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.

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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, FamilySearch.org.
[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: Ancestry.com 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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Marriage of Philip Sullivan and Ellen Connor

At long last, thanks to Lori Reiss (wife of great, great grandson of James Connor and Anastasia Colfer) sharing the Connor Family Bible with me, the marriage record of Philip Sullivan and Ellen Connor has been located.

The Bible provided the location of their marriage, Old St. John Church, Chicago, Illinois.  Although the Bible page states the marriage occurred on November 5, 1865 (the year cannot be read on the Bible page as it was written into the decorative edging) the entry has been located in Old St. John's Marriage Register and the date given is November 2, 1865.

Fifth entry on right hand page


Witnesses: Peter Ledy and Bridget Connor
Note the Connor name is spelled Conners.  Bridget is believed to be Ellen's sister.  The name Ledy (or Leddy) appears associated with the Sullivans in other documents.

Monday, February 20, 2012

833 Madison for Sale, 1973/74

The Evanston Historical Society had realtor listings including one for 833-835 Madison Street, Evanston.  The two cards seem to reflect the double house being put on the market, then taken off and relisted, or at least the then owners hiring a new realtor.

The house that cost $4,500 to build in 1893 was, in 1974/5, being sold for the asking price of $59,900.  The descriptions of the house make it sound very cozy:

"2-flat in excellent condition - 2 fireplaces, finished recreation room in basement, lovely landscaped yard, big attic.  Walk to everything.  Must see inside."

and

"SHOWS WELL: Charming Victorian 2 apartment home, large rooms, modern kitchen with eating area. Finished family room in basement.  Fireplaces in living rooms, separate dining area.   Screened porch, large attic, landscaped yard.  Near everything. Must be seen on inside!"

In 1973 there was a note that the building was: lawful non-forming, no elimination date.  It must have had some grandfather clause due to the age, which at this time would be close to 80 years old.

By the mid-1970s, the double house was heated with oil and was constructed of composition siding with an asphalt shingle roof.  The corner lot was quite large, 50.6 feet by 130 feet.  This is the photo of the property that accompanied the realty description:

833-835 Madison Street, Evanston

Source: Evanston Historical Society

Occupiers: 833-835 Madison Street, Evanston

Philip Sullivan had 833-835 Madison, Evanston, built in 1893.  In 1894, a W. A. Linn and his wife, Zella M., became the first tenants at the 833 address.  He was the chief clerk with the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad which was located in the Old Colony Building in Chicago.

After six years, a Mr. Dwight L. McNair and wife Lulu, along with their probable daughter Miss Nellie P. McNair, were the next tenants.  He was a proofreader with Hollister Brothers in Chicago and the daughter was a stenographer.

In 1909, Philip and his wife Ellen moved into their home in Evanston which was now 15 years old.  By now, Philip was about 69 and probably had sold or closed his grocery store in Chicago on Sholto street.  Living with their parents were two sons, Peter I. who was a clerk for Durand and Kasper in Chicago and Phillip M. who was working as a substitute clerk for the United States Post Office at Church and Sherman.

In 1918, only Ellen Sullivan is noted as living at 833 Madison Street.  Philip had died in 1915 and Ellen died a year later in 1919.

Property card from the Evanston Historical Society

The original tenants at the 835 Madison entrance were a W. E. and Eliza B. Hess.  By 1900, Herbert, a cashier at the Chicago Journal and his wife Elvira Withington were occupying the home.

The year Philip Sullivan and his family moved into 833, his next door neighbors were Samuel, an auditor for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, his wife Jennie and their daughter Mabel.  This family remained the Sullivan neighbors throughout the Sullivan's time in the "double house".

Property card from the Evanston Historical Society