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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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Help needed to identify where Patrick Connor lived :-)


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32562 Pte Patrick Connor, King's Shropshire Light Infantry - died 8th June 1917

Hi, according to the ‘Soldiers died in the Great War’ Patrick Connor was born in Sutton, Yorkshire:

CONNOR Patrick Sutton, Yorks King's (Shropshire Light Infantry) 32562

I have been unable to find any further information on this chap. I cannot find him on the 1891, 1901 or 1911 census under the surname Connor or O' Connor.

His Medal Index Card which shows entitlement to a medal pair only with the Shropshire Light Infantry, but no other information. His service papers appear to be non-existent. I cannot find him commemorated on any war memorial.

I have extensively searched both Ancestry and FindMyPast for more information on Patrick Connor, but can find nothing on him.

There are 9 potential Sutton’s all located within the Yorkshires. I'm interested to know if his birth place of Sutton, Yorks is the village of Sutton-in-Craven?

Any help with identifying Patrick Connor and his possible connection/association with the village of Sutton-in-Craven would be most appreciated. Many thanks in advance, Andrew

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from Ancestry, 1911 Census

Name: Patrick O Connor Age in 1911: 30 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1881 Relation to Head: Head Gender: Male Birth Place: Sutton, Yorkshire, England Civil parish: Colne County/Island: Lancashire Country: England Street Address: 15 Dickson St Colne Marital Status: Married Occupation:

House Painter

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CWGC say born in Colne - 9 miles away from Sutton in Craven

Birth registered in Keighley in 1st / 1879

In 1891, Family is living in Colne.

The eldest three siblings were born in Sutton, Patrick and the other four were born in Colne


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1891 Census:

Born 1880 Colne, Lancashire

No 4 Vipond's Place, Colne, Lancashire

Father: Pat O'Conner, born abt 1837, Co Sligo, Ireland (Mason's labourer)

Mother: Bridget O'Conner, born abt 1855, Bradford, Yorks

1901 Census:

Born 1880, Colne, Lancashire

Residence: 23 Larkhill Street, Blackpool (Boarder)

Occupation: House painter

Transcribed on Ancestry as Patrick Oconner.

Also boarding in the house is a James O'Conner, born 1876 Colne, Lancs.


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CWGC also states:


Additional Information:

Son of Patrick and Bridget Connor; husband of Lily Connor, of 48, Cottontree Lane, Colne. Born at Colne.

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Thanks very much for your responses everyone :-)

jdoyle - it certainly looks like the Sutton, Yorkshire mentioned in the 1911 census as Patrick's birth place is indeed Sutton-in-Craven, because his wife Lily was born in Keighley just 5 miles away.

Grant - it looks like you found Patrick on the 1891 census. Is he listed as Patrick O Connor? I can't find the entry, but it looks like a great lead as his eldest 3 siblings were born in Sutton. I'd like to take a closer look at the census details.

Mick and Ellsbells - As above :-) I wonder why Patrick is listed as being born in Sutton on the 1911 census, but yet born at Colne on the 1901 and 1891 census? If Patrick's birth was registered at Keighley in 1879 then this would indicate he was likely born at Sutton, because his 3 older siblings were all born at Sutton. But then again 1879 is 2 years out from Patrick's estimated birth year of 1881.....

Thanks again for the replies, much appreciated. Regards Andrew

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Welcome to the wonderful world of census misinformation.

I'm afraid our ancestors are good at causing confusion. If they were born in one place but moved away shortly after birth and then lived elsewhere for a long time, over a period of time they may well forget where they were born.

The further away they lived from their place of origin, the vaguer the entry can be, as they may well put down the nearest town or large village rather than the little place that no-one has heard of, can spell or pronounce.

Due to illiteracy and non standard spelling, the enumerator writing the information down may mishear what is said.

Similarly, people are not good at recording their ages. Women may shave a few years off, especialy if they have married a younger man, or people may not honestly remember how old they are - why would they need to know? It's only with the advent of pensions, bureaucracy and various laws telling us that we have to be a minimum age for this that and the other, that we now pay attention to such things. Not really that important at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Mick of Leeds says he found the family on the 1891 under O'CONNER - obviously there is going to be some interesting variations with this surname.

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Sorry Andrew, should have given you all of the information :-(

Here listed as O Conner Patrick A, but when you look at the original the A looks more like an astrix

District is Burnley

Census ref is 3381 / 6 / 5

Address looks like 4 Viponds Place

Patrick might have been born in Sutton (althought it says Colne) - his birth was registered in Keighley which is a lot neared to Sutton than it is to Colne. His Brother, John Thomas also born in Colne has his birth registered in Burnley, only way to really sort it is to get his birth certificate :-(

Forgetful parents ? or the registration centre might have changed


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Ellsbells – LOL, well it had never really occurred to me (until now) that the age of a person 100 years ago was not as relevant as it is these days. As you correctly point out, it is only with the advent of pensions and modern day bureaucracy that it is critical to know a person’s age. Yes I can well imagine an older woman (back then) shaving a few years off her age if she had married a younger man!

Even in WW1 we see frequent examples of men joining up underage and using a false name (with post-war medals named up with this pseudonym). No proof of real name or age required it would seem.

So yes, our ancestors certainly did inadvertently give quite a bit of misinformation which is causing us modern day researchers quite a headache! Illiteracy would have been partly to blame, let’s face it – not everyone can read & write today!

Grant – Thanks very much for clarifying. I think that ultimately in the case of Patrick O Connor it’s going to be very difficult to definitively pin him down, or prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he was born in Sutton-in-Craven. Circumstantial evidence points to the fact that he was probably born in Sutton, but the hard evidence doesn’t seem to be there. Unless as you point out, his birth certificate would solve the puzzle.

I’m not too familiar with what information was included on birth certificates dating back to 1881. Would his home address be included on it?

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If he was born at home, then yes. the place of the birth is the one recorded

You could also try checking the GRO for the birth registers of the other siblings and check against the census address's


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The good news is that Sutton in Craven was part of the Keighley RD in this period, so his candidacy is looking stronger. Registration district boundaries do change as new RDs are created, or amalgamated, so you are right to query it.

The birth certificate will show the address of the family, HOWEVER, it may only show that they lived in Sutton, not a street name. That kind of detail is more likely in cities or large towns in the nineteenth century, so if you do get the certificate, don't be disappointed if it doesn't show as much as you hoped.


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  • 2 weeks later...

If it helps at all, Patrick Connor was living at 5, Bright Street , Colne at the time of his enlistment.


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. I cannot find him commemorated on any war memorial.

His name is listed on the panels of the Colne town war memorial and he also appears (with photo) in the town's Roll of Honour published by the Colne & Nelson Times newspaper in 1920 ....


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Hi Dave, thanks very much for your postings pertaining to Patrick Connor. His connection with the town of Colne is definitely unquestionable. It's his connection with the village of Sutton-in-Craven that I am in need of more information.

I do confess to putting the case of Patrick Connor on to the back-burner over the past couple of weeks, as I've been focusing on some other names with a connection to Sutton.

But I do need to come back to this chap shortly and see if it can be proven (more or less) that he and his 3 older siblings were all born at Sutton. It seems likely they were, but it's getting more evidence that may be the problem!

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  • 2 years later...

I know this is probably a long dead thread but this is my family. Patrick was the brother of my great grandfather james. The family moved to Colne and most are still there.Regards lyn, daughter of maureen o,'connor, the daughter of patrick o'connor, the son of james o'connor who was brother to Patrick

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The family were not in Sutton very long. They had originally come from Ireland and settled in Bradford, then in Sutton for a few years and then on to Colne

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