Sarah Jane Carr (1863-1950)

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Sarah Jane Carr of Coalpits
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Sex: Female
Birth: November 18, 1863 (1863-11-18) (153 years ago)
Coalpits, Ireland
Baptism: Roman Catholic
Emigration: 1884 or 1885
Coalpits, Ireland to Jersey City
Death: January 28, 1950 (age 86)
66 years ago
Jersey City, New Jersey
Burial: Holy Name Cemetery
Jersey City, New Jersey
Father: Thomas Carr I (c1840-bef1901)
Mother: Bridget Conboy (c1840-aft1901)
Siblings: Katherine Carr (1865-1951)
Andrew Carr (c1870-?)
Mary Carr (1873-?)
James Carr I (1874-?)
Thomas Carr II (1876-?)
Michael Carr (1880-1906)
Spouse/Partner: Patrick J. Norton (1856-1905)
Marriage: April 13, 1890 (age 26)
126 years ago
Saint Paul's
Jersey City, New Jersey
Children: Thomas Patrick Norton I (1891-1968)
James Joseph Norton I (1892-1961)
Katherine Mary Norton (1894-1942)
Sarah Francis Norton (1896)
Mary Norton (1898)
Carr-Burke Norton 1925

From left to right are: Thomas Patrick Norton II (1920- ) in the background, Mary Margaret Burke (1890-1949), Vincent Gerard Norton (1923- ), and Sarah Jane Carr (c1863-1950) dressed in black

Burke Maher Smith 087

Helen Marie Maher (1895-1974) circa 1920

Sarah Jane Carr (1863-1950) aka Sadie Carr. She was an immigrant from Ireland to the United States around 1884 or 1885 and she worked as an indentured maid with her sister and cousin in a rooming house in New York City, possibly in Brooklyn. (b. November 18, 1863, Hollygrove, Athleague, Killeroran, County Galway/Roscommon, Ireland - d. January 28, 1950, 61 Clendenny Avenue, Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, 07304-1503, USA)



Sarah was born in 1863 in Hollygrove, Ireland or Coalpits, Ireland in County Galway, Ireland. Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths began in Ireland in 1864. The General Register Office did not have Sarah's birth recorded. It did have the birth of her sister, Katherine Carr (1865-1951).



She completed school up to the 8th grade, according to the 1940 United States Census, and did not go on to attend high school. She would have been around 13 and it would have been around 1876.


Sarah came to the United States between 1884 and 1885. She does not appear in the 1880 United States Census and she married in 1890. Also emigrating were: her sister, Katherine Carr around 1890; her brother, James Carr arrived in 1904.

  • There is a "Sarah Carr" who entered the United States alone on April 24, 1882 aboard the "Nevada" at 20 years old. This Sarah was born in 1862.
  • There is a "Sarah Carr" who entered the United States alone on September 10, 1887 aboard the "Celtic" at 23 years old. This Sarah was born in 1864. 

Indentured servantEdit

Sarah also had a cousin that came over as an indentured maid, Margaret Agnes Conboy (1866-1951) aka Maggie Conboy, who married Owen McLaughlin (1863-1931). Sarah, and her sister Katherine, and her cousin Margaret were indentured servants, their passage to the US was paid by the rooming house in Brooklyn that they worked in, and they had to work for 5 years to pay off that debt. The exact place in Brooklyn where they worked has not been identified.


Sarah married Patrick J. Norton (1856-1905) on April 13, 1890 at Saint Paul's Roman Catholic Church, Jersey City, New Jersey at 14 Greenville Avenue.[1] At the time she was living at 65 Avenue E in Jersey City. Patrick Norton was the son of Michael Norton (c1830-?) and Bridget Mulligan (c1830-?). The wedding was attended by John Norton (1861-1905), Patrick's brother and some of the Hogans that were Sarah's cousins.


Patrick and Sarah had five children and three lived to adulthood:

Death of husbandEdit

Sarah's husband Patrick worked as a laborer on the railroad, but both Patrick, and his brother, John Norton, died in 1905 at a relatively young age. Patrick may also have had a third brother, Matthew Norton, that was the witness to his wedding to Sarah.


Sara Carr traveled back to Hollygrove and Coalpits at least once with her sister Katherine Carr.

Jersey City, New JerseyEdit

In the year 1900 she was living at 101 Bright Street in Jersey City and by 1910 she had moved to 31 Germania Avenue.

Two family houseEdit

Sarah somehow received a large sum of money after Patrick's death in 1905. The source of the money is not clear, but she used it to buy two newly-constructed two-family houses in the Horseshoe, or Irish section of Jersey City in 1920. She lived in one unit and had family members living in some of the other units. The address was 61 and 63 Clendenny Avenue.


Sarah Jane Carr died on January 28, 1950 at age 84. She had house guests from Ireland staying over in her home, and she was very excited and happy talking about Ireland. She died in her sleep that night.


She left an estate valued at $9,000 (worth about $80,000 in 2010 dollars), which was to be split between her children. Her daughter, Katherine, had died in 1942 and the money was split between her two surviving children, Tom and James. Katherine's widower, James Patrick Langan, hired a lawyer because he felt Katherine's share should go to her children. The legal fight ended up using some of the money in legal fees.


Her obituary was published on January 31, 1950 in the Jersey Journal and it reads as follows: "Mrs. Sarah Norton (nee Carr) died on Saturday in her home at 61 Clendenny Avenue. Mrs. Norton, a native of Ireland, resided in the Horseshoe section for 30 years before moving to the Clendenny Avenue address 30 years ago. She was a communicant of Our Lady of Victories Roman Catholic Church; a member of the Rosary Society; Greenville Council, Catholic Daughters of America, and St. Alicia Council, C.W.B.L. Surviving are two sons, Thomas and James; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren."

A second obituary on the same day reads: "[Sarah Norton died] suddenly on Saturday, January 28, 1950 at the residence, 61 Clendenny Avenue, Sarah Jane Norton (nee Carr), beloved wife of the late Patrick J. Norton, and the late Katherine Langan; loving sister of Mrs. Katherine Kennedy and James Carr; also survived by six grandchildren. Relatives and friends, also Catholic Daughters of America. Greenville Council, No. 450; St. Alicia Council, No. 58, C.W.B.L., Rosary Society of Our Ladies of Victories Church, are invited to attend the funeral on Wednesday, February 1st, at 9 a.m., from the Funeral Home of Richmond F. Routh, 206 Old Bergen Road. Solemn mass of requiem at Our Lady of Victories Roman Catholic Church at 10 a.m. Members of our Our Lady of Victories Rosary Society are asked to meet at Richmond F. Routh, 206 Old Bergen Road, tonight 8:15 p.m. to offer prayers for Sara Norton, a former member."


She was buried in Holy Name Cemetery in Jersey City with:


Sara was known for her colorful family stories that may have had no basis in fact. She said that when she came to the US everyone was wearing black armbands, and somehow the story was transformed by her grandchildren that she came over when the president was shot. She also said the family was from County Cork, but she was from Hollygrove and Coalpits on the Galway/Roscommon border. This may be a misunderstanding by her grandchildren, The Finns and Creedons were from County Cork. She also told people that her husband, Patrick died from yellow fever during the Spanish-American War, where he was a farrier, and that the money she received to buy her 2 two-family houses was from his insurance.

Hollygrove, IrelandEdit

Ann Elizabeth O'Malley (1933) writes: "On September 28, 1982 Fred and I drove to Roscommon in search of [the birthplace of Katherine (Kitty) Carr (1865-1952)]. We asked the first elderly man we saw if he had ever met Thomas Carr. He said if it is the Thomas Carr who married Mary Kelly then he had. That was our lucky day. He directed us to the Holly Grove/Coal Pits area. We stopped in front of a two story granite house and asked a middle aged man if he knew whether this was the former residence of Thomas and Mary Carr. As luck would have it, once again he said that it was not, but that he owned the old Thomas Carr estate. His name was Mr. McCann and he said that the property had been divided and the Rourkes had built a house on a portion of the original property. The neighbor also said that Mary loved children and often gave them sweets. The front door was boarded up so we climbed through a back window into the kitchen which still had only a mud floor. At the front entry hall there was a staircase straight ahead and a hallway to the left of the staircase leading to the kitchen. There were two large rooms, one on each side of the entry hall both with interesting fireplaces. A stairway with nicely carved banisters, still intact, led to the second floor. The second floor like the first consisted of two large rooms, both with a fireplace. To the left of the house was a stone shed. There was also a spring on the property and someone said that many years ago it was used as a community spring. It was a great thrill to see the house where my grandmother was born and grew up. If only the cows had not roamed through it and destroyed the floors it would still be a picturesque house on a hill. After dinner that evening we went to a general store in Athleague and mentioned that my grandmother, Catherine Carr, was born in Coal Pits."

Memories about Sarah Jane CarrEdit

  • Thomas Patrick Norton II (1920-2011) said in 1998: "She would say that I was a "house-devil" and a "street angel", meaning that I was polite when she took me out on the street but was a devil inside the house when I would fight with my brothers. She would always wear black after her husband died. Sara loved to play euchre, a card game. She played euchre with such intensity that when she trumped, she would slam the cards on the table loudly, so that people in other rooms would hear her. She would play with Katherine Norton, Thomas Patrick Norton I and James Joseph Norton I and even James Langan. She bought 61 and 63 Clendenny Avenue in Jersey City. They were both two family houses. She lived in one unit at 61 Clendenny Avenue. In another unit lived Katherine Mary Norton (1894-1942) and James Patrick Langan I (1889-1975) and their three children. In a third apartment lived James Joseph Norton I (1892-1961) and his wife Helen Maher (1895-1974). The fourth was rented to strangers. Across the street was a saloon where I would fetch the beer in a bucket. She made great apple pies."
  • Thomas Patrick Norton II (1920-2011) on Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, 2007: "When she had company over she would send me across the street for a bucket of beer, the bucket had a cover on it, and she would tell me be careful. She would tell me not to spill it and carry it by the handle, and the bartender would tell me the same thing. She loved to gamble at the church. She would play bingo or a game like bingo and I would sometimes go with her. She won some dishes and some crystal that my brother Jimmy has.
  • Ann Elizabeth O'Malley (1933) wrote on August 1, 2012: "A call came in from James Norton with the sad news of his mother, Sarah Carr Norton, passing. Sara's sister Katherine Carr Kennedy, my grandmother, was living with our family in Riverdale, New York. I was home alone and as a teenager hardly knowing aunt Sarah at all I did not feel comfortable telling my grandmother the news. So I called my aunt Mae, my mother's sister. She in turn called her brother Joe and he came over to deliver the sad news."
  • Rita Masset (1924- ) on the telephone on October 16, 2002: "My husband took Sara Carr and Katherine Carr down to Seagirt because Katherine wanted to see the ocean."
  • Vincent Gerard Norton (1923-2005) on the telephone in 1998: "Sarah came to the United States from County Cork, Ireland when she was 10 years old in 1864. Everyone was wearing black armbands." Note: Sarah emigrated in 1885 not 1864.
  • Christopher Aloysius Enright II (1927- ) on the telephone in 1998: "Sarah Jane Carr came over to the US first, then had Maggie Conboy, her cousin, come over. Sarah Jane Carr got Maggie Conboy a job working at the same boarding house in Brooklyn she worked in. They both worked as maids there. Jimmy Carr owned a saloon in the Bronx during Prohibition. He was a taxi (livery) driver later on. He never moved to New Jersey and died in New York. Note: Sarah Jane Carr came over in 1885
  • Judith Elizabeth Norton (1951) on the telephone in 1998: "Dad, Thomas Patrick Norton II, would tell me that Sarah Carr would say in her Irish brogue "are you a little bit thirsty" to her guests and then send out Thomas Patrick Norton II to fetch a bucket of beer. She came to the US when she was 13 and everyone was wearing black armbands. Note: Sarah Jane Carr came over in 1885 when she was 19 according to the census.
  • James Joseph Norton II (1929- ) on the telephone in 1998: "Sarah Jane Carr (1866-1950) had an estate worth $9,000 when she died. The money was to be split between her two boys, Thomas Patrick Norton (1891-1968) and James Joseph Norton (1892-1961) according to the will. Katherine Mary Norton (1894-1930), who had died before the will was drawn up was excluded. Katherine's husband, James Patrick Langan I (1889-1975) hired a lawyer to get a share. The money was split three ways but a good portion of the money went to pay the lawyers."
  • Ann Elizabeth O'Malley (1933) on the telephone on October 16, 2002: I got the call when Sara Carr died and I was home alone because my mother and grandmother were at church. Jim Norton, Helen's husband called, and then I called Mary (Mae) Frances Kennedy. My aunt Mae called Joseph Kennedy and he was there when my mother got home. The Carrs were from Holly Grove, sometimes called Coal Pitte, Roscommon, Ireland. It was County Galway back then because it was on the border. Uncle Joe Kennedy visited there. John Carr and Mary Kelly visited there later and he visited the house that they were born in. I visited later and the house was still there but a few years later it was torn down. I talked to the current owner, the house was abandoned. The kitchen had a dirt floor and it had two big rooms on each floor. It was way back from the road. It would have been a lovely house to grow up in. The sister of Mary Kelley was still alive, her married name was Haughty. She lived next to the church. They said she was sick and asked if I could you come back later, but we couldn't. I feel bad we never got to meet her."
  • Thomas Patrick Norton I (1891-1968) in a letter dated April 15, 1919: "I hereby apply for a fourteen day leave, class "B" to visit my Aunt and Uncle residing at Coal Pite, Creggs, County Roscommon, Ireland as covered by G.O. 14, January 1919, leave to commence while at Bordeaux area. Arrived in France, June 14th, 1916." Note: Coalpits, Athleague, Killeroran, County Galway/Roscommon, Ireland
  • Ann Elizabeth O'Malley (1933) by email on Sunday, October 27, 2002: "Thomas Carr was the youngest brother of Catherine and Sarah Carr. He was living in the the original homestead when Joseph & Bea Kennedy, Catherine Carr's son and daughter-in-law visited Coal Pits in the late fifties or early 60s. Joe is the father of Shawn Kennedy who I believe you have contacted. If not let me know. Shawn's dad and my mom were the most loquacious of Catherine Carr's offspring. Shawn may have many anecdotes to tell. He may also have a picture of the Carr homestead. I sent Shawn your email address."


  • 1845 The Great Famine begins when potato crop fails from fungal infestation
  • 1848 The Great Famine ends
  • 1864 Civil Registration of births begins in Ireland
  • 1866 circa Sarah Jane Carr is born in County Cork, Ireland in November
  • 1881 President Garfield is shot on July 2nd (age 15)
  • 1881 President Garfield dies on September 19th (age 15)
  • 1885 (circa) Migration from Ireland to the United States (age 19)
  • 1888 Naturalization of Patrick J. Norton (1856-1905), her future husband, in Boston
  • 1890 Living at 65 Avenue E in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • 1890 Marriage to Patrick J. Norton (1856-1905) in Greenville, Jersey City, New Jersey (age 24)
  • 1891 Worshiping at Saint Bridget's Parish, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • 1891 Thomas Patrick Norton I (1891-1968), her first child and first son, is born on February 28th (age 25)
  • 1891 Baptism of Thomas Patrick Norton I at St. Bridget's Church on Sunday, November 8th
  • 1892 James Joseph Norton I, her second child and second son, is born on November 18th (age 26)
  • 1892 Baptism of James Joseph Norton I at St. Bridget's Church on Sunday, November 27th
  • 1893 Move from St. Bridget's Church area
  • 1894 Katherine (Kate) Norton, her third child and first daughter, is born in June
  • 1896 Birth of Sarah Francis Norton, her fourth child, which dies in infancy (age 30)
  • 1898 Birth of Mary Norton, her fifth child, which dies in infancy (age 30)
  • 1898 Spanish American War (age 32)
  • 1900 United States Census living at 101 Bright Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey (age 34)
  • 1901 President McKinley is assassinated (age 35)
  • 1905 Living on 101 Bright Street, Jersey City, NJ on June 7th
  • 1905 Death of John Norton, her brother-in-law, on June 7th
  • 1905 Death of Patrick J. Norton, her husband, on October 9th (age 37)
  • 1910 United States Census living at 31 Germania Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • 1914 World War I begins with Austria's declaration of war against Serbia on July 28th (age 48)
  • 1917 US enters WWI in April (age 51)
  • 1917 Enlistment of Thomas P. Norton I, her son, in U.S. Army on June 12th (age 51)
  • 1918 World War I ends as Germany and Allies sign an Armistice on November 11th (age 52)
  • 1919 Wedding of Thomas P. Norton I, her son, to Mary Margaret Burke (age 53)
  • 1920 United States Census living at 31 Germania Avenue (now Liberty Avenue) in Jersey City, New Jersey
  • 1920 Purchase of empty lot on Clendenny Avenue from Joseph Schneblerman (or Schneklerman) on July 23, 1920 for a token amount of $1
  • 1920 Birth of Thomas Patrick Norton II, her first grandchild, on July 8th (age 54)
  • 1923 Birth of Vincent Girard Norton II, her second grandchild, on February 23rd (age 57)
  • 1927 Birth of John Burke Norton, her third grandchild in August (age 61)
  • 1927 Death of John Burke Norton, her third grandchild in October (age 61)
  • 1929 Birth of James Joseph Norton II, her fourth grandchild, on January 15 (age 63)
  • 1929 Stock Market Crash on October 29th begins great Depression (age 63)
  • 1930 United States Census living at 61 Clendenny Avenue
  • 1930 Birth of Catherine Finn Norton, her fifth grandchild (age 64)
  • 1931 Birth of James Patrick Langan II, her sixth grandchild, on April 27th (age 65)
  • 1934 Death of Catherine Finn Norton, her grandchild, in July (age 68)
  • 1934 Birth of John Bernard Langan I, her seventh grandchild on December 12th (age 68)
  • 1937 Birth of Kathryn Ann Langan, her eighth grandchild (age 71)
  • 1940 United States Census living at 61 Clendenny Avenue
  • 1941 Pearl Harbor is bombed on December 7th (age 75)
  • 1945 Germany surrenders in May (age 79)
  • 1947 Birth of Thomas Patrick Norton III, her first great-grandchild, on August 6th (age 81)
  • 1949 Birth of Kathleen Mary Norton, her second great-grandchild, on October 4th (age 83)
  • 1950 Sarah is visited by relatives from Ireland on on January 27th
  • 1950 Death of Sarah Jane Carr on January 28th (age 84)
  • 1950 United States Census after her death


See alsoEdit




Sarah Jane Carr (1863-1950)'s ancestors in three generations
Sarah Jane Carr (1863-1950) Father:
Thomas Carr I (c1840-bef1901)
Paternal Grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Paternal Grandmother:
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Bridget Conboy (c1840-aft1901)
Maternal Grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:

About the authorEdit

This article was created by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ).

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