Census, Home Children

Home Children in Fitzroy Township: Charles Lambert and Benjamin Clayton

I came across Charles Lambert and Benjamin Clayton while researching my Galligan ancestors, who emigrated from Kilmore, Co. Cavan, Ireland in the early 1840s and initially settled in Fitzroy township, Carleton Co., Ontario (with some branches later moving to Arnprior and Eganville, in Renfrew Co., Ontario).
Charles Lambert 
In the 1901 census for Fitzroy township (Ontario, Lanark North, Fitzroy township, p. 15, family no. 143), Charles Lambert is found in the household of Michael Moran*, a bachelor farmer living with his widowed mother Anne Galligan and his unmarried sisters Anne Elizabeth and Margaret:
  • Name: Lambert, Charles
  • Sex: Male
  • Colour: White
  • Relationship to head of house: Domestic
  • Month and date of birth: Unknown
  • Year of birth: 1884
  • Age at last birthday: 17
  • Country or place of birth: England
  • Year of Immigration to Canada: 1895
  • Year of Naturalization: Left blank [this category was not applicable to someone born in England]
  • Racial or tribal origin: English
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Religion: R. Catholic [Roman Catholic]
  • Profession or occupation: Farm labourer

Of course, while the census provides a wealth of useful information, it should never be taken as gospel truth. Michael Moran and family were Catholic, and the census taker has dittoed for R. Catholic for the entire household. But if I were to look for Charles Lambert in the English records, I would certainly not assume that he had been baptized RC. Moreover, while the 1901 census lists his year of immigration as 1895, he may have come in 1891 as one of the Barnardo emigrants.
Benjamin Clayton
In the 1911 census return for Fitzroy township, Charles Lambert is no longer found in the household of Michael Moran (Ontario, Carleton, subdistrict 3, Fitzroy township, p. 12, family no. 121).** Instead, there is a Benjamin Clayton, who apparently works for the Grand Trunk Railway and is studying to become a telegraph operator:
  • Name: Clayton, Benjamin
  • Place of habitation: Fitzroy
  • Sex: Male
  • Relationship to head of house: Domestic
  • Single, married, widowed, divorced, or legally separated: Single
  • Month of birth: September
  • Year of birth: 1893
  • Age at last birthday: 18
  • Country or place of birth: England
  • Year of immigration to Canada: 1893 [this surely inaccurate]
  • Year of naturalization: Left blank [not applicable to someone born in England]
  • Racial or tribal origin: English
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Religion: R. Catholic [Roman Catholic]
  • Profession, occupation, trade, or means of living: Operator
  • Where employed: G.T.R. Co. [Grand Trunk Railway]
  • Census taker’s marginal note: Study
    ing Telegraphy
Benjamin Clayton arrived in Canada in 1905, a member of a party of children sent by the Catholic Emigration Association from Coleshill, Birmingham, England to St. George’s Home in Ottawa.
There is a military record for a Benjamin Clayton at Library and Archives Canada’s online repository of WWI attestation papers. Three details suggest it might be the same Benjamin Clayton as found above: 1. his birthplace is given as Leeds, England; 2. he lists his religion as Roman Catholic; and 3. he gives his occupation as Telegraph Operator.
I know nothing more of Charles Lambert, but I do have a little more information on Benjamin Clayton. Please email me for details if interested.
*Btw, Michael Moran (born Fitzroy township, 18 Jun 1855, died Ottawa [St. Patrick’s Orphanage and Asylum] 24 Jan 1932) is connected to me not as a Moran but as a Galligan. He was the son of Francis Moran (born Co. Leitrim, Ireland about 1812, died 29 Jan 1888 at Fitzroy township, Carleton Co., Ontario, Canada) and Anne Galligan (born Co. Cavan, Ireland about 1827, daughter of Denis Galligan and Ann Kelly; died 21 Feb 1903 at Fitzroy township, Carleton Co., Ontario, Canada).
This family suffered more than its fair share of misfortune, with four of the five sons lost to illness and accident. Son Denis died at seven years of age of “softening of the brain” (presumably some sort of brain infection). Sons Thomas and Edward emigrated to North Dakota in 1878, along with their half-brother Francis (son of Francis Moran and his first wife Margaret Behan). In the fall of 1887, Thomas and Edward learned that their father was very ill. On their way back from North Dakota to Canada to see their dying father, they met with a horrible accident in Chicago, where they were asphyxiated by gas. Both sons died on 4 Oct 1887, and their bodies were returned to Fitzroy to be buried at St. Michael’s, Corkery. Son John then went out to North Dakota to settle his brothers’ affairs and caught typhoid fever; he died at Fitzroy on 19 Dec 1887. Thus, even as the elderly Francis Moran lay dying, he and his wife Anne Galligan lost three sons in the space of a couple of months. None of the remaining children, Michael, Anne Elizabeth, and Margaret, ever married. Both Michael and Margaret died at St. Patrick’s Home in Ottawa.
**I hate to criticize ancestry.ca, because I really think it’s an excellent service. And some of the criticism I’ve seen seems to vastly underestimate the difficulties of transcribing historical records, what with phonetic spellings, cramped handwriting, and so on. But in ancestry’s index for the 1911 census, Michael Moran has been mistranscribed as…Krishna Bowan. Krishna Bowan?! Well, Bowan for Moran, fair enough. But Krishna? Does this name make sense even as a rough guess at a close approximation? I mean, c’mon guys: he’s an Irish Catholic farmer in Fitzroy township, and it’s 1911. Well, anyway…