Census Records

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).

Who was Thomas Lanctot?

Also: Margaret Devine and Thomas William Sullivan, Home Children

Thomas Lanctot [here spelled Langtoe] is found in the household of Thomas Burke and Mary Ann Lahey in the 1901 Canadian census (Ontario, Carleton, March, p. 2, family no. 15). He is listed as “Adopted,” with racial/tribal origin French, and birthplace “O u” (Ontario urban, as distinct from “O r,” Ontario rural). His age is given as 15, with year of birth 1885 and day and month of birth unknown.

Thomas Burke household, 1901 census of Canada, Ontario, Carleton (district 52), March Township (subdistrict C-1), p. 2, family 15.

Confirmation of Thomas Lanctot, 14 June 1900.

About a year earlier, on 14 June 1900, Thomas Lanctot had made his Confirmation at St. Isidore (South March), with his age given as 14 and his parents listed as “Thomas Burke, Adopter” and “Mary Ann Lahey, Adoptress” (Click thumbnail preview [right] to see larger image). Also confirmed at St. Isidore on 14 June 1900 was Margaret Devine, age 11, whose parents were also listed as “Thomas Burke, Adopter” and “Mary Ann Lahey, Adoptress.”1

Margaret Devine is also listed as an “Adopted” child in the 1901 houshold of Thomas Burke and Mary Ann Lahey (see census image above): Margaret Devine [here Devin], born Ireland 12 July 1886, year of immigration to Canada 1897.

  1. Register of Confirmations, 1888-1909, St. Isidore, South March, Carleton, FamilySearch.org (http://familysearch.org), Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923.

1 Household, 8 Inhabitants, 4 Surnames

One household, eight inhabitants, four surnames…That’s one surname for every two inhabitants, or “inmates” as they were called in the 1861 Canadian census,1 and not surprisingly, not atypically, all eight were related…

Here is the household of James Traynor/Treanor in the 1861 census of Kitley township, Co. Leeds, Ontario, Canada:2

The “UC” in the above, btw, stands for “Upper Canada” (for Place of Birth); and the “RC” (for Religion) for “Roman Catholic.” And the inhabitants/inmates listed above are as follows:

  • James Traynor, son of Peter Traynor and Catherine McGinnis/Maginnis
  • Mary [Murphy] [Donovan] Traynor, daughter of James Murphy and Catherine Hardin, widow of Lawrence Donovan, and wife of James Traynor
  • Catherine [Traynor] McCarthy, daughter of James Traynor and Mary Murphy, and wife of Eugene McCarthy
  • Bridget Traynor, daughter of James Traynor and Mary Murphy (later married John Carroll)
  • Ellen [Traynor] Carey, daughter of James Traynor and Mary Murphy, and wife of John Carey
  • Mary Traynor, daughter of James Traynor and Mary Murphy
  • James Traynor, son of James Traynor and Mary Murphy (later married Catherine Jordan)
  • Mary Donovan, aka “Little Mary,” daughter of Patrick Donovan and Margaret McGinnis, and granddaughter of Mary [Murphy] [Donovan] Traynor and of Lawrence Donovan (later married Daniel Fowler, whose brother John Fowler married Ellen McCarthy, daughter of the above-named Eugene McCarthy and his second wife Honora McDonald/McDonnell)
  1. Nowadays, “inmate” carries connotations of institutionalized confinement, most notably with reference to prisons, but in the nineteenth century, it just meant one of several dwellers in the same house or building.
  2. James Treanor household, 1861 census of Canada, Canada West (Ontario), County of Leeds, Kitley Township, p. 3, lines 7-14.

Translating French Records: Canadian Census Returns

Alex Moran household, 1901 census of Canada, Ontario, Ottawa City (district 100), St. George Ward (subdistrict E-3), p. 19, family 152.

Canadian census records might be recorded in English, in French, or in a combination of both languages.

Here’s an example of a French-English combination, from the 1901 census of Ottawa (see right; click thumbnail preview to enlarge). This is the household of Alexander Michael Moran, with his wife Anna Maria Benton; his sons Allan Jerome and Orville Alexander Moran; his sister Emma (Mary Emilia Moran) Lenahan; and his sister-in-law Margaret Anne Benton. The six members of this household were listed with a combination of English and French descriptors, some of which were as follows:

Name Relationship to
Household Head
Racial or Tribal
Origin
Mother Tongue
Alex Moran Chef [Head] Irish Anglais [English]
Anna Moran épouse [wife]
Allan Jerome Moran fils [son]
Alex Moran fils [son]
Emma Lannehan Dom [domestique/domestic] Anglais [English]
Maggie Benton Dom [domestique/domestic]

James Ingram: Home Child

Found in the household of John Killeen in the 1901 census of Torbolton township, Carleton County (Ontario, Carleton, Torbolton, pp. 12-13, family 98):

    James Ingram, male, white, Orphan, single, date of birth 15 Nov 1887, age 14, born England u [urban], racial or tribal origin Irish, nationality Canadian, religion R. Cath [Roman Catholic].

The information on James Ingram’s religion and racial/tribal origin may or may not be accurate: the head of this household, the widowed John Killeen (widower of Margaret Fahey, whose mother was  a Lahey), was accurately listed as a Roman Catholic of Irish origin; and the census enumerator then used ditto marks to indicate the origin and religion of all other members of the household (accurate for John Killeen’s children, daughter-in-law, and grandchild, certainly, but perhaps not for James Ingram).

In July 1900, a James Ingram, age 13, travelled from Liverpool to Québec with a party of children from the Barnardo Homes. Is this the same James Ingram as found above?

Who was Daniel Galligan (1821-1889)?

(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.

  1. 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.