According to historian Timothy J. Meagher (The Columbia Guide to Irish American History), Liverpool was the point of departure for the vast majority of Irish emigrants to both Canada and the United States, at least during the Famine period:
Even most of the Irish bound for North America, however, first went through Britain, more specifically Liverpool. By the mid-1840s, over 90 percent of the Irish going to Canada or the United States went through Liverpool and over one million Irish passed through the city between 1847 and 1853.1
And how did these Irish emigrants get from Ireland to Liverpool, before embarking on their journey to the New World? By steam ferry, before crossing the Atlantic by sail. “It was not an easy trip,” writes Meagher. Indeed.
Was Liverpool the main point of departure to North America for pre-Famine Irish emgrants to Canada? This I do not know (but I suspect Liverpool was also an important port for Ireland-to-Canada emigrants from the 1820s to the early 1840s).
- Timothy J. Meagher, The Columbia Guide to Irish American History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), 75. ↩
So many half-finished drafts of blog entries (about 5 or 6, I guess), so little time. And, eh, I just noticed that I didn’t post anything at all for the month of August. And I am very much behind in replying to emails and feedback posts. No excuses, just apologies.
Currently feeling a bit swamped by teaching and by other writing projects. Hope to get back to the blog in October.
(Click on the above image to see a larger version of the .jpeg file).
My dad, John Alexander Moran (right) at Frobisher Bay, late 1950s.
He said that he just went out west, presented himself to the office of the geological survey, and they hired him — by telling him to buy several items, including these boots and jacket, and then to come back for transport.
P.-F-X., for Pierre François-Xavier de Charlevoix (1682-1761), blogs at Charlevoix: Blogue de la Nouvelle-France – A Blog About New France.
Pierre François-Xavier de Charlevoix was an eighteenth-century Jesuit priest, voyageur, teacher, and historian who is best remembered for his Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle France (1744). He is considered one of the first historians of New France.
It’s great to see him circulating in the twenty-first-century blogosphere!
Canadian historical newspapers online: a great collection of links at Kenneth R. Marks’ The Ancestor Hunt.
Here is ancestry.ca’s record listing for the baptism of Marie Cleophie [Cléophée] Cheval, daughter of Joseph Cheval and Marie Louise Goneau:
And here is ancestry.ca’s record listing for the marriage of Cleophes [Marie Cléophée] Cheval to Pierre Dubeau, son of Pierre Dubeau and Louise Poirier dit Desloges:
Note that an ancestry.ca user has supplied a correction to “Cleophes Cheval,” and that this corrected name of “Marie-Cléophée Cheval” is included in ancestry’s search results. Never a bad idea to submit a correction, if you’re reasonably certain that your information is more accurate than what is currently listed at ancestry.
And here, finally, is ancestry.ca’s record listing for the burial of Cleophee [Marie Cléophée] St Jacques:
The actual burial record1 (see image at right, and click on the image to view a larger version) identifies her as “Cléophée St Jacques wife of Pierre Dubeau.” What happened to the surname Cheval? and where did that surname St. Jacques come from?
If you didn’t know anything about French Canadian “dit” names, and if you also didn’t know much about Catholic record-keeping, you might assume that the priest had omitted the surname Cheval because the deceased woman was identified by the name of her husband; and you might further assume that St. Jacques was the surname of a previous husband (previous to Pierre Dubeau, that is). But of course both of those assumptions would be wrong.
For Catholic records, the standard practice was/is to identify women by their family (or maiden) names — which is one of the reasons why Roman Catholic parish records are so extremely valuable to genealogical researchers.
And the reason why Marie Cléophée Cheval was also known as Marie Cléophée St Jacques is that she carried a surname with a “dit” name: Cheval dit St. Jacques.
More on “dit” names
French-Canadian “dit” names are a fascinating, often charming, and potentially highly informative naming practice that can certainly make your record search more complicated. Was your ancestor’s name recorded as Cheval dit St. Jacques, for example? or as just Cheval? or perhaps as just St. Jacques?
If your search for a French-Canadian ancestor is coming up cold, you should consider the possibility that your ancestor had a “dit” name by which he or she was also known or called. (The “dit” of French and French-Canadian dit names means “called,” but in English would have the connotation of “also called,” or “also known as.”)
Fortunately, there is a fair bit of information on “dit” names on the internet. See, especially, the American-French Genealogy Society’s collection of French-Canadian surname variants, dit names, and anglicizations.
I also recommend “The nicknames and ‘dit names’ of French-Canadian ancestors,” at the Library and Archives Canada Blog.
- Ste. Elizabeth (Vinton, Pontiac Co., Québec), Register of Births, Marriages and Burials, 1875-1882, Sepult. Cléophée St Jacques, image 26 of 54: database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca/: accessed 26 July 2014), Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967. ↩
A few weeks ago, I posted a link to the GRO Indexes at IrishGenealogy.ie. And a week or two after that post, the indexes became “temporarily unavailable.” There is no indication, yet, of when they will be back online.
And it looks like “temporarily” is going to mean “for a very long time.” Apparently the website had to be taken down because it included information not only on dead people, but also on living individuals. See Claire Santry’s “Privacy concerns close civil registration indexes site” and Chris Paton’s “RIP: GRO Ireland’s credibility (2014-2014)”.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there is now a huge amount of LAC (Library and Archives Canada) material at Canadiana.org’s Héritage website. This material includes 94 digitized microfilm reels of LAC’s Upper Canada Sundries (RG 5 A1), 1766-1841 series. Héritage describes the series as follows:
This series is part of the Civil Secretary’s Correspondence for Upper Canada and Canada West. It consists of letters, petitions, reports, returns and schedules, certificates, accounts, warrants, legal opinions, instructions and regulations, proclamations and other documents received by the Civil Secretary of Upper Canada, 1791-1841, together with copies of some documents of 1766-1809, made for reference purposes.
As every aspect of Ontario life was covered in the correspondence, there is much to offer for those interested in Ontario’s early history. There is also much material of genealogical interest: character references, land and settler petitions, family histories, licenses, pardons, requests for war losses compensation, etc.
The Upper Canada Sundries collection does include some finding aids, on microfilms C-9822, C-9823, C-9824, and C-9825. See the above-linked Canadiana.org page for more information on how to search the series.
Did your Bytown area ancestor sign this petition?
That the cost of transmitting a Prisoner from Bytown to the Gaol at Perth is at least Five Pounds Currency, and that of 17 Prisoners confined in that Prison during the Quarter ending in September 1835, 13 were sent from Bytown.
— Petition of inhabitants of certain districts of Bathurst and Ottawa for division of their district, with Bytown as the capital of the new one, 18361
On microfilm C-6892 (images 1239-1252), there is a petition, dated [December?] 1836, of some (male) inhabitants of certain townships in the Bathurst and Ottawa districts. The petitioners were asking for the formation of a new administrative district, with Bytown as its capital, so that they would no longer have to travel to Perth, L’Original, and Cornwall to attend the King’s Bench and Quarter Sessions; and so that, as the above quote explains, they would no longer have to pay the costs of transporting prisoners from Bytown to the Perth Gaol. The Ottawa district townships are given as: Gloucester, Osgood [Osgoode], Cumberland and Russell. The Bathurst district townships are given as: Nepean, Goulburn, March, Huntly [Huntley], Torbolton, Fitzroy, Packenham [Pakenham], McNab, Horton, Ross, Westmeath and Pembroke (these last four would later become part of Renfrew County).
There are hundreds of names on the 1836 petition. If you think your ancestors might have been in the Bytown area by 1836, you might want to check this document.
Here is a page with many March Township names (see image at right, and click on image to view a larger version). I have highlighted the names that are especially of interest to me: John Lahy; James Lahy; Mathew [Matthew] Daly (husband of Ellen Killeen and son-in-law of Denis Killeen); Pat Quinn (son of Catherine Lahey and her first husband Patrick Quinn); Patrick Lahy; Michal [Michael] Quin (son of Catherine Lahey and her first husband Patrick Quinn); Michael Hourigan (son of Mary Lahey and Timothy Hourigan); Daniel Lahy (second husband of Catherine Lahey); and D. [Denis] Killeen. The name at the top of this page is that of Hamnett Pinhey, a large landowner and politician, and a leading member of the local elite.
And speaking of prisoners being transported from the Bytown area to the Gaol at Perth: It’s a bit odd to see the name Michael Hourigan followed immediately by that of Daniel Lahy, knowing the similar fate that awaited these two men. In November 1837, Daniel Lahey would be killed by his brother-in-law James Lahey; in April 1841, Michael Hourigan would be killed by his brother-in-law John Kelly (see The Queen vs. Kelly). And yes, both James Lahey and John Kelly were sent from March Township to the Perth Gaol (James Lahey ended up back in March, apparently having been acquitted of the crime; John Kelly served a sentence of one year’s hard labour at the Dominion Penitentiary in Kingston).
What percentage of adult male inhabitants of the above-named townships can be found on this petition? I have no idea. But I’m not sure that every name is that of an adult male. At image 1245, a page with many Huntley Township names (see image at left, and click on the image to view a larger version), I see the name James Morin (James Moran), but I also see a James Mourin, a Thomas Morne and an Alexander Morne. Could these two Mornes be James’s sons Thomas Moran and Alexander Michael Moran, who were about 14 and 6 years old, respectively, in 1836? and might one of the two James Morins/Mourins refer to James’s son James Moran, who was about 12 years old at the time? I am reasonably confident that the family of James Moran and Margaret Jamieson was the only Moran family in Huntley Township at the time. I am also somewhat confident that James Moran could not sign his name: my question “Did your ancestor sign this petition?” should really be “Is your ancestor listed on this petition?”
The petition can be found at images 1239 to 1252 of microfilm C-6892; the first page of names is at image 1242. A typewritten list of these names can be found in the finding aid, Upper Canada Sundries Finding Aid C-9824, images 388-395.
On Ontario’s early districts and counties, see the online exhibit The Changing Shape of Ontario at the Archives of Ontario website. Here is Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1826; and here is Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1838.
- Petition of inhabitants of certain districts of Bathurst and Ottawa for division of their district, with Bytown as the capital of the new one, December 1836, Upper Canada Sundries, RG 5 A1, vol. 173, pp. 94966-94967, LAC microfilm C-6892; database, Canadiana.org, (http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_reel_c6892: accessed 11 July 2014), images 1239-1252 of C-6892. ↩
The partnership between Library and Archives Canada and Canadiana.org over the next ten years involves the digitization, indexing and description of millions of personal, administrative and government documents. It will triple LAC’s digital content on the Web, and allow Canadians to access tens of millions of additional images regardless of where they live, at no charge.
— Library and Archives Canada Blog, Fruits of the Library and Archives Canada and Canadiana.org partnership starting to appear online
LAC has recently added a huge pile of digitized microfilms to Canadiana.org’s Héritage website. Unfortunately, many of these record collections lack finding aids, or even brief explanations of what can be found on a reel.
There are, for example, many parish registers on these digitized microfilms. But as Ken McKinlay points out, “Unfortunately the descriptions of what is on each microfilm is very brief and usually only from the first record set … and there may be MANY record sets on a single microfilms” (“More LAC Parish Register Microfilms,” Family Tree Knots).
Take, for example, Parish Registers: Ontario: C-3030.
The About page for this digitized microfilm contains no description beyond “Parish Registers, Ontario.”
Here is what can be found this microfilm:
- Images 5-120: Ontario, Perth, Presbyterian Church, Register of baptisms and marriages 1817-1857
- Images 121 – 171: Ontario Rideau Circuit Methodist Church, Register of Baptisms, 1824-1843
- Images 175-319: Ontario, Sandwich, St. John’s Anglican, 1802-1827, Register of baptisms, marriages and burials, 1802-1827
- Images 321- 462: Ontario, Williamstown, Presbyterian Church, Register of baptisms and marriages, 1779-1810
- Images 464-515: Ontario, Williamstown, Presbyterian Church, Register of baptisms, marriages and burials, 1811-1817
- Images 517- 610: Ontario, Osnabruck and Lunenberg, Presbyterian church registers, Baptisms 1852-1909, Marriages, 1860-1900, Deaths 1906-1909
- Images 611- 726: Ontario, Eastern District, Marriage register of Church of Scotland, Lutherans, Congregationalists, Baptists, Independents, Methodists, Menonists, Tunkers, Presbyterians or Moravians, 1831-1865
- Images 727- 1076: Ontario, Johnstown District, Marriage register 1801-1850 [various denominations, marriages registered with the Clerk of the Peace, Johnstown District]
In other words, Parish Registers: Ontario: C-3030 contains an extremely valuable collection of late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century Protestant parish registers.