M.C. Moran

Diphtheria Deaths in Huntley: 21-27 April 1883

Browsing through 19th-century death records reminds me of why I support universal childhood immunization. From one page of the Ontario civil registration of deaths for Huntley township, Carleton Co.:

6 deaths, all of them children; one from scarlet fever, five from diphtheria:

  • David Henry Harmer, Laborer, died 7 April 1883, at age 3 years. Cause of death: Scarlet fever, duration of illness 2 weeks.
  • Eliza Teevans, Blacksmith’s daughter, died 21 April 1883, at age 3 years and 6 months. Cause of death: Diphtheria, duration of illness 3 days.
  • Mary Ann Teevans, Blacksmith’s daughter, died 23 April 1883, at age 4 years and 2 months. Cause of death: Diphtheria, duration of illness 4 days.
  • Albert Alonson Barrows, Farmer, died 26 April 1883, at age 3 years and 11 months. Cause of death: Diphtheria, duration of illness 8 days.
  • Daniel Teevans, Blacksmith’s son, died 26 April 1883, at age 6 years. Cause of death: Diphtheria, duration of illness 2 days.
  • Sarah Rebecca Barrows, Farmer’s daughter, died 27 April 1883, at age 5 years and 7 months. Cause of death: Diphtheria, duration of illness 7 days.
(Click thumbnail to view larger image [database, Ancestry.ca, http://www.ancestry.ca, accessed 6 Feb 2011, Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1936 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947]):
diptheriadeathshuntley1883.jpg
The three blacksmiths’ children listed above were very probably the son and daughters of Patrick Teevens and Mary Lowman. This couple lost another child a couple of weeks later, when Francis John Teevans, Blacksmith’s son, died 8 May 1883, at the age of 2 years. Cause of death: Diphtheria, duration of illness 6 days.

Michael James McGlade (1856-1897)

Headstone for Michael James McGlade, son of John McGlade and Bridget Dunne. He died in a horrible head-on collision railway accident near Topeka, Kansas, and was buried at St. John the Baptist RC Cemetery in Perth, Lanark Co., Ontario:

mcglade_michael_james1897.jpg
From the Perth Courier (10 September 1897), a notice of his death:
mcglade_michael_perthcourier_10sept1897.jpg
And from the Perth Courier (17 September 1897), a notice of his burial:
mcglade_michael_perthcourier_17sept1897.jpg
Note the mention of the American lawyer (“a lawyer named Dolpin”) who accompanied his remains. This would have been big news in the town of Perth, and no doubt expectations ran high for some sort of legal settlement against the railway.
Apparently these expectations were dashed. There’s a story here about a failed lawsuit against the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. I don’t yet have all the details, but the case (Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry. Co. v. Ryan) made it into several compilations of late-19th and early 20th-century railroad cases, including, for example, American and English Railroad Cases, ed. Thomas Mitchie, Vol XXI (1901), which I discovered through Google Books.

The Iceman Cometh

My great-grandfather John James Lahey, teamster for the Kingsbury Ice Company. 

Son of John Lahey and Margaret Jane Killeen; and husband of Bridget Loreto Killeen (daughter of Patrick Killeen and Bridget Galligan). With four of his five daughters. From left to right: my grandmother Mary Catherine Lahey, and her sisters Margaret Hilda, Mary Laura, and Evelyn Agnes. Photograph taken in the early 1920s, on St. Francis Street in Ottawa.
lahey_johnjames_anddaughters.jpg

Canadian Census: (A Few) Religious Designations/Abbreviations

One of the most useful bits of information that the Canadian census can supply is that of the religious affiliation of your ancestor(s). This is worth knowing not only as an interesting and sociologically significant detail about the life of your ancestor, but also as a guide to further sources (church records, cemetery records, and so on).
However, you may come across an entry in the Religion column of the Canadian census that doesn’t immediately make sense to you, perhaps because the enumerator used an abbreviation that is no longer in common use, or perhaps because he used his own version of a shorthand designation.
For example, you may come across an ancestor, let’s say born in Upper Canada of Scottish origin, whose religion is listed as FC. What does that FC mean? The FC stands for Free Church, or Presbyterian. Or it may be FK, for Free Kirk (Scottish for Church, also Presbyterian). Or perhaps you’ll find an ancestor, born in Ireland and therefore of Irish origin, with religion listed as English. That English refers to the Church of England, which means that your ancestor was enumerated as an Anglican. Or maybe your ancestor was born in Ontario of Irish origin, with religion listed as C. Rome. C. Rome stands for Church of Rome, or Roman Catholic. 
Library and Archives Canada has a very brief list of religious abbreviations here. The Ontario GenWeb Census Project has a more extensive list of religion codes here.
Here are a few of the abbreviations/designations that I’ve come across for Catholic, Anglican, and Presbyterian:
Roman Catholic:
Catholic
R. Cath.
Catholique
RC
Church of Rome
CR [for Church of Rome]
Papist (actually, I don’t think I’ve seen this in the census, but I’ve certainly seen it in a couple of Ontario civil records).
Anglican:
Church of England
C of E
CE
English
England
Anglais
Presbyterian:
Church of Scotland
Free Church
FC
Free Kirk
FK
Scotland
Scottish

Details, Details (Cause of Death Uncovered, or at least Strongly Inferred)

Like most people who get hooked on genealogy, I’m attracted to the detective work aspect of the enterprise. A clue here; a detail there; another hint here, which, combined with a few previously discovered clues and details, finally provides a solid lead; and then: bingo! a nice little nugget of documented and verifiable information, which may then serve as a clue for some other discovery; and on (and on!) it goes.

It’s very easy to overlook a relevant detail, though.

Alias = Otherwise

If you come across a female ancestor described as “[Surname] alias [Surname]” in the parish register, you should certainly not assume that your great-grandmother led a double life, or had some sort of involvement with the cloak-and-dagger world of international espionage. While we now tend to think of an “alias” as a false name assumed for dubious, if not criminal, purposes, within the context of the parish register, it meant nothing so exciting or intriguing as that. It just meant “otherwise,” or “otherwise called/otherwise known as,” and was a way of recording a woman’s name with reference to both her family/maiden and her married surnames.
From the parish register for St. Michael’s, Corkery (Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario), the burial record for Margaret Jamieson, widow of James Moran, listed here as Margarette Jameson alias Moran. She died 12 July 1882 (her Ontario civil death record lists the cause of death as “Weakness”), and was buried at St. Michael’s RC Cemetery at Corkery, Huntley township on 14 July 1882, with her sons Thomas and Alexander Moran serving as burial witnesses:

jameson_margaret_burial_stmichaelscorkery_1882.jpg

The inverse of “[Family or Maiden Name] alias [Married Name]” is of course “[Married Name] née [Family or Maiden Name]” (which in the above case would be Moran née [born as] Jameson), which is the formulation that you will probably most often see.

Catholics in Arnprior: Which Registers to Search?

Searching the early Roman Catholic parish registers for your Ottawa Valley ancestors can be a bit confusing, at least until you get a sense of the lay of the land. Basically, if you want to find all relevant baptismal and marriage records for your family, you’re almost certainly going to have to search more than one register, and probably at least a few.
Before the formation of regular, local parishes, many Catholics in the Ottawa Valley were served by travelling missionary priests, who made periodic visits to a given village or township to perform baptisms, marriages, and less frequently, burials, and who then recorded the performance of these sacraments in any number of possible parish registers, sometimes many miles away from an ancestor’s address.

Spelling Doesn’t Count! (in Genealogy)

Most of the complaints that I hear from others involve relatives that dispute dates and spellings of names–the latter being a BIGGIE. I still have difficultly convincing new family researchers themselves to accept the fact that their ancestors’ names were spelled many ways. It can be impossible to convince relatives, especially those who have never gone bleary-eyed reading old Irish baptismal records on microfilm, that, no, the family did NOT always spell Kavanagh with a “K” instead of a “C.” 



No family feuds (and I hope no hurt feelings) to report here, but certainly the issue of surname spellings is sometimes an issue.

And it’s not surprising, really, that so many people are wedded to a notion of the one “correct” (and historically immutable) spelling of one’s surname, given how important surname spelling is today. If the clerk at the DMV misspells your name, for example, and you end up with a driver’s license with just one vowel or consonant different from your officially registered name (as found on your birth certificate, say, or perhaps on your passport), that’s going to bother you, right? Well, it would certainly bother me, and I would spend time and money to have that error corrected. A variant surname spelling on a document related to your contributions to the Canada Pension Plan? Yeah, you’d definitely want to look into that, and correct that misspelling just to be safe.

Bridget O’Hanlon = Sister of Ann O’Hanlon Vallely?

On 15 November 1841, in the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours at Montebello, Papineau Co., Québec, Thomas McTeague married Bridget O’Hanlon. The names of the couple and of their parents were written as follows (with my translation/interpretation in italics):


Thomas McTeague, fils majeur de Joseph McTeague et de Brigitte Scerloc, du Township de Grenville, d’une part; et Brigitte O’honlon domiciliée en Grenville, fille majeure de Pierre O’honlon et de Marie Thooner, domiciliés en Irlande, d’autre part…[Thomas McTeague, son of age of Joseph McTeague and of Bridget Sherlock, of the Township of Grenville, on the one part; and Bridget O'Hanlon, residing at Grenville, daughter of age of Peter O'Hanlon and of Mary (Toner?) who reside in Ireland, on the other part]*

The witnesses to this marriage were Charles Major (who signed the register), George Vallillee (who did not sign), and Owen McTeague (who signed).

The reason why the above-cited record interests me is that George Vallillee/Vallely is my 3x great-grandfather, and his first wife Anne O’Hanlon my 3x great-grandmother. Did he witness this marriage as a brother-in-law of Bridget O’Hanlon?

And where did Thomas McTeague and Bridget O’Hanlon eventually settle? A quick search of the 1851 Canadian census turns up a number of McTeagues in Grenville (Deux Montagnes County, Canada East), but no sign of Thomas and wife Bridget O’Hanlon.

*Montebello (Co. Papineau, Québec), Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1840-1851, M. 5 (1841), McTeague et O’honlon, p. 23, Ancestry.ca (http://ancestry.ca/: accessed 12 Dec 2010), Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967.