Monthly Archives: July 2011

George Vallely and Anne O’Hanlon

in Canada by 1832

This is not the first time that I’ve found an early recordin the register for Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal for a family who emigrated from Ireland and settled in the Ottawa Valley.

Until I came across the following record of the burial of daughter Catherine Vallely in 1832, the baptismal record for son John Vallely (born 14 September 1835; baptized 10 December 1835) was the earliest document I had for the presence of George Vallely and Anne O’Hanlon in Canada. Click thumbnail preview to see larger image:
vallely_catherine_burial_1832_notredamemontreal.jpg
Montréal (Basilique Notre Dame), Régistre, 1832, p. 253 , S. 2474, Catherine Valely, database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca/: accessed 25 July 2011, Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967.

The record reads (with illegible words in brackets, and with my translation in italics):

Le vingt un Septembre mil huit cents trente deux je prêtre soussigné à inhumé Catherine décédée avant hier âgée de dix huits mois fille de George Valely [tisseur?] et de Ann Hanlan de cette paroisse. Temoins Joseph [Boudre?] et Jean Baptiste [Brean?] qui n’ont pu signer. The twenty first of September one thousand eight hundred and thirty two I the undersigned priest buried Catherine who died the day before yesterday aged eighteenth months daughter of George Valely [weaver?] and of Ann Hanlan of this parish. Witnesses were Joseph [Boudre?] and Jean Baptiste [Brean?] who could not sign.

Was Catherine born in Canada or in Ireland? I have not yet found a baptismal record for her (and if she was born in Ireland in 1831, it’s likely I never will). Nor have I found a marriage record for George Vallely and Anne O’Hanlon (who may have been married in Ireland).

In any case, this places George Vallely and Anne O’Hanlon in Canada at least a couple of years earlier than I had previously assumed. By 1835, they can be found in Grenville, Deux Montagnes, Québec, and by 1851 in Bristol township, Pontiac Co., where they farmed at Concession 3, Lot 4.

Three Cahill Children Buried

On the same day.
On 3 November 1866, at Ste. Anne, Calumet Island/L’Île-du-Grand-Calumet, Pontiac Co., Québec:
  • James Cahill, who died at the age of 12.
  • Anne Cahill, who died at the age of 14.
  • Celestine Cahill, who died at the of 8.
The witnesses to all three burials were the same two men: Thomas Campel [Campbell?] and Napoléon Nolin.

cahill_children_burials_calumet.jpg

Ile du Grand Calumet (Paroisse Ste. Anne, Co. Pontiac, PQ), Register of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1860-1871,  S. 17 (1866), James Cahill; S. 18 (1866), Anne Cahill; and S. 19 (1866), Celestine Cahill, image 104 of 216, Ancestry.ca (http://ancestry.ca/: accessed 20 July 2011), Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection),  1621-967.

Based on baptismal and census records, I believe that James and Anne were the children of George Cahill and Mary Moran; and strongly suspect that Celestine was the daughter of James Cahill and Isabella Moorhead.
There is no mention in the above records of the cause(s) of death for these three Cahill children. As I’ve probably noted before, the Catholic burial records generally do not mention a cause of death unless it was something especially violent, dramatic, or unusual (e.g., death by drowning, or by fire). And in 1866, childhood death by illness was by no means an unusual occurrence. Which is not to say that people just took it in stride, without feeling the loss too deeply (which I’ve seen suggested in a few places, and which strikes me as quite wrong). These children were no doubt deeply mourned by their parents, siblings, and other relations; and 3 November 1866 must have been an awful, awful day for the Cahills of Calumet Island.

Denis Killeen’s Will

Denis Killeen made a will on 24 May 1850, a memorial of which was registered on 9 February 1854 (about three or four years after his death).
The memorial was “signed” (that is, marked with an X) by his eldest son Patrick Killeen; and was also signed (I mean, with actual signatures) by John Armstrong, Thomas Morgan, and Albert Hopper, all of March township. None of these three subscribing witnesses — John Armstrong, Thomas Morgan, and Albert Hopper — were related by blood or marriage, so far as I can tell. They were all Irish emigrants to March township, of Protestant (Church of England) background, presumably chosen as trustworthy and literate neighbours of the Irish Catholic Killeens.
The following is my transcription of the memorial, with hyperlinks to my database listings of the persons named in the will. A few words (indicated by brackets [ ] ) are illegible, or at least, not legible to me.


Denis Killeen at Québec, 1819 (RG 8, C Series, LAC)

One of my favourite genealogy blogs is John Reid’s Anglo-Celtic Connections. I don’t know how he does it, but he always has the latest scoop on the LAC (everything from hirings and firings to new collections to updates of existing collections, and so on). Yesterday at Anglo-Celtic Connections, I read the following notice from the LAC:

Ottawa, July 14, 2011 – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the addition of 484 digitized microfilm reels representing 1,125,141 new images regarding British military and naval records (RG 8, “C” Series) to its website. These records include a wide range of documents related to the British army in Canada, Loyalist regiments, the War of 1812, the Canadian militia, and more. Both microfilm reels for the nominal card index and the archival documents have been digitized and are now accessible online. Through the research tool “microform digitization,” you can browse the microfilm reels page by page.

Since I’m currently looking for military records pertaining to my 3x great-grandfather Denis Killeen, this sounded promising. So I followed the hyperlink provided by John Reid.

Here’s how I found a record of Denis Killeen’s recent arrival at Québec:

University of Ottawa Hockey Team, 1915

My grandfather Allan Jerome Moran played forward on the University of Ottawa’s hockey team of 1915. Love the stripey uniforms; and I guess that they were garnet and grey (from hence, apparently, the Ottawa U Gee-Gees). Their coach, the Rev. W.J. Stanton, O.M.I., may have been found guilty, or at least may have been implicated and considered partly guilty, in a riot that broke out at Cleveland in 1915, which resulted in some pretty serious injuries: by day an Oblate priest; by night a Dominion of Canada hockey goon? Still researching….
I found this photograph hidden behind another photograph, in the back of a picture frame. It was my grandfather’s personal copy, which he gave to my father, who gave it to me, and the following is my own scan.
Click thumbnail preview to see larger image:

hockey_ottawau_1915.jpg

Description of Denis Killeen (1786-1850)

Denis Killeen was born about 1786 in the parish of Meelick in East Galway. On 10 December 1804 (presumably at the age of eighteen), he enlisted in the 97th Regiment of Foot (at “Clonaney” [Clonony?], King’s County [County Offaly]).
From the record of his discharge (10 December 1818), a physical (and occupational) description:
To prevent any improper use being made of this Discharge, by its falling into other Hands, the following is a Description of the said Denis Killeen. He is about thirty two Years of Age, is five Feet ten Inches in height, fair Hair, Grey Eyes, Swarthy Complexion; and by Trade or Occupation a Carpenter.1
Note the imprecision of “about ____ Years of Age,” in an official service record for a private in His Majesty’s 97th Regt of Foot.
Nowadays, an official military record (or an official record of any sort) will give a precise age, with an exact date of birth. For that matter, nowadays even most unofficial records will supply exact birth dates, based on the stringent demands for accuracy that define contemporary record-keeping: try sending your kid to sleepaway camp without providing the exact day/month/year of the child’s birth on the registration form! But two hundred years ago, people (the common folk, that is, but that was most people…) were a quite a bit looser about birth dates (which is one reason why, when searching 19th-century census returns, you should generally treat recorded birth years as rough estimates, perhaps accurate to within plus or minus five years or so of the given date).
Denis Killeen was discharged due to the disbandment of his regiment, after having served 14 years and 1 day. He received a pension from the Crown on 26 August 1819 (at which point he was in Upper Canada). On 26 May 1828 he received a patent from the Crown for one hundred acres, at the south half of Lot 11, Third Concession, in the township of March (Carleton Co., Ontario).

1 The National Archives of the UK (TNA), WO 119/70, Kilmainham Ref: [None] (Index No = 16), folio 43.

“Anonyme” and “Inconnu/Inconnue”

A little more on translating Roman Catholic parish records from the French:

Anonyme = Nameless, or Unnamed. Generally with reference to the lack of a first or given name, and most frequently found in infant burial records.
Inconnu/Inconnue = Unknown. As in: of unknown parentage, and generally with reference to the lack of a “legitimate” or legally recognized surname. So: de parents inconnus = of unknown parents. Found in both infant baptismal and infant burial records. Note: In many baptismal records for “illegitimate” children, the mother’s name is both known and given, but due to her unmarried status, the child’s surname will still be given as “Inconnu” (or “Inconnue” for a female).
A child could be both, of course, both unnamed (“anonyme”) and of unknown parentage (“inconnu/inconnue”). And if you spend any amount of time perusing the RC parish registers, you will undoubtedly come across a burial record such as the following, from the Mission of Ste. Anne at Calumet Island (L’Île du Grand Calumet), Pontiac Co., Québec:
S. [Sépulture] 26.27 Deux enfants Anonymes
Le douze Septembre mil huit cent quatre ving cinq par nous prêtre soussigné ont été inhumés dans la cemetière de cette paroisse les corps de deux enfants anonymes nés de parents inconnus ondoyés à la maison. Présents Francis Kelly et Arthur Grandpré qui n’on pu signer.
[Burial 26.27. Two Unnamed Infants
The twelfth of September one thousand eight hundred and eighty five, by we the undersigned priest were buried in the cemetery of this parish the bodies of two unnamed infants of unknown parents who were privately baptized. Were present Francis Kelly and Arthur Grandpré, who could not sign.]
Btw, ondoyé (ondoyés in the plural) à la maison is one of those phrases that is a bit difficult to translate literally from the original, owing to the accretion of several centuries of accumulated meaning. Basically, it means baptized privately, or at home, without a priest, in an emergency situation where a child was not expected to live.
Such records are unspeakably poignant; and always make me wonder about the complex human dramas buried beneath the brief and bare-bones recital of the facts of birth and burial.

John Lahey the Elder

My 4x great uncle John Lahey the Elder bequeathed the bulk of his property (“one hundred acres of land more or less”) to his younger brother James, my 3x great-grandfather, but set aside two acres of land for the use of the RC Church. From a History of St. Isidore Church, March township, Kanata:
In 1848 the parish of March had another episcopal visit, this time from Bishop Joseph Eugene Guiges, who received an undertaking from John Lahey, donating ‘two acres of land for the upkeep of the church and of the Catholic priest who will be named by his excellency and his successors to serve this mission or parish of March. These two acres are situated on lot 14 and touch on one side the main road to Bytown and on the three others the property of the donor.’
In his last will and testament, dated 21 December 1853, John Lahey the Elder made good on his undertaking, “reserving to the Roman Catholic Church the two acres of land of said lot upon which the the chapel now stands.”
It was on this two acres of land that stood, until very recently, the Church of St. Isidore, which was built in the mid-1880s (and built in part by John Lahey the Elder’s nephew John, husband of Margaret Jane Killeen, and my 2x great-grandfather), with the cornerstone laid in 1887.
The stone church was demolished last August, to make way for something bigger and better and brighter, with a state-of-the-art media system, and with all mod cons. And who am I to question the inexorable march of progress?
Doesn’t quite sit well with me, though, and I predict that the new building will look less like a house of worship than like a Holiday Inn Convention Centre (I’m no conservative: I’m not asking for a Latin Mass; but dear God, please deliver us from that post-Vatican II architectural abomination known as “the Church in the Round”!). I also predict that the costs of the new building will vastly exceed even the most inflated estimates of restoring the old church, which figures were presented to parishioners as proof that historic preservation was crazy expensive and clearly unaffordable.
Anyway.
Click thumnail preview to see larger image:

johnlaheytheelder_1200px.jpg

Credits: Vintage paper from Ronna Penner. Photo corners from Katie Pertiet. All other papers and elements from The Shabby Shoppe. Fonts: Natural Script; Texas Hero; Grit Primer; and P22 Typewriter. Software: Corel Photo Shop Pro Photo X2.

First Communion Photo

My mother’s First Communion, in the town of Perth, Co. Lanark, Ontario. Click thumbnail preview to see larger image:

mcglade_catherinefrances_firstcommunion.jpg

Credits: Rosary: my own scan. All other papers and elements from The Shabby Shoppe. Fonts: Learning Curve and Maple Leaf Rag. Software: Corel Photo Shop Pro Photo X2.