M.C. Moran

Michael Donahue and Hanora Killeen: 12 Children, 1 Marriage?

Hanora (sometimes Anna or Hanna/Hannah) Killeen was one of the eldest (perhaps the second eldest) daughters of Denis Killeen and Mary Ahearn. She was born in March township in the early 1820s, possibly (as per the 1901 Canadian census return) on 10 May 1821.

Hanora’s older sister Ellen Killeen (born Ireland about 1818) married a “Matthew Daly of Huntley” (born Ireland about 1807) in 1836 (Notre Dame, Bytown/Ottawa). Matthew Daley and Ellen Killeen had a very large family, with their first four children (Peter, Mary, Denis, and John) born in Huntley township (Carleton Co., Ontario/Upper Canada), and their sixth and later children born at Clarendon, Pontiac Co., Québec/Lower Canada. It’s not clear where their fifth child, Bridget, was born (whether at Huntley or at Clarendon), but certainly they were living in Clarendon by 1847. (Some of their sons, including Anthony Daley, later emigrated to the States.)
Hanora Killeen had presumably moved from March township to Clarendon to be with her older sister, for by 1850 she was described as being “domiciled at Clarendon.”

Border Crossings (Daleys): Anthony Daley

Anthony Daley was born at Clarendon, Pontiac Co., Québec in March 1863, and baptized (Ste. Anne, Calumet Island) on 5 April 1863, with Michael Hughes and Elizabeth McCullough serving as godparents. He was the eleventh son and fifteenth child of Matthew Daley and Ellen Killeen.

He emigrated to the US (Michigan or Wisconsin) around 1880, perhaps with several of his brothers, and presumably to work in the lumbering trade. By 1895, he was a resident of Florence County, Wisconsin.
On 2 October 1895, at Norway, Dickinson Co., Michigan, Anthony Daley married Mary O’Donnell, daughter of John O’Donnell and Bridget Kale. From the Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925 database at FamilySearch, here is the civil registration of their (RC, performed by a priest named F.X. Bastien) marriage (click preview to see larger image):
daley_anthony_odonnell_mary_marriage.jpg
Anthony Daley and Mary O’Donnell had a family of at least seven children, with their eldest child, a daughter named Donalda,* born in Michigan, and the other children all born in Wisconsin. They seem to have moved from Michigan to Wisconsin, and then back to Michigan.
How many of Anthony Daley’s brothers also emigrated to the States? In the 1910 US federal census for Waucedah, Dickinson, Michigan (sheet no. 2, family no. 22) Anthony (now Andrew) Daly and wife Mary can be found with six children (Denalda, Gerald, Vivien, Wayne, Anthony, and Debbe [listed here as a son, but possibly daughter Kathleen B.?), and with Anthony/Andrew’s widowed brother James, widower of Mary McHugh, listed as a “Retired Farmer.” Brother Dominic Daley may have ended up in Missoula, Montana. And brother Christopher Daley may have also emigrated to Michigan to marry an Ellen. In the 1880 US federal census for the township of Fraser, Bay County, Michigan, three brothers Christopher, Thomas and Patrick Daly, all born Canada and the dates seem to fit, are found working as Laborers in a lumber camp.
*One of my high school teachers (grade 10, homeroom) was a nun named Sister Donalda. I recall thinking at the time (o callow youth!…) that Donalda was sort of a funny name for a female. In retrospect, I remember her as a truly kind person, if sometimes a little bit cranky, and as an excellent history teacher. Viewing the 1900 US federal census return for Anthony Daly and wife Mary, with children Denalda, Gerrald, and Vivian C. (Wisconsin, Brown, Green Bay Ward 6, sheet no. 12, family no. 224) is the second time ever I have come across the name Donalda.

Peter Doyle and Elizabeth Moran: Address

After posting about the “blended family” of Peter Doyle and Elizabeth Moran, I realized that I didn’t have a geographic address for this couple, beyond that of Drummond township, Lanark Co.

This bit of information was quickly and easily discovered, online and free of charge. Library and Archives Canada has a wonderful online database of (mostly nineteenth-century) city and county directories at Canadian Directories: Who Was Where. While the coverage seems a bit spotty, the Ottawa area, and the counties of eastern Ontario more broadly, are, luckily for my purposes,  well represented in this database, and I’ve found a number of geographic addresses at this site. 
Since Peter Doyle and wife Elizabeth Moran were farmers (in the province of Ontario), I wasn’t looking for a street name and street number, but rather for the lot number of a numbered, or numerically labelled (with a Roman numeral), concession in a township.

Benjamin Finner and Mary Mantle

Continuing with the theme of English people who emigrated to Canada and joined an Irish parish (a theme I will quickly exhaust, as I only have a handful of examples), Benjamin Finner (or Fenner) was born in England about 1796. He must have been in the Bytown area fairly early on, as he was a soldier with the 37th Regiment of Foot. His wife Mary Mantle was also an early Bytown area pioneer: born in Rathcormac, Co. Cork about 1808,* she emigrated with her parents John Mantle and Ellen Horgan/Hourigan in 1823as part of the Peter Robinson settlement.

Benjamin Finner, a Protestant, married Mary Mantle, a Catholic, about 1827 or 1828. Their children were all baptized RC, and on 23 August 1838 (St. Philip’s, Richmond), Benjamin Finner was also baptized RC (with his brother-in-law James Mantle and James’s wife Margaret O’Brien serving as sponsors):
finner_benjamin_baptism_aug1838_richmond.jpg

Benjamin Finner can be found in the 1851 and 1861 census returns for Fitzroy township, Carleton Co., Ontario, where his birthplace is listed as England (his wife Mary’s birthplace is listed as Cork, Ireland in the 1851 census, and she died [1858] before the 1861 enumeration).

Peter Doyle and Elizabeth Moran

Here’s another “blended family” from the 1881 Canadian census:

Peter Doyle, with wife Elizabeth Moran (daughter of James Moran and Margaret Jamieson), and six children (transcription by ancestry.ca; with original image [LAC] here):

doyle_peter_1881census.jpg

When I first looked at this return, I mistakenly assumed that all six children were the offspring of Peter and Elizabeth. An all too common assumption which sometimes turns out to be utterly faulty, as already mentioned here. And when I found Elizabeth Moran in the 1871 census, still unmarried and still living with her family (her widowed mother Margaret Jamieson and her siblings Thomas and Henrietta Moran) in Huntley township, I suspected that I might have to look a bit further into the available sources. Of course, the recorded ages of the above children might be off by several years (for 19th-century census returns, you should probably be prepared to potentially add or subtract about five years or so from the recorded birth year), but still: I had to wonder about the apparent discrepancy.

Sophia Scissons, “Irish”

In addition to birthplace and religion, one of the most genealogically useful bits of information that the Canadian census might povide is that of the ethnic origin (“Origin” in 1871 and 1881; “Racial or tribal origin” in 1901 and 1911) of an ancestor.* As with all census categories, however, the data recorded on the census form is only as accurate as the information that was given to, and understood by, the enumerator.

I’ve noticed a tendency in some circles to emphasize that “the records can lie,” and that people “sometimes [or often] lied.” And in some cases, well, sure. But for most instances of inaccurate information, I really think that “lie” is rather too strong a term to use. Most errors were due to faulty assumptions and genuine misunderstandings rather than to outright falsehoods, I’m pretty sure.
Let’s say that an enumerator was visiting an orphanage that was associated with an Irish Catholic parish (St. Patrick’s Church, now Basilica, on Kent St. in Ottawa), that was founded in 1865 as “a House of Refuge for the Irish poor,” that was staffed by nuns (of the Grey Sisters of the Cross) of mostly Irish origin, and that was overwhelmingly Irish Catholic in terms of the ethno-religious background of its “inmates”… and if that enumerator listed an elderly Englishwoman as Irish in origin and assigned to her the birthplace of Ireland rather than England, well, I guess I’m more than willing to believe that this was an honest mistake on his part.

Blended Families

When I first read the Perth Courier’s obituary (January 1941) for my great-grandmother Catherine McCarthy (Mrs. Arthur McGlade), I was puzzled to read that she was survived by, amongst other people, a sister named Miss Mary Mahoney. Miss (as in, never married) Mahoney? But shouldn’t that be Miss Mary McCarthy?

Well, no, not necessarily. Not if Miss Mary Mahoney was a half-sister of Catherine McCarthy, with a father named Mahoney who had previously been married to Catherine McCarthy’s mother Anne McDonald (or possibly McDonnell). Simplest explanation in the world, and of course it should have immediately occurred to me. But I was so focused on the surnames McCarthy and McGlade, that it actually took a bit of digging to make sense of it all.
The “blended family” is nothing new, of course. Back in the day when a woman dying in childbirth was no rare or unusual occurrence, and when a man in the prime of life, and seemingly hale and hearty the last time his neighbours ever saw him alive, might be carried off by influenza within the course of week, remarriage was quite common, and households containing children from a previous marriage were therefore quite commonplace. If you were a widow or a widower with a parcel of young children to be fed and watered, your best bet was probably to find yourself a new spouse: a new husband to bring home the bread, or a new wife to bake it. And the possibility of a remarriage is something to keep in mind when you’re looking through the 19th-century census returns: don’t assume that all of the children in a household are the children of the enumerated married couple of that household.
When Eugene McCarthy married Ann McDonald (21 March 1872), he was the widower of Catherine Trainor, with whom he had five known children (with one of them, Charles, presumably dying in infancy). And when Ann McDonald married Eugene McCarthy (21 March 1872), she was the widow of David Mahoney, with whom she had three known children, all of them daughters. Here is their blended family household from the 1881 Canadian census (transcription by ancestry.ca, with original image [LAC] here):
mccarthy_eugene_household_1881census.jpg
The above household contained children from three separate marriages:
1. Eugene McCarthy and Catherine Trainor (Jeremiah, James, Mary, and John McCarthy);
2. David Mahoney and Ann McDonald (Mary J., Abigail, and Annie Mahoney);
3. Eugene MCarthy and Ann McDonald (Ellen and Catherine McCarthy)
Abigail (Catherine Abigail, nickname “Abby”) Mahoney is mentioned in Catherine McCarthy’s (Mrs. Arthur McGlade’s) obituary as “Mrs B. Dignan,”  which again, was initially a bit mystifying to me. She married Bartholomew, son of James Dignan and Catherine Cahill, whose nickname in combination with his surname (“Bartley Dignan”) is perhaps my favourite name ever to be found in my family tree, though with the duo of Mickey and Maisie Moran running a close second (when John Levi [Leavy] “Mickey” Moran married Mary Katherine “Maisie” Dunn, to become Mickey and Maisie Moran, that couple should have put on a Broadway show or something, their paired names had such a lovely alliteration).