Children of Mary Ann O'Neill and William James Major
John W. Major (1869-1940)

In 1893 John Major married Rose McLaughlin (1874-1943) in Skaneateles, NY. Rose was the daughter of John McLaughlin and his second wife Mary Casey. McLaughlin and his first wife, Mary McGrory emigrated from Ireland in 1851, settling in Skaneateles, NY, but moved to Louisville, KY, in 1858. Mary McLaughin and the couple's child, William, died in Kentucky. John McLaughlin returned to Skaneateles in 1868. There he married Mary Casey, also a native of Ireland. They had at least four children, Rose being the second born.

John and Rose Major moved to Solvay, about 20 miles east of Skaneateles, where John was a volunteer fireman. He also was involved in politics and served two terms as a village trustee. Like most Majors, John played a lot of baseball in his younger days, and was a member of the Glensides team in the Skaneateles area.

Rose and John Major remained in Solvay the rest of their lives. Rose was an avid movie fan. One childhood memory – I must have been four at the time – was of Grandma Rose stopping at our house on a regular basis after she returned by bus from downtown Syracuse where she had attended a matinee showing of a new movie. She was a welcome sight because she always arrived bearing candy bars. She stayed for dinner, then my father drove Rose to her home about a mile away.

Rose and John Major had six children. (Obituaries below.)

1. Emmett Leo Major (1894-1906). Emmett died of diphtheria.

2. Margaret "Maggie" Major (1896-1987)

She was born Margaret, but was known ever after as Maggie or Mag. She married Ray Nicholson (1893-1938), who died in 1938, at the age of 45.

Maggie lived in Syracuse, but worked in Solvay at Pass & Seymour, retiring in 1962.

I never had the chance to meet Ray Nicholson, but Maggie and Kathleen were frequent visitors at our house. Maggie was invariably upbeat and had our family been dysfunctional — I'm happy to report our family was extremely functional — then she would have been our peacemaker. Perhaps she had her bad moods; if so, I never saw one.

She was a supportive mother and doting grandmother, one of the nicest people I have ever known. Maggie and Ray Nicholson adopted one child:

Kathleen Nicholson (1926-2001) married Robert Mullally (1925-1984). Her second husband was Donald Johnson. Kathleen and Robert Mullally had six children.

Michael P. Mullally (1949-2010)
Karen Mullally (1951- ) married Lloyd F. Smyth. Lloyd F. Smyth, of York, Pennsylvania, passed away June 27, 2016 at home.
Michael Smyth m. Dina
Ashton Smyth
Kellen Smyth
Ruby Smyth
Kimberly "Kim" Smyth m. Jason McKenna
Bailey McKenna
Reese McKenna
Colbie McKenna
Robert Smyth
Patricia A. Mullally (1954- ) m. Knopp (1954- ) Lafayette, NY.
Jason Knopp m. Beth
Emma Knopp
Jennifer Knopp
Kyle Knopp m. Sandy
Cecilia Knopp
Alice Knopp
Eileen Mullally (1956-1997)
Kathleen Mullally (1956- ) St. Louis.
Maureen Mullally (1962- ) married Louis V. Fekete. Tully, NY.

Billy Major Sr. and Bobby Kane clown around with
groom Bob Mullally (right) at his wedding reception.

Mike Mullally in 1962 with his sisters Kathleen,
Patricia, Karen (holding Maureen) and Eileen.
3. Viola "Lola" Major (1898-1970)

Lola Major married Tony Kane, whose death was untimely, but not entirely unexpected. Years later Lola re-married, to William "Bud" Cullen.

Lola was the most outgoing and colorful of my father's siblings. She and my father joked with each other all the time, Lola usually getting the better of their exchanges. (Their younger sister, Irene, was a scene stealer as a youngster, but by the time I met my Major aunts it was Lola who held center stage.

Lola and Tony Kane had two children:

1. Loretta Kane (1922-2006) married Francis Orlando, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1954. Loretta re-married several years later, to Edward Lindsay. Loretta and Francis Orlando had two sons. (See obituaries, below.)

Thomas Orlando Lakeland, Florida. Son:
Jesse Orlando
Gianna Orlando
Adrianna Orlando
Daniel Orlando

2. Robert A. "Bobby" Kane (1928-1966) m. Rosemarie Pecor (1926-2009. He was a talented artist as a young man; as an adult was employed by the Acme and IGA Grocery Stores as a sign painter. He was only 38 when he died, after a short illness. She later married George E. Scullin (1917-2000). Robert and Rosemarie Kane had four children:

Michael A. Kane m. Linda ??. (As of 2009, they were living in Hawthorne, Florida.)
Janet A. Kane m. Leslie H. Whaley. (As of 2009, they were living in Concord, North Carolina.)
Maureen (Moureen) L. Kane m. Paul Tansuwat. (As of 2009, they were living in Gainesville, Florida.)
Theresa M. Kane. (As of 2009, she was living in East Syracuse, New York.)
Lola Major's second husband, William F. "Bud" Cullen, died April 26, 1965, about seven weeks before she did. He was a native of Syracuse and was a conductor on the New York Central Railroad for 45 years before retiring in 1963. His first wife was the former Hazel Kirk (1900-1934). William and Hazel Kirk had five children:

Mary June Cullen (1920-1989) m. Charles Commins

Hazel F. Cullen (1922-2012) m. Joseph R. Falcone Sr.

William J. Cullen (1924-1988) m. Rena L. Case

Robert F. Cullen (1927-1988)

Richard J. Cullen (1929-1990) m. Martha Jane Baase (1927-2008)

William "Bud" Cullen and wife, Lola Major, during
an evening out, but what's the story with the
camera-shy man behind Bud?
4. William "Billy" Major (1900-1972)

Billy, like his younger brother, Buster, was a high school athlete. Later they played baseball together with the Solvay Tigers and with an all-Major team made up of cousins, most of them from Skaneateles.

Billy was a Solvay policeman for 28 years and was chief of the department for several years before retiring in 1965. He married Elizabeth Radford and they had one son:

William E. "Billy" Major Jr. (1929-1986) married Anne Kornutiak, who lives in Raleigh, NC. They had four children:

Patricia Major
Kathleen Major
William Major
Lisa Major
5. Stanley Ernest (Buster) Major (1903-1985)

In 1929 Buster Major married Helen Smolinski (1908-1998). They lived most of their married life at 104 Russet Lane in Solvay, NY, where he worked at the Solvay Process Company and was involved in union activities, eventually going into village politics. He served as mayor of Solvay for 12 years (1949-1961). [For much more on Buster Major.]

He was a well-known area athlete whose best sports were football and baseball, and he was active in the Solvay Tigers, first as a player, then as a member of the fine youth organization that was started in the late 1940s. Buster and Helen are the Major and Smolinski for whom this website was named. They had two children:

1. John S. "Jack" Major (1938- ) married Karla Silberman (1941- ). After they were divorced he married Olinda Johnson (1947- ) in Rhode Island. In 2002, he retired from the Providence Journal and they moved to Bluffton, SC. Jack and Karla Major had two children; Jack and Olinda Major have one child:

Jeffrey Stephen Major (1967- ) is married to Elyse Press (1965- . They live in Smithfield, RI, and have two sons:
Jonah Allen Major (2000- )
Ethan Henry Major (2002- ).
Laura Suzanne Major (1969- ) Atlanta, GA.
Meridith Johnson Major (1980-) Los Angeles.

2. Mary Elizabeth Major (1943-2018) married Frederick Chard. They left Westvale, NY, and moved to Naples, FL. Two children:

Brian Chard (1969- ) Syracuse.
Danielle Chard (1974-2024) St. Petersburg, FL.
6. Irene Major (1905-1962)

Irene Major (right) was a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital in Auburn. She also worked for awhile at Wassaic State School for the Mentally Retarded near Hyde Park, New York, until her marriage to Roy Rand of Syracuse in 1938. They had one daughter:

Rose Anne Rand (1944-1978). Rose Anne attended Percy M. Hughes High School, a Syracuse facility for students with physical disabiities. I do not remember the specifics of Rose Anne's disability; she used a crutch to aid her wallking, but during her youth she was energetic, had a lively imagination and a love for reading and movies. She was outgoing and like many Major family members could talk your ears off. In several ways she reminded me of Liz Major, perhaps the most colorful member of our clan. Rose Anne was president of her senior class at Hughes High and also president of the Hughes School Girls' Club.


John W. Major
Skaneateles Press, September 20, 1940

John W. Major, 71-year-old machinist of Solvay, and a native of Skaneateles Falls, died last Thursday afternoon, September 12, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Roy Rand of Syracuse.

Mr. Major had lived in Solvay for 43 years and had been employed as a machinist by the Solvay Process Company 40 years. He was a member of the Solvay Process 40-Year Club.

Besides Mrs. Rand, there are two other daughters surviving: Mrs. Margaret Nicholson and Mrs. William Cullen, together with two sons, William F. Major and Sranley E. Major; two sisters, Miss Catherine Major and Miss Elizabeth Major of Skaneateles Falls; a brother, Patrick Major of Skaneateles Falls, and five grandchildren.

Mr. Major was a member of the Holy Name Society of St. Cecilia's Church and of the Maccabees.

The funeral was held Monday morning at 9 o'clock in the home and at 9:30 in St. Cecilia's Church, where the Rev. Joseph B. Delahunt celebrated a solemn high requiem Mass, assisted by the Rev. Richard J. Shields as deacon and the Rev. Leo Lanagan as sub-deacon.

The bearers were William and Vincent Dougherty, Raymond Roe and Hugh, Robert and Donald Major. Father Delahunt read the committal service at the grave in St. Mary's Cemetery, Skaneateles.

Rose McLaughlin Major
Skaneateles Press, January 22, 1943

Mrs. Rose McLaughlin Major, widow of John Major and cousin by marriage of Thomas E. Major of Skaneateles Falls, died suddenly late Thursday afternoon (January 14, 1943) of a cerebral hemorrhage at Onondaga General Hospital, Syracuse. She was stricken shortly after noon at the home of her daughter, Irene (Mrs. Roy Rand), 115 Davis Street, Syracuse, with whom she made her home.

She was born 69 years ago in Skaneateles. She has been a resident of Solvay more than half a century, and a communicant of St. Cecilia’s Church there.

She is survived by three daughters — Mrs. Rand, Mrs. Margaret Nicholson and Mrs. William Cullen; two sons, William and Stanley Major, and a sister, Mrs. Nell Corbett.

The funeral was held at 9 a.m. Monday at the home of William Major, 209-1/2 Alice Avenue, Solvay, and half an hour later in St. Cecilia’s Church. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Skaneateles.
Robert A. Kane
Syracuse Post-Standard, Friday. October 28, 1966

Robert A. Kane, 38, of 201 Melrose Avenue, died yesterday at Crouse-Irving Hospital after a short illness.

A native of Syracuse. he has lived here all his life. He was employed by the Acme and IGA Grocery Stores as a sign painter. He was a communicant of St. Vincent de Paul Church.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Rosemarie Kane; a son, Michael A. Kane; three daughters, Janet A., Maureen L. and Theresa M. Kane; three sisters, Mrs. Loretta Orlando, Mrs. Joseph Falcone and Mrs. Charles Commins; three brothers, Robert, Richard and William Cullen,, and several nieces and nephews.

Burial: St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Loretta Kane Orlando Lindsay
Syracuse Post-Standard
, August 25, 2006
Loretta M. Orlando Lindsay, 84, of Westvale, died Friday, August 25, 2006 at Loretto. She was a communicant of St. Patrick's Church and a member of the Altar and Rosary Society. She was also a former officer in the Ladies Auxiliary of Elks Lodge 31.

Loretta retired from the Syracuse School District as a secretary, and enjoyed her summer home on Sandy Pond for many years.

Her first husband, Francis Orlando, died in 1954. She is survived by her loving husband of 34 years, Edmund L. Lindsay; two sons, Daniel Orlando of Syracuse and Thomas Orlando of Lakeland, FL; one grandson, Jesse; and three great-grandchildren, Jackson, Gianna, and Adrianna Orlando of Baldwinsville, and several nieces and nephews.