M.C. Moran

“Mrs. Hugh Walsh, Latonia, Ohio:” Using FamilySearch

Michael McGlade’s obituary (Perth Courier, 20 January 1905) notes that he was predeceased by his wife Bridget McNulty and by five of their nine children; and that he was survived by three sons and one daughter. Of the five dead children, the obituary records, one is buried in Perth (that one is Margaret McGlade, who died in Brockville in 1894), and “four are buried in Ireland” (presumably Co. Armagh). The surviving sons are named as Patrick and John of Perth (Ontario), and Michael of Havelock (also Ontario); and the daughter is named as “Mrs Hugh Walsh, Latonia, Ohio.”

So who was Mrs Hugh Walsh of Latonia, Ohio? I had no idea what her first name might be, though I knew, of course, that her maiden name was McGlade; and I had also never heard of a place called Latonia, Ohio.

Who was Thomas Lanctot?

Also: Margaret Devine and Thomas William Sullivan, Home Children

Thomas Lanctot [here spelled Langtoe] is found in the household of Thomas Burke and Mary Ann Lahey in the 1901 Canadian census (Ontario, Carleton, March, p. 2, family no. 15). He is listed as “Adopted,” with racial/tribal origin French, and birthplace “O u” (Ontario urban, as distinct from “O r,” Ontario rural). His age is given as 15, with year of birth 1885 and day and month of birth unknown.

Thomas Burke household, 1901 census of Canada, Ontario, Carleton (district 52), March Township (subdistrict C-1), p. 2, family 15.

Confirmation of Thomas Lanctot, 14 June 1900.

About a year earlier, on 14 June 1900, Thomas Lanctot had made his Confirmation at St. Isidore (South March), with his age given as 14 and his parents listed as “Thomas Burke, Adopter” and “Mary Ann Lahey, Adoptress” (Click thumbnail preview [right] to see larger image). Also confirmed at St. Isidore on 14 June 1900 was Margaret Devine, age 11, whose parents were also listed as “Thomas Burke, Adopter” and “Mary Ann Lahey, Adoptress.”1

Margaret Devine is also listed as an “Adopted” child in the 1901 houshold of Thomas Burke and Mary Ann Lahey (see census image above): Margaret Devine [here Devin], born Ireland 12 July 1886, year of immigration to Canada 1897.

  1. Register of Confirmations, 1888-1909, St. Isidore, South March, Carleton, FamilySearch.org (http://familysearch.org), Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923.

John and Rosemary, in old Ottawa

My dad with his sister Rosemary (right) and a Lahey cousin (left), in some part of old Ottawa (Sandy Hill? the Glebe? Ottawa South?).

Early-to-mid 1950s here, and my dad and his sister in their late teens to early twenties. The three people in this photo probably now look a bit older than they actually were, owing to the tailoring of their (not formal, not dress-up) clothing. No sweatsuits, no leisure suits, no blue jeans or dungarees here, but these folks weren’t on their way to the ballroom, either: I believe this is what was once meant by “sports clothes” (no, not yet polyester slacks for men who hit the golf courses in Tampa, Florida) or “sporty casual.” Great shoes, in any case.

What was her ‘real’ name? (Lillian Doyle)

Nowadays we tend to think of someone as having a ‘real’ name, with nicknames and diminutives as informal variations on that one official and authentic version of the name. A person’s ‘real’ name is what appears on the birth certificate, of course (and also in the baptismal record, if relevant), and in all subsequent official documents (driver’s licenses, marriage certificates, deeds to property, and so on). Nicknames and diminuitives are for casual, informal use only.

It was different in the nineteenth century, however, when people were much more flexible about name variations (and also about surname spellings, which point is admittedly a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine).

Take, for example, Lillian Doyle. And I call her “Lillian Doyle” because that is the name that I remember her by. Not that I ever met her: she died before I was born. But I recall my father and his sister talking about her, and hers is one of those names that has always stuck in my mind. Dominic Stanton. Evelyn Sullivan.  Tommy Burke. Danny O’Neill. Lillian Doyle. A whole cast of colourful characters  whom I only “know” by hearsay, or only posthumously, so to speak, but who have always seemed to play an interesting part in the drama (or perhaps comedy?) of my father’s family history.

Irish Catholic Ancestors: How Far Back Can You Go?

You already know, of course, that you can’t really trace your ancestry back to Niall of the Nine Hostages, or to anyone grand and legendary like that. And you probably also suspect, if your family tree looks anything like mine, that traditional family lore along the lines of ‘We were once the kings and queens of Ireland!’ rests on dubious and shaky grounds at best; and turns out to be, upon further investigation, something more like, ‘We were once the agrarian underclass of the counties of Cork and Tipperary!’

So: how far back can you really, and realistically, go?

John McGlade and Bridget Dunne: same parish of origin?

I’ve long since known that my 2x-great-grandparents John McGlade and Bridget Dunn/Dunne came from the same Irish county (Armagh). I’ve sometimes wondered whether they also came from the same parish too?

Marriage of John McGlade and Bridget Dunn, St. Edward's, Westport, Leeds Co., Ontario.

According to their marriage record (now available online and free of charge through FamilySearch), they did. From the register of St. Edward’s, Westport (Leeds Co., Ontario), here is the marriage record for “John McGleade [McGlade], son of Michael McGleade and Elizabeth Kennelly of the the Parish of Parish [sic] of lower Killevy Co Armagh on the [one] Part, to Bridget Dunn, daughter of Owen Dunn and Anne Rock of the Parish of lower Killevy Co Armagh on the other part.” I currently have John McGlade as a native of the neighbouring parish of Forkhill, but this document suggests I need to dig deeper into the available records for my McGlade ancestors.

The above from a new online database at FamilySearch: Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923. For those researching Catholic ancestors in Ontario, this is a pretty huge development. While these records have long been available on microfilm through LDS Family History Centers, it’s pretty amazing to now have online access (and that online access free of charge). Some of the parishes are already available online through ancestry.ca’s Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967 dababase (which requires a subscription). But many of the parishes in the new FamilySearch database (from the Ontario counties of Leeds, Lanark, and York, to name just a few examples) are not, because they’re not part of the Drouin collection.1

FamilySearch’s Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923 database is not indexed at all, which means you’ll have to search the records the “old-fashioned” way (page by page, I mean), though in a “new-fashioned” manner (at home, on your own computer screen, say).

  1. Ancestry.ca’s Ontario Drouin database represents a digitisation of the parish registers that were microfilmed by the Drouin Institute/Institut Généalogique Drouin in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Since the Drouin Institute’s purpose was to preserve records pertaining to French Canadians, their Ontario records represent areas with significant French-speaking populations. So: Ottawa area parishes, but not Toronto, for example.

Bishop Guigues on John Lahey’s Donation

As a followup to my post on John Lahey the Elder, here is Bishop Guigue’s account of John Lahey’s donation of two acres to the mission of March (later the parish of St. Isidore, Kanata). The following (which I discovered through google books) is taken from Alexis de Barbezieux, Histoire de la province ecclésiastique d’Ottawa et de la colonisation de la vallée de l’Ottawa (Ottawa, 1897), which cites Guigue’s notes on his visit to March township in September 1848: