Previously, I wrote about my grandfather, M J Connery of Kilfinnane, County Limerick, Ireland. As I wrote about the name, I realized how little actual research I had done on M J. I had blindly accepted the family stories as fact. This week was the time to remedy this error.
The name Connery is from the gaelic O Maolconaire or follower of Conaire. It is a variant of the name Conrey. The name is said to be found originally around Galway, Ireland. According to Castel Garden records there were 303 immigrants while Ellis Island shows 167 Connerys in their records. These are not accurate counts since many Connerys entered several times. I guess seeing these numbers that the name Connery is not as common as I always thought.
Searching the Chicago City Directories, I followed my grandfather from the earliest known listing for Michael J Connery in 1888 as a bartender and living at 163 N Paulina. By 1889 he is boarding with the Michael Connery who is a policeman in Chicago. This may have been a means of saving money since by 1890 he owned a saloon at 161 N Paulina and was living at 544 Austin Ave. M J remained a saloon keeper until 1912 when he entered the Real Estate business where he remained until his death in 1953. M J appears in the Chicago Voters List as a voter in 1888 and states that he has been a resident of Illinois for 8 years and filed his citizenship papers in Cook County. I have also been able to document M J's participation in Chicago's St Patrick's Day Parade. On Mar 15, 1896, the Daily Inter Ocean newspaper listed M J as an aide to Grand Marshall Martin Mulcahey. Not sure about the white horse yet since I can't find the documentation other than his obituary.
There is still more to try to find about M J and his family. Maybe his naturalization records will help to pinpoint his actual arrival. I know his parents and his mother's parents but not much more. M J was one of 11 children and I only have information on one brother and two sisters.