Philip Sullivan and Ellen Connor Family

Philip Sullivan and Ellen Connor Family
Philip Sullivan and Ellen Connor Family: From left to right: James Sullivan, James Gahagan, Ann Sullivan Gahagan, Philip M. Sullivan, Honora "Nonie" Mahoney, Thomas Hoy, Mary Sullivan Hoy, Pete Sullivan, Ellen Madigan Sullivan, Alex Sullivan, Maggie Sweeny Sullivan, Frank Sullivan; Seated: Philip J. Sullivan and Ellen Connor Sullivan, c1908-1909

About Philip Sullivan and Ellen Connor

About Philip J. Sullivan and Ellen Connor

Philip J. Sullivan, son of Patrick Sullivan and Rose (last name most likely Corcoran) was born on January 6, 1840 in Dennbane, County Cavan. He was one of ten children. He and his wife Ellen Connor, daughter of James Connor (c1818-1897) and Anastasia Colfer (Colfour) (c1821-1884) was born 1843 in Taghmon, County Wexford, also had ten children. Philip immigrated c1856 and Ellen c1855, both with their parents and siblings. Philip and Ellen married in Chicago in 1865. They owned a grocery store on the southwest side of Chicago from 1871-c1900s. By 1910, they were living at 833 Madison in Evanston, Illinois, where they spent the rest of their lives. They had ten children: Mary, Anastasia (Ann), James (Jay), Infant, Frances (Frank), Peter, Alexander (See also Sullivan/Madigan Genealogy), Michael, Charles, and Philip. Philip Sr. died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 26, 1915 and Ellen died of a stroke on December 3, 1919.

Click on image to enlarge


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sex Education Teacher - Fr. Charles Sullivan

Charles P. Sullivan, S. J., 1883-1957
9th child of Philip Sullivan and Ellen Connor
While attending a wake for another Sullivan relative this weekend, I met a man who had attended St. Ignatius High School in Chicago, graduating in 1951. St. Ignatius, while he was there, was an all-boys school. During the conversation I asked if he had known a Fr. Charles Sullivan who taught at St. Ignatius in the 1950s.

He got the biggest grin on his face. He said he would never forget Fr. Sullivan who was one of his Religious Education teachers. Evidently, Uncle Charlie was assigned the duty to have "THE" sex talk with each of the boys.

My story-teller said the boys would be given a specific time to go to see Fr. Sullivan in a room. They would sit down, Uncle Charlie would NOT look them in the eye, mumble a few words, and then tell them to go out and send in the next young man.

I remember Uncle Charlie as a kind but very prim and proper man. I can only imagine how uncomfortable he must have been with this particular assignment. Evidently, the young men he was "educating" didn't feel much different.

Source: Mr. Ruane, St. Ignatius High School, Class of 1951.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mary Sullivan Hoy, Death Certificate

Mary Sullivan Hoy (1867-1932) died on April 28, 1932 in Oak Park Hospital, Oak Park, Illinois. She was the oldest child of Philip Sullivan (1840-1915) and Ellen Connor (1843-1919). Mary was born in Chicago.

At the time of her death, she lived at 4152 W. Washington Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, with her husband Thomas.

For over two years she was afflicted with chronic myocarditis and bronchial asthma. The cause of her death is attributed to nephrolithiasis or kidney stones.

Mary was buried on April 30, 1932 in Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Illinois.

Source: Illinois Death Certificate, Family History Library MF# 1684330, accessed January 13, 2015.

Anna Sullivan Gahagan, Death Certificate 1925

Anna (Anastasia) Sullivan Gahagan (1869-1925), second daughter of Philip Sullivan (1840-1915) and Ellen Connor (1843-1919), died on December 23, 1925 in Community Hospital, Geneva, Illinois.

At the time of her death she and her husband, James Gahagan (c1868-1930), were living in West Chicago, DuPage County, Illinois. No exact address is given. Her death certificate provides her birth date as April 13, 1869 and notes her occupation as housewife.

Cause of death is reported as chronic myocarditis with aortic regurgitation which she had over a period of two years. She also had chronic infection of the teeth for 2-3 years.

She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Aurora, Kane County, Illinois.

From other documents I have found, there is no mention of James and Anna having children.

Source: Illinois death certificate #44515, Family History Library microfilm: #1504132, accessed January 13, 2015.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Philip Sullivan c1885

In October 2014, I had the opportunity to visit my cousin Thomas D. Sullivan's home. As I was leaving he asked if I would like to look at some of the albums his mother, Margaret Carmody Sullivan (1910-1982), had put together. Of course, I said YES!  He suggested I take one home with me so I could give a closer look at the many photos included. The one I chose was titled "Prior to 1950."

The album includes many photos of Margaret and her husband, Thomas A. Sullivan (1908-1996), but there were also several photos of ancestors of both Margaret and Tom. One such photo of Philip Sullivan (1840-1915), grandfather of Thomas A. Sullivan, I had never seen before.  It is possibly the oldest of all the photos I have of direct ancestors.

The front of the photo, which is on hard card stock, shows Philip standing next to a Victorian-style tufted chair. He is dressed formally but his cloths look warn, especially his shoes. It is not known if there was a particular purpose for which the photo was taken.  On the verso of the photograph, is the name of the photography: J. Battersby, 62 North Clark St., Chicago. There is also a 2 cent cancelled postage stamp attached with the cancellation date of February 4, 1885.

If the photo were taken around 1885, Philip would have been about 45 years old which seems to be in keeping with the age he looks in the photo.  In 1885 he was still living in Chicago and probably still running the family grocery store. All but the last (Philip M. Sullivan 1885-1959) of his 10 children would have been born by this date.

Seeing this photo gives me hope that other "old" photos of the family may still yet be located.

Source: Photo album created by Margaret Carmody Sullivan currently, 2014,  held by Thomas D. Sullivan.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Charles P. Sullivan, Buried All Saints Cemetery

Father Charlie Sullivan, son of Philip and Ellen, is buried in All Saints Cemetery, DesPlaines, Illinois in a large plot with other Jesuits. His marker is inscribed with the name Carolus, the Latin for Charles. 

Carolus P. Sullivan, S. J., 1883-1957

This monument stands over hundreds of Jesuit graves

Note the GPS, lower center of the image, at the edge of Charlie's marker and the grave's proximity to the monument
He is buried in grave 9, lot 32, block 2, section 2.

The Rev. Charles P. Sullivan: Mass for the Rev. Charles P. Sullivan, 74, former faculty member for 29 years at St. Ignatius High school, will be said at 10 a.m. tomorrow in Holy Family church, 1076 Roosevelt rd. He died Saturday in a Mariemont, O., hospital after a long illness.  Surviving are a brother, Philip M., and a niece, Mrs. Frank McGonigle.  Chicago Tribune, October 29, 1957, page A7.

For additional information on Charles P. Sullivan click here.

Photos: Elaine M. Beaudoin, March 31, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ellen Connor, birth record

Ellen Connor's birth date was believed to be August 15, 1848 as recorded in her son's Philip M. Sullivan's family bible. However, when the family bible of Ellen's parents, James Connor and Anastasia Colfour/Colfer was located, the birth date of August 24, 1843 was given.

The 1843 date is the more likely date as it was recorded in the late 1870s (closer to the actual birthday) and was "accepted" as the birth date by her Mother, Anastasia Colfour Connor. Also, the 1843 birth date would make her just 3 years younger than her husband, rather than 8 years younger, giving her a marriage age of 22 rather than 17.

Birth record in upper left hand corner.

James and Anastasia Connor Bible

Bible courtesy: Lori Reiss, great, great granddaughter-in-law of James and Anastasia Connor

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Philip Sullivan - Pioneer

Philip Sullivan has been recognized as a Cook County Pioneer by the Chicago Genealogical Society. In October, I submitted documents which prove Philip was in Chicago prior to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and further that he is my direct ancestor. The following document was issued in testimony of his Pioneer Ancestry.

Also with the submission was the photograph which appears at the head of this Blog showing the Sullivan Family c1908/09 and the following writeup on Philip.

Philip J. Sullivan c1840 - 1915
By Elaine McIntyre Beaudoin, great granddaughter
October 29, 2012
Born in 1840 on the eve of the Great Irish Famine,[1],[2] Philip Sullivan, eighth of ten known children, most likely saw inconceivable sorrow, starvation and death during his early years in Ireland's small agricultural townland of Dennbawn.[3]  Located in the interior of the island, County Cavan, and in particular the civil parish of Denn where Dennbawn is located, had good arable and pasture land in the late 1830s.[4]  However, as the Famine took hold, the ability to feed a family of 12 on a farm of only 14 acres must have been very difficult.[5]  This Irish devastation forced many to immigrate including Philip and several of his brothers and sisters.

Philip's migration was preceded by at least five older siblings, two of whom arrive in America as early as 1850.[6]  His parents, Patrick and Rose (Corcoran) Soraghan remained in Dennbawn, spending the remainder of their lives on the family farm eventually turning it over to their youngest son, Matthew Soraghan.[7],[8]

Although no passenger list has been located for Philip, he is known to be in Chicago in 1861 and on some records it states he was in the US as early as 1856.[9],[10]  During his early years in Chicago, Philip lived with his brother Michael, who owned a grocery store just north of Chicago Avenue and two blocks east of the Chicago River.[11]  During these first years in the City, Philip earned his living as a cooper, making and repairing barrels.[12] Prior to marriage, his living arrangements were rather itinerant, wandering back and forth between the homes of his brother Michael and his brother Andrew.[13]  The regular move was probably not that difficult as the two brothers lived less than 2 short blocks from each other.[14]  

In 1864, he moved to Halsted and Archer,[15] and the following year, on November 2, 1865, he married Ellen Connor of Evanston, Illinois at Old St. John’s Church.[16] Their first child, Mary, was born in early 1866.[17],[18]  By 1869, with a second daughter, Ann, the family moved to the first home he owned at 90 Sholto, today located at 835 Carpenter Avenue, just west of the campus of the University of Illinois, Chicago,[19],[20] and they remained there for nearly 30 years.[21]  During this time, eight more children were born to the Sullivans including James, Unnamed Baby, Francis, Peter, Alexander, Michael, Charles and their youngest, Philip, who was born in 1885.[22],[23]

Like his brother Michael, Philip went into the grocery business, opening a store at his residence on Sholto in 1871.[24] In Chicago, just before the Great Fire there were nearly 800 retail grocers,[25] almost all of which were family owned businesses. Although he lived within a few blocks of the O'Leary family of "cow" fame, his home and grocery store were spared destruction in the Great Fire unlike his brother Michael's grocery store which was destroyed.[26] The Sullivan's "store was very popular in the neighborhood owing to the kindness and charity of the family."[27]  The neighborhood which Philip and his family lived in during the 1870s was mostly Irish and his grocery store was very likely a shop that served his fellow countrymen.[28]  Life as a grocer in all probability provided the Sullivans with a regular income, at least enough to feed and clothe his large family, and definitely a much better life than he could have ever imagined in Ireland at that time.  He remained a grocer in the same location until the early part of the 20th century.[29]  

At the time Philip moved into his home on Sholto their church, Holy Family, was quite new.  This Victorian Gothic edifice on Roosevelt Road, founded by the Jesuits in 1857, served mostly Irish immigrants and probably made for a good social experience for him and his family.[30]  Philip and Ellen were active in their church baptizing all of the Sullivan children there.[31] Five of their sons were at one time serving as Acolytes, with one of them eventually becoming a Jesuit priest.[32] The Sullivans even rented a pew in Holy Family Church for their family paying $10 per year.[33] 

By 1893, Philip's sights were looking north toward Evanston, the hometown of his wife, Ellen.   In all probability Philip used the money he had earned from his grocery business, to invest in the construction of a Victorian "double house" which included two side-by-side apartments of 6 rooms each located at 833-835 Madison, Evanston.[34]  Philip's brother-in-law, John Connor, was in the construction business and had already built several homes in Evanston.[35]  His firm, Connor and McCann, took on the construction of the Madison Street home.[36]  The home was built with asphalt composition siding, an asphalt shingle roof and gas lighting at a cost of $4,500.[37]  Although the home was completed in 1894, Philip rented it out to several professional families for nearly 15 years before he closed his grocery store and moved to Evanston about 1909.[38],[39]

For the next six years, until his death in 1915, it is likely he and his wife enjoyed living on the quite residential street in this suburb of Chicago.  Philip died on May 25, 1915 in his home and was waked there as was the custom of the time.[40]  A high Mass was said for him at St. Mary's Church in Evanston and he was buried, with other family members including his brothers Andrew and Michael, in Evanston's Calvary Cemetery.[41]

Though leaving Ireland and his family in the late 1850s must have been enormously difficult, in America, and in particular the Chicagoland area, Philip was able to make a new life.  He eventually became a home owner, a business proprietor and raised the next generation of Sullivans, all of whom enjoyed a better life than would have been possible in Ireland.

[1] Philip Sullivan, Evanston, Illinois, death certificate no. 18368 (25 May 1915), Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois. 
[2] Philip Sullivan household, 1880 U. S. Census, Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, population schedule, Washington, DC, National Archives, T9, ED 82, p. 28D.
[3] Also spelled Dennbane.
[4] Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co.,1995.  Originally published 1837.  Vol. 1, page 450.
[5] Richard Griffith, General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland, Union of Denn, County of Cavan (Dublin: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1861), page 266.
[6] Michael Sullivan household, 1850 U. S. Census, Pennsylvania, Northampton, Williams Township; population schedule, Washington, DC, National Archives M432, Roll 802, p. 31A,
[7] Rose Soraghan, Ballinanagh, County Cavan, Ireland, death certificate no. 410 (July 29 1874), Ireland, Civil Registration Office, Dublin.
[8] Matthew Soroghan (Sullivan) household, 1901 Irish Census, County Cavan, Dennbane; Dublin City, County Dublin, Ireland, D.E.D. 40/18; p. 19, Public Record Office.  Of note, the family spelled the last name variously as Soraghan, Sorahan and Sorohan in Ireland but all assumed the Sullivan spelling when they came to the US.
[9] 1861-62 Chicago City directory. Chicago: Halpin & Bailey, 1861, page 338.
[10] Philip Sullivan Household, 1900 US Census, Illinois, Cook County, Chicago; population schedule, Washington, DC, National Archives T623, roll 269; ED 604, Sheet 13A, Line 20, Ward 19.   1900 U.S. Census states Philip Sullivan immigrated 1856.
[11] Chicago City Directory, T. M. Halpin, compiler, 1861-62, page 338  
[12] Ibid.
[13] Chicago City Directories 1861-62, page 338; 1862-63, pages 388-389.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Chicago City Directory, 1865, page 618.
[16] James Sullivan-Anastasia Connor marriage, November 2, 1865, (Chicago), Marriages 1859-1911, page 55b, Old St. John's Church, Chicago, Illinois
[17] Philip Sullivan Household, 1870 US Census, Illinois, Cook County, Chicago; population schedule, Washington, DC, National Archives M593, roll 204, page 270.
[18] Mary Sullivan, Baptismal Entry, April 12, 1866, "Holy Family Church Baptism Register," Baptismal Book 1, Page 468, MF# 10704691/4,
[19] Street and Avenue Directory of the City of Chicago, complied May 1, 1859; Smith & DuMoulin, Clerk's Office of the District Court of the U. S., For the Northern District of Illinois.
[20] Plan of Re-Numbering, City of Chicago: Table Showing New and Old House Numbers.  August, 1909.  Chicago: The Chicago Directory Company, 1909. 
[21] Chicago City Directories 1869-1909
[22] Holy Family Church Baptism Register, Baptismal Records: Mary (12 Apr 1866); Ann (14 Apr 1869); James, (02 Apr 1874); Francis (10 Sep 1876 ); Peter (04 Aug 1878); Alexander (28 Mar 1880 ); Michael (30 Oct 1881); Charles (07 Oct 1883); and Philip M. (29 Nov 1885), MF# 10704691/4, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
[23] Male Sullivan, Birth Certificate D-68-19 (September 20, 1875), Bureau of Vital Statistics, Cook County Clerk's Office, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
[24] Richard Edwards, compiler, Merchants' Chicago Census Report 1871, Chicago, Illinois: Edwards and Company,  1871, page 1079.
[25] Ibid., page 1239
[26] Tom Cook. Chicago Irish Families, 1875-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2000.  Chicago Citizen: Obituaries and Marriage Notices, May 28, 1904.
[27] Mulkerins, Bro. Thomas M., Holy Family Parish: Priest and People 1857-1923, Chicago, 1923, pages 736-737
[28] Ibid.
[29] Ibid.
[30] Ibid, page 948
[31] Holy Family Church Baptism Register, Baptismal Records.
[32] Mulkerins, pages 736-737
[33] Mulkerins, pages 189-193.
[34] Philip Sullivan, Building Permit Application, February 23, 1893, No. 152, Evanston Historical Society, Evanston, Illinois
[35] Industrial Chicago: The Building Interests, Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Company, Vol. 1, 1891, page 746-747.
[36] Philip Sullivan, Building Permit Application, February 23, 1893, No. 152.
[37] Ibid.
[38] Bumstead’s Evanston City and North Shore Directory, 1909-1910, Evanston Press Co. Printers, Evanston, Illinois, page 592.
[39] Philip Sullivan, Certificate and Record of Death No. 18368 (26 May 1915), County Clerk, Cook County, Illinois.
[40] Philip Sullivan obituary, Evanston News-Index, Evanston, Illinois, May 26, 1915, page 3.
[41] James Sullivan Cemetery Record, Lot 37, Block 16, Section N, Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Cook County, Illinois, USA; Reader: Elaine M. Beaudoin, 04 November 2002.

I have been informed the historical biography and the photo will appear in a future issue of the Chicago Genealogical Society Quarterly.