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Biography - Michael Higgins

“Michael Higgins, a well-known merchant of Pawcatuck, belongs by birth and descent to the Emerald Isle, but by adoption and affection to this mighty western land. He was born in County Waterford, town of Knockanure, Ireland, Sept. 26, 1851. His father, Michael Higgins, was born at the same place, and continued there as a farmer till he was nearing middle age. Then he came to America and in 1869 settled at Pawcatuck.  After coming to this country he did not resume farming, but was engaged as a laborer. His wife, Margaret (Gray) bore him five children, as follows: Thomas, who married and left one son, -Thomas, now a druggist; William, who is a stone polisher by lives in Pawcatuck; Michael, of Pawcatuck; Mary, deceased; and Julia, deceased wife of John Deady, and the mother of five children. Michael and Margaret Higgins both died in Pawcatuck.
“Michael Higgins, son of Michael, spent his boyhood days at Knockanure, and was educated in the National School. When he was fifteen he came to Pawcatuck, where his brother William and a sister his mother had already located, and began working in what is now known as the Solway Mills. He continued there till 1871, and then learned the trade tool sharpening with The Smith Granite Company and for four years followed that occupation. By thrift and constancy he was enabled, in 1875, with his savings, to establish himself in his present mercantile business in Pawcatuck, which, thanks to his native ability and business enterprise, has by closest application to business constantly expanded.  Michael Higgins was joined in wedlock, Sept. 9, 1879 to Miss Mary A. Burke, also of Pawcatuck, and to this union ten children have been born, namely: Joseph, a graduate of the high school and now attending Baltimore Medical College; Mabel, a graduate of the high school and from Trinity College, Washington, D.C.; Margaret, another high school graduate; William A., Leo, Cyril, Rosalie and Edwin, all attending the parochial school; Walter; and Michael, who lived only eleven months.
“Mr. Higgins has always maintained an independent stand in politics, and takes a keen interest in all questions of local import, as well as of broader scope.  He is a member of St. Michael’s Church, in Pawcatuck, and is universally looked up to and respected, as a most worthy citizen.”
SOURCE: “Genealogical and Biographical Record of New London County, Connecticut.” Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1905. Page 813.
NOTE: The town in County Waterford is misspelled in this article.  The correct spelling is Knockanore (Cnoc an Oir).  It is located 7 or 8 miles north of Youghal and a mile or so west of the Blackwater River in County Waterford. The parish church is in the village, though before the 1830s the church was in Kilcockan several miles south. The village can be found on the Ordnance Survey of Ireland Discovery Map #81.

Michael Higgins, through his son Thomas, is my lineal ancestor.
Brett F. Woods
Santa Fe, New Mexico


This file was contributed for use by the New London County CTGenWeb Project  by:
Brett F. Woods

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