M.C. Moran

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:

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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:

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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.

Jack McGlade (1900-1964)

My maternal grandfather John Eugene McGlade, son of Arthur Joseph McGlade and Catherine Honora McCarthy. I wish I had known him, but he died before I was born. He has always been something of a presence in my life, however, because he has always been very fondly remembered by his children (my mother and her five siblings), who have passed down many stories.

He had a gas station (or service station, as it was then called) at the corner of Gore and Craig Streets (in Perth, Lanark Co., Ontario), where there is now a Tim Horton’s. According to several of my aunts, he was a better person than he was a businessman: if someone had fought in the war (World War II, that is), he could never bring himself to collect on the account (‘Ah, well, now, he’s a veteran…’), and he also had a soft spot for a widow with a family (‘Ah, God love her, and with so many mouths to feed…well, maybe next month…’). He used to refer to my grandmother, Nana Dee, whom I knew very well, as “the Queen Bee,” a nice tribute to her brisk maternal competence (she had six children in just under nine years; and she used to drive the nuns around town in her big boat of a car;  and she also belonged to a curling club; and was just a force of nature overall).

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Esther Lily Crowe: Home Child?

On 28 November 1886, Esther Lily Crowe was baptized a Catholic at St. Isidore, South March. Her sponsors were Noé Pagé and Mary Ann Lahey (daughter of John Lahey and Margaret Jane Killeen). She was 16 years old at the time, and had previously been baptized into the Anglican church as the “lawful child” of William Crowe and Margaret Ann Leith.
.

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South March (St. Isidore), Register of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1861-1968,  B. 18 (1886), Esther Lilley Crowe,  image 63 of 663, Ancestry.ca (http://ancestry.ca/: accessed 31 May 2011), Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967.

Was she the Esther Crow, age 8, who arrived in Canada on 15 May 1878, as a member of the Quarrier’s Party which left Glasgow on 2 May 1878?

Catherine McCarthy, with granddaughter and daughter

I really like the ornamental border on this photograph. The detail looks 1920s to me, but in fact, this picture was taken in 1933. Left to right: my great-grandmother Catherine McCarthy; my mother’s eldest sister (daughter of John Eugene McGlade and Delia Lucie Derouin); and my great-aunt Neen (Noreen McGlade, daughter of Catherine McCarthy and Arthur Joseph McGlade). Drummond Street, Perth (Lanark Co., Ontario).

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