Name: Cornelius "Con" Byrne
Given Name: Cornelius "Con"
Birth: 14 Feb 1868 in Largysillagh, Civil Parish of Killybegs Upper, County Donegal, Ireland
Christening: 14 Feb 1868 Catholic Parish of Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland
Death: 1 Aug 1945 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Burial: 3 Aug 1945 Mount Olivet Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois. Section 11, Lot 72
Baptism: 11 Feb 1868 civil parish of Killybegs Upper, County Donegal, Ireland
Change Date: 29 Nov 2017 at 07:21:04
Notes for Cornelius Byrne:
His nickname was "Con".
Cornelius' baptismal record from the Catholic Parish of Killybegs, in the Catholic Diocese of Raphoe:
As children, Cornelius and his future wife Margaret McGrory lived about eight miles from each other, in the vicinity of the town of Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland. Cornelius was six years older than Margaret.
Cornelius emigrated from Ireland in 1888 or 1889, according to dates written on censuses.
The 1890 U.S. census records were accidentally or deliberately burned, or damaged by water in the attempt to put out the fire in 1921. So it isn't known exactly where Cornelius was living or what his occupation was in 1890.
But he may have been living and working in Leadville, Colorado, in the mining industry, as this 1892 city directory listing shows:
An 1895 Chicago directory shows both Cornelius Byrne and Margaret McGrory, before they were married, renting a place to live at the same address:
Byrne Cornelius, clk. bds. 3845 Indiana av.
McGroary Maggie Miss, stenog. bds. 3845 Indiana av.
That address was a boarding house with more than a few residents.
A photo of the Byrne - McGrory marriage license:
On September 9, 1896, Cornelius Byrne married Margaret McGrory at St. James Catholic Church, which is still located at 2942 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago. The witnesses were Andrew McGrory and Catherine McGrory. A photo of their one-line entry in the church marriage registry book:
A photo of the couple on their wedding day:
A photo of a listing of the previous day's marriage licenses as printed in the September 9, 1896, Chicago Tribune, showing Byrne - McGrory:
An 1896 Chicago directory shows that Cornelius was still listed as a clerk. He must have started working as a Chicago police officer some time in 1896 or early 1897. That was confirmed in his obituary where it stated that he retired in 1936 after 40 years with the Police Department.
An 1897 Chicago directory listed:
Byrne Cornelius, police, h. 3821 Lowe av.
h meant house.
Chicago Police Officer Cornelius Byrne, about 1897:
1898 and 1899 Chicago directories listed:
Byrne Cornelius police h 1113 51st
The 1900 U.S. census had an effective date of June first. The Byrne household was enumerated June twelfth. The census page shows Cornelius, 32, a police officer; Margaret, 26; their son James, 2; daughter Catherine, 1; Cornelius' brothers John, 26; Daniel, 23; and James, 21; plus Margaret's brother Andrew C. McGrory, 33; and a 24-year-old female servant, all living in a home they rented at 738 W. 64th St., Chicago. Cornelius, Margaret, and all four of their parents were listed as being born in Ireland. It was indicated that Cornelius had become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
A photo of that 1900 census page:
A photo from about 1902 showing the four Byrne brothers who lived in Chicago, and a photo from about 1912 of the five Byrne brothers who lived in Chicago, after Peter moved back to Ireland (apparently to help his elderly father run his farm) and after the youngest brothers, Michael and Peter, immigrated:
In addition to Cornelius' brothers John, Daniel, and James, the two youngest Byrne brothers, Peter and Michael, also lived on the south side of Chicago. Peter and Michael were named in a 1943 Suburbanite Economist story about Peter's life and death at the age of 55. The six Byrne brothers had a sister, a Mrs. Madge Leslie who in 1941 was living in Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland, according to John's 1941 obituary. James Byrne's 1948 obituary stated that there was another Byrne sister, Mary Dever.
Cornelius, James, Michael, and Peter all were Chicago police officers of different ranks.
1902, 1904, and 1905 Chicago directories listed:
Byrne Cornelius police h 6830 Normal av
1906 and 1908 Chicago directories listed:
Byrne Cornelius police h 5410 Dearborn
A 1909 Chicago directory listed:
Byrne Cornelius police h 5433 Armour av
That family moved a lot!
The 1910 U.S. census had an effective date of April fifteenth. The Byrne household was enumerated April twenty ninth. The census page shows Cornelius, 42; Margaret, 33, (actually 36); James, 12; Catherine, 11; Mary, 8; Margaret, 5; Andrew, 2; one year old Mary Josephine "Jo" Harmon (the daughter of Margaret's sister Elizabeth "Bettie" Harmon); and Cornelius' brother Peter, 21.
The family had moved yet again! They all lived in a home at 7836 S. Emerald Ave., Chicago. Cornelius was a policeman. It was written that Margaret had given birth to six children, but one of them had died. It was written that Cornelius had immigrated in 1889, and Margaret had immigrated in 1892.
A photo of that 1910 census page:
The children of Cornelius and Margaret McGrory Byrne were all born in Chicago:
1) James Aloysius Byrne, born August 6, 1897. He was baptized August 15th at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church. In 1910, young James went on a trip to Largy, Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland, where he visited (among other relatives) his father's parents, James and Eleanor Byrne.
James married Helen Frances Tanck on July 5, 1917, in Arlington, Massachusetts. Arlington is six miles northwest of Boston, which must have been where the Navy man was stationed.
James and Helen and their first two children, daughter Margaret H. Byrne and son Francis "L." (actually X. for Xavier) Byrne, were living with James' widowed father Cornelius in Cornelius' home in Chicago in January of 1920, as recorded in the 1920 U.S. census. That census stated that James' occupation was a petty officer in the U.S. Navy. (James must have lied about his age, since he was 16 days short of his 16th birthday when he first enlisted. James served from 1913 through 1933.) Helen and Margaret were listed in the census as being born in Massachusetts.
At some point within eight years after the 1920 census, the James Byrne family moved back to Massachusetts, then to Michigan for about 16 years, until James died. That census listed James' first two children, Margaret and Francis, plus three more; Lawrence Wallace Byrne, James Aloysius Byrne, Jr. and Cornelius Byrne. James A. Byrne, Sr. died November 26, 1946, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
James' FindAGrave memorial includes photos of him as a child:
2) Catherine Frances Byrne, born March 4, 1899. She married Edward L. Parker. More about her is in this chart.
3) Mary Margaret Byrne, born March 1, 1902. Her birth certificate seems to show that she wasn't given a name immediately.
Mary married George T. Parker on September 8, 1926, at St. Leo Catholic Church in Chicago. George was a brother of Ed Parker, the husband of Mary's sister Catherine. So two brothers married two sisters. George and Mary had children Rosemary Therese Parker, born March 15, 1930, in Blue Island; George Thomas Parker, Jr., born May 9, 1931, in Evergreen Park; and David John Parker, born September 8, 1933, in Evergreen Park.
Mary Parker died July 12, 1966, in Chicago. She had a death notice in the July 14th Chicago Tribune:
The death certificate of Mary Margaret Byrne Parker:
Mary's FindAGrave memorial includes photos:
4) Margaret Conwell Byrne, born September 27, 1904. (That middle name was her mother's mother's maiden name.) Margaret's birth certificate shows her as "Baby Byrne", so apparently she wasn't given a name immediately. She was baptized at St. Bernard Catholic Church. Margaret married William Gibbons on November 22, 1937, in Chicago. He was a Chicago police officer. They had children William J. Gibbons, Bernard A. Gibbons and Robert B. Gibbons. Margaret Gibbons died in March of 1987 in Cook County. There was no death notice for her in the Tribune, but there may have been one in other newspapers.
Margaret's FindAGrave memorial includes photos:
5) Andrew McGrory Byrne known as Andy, born December 9, 1907. No birth certificate was made for Andy until October 27, 1941. At that time his father Cornelius submitted information that was written on Andrew's birth certificate, including the unusual middle name of McGrory, which was the maiden name of Andy's mother. Cornelius' signature is on the delayed birth certificate of Andy Byrne:
That document states that Andrew was the sixth child born to Cornelius and Margaret, but one infant or young child had died before Andy was born. I can't find any information online about the name, birth, existence or death of that child. The birth and death must have happened between 1897 and 1907.
Andy was a Chicago police officer. He married Isabelle Brennan in 1930, when she was 17 years old. They had children Andrew Michael Byrne (who died at the age of 11 months on September 14, 1931, and who was apparently called Michael, which was his name on his death certificate) Barbara Isabelle Byrne, Constance Brennan Byrne (known as Connie), Diana Byrne and Elaine Byrne. Andrew Byrne died August 27, 1974, in Palos Heights, Illinois. He had a death notice in the August 29th Chicago Tribune:
Andy's FindAGrave memorial includes photos:
6) Cornelius Paul Byrne, known as Paul, born February 22, 1911. No birth certificate was made for him until June 29, 1925. Like Andrew's delayed birth certificate, information on Paul's also confirms that Margaret had given birth to a baby who had died young:
Cornelius was baptized March 5th at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church. Some people may not have known that his legal name was Cornelius. "Paul" was in the armed forces during World War 2. His usual occupation was a Chicago police officer. He married Mary Catherine Callahan on April 27, 1938. They had one child, John A. Byrne. "Paul" Byrne died July 10, 1983, in Oak Lawn. He had both a standard death notice and an obituary in the July 13th Chicago Tribune:
Paul's FindAGrave memorial includes photos:
A photo of the six Byrne children, and a cousin of theirs, taken about late 1913:
1912, 1913, and 1914 Chicago directories listed:
Byrne Cornelius police h 7836 Emerald av
On April 1, 1914, Cornelius was promoted from patrolman to sergeant. This information was printed in the April 2, 1914 Chicago Examiner newspaper.
A 1915 Chicago directory listed:
Byrne Cornelius police h 7845 Eggleston av
7845 probably was a mistake, and should have been 7863.
A 1916 Chicago directory listed:
Byrne Cornelius sergt police h 7863 Eggleston av
In 1918, Cornelius' wife Margaret died.
The 1920 U.S. census had an effective date of January first. The Byrne household was enumerated January sixth. The census page shows that Cornelius presided over a home containing 14 people, even without his late wife. Listed were Cornelius, 52; children James, 22; Catherine, 20; Mary, 17; Margaret, 15; Andrew, 11; and Paul, age eight. Also living in the home were the late Margaret's unmarried siblings Andrew and Catherine; Margaret's sister Bettie Harmon and her daughter; and James' wife Helen and their two children.
They lived in a home at 7863 S. Eggleston Ave., Chicago. (That house was built in 1880, and was demolished in September of 2013.) Cornelius was mistakenly listed as married; he was widowed. Cornelius' occupation was a sergeant with the Chicago Police Department. It was written that Cornelius had immigrated in 1888, and that he had become a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1893.
A photo of that 1920 census page:
A front page story in the May 30, 1921 Chicago Tribune mentioned Sergeant "Con" Byrne's involvement in a gun battle:
The 1930 U.S. census had an effective date of April first. The Byrne household was enumerated April tenth. The census page shows Cornelius, 62; his children Margaret; Andrew; and Paul; plus Cornelius' brother John, all living at the same home on Eggleston. The value of that home was listed as $10,000. Cornelius' job was written as "Policeman", although he had not been demoted from his 1920 position as a sergeant.
A photo of Sergeant Cornelius "Con" Byrne:
Cornelius retired in 1936 from the Deering station of the Chicago Police Department after 40 years on the force.
Cornelius in 1938:
The 1940 U.S. census had an effective date of April first. The Byrne home was enumerated April twenty second. The census page shows that Cornelius, 72, a widower, still lived in the same home on Eggleston. Cornelius' daughter Mary and her husband George T. Parker and their three children also lived in the home. It was written that Cornelius had an 8th grade education.
A photo of a death notice and two obituaries for Cornelius:
Cornelius' death certificate:
Cornelius' FindAGrave memorial includes photos of him, and a photo of his grave marker:
Father: James Byrne b: ABT 1841 in County Donegal, Ireland
Mother: Eleanor "Ellen" McGuinness b: ABT 1842 in County Donegal, Ireland
Margaret McGrory b: late March or April 1 1874 in Lough Head, Corporation, Killybegs Upper, County Donegal, Ireland c: 2 Apr 1874 in Catholic Parish of Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland
9 Sep 1896
in Chicago, Cook, Illinois
- Catherine Frances Byrne b: 4 Mar 1899 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois c: 12 Mar 1899 in St. Anne Catholic Church, Chicago