April 3, 2015 – C is for Charles

There are several Charles in our family.  Daniel O’Connor had a brother Charles who followed him to Canada.  That Charles was a tailor and took in several of Daniels daughters and taught them to be seamstresses so they could always bring in some funds if needed. And then there was my gr grandfather Charles who stayed on the family farm and I think I will write about him.  There was also Charles the son of Daniel’s son Michael who lived for a time at the farm with his uncle Charles and helped Charles sisters Ellen, Annie and Charlotte who lived in the family home up the road from Charles home. He was young and loved his uncle and aunt’s and stayed there for a long time until he left and moved to Watertown where he met his future wife and spent the rest of his life in that area.

Charles James O’Connor was born at Long Point Ontario in 1849.  He attended a log cabin one room school down the road at the Singleton property.  When he was five years old he was taken to the McArdles for the baptism of their young daughter Emily.  Over the years they met socially and eventually married in 1876.  Charles worked very hard on the farm because it was really a fight against all the rocks being part of the Adirondack Shield.  There are great rocks coming out of the land all over the property. Cultivating the soil was very difficult.  He had cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys and some horses.  At one point he worked to have a cheese factory built at Long Point which happened and his father had worked hard to have a stone school house built at Long Point as well.  Because the family were literate they were also the postmaster for the local neighbors.

Charles and Emily did not have an easy time having children.  Their eldest was Fergus and over the next 12 years they lost several full term children and many miscarriages. Twelve years later they had twins of which only one survived.  That was Madeline. In doing research about this family I discovered by speaking with descendants of Emilys sister that they had a big problem with pregnancy as well and only when the RH factor was discovered in the 1940”s did they figure out the reason.  I believe that is probably what Charles and Emily’s problem was as well.

Several times Charles tried to leave the farm.  He and a friend started a windmill business at some point but that did not succeed.  He moved to Watertown NY where his son attended Watertown High School, then returned for a while to Long Point and a second time went over to Watertown.  He also was going to take a job in Providence RI at one point but Madeline became ill and Emily insisted that he change his plans.  He did not want his son taking over the farm because they felt is was so small and “frail” although since Fergus was a smart fellow they had larger dreams for him.

Charles and Emily left Long Point in 1919 when Fergus and his family moved to Kingston Ontario.  They along with Madeline followed Fergus to Kingston. Once they had a house they took in boarders and Charles would work for builders.  They were very involved with Fergus’ family and in the social life of many of their old neighbors and cousins who were living in Kingston.

Charles died in 1933 and is buried in St Mary’s Cemetery in Kingston along with his wife, children and many of his grandchildren and several gr grandchildren.

Pictures of the cheese factory with the school house behind it.  Charles and his violin (red) which is not held by my niece Andrea, and Charles official paper saying that he was the postmaster at Long Point. and Charles, Emily, Fergus and Madeline around 1891.

Post_master_Charles_O_Connor  Long_Point_cheese_Factory__and_Schoolhouse



4 thoughts on “April 3, 2015 – C is for Charles”

  1. If I’m not mistaken, Joe Bevins was instrumental in building the cheese factory? Do you know what happened to it Margie?


    1. Yes, Joe was.. He was such a good friend of my grandfathers.. We think the remains of the cheese factory are partially under the road now.. It may have burned down. I don’t remember it from when we were kids.. My cousins who lived out there and who read this can remind me if I am wrong about what happened to it. Art shaw knows all the history .


    1. We are very lucky as a family that we had folks who loved keeping the history.. So few families have as much as we have. There are boxes and boxes of old letters, documents and pictures.. My job is to sort and document all of it.


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