Children of John and Mary Major
Charles J. Major (1837-1905)

Charles J. Major was born in County Derry, Ireland, and was the first of three brothers who emigrated to the United States. Charles left home in 1860, settling in Skaneateles, NY. He married Margaret Mallon (1841-1888), a native of Liverpool, NY. They lived in Skaneateles Falls and had 12 children. (Three —Thomas, Charles and Michael — are presented in greater detail on separate pages.)

Here is what we have on the descendants of Charles and Margaret Major, going one child at a time. We have little information on most of them and are trying to locate relatives who will help us fill in names of the missing generations.

1. Mary Major (1861-1943) married Thomas Coleman (1859-1952) on November 16, 1892 in Skaneateles New York. They had no children.

Auburn Citizen Advertiser, January 23, 1943
Mrs. Mary Major Coleman, wife of Thomas Coleman, died at her home at Glenside shortly after midnight last night, after an illness of one week. Mrs. Coleman was a lifelong resident of Glenside and a communicant of St. Bridget's Church.

She is survived by her husband; three sisters, Mrs. Timothy Donohue of Schenectady, Mrs. Patrick Wickham and Mrs. Thomas Heverin of Glenside; four brothers, Thomas and Joseph Major of Glenside; Charles, formerly of Auburn, now of Syracuse, and Michael of Syracuse; several nieces and nephews.

Skaneateles Press, February 29, 1952
Thomas Coleman, a former resident of Skaneateles Falls, died Feb. 20, 1952, in Loretto Rest, Syracuse. He was a retired mill worker.

Surviving are his sister, Mrs. Ellie Ingalls of Auburn; a brother, Edward Coleman; two nieces, Mrs. Gladys Kreicher and Mrs. Ruth Fowler, and four nephews, William, Albert, Frederick Coleman and Samuel Hurd of Auburn.

2. Anne Jane Major (1863-1931) married Michael J. O'Hara (1856-1934) on June 10, 1891 in Skaneateles Falls. This is one of two marriages between a member of the Major-McLaughlin family and an O'Hara. Cornelius McLaughlin (1862-1943) married Elizabeth O'Hara (1864-1916).

Anne and Michael O'Hara lived in Camillus and immediately established their home as the family's social center. I found many mentions in old newspapers about out-of-town relatives staying with the O'Haras during visits to the area.

Michael O'Hara was an entrepreneur involved in several businesses. He operated a garage and was, I think, the first person in Camillus to sell automobiles. He also established a small bus line to transport Camillus residents to and from Syracuse and seems to have provided a taxi service as well. And that's just scratching the surface of an unusually interesting character who was often in the news.

Anna Major and Michael J. O'Hara had five children.

1. Charles P. O'Hara (1892-1958) m. Elizabeth Connors (1893-1972)

2. Joseph F. O'Hara (1894-1971) m. Margaret Caveny (1894-1988) (Obituaries below.)
3. Margaret O'Hara (1895-1920)
4. Lucy Arlene O'Hara m. L. J. Edwards
5. Loretta B. O'Hara (1900-1934) m. Paul Staats (1893-1968)

Skaneateles Press, April 30, 1931

Mrs. Anne Major O’Hara, a native of Skaneateles Falls, died at her home in Camillus last Saturday. She was 60 years old and had been in failing health for several months.

Surviving are her husband, Michael J. O’Hara; two sons, Charles P. and Joseph F. O’Hara of Camillus; two daughters, Mrs. L. J. Edwards of Syracuse and Miss Loretta O’Hara of Camillus; four sisters, Mrs. Thomas Coleman, Mrs. Patrick Wickham and Mrs. Thomas Heverin, all of Skaneateles Falls, and Mrs. Timothy Donohue of Schenectady, and four brothers, Thomas and Joseph Major of Skaneateles Falls; Charles Major of Auburn and Michael Major of Syracuse.

Auburn Citizen-Advertiser, November 12, 1971
Joseph F. O’Hara, 77, of 82 Genesee St., Camillus, a former member and president of the Camillus Board of Education, died Thursday at his home.

A life resident of Camillus, Mr. O’Hara was associated for many years with the O’Hara Insurance Agency Inc. Before that he was owner of O’Hara Motor Sales.

Mr. O’Hara served 21 years on the Camillus Board of Education, including six years as president. He was an Army veteran of World War I and had served in Europe.

He was a trustee of St. Joseph’s Church for more than 40 years and was a member of the Holy Name Society.

Marcellus Press-Observer, March 2, 1988
Margaret Caveny O’Hara, 93, formerly of West Genesee St., Camillus, died February 25.

Mrs. O'Hara was born in Warners and had resided in Camillus since 1925. She was a 1912 graduate of Warners High School and a graduate of the Jordan Training Class. Mrs. O’Hara was a former teacher in Memphis and Warners.

She was a member of St. Joseph’s Church and was a former president of its Altar and Rosary Society. She was also a member of the church’s Golden Agers.

3. Bridget Major (1866-1926) married Michael Flynn (1869-1924)*. They lived in Syracuse, with Michael employed at the Solvay Process Company. Michael was the son of Dennis Flynn and Mary McWilliams. His sister, Margaret, married William McLaughlin. Bridget Major and Michael Flynn had three children:

1. Joseph F. Flynn (1890- )

2. Marguerite Flynn (1892- ) m. William O'Brien
3. James D. Flynn (1896-1929) He was wounded during World War 1. Stories at bottom of this page.
*Birth years for Bridget Major and Michael Flynn were taken from1880 U. S. Census; they
do not agree with information on later censuses or the dates on their tombstones.

Syracuse Journal, December 29, 1926
Funeral services for Mrs. Michael Flynn, who died at her home, 1211 Avery Avenue, Tuesday night, will take place there Friday at 9 a.m. and a half hour later in St. Patrick’s Church. C. C. Carroll, undertaker, will take the body to Skaneateles for burial. Mrs. Flynn had been ill a week.

Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. William O’Brien; two sons, Joseph F. and James D. Flynn; five sisters, Mrs. Thomas Coleman, Mrs. P. J. Wickham and Mrs. Thomas Heverin, Skaneateles; Mrs. M. J. O’Hara, Camillus, and Mrs. T. E. Donohue, Schenectady; four brothers, Thomas and Joseph Major, Skaneateles; Charles Major, Auburn, and Michael Major, Syracuse.

4. John J. Major (1868-1922) married Catherine McGinn (1869- ?). He was the foreman in the finishing department of the Glenside Woolen Mill in Skaneateles Falls, working there for 30 years. John and Catherine had one child: Margaret Major (1896- ?). According to the 1940 U. S. Census, Catherine Major and her daughter were living in Rochester.

Marcellus Observer, July 26, 1922
We had a notice last issue of the death of John J. Major. The Skaneateles Democrat says:

He was buried in a casket covered with a piece of cloth be made and finished, He had spent considerable time experimenting for the Glenslde Co., in securing a special finish on some cloth and had successfully completed his experiments a short time before taken sick. It was his desire that his casket be covered with some of this cloth when he realized his end was near.

The Glenside Mills sent the cloth to the John Marcellus Manufacturing Company at Syracuse where the special casket was made.

5. Margaret Major (1870-1944) married Timothy E. Donohue (1868-1953) on Aug. 24, 1898 in Skaneateles Falls. Though buried in Skaneateles, the Donohues lived most of their married life in Schenectady where he was employed by the General Electric Company. Her obituary, right.

Donohue's father, also named Timothy, married Helen McLaughlin, whose twin brother, John, became further related to the Majors when his daughter, Rose, married John W. Major.)

Margaret and Timothy Donohue had two children

1. Margaret E. Donohue (1900-1976) Schenectady.

2. Raymond F. Donohue (1904-1958) m. Beatrice ?? He was a detective with the Schenectady police department

Auburn Citizen Advertiser, December 6, 1944
Mrs. Margaret Major Donohue, wife of Timothy Donohue, died at her home in Schenectady Wednesday afternoon after an illness of several months.

Mrs. Donohue is survived by her husband; one daughter, Margaret; one son, Raymond, all of Schenectady; two sisters, Mrs. Patrick Wickham and Mrs. Thomas Heverin of Skaneateles falls; four brothers, Thomas and Joseph Major of Skaneateles Falls, Charles, formerly of Auburn, and Michael of Syracuse.

She was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Skaneateles.

Schenectady Gazette, April 10, 1953
Timothy E. Donohue, 84, of 331 Germania Avenue, died yesterday in Ellis Hospital after a short illness.

Born in Skaneateles, Mr. Donohue came to Schenectady more than 50 years ago. He was employed in the General Electric Company’s turbine division until his retirement in 1932, and was a member of the GE Quarter-Century Club.

He belonged to the Holy Name Society, St. Columban’s Church, was a past president of the International Association of Machinists, a member of the Knights of Columbus, at one time was president of the Seventh Ward Democratic Club, bond director of the GE Employes’ Securities Corporation, a member of the first city planning commission,, and was active in other political and social activities.

Surviving are a son, Raymond F. Donohue and a daughter, Margaret E. Donohue, both of this city.

Funeral service will be held in St. Columban’s Church; burial will be in St. Mary’s of the Lake Cementery, Skaneateles.

6. Thomas Edward Major (1872-1957) married Lucinda Ellen McCarthy (1873-1947). They had ten children.
7. Rose Ellen Major (1873-1926) married John Reeves (1872- ). Mr. and Mrs. Reeves lived in Erie, Pennsylvania. Her obituary in the Auburn Citizen (June 15, 1926) listed her cause of death as a weakened heart. She had come down with pneumonia about a month before she died.

Mr. and Mrs. Reeves did not have children. A look at U. S. Cenus information for 1930 and '40 indicates Reeves took a second wife, Hazel Ross.

Auburn Citizen, Tuesday, June 15, 1926
The many friends of Rose Major Reeves in this city will regret to learn of her death which occurred in Erie, Pa., yesterday after an illness of several weeks. She suffered an attack of pneumonia about a month ago at which time her death was looked for but she rallied from that and was gaining strength nicely until a few days ago when evidences of a weakened heart became apparent. She gradually declined until the end came yesterday.

Mrs. Reeves was born in Skaneateles Falls, but has resided in Erie since her marriage to John Reeves. She is survived by four brothers, Thomas and Joseph Major of Skaneateles Falls, Charles Major of this city, and Michael Major of Syracuse; six sisters, Mrs. Thomas Coleman, Mrs. Patrick J. Wickham and Mrs. Thomas Heverin of Skaneateles Falls, Mrs. Michael Flynn of Solvay, Mrs. M. J. O’Hara of Camillus and Mrs. T. E. Donohue of Schenectady.

The remains will arrive in Skaneateles Falls Wednesday and be taken to the home of a sister, Mrs. Thomas Coleman, whence the funeral will take place Saturday morning at 8:45, with services at St. Bridget’s Church at 10 o’clock. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Skaneateles.

8. Charles P. Major (1874-1952) married Mary Lucy Dempsey. His obituary in the Skaneateles Press (Dec. 19, 1952) said he had retired from the New York State Electric and Gas Company of Auburn where he had worked for 40 years. They had three children.
9. Julia A. Major (1877-1966) married Patrick Wickham Jr. (1879-1937). One child:
Charles Joseph Wickham (1907-1956) had one son:

John Major Wickham (1941-2009) m. Joan Glasheen; lived in Westchester County, NY

Lynn Elizabeth Wickham (1966- ) lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Christopher Patrick Wickham (1991- )
Maureen Susan Wickham (1969- ) m. Michael Cucchiara. They live in Westchester County
Brian Michael Cucchiara (2000- )
Kevin Charles Cucchiara (2003- )

Skaneateles Press, January 22, 1937

Patrick J. Wickham, a native of the Town of Skaneateles, died Tuesday morning, January 19, 1937, at his home in Skaneateles Falls after an illness of ten days from pneumonia. Mr. Wickham was born in the secion in which he died and had always lived there with the exception of a few years when he lived in Auburn.

Suriving are his wife, Mrs. Julia Major Wickham, a son, Charles Wickham, and a brother, Peter Wickham, all of Skaneateles Falls; a sister, Mrs. Thomas Manley of Auburn.

Funeral services was conducted at his late home Friday morning at 9:15, and from St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, Skaneateles, at 10 o’clock. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Bearers were Harold Major, Floyd Major, Joseph Manley, Francis Sheridan, Paul McGinn, and Matty O’Hara. Rev. Thomas Manley of Rochester, nephew of Mr. Wickham, officiated.

Auburn Citizen-Advertiser, December 7, 1966
Mrs. Julia Major Wickham of 857 Albany Street, Schenectady, was pronounced dead on arrival yesterday at Schenectady Hospital after apparently suffering a heart attack at her home. She was the widow of Patrick J. Wickham.

A native of Skaneateles Falls, Mrs. Wickham had lived in Ithaca before moving to Schenectady 10 years ago to live with her niece, Mrs. Margaret J. Donohue. She was a communicant of St. Colunba Catholic Church in Schenectady.

Surviving are a sister, Mrs. Thomas P. Heverin of Solvay; a grandson; a great-grandchild and several nieces and nephews.

[The funeral was held at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church in Skaneateles
and she was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery]
10. Michael Major (1879-1962) married Annie McLaughlin (1877-1962) on April 30, 1907 in Skaneateles Falls. They had two children, Harold and Mary.

1. Harold T. "Mickey" Major (1909-1990) m. Marybelle Kelly (1911-2008)
He served in the Pacific during World War II and was wounded at Okinawa and received the Purple Heart. He became district manager for Atlantic-Richfield and lived in Watertown and Binghamton before retiring to Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Because of his father, Harold also was nicknamed "Mickey.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, May 1, 1945
Wounded by shrapnel in the foot and thigh, Lieutenant Harold “Mickey” Major, 35, is convaslescing in a hospital in the Marianas. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Major of 137 Whittier Avenue.

Lieutenant Major’s wife, Mrs. Marybelle Kelly Major, and their eight-months-old daughter, Mary Sheila, also live at the Whittier Avenue home.

In a letter written April 18, Lieutenant Major said he was wounded six days previously at Okinawa by fragments from a bomb. He wrote that he is in a Marianas hospital “getting along as well as could be expected.”

Lieutenant Major entered the Army as a volunteer on October 19, 1942. He trainined at Fort Niagara and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. A three-months course in motor school followed at Fort Benning, after which Lieutenant Major was sent to Fort McClellan, Alabama, as motor instructor.

He went to Hawaii from California as a first lieutenant last Christmas. A trip to the Philippines followed.

Michael Major m. Diane Toman
Lara Major
Jonathan Major m. Brianne Thomas of Homer City, PA
Mary Sheila Major (1944- ) is a former airline hostess, better known by her middle name. Her most recent address was Fort Myers Beach, Floria. She has a daughter:
Jo Ann Agree (1966- ) was adopted by Josephine and Irving Agree. She is married to Ole Roynestad and lives in Columbus, New Jersey.

2. Mary Loretta Major (1912-1927)

Syracuse Journal, July 1, 1927
Funeral services for Miss Mary Loretta Major, 15-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Major, who died Thursday night at St. Joseph Hospital, will take place Monday morning at the home at 9 o'clock and at 9:30 o'clock in St. Lucy's Church where a solmen high mass of requiem will be sung.

Meagher & Mooney, undertakers, will take the body to St. Mary's Cemetery, Skaneateles, for burial. Death followed an operation the girl underwent seven weeks ago She was a student at St. Lucy's Academy. Surviving besides her parents is a brother, Harold Major

11. Sarah Major (1881-1973) married Thomas P. Heverin (1880-1941) on June 24, 1908 in Skaneateles Falls. They had one child, Margaret.

Skaneateles Free Press, Friday, June 26, 1908
Miss Sarah Major was married to Thomas P. Heverin in St. Bridget’s Church, Skaneateles Falls, at 6 o’clock Wednesday evening, June 24, 1908, in the presecence of a large number of relatives and friends. Rev. T. J. Conway performed the wedding ceremony.

Miss Sarah Major, a cousin of the bride, and Harry Ganley attended the bridal couple. A reception was held after the ceremony. After a brief wedding trip, Mr. and Mrs. Heverin will begin housekeeping at Skaneateles Falls.

Auburn Citizen Advertiser, March 28, 1941
Thomas Heverin of Skaneateles Falls died this morning at his home in that place after a protracted illness. Mr. Heverin was born in Skaneateles Falls and made his home there. For some years he was an employe of the Glenside Woolen Company.

Surviving Mr. Heverin are his wife, the former Sarah Major; a daughter, Margaret; three brothers, Hugh of Utica, Charles and Edward of Auburn; and a sister, residing in Skaneateles.

NOTE: The maid of honor, a cousin who had the same name as the bride, may have been the daughter of John Major, one of the three brothers who emigrated from Ireland to the United States. Charles and William settled in Skaneateles, John moved west to Buffalo. Among John Major's nine children was a daughter Sarah, born in 1878.

Margaret Heverin (1915-1976) married Modesto Chemotti (1914-2020). On January 28, 2014, Modesto Chemotti celebrated his 100th birthday. He graduated from Syracuse University and served with the Army in North Africa and Italy during World War 2. He and Margaret Heverin were married in 1946. He is a lifelong resident of Solvay, worked for Campbell Printing and Estabrook Printing in Syracuse and was owner and operator of the Solvay Liquor Store. He and Margaret had four children:

1. Dr. M. Thomas Chemotti married Mary Rae

Julia Chemotti
Diana Chemotti
Frank Chemotti

2. Donald A. Chemotti (1949- ) married Janet DeYulio(1950- )

Michael Dominick Chemotti (1978- )
Daniel Joseph Chemotti (1980- )
Lauren Marie Chemotti (1984- )

3. Mary Ann Chemotti married Mark McArdle

Morgan Marie McArdle
Matthew Michael McArdle
Michael Matthew McArdle

4. Charles Chemotti

Modesto "Mike" Chemotti, passed from this life to his heavenly reward on July 27, 2020. He had lived at the Brookdale Summerfield Village in Syracuse in recent years. Except for years away during military service, Mike lived all of his life close to where he was born in Solvay, New York.

He was born on January 30, 1914 to Anibale and Caterina Chemotti who were immigrants from the Tyrol area of Austria, now Italy. He lived on Williams Street, Gertrude Avenue, Sixth Street, Scarboro Drive, and Orchard Road in Solvay.

Mike was a graduate of Solvay High School and Syracuse University where he was a walk-on for the varsity football team in 1936. Mike also served his country in World War II that included stations in northern Africa and Italy.

After the end of World War II, he returned to Solvay and to marry the love of his life, Margaret Heverin, of Skaneateles Falls, in early 1946.

Over the years, Mike worked for Campbell Printing and Estabrook Printing in Syracuse, and was involved with the Westvale Solvay Steelers (Pop Warner Football) as his children were growing up.
Another sideline was owning and operating the Solvay Liquor Store for a number of years.

Mike was an avid Syracuse University sports and New York Yankees fan, a member of the Geddes Veterans and the Tyrol Club of Solvay.

He was predeceased by his wife in 1976. Family was always very important to Mike, as he and his wife Margaret raised four children:

M. Thomas (Mary) Chemotti of Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
Donald (Janet) Chemotti of Skaneateles
Mary (Mark) McArdle, of Onondaga Hill.
Charles (Rebecca) Chemotti, of Murrieta, California.

Mike was also blessed with ten grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two nephews and a niece from his sister Pia Pettrone who predeceased him in 2009.

Obituary appeared on syracuse.com

12. Joseph M. Major (1888-1958) married Catherine "Rena" Phillips (1890-1965). They had no children.

Marcellus Weekly Observer, June 1965
Mrs. Catherine Phillips Major, 76, of Skaneateles Falls died June 21 after a long illness in Auburn Memorial Hospital.

Mrs. Major was the widow of Joseph Major who died seven years ago. Her twin brother is Raymond J. Phillips of Skaneateles Junction. Both Mrs. Major and her late husband worked for many years in the Waterbury Felt Co.

Other than her home and her work at the felt company her interests centered around her church, the American Legion, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

She was a member of St. Bridget's Church.

Several nieces and nephews in this area also survive. They include: Sister Thomas Ann, C.S.J., Mrs. Charles Severson and Francis Phillips of Skaneateles Falls and Mrs. Alfred Davis and Mrs. Catherine Brooks of Auburn. She is also survived by 11 grand-nieces and 16 grand-nephews.

She was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Skaneateles.

More about James D. Flynn

Syracuse Post-Standard, April 20, 1918

Syracuse Boy Severely Hurt
While Fighting With U. S. Army

Another Syracuse man has fallen in France. James D. Flynn, 22, of No. 1211 Avery avenue, was severely wounded April 14. The brief announcement came to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Flynn, here last night from the War Department.

Flynn enlisted in the Twenty-third Infantry here July 25 and was encamped with his regiment at the fair grounds until its departure for the front September 7. The prospect of early action in France pleased the young man mightily for he had often told his people and friends that he would not be contented until he was in the midst of the big show.

Whether it was in the trenches in Northern France while the Hun made his recent dent in the British line that Flynn was wounded is not known. His letters home were brief, briefer in fact than the strict military censorship made necessary. Occasional references to the boys of his regiment who had gone from Syracuse with him were the only details vouchsafed in his communications received here.

Eyes on the “Big Show”
Optimism rang in every line. He was well treated by his officers. They were fine fellows. Lots of good food served regularly. No complaints. Plenty of pleasant work. Feeling great. Don’t worry. That’s all his letters contained. He had his eyes on the big show then. He was absorbing it every minute. He had to time to fret over trivial matters connected with camp life.

That is what soldiering did for Flynn, since, according to his friends, he had been much the same when he lived among them. His fellow workmen at the Solvay Process Company said the same. They had known him for years. He had come to Syracuse when he was only a baby. He was educated here and had many friends.

The last letter his parents received from him was six weeks ago. It was the same as all the others. It breathed enthusiasm in the new life overseas. His company was right where it wished to be – in the heart of everything worthwhile in the big show. The Hun was always to be seen, either in the trenches or in the air. Many a shot he had taken at the enemy and if he did say it himself, he was getting to be a mighty good shot.

Heart and Soul in Cause
That meant that Flynn was making good. He had his heart and soul in the cause. He came of good fighting stock and now that he had a worthy cause he knew how to battle for it.

His sister, Marguerite, met The Post-Standard representative at the door last night. There was an anxious note in her voice when she said he had been severely wounded. But it was plain to be seen that she was glowing with pride. She was the only sister of her big brother hero.

Mrs. Flynn held up under her grief bravely. She was confident he would pull through. He was a strong boy, she said, and had lived a clean life out in the open. That’s the kind of men Uncle Sam sent over with the Twenty-third and every other contingent.


Syracuse Post-Standard, October 1918

Flynn Home on Furlough
After Aiding in Loan Drive

James D. Flynn, C Company, Twenty-third Infantry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Flynn of No. 1211 Avery Avenue, arrived home yesterday from Philadelphia, Pa., where he has been aiding in the liberty loan campaign.

Private Flynn returned to Philadelphia after he had been severely wounded in action in France and had spent nearly four months in the hospitals before he had recovered sufficiently for a journey back to the United States.

During an engagement on April 14 he was struck by a one-pound shell known as a “whiz bang.” He had a deep gash in the left side of his head and his right arm was badly hurt, but in spite of these injuries he found a companion who had been blinded by the explosion of the shell and guided him back to the lines. Private Flynn was sent to a base hospital and did not reach the United States until September 1.

Private Flynn has a fourteen-day furlough which he will spend at the home of his parents.


Syracuse Journal, May 16, 1929
James D. Flynn, brother of Mrs. William O’Brien, 316 Charles Avenue, Solvay, died Tuesday in Detroit, Michigan. C. C. Carroll & Company, undertakers, will bring the body to Solvay tomorrow for funeral services at the home of Mrs. O’Brien Saturday morning. A brother, Joseph Flynn, also survives.