Queries

Thomas Benton and Catherine Dwyer, Cappawhite, Tipperary

One of my brick wall ancestors is my great-great-grandfather Thomas Benton, who was born in Ireland about 1830, emigrated to Canada in the 1850s, and died at Arnrprior (Renfrew County, Ontario) in 1890.

He married Hanora (“Annie”) Ryan about 1856, but I’ve yet to find a marriage record for this couple, and I don’t know whether they were married in Ireland or in Canada. Thomas Benton and Hanora Ryan had nine known children, apparently all born in Canada, with eight surviving to adulthood. I have baptismal records for seven of these nine children, but not for the two eldest, Catherine Benton (born about 1857) and Thomas Benton Jr (born about 1859). The first real proof of Thomas and Annie [Ryan] Benton’s presence in Canada is the baptismal record for their third child, Bridget Benton (born in February 1861; baptized 1 March 1861). The family can be found in the 1861 Census of Canada (Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario), where the birthplace for Thomas Benton and his wife Anne is given as Ireland, and the birthplace for their children Catherine and Thomas given as Upper Canada.

Thomas Benton died 7 March 1890, of head injuries sustained in a horrible accident at a lumber mill. While I have his church burial record (St. John Chrysostom, Arnprior), I have not found an Ontario civil death registration. An obituary in the Arnprior Chronicle does not name his parents. So: with no marriage record, and with no mention of his parents in either his RC burial record or his obituary, the trail goes cold.

But there’s a family in Cappawhite, Tipperary that interests me (especially as Thomas Benton married a Ryan whose family came from Tipperary):

A Thomas Benton married a Catherine (“Kitty”) Dwyer in Cappawhite, Tipperary on 11 March 1809. The couple had at least five known children, all born Cappawhite, Tipperary:

  1. Hanora Benton, baptized 19 December 1818
  2. Kitty Benton, baptized 15 October 1821
  3. Winny [Winnifred] Benton, baptized 8 February 1824
  4. Thomas Benton, baptized 8 June 1826 (could this be my 2x-great-grandfather?)
  5. William Benton, baptized 9 May 1832

So I’m looking for information on the descendants of Thomas Benton and Catherine (“Kitty”) Dwyer, of Cappawhite, Tipperary. Any information would be much appreciated.

John Lynch and Unity Fox, Strabane, Co. Tyrone

A reader is looking for information about her great-grandparents John Lynch (born about 1856, Co. Tyrone) and Unity Fox (born about 1856, Co. Tyrone). The couple were married on 22 May 1878 at a Roman Catholic chapel (possibly Cloughcor Chapel?), parish of Leckpatrick, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Ireland, with Daniel Murphy and Mary J. Murphy serving as witnesses. Their marriage record lists their residence as Woodend, parish of Leckpatrick, Strabane, Co. Tyrone.

John Lynch married Unity Fox as a widower; the name of his first wife is not known.

John Lynch and Unity Fox had at least one son, John Lynch (Junior), born 17 October 1879, Strabane, Tyrone, Ireland, who married Mary Catherine Boyle in 1909. John Lynch (Junior) and Mary Catherine Boyle emigrated to Canada in 1913, with their four young daughters Winnifred, Catherine Jane, Helen, and Elizabeth Lynch. The family settled at Cornwall, Stormont Co., Ontario, where they had two more children, sons Jack and James Lynch.

The reader is trying to find out the names of her great-great-grandparents (i.e., the parents of John Lynch [Senior], who was born about 1856, and of Unity Fox, who was also born about 1856).

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Fitzgerald, from Ireland to Hastings Co., Ontario

A reader is looking for information on William Fitzgerald (born in Ireland about 1816) and his wife Ellen (born in Ireland about 1813). The couple emigrated from Ireland, and came to Hastings Co., Ontario in 1843. One of their sons, John Fitzgerald, married Mary Ann Hickey in 1864. Many of the family are buried at St. Ignatius R.C. Cemetery in Maynooth, McClure Township, Hastings Co., Ontario.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Currie/Curry or Corry, from Fermanagh to the Ottawa Valley

A reader is looking for information on a family who emigrated from Co. Fermanagh, Ireland to the Ottawa Valley in the early- to mid-19th century. The family name was Currie/Curry or Corry, and the forenames were Patrick, Frank, Thomas, and Christopher. They apparently left Ireland with the Lunney family who settled at Pakenham (Lanark Co., Ontario).

The Lunneys were in Canada by the mid-1830s: on 24 January 1836 (Notre Dame, Bytown/Ottawa), Edward Joseph Lunney (son of Patrick Lunney and Rose Reilly) married Johanna Mantle (daughter of John Mantle and Ellen Hourigan).

Any information on this Currie/Curry/Corry family of Fermanagh would be much appreciated.

Who was John English?

And was he English, Irish, or French?1

Headstone for Ann McGlade (1863-1889), St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cemetery, Perth, Lanark County, Ontario

Headstone for Ann McGlade (1863-1889), St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cemetery, Perth, Lanark County, Ontario

When Annie McGlade died on 21 April 1889, at the age of 25, she was buried at St. John the Baptist RC Cemetery in Perth (Lanark Co., Ontario). Her headstone identifies her as “Annie McGlade Wife of John English.”

Annie McGlade was the fourth and youngest child of John McGlade and Bridget Dunn. She was born at Perth on 17 October 1863; and was baptized 7 November 1863 (St. John the Baptist RC Church), with Kenny Murphy and Frances Ann McCann serving as godparents.

But who was her husband John English?

I have not yet found a marriage record for this couple (which would give me the names of the parents of John English), which is a bit puzzling: no doubt I am not looking in the right place. Annie McGlade and John (or possibly Joseph?) English (but possibly Langlois or L’Anglais?) were probably married about 1886 or 1887. But there is no record of their marriage (or none that I have found) in the parish register for St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Perth. I’m assuming they must have been married elsewhere.

But the parish register for St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Perth does include a record of the baptism of their first and only known child, John Michael English, born 23 November 1888 and baptized 26 November 1888 (St. John the Baptist RC Church, Perth), with John McGlade and Mrs. Michael Hartney (Bridget McCann) serving as godparents. So this couple was obviously in the Perth area in 1888: it’s not as though they had emigrated to Minnesota or something. In the baptismal record for John Michael English, his mother is given as Annie McGlade, and his father as John B. L’Anglais.

To further complicate matters, when John Michael English married Ernestine Catherine Cerutti (St. Jacques le Majeur, Montreal, 17 February 1916), he was described as the son of age (fils majeur) of “Joseph English domicilié à Grouard (Athabaske) et de feu Annie McGlade” [Joseph English domiciled at Grouard (Athabaska) and of the deceased Annie McGlade]. So here is a reference to a Joseph, not a John, English living in northern Alberta, which is a long way from Lanark County, Ontario, to say the least.

In the 1916 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, there is a Joseph English found in Edmonton East (and Edmonton is about 90 miles/145 kilometres south of Athabaska, by the way, so this is not exactly a perfect match with the information given in the marriage record for John Michael English). This Joseph English lives alone, and is listed as Single, age 59, birthplace Ontario. His occupation is “Laborer,” and he apparently performs “Odd Jobs,” and he reportedly lives in a “Shack on Hillside” (no, I’m not making this up!). Most strikingly, his religion is listed as “None,” which is more than a little unusual for the time. A single man of a fairly advanced age (by the standards of the day, that is) who lives alone in a shack on a hillside, who performs odd jobs as an occupation, and who apparently reports his religious affiliation as “None”? This is a census listing for an eccentric (again, according to the norms and standards of his day). Could this be the father of John Michael English, and the widower of Annie McGlade?

John Michael English, son of John (or Joseph?) English and Annie McGlade, died in Montreal in October 1918, at 29 years of age. I do not know the cause of his death; I cannot help wondering if he was a victim of the 1918 influenza pandemic? His widow, Ernestine Catherine Cerutti English, went on to marry a Joseph Arthur Eugène Grenier, son of Arthur Grenier and Angelina Ménard — an interesting coincidence of names with respect to Ernestine Catherine Cerutti’s second mother-in-law, given that her first mother-in-law, Annie McGlade, was the stepdaughter of an Angelina (or Angélique) Ménard!2 (After the death of his first wife Bridget Dunn, John McGlade married an Angélique Ménard, widow of Felix Henrichon, who was sometimes known as Angelina McGlade).

  1. Or perhaps of some other ethnic origin altogether? but for the moment, I’m thinking English, Irish, or French.
  2. Not that Ernestine Catherine Cerutti ever knew her first mother-in-law, of course: Annie McGlade English died in April 1889, just five months after the birth of her son John Michael English.

School Photo from…St. Malachy’s? St. Patrick’s?

This is a wonderful group photo, taken, I presume, on the steps of a school.

I only wish I knew which school.

My dad is in the second row, third from the left (here indicated with a blue arrow — which I’ve only inserted on a digital copy, of course! not on the original photo). He appears to have a lump on his forehead: perhaps as the result of a fight?

John Alexander Moran (1934-2013) in a group (presumably school) photo. Late 1940s?

John Alexander Moran (1934-2013) in a group (presumably school) photo. Late 1940s?

My father grew up in a working-class Irish and French neighbourhood of Ottawa (Mechanicsville). As children, my sisters and I used to thrill to his stories of “the street”: of street violence, and of street “smarts,” and of a seemingly anarchic, parental-free zone that we could only imagine in our dreams. To hear my dad tell the tale, apparently he and his classmates once threw an English teacher off the bridge into the Rideau Canal! (but did that really happen? er, I don’t know). Well, no doubt he embroidered and exaggerated for rhetorical effect: he always loved a good story. But of his ridiculously strict (by today’s standards) Catholic education, my dad was always dead serious and crystal clear: “We were but savages, and the priests meant to civilize us, and that was the only way out” (out of poverty, and mindless tribalism; and out of lace doilies on the arms of an ugly settee in a small, still, close room; and out of Mechanicsville).

The boy in the front row, second from the left, looks like a Lahey cousin with whom my father grew up, with whom he was especially close; but who knows?

My father attended St. Patrick’s College, Ottawa for secondary school (high school), from roughly 1947 or 1948 to 1952 or 1953 (I don’t have the exact dates, though I probably could, and perhaps should, figure this out). For the later years of his elementary education (grades 7 and 8?), he was at St. Malachy’s.

Did your father attend St. Pat’s, Ottawa? Or, perhaps, St. Malachy’s? Do you see him in this photograph?

UPDATE (6 August 2013): The boy in the front row, second from the left, is indeed the Lahey cousin (a son of Clifford Lahey and Stella McDonnell) with whom my father grew up. This cousin’s daughter is almost certain that this photo was taken in front of St. Pat’s, but is going to ask her father.

UPDATE (15 August 2013): The above photo was taken in front of St. Patrick’s, school year 1947-48.

 

Lawrence McCann, husband of Ann O’Reilly (Ireland to Canada)

A reader is looking for more information on her 3x-great-grandfather Lawrence McCann, who emigrated to North America probably in the mid- to late-1830s.

What little information I have is as follows:

Lawrence McCann was born in Ireland about 1811. His wife Ann O’Reilly was born in Ireland about 1814. Did the couple marry in Ireland? or in North America? This I don’t know. But it appears their eldest known child, Bernard McCann, was born in the United States about 1838. Five more known children (Mary; Frances Ann; Bridget; Michael John; and James) were born in Canada, at or near Cornwall, Stormont County, Ontario, between about 1843 and 1856. By 1871, the family had moved to Perth, Lanark Co., Ontario — but daughter Frances Ann McCann can be found in Perth as early as 1861, where she is enumerated (Census of 1861) in the household of Michael Hartney (abt. 1830-1890) and his wife Bridget McCann (1832-1922).

What was the relationship between Frances Ann McCann (1846-1883), daughter of Lawrence McCann and Ann O’Reilly and wife of Richard Tovey, and Bridget McCann, daughter of Michael McCann and Elizabeth Murphy and husband of Michael Hartney? Was Frances Ann McCann a niece of Bridget McCann? or perhaps a cousin? This, too, I do not know.

But both women had close (probably familial, though I’ve yet to figure this one out) ties to my McGlade/Dunn 2x-great-grandparents, John McGlade and Bridget Dunn, who emigrated from Co. Armagh to Counties Leeds and Lanark, Ontario in the late 1840s to early 1850s. Frances Ann McCann served as godmother to Ann (“Annie”) McGlade, daughter of John McGlade and Bridget Dunn. And Bridget McCann, wife of Michael Hartney, served as godmother to Michael James McGlade, son of John McGlade and Bridget Dunn; and also as godmother to John Michael English, son of John English and Ann McGlade (daughter of John McGlade and Bridget Dunn, whose godmother was Frances Ann McCann).

So: given the above-mentioned connections of daughter Frances Ann McCann to my Armagh ancestors, as a county of birth for father Lawrence McCann, husband of Ann O’Reilly, I would certainly start with County Armagh.

Any further information would be much appreciated.

Parents of James Edward Sullivan?

James Edward Sullivan was born about 1866, apparently at or near Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York. He died in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on 7 February 1931.

His Ontario civil death record records his birthplace as Potsdam, NY, and lists his parents as Jeremiah Sullivan, birthplace Ireland, and Ellen Sullivan, birthplace Ireland.1

At some point in his early life (childhood? adolescence? early adulthood?) James Edward Sullivan migrated west, to East Grand Forks, Polk Co., Minnesota. Here he met Anna (“Annie”) Moran, a daughter of Alexander Michael Moran and Mary Ann Leavy, and one of the six of their twelve children who moved from Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario to the Grand Forks area (Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota) in the late 1870s to early 1890s. James Edward Sullivan and Annie Moran married in Polk County, Minnesota on 26 June 1894; and the first two of their five children (Henry Joseph Sullivan [1895-1952] and Charles Alexander Sullivan [1896-1949]) were born in Minnesota.

  1. Was Sullivan both her maiden name and her married name? or was it, as I suspect, only her married name?

“the Catholic cemetery at Burgess” = St. Bridget’s, Stanleyville? (burial of Thomas Dunn)

So much of the detail of genealogical information requires a knowledge of local history/local geography, which I, for one, do now always have.

Thomas Dunn (c.1824 – 1886) was the son of Owen Dunn and Ann Rock/Rocke, and a brother to my 2x-great-grandmother Bridget Dunn (married John McGlade). He was born in Co. Armagh, Ireland (Canadian records suggest anywhere from 1817 to 1828 as a possible birth year); and can be found in Canada by 1851.

He was twice married.

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.