Tag Archive for Moran

Peter Doyle and Elizabeth Moran

Here’s another “blended family” from the 1881 Canadian census:

Peter Doyle, with wife Elizabeth Moran (daughter of James Moran and Margaret Jamieson), and six children (transcription by ancestry.ca; with original image [LAC] here):


When I first looked at this return, I mistakenly assumed that all six children were the offspring of Peter and Elizabeth. An all too common assumption which sometimes turns out to be utterly faulty, as already mentioned here. And when I found Elizabeth Moran in the 1871 census, still unmarried and still living with her family (her widowed mother Margaret Jamieson and her siblings Thomas and Henrietta Moran) in Huntley township, I suspected that I might have to look a bit further into the available sources. Of course, the recorded ages of the above children might be off by several years (for 19th-century census returns, you should probably be prepared to potentially add or subtract about five years or so from the recorded birth year), but still: I had to wonder about the apparent discrepancy.

Alias = Otherwise

If you come across a female ancestor described as “[Surname] alias [Surname]” in the parish register, you should certainly not assume that your great-grandmother led a double life, or had some sort of involvement with the cloak-and-dagger world of international espionage. While we now tend to think of an “alias” as a false name assumed for dubious, if not criminal, purposes, within the context of the parish register, it meant nothing so exciting or intriguing as that. It just meant “otherwise,” or “otherwise called/otherwise known as,” and was a way of recording a woman’s name with reference to both her family/maiden and her married surnames.
From the parish register for St. Michael’s, Corkery (Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario), the burial record for Margaret Jamieson, widow of James Moran, listed here as Margarette Jameson alias Moran. She died 12 July 1882 (her Ontario civil death record lists the cause of death as “Weakness”), and was buried at St. Michael’s RC Cemetery at Corkery, Huntley township on 14 July 1882, with her sons Thomas and Alexander Moran serving as burial witnesses:


The inverse of “[Family or Maiden Name] alias [Married Name]” is of course “[Married Name] née [Family or Maiden Name]” (which in the above case would be Moran née [born as] Jameson), which is the formulation that you will probably most often see.

Moran household, 1842

From the 1842 census of Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario (Upper Canada),1  a snapshot of the household of James Moran and Margaret Jamieson.

This census lists only the head of household by name (here Jas. [=James] Morin [=Moran]); other members are counted under various headings having to do with sex, place of birth, and religion.
While James and Margaret had 10 children (7 daughters and 3 sons), only 7 of them (5 daughters and 2 sons) are counted here. Eldest daughter Marcella had already moved away from the household when she married John Hogan in 1838; but this still leaves one daughter unaccounted for. Possibly second youngest daughter Anna (born 1834) had died by 1842? She is certainly not found with her parents in the 1851 census. I’m not sure why only two of three sons were enumerated in 1842. James (Jr., born about 1824) died of cholera in 1851; while Thomas (never married) and Alexander (“Sandy”) Michael died of “la grippe” within a week of one another, in January 1892. Sandy Moran went up to the White Lake district near Pakenham shortly after his marriage to Mary Ann Leavy, before returning to the Moran farm at Concession I, Lot 11 at Huntley township; Thomas almost certainly never left the Moran homestead at Huntley.

Apparently the Morans in 1842 had 5 hogs, but neither horses nor cattle. They grew oats and potatoes, mainly.
1. Houses Inhabited 1
4. Name of the Head of Each Family Jas. Morin
5. Proprietor of Real Property Jas. Morin
8. Trade/Profession Farmer
12. Number of natives of Ireland belonging to each family 2
15. Number of natives of Canada belonging to each family of British origin 7
18. Number of years each person has been in the Province when not natives thereof 21
21. Female. /five years of age and under. 1
22. Male. \Number of persons in the family above 2
23. Female. /five and under fourteen years of age. 4
30. Married. \MALE 30 and not 60. 1
34. Married. \FEMALE 14 and not 45 1
48. Number of persons in each family belonging to the Church of Rome 9
69. Number of acres or arpents of land occupied by each family. 200
70. Number of acres or arpents of improved land occupied by each family. 20
71.* Wheat. 40
74.* Oats. 100
78.* Potatoes. 500
84. Hogs. 5
122. Concession Number 1
*Produce raised by each family during the year, and estimated in Winchester Bushels.

1 J.M. Robinson, 1842 Census, Canada West, Carleton County (Ottawa: Ontario Genealogical Society, 2000).

A Visit to Brother André’s Shrine

Canada’s “‘Rocket Richard’ of religion” has been canonized.
Here’s a photograph from the mid-1950s, of a visit to Brother André’s shrine (St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal). The photo shows my grandparents, with my grandmother’s cousin Clifford Lahey and his wife Stella McDonnell.  From left to right: Clifford Lahey, Mary Catherine Lahey, Stella McDonnell, Allan Jerome Moran.
Click thumbnail preview to see larger image:


Moran-Leavy house moved to Galetta

Alexander (“Sandy”) Michael Moran and Mary Ann Leavy built this stone house on Concession I, Lot 11 in Huntley township, Carleton Co., Ontario. Sandy Moran had acquired the land in January 1857, when he purchased the property from his father James Moran for the sum of 100 pounds (this money may have been intended as some sort of provision for his mother and sisters). In the 1861 census for Huntley township, Alex Moren and wife Mary (along with children John, James, Margaret, Ernestine, and Julia) are listed as the occupants of a 1 and 1/2 storey log house. So presumably the stone house was built after 1861. In 1913, son Thomas Edwin Moransold the property, perhaps to the Cleary family (who were apparently the owners of the house in the 1940s).

My father once took me to see this old house when I was a child.

From the Carp Valley Press, 26 May 2000, the story of how a couple purchased the home, which had been abandoned for twenty years, and moved it stone by stone to their riverfront property in the village of Galetta. (Click on thumbnail preview below to see larger image):

Translating French Records: Baptismal Records

If you’re looking for Roman Catholic records in the Ottawa Valley area, you’re almost certain to run into some French entries in the parish registers. But no worries, and please do not panic. Even if you don’t speak a word of French beyond “bonjour” and “merci beaucoup,” you can read and understand the relevant records.

First, realize that these records, whether written in Latin, French, English, Italian or whatever, all adhere to the same formula. The parish register was no place for authorial innovation and brilliant flashes of originality. So if you know the English-language formula (which you surely already do), then you’re already halfway there to figuring out the French. Second, learn a few key French terms and phrases which correspond to their English equivalents, and you’ve arrived at an understanding of the record (in fact, in many cases the bigger challenge will be to make out the priest’s handwriting, though you can do that too, once you understand what terms and phrases you’re looking at).

This entry deals with baptismal records, with marriage, burial and census records to follow in later entries.

Here’s the baptismal record for George William Cahill, a grandson of James Moran and Margaret Jamieson:

Le treize de mai Mil huit cent cinquante neuf par nous prêtre soussigné a été baptizé George William né le vingt sept d’avril du légitime marriage de George Cahill et de Mary Moren de cette paroisse. Le parrain a été John Connely et la marraine Anne Shirly qui n’ont pu signer.*

And here’s my translation (note: I’m not a professional translator or anything like that, so my translation is purely utilitarian and no doubt shockingly inelegant):

The thirteenth of May one thousand eight hundred and fifty nine by we the undersigned priest was baptized [or: we the undersigned priest baptized] George William born the twenty-seventh of April of the legitimate marriage of George Cahill and Mary Moren [Moran] of this parish. The godfather was John Connely [Connelly] and the godmother Anne Shirly [Shirley] who could not sign.

Note that William is the child’s middle name, not his surname. In the case of a child “born of [a] legitimate marriage,” the priest typically did not give his/her last name in the text of the record, because the surname was understood to be that of the father (the surname will be found in the margins and/or in the record’s heading, though).

And please don’t be offended if the French-Canadian priest misspelled your English (or, more probably, Irish, since we’re dealing with RC Ottawa Valley records here) ancestor’s name. I’ve seen some truly bizarre renderings of French names by English-language (which is to say, generally, Irish) priests, after all. But nobody really cared about spelling before, roughly, the early twentieth century, anyway. And these priests were doing their best to create accurate, written records for people who spoke another language but who often didn’t write in any language at all. So the spellings were phonetic renditions from another language, which created ample opportunity for spelling variations.

Here are just a few of the French terms and phrases that you might encounter in a baptismal record, with English translations (but I’m too lazy to do numbers, which are easily google-able in any case):

janvier January
février February
mars March
avril April
mai May
juin June
juillet July
août August
septembre September
octobre October
novembre November
décembre December
nous prêtre soussigné we the undersigned priest
baptême baptism
baptisé (masculine) baptized (for a boy)
baptisée (feminine) baptized (for a girl)
né (masculine) born (for a boy)
née (feminine) born (for a girl)
du légitime marriage de of the legitimate marriage of
de parents inconnus of unknown parents
le parrain godfather
la marraine godmother
cette paroisse this parish
hier yesterday
avant-hier day before yesterday
la veille de day before
signer to sign
qui n’ont pu signer who could not sign
*Ste Anne (Calumet Island/Ile du Grand Calumet, Pontiac Co., Québec), Register of Baptisms and Marriages, 1846-1859, p. 143, George William Cahill B. 29, database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca/: accessed 26 April 2010), Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967.

Upper Canada Militia Rolls, 1828-1829

Nowadays, people tend to think of militiamen and citizen’s militias and the like as a peculiarly American phenomenon, but that’s not really historically accurate. The whole apparatus of the citizen’s muster rolls was imported from England, actually, and can be found in Upper Canada from a relatively early phase.

Did your Ontario ancestor enroll as a militiaman? Well, some of my ancestors did. If you know or suspect that a (male) ancestor was in the province by 1828, it’s worth checking the militia rolls to find out.

Last Will and Testament of Francis Moran

Francis Moranwas born about 1812 in Co. Leitrim, Ireland, the son of Ambrose Moran and Margaret [maiden name unknown]. He emigrated to Canada about 1833, where he settled at Fitzroy township, Carleton Co. He married 1.) Margaret Behan; and 2.) Anne Galligan.

With his first wife, Margaret Behan (born Ireland about 1818; died Canada between 1846 and 1852) he had seven known children: Ambrose; Mary; Jeremiah; Catherine; Ellen; Catherine; and Francis.
On 4 January 1853 (Fitzroy Harbour Mission) he married Ann Galligan, born about 1827 in Co. Cavan, daughter of Denis Galligan and Ann Kelly.

Interestingly enough, there is no mention of his first family in his will, which is transcribed as follows:

Conditional Baptism

While going through RC parish registers in search of your Catholic ancestors, you may come across the phrase “baptized conditionally” or “baptized sub conditione,” or, in French, “baptisé(e) sous condition.” What did the padre mean, you may wonder, by this seemingly cryptic communication?

What the priest meant, basically, was that he had performed the baptism with words to the effect of, “If you are not already baptized, I baptize you.”