It’s Time To Start Again


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On December 30 2015 we lost the last child of Patrick and Grace Farrell. Our Great Aunt Esther turned 95 on the 29th and passed away the next day. She had some medical issues and told the doctors that she was 94 and wanted to live till her 95th birthday. She did exactly that. When I found out of her passing I was upset for a short bit followed by a smile knowing that Aunt Esther went out like she wanted to. She had given all the wisdom she was meant give and although you can never recieve enough love she had given enough love to keep us all content for years to come. I know she would want me to continue to share the family history and I’ll continue to do so in honor of all the Farrell’s past present and future.



“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. -Michael Crichton”


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I guess I am figuring out in big ways my family tree and it continues to be more and more exciting as I ask questions, Google, and hear tales that I never knew existed. After receiving a message from a long lost cousin last week (Thanks Collin) I stopped by my great aunt Esther’s place to get some more facts. Between Aunt Esther and Collin I have confirmation on some facts. We know that Joesph came in to the US from Canada. Collin found him in the 1871 Census of Canada, living in Richmond Township, Lennox County, Ontario. This place has changed names since then and its now somewhere around Greater Napanee, Ontario, but its on the northeastern shore of Lake Ontario, around the Bay of Quinte.  Aunt Esther confirmed this because she had taken a trip up there with my great uncle Edward. She said when they went up to Canada that there was information that was salvaged from an old Church. She recalls a huge book from the church that a woman forbid them to touch because it was so tattered and old. Aunt Esther said that they it was almost impossible to read and they came up empty handed about finding any more family information from Ireland. Collin found Patrick in the 1875 Census of NY State.  “I think that he arrived to Victor sometime between February and June of 1875, because the youngest daughter at the time of the census has her place of birth in Canada, but was only 5 months old at the time of the census, which was taken on June 2 1875 I believe. At this time, Patrick’s mother Dora Farrell is living with him in Victor.” Aunt Esther tells me that when the Farrell’s “Landed” in Victor that they resided at the cobblestone house at the end of Dryer Road. 7680 is the present day address and I have the Victor historical team looking for any information they can give me on that home. The only photo that I can find is the current day one below.


The funny story is that I fell in love with this house when it was for sale a few years back and my sister and I were contemplating pooling our money together to purchase it.

Father Patrick, Mother Catherine

Mary 1865 (Canada) – 1919
John 1868
Michael 1870 – 1950
Joesph 1872 – 1935
Elizabeth “Lizzie” 1875 – 1899
William 1878-1962
Charles 1880-1954
The Farrell’s lived in the home until Patricks death…
From Ontario County Times 18 February 1885Victor, N. Y. –  On Tuesday (this is would be Feb 10th, 1885) evening of last week, Patrick Farrell attempted to get off from the 7 o’clock mail train from the east, as it was leaving the station. He fell and the train ran over his right arm. He was carried to the house of Milton Stafford. The arm was amputated on Thursday (Feb 12th, 1885), and on Monday (Feb 16th, 1885) the patient died from his injuries.
             Collin had sent me that via email and my Aunt Esther repeated it verbatim. She recalled that story VERY well! She proceeded to tell me that after Patrick had passed that the Farrell boys (John, Michael, Joesph, William & Charles) purchased the new family homestead on East Main Street. Aunt Esther tells me there is a photo out there, that I am searching for, of Catherine dressed in black standing in front of the home on Dryer Road mourning the loss of Patrick.

The Farrell house is the house to the far left of this photo and the date on the back says that it is around 1922. I am still looking into when exactly the home on East Main Street was purchased by the boys. My Aunt Esther said that when her and Uncle Carl bought the house from the estate that there were multiple deeds for the home because the boys kept buying it from each other. Oh she also stated that they were all “A bunch of drunks!” I mean they were Irish! Stay tuned……

“The day will come when the man at the telephone will be able to see the distant person to whom he is speaking.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell


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Nell working the phones

Who knew Alexander Graham Bell was onto something when he stated the quote above. From almost any computer device today you can video chat with anyone anyplace. Back in the day Victor was of course introduced to the telephone. It was set up above one of the many existing business on main street. The woman in the photo’s name is Nellie Hurley and she was one of the first switch board operators for little old Victor. My grandmother told the story of how she was a niece and had lived with my great great grandmother for some time because I don’t believe she had any family except her brother Frank who also lived with my Great Great grandmother Catherine. From what I can gather from this census it looks as though Nellie and Frank came down from Canada.  Really looking at this photo you can’t help but notice the oil lamps on the wall and the huge switch board that Nellie had to supervise. What an experience she must have had. I am sure this was considered pretty high tech for it’s time. My how far we have come.

A special thank you to a new found relative Collin Farrell who sent me the 1910 census that gave me even more information on Great Great Grandma Catherine, Great Grandpa Joesph, Nellie, & Franks. Their information can be found on the very bottom of the report.


Victor New York 1910 Census


“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” Harry S Truman


Band Stand On Main Street Victor, NY 1905“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”

Harry S Truman

Time always gets the best of us. The would have, the could have and the should have. Those thoughts sure flow thorough my mind when I pass through the village of Victor. As more and more development happens to our once sleepy little town those historic pieces are often forgotten about. The old bandstand in intersection of Maple Avenue and Main is one of them . I remember being a little kid and seeing this picture of the bandstand for the first time and my mom and grandmother insisting that it was still standing in my lifetime. If it was….I don’t remember it. When I looked up the definition of a bandstand it stated “A covered outdoor platform for a band to play on, typically in a park.” I can’t even imagine a bandstand still standing in that intersection on main street. It is so hard to believe that it was once slow enough in the village to gather in the middle of main street and hear a musician play or listen to a speaker speak, however once upon a time it was possible. The photograph that I have, I believe is another Fred Locke original. My grandmother always talked about how photography was a hobby of his, and he had an obsession with photographing the clouds and the sky, and this photograph proves it. This photo is 109 years old and my how things have changed.


“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” ― Winston Churchill


East Main Street1

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
― Winston Churchill

I would really like to think that Winston Churchill had great insight when he quoted above. Sure Victor is a thriving little town with one of the best shopping establishments in the area. The school system is amazing. People from all over seem to be moving to “The East Side” of Rochester. My fear is that as time goes on that the money makers will see nothing but dollar signs and forget what little bit of charm we have left. I spoke with my Great Aunt tonight Esther (Farrell) Bennett. She is my grandmothers last surviving sibling. I kept confusing Joe and Patrick Farrell. Joe was her father and Patrick was her grandfather. She has never seen a photo of her grandfather and really didn’t remember that much about him. She tells of how my Great Uncle Edward her brother went to Montreal twice to try and find some information on him. She took one of the trips with Uncle Edward and talked about how nice everyone was that they spoke to in Montreal yet nobody had a photo of Patrick. She told me that all she knew was that Patrick had worked on the railroad and that’s what had brought him to the village of Victor. They lived on East Main Street in the village and that home stayed in the family for 3 generations. The photo above I do not have a date but shows the Farrell house on the right hand side of East Main Street. This is long before the road was redirected over the railroad.  I believe the Sale family lived on one side of them and Lucy family lived on the other. Below is the only information that my family has on Patrick Farrell which is a copy of his United States Citizenship papers and on October 25 1877 he became a US citizen. My Aunt Esther also spoke of the “Farrell Family Plot” in St Patrick’s Cemetery on High Street. She told me that I could learn so much from the cemetery. I’ll definitely be making the little trip once the winter subsides. Patrick Farrell Citizenship Papers


“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt


Victor Hotel PhotoVictor Hotel Photo Attendance

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

The next photo that I recall my grandmother talking about was this one of the local businessman in the village of Victor in front of the no longer existing Victor Hotel. I also have published a copy of the list of people in attendance. Many of those names on the list are familiar because they are names of many of the streets today that we drive down in the village. I’m sure that all the men in the photo had their Sunday best on while others went the extra mile and were holding cigarettes or cigars. It’s such a shame that this building no longer exists. It really shows that back in its day the Village of Victor really was a sleepy stage coach town. I wish I had a specific date on the photo and by all means if someone taking interest wants to add comments to any of my entries please feel free to do so.

I have a lot to share and now a place to do it!



Main Maple 1905 Victor

Today I guess I begin a journey of sorts that people may or may not have interest in.  Now I have a historical soap box to stand on and share with the world as much of my families history in Victor New York as I possibly can.
My passion with history started in 4th grade when my grandmother Madeline (Farrell) Crane was brought into my classroom as “Show And Tell.” Yes the days in grade school where you could bring that one unique thing into your class on that one special day and rub it in your classmates noses. To me that was my grandma. I don’t really remember asking her to come to the class that day I think it was probably my mother Maryann (Crane) Bauer who probably had more to do with it. The attached photo is one of the first photos that I can recall my grandmother pulling out of her collection as she talked about the days of old with my 4th grade class.