The Irish Origins of the Newfoundland Connors

The Irish origins of the CONNORS that went to Newfoundland can be traced largely to the counties of Kerry, Waterford, Tipperary, and Wexford. The Connors family of Pond Head on Argentia, Marquise, Placentia Bay, and later from the town of Dunville emigrated very early from Ireland to Newfoundland. Arriving on the southern shore at Argentia they were amongst the first Irish settlers to operate in the fisheries thereand likely came over with the firm of Sweetman and Saunders of Waterford. There was also a Connors group in Harbor Grace, Nfld. that married into the Fitzgerald and Kennedy families there. We are related to those Kennedy's and thus those Connors by marriage. Some of the Connors and Fitzgeralds of Harbor Grace were from Kerry and there is speculation that the earliest Kennedy's of Carbonear (Crocker's Cove) a few of whom went to Lance Cove, Bell Island across Conception Bay named a spot there "Kerry Head" after their Irish county of origin. Our Connors are related to both the early Crocker's Cove Kennedy's (possibly from Kerry early 1700s) and a later group of Kennedy's who came from Wexford and married into the Crocker's Cove branch. Another Connors group in the Trinity Bay area were from Enniscoworthy, Wexford. Efforts to link them all continue. In Ireland, the clan of Connaught was being pushed to the south and taking leave to the Channel Islands and France duing what was called the Flight of the Wild Geese. France was in control of Newfoundland's southern shore and provided a refuge to Irish Catholics crossing the Atlantic in the seasonal fishing trade. Newfoundland appealed to the displaced Irish who sought not only political and religious freedom but a means of economic survival. The Grand Bank's fishery was a flourishing field for Irish fisherman. The 18th century struggle between England and France for colonial dominance over Newfoundland's fishery left this part of the New World open to the hardiest of settlers willing to eek out a difficult existence in harsh living conditions in exchange for a piece of land and a source of food.