re: old family letter

Laura Kendall
Phoenix, AZ

Hi Marshall,

Well, while adding information to my family tree today, I ran across this letter. It was written by Sister Mary Theodora, born Bridget Lucy Conmy, daughter of Edward Walsh Conmy, of Pembina. Edward was the son of Thomas, who was the son of Bartholomew 1 of Ireland. Since it mentions your John Comnee I thought you would find it interesting!!! I did! Laura :)

P.S. One more note: Bartholomew's wife, Bridget Brennan, had the spelling CONMEE on her death certificate (instead of Conmy, which it was). This was noted on Tippie's webpage Conmy Chronicles. Did I give you that address? It's:

Mount Saint Mary, Cherokee, Iowa July 3, 1939 to: R.M. Conmey, M.D.

You must be our third cousin, for your father was evidently my father's cousin. My grandfather's name was Thomas, and I know that his brothers John and James emigrated to America. I did not know the other brother's name, but I do know of other Conmy cousins in Ireland and of some who settled in southern Minnesota. I am referring to my father's cousins. Those in Minnesota called themselves Convey because they were afraid to change the spelling used by the immigration officials. So Mr. - Joyce, a young lawyer in Des Moines, one of the grandsons of the two brothers and one half brother that came to Minnesota. I have mislaid most of their names. They may be secured from Mrs. Mary A. Kaiser or her son Father Loyola Kaiser. Mrs. Kaiser, a daughter of one of the brothers lives in Waseca, Minnesota and her son is St. Felix Rectory, Wahasha, Minnesota. Mrs. Kaiser has four other children including Sr. M. Viator of the Winona Franciscans. Sr. M. Clarissa of the same community is another descendant of the Conmy cousins.

My father was Edward Walsh Conmy, a county judge and lawyer for many years in Pembina, North Dakota. He studied for the priesthood in Ireland, studied medicine in Ohio, and finally law in Minnesota. He was very proud of his brother the Most Reverend Dr. Conmy, a Dunboyne student at Maynooth and one who shared honors with his classmate, Cardinal Logue. My father's brother Bartley died without issue and his sister Annie when a baby. His sister Mary was the oldest of his family, unless what her daughter lately wrote me is true. She said that he had an unmarried half brother Tom in Ohio who was very wealthy, and also mentioned his sister Biddy Conmy Burns of New York. Besides in this half of the family were Kate and Margaret Conmy. Kate was a Mrs. Kelly of Ohio. I do not know the town.

A cousin Annie Conmy wrote my father from Cripple Creek once asking him to invest when gold was being found there. Her family name began with "S" and her daughter later married a man named Kelly in Nevada.

There was a [James] Conmee, a member of Parliament in Ontario whose brother John lived in Pembina County. He visited us. My father could not, or rather did not, verify the relationship, but Mr. Conmee was certain that we were related.

My brother John saw the name Conmy over a door of a shop in San Francisco. This man said that his sister would know whether he was related to us. She was a sister in a religious community. When he wrote, he leaarned that she was dead. He had run away from home when young. My sister Anne when passing through Scranton, Pennsylvania noticed that a fine tailoring shop was conducted by a Conmy. He did not know whether he was related. His father, he said, would have known. I noticed a Conmy listed in the Cumulative Index, a California student.

My only first cousin in Ireland, who lives on the old home place wrote me that a Father Conmy from New York, a nephew of the late Father John Conmy, a relative our ours, was visiting in Ireland. My cousin's address is Mrs. Mary A. Cowley, Corballa, County Sligo, Ireland. She is our only Conmy first cousin. Another relative from Minnesota, Mrs. Hannah Cunningham has returned to her native Ireland to die.

A lawyer named Walsh whose address is 39 Broadway, N.Y. mentioned a Conmee who was a railroad contract boss and to hold his job had to be able to lick any bully in the gang. [Marshall notes: James Conmee, the above mentioned member of Parliament in Ontario, was also a railroad contract boss, and known for his fighting skills. Even his political nickname was "fighting Jim" ]. An Anthony Conmy once wrote my father.

Perhaps Sister Irma can find out more by following the "leads" that I have given. See directories in Chicago and Washington, D.C. The last is a priest. On a separate sheet you will find listed all of our family. I shall be pleased to hear more about the Conmys.

Yours sincerely,
Sr. M. Theodora

P.S. Thomas Conmy's father and mother were Bartley Conmy and Biddy Brannen.

Marshall Davies Lloyd