FamilySearch’s new online database: Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923.
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?
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).
- 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. ↩
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:
When I first posted about Benjamin Clayton, I made reference to a military record (a WWI attestation paper) which I thought might belong to the Benjamin Clayton who is found in the household of Michael Moran (son of Francis Moran and Anne Galligan) in the 1911 census of Fitzroy township. Thanks to an email communication from one of Benjamin Clayton’s grandsons, I can now confirm that this was indeed the same person. He was born in Leeds, England on 16 September 1892; and he died at North Bay, Ontario, Canada on 1 February 1962.
In 1905, the orphaned Benjamin Clayton was sent to Canada (to St. George’s Home, in Hintonburg, Ottawa, one of the main receiving centres for Catholic Home Children from 1895 to 1930) with a party of boys from the Catholic Emigration Association.
The BBC reports on a demographic study based on the parish records of Charlevoix and Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean, Québec:
The towns not only boast dairy farms, charming villages and sandy beaches but some of the best ever-kept marriage records – comprising more than a million people.
As with baptismal and marriage records, RC burial records adhered to the same formula, whether written in English or French. If you know the English-language formula, you can easily figure out the French. (And often the hardest part, as I’ve mentioned before, is to decipher the priest’s handwriting).
The formula, more or less:
The [day of month of year], we the undersigned priest buried in the [name of cemetery] the body of [name of deceased] who died on [date of death] at the age of [age of deceased]. Were present [names of two witnesses].
Le [day of month of year], par nous prêtre soussigné a été inhumé[e] dans le [name of cemetery/cimitière] le corps de [name of deceased], décédé[e] [date of death] à l’age de [age of deceased]. Furent présents [names of two witnesses].
I hadn’t visited Irish Genealogy.ie in quite a while, and hadn’t realized until today that they had recently (recently? or perhaps over a year ago?) added more records from the RC parishes of the Diocese of Cork and Ross. I little expected to find any records from Muintervara (the Sheep’s Head Peninsula), a place so remote (and so beautiful) that to travel its narrow paths and roadways feels like driving through a set piece commissioned by the Irish Tourist Board (though the people who live there are very much real). Well, when it comes to the Irish records, my expectations are low. But Irish Genealogy.ie has exceeded my expectations.
A preliminary, partial and incomplete list of the priests who served the various 19th-century Ottawa Valley area Roman Catholic missions and parishes.
I will add more names, dates, and parishes as I come across (and/or organize) more information (which info. is mostly culled from the parish registers, but occasionally supplemented by listings found in directories such as the American Sadlier’s Catholic Directory, Almanac, and Clergy List Quarterly [which typically included information on Catholic dioceses in the British Provinces of North America, as well as in Britain and Ireland]).
Roman Catholic Priests of the Missions/Parishes of the 19th-Century Ottawa Valley:
|Fitzroy Harbour Mission
Carleton Co., Ontario
Dominic Joseph Lavin
Holy Name of Mary (St. Mary’s)
Lanark Co., Ontario
Carleton Co., Ontario
Carleton Co., Ontario
John A. Cadigan
John Andrew Sloan
Thomas John Brownrigg
|St. John Chrysostom
Arnprior, Renfrew Co., Ontario
|St. Michael’s, Corkery
Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario
|St. Patrick’s, Fallowfield,
Nepean township, Carleton Co.,
Edward John Joseph Stenson
John Andrew Sloan
(originally St. Andrew’s)
Ottawa, Carleton Co.,
|Aeneas McDonnell Dawson
John Joseph Collins
John Lalor O’Connor
Matthew J. Whelan
|St. Peter Celestine
Pakenham, Lanark Co.,
|1866-1903||Dominic Joseph Lavin|
|St. Philip’s, Richmond
Goulbourn, Carleton Co.,
(Or: who were the parents of John Galligan, husband of Ellen McGee?)
Daniel Galligan was born about 1821 in Co. Cavan, Ireland, the son of Daniel Galligan and Mary Walsh.1 I don’t know when he emigrated to Canada, but I haven’t found him in either the 1851 or the 1861 Canadian census returns. Presumably he arrived later than the Galligans of Fitzroy (some of whom later moved to Renfrew Co.), with whom he was obviously connected.
Once in Canada he worked as a tailor, and seems to have moved around a fair bit. Two records place him in Pontiac Co., Québec by 1871. In Lovell’s Province of Quebec Directory for 1871, there is a Galligan, Daniel, tailor listed in the village of Chapeau, Allumette Island. And in the 1871 census, Daniel Gallagan, Tailor (age 45, born Ireland) can be found in the household of a Matthew Kelly and his wife Roseann, at Allumette Island, Pontiac Co, Québec. By the 1881 census enumeratrion, he was in Faraday, Hastings Co., Ontario, where he was again listed as a tailor (age 60, born Ireland), and now apparently living alone.
Daniel Galligan died at Kingston (Frontenac Co., Ontario) on 23 July 1889, and was buried at Arnprior (Renfrew Co., Ontario) on 25 July 1889.
Witnesses to the burial were Michael Galligan and Thomas Daniel Galligan. Michael Galligan was the son of Denis Galligan and Anne Kelly. Thomas Daniel Galligan was the son of John Galligan and Ellen McGee, and a suspected grandson of Denis Galligan and Ann Kelly (unless he was the grandson of Daniel’s parents Daniel Galligan and Mary Walsh?). Not only did these Fitzroy (or Fitzroy-Renfrew) Galligans attend his burial, they also erected a headstone, which reads “In Memory of Daniel Galligan Died July 23 1889 AE. 68 Yrs.”
I have John Galligan (1826-1906) in my database as a son of Denis Galligan and Anne Kelly. However, my evidence for this relationship is indirect and circumstantial, and I haven’t yet found the document (e.g., the record of his marriage to Ellen McGee) that would resolve the question of his parentage. It’s possible that John was a brother of Daniel, and therefore a son of Daniel Galligan and Mary Walsh.
- The names of his parents are given in his burial record: St (John) Chrysostom (Arnprior, Renfrew Co., Ontario), Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1883-1893, p. 171, image 90 of 162, Daniel Galligan, S(épulture), database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca/: accessed 5 October 2011), Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967. ↩
I will do free lookups from the parish register for St. Michael’s, Corkery (1837-1968). This register was microfilmed by the Drouin Institute in 1968, and a digitized version is supposedly included in ancestry.ca’s “Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967″ database. But for some reason or reasons unknown to me, ancestry.ca has only the first couple of pages of the register for “Cockery” (i.e., Corkery).