Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
It is stated that the Connor family probably exceed in antiquity that of any other in America. They derive their origin from and were of the royal line of Ancient Kings of Ireland, and show a lineage unequaled in any other nation save the Chinese and Hebrew. Their records were necessarily preserved with the greatest care, because the candidate for election as king was obliged to show and prove his origin by the registers of his family and the Pealter of Tara. Historians of ancient Ireland concur as to the origin of the name Connor. When surnames were adopted in the eleventh century, they were established in Connaught, Ireland, under King Teigh, who assumed the surname O'Connor in honor of his grandfather.
The meaning of the name is: "the chief of men," "powerful among men," "a leader." King Teigh, or Tiege Mor O'Connor wrote a poem lamenting his old age and inability to fight for his country.
John O'Connor, of Killishie, Kings county, Ireland, the only son of Donough O'Connor, born about 1650, who probably came to America early in 1700, became the founder of the Connor family of New York, but the ancestry of the Maine branch is not as yet clearly traced.
Selden Connor, son of William and Mary (Bryant) Connor, was born in Fairfield, Somerset county, Maine, Jan. 25, 1839. The father of William was brought to this country when a small boy by his father, who was master of a vessel, and who left him with a family at Bath, Maine, went to sea, and was never heard of afterwards. Owing to the youth of the son, only this meagre record was handed down to the family, and no attempt could be made to trace Captain Connor's ancestry. His son died in Bath in 1842.
His great-grandson, Selden, was educated at St. Albans Academy, Hartland, Maine; Westbrook Seminary, Westbrook, and was graduated from Tufts College in 1859 (LL. D. in 1877). He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity. Soon after his graduation he began the study of law in the office of Washburn & Marsh, of Woodstock, Vermont, but in 1861 his studies were interrupted by the first call of President Lincoln for volunteers, and he laid down his law books to take up arms in his country's cause. He was one of the youngest to win high rank early in the civil war, and it is well known that his promotions were due to his active, intelligent service and in recognition of disabilites received in the line of duty. His military record, a matter of justifiable pride to all citizens of the state of Maine is as follows:
Enlisted as private, First Vermont Volunteers, 1861. On expiration of enlistment returned to Maine and was lieutenant-colonel of the noteworthy Seventh Regiment of Maine Infantry, and went with his regiment through all the battles of the peninsula campaign under General McClellan from Williamsburg to Malvern Hill. In 1863 he was commissioned colonel of the Nineteenth Maine Regiment Volunteers, and as senior colonel was acting commander of the brigade to which it was assigned, attached to the second division of the Second Army Corps under Genearl Winfield Scott Hancock. After the reorganization of the army of the Potomac, under General Grant, in the battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, Col. Connor received a serious wound in the thigh, a bullet shattering the bones. For a time his life was in danger and he suffered great agony for more than a year, lying on his back at the hospitals in Fredericksburg and Washington. In June, 1864, President Lincoln, in recognition of his eminent services and conspicuous valor, appointed him brigadier-general.
After the healing of his wound, Gen. Connor returned to his Fairfield home, August, 1865, but his health remained shattered for several years. In 1868 he was appointed United States assessor of internal revenue for the Third Division of Maine, which office he held until its abolishment two years later. In 1870 all the districts were consolidated under one head, and General Connor was appointed collector for the state, in which position he remained until 1875, when he resigned, to accept the nomination for governor. His election followed in Sept., and his popularity was such he was twice re-elected to this highly responsible position. In 1882 General Connor received from President Arthur the appointment as U. S. pension agent for the state, and for several years held the office, till he resigned to enter business. In 1893 he was elected adjutant-general, and served as such under the administration of Governor Henry B. Cleaves, his military experiences making him a model officer. In 1897 he was again appointed U. S. pension agent, with headquarters at Augusta, Maine.
General Connor commands the admiration and respect of all who are acquainted with his history. He is of strikingly commanding appearance, over six feet in height, with regular features and iron-gray hair.
General Connor was married in Washington, D. C., Oct. 20, 1869, to Henrietta W. B. Bailey.
Mabel and Rosamond.