Occupation: Married Woman (Canada Voters Lists, 1935-1980)

During the 1930s Alex and Annie operated a small grocery shop in their home on Armstrong St. In the depths of the depression my father, who was a railroader, got very little work and we were often short of cash. At those times our credit was good and we could always get the essentials at the Morans. There were lots of card games and visits to and fro. Uncle Alex was also a fiddle player and he and Aunt Em Delaney played for dancing and entertainment.

— Emmett Patrick Sloan, Memories of the Morans (2007) has an extremely useful database of voters lists: “Canada, Voters Lists, 1935-1980.” These lists can be used as a census substitute of sorts, although of course they only include adult citizens (age 21 and over until 1970, at which point the voting age was lowered to 18). They can help to discover and/or verify addresses, and they may also provide some useful information on occupations.

But as with the Canadian census (and the US federal census, for that matter, and the UK census too), these voters lists tend to erase evidence of occupation for married women. Well, perhaps “erase” is too strong a term? it suggests an act of commission, when what we are dealing with, arguably, is an act of omission.

My great-grandparents Alex (Alexander Michael) and Annie (Anna Maria Benton) Moran had a grocery store, a small “mom-and-pop” operation at the front of their  house on Armstrong St. Here they are in the 1935 List of Electors (Victoria Ward, City of Ottawa), with my grandparents Allan Jerome Moran and Mary Catherine Lahey (here listed as Mrs Allan [W] [= Wife], married woman) listed just below:

Alexander Moran, Carleton, Ontario, 1935. database online. Original: Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Voters Lists, Federal Elections, 1935-1980; Reel: M-4739.

Notice how Alex and Annie’s “mom-and-pop” operation has become a “pop” operation in this document: Moran, Alexander is listed as a “grocery store proprietor,” while his wife Annie (Mrs Alexander, [W] [= Wife]) is given the occupational designation of “married woman.”

Red are brick, blue are stone: Goad’s Insurance Plan of Ottawa

Goad’s Insurance Plan of Ottawa, Sheet No. 421

My paternal grandmother Mary Catherine Lahey was probably born at 308 Gloucester Street in Ottawa. Or, if she was not actually born at 308 Gloucester, certainly she lived at this address from her infancy into the second decade of her life.

Inset from Sheet 42, Goad’s Insurance Plan of Ottawa

And as Goad’s Insurance Plan of the City of Ottawa makes clear (click thumbnail preview, left, to see larger image), she grew up almost in the backyard of St. Patrick’s (then a church, now a basilica), at the corner of Kent and Nepean Streets.

Now, in this particular instance, I didn’t need a map to tell me that my grandmother had lived near St. Pat’s: having grown up in Ottawa, and having attended Mass at St. Patrick’s many times as a kid,2 I already knew that Gloucester between Kent and Lyon was very close to the corner of Kent and Nepean. But the fire insurance map provides a striking visual representation of the proximity of her wooden frame house at 308 Gloucester to the stone church at 281 Nepean.

  1. Insurance plan of the city of Ottawa, Canada, and adjoining suburbs and lumber districts, January 1888, revised January 1901 (Chas. E. Goad: Toronto; Montreal: 1901).
  2. St. Patrick’s was not our parish, but my father liked to take us there from time to time when we were kids.

Where did my great-grandparents meet?

Here is my great-grandmother Anna (“Annie”) Maria Benton in the Ottawa city directory of 1895-6:1

Annie Benton

Miss Annie Benton, dressmaker, lodger at 103 Cambridge St.

  1. The Ottawa city Directory, 1895-6: embracing an alphabetical list of all business firms and private citizens, a classified business directory and a miscellaneous directory, containing a large amount of valuable information : also a complete street guide, to which is added an alphabetical and street directory of Hull, Que., . (Might Directory Co. of Toronto: 1895), online at

Who Baptized/Married/Buried Your RC Ancestors?

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:
Mission/Parish Dates Priests
Fitzroy Harbour Mission
Carleton Co., Ontario
Bernard McFeely
G. Bertrand
Dominic Joseph Lavin
P. Corkery
Holy Name of Mary (St. Mary’s)
Lanark Co., Ontario
Notre Dame
Carleton Co., Ontario
Patrick Haran
H. Paisley
Angus McDonnell
M. Lalor
J. Cullen
John O’Meara
John McConnell
W. Cannon
Patrick Phelan
Adrien Telmon
Damase Dandurand
Michael Molloy
Damase Danderand
St. Isidore
South March
Carleton Co., Ontario
Michael Malloy
John A. Cadigan
John Andrew Sloan
Thomas John Brownrigg
St. John Chrysostom
Arnprior, Renfrew Co., Ontario
Joseph Bouvier
Alphonse Chaine
St. Michael’s, Corkery
Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario
Terence Smith
A. O’Malley
P. Corkery
St. Patrick’s, Fallowfield,
Nepean township, Carleton Co.,
Peter O’Connell
J.W. Coffey
Edward John Joseph Stenson
John Andrew Sloan
St. Patrick’s
(originally St. Andrew’s)
Ottawa, Carleton Co.,
Aeneas McDonnell Dawson
James McGrath
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.,
Patrick Sweeney
Patrick Haran
Terrence Smith
Peter O’Connell

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, ( accessed 5 October 2011), Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967.

Peter Doyle and Elizabeth Moran: Address

After posting about the “blended family” of Peter Doyle and Elizabeth Moran, I realized that I didn’t have a geographic address for this couple, beyond that of Drummond township, Lanark Co.

This bit of information was quickly and easily discovered, online and free of charge. Library and Archives Canada has a wonderful online database of (mostly nineteenth-century) city and county directories at Canadian Directories: Who Was Where. While the coverage seems a bit spotty, the Ottawa area, and the counties of eastern Ontario more broadly, are, luckily for my purposes,  well represented in this database, and I’ve found a number of geographic addresses at this site. 
Since Peter Doyle and wife Elizabeth Moran were farmers (in the province of Ontario), I wasn’t looking for a street name and street number, but rather for the lot number of a numbered, or numerically labelled (with a Roman numeral), concession in a township.