Catholic Records

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.

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.

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.

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.


Patrick Kenny: Home Child

Found in the household of John Scissons and Hannah O’Malley in the 1891 census of March township, Carleton Co., Ontario:

Patrick Kenny, age 20, born about 1871 in England, father born England, mother born England, religion Roman Catholic, occupation Farm Labour.
This is very possibly the same Patrick Kenny who emigrated from England to Canada in 1886, at the age of 15, travelling from Liverpool to Québec with Ottawa as the destination.
It may also be the same Patrick Kenny who married Mary Moylan, daughter of John Moylan and Margaret Birmingham and widow of John Walsh, at St. Mary’s (Notre Dame du bon Conseil), Ottawa on 7 January 1919. The marriage records lists him as “Patrick Kenny, born in England, laborer, son of age (47) of John Kenny and Elisabeth Murray.” The Ontario civil registration of this marriage lists Patrick Kenny’s birthplace as Wolwich, England, and Maria [Moylan] Welch’s birthplace as South March, Ontario.

Hanorah Ryan’s Death Records

RC Burial Record and Ontario Civil Registration

If you’re looking for Catholic ancestors, the parish register, if available, will be a very important, and in many cases the most important, source of genealogical information.
Because the RC records typically supply maiden names (of the mother of an infant in the case of a baptism; of both the bride’s and the groom’s mothers in the case of a marriage; and of a married or widowed decedent in the case of a burial), it’s the Catholic parish register that will enable you to most easily and reliably reconstruct your family along both paternal and maternal lines. Moreover, the names of sponsors and witnesses (godparents, marriage witnesses and burial witnesses) can often help shed light on significant (but otherwise poorly document) familial connections. And for Irish Catholic ancestors in the Ottawa Valley area, the marriage records of first- and second-generation emigrants will occasionally supply the name of a county and perhaps even a parish in Ireland (and this even when the priest recording the information was not Irish but French Canadian).