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.
Courtesy of Bruce B. Gordon, a response (with a great photograph!) to my query, ‘Was Thomas Dunn buried at St. Bridget’s RC Cemetery at Stanleyville?‘
Thomas Dunn, who died 30 December 1886 at North Burgess (Lanark Co., Ontario) and whose cause of death was given as “Frozen — 12 hours,” was indeed buried at St. Bridget’s Roman Catholic Cemetery at Stanleyville, North Burgess Township, Lanark County, Ontario:
Thomas Dunn was born about 1820 in Co. Armagh (presumably parish of Killevy), the son of Owen Dunn and Ann Rocke (or Roche?), and had emigrated to Canada by 1851 (probably in the 1840s). His first wife was an Anne Ward (possibly the daughter of Edward Ward and Anastasia Molloy?), who died between 1857 and 1861. His second wife was an Anne Murphy, daughter of James Murphy and Mary (maiden name unknown). His sister Bridget was my great-great-grandmother, who married John McGlade (my great-great-grandfather) in 1856.
Bruce B. Gordon has posted many headstone photos for St. Bridget’s, Stanleyville at findagrave.com.
In records pertaining to my McGlade-Dunne ancestors, who emigrated from Co. Armagh, Ireland to Counties Leeds and Lanark, Ontario, the name McCann turns up at several key points. For example, two of the children of John McGlade and Bridget Dunne had a McCann godparent:
- Michael James McGlade, born Perth, Ont. 28 Dec 1856, baptized 1 Jan 1857 (St. John the Baptist RC Church, Perth), godparents James Ryan and Bridget McCann
- Ann McGlade, born Perth, Ont. 17 Oct 1863, baptized 7 Nov 1863 (St. John the Baptist RC Church, Perth), godparents Kenny Murphy and Frances Ann McCann
And at least two of the grandchildren of John McGlade and Bridget Dunne had a McCann godparent as well:
- John Michael English, son of John English and Ann McGlade, born Perth, Ont. 23 Nov 1888, baptized 26 Nov 1888 (St. John the Baptist RC Church, Perth), godparents John McGlade (presumably his grandfather) and Mrs. Michael Hartney (i.e., Bridget McCann)
- Arthur Joseph McGlade, son of Arthur Joseph McGlade and Catherine Honora McCarthy, born Perth, Ont. 5 July 1903, baptized 12 July 1903 (St. John the Baptist RC Church, Perth), godparents Lawrence Kilpatrick and Mrs. Lawrence Kirkpatrick (i.e., Mary Elizabeth Hartney, daughter of Michael Hartney and Bridget McCann)
I’m especially interested in Bridget McCann, about whom I know the following:
My maternal grandparents John (“Jack”) Eugene McGlade1 and Delia Lucie Derouin were married on 10 February 1931, at St. John Chyrostom RC Church in Arnprior (Renfrew Co., Ontario). My grandfather lived in his birthplace of Perth (Lanark Co., Ontario) at the time, but was married at his bride’s parish, as per custom and tradition.
Until recently, I hadn’t given too much thought as to when my maternal grandparents might have met, though I had certainly wondered about where (he being from Perth, she being from Otter Lake…).
- My grandfather was probably named after both his paternal and his maternal grandfathers: John after John McGlade, and Eugene after Eugene McCarthy. ↩
I tend to think of funeral prayer cards as a Catholic thing, though this assumption may be a function of my own, somewhat limited experience: the vast majority of funerals I have attended have been Catholic (at the moment, I can think of only two that were not, though that can’t be accurate, surely?).
In any case, the two examples below are most certainly Catholic, and baroquely Catholic at that.
(The year before I was married, which was thirteen years ago, I lived in Scotland.)
One day, about fourteen years ago now, while perusing the wares at a knitwear outlet in Edinburgh, I felt a curious and unexpected wave of nostalgia. This place in Edinburgh, Scotland was so strikingly similar to a place my mother used to take us to in Ontario, Canada (now, what was the name of that place that Mum used to take us to? … it was in Lanark, and there was something Scottish about it … and something to do with a kitten … ), so uncannily reminiscent of the Glenayr Kitten Mill of my childhood. The piles of jumpers (but we called them ‘sweaters,’ of course) all laid out on wooden tables; the firm but friendly salesladies; the general air of solid but unpretentious quality … all of a sudden, I was back in Lanark (Lanark Co., Ontario, Canada, that is).
I have to admit, I bought a cardigan that day, just on the strength of that memory.
The Glenayr Kitten Mill outlet in Lanark (Lanark Co., Ontario, that is) was the kind of place that we (my sisters and I, that is, though certainly not our mother) loved to hate. So fusty and old-fashioned, and please, mum, don’t make us wear those sweaters! that’s not what the popular girls are wearing, and the mothers of the popular girls only shop at the Bay. But our pleas fell on deaf ears: our mother has always known a bargain when and where she finds it, and bargains are what she found at the Glenayr Kitten Mill.
As I now recall it, the Kitten Mill had an impressively no-nonsense integrity: no frills; no fuss; just good, sturdy value at a fair price. But it wasn’t until years later, while looking at jumpers at a knitwear outlet in Edinburgh, that I began to appreciate the Kitten Mill for what it had been: a little piece of the Scotland-to-Canada knitwear tradition that had already, alas, all but died out when our mother took us to the Glenayr for new sweaters.
(And it wasn’t until I lived in Scotland for a year that I began to truly appreciate the fundamentally Scottish character of so much of “English” Canada, or of “English” Ontario, at any rate. I recall going to the Waterstone’s on Princes St. in Edinburgh to look for an Alice Munro book [which I found, btw] because there was this story that I just had to reread: I had heard something earlier that day that had so uncannily reminded me of this Munro story, and something had finally just clicked about Scotland and Canada…).
A couple of photos of the Glenayr Kitten Mill, now sadly abandoned, at John’s Ghost Town.
Looking at a run of marriages recorded from 1852 to 1858 in the parish register for St. Edward’s Roman Catholic Church, Westport, Leeds Co., Ontario, the Armagh presence in North Crosby (Co. Leeds, Ontario) is very much in evidence. Of the six marriages recorded for the year 1852, for example, five of the six identify either the bride or the groom (or both the bride and groom) with a native parish in Armagh. The most frequently cited Armagh parish is that of Forkhill.1
Many of the names below can be found in Kevin Murphy and Una Walsh, A Famine Link: The ‘Hannah’ — South Armagh to Ontario (Mullaghbane Community Association, 2006). Some of the names can also be found in the township map of North Crosby (from Leavitt, Thadeus W. H. History of Leeds and Grenville, Ontario [Brockville : Recorder Press, 1879]), available online via the Canadian County Atlas Digital Project (McGill University). Also see this Westport, Ontario, Canada page at Bytown or Bust.
I have only included marriages where one or both parties are identified with Co. Armagh. Other Irish counties cited in the marriage register for St. Edward’s, Westport (for the same period: 1852-1858) include Cavan, Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Louth, Mayo, and Wexford.
- Note that Forkill/Forkhill is a civil parish. The corresponding Roman Catholic parish is that of Mullaghbawn. ↩