M.C. Moran

James Michael McGlade: Inventory of Personal Effects

James Michael McGlade was born at Perth (Lanark Co., Ontario) on 17 September 1905, the son of Patrick McGlade and Elizabeth Cahill. When he enlisted with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry on 20 July 1940, he gave his occupation as “Diamond Driller.”

My mother was too young to remember this, but a couple of her older siblings have told me about their father’s cousin coming around to say good-bye, in case he never came home.

He never came home.

James Michael McGlade was killed in action in Belgium on 3 October 1944. He is buried at Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerpen, Belgium.

From his WWII service file, here is what he left behind: an inventory of his personal effects.1



RIP James Michael McGlade.

  1. James Michael McGlade, Service Number B41289. Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Canada; Service Files of the Second World War – War Dead, 1939-1947; Series: RG 24; Volume: 26463Ancestry.com. Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry Operations, Inc., 2015.

The Children of John Vallely and Anna Lillian Moran

John J. Vallely (1861-1935), son of Michael Vallely and Mary Ryan, was born 21 January 1861, in Lanark Co., Ontario, Canada. He emigrated to Grand Forks, North Dakota about 1882.

Anna Lillian (“Lila”) Moran (1861-1915), daughter of Alexander (“Sandy”) Michael Moran and Mary Ann Leavy, was born 17 May 1861, at Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario, Canada. She emigrated to Grand Forks, North Dakota about 1888 (and here she joined several Moran siblings who already emigrated to Grand Forks).

On 28 November 1889, at Grand Forks, North Dakota, John Vallely married Lila Moran.

The couple had four known children:

  • Mary Lillilan Vallely (1896-1982)
  • Margaret Irene Vallely (1898-1970)
  • Alonzo Joseph (“Jack”) Vallely (1900-1983)
  • Michael Alexander Vallely (1903-1947)

And here, with permission from the owner of the photograph, are the four Vallely-Moran children. This photograph is not a casual snapshot: it is a highly stylized studio portrait. It was probably taken about 1905:

Children of John J. Vallely and Anna Lillian ("Lila") Moran

Children of John J. Vallely and Anna Lillian (“Lila”) Moran

Samuel Morrison: from Northern Ireland to Ottawa, Canada

A reader is looking for more information about his grandfather, Samuel Morrison.

Samuel Morrison was born about 1882 in Northern Ireland, presumably Co. Down, the son of Samuel Morrison and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). In the 1901 and 1911 Irish census returns, he can be found at Shore Street, Killyleagh, Co. Down, with his parents and siblings. His occupation is listed as “Draper’s assistant,” and his religion as Presbyterian.

On 26 December 1913, Samuel Morrison married Annie Boyd at Belfast. The couple must have had at least one child before Samuel Morrison emigrated (alone?) to Canada. In June 1926, Samuel Morrison sailed from Belfast to Montreal on the Aurania, arriving at Montreal on 27 June 1926. He gave his occupation as Draper, and the name of his nearest relation as his wife, Mrs. Morrison, Shore Street, Killyleagh, Co. Down.

On 13 November 1948, Samuel Morrison died of pulmonary tuberculosis at the Royal Ottawa Sanatorium. He was buried at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa.

Any information on Samuel Morrison and his family would be greatly appreciated.

17 Years of Cheers, and No Green Beers

Paddy's Day brew pub sign

Paddy’s Day brew pub sign

Meant to post this on the 6 September (my Dad’s birthday), but got busy and distracted….

My dad spent the last few months of his life at an assisted living facility above a brew pub.

Yes, only Johnny Moran would agree to not go gentle into that good night above a damn brew pub. It was a pretty good pub, though: tasty chips, and the beer not half bad.

My father died on 14 March 2013.

On 17 March 2013, on a day when we were waking our Dad, a cousin and a sister of mine “borrowed” (some might say “stole,” but why quibble?) this sign, which I now have in my possession.

Here’s to you, Dad, and, as always, no green beers.


Cause of Death: Pulmonary tuberculosis

The Family of Hugh Walsh and Mary Catherine McGlade

I’ve written about tuberculosis before. See, for example, Tuberculosis in Ontario; and also see a list of those who Died of Tuberculosis in the Ottawa Valley Irish database.

Here’s a family that was hit hard by the scourge of tuberculosis in a five-year period from 1915 to 1920: the family of Hugh Walsh and Mary Catherine McGlade. Two parents; eight grown children:1 and no fewer than four of these ten people died of pulmonary tuberculosis between March 1915 and December 1920.

Mary Catherine McGlade was the daughter of Michael McGlade and Bridget McNulty. She was born in the (civil) parish of Forkill, Co. Armagh in 1864; and she emigrated to Pennsylvania with her parents and four of her siblings in the early 1880s.2 While her parents and four living siblings would head north to Perth (Lanark Co., Ontario, Canada) by 1883 or 1884,3 Mary Catherine McGlade stayed in the United States, where she married a Hugh Walsh in Leetonia, Ohio in 1883.

Hugh Walsh was born in Ireland about 1856, the son of an unknown Walsh and of an Elizabeth Lee, and emigrated to the States about 1864. He appears to have been an iron worker for many decades, first in Leetonia, Ohio, and then in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; several records describe him as a “puddler.” For a brief account of the family’s move from Leetonia to Pittsburgh in pursuit of employment in the iron and steel industry, see this obituary for daughter Sister Mary Hugh Walsh, MM (born Elizabeth Irene Walsh), a Maryknoll Sister.

Hugh Walsh and Mary Catherine McGlade had nine known children, all born in Leetonia, Ohio between 1884 and 1889, with the youngest, Hugh, dying in 1905 at the age of six before the family moved to Pittsburgh.4 So: eight children moved with their parents from Leetonia, Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania between 1905 and 1910; and of these eight, three would die of pulmonary tuberculosis within the next decade or so.

Here’s the ‘died of pulmonary tuberculosis’ death toll for this family:

  • Thomas Walsh, died of pulmonary tuberculosis 9 October 1910
  • Patrick J. Walsh, died of pulmonary tuberculosis 14 March 1915
  • Alice Walsh, died of pulmonary tuberculosis 23 June 1918 (Alice, who died at a sanatorium at the age of 22, was listed as a Telephone Operator in her death record: for some reason, I find this detail unbearably poignant)
  • Hugh Walsh, died of pulmonary tuberculosis 9 December 1920

So there we have it: 40 percent of a family wiped out by an airborne infectious disease (tuberculosis) that is now treatable, in the space of 5 short, and sorrow-ridden, years.

Folks, modern medicine is our friend: and if you don’t believe me, please take a closer look at your family’s tree: all those little Johns and little Marys who were carried off before the age of 5 by childhood diseases that are now almost entirely preventable. And please, please, please, inoculate your children against any and all preventable diseases. (End of pro-vaccination earnestness.)

Btw, I first learned of the existence Mary Catherine McGlade through her father Michael McGlade’s obituary in the Perth Courier (20 January 1905), which listed a surviving daughter as a “Mrs. Hugh Walsh, Latonia, Ohio.” Yes, the name of the town (Leetonia) was misspelled; but the information was basically sound, and verifiable. Never ignore unexpected or seemingly random details in an obituary (those details may be a bit muddled, but they’re not random!): always follow up and follow through.

  1.  The ninth, and youngest known child, Hugh Walsh (born 7 July 1899), died on 15 October 1905, at the age of 6.
  2. According to Michael McGlade’s obituary in the Perth Courier, four other siblings died and were buried in Armagh.
  3.  Michael McGlade’s brother John had been living in Perth since about 1851.
  4.  The family can be found in Pittsburgh by 1910.

Map of Québec Catholic parishes

Looking for a Catholic parish in the province of Québec? Check out the Drouin Institute’s very handy Carte des paroisses catholiques du Québec jusqu’en 1912 (Map of the Catholic parishes of Québec up to 1912).

You can zoom in on a region to get a better look at its parishes. Click on a blue pin to get the name of the parish, and the date of its opening. You can also click on Statistiques (Statistics) to get an obviously very incomplete tabulation of the number of acts per year. I say very incomplete because, for St. Mary’s (Quyon), for example, there are 401 marriages enumerated for the period 1847 to 1914, but only 23 baptisms and 5 burials enumerated for that same time period.

carte paroisses catholiques quebec zoom in

By the way, there are also a few Protestant parishes listed. According to an announcement at their Facebook page, the Institute will be adding more Protestant parishes in the near future.

Carleton Tavern history

Rosemary and John Moran in front of the Carleton Tavern

Rosemary and John Moran in front of the Carleton Tavern

I was very interested to read Dave Allston’s 80 years of history at the Carleton Tavern (Kitchissippi Times). The Moran family that he references is none other than my own:

The Morans immediately converted the house back into a grocery store. Thomas Moran and his family resided upstairs, while a series of shopkeepers operated the grocery store on the main floor. In 1922, the family constructed a house next door at 229 Armstrong (now the site of Holland’s Cake and Shake), into which–in 1927– the Moran’s moved their grocery store. 223 then became the location of other types of businesses, including fruit dealers and butchers. In 1930, Thomas Moran decided to open a confectionery of his own on the main floor of 223. However it was his next move which would prove to be most significant.

In 1935, after five years of operating the confectionery, 75-year-old Thomas Moran extensively renovated the house at 223 Armstrong, and opened that fall as the Carleton Hotel…

…On February 26 1941, Moran sold the Carleton Hotel to Harold Starr and Harry Viau, for the sale price of $10,500.

Thomas Moran was the brother of my great-grandfather Alexander Michael Moran. It was Thomas and his wife Bridget Mary McDermott who first opened and operated the tavern (then called the Carleton Hotel). Family lore has it that they sold the tavern and its license because they didn’t think there was a future in liquor sales!

My father spent his early childhood living next door to the Carleton Tavern, at 231 Armstrong Street. He and his family lived upstairs, while his grandparents, Alexander Michael Moran and Anna (Annie) Maria Benton, ran a small grocery store downstairs. That’s my dad (just his leg) and his sister Rosemary in the above photo. My dad always told me that the man in the background was Harold Starr, who purchased the tavern in 1941.

My dad was a true Ottawa native born and bred. And he was also the product of an earlier Catholic parish-neighbourhood system, around which RC familial and communal life was once organized. He knew the city like the back of his hand; and he seemed to know, or know of, or know something about, almost every Irish Catholic family in the region, and quite a few French-Canadian Catholic families too. We (my sisters and I) had only to mention a classmate (we attended the “separate,” Roman Catholic schools), and our father would have a memory or an anecdote about his or her father or grandmother or second cousin or something. I now sincerely regret that I didn’t conduct formal oral history interviews with my father when I had the chance, he was such a rich source of Ottawa local history and folklore. But you know how it is: you keep meaning to do it, and then it’s too late. (Note to family history researchers: Do those oral interviews that you keep meaning to do. Do them NOW).

Anyway, my father used to love to take us on Sunday afternoon drives around Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley. We didn’t always know where we were headed, and neither, I’m sure, did he. “Where are we going, Dad?” we’d ask. “It’s a mystery,” he’d reply. We’d end up in Carp, or Arnprior, or maybe, for a more urban experience, in Sandy Hill. Always there were great stories, along with a treat (ice cream, perhaps, or maybe some fries from a chip wagon). I learned a lot on those Sunday drives, though of course I didn’t realize it at the time. We called them “Johnny’s Mystery Tours.”

My dad especially loved to take us to Armstrong Street and the Parkdale Market. He would point out the house where he had lived as a child, and then relay a tale of boyhood mischief that made his past seem like such a realm of unbelievable childhood danger and freedom! How I thrilled, in my safe and boring suburban middle-class enclave, to the notion of living upstairs from a grocery and next door to a tavern. This was an Ottawa that is rarely, if ever, captured by most Canadians’ idea of Ottawa as a city of dull-but-efficient bureaucrats, a starched-underwear town, the city that fun forgot.

This was an Ottawa of decidedly rougher edges, and of a good deal more local colour. A city of working-class pride, of pick-up hockey games, of Friday night fish fries, of ethnic rivalries between the Irish and the French (the Anglo Protestants apparently didn’t even enter the lists), of mothers gossiping over laundry lines, of my father learning how to curse from the dairymen down the street and then having his mouth washed out with soap. At 231 Armstrong Street.

Scrapbook page HERE.

Translating French Records: Catholic Marriage Records

Of the three types of Roman Catholic records most commonly used for genealogical purposes (baptismal, marriage, and burial), marriage records are often the most useful, and potentially the most complex.

Most useful because of the sheer amount of genealogical information that can often be gleaned from a Catholic marriage record.

While a baptismal record will supply the names of two family lines (the names of both the father and the mother of the baptized infant), a marriage record will often supply four: the names of both the father and the mother of the groom; and the names of both the father and the mother of the bride. And the mother of the bride or groom is typically listed with her maiden name, not her married name: in a Catholic marriage record, the parents are recorded as, for example, Michael Ryan and Bridget Lahey, not as Michael Ryan and Bridget Ryan, nor as Michael Ryan and Wife, nor as Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ryan. A Catholic marriage record can therefore be an extremely important source of information about maternal origins.

For early Irish to the Ottawa Valley (1st- and 2nd-generation emigrants), moreover, a marriage record will sometimes (not always! and not even very often; but often enough that it is always  worth checking the parish register) give the name of a county, and sometimes even a parish, of origin in Ireland (see, for example, Irish Origins in Canadian Roman Catholic Marriage Records: St. John the Evangelist, Gananoque, Leeds Co., Ontario, Part I and Part 2).1

Most complex because of the requirements that had to be met in order to marry in the Catholic Church.

Had the requisite three bans of marriage been published? Or did the couple have to obtain one or more dispensations from the publication of the banns?2 Were there any impediments (of blood or marriage, for example) which required dispensations? Was a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic? And if so, was this a case of a Catholic marrying a Protestant, which required a dispensation from the impediment of “mixed religion” (mixtae religionis)? Or was this a case of a Catholic marrying a non-Christian, which required a dispensation from the impediment of “disparity of worship” (disparitus cultus)? (Note: I have never come across an instance of “disparity of worship” in the nineteenth-century Ottawa Valley area RC parish registers, but here’s an example from the twentieth century). Were both parties of age? Or did one or both parties marry as a son or daughter minor, which required the consent of his or her parents?

The Formula: in English and in French

That said, and despite the potential complexities of Catholic marriage dispensations, whether the record was in English, French, Latin, or another language, the basic formula remained the same.

In English:

The [day of month of year], [1, 2, or 3] bans having been published [and/or the dispensation of 1, 2, or 3 bans having been granted], between [name of bridegroom], son of age [or: minor son] of [name of bridegroom’s father] and of [name of bridegroom’s mother] of [name of parish] on the one part, and [name of bride], daughter of age [or: minor daughter] of [name of bride’s father] and [name of bride’s mother] of [name of parish], on the other hand, no impediments having been discovered [or: a dispensation for the impediment of ________ having been granted], we the undersigned priest received their mutual consent and gave them the nuptial blessing in the presence of [name of witness] and [name of witness] who signed [or who could not sign].

In French:

Le [day of month of year], vu la publication de [1, 2, or 3] bans de mariage [and/or vu la dispense de 1, 2 or 3 bans de mariage], entre [name of bridegroom], fils majeur [or: fils mineur] de [name of bridegroom’s father] et de [name of bridegroom’s mother] de [name of parish] d’une part, et de [name of bride], fille majeure [or: fille mineure] de [name of bride’s father] et de [name of bride’s mother] de [name of parish], d’autre part, ne s’étant découvert aucun empechement, nous prêtre soussigné avons reçu leur mutuel consentement de mariage, et nous avons donné la bénédiction nuptiale en présence de [name of witness] et de [name of witness], qui ont signer [or: qui n’ont su signer].

An Example


Marriage of John Finnerty and Catherine Benton, 27 July 1875

The marriage record for John Finnerty and Catherine Benton 3 reads as follows:

Le vingt sept juillet mil huit cent soixante quinze, vu la dispense de deux bans de mariage accordés par Monsigneur Duhamel, évêque d’Ottawa, vu aussi la publication de troisième ban faite au prône de notre messe paroissial entre John Finnerty, fils majeur de Peter Finnerty et de défunte Ann Havey de cette paroisse, d’une part; et Catherine Benton, fille mineure de Thomas Benton et de Honorah Ryan aussi de cette paroisse, a’autre part, ne s’étant découvert aucun empêchement, nous soussigné curé de cette paroisse, avons reçu leur mutuel consentement de mariage, et nous avons donné la bénédiction nuptiale en présence de Michael Havey, Margt Finnerty et de Thomas Benton père de l’épouse qui aussi que les contractants n’ont pu signer. A. Chaine.

My translation of the above:

The twenty-seventh of July, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five, in view of the dispensation of two marriage bans granted by Monsignor Duhamel, bishop of Ottawa, in view also of the third ban having been published at our parochial mass, between John Finnerty, son of age of Peter Finnerty and of the deceased Ann Havey of this parish, on the one part; and Catherine Benton, minor daughter of Thomas Benton and of Honorah Ryan also of this parish, on the other part, not having discovered any impediment [no impediment having been discovered], we the undersigned priest of this parish have received their mutual consent to marriage, and have given the nuptial blessing in the presence of Michael Havey, Margt Benton, and of Thomas Benton, father of the bride, who, along with the contracting parties could not sign. A. Chaine.

Note that as a minor daughter (fille mineure), Catherine Benton required the consent of her parents in order to marry John Finnerty.

A Few Terms in Translation

French English
de cette paroisse of this parish
fille majeure adult daughter; daughter of age
fille mineure minor daughter
fils majeur adult son; son of age
fils mineur minor son
un empêchement an impediment
aucun empêchement no impediment
la bénédiction nuptiale the nuptial blessing
défunt (masculine) deceased (for a male)
défunte (feminine) deceased (for a female)
  1. But for the Ottawa Valley area, some of the early, pre-1850s records are extremely brief, and often (and much to the frustration of the researcher) lack the names of the parents of the contracting parties.
  2.  Note that the “publication” of the banns did not refer to the issuing of printed literature. It referred to the announcement (making public, so: publication) of the banns at the parochial mass.
  3. St (John) Chrysostom (Arnprior, Renfrew Co., Ontario), Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1867-1882, p. 151, image 82 of 153, John Finnerty and Catherine Benton, M.6, database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca/: accessed 13 November 2011), Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967.