This weeks blog prompt by Amy Crow Johnson 52 Ancestors challenge is Large Family. I decided to choose a woman who had 12 children instead one of the men in the family who fathered more children than that with multiple wives. My 3x great grandmother, Bridget Connolly was born circa 1816 in Ireland to Thomas Connolly and Catherine Martin. She was the second child of seven. Her siblings are: Patrick 1814, Owen 1822, James 1826, Thomas 1829, Rose 1832, and Edward 1835. My understanding is that they came over to America at different times and that the parents were the last to come over with the youngest children in 1848. Also, they all came through Philadelphia although I have not been able to confirm this.
Bridget must have come over prior to 1844 because she married William Rice on May 2, 1844 at St Peters Church in Lowell, MA. Shortly after, they moved to Wisconsin to start a farm and family in Cedarburg. Bridget had 12 children all in Wisconsin. In the 1850 census, she already had 6 children: William 1845, Charles 1846, Francis 1848, Twins Mary and Bridget 1849, and Owen 1850.
In the 1860 census she had 5 more children: Thomas 1851, Catherine 1852, James 1854, Peter 1857, and Elizabeth 1858.
In the 1870 census, she had one more child listed: John 1861.
The 1860 census revealed that Owen was not listed so he must have passed away at some point during the previous decade. By the 1870 census, two of the children weren’t listed, Charles(my 2x great grandfather) and Bridget. So far, I can only account for Charles who married in 1868.
By the 1880 census all but William, Elizabeth and John had either moved away or passed away.
The last time I see anything about Bridget is her obituary from May 29, 1895. The obituary confirmed that she was born in Ireland and married in Massachusetts. She was survived by her husband and 9 children: sons William, Charles, Frances, James, Peter and John. Daughters Mrs Keenan, Mrs Lynch, and Mrs Carey. I don’t know which daughters they are but it appears one of them passed away along with Owen and Thomas. Bridget was 79 years old and is buried at St Francis Borgia Cemetery in Cedarburg, WI.