Census Records

1842 Upper Canada Census Online

Via John Reid’s Anglo-Celtic Connections, the 1842 Upper Canada Census (or some [most?] of what survives, at any rate) is now online (and free of charge!) at FamilySearch.org.

Not that I’m complaining, because online access (and free of charge, at that) is obviously quite wonderful, but: I suspect the indexing of names1 for this database has some glitches.2 For example, my search of this database for “James Moran” turned up nothing. And when I then tried “James Morin,” I also got nothing. Well, then, how about “Jas. Moran”? Nope, nothing. And “Jas. Morin”? Er, sorry, no, but still nothing.

I knew that James Moran could be found in this census, because I have the published transcription (published by the Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society: 2000) of the 1842 census, Canada West, Carleton County (ed. J. M. Robinson).

  1. And note that it is only the (mostly male) heads of households who were identified by name in the 1842 Upper Canada census.
  2. These glitches are no doubt related to: illegible handwriting; unexpected name abbreviations; and strange surname variations.

Patrick Galligan/Gallaghan: Three Records of Death/Burial

I have not yet found an RC burial record for Patrick Galligan/Gallaghan, who was born about 1807 in Co. Cavan (probably parish of Kilmore), Ireland, and who emigrated to Canada about 1843. I have checked a number of Roman Catholic parish registers (e.g., St. Michael’s, Corkery; St. Michael’s, Fitzroy Harbour; St. Peter Celestine, Pakenham), but so far, no burial record. It may be that I am overlooking something obvious; it may be that I am overlooking something obscure. Or perhaps his burial was recorded and the record was subsequently lost, misplaced, or destroyed. Or perhaps his burial was never recorded in a parish register at all.

In any case, despite the lack of a church burial record, I do have three different records of the death or burial of Patrick Galligan:

Elizabeth Bowles: Home Child

Found in the household of Richard Tovey and his wife Catherine Gorman1 in the 1891 census of Bathurst township (Lanark South, Ontario):

Elizabeth Boles, female, age 9, dom [domestic], born England, father born England, mother born England, religion RC [Roman Catholic]

 

Richard Tovey household, 1891 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lanark South, Bathurst, family no. 10, p. 2, lines 21-25, and p. 3, lines 1-2.

Richard Tovey household, 1891 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lanark South, Bathurst, family no. 10, p. 2, lines 21-25, and p. 3, lines 1-2.

This 9-year old girl is very likely the Elizabeth Bowles, listed as age 7 in 1889, who travelled under the auspices of the Catholic Children Protective Society, arriving at Quebec (from Liverpool) on 10 June 1889, with “Kingston via GTR [Grand Trunk Railway]” the final destination for a party of 62 children under the charge of Mrs. Lacy.

Also in the household of Richard Tovey in 1891 (in addition to his wife Catherine and 5-year old son Thomas, that is) are his widowed mother-in-law Mary Gorman, his brother John Tovey, and another domestic servant by the name of Katie Martin (age 15, born Ireland, both parents born Ireland). Was Katie Martin also a Home Child?

  1. Catherine Gorman was Richard Tovey’s second wife. His first wife, who died in 1883 at the age of 37, was a Frances Ann McCann (daughter of Laurence McCann and Ann O’Reilly), who appears to be connected to my McGlade-Dunne ancestors, though I have yet to figure out the connection.

Death of Thomas Benton …

… And Dispersal of his Household of Five Daughters

When Thomas Benton died in Arnprior (Renfrew Co., Ontario) on 7 March 1890, he left behind one son and seven daughters.

His wife Hanora (“Annie”) Ryan had died over a decade earlier (28 January 1879), apparently of “inflammation of the bowels.”1 And three of the children of Thomas Benton and Annie Ryan had already married and set up their own households by the time of their father’s death:

That left five Benton daughters still at home when their father suffered a dreadful, and fatal, accident…

Thomas Benton Jr. was in Duluth, Minnesota with his wife Maggie Mulvihill (daughter of Michael Mulvihill and Bridget Cronin). 2
Catherine Benton, who had married John Finnerty (son of Peter Finnerty and Anne Havey) in 1875, was still in Arnprior, though she and her family would move to Cloquet, Carlton Co., Minnesota in 1892. And Bridget Benton, who had married James Finnerty (another son of Peter Finnerty and Anne Havey) in 1888, was also in Arnprior, with her husband and the eldest two of their eleven known children.

That left five Benton daughters still at home when their father suffered a dreadful, and fatal, accident.

  1. Dysentery?  appendicits? colitis? enteritis? The cause of death might have been any of these, or perhaps something else entirely.
  2. Although Thomas Benton Jr. had emigrated to Minnesota in 1883, he had at least briefly returned to Arnprior in the late 1880s, where he married Margaret (“Maggie”) Mulvihill. In the record of their marriage, St. John Chrysostom, Arnprior, 13 September 1888, he is described as “Thomas Benton of Duluth, hotel keeper.”

Lizzie Dickens (Dickinson?): Home Child

Found in the household of James Quinn and his wife Mary Ann Vallely in the 1891 census of Lanark (Lanark North, Ontario, p. 33, family no. 140):

Dickens, Lizzie, female, age 14, Orphan, Country of Birth Eng [England]

James Quinn household, 1891 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lanark North, Lanark, p. 33, lines 1-9.

Note the proximity of household 140 (above) of Lanark (Lanark North, Ontario) to household 144 (household of Michael Vallely) of Lanark (Lanark North, Ontario); and also note the family connection: Mary A. [Ann] Quinn of 140 was the daughter of Michael Vallely of 144. And in 1891, both households had an “Orphan” born in England (a Home Child, in other words), each with a very similar surname: William Dickison in the household of Michael Vallely, and Lizzie Dickens in the household of James Quinn and Mary Ann Vallely.

There was an Elizabeth Dickinson, listed as age 11 in 1887, who travelled under the auspices of the Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society, arriving at Quebec on 5 September 1887, with Hotel Dieu, Kingston, Ontario as the final destination for a party of 96 children under the charge of Mrs. Margaret Lacy. Was Elizabeth Dickinson a younger sibling of the William Dickinson who came to Canada on the same voyage, and as a member of the same party?

And was the Elizabeth Dickinson who travelled with the Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society in August 1887 the same “Lizzie Dickens” who is found in household 140 (household of James Quinn and Mary Ann Vallely) of the 1891 Lanark (Lanark Co., Ontario) census?

 

William Dickison (Dickinson?): Home Child

Found in the household of the widowed Michael Vallely in the 1891 census of Lanark (Ontario, Lanark North, p. 34, family no. 144):

Dickison, Wm [William], male, age 16, Orphan, Country of Birth Eng [England]

Michael Valley [Vallely] household, 1891 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lanark North, Lanark, p. 34, lines 4-7.

William Dickison’s religion is listed here as R.C. (Roman Catholic) — a potentially significant clue as to his parentage and origins, or, perhaps, a mistaken assumption on the part of the census enumerator. As I’ve noted before, the recorded religious affiliation of a Home Child must be interpreted with caution:  sometimes the census enumerator assigned the religion of the household head to an “orphaned” or “adopted” child who had been baptized/raised in another denomination.

That said, there was a William Dickinson, listed as age 12 in 1887, who travelled under the auspices of the Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society, arriving at Quebec on 5 September 1887, with Hotel Dieu, Kingston, Ontario as the final destination for a party of 96 children under the charge of Mrs. Margaret Lacy.

In the 1901 census of Drummond township (Ontario, Lanark South, p. 8.) William Dickinson is the head and sole member of household no. 77.  His date of birth is recorded as 7 April 1875, with country of birth listed as England and year of immigration as 1887. His “Racial or Tribal Origin” is English, and his religion is R. Cath (Roman Catholic). Occupation: Laborer.

French, Irish, French, French, Irish … “Racial or Tribal Origin” in the 1901 Canadian Census

Here is the household of Francis (“Frank”) Charlebois in the 1901 Canadian census for Torbolton Township (Carleton Co., Ontario):

Francis Charlebois household, 1901 Census of Canada, Ontario, Carleton County, Torbolton, p. 13, lines 30-34.

The members of the above household, with their “Racial or Tribal Origin” (as recorded under column 14), are as follows:

3. Name4. Sex5. Colour6. Relationship to Head of Family or Household7. Single, Married, Widowed or Divorced 8. Month and Date of Birth9. Year of Birth10. Age at Last Birthday11. Country or Place of Birth14. Racial or Tribal Origin
Charlebois, FrancisM [Male]W [White]HeadM [Married]Mar 9186239Ont r [Ontario rural]French
Charlebois, Mary Af [Female]WWifeMAug 15187526Ont rIrish
Charlebois, Erson AMWSonS [Single]Feb 1718974Ont rFrench
Charlebois, John BMWSonSNov 2019004/12 [4 months]Ont rFrench
Charlebois, MargretfWMotherW [Widowed]May 7183368Ont rIrish

Btw, all of the above are listed as Canadian in Nationality (Column 15) and as R. Cath (Roman Catholic) in Religion (Column 16).

Note that while the three males here are all listed as French, and the two females as Irish, the difference is not a simple function of gender (though it is gender-based: more on this below). If Francis Charlebois and his wife Mary Ann Kennedy had had a daughter in 1901 (and they later had at least three daughters: Mary Rita; Mary Elizabeth Josephine; and Sarah Monica), that daughter would have been listed in the 1901 census not as Irish but as French.

The Queen vs. Kelly: Part V

Continued from The Queen vs Kelly: Part IV (see also Part III, Part II, and Part I).

What Happened to John Kelly and Mary Hourigan?

When I wrote Part I of “The Queen vs. Kelly,” I had no idea what had happened to John Kelly after his release from the Dominion Penitentiary in May 1842. Nor did I have any expectation of finding him, once I had determined that he did not return to March township.

According to family lore, he had “gone to the States,” which certainly didn’t sound too promising. The States covers a vast territory, of course, and with a common surname like Kelly, and the even commoner forenames of John, Mary (his wife) and Ann (his daughter), searching for this family seemed like looking for a needle in a haystack. I did do a search of the 19th-century US federal census returns, but (not surprisingly, as it turns out) came up with nothing.1

It was while searching for another record (unrelated to the Kellys and the Hourigans, as a matter of fact) in the parish register for the Mission at Mattawa that I happened upon the burial record for Mary Hourigan, who was buried as  “Mary Horrigan, Dame John Kelly:”

Burial record for Mary Hourigan, widow of John Kelly.

  1. If the Kellys had gone to the United States, by the way, their daughter Ann’s Canadian birthplace would have been the best bet for identifying them in the US federal census. Since both John Kelly and his wife Mary Hourigan were born in Ireland, they would have been listed in the US census as John and Mary Kelly, born in Ireland and now living in America, but with no indication of a decade or two spent in Canada. Their daughter Ann’s birthplace, on the other hand, if accurately listed (and there are many such ifs when it comes to census data) would have been recorded as Canada. I have found other Ireland-to-Canada-to-America families in the US census by searching for children born in Canada.

Census Returns: Access versus Privacy (with Poll)

Of course, I’d love to see full details, with all personally identifying information, for every Canadian census ever taken, up to and including the day before yesterday. But: I also realize there are genuine privacy concerns relating to the public release of personally identifying information.

The fact is, you can learn a lot from the recorded facts of the census, if you pay attention to the details. “Illegitimate” births; unofficial (and perhaps unacknowledged in the adoptee’s lifetime) adoptions (including, e.g., British Home Children whose birth names were erased/subsumed under the surnames of their adopters, or, perhaps, employers); “widows” who were not actually widowed; bigamy … look, I don’t mean to suggest that the census is just a big scandal sheet in tabular form, but I’ve seen examples of all of the situations just mentioned, and more, in currently publicly available Canadian census returns.

About a month and a half ago, when the US federal census of 1940 was first released, people were posting pages from the 1940 on facebook: ‘Here’s my grandmother in Detroit, Michigan!'; ‘Hey, Dad! Here you are, just five years old!’ Needless to say, I felt a pang of, well, envy, I suppose: under current rules and regulations, it won’t be until 2033 that we see the public release of the 1941 Canadian census, after all, and even the release of the 1921 Canadian census is a year away. At the same time, though, I couldn’t help thinking that 1940 is awfully recent (in historical terms, it is almost the day before yesterday): still well within living memory, and, indeed, a date that many people now living have actually lived through.

On the other hand, I have very little patience with the idea that the census returns should be destroyed just as soon as the data has been extracted and compiled into socio-economic profiles of the aggregate. I want to see the details; I think we should all have access to the details, once a certain amount of time (72 years? 92 years?) has elapsed. My perspective here has admittedly been coloured by the loss of the 19th-century Irish census (which, sob! I’m still not over…): a great loss not only to Irish genealogy and family history, but also to Irish social history and demography (but see Fiona Fitzsimons on Griffith’s Valuation as a census substitute).

Is the American 72-year rule too lax? is Canada’s 92-year rule too strict? What is a reasonable middle ground between access and privacy?

UPDATE (7 June 2013): Poll removed due to technical issues (basically, the poll plugin was slowing down the site).

Irish (also English and Scottish) Origins, Canadian Sources: William Pigott’s enumeration of Fitzroy township (1851)

Here are my Moran ancestors in the 1851 census of Huntley township, Carleton County, Ontario (Canada West):

James Morin household, 1851 census of Canada West (Ontario), Carleton County, Huntley, p. 85, lines 44-50.

James Moran (here Morin), Farmer, born Ireland, religion R. [Roman] Catholic, age 54 at next birthday; with wife Margaret [Jamieson], also born Ireland; and children Thos [Thomas], James,1 Mary, Margaret and Alexander (my 2x great-grandfather, who married Mary Ann Leavy), all born Upper Canada.

Place of birth “Ireland” (no Irish county specified) for Irish emigrants to Canada is pretty much the standard for the 1851 (and 1861, 1871, and so on) Canadian census enumeration.

  1. James Moran, son of James and Margaret Jamieson, had recently died, at the age of 27. His death is listed under column 30 (Deaths during year 1851), with cause of death recorded as “collara” (cholera).