 1864. A search has been carried out for the marriage of Bridget Conboy and Thomas Carr for the years 1864 to 1865 inclusive. Marie Coneran of the Ireland GRO writes on October 6, 2014: "As civil registration only began in 1864 we cannot carry out a search before this year for Roman catholic marriages. There is a good possibility that this couple got married before 1864 as their daughter Katherine was born in January 1865." There is a "Brigid Conboy" that married "Thomas Carren" in Athleague on February 16, 1856. The witnesses were Michael Kearns and James Conboy. This may be them.

Bridget and Thomas had the following children: Sarah Jane Carr (1864-1950) aka Sadie Carr, who emigrated to the United States and married Patrick J. Norton (1856-1905); Katherine Carr (1865-1952) aka Kitty Carr, who emigrated to the United States and married James Joseph Kennedy (1870-1926); Thomas Carr II who stayed in Coalpits and married Mary Kelly (1873-?) but had no children; Mary Carr (1873-?) who stayed in Coalpits in Ireland; James Carr (1874-c1950) aka Jimmy Carr, who emigrated to the United States around 1903 and was a chauffeur, and a bartender in a New York City speakeasy during Prohibition and never married; Michael Carr (1880-1926) who emigrated and died at age 26 in Manhattan; and there may have been an Andrew Carr who may have emigrated to Australia.

Coalpits, Ireland:
In 1901 Bridget was a widow living with her children: Mary Carr, James Carr, and Thomas Carr. By 1911 Bridget had died and the household was now headed by Thomas Carr and Mary Carr. There is some confusion as to whether the Mary in the 1911 Census is a sister of Thomas or the wife of Thomas.

Bridget Conboy died in Ireland between the 1901 and the 1911 census. There is a "Bridget Carr" that died in the Mountbellew Civil Registration District in 1901 at age 60, this Bridget was married to Martin Carr. Civil registration of deaths in Ireland began in 1864.

There were two graveyards in the parish of Athleague, one in the townland of Coolaspaddaun and one in Monasternalea. Monasternalea is sometimes referred to as Abbeygrey.

Ann Elizabeth O'Malley (1933- ) writes: "On September 28, 1982, Fred and I drove to Roscommon in search of Catherine Carr's birthplace. We asked the postmaster for directions to Holly Grove or Coal Pits. Before leaving the U.S., I spoke to Joe Kennedy, Catherine Carr's son, who suggested that we speak to Postmaster Flannigan in Roscommon. Unfortunately he had been transferred to another office. In Athleague, the closest town of any size to Coal Pits, we asked the first elderly man we saw if he had ever met Thomas Carr. He said if it is the Thomas Carr who married Mary Kelly then he had. That was our lucky day. He directed us to the Holly Grove/Coal Pits area. We stopped in front of a two story granite house and asked a middle aged man if he knew whether this was the former residence of Thomas and Mary Carr. As luck would have it, once again he said that it was not, but that he owned the old Thomas Carr estate. His name was Mr. McCann and he said that the property had been divided and the Rourkes had built a house on a portion of the original property. He stated further that the house was in bad condition because no one was living in it and that cows had roamed through it. He also said that the house was hard to spot because it was very far back from the road. Mr. McCann also said that his mother would love to talk with us but unfortunately we could not find her house. We drove back and forth several times and finally saw an elderly woman who had known Tom and Mary. She said that they frequently cycled into Athleague. The neighbor also said that Mary loved children and often gave them sweets. We turned the car around and spotted the house high on the hill. It is hard to say how much property was originally with the house. It might be as little as twenty acres or more than one hundred. It would have been an interesting question to ask Mr. McCann. At the entrance to the property there were two stone posts. We walked approximately 600 feet straight ahead and then turned to the left and continued up a slight grade approximately 200 feet. It was a stone house with a door framed in an interlacing pattern of diamonds and ovals. There were quoins on the two front corners of the house. The front door was boarded up so we climbed through a back window into the kitchen which still had only a mud floor. At the front entry hall there was a staircase straight ahead and a hallway to the left of the staircase leading to the kitchen. There were two large rooms, one on each side of the entry hall both with interesting fireplaces. A stairway with nicely carved banisters, still intact, led to the second floor. The second floor like the first consisted of two large rooms, both with a fireplace. To the left of the house was a stone shed. There was also a spring on the property and someone said that many years ago it was used as a community spring. It was a great thrill to see the house where my grandmother was born and grew up. If only the cows had not roamed through it and destroyed the floors it would still be a picturesque house on a hill. After dinner that evening we went to a general store in Athleague and mentioned that my grandmother, Catherine Carr, was born in Coal Pits. They said that Mary Kelly's sister, Mrs. Haughey, was still alive and lived in Athleague right next to the church. We also learned that there were Carrs in neighboring Fuerty Parish. We went to see Mrs. Haughey the next day and her son came to the door and said that his mother was very low. He asked if we could come back later. Unfortunately our schedule was tight and we reluctantly headed for Donegal."

Uncompleted tasks:
Search the Athleague baptism records again to see if her baptism can be found. The records are online at the National Library of Ireland website.

Bridget Conboy (1841-1901) was the second great-grandmother of Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ).

Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) for Findagrave starting on August 22, 2003. Updated on July 8, 2014 with information from the Ireland General Register Office, but the information was for a Bridget that was married to a Martin Carr. Updated on October 3, 2014 with the the year that civil registration began in Ireland for births, marriages, and deaths, that year was 1864. Updated on October 16, 2014 with information from the Ireland General Register Office that our Conboy - Carr marriage was most likely prior to 1864, when the records begin. Updated on March 24, 2016 with the probable date of her marriage.


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