Four Letters from
Clara Hellman Houlihan
to
Harry Connors Jr.

............................................................................................ August 1, 1957

Dear Harry:

So glad you and Peggy liked the pictures. I should have remembered to give you the older names. We here sometimes mention past incidents or older generations, we are not certain, and there is nobody left to ask.

Grandmother Brehany was called "Ma" by all generations. My mother was Aunt Mollie, and when your mother was of talking age she could say "Ma" but not "Aunt." One day my mother took your mother down to the house for a visit. At the door she said "Hello Ma." Your mother (Baby Catherine) said "OH! Two Mas." So the three Leader girls always called her, and now refer to her, as "Two Mas." There was a deep affection between my mother and the three girls. Your boys are the sixth generation in the line headed by Two Mas.

I'm glad to know that Mark is coming right along. You will all enjoy him a lot.

The line-up is enclosed. You might want to paste it on the respective pictures.

All the best wishes to you and Peggy and the boys.

................................................................................................ Love,
................................................................................................ Aunt Clara

It is now Saturday. We had a few days of terrific heat. Today's thunderstorm must have flooded basements once more. But it is cooler.

(The following handwritten note is attached--HEC)

John Hall Leader - Honora Donaghue Leader
............ Will Leader
............ Dorothy Leader (Carroll)
............ Bell Leader (Cloran)
............ Jim Leader
............ John Leader
............ George Leader
............ Francis Emmet Leader

Matthew - Sarah Brehany Beaton
............ Irene Beaton (Leader)
............ Catherine Beaton (Cozzens)
............ Sarah Beaton (White)
............ Donald J. Beaton
............ Mary Beaton (Adams)
............ Eleanor Beaton
............ Matthew Beaton

Music is I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen sequenced by Barry Taylor

This site created by Harry E. Connors III

Please e-mail me with any additions, corrections, and comments.

These letters were written by Clara Hellman Houlihan, a first cousin of Irene Beaton Leader, and a first cousin twice removed of Harry Connors Jr.

.................................................................................................. August 8, 1957

Dear Harry:

It occurs to me it would be a matter of interest to you to note that Grandmother Brehany, the head of the clan, was born August 15, 1828.

Grandmother Beaton was born July 16, 1848; my mother on the same date in 1950. As little ones they used to wonder why they weren't twins.

You don't have to acknowledge this.

................................................................................................ Love to you all.
................................................................................................ Aunt Clara

"THEIR STORY RUNNETH THUS":

Isabelle Grimes Gregory - Ireland

1. Eliza Gregory Brehany
.
........... Born - Ballinsloe, County Tyrone, Ireland August 15, 1828
............ Died Sept. 7, 1901, Galena, Illinois

Michael Brehany
............ Born - Athleague, County Roscommon, Ireland February 2, 1816
............ Died July 10, 1859, Galena, Ill.

............ *************************************
2. Sarah Brehany Beaton
............ Born July 16, 1848, Galena, Ill.
.......... . Died July 18, 1922, Chicago, Ill.

3. Irene Beaton Leader
............ Born June 21, 1868, Galena, Ill.
. .......... Died Feb. 16, 1926, Chicago, Ill.

4. Catherine Leader Connors
............ Born Oct. 28 ................ Galena, Ill.

5. Harry E. Connors Jr.
............ Born ............................. Chicago, Ill.

...................................................................................................... September 17, 1957

Dear Harry:

Enclosed is their story. I am so glad you are interested.

The enclosed silk is a piece of Great-Grand-Mother Brehany's wedding dress. She was 17 I believe when she was married - and she was only 31 years old when she was widowed, with five children. (She could not read or write as old Mother England did not approve of education for Catholics, but otherwise she was fine, bright woman, supported her family by conducting the little grocery store her husband had owned. She was on call day and night when babies, or baptisms, or sickness or death were on the program of friends and neighbors. And she was the haven of consolation for girls from Ireland, maids for the well-to-do, who slept in the attic room, heatless in winter and torrid in summer, for maybe $10 a month. And, believe it or not, some of the rich ladies locked up the fruits and jams so the maid would have no access to them. No wonder they needed consolation. And they did ALL the work. Grandmother Brehany knitted beautifully, sewed, did church work, etc., etc. She was a valiant woman. I trust her reward has been very great.

If there is any other detail I can supply, just let me know.

My love to you all.
........................................... Aunt Clara

................................................................................................ Sunday aft.
................................................................................................ March 2, 1958

Dear Harry. I hope you have kept all the data I have sent you about our ancestors. The enclosed I got from Sr. Mary. It's about my Grandfather Beaton's mother who married an O'Leary after her husband died.

Mrs. Elizabeth Beaton O'Leary
............ Matthew Beaton
............ Ann Beaton
............ Catherine Beaton
............ Gus O'Leary

Matthew Beaton - father of
............ Irene Beaton Leader
............ Katherine Beaton Cozzens
............ Sarah Beaton White
............ Donald Beaton
............ Mary Beaton Adams
............ Eleanor Beaton
............ Matthew Beaton

Honora Donaghue. Born in Castle Island, December 24, 1834. Daughter of Mortimer and Catherine Hereley Donoghue.

Married John Hall Leader in Syracuse, N.Y. on Nov. 23, 1854.
She died in Galena, Ill. On March 3, 1904.

John Hall Leader born in Cork City Ireland on Mill Street, Suburban Area. He was a graduate of Christian Bros. College. He was born Jan. 2, 1828. Died Jan. 9, 1894.

They had 5 sons: Will, John, Vincent Mortimer, James Henry, Francis Emmet, George Charles. 3 daughters: Dorothy, Catherine Isabel, Mary.

Francis Emmet (Frank) married Irene Beaton. Their daughters Catherine, Irene, Claire.

Michael Brehany - Eliza Gregory
............ Sarah Brehany (Beaton)
............ (Aunt Molly) Mary Brehany (Hellman)
............ Elizabeth Brehany (Conway)
............ John Brehany - never married

The MacDonald Crest

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Matthew Beaton, 50 Years in Business

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This page last modified on Sunday, November 25, 2007