My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

JERRY O’LEARY, one of the successful farmers of Cortland County, was born in the town of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, in 1837. He is a son of Timothy and Margaret (Galvin) O’Leary. Timothy O’Leary was born in Tralee, Ireland, and was married to Margaret Galvin, also a native of the same place. He was engaged in farming until 1848, when he moved to this country, bringing his family with him. He settled in New Milford, Pa., where he became engaged in the construction of the main line of the D., L. & W. R. R. He then moved to Cortland, to assist in the building of the D., L. & W. R. R. from Binghamton to Syracuse. After the completion of this line, he left the railroad business to again engage in farming. He bought a farm on Owego Street, upon which he lived until misfortune, in the form of fire, overtook him; his home was completely destroyed by fire. He then bought another home on Tompkins Street, where he lived the remainder of his life, dying at the ripe old age of seventy-eight; his wife also reached the same age. Mr. and Mrs. O’Leary’s union was blessed with the following children: Michael; Jerry; Catherine, who became the wife of J. Conway; Henora, who married T. Hamilton; John, who is now deceased; and Mary.

The first work done by our subject was to carry water for the men working on the railroad, when his father was situated at New Milford. After his father moved to Cortland he learned the wagon-making trade. As he did not like this vocation, he soon turned his attention to farming. He bought a portion of the Jarvis Hotchkiss farm of thirty acres, which he still owns. In 1870, he built a new house and improved the land, until it is now one of the best farms in the county. Not being satisfied, however, until he had the best, he rebuilt his house in 1893 and now has a large and handsome home.

Mr. O’Leary has also been engaged in railroad work, and was foreman under H. P. Goodrich on the line of railroad built between Cortland and Ithaca.

He was joined in marriage to Miss Margaret Dewyer, and four children have been born to them: Susan, who married J. Cowley; William Emmet; Emiline, who is now attending school; and Maud, who is also attending school. Mr. O’Leary has been very successful in life, and by his honest method in doing business, has won the respect of all who know him. In politics, he is a stanch Republican. Religiously, he is a member of the Catholic Church.

* * * *

This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.