Catharine, Daughter of Jacob and Nancy Christlieb
Catharine was the fifth child of Jacob and Nancy Christlieb. She was born on 9 May 1786, approximately three years after her parents departed Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, for northwestern Virginia. Catharine was probably born in Berkeley County or Hampshire County. It is probable that she was named after her grandmother, Anna Catharina, wife of Friedrich Carl Christlieb. The following is Catherine’s birth entry as set down in an old family record. Note that the second vowel in her first name is an “a”.
Catharine’s husband was Hugh J. O’Connor, a United States Army recruiter for the War of 1812. The couple’s marriage bond was dated 7 August 1814, so it can be assumed that they married shortly thereafter. Catharine would have been 28 years of age when she married O’Connor. Their marriage bond is shown below with Hugh J. O’Connor’s signature boldly written. Lewis Davis co-signed the document.
Harrison County Marriage Bonds, Book 2, p. 457.
Hugh J. O’Connor was born in Ireland, in 1779. He served in the War of 1812, appearing on a muster list with Captain John Miller’s Company of militia, where he served as a recruiter, signing up additional members of the unit. Hugh married Catharine Crislip in Harrison County (West) Virginia.
Catharine and Hugh O’Connor had one child. Their son, James A. Conner (the spelling he preferred all of his life), was born 13 February 1815, at Beverly, Randolph County, Virginia.
When James was three years old, Catherine died on 16 April 1819, at age 33.
Of Jacob and Nancy’s 14 children, Catharine’s was the shortest life. On average, her siblings lived to age 76. Catharine’s brief life was balanced by her eldest sister, Mary, who lived to age 90.
Dying before her parents, Catharine was one of the earliest to be buried in the family cemetery at Chrislip Hollow. An inscription on her gravestone reads, “ERECTED BY HER ONLY SON J. A. CONNER. MAY SHE REST IN PEACE.”
Catharine’s husband, Hugh J. O’Connor, does not appear in (West) Virginia records after his marriage in 1814. His son’s obituary reveals that he died within a year or so after Catharine, leaving their young son, James, destitute.
After Catharine’s death, James O’Connor became the legal ward of his grandfather, Jacob Christlieb. Dated 18 December 1820, the following entry pertains to the Harrison County Court appointing “James O’Konner, age 6 years, the ward of Jacob Crisleb to learn the art & mastery of a farmer …” James Conner’s age was incorrectly given in the appointment; he was four years old.
When Jacob drafted his will in 1821, he directed “… that my grandson, James O’Connor have one horse beast and saddle and a new suit of clothes to be given to him when he comes to be Twenty One years of age.” The arrangement was short-lived, as Jacob Christlieb died two years later in 1822.
According to his obituary, James Conner was reared by two of his mother’s brothers, but it didn’t say which brothers they were to be. William may have been one of the guardians, as he was the executor of his father’s will. The other guardian might have been Samuel or Isaac, as both lived nearby. James Leo Anadale, Adamstown, Maryland.
Son of Catharine Crislip and Hugh J. O'Connor
James A. O’Connor/Conner (Friedrich Carl Christlieb1, Jacob Christlieb2, Catherine Crislip3) , born 13 February 1815, in Beverly, Randolph County, Virginia; died 26 July 1906, in Washington, D.C.; married 18 November 1841, in Frederick, Maryland, Margaret Haller Moore, born 1822, in Frederick, Maryland; died 17 December 1894, in Washington, D.C. Margaret Haller Moore was the daughter of George Moore, a stonemason, and Margaret Haller, daughter of Tobias and Elizabeth (Heichler) Haller. Margaret Haller Moore’s paternal grandfather, John Mohr, was an immigrant from Germany, who served in the German Regiment of the Maryland Line during the American Revolution and was wounded twice. Margaret’s maternal grandfather, Tobias Haller, served as a lieutenant in the Frederick County Militia during the War of 1812. The Moores and Hallers resided in Fredericktowne (now Frederick), Maryland.
In 1844, three years after their marriage, James and Margaret Conner removed to Baltimore, where he was hired to start a stage route between that city and Washington D.C., but he gave up the project. The following year the family removed to Washington D.C., arriving on 31 July 1845. There, he worked as a taxi driver. His “hack” licenses for several years appear in the National Archives collection of early Washington City records. James Conner pursued this occupation until 1864, when he tried his hand at carpentry. James bought a horse and wagon and started an express business, carrying freight from the wharves to the stores and houses. After the Civil War, when the District began to install indoor plumbing and gas lights, James A. Conner became a plumber and gasfitter. He appears in the Washington D.C. Directory with this occupation beginning in 1867. Later directories show that he pursued this occupation for the remainder of his life. In several editions of the D.C. Directory, he placed advertisements in large bold type offering his services. Sons-in-law, John Alfred Anadale and Thomas Humphrey, and four grandsons followed his lead in taking up the plumbing trade in post-Civil War Washington.
James A. Conner wrote his first will on 15 November 1892, in which he made two bequests to grandchildren, but he left most of his estate to his wife. He bequeathed a piano to Hattie Dalton and a pocket watch to James Walter Humphrey. Margaret H. Conner predeceased her husband on 17 December 1894. After her death, James A. Conner lived his final 20 years with his daughter and son-in-law, Rosanna and Thomas Humphrey. On 13 March 1902, he prepared his second will leaving all he owned to his daughter Rosanna “because for about seventeen years past she has given me a home and supplied me with food and shelter and this without one cent’s compensation.”
James A. Conner, son of Catherine Crislip, died 26 July 1906, at the age of 90 years. Cemetery records confirm that he and Margaret were buried in unmarked graves at Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, D.C.