Name: Patrick O'Nele
Birth: 1 JAN 1826 in Ireland
Death: 3 MAY 1908 in Pleasanton, NE
_FA1: 1850 US Census, Glenville, Schenectady Co., NY
_FA2: 1855 Census of Butler Twp., IL
_FA3: 1860 Census of Champaign City, Champaign Co., IL
_FA4: 1867 Diary of Patrick O'Nele
_FA5: 1870 Census of Champaign, Champaign Co., IL
_FA6: 1 MAY 1875 Loan Note from Busey Bros., Urbana, IL
_FA7: 1880 Census of Somer Twp., Champaign Co., IL
_FA8: 18 AUG 1892 Obituary of Mrs. Patrick O'Nele in the "Central City Nonpareil"
_FA9: 1900 Census of South Loup Twp, Hall Co., NE
_FA10: 3 MAY 1908 State of Nebraska Death Certificate of Patrick O'Nele
Family history tells us that Patrick O'Nele was orphaned either aboard ship, or soon after arriving in the United States. He came to the US before the Great Potato Famine, and experts speculate that he may have traveled on a flax cargo ship, which records probably do not exist. On the 1900 Census, Patrick O'Nele stated that he came to the United States from Ireland in 1832 at the age of 4 and was never naturalized. His year of birth is recorded as 1826 on his death certificate, 1830 on his tombstone, and 1828 in various census records. It is possible that as a young orphan he did not know his actual date of birth.
Patrick appears to have spent most of his life as a broom corn farmer in Champaign County, IL. In 1867, he recorded his address inside his business diary as: P. O'Nele, Broom Corn Farm of Miller and Toll, Urbana, Illinois. During that year he raised broom corn, and made and sold brooms. After the death of his wife, Patrick came to live with his oldest son's family in Nebraska. He is buried in Pleasanton Cemetery, Pleasanton, Buffalo Co., NE.
The uncommon spelling of his surname is actually the ancient Gaelic spelling (before it was Anglicized) according to experts at the Ulster Historical Foundation in Belfast. Patrick himself used that spelling as early as 1867. Family stories say that Patrick used this unique spelling so that his descendants would always know one another. It is true that, at least in modern day, we have not found one person in the United States who spells their name this way who isn't a descendant of Patrick O'Nele and Mary Cummings.
Mary Cummings b: 3 SEP 1835 in Ireland
BET 1850 AND 1854
in Illinois/Wisconsin/New York?
- James O'Nele b: 13 AUG 1855 in Belvidere, Boone County, IL
- Jane Ann O'Nele b: 29 APR 1857 in Illinois
- Mary M. O'Nele b: 8 APR 1859 in Belvidere, IL
- Eveline O'Nele b: 28 MAY 1861 in Thomasboro, IL
- Elizabeth O'Nele b: 3 MAY 1863 in Illinois
- Frank O'Nele b: 26 SEP 1865 in Champaign, IL
- William O'Nele b: 23 APR 1868 in Champaign, IL
- John O'Nele b: 9 JAN 1873 in Champaign Co, IL