Originally, the Leaders were an Anglo-Irish Ascendancy family. They were landed gentry near the town of Millstreet, County Cork and were supposedly descended from a "Cromwell soldier." However, not all Leaders prospered. Some married Irish Catholic women. By the early 19th century, the family of John Hall Leader appears to have been both poor and Catholic. The evidence for this is his education by the Christain Brothers who were dedicated to the education of poor Irish Catholic boys.
John Hall Leader was born on January 2, 1828 in Millstreet, County Cork, Ireland. He emigrated to this country (possibly because of activities associated with Young Ireland) and married Honora Donaghue in Syracuse, New York on November 23, 1854. He settled in Galena, Illinois. They had nine children. The fifth was a son named Francis Emmet Leader, born in Galena in 1865. He married Irene Beaton on June 15, 1892. They had three daughters. The eldest, Catherine, was born October 30, 1893, married Harry Connors Sr. and was my grandmother.
Francis Leader's older brother, William, wrote to Lieutenant Colonel John Leader, Commanding Regiment Unversity of Oregon, Late Commanding Royal Irish Rifles, in 1918. Col. Leader responded with a brief letter . Colonel Leader's letter is interesting, but many of the statements are factually inaccurate including his idea of how he and William Leader were related.
My most recent addition to this section of the site is a page devoted to tracing the connection between the Leaders and General Patrick Cleburne, C.S.A., the "Stonewall of the West." A new web site has been created about the Radleys of Cork which describes the Leader/Radley/Crooke/Cleburne connection.
Please e-mail me with any additions, corrections, and comments
This site created by Harry E. Connors III
Music is Battle of the Boyne sequenced by Leslie Nelson
This page last modified on Friday, November 16, 2007