Picture of Dennis Prue

Dennis Prue

Dennis has been researching family trees for more than 30 years. His expertise has been invaluable in helping to break through brick walls.


This Old Tree, August 2019

Patrick Connelly was from Ireland and he settled in what is now Caribou, Maine in December of 1829.

Caribou was then called Eaton Grant and he was one of the early settlers. Patrick was single when he came to Eaton Grant and he would later marry one of his neighbor’s daughters, Catherine Kelley, sometime between 1850 and 1854. They had a son, Melvin, born in 1855.

Shortly thereafter, in 1857, I found a reference to Pat and Catherine’s divorce. Patrick owned land in Caribou as well as Fort Fairfield.

Patrick’s will, written April 19, 1862, and probated in the July court term in 1862, leaves Catherine Kelley the main bed and the bedding that went with that bed. He was still calling Catherine his wife.

The other bed in the home with its bedding was to go to Marion, wife of Jesse Patridge, which they had been using during the past winter. Marion also got the hens and a keg of meal.

What puzzled me was the inclusion of Jesse and Marion Patridge. They lived most of the time in Sarsfield, [part of Fort Fairfield], not in Caribou. Jesse Patridge, who was then living with Patrick, gets Patrick’s clothing.

Patrick gives the following to Sarah Ann, wife of Dennis Sughrue of Eaton Grant, his furniture and cupboard and its contents, a large chest and the hog in the pen. Sarah Ann’s daughter, Catherine Sughrue gets the clock and a smaller trunk.

Elizabeth, the wife of James Shay, gets $20, half in cash the rest out of Patrick’s real estate.

Marion, Jesse and Sarah Ann also get money like Elizabeth Shay. They are to be paid after all of Patrick’s just debts are paid.

The last thing that Patrick settles is his land, buildings and all other property which was to be given to the Roman Catholic Church in Sarsfield (Fort Fairfield).

Having done more research, it shows that Sarah Ann Sughrue, her daughter Catherine Sughrue and Elizabeth Shay are neighbors and had helped Patrick in his final years as well as Jesse and Marion.

It struck me that except for Elizabeth Shay, the person getting most of Patrick’s household goods was Sarah Ann. Sarah Ann was a colorful woman in her own right. I think Patrick and Sarah Ann were very much alike. Patrick was a farmer but he also ran a Tavern/Bar in Eaton Grant.

Sarah had worked in a Tavern in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada before moving to Eaton Grant. She may have helped Patrick run his Tavern.

Sarah had eight children by four different men. The two children of her first marriage to Henry Grass were a son Moses who remained single and died in the Civil War. The other was a daughter.

In looking at the age of Marion Patridge in the census and the time frame, it appears that the wife of Jesse would be Marion Grass, Sarah Ann’s eldest child. Since there are very few marriage records for Eaton Grant, I could not locate her marriage to Jesse. Also, Marion was not that common of a name at that time in Eaton Grant. Sarah Ann’s family got some of the most valuable property of Patrick at the expense of his wife Catherine and his young son Melvin.

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This Old Tree, August 2019 by Dennis Prue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at ac-gs.org.