Tag Archive for Dooley

Death by Fire (Two Moran Children, Ages 4 and 2)

While Catholic burial records can supply a wealth of genealogically significant information, the cause of death was not something that the priest was required or expected to record. And as I’ve mentioned before, 19th- and early 20th-century Catholic burial records did not generally record the cause of death of the deceased.

In some instances, however, the priest might have included the cause of death in the church burial record — most typically, in cases where the death was considered especially dramatic, horrific, unusual, or violent. So, for example, an elderly parishioner who died of pneumonia? That cause of death is unlikely to have been recorded in a 19th- to early 20th-century Catholic burial record.1 A young child who was burned to death in a horrible accident? There’s a chance the priest might have recorded this awful detail in the child’s burial record.

By way of illustration, here are the Catholic church burial records for James Moran (son of Alexander “Sandy” Michael Moran and Mary Ann Leavy, and husband of Sarah Jane Dooley); and for his two youngest children Julia Gertrude Moran and James Joseph Moran (daughter and son of James Moran and Sarah Jane Dooley). James Moran died in March 1899 at about 40 years of age; and his two youngest children, Julia Gertrude and James Joseph, died a year and a half later, at the ages of about 4 years and 2 years, respectively. All three records (the one for James Moran dated 21 March 1899; and the two for his children Julia Gertrude and James Joseph dated 30 September 1900) were written and signed by the Reverend Father John Andrew Sloan, parish priest at St. Patrick’s, Fallowfield (and also at St. Isidore, March township):2

Burial of James Moran, 21 March 1899, St. Patrick's, Fallowfield.

Burial of James Moran, 21 March 1899, St. Patrick’s, Fallowfield.

Burial of James Joseph Moran and Julia Gertrude Moran, 30 September 1900, St. Patrick's, Fallowfield.

Burial of James Joseph Moran and Julia Gertrude Moran, 30 September 1900, St. Patrick’s, Fallowfield.

Note that Father Sloan inserted “by fire” in parentheses after “died” in the burial records for the two young Moran children. Father Sloan only very rarely recorded the cause of death in his parish registers; his departure from the norm here surely speaks to the sense of communal grief over the awful deaths of these two very young children. Their Ontario civil death registrations record the cause of death as “Accidental Burning,” by the way.

But while the father of Julie Gertrude Moran and James Joseph Moran had died at an age (about 40 years) that nowadays would be considered quite unusual and highly tragic, James Moran’s untimely and unhappy death apparently did not meet the bar (unusually dramatic, horrific, or violent) for a reference to the cause of his death in his RC church burial record. Father Sloan makes no mention of it. (And the cause of death for James Moran is the subject of conflicting accounts, by the way, as discussed here: was he kicked by a horse? or was he fatally injured in a threshing accident? or did James Moran die, as per his Ontario civil death registration, of emphysema?). But note, also, that Father Sloan was not actually present at the burial of James Moran: the parish priest’s after-the-fact record of the burial of James Moran relies on the eyewitness testimony of Thomas Troy, David Villeneuve, and Elizabeth Casey.

My guess is that the young Moran children were the victims of a terrible kitchen accident, but this detail we may never know.

 

  1. For Ottawa Valley-area Roman Catholic burial records, the cause of death, whether horrific or not, is increasingly likely to have been recorded from about the 1920s or 1930s. The more recent the record, the more information (including, again from the 1920s or 1930s, whether the deceased had received last rites, or the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick).
  2. St. Patrick (Fallowfield, Co. Carleton, Ontario), Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1851-1968, p. 89, S. 4, James Moran; p. 115, S. 14, James Joseph Moran; p. 115, S. 15, Julia Gertrude Moran; digital images, ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 Nov. 2013), Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967.

Cause of Death: Conflicting Accounts

moran_james_closeup.jpg

James Moran (1858-1899)

James Moran was born about 1858 in Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario, the third of twelve children born to Alexander (“Sandy”) Michael Moran and Mary Ann Leavy.

On 27 November 1883 (St. Patrick’s, Fallowfield) James Moran married Sarah Jane Dooley, daughter of Thomas Dooley and his second wife Mary Coughlan. The couple had nine (known) children, with six of the nine surviving to adulthood.

Their eldest son Alexander (1884-1887) died at age two years and five months (cause of death listed as croup); and on the 28 September 1900 (a year and a half after the death of their father), their two youngest children Julia Gertrude (almost four years old) and James Joseph (2 years old) died in a ghastly accident: “by fire,” notes Father J.A. Sloan in the children’s burial records (St. Patrick’s, Fallowfield), with the cause of death listed as “accidental burning” in the Ontario civil registration of the deaths. Another daughter, Sarah Jane Moran, known as “Jennie,” died in early adulthood: she was a nurse who died in Ste. Agathe, Québec (presumably at the tuberculosis hospital).

James Moran and Sarah Jane Dooley farmed at Lot 15, Concession 6 in Nepean township, on land that had presumably been given or sold to the couple by Sarah Jane’s father Thomas Dooley (1810-1891).

In the 1891 census (Ontario, Carleton, Nepean, family no. 23), James Moran (here spelled Morin) is head of a household that includes his wife [Sarah] Jane; their children Mary, Thomas, and Matilda; Sarah Jane Dooley’s still unmarried sisters Mary and Matilda Dooley; along with a Home Child named Daniel Driscoll, and another domestic servant (probably not a Home Child) named Lizzie Casey. By this time, the 82-year old Thomas Dooley had apparently retired from farming and moved to Ottawa, where he lived with his son-in-law Michael Harrington and his daughter Maria (one of the daughters from his first marriage to Catherine Quinn, and a therefore a half-sister to Sarah Jane Dooley) (see 1891 census: Ontario, Ottawa City, St George’s Ward, family no. 179).

Children of Sandy Moran and Mary Leavy

Alexander (“Sandy”) Michael Moran (1830-1892) and Mary Leavy (1832-1907) had the following children:

  • John (1854-1921)
  • Margaret Jane (1856-1873)
  • James (1858-1899)
  • Mary Ernestine (“Tina”) (1859-1943)
  • Thomas Edwin (1860-1942)
  • Julia Amanda (1864-1941)
  • Ellen Elizabeth (“Nellie”) (1866-1947)
  • Mary Eugenie Gertrude (“Minnie”) (1868-1953)
  • Anne [or Anastasia?] (“Annie”) (1871-?)
  • Alexander Michael (“Alec”) (1872-1939)
  • Mary Emelia [sometimes Emma] (“Em”) (1874-1963)
I wish I had a better copy of this photo, it’s a scan of a photocopy. I don’t know when exactly it was taken, but at some point in the 1890s (and before the death of James in 1899).


Back row: Annie [Moran] Sullivan; Thomas Edwin Moran; Sarah Jane Dooley?; Mary Eugenie Gertrude (“Minnie”) [Moran] Fagan. Centre Row: Unidentified; James Moran; Unidentified. Front Row: Alexander (“Alec”) Michael Moran; Mary Emelia (“Em”) [Moran] Delaney.

Henrietta Godmother

Henrietta Moran (1837-1921)

Henrietta Moran caught my attention when I noticed how often she turned up as a sponsor at her nieces’ and nephews’ baptisms. For the Morans of Huntley (but also for the Laheys of March), she seems to have been on the A-List of potential godparents.

Henrietta was godmother to at least the following children (but there may have been more, which I haven’t yet come across):
  • Thomas Hourigan (1857-1899), son of Thomas Hourigan and Julia Moran, born 8 Mar 1857, baptized 15 Mar 1857 (St. Patrick’s, Ottawa), godfather John Lahey
  • Thomas Alexander Lahey (1864-1945), son of John Lahey and Margaret Jane Killeen, born 7 Jun 1864, baptized June? July?* 1864 (St. Isidore, March township), godfather James Hourigan
  • Francis Charlebois (1862-1924), son of Arsene Charlebois and Margaret Moran, born 19 Mar 1862, baptized 27 Apr 1862 (St. Phillip’s, Richmond), godfather Thomas Moran
  • Mary Moran (1886-1947), daughter of James Moran and Sarah Jane Dooley, born 15 Apr 1886, baptized 23 Apr 1886 (St. Michael’s, Corkery), godfather Thomas Moran
  • James Lambert Charlebois (1895-?), son of James Lacey Charlebois and Bridget Ellen O’Neill, born 7 Nov 1895, baptized 24 Nov 1895 (St. Isidore, March township), godfather Fr. John Andrew Sloan (parish priest at both St. Isidore and St Patrick’s, Fallowfield)
  • James Allan Armstrong (1892-?), son of Thomas Armstrong and Henrietta Charlebois, born 6 Oct 1892, baptized 30 Oct 1892 (St. Isidore, March township), godfather Joseph Newsom**

Daniel Driscoll: Home Child

Found in the household of James Moran and Sarah Jane Dooley in the 1891 census (Ontario, Carleton, Nepean, p. 5, family no. 23), a domestic servant named Daniel Driscoll, born in England about 1878:

  • Name: Driscoll, Danl
  • Sex: M
  • Age: 13
  • Relation to Head of House: Dom [Domestic]
  • Country or Province of Birth: Eng [England]
  • Place of Birth of Father: Eng
  • Place of Birth of Mother: Eng
  • Religion: R.C. [Roman Catholic]
He is not found in this household (now headed by a widowed Sarah Jane [Dooley] Moran) in the 1901 census.