Michael Connor and Bridget Cain, Our Helpful Heroes
Michael Connor and Bridget Cain are the heroes of this book. They were refugees fleeing oppression in Ireland in 1837. They sailed to Canada with their three children on a heroic, epic journey. They settled on a farm in Mayo, Quebec, an Irish community. Part 1 explores the heritage of Michael Connor in the province of Connacht, Ireland. It covers the period from before the birth of Christ to 1837. Michael comes from a clan whose leaders were often Kings. However, with the English invasion begun by Henry II in 1171, the O’Connor Kings and indeed the whole clan slowly lost their royal titles, power and land. Many sank into poverty. Part 2 explores Michael and Bridget’s life in Mayo, Quebec and the lives of some descendants in Quebec and Ontario covering a period from 1837 to 1960. These descendants include Michael’s son, John and his wife, Catherine and their son, William Malachi O’Connor and his wife, Augusta La Haye.
This book is more than a genealogy. It is rooted in history and has many stories, interviews with family members, maps, and poems. The legacies of the O’Connor family are described. Our hope is that our children, grandchildren and the wider public will learn from this account and enjoy the helpful heroes who appear.