My paternal great-grandfather, William Corcoran, was born around 1828 in the Townland of Crissard (Crossard/Cropard), Ballyadams Parish, County Laois; one of three sons of James Corcoran and Elizabeth Conlon. Crissard was and still is a very rural and agricultural townland, located just north/northwest of Wolfhill and just northeast of Swan. William had five siblings; Margaret Corcoran Knowles, Francis Corcoran, Mary Corcoran, Honora Corcoran and Patrick Corcoran.
According to the 1900 U.S. Census, William emigrated to the U.S. in 1850, although I look at this as more of an estimate than a fixed date (year). I have a record of him in Crissard in March, 1948, serving as a sponsor to the baptism of his sister Margaret Corcoran Knowles and brother-in-law Dennis Knowles' first-born, Mary Knowles. The next record I have of William was as a witness to a wedding in Plattsburgh, Clinton County, New York in February, 1858. So sometime between those two dates, William worked his way from County Laois to upstate New York, likely via an arrival in New York City.
The 1860 U.S. Census placed William in Black Brook, Clinton County, New York, working as a miner. Iron mining was a popular industry in Black Brook during that period. William was living in a boarding house in Black Brook in 1860, along with 13 others. Most residents in the boarding house were Irish immigrants. Three years later, William purchased land in the Town of Beekmantown in Clinton County, New York, about 15 miles northeast of Black Brook. A short time later he began to farm the land, making his home in Beekmantown until his death in 1904.
In 1869 William married Catherine (Kate) Knowles of Beekmantown. Kate was the daughter of Patrick Knowles, another Irish immigrant from Crissard, Ballyadams Parish, County Laois. Kate died two years later, likely the result of complications of childbirth from their second child, Anna (Annie) Corcoran. Ironically and sadly, Anna would also die while giving birth to her only child in 1994 in Vermont. William remarried in 1872 to Julia Gilroy, of Chazy, New York. Julia was the daughter of Patrick Kilroy, an Irish immigrant from Monaghan County.
William had three children between his two wives; the aforementioned Anna Corcoran Murtagh, Mary Elizabeth Corcoran and John Edward Corcoran. John was the only child of Julia Gilroy. Kate Knowles was the biological mother of Anna and Mary.
William continued to farm in the Rand Hill area of western Beekmantown, apparently up to or close to his death on September 27, 1904.
Notably, and of great help to my family ancestry research, William's oldest sister Margaret Corcoran Knowles was also a Beekmantown, New York resident and wife of the aforementioned Dennis Knowles, also a farmer. Margaret, Dennis and their first two children, Mary and Michael, emigrated to New York City in 1851 - or possibly 1850. Unfortunately, both children died within six months of arriving in New York City. Shortly thereafter, Margaret and Dennis relocated to Beekmantown, where they had four additional children.