Catholic Records, Census, Home Children, Queries

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.

Margaret and her brother Michael Devine arrived in Canada (Montréal) on 6 June 1897, as members of a party of children from the Liverpool Catholic Protection Society. Michael apparently died shortly after landing in Canada. Margaret Devine lived with the Burkes for at least five or six years, before marrying (St. Mary’s/Notre Dame du Bon Conseil, Ottawa, 23 Nov 1908) another Home Child: Thomas William Sullivan, born in England, son of John Sullivan and Eliza Colbert. In the marriage record, Margaret Devine’s birthplace is given as England, not Ireland, and her parents are named as John Devine and Mary J. O’Reilly.2. A descendant of this couple informs me that Margaret Devine and Thomas William Sullivan actually met on the Burke farm, where Sullivan had also been placed (a bit later than Margaret, around 1904).

As a French Canadian born in Ontario, Thomas Lanctot was not a Home Child. Who were his parents? and how/why did he end up in the household of Thomas Burke and Mary Ann Lahey?

On 8 April 1918, a Thomas Wilfrid Lanctot, age 32, married Marilda Lumina Céré at St François d’Assise/St. Francis of Assisi, Ottawa. The groom was listed as the son of Théophile Lanctot and of the deceased Marie Louise Céré, with his parish given as St. Isidore, South March. In the civil registration of this marriage, Thomas Wilfrid Lanctot’s residence is listed as South March, with his birth place recorded as Eastman Spring (= Carlsbad Springs, Russell, Ontario). Is this the same Thomas Lanctot who is found in the Burke-Lahey houshold in the 1901 census?

  1. Register of Confirmations, 1888-1909, St. Isidore, South March, Carleton, (, Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923.
  2. In the 1891 England census, Lancashire, Liverpool, Dale St, District 2, there is a John Devine (age 54), born Dublin, Ireland; with wife Jane (age 30), born Liverpool; and children Bridget (age 10), Thomas (age 8), Michael (age 5), and Margaret (age 3), all born in Liverpool. Could these two younger children be the Michael and Margaret Devine who emigrated to Canada in 1897?