While In Washington, i discovered that I had another notable Irish-American San Franciscan Ancestor. Through General Connor’s pension file, I discovered his son-in-law, Bartholomew Patrick Oliver (married to Kate Connor) that he was a nephew of D.J. Oliver. That name had appeared before, when I found BP’s father’s John Bartholomew in the 1860 US Census, the household of Dennis J. Oliver was right next to him in the 8th ward of San Francisco.


Fig 1. 1860 US Census

Family no. 554

Dennis J Oliver, 37 years old, male, merchant, born in Ireland

Bridget, 34 years old, female, born in Ireland

Anna M , 6 years old,female, born in California

Catherine S, 5 years old, female, born in California

Mary A, 1 year old, female, born in California

Mary Redmund, 47 years old, female, nurse, born in Ireland

Mary Shields, 40 years old, female, servant, born in Ireland

Family No. 555

John B Oliver, 35 years old, male, painter, born in Ireland

Hannah , 26 years old, female, some sort of maker, born in Ireland

Bartholomew, 5 years old, male, born in California,

John B, 1 years old, born in California

Daniel C McGlynn, 30, male, trader, born in New York

Source: 1860 U.S. Census, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, roll 68, p. 1298.

I did a google search on Dennis J Oliver and found in him a book called Forgotten Pioneers by Thomas F. Prendergast, a book about Irish in early California

Dennis J Oliver was a rich merchant, capitalist, and worked with members of the Hibernia Bank Group of San Francisco. He left New York City on the American Clipper Ship, South Carolina, on January 1849 with John A McGlynn , arriving in San Francisco on the 30th of June.

His store, located on Kearney Street in Clay Plaza, was the cause of the 1851 San Francisco fire. Dennis was well respected by his colleagues and in the community, a devoted Catholic (he had been knighted by the Pope for his service to the church) and was a very successful business man. In Forgotten Pioneers by Thomas F. Prendergast, he is noted as a “man of cultured tastes, a lover of art and beauty, reflected in his mansion in articles of virtue gathered while he traveled abroad” Dennis retired from business, speculating in lands, and gaining much wealth from his investments.He was a member of the Society of California Pioneers and died May 1886, having his funeral at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco.

Source: Thomas F. Prendergast, Forgotten Pioneers: Irish Leaders in Early California, (Honolulu, Hawaii: University Press of The Pacific, 2001), 200-1.

* At Page 250 begins a chapter devoted to my ancestor, General Patrick Edward Connor.

I searched him on ancestry and found his passport application from 5 April 1864 where he stated his birthdate and other interesting information.

Fig 2. Denis J Oliver’s passport, 1864.



He received this passport in New York and stated himself as Denis J Oliver of San Francisco and that he was naturalized 15th November 1849 in San Francisco, but he forgot his naturalization papers. He got the passport along with MA.D. McGlynn, who was his witness.


He states his birthday as the 4th of July 1823 in Ireland and that he is 6 feet high, high forehead, grey eyes, slight nose, medium mouth, round chin, brown hair, fair complexion, with a long face

Source: Ancestry.com, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007, 5 Apr 1864, Certificate No. 13620, Denis J Oliver.

I looked him up on Irish Family History Foundation. I searched Dennis, and didn’t find anything. When I altered the spelling of the first name to Denis, I found a baptismal record in County Galway West for Denis James Oliver in 1823! I’m glad it is Galway because family sources said that John B was born in Galway in 1832, however I haven’t found anything.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher