James O'Rourke, was born in County Leitrim Ireland around 1822. He arrived in the United States around 1848. He met and married Ellen Battersby, daughter of William and Helen Battersby. City Directories for New York during the 1860’s and 1870’s indicate that James O’Rourke was employed as a Porter and Clerk at various times. James O’Rourke and Ellen Battersby were married in New York during the 1860’s. The earliest record of residence for James O’Rourke is the 1862 “City Directory” which indicates he lived at 171 Mulberry Street, Manhattan.
The first child of James and Ellen O’Rourke, James Stephen O’Rourke, was born in 1867 in New York City . James and Ellen O’Rourke had three other children. The other children, Bernard (b. 1868), Nellie (b. 1871) and Elizabeth (b. 1872). (birth years are estimated based on the ages identified on Death Certificates issued at the time of their deaths)
James O’Rourke died on February 22, 1878 at 24 Prince Street. Obituaries in “The N.Y. Herald” and “The Irish American” both indicate that James O’Rourke was from Co. Leitrim, Ireland. NYC City Directories for the years 1880 through 1884 indicate that Ellen O’Rourke, widow of James, resided at 225 Mott Avenue. In 1884 she moved to 230 Sixth Avenue. The Directories indicate she lived at this address until at least 1890.
James Stephen O’Rourke married Margaret Linton on December 16, 1893 at St. Celia’s Parish at 125 E. 105th Street in Manhattan. The family had moved uptown by this time and lived on the East side of Manhattan, in the high 90’s low 100’s. Their first child, Marguerite Rose O’Rourke was born on October 31, 1894. The second child, James Norman O’Rourke, was born on September 25, 1896. James Stephen O’Rourke was a Letter Carrier for the Post Office. He died on November 30, 1898, after a brief illness, at his home at 152 E. 100th Street. His sister Elizabeth died two weeks later on December 13, 1898, also after a brief illness. Both were buried at the Family plot in Calvary Cemetery.
Around this time (June 16, 1898) Bernard O’Rourke, brother of James Stephen, had enlisted as a Volunteer in the 8th New York Infantry Regiment. Records indicate that he was stationed at Camp Thomas, Chickamauga, Georgia. The 8th Regiment remained in the U.S. during the Spanish American War and did not see action. Bernard was mustered out from service on November 3, 1898.
Between 1910 and the early 1920's Margaret Linton O'Rourke lived at various addresses on 170th, 165th and 134th Streets in the Bronx. On December 28, 1924 her son James Norman O'Rourke married Lizzie Schneider. James and Lizzie lived in the Bronx on St. Ann's Avenue. Their first child, James Norman O'Rourke Jr. was born there on November 6, 1925. James Sr. worked as a Truck Driver for Bond Bakery and Waldorf Pound Cake Company.
In 1927 James Norman O'Rourke Sr. moved to Glen Cove on Long Island, N.Y. He became partners in a Diner in Glen Cove. He and Lizzie had five sons James Jr. (1925), Robert (1927), Lawrence (1932 and twins John and Thomas ( 1937). In 1948, James Sr. sold the diner and purchased a Tavern on School Street (O'Rourke's Bar & Grill) in Glen Cove.