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   Welcome to the Frampton Irish Blog. I will try to provide a blog edition each month. Each edition will have a theme. I will try to include such items as updated information on my research activities, new things I am learning, interesting tidbits on Frampton Irish persons and families, and occasionally some research tips. If I present questions and issues to you, and you have answers or comments, I invite your feedback either on the guest book or if you prefer by email to me at

Emigration Patterns Dec 09, 2008

The theme of this blog is emigration patterns from Ireland to Frampton. Don’t you wish sometime that some lost collection of early ship lists for ships traveling to Lower Canada from Ireland during the period from 1800 through the famine (1840s) would suddenly be discovered somewhere? Ship lists are the primary source that most family history sleuths rely upon to tell them when their ancestor arrived in North America and quite often where they came from. The problem with this for the Frampton Irish is because they emigrated from Ireland (a possession of the British Empire) to Canada (a possession of the British Empire), they didn’t really emigrate from one country to another so the keeping of ship lists was not all that important. Also, it wasn’t until the start of Grosse Ile in 1832 that Canada had an "emigrant station." Much of the Frampton Irish was already living on farms in the Frampton vicinity by then.

There are, however, ways of approximating when a Frampton Irish ancestor may have arrived in Lower Canada. In my index work, I have estimated the year of arrival for many of the Frampton Irish progenitors. This estimate is based upon the date of the progenitor’s earliest record found in Lower Canada. The presence of the progenitor in either the 1825 or 1831 heads of household census in Frampton is also an important indicator.

I have compiled the estimated year data from my index work and I have been able to generally divide the Frampton emigration patterns into four groups: group one are those who arrived prior to 1820; group 2 are those who arrived from 1821 to 1825 (prior to 1825 census); group 3 are those who arrived from 1826 (after 1825 census) to 1831 (prior to 1831 census); group 4 are those who arrived after 1831 (after the 1831 census). Some rather general assumptions can be made about each group by examining those who have identified places of origin in Ireland and some that even have dates of departure/arrival.

Included in group one are the very first arrivals. The first to arrive in Lower Canada was the Miles Murphy family from County Wexford. According to a land petition that he and his family filed in 1810, they had already been living in Lower Canada for four years, making their arrival year 1806. Further, the names of Miles Murphy and Peter Murphy appear "side by side" on an 1806 list of those petitioning for land grants in Lower Canada. It appears that arrival of the Irish prior to 1816 was extremely rare. This was due to three primary factors: (1) the agricultural economy in Ireland was "booming" due to the food needs of the military during the Napoleonic Wars; (2) there were only perhaps a handful of Irish in Lower Canada at the time, mostly soldiers stationed at the garrison; and (3) the "timber trade" economy would not get started until close to the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1814-1815) leading to the availability of greater shipping. In fact, the Quebec Mercury newspaper recorded just three ships arriving in Quebec City from Irish ports between 1805 and 1816. One ship, the Recovery, arrived from Dublin on August 19, 1806 after an 11 week voyage with 34 passengers on board. Unfortunately, the Quebec Mercury never included any lists of names on board. But this may have been the ship that the Miles Murphy family arrived on. I believe that the emigration of the Miles Murphy family was the direct result of Miles having been imprisoned for his involvement in the 1798 Irish Rebellion and he may have been exiled from Ireland after his release. It would be this families communication with family and friends that would result in other Wexford emigrants coming to Lower Canada and Frampton Township becoming an Irish settlement.

In a land petition filed by Peter Murphy and other Irish emigrants in 1817, they stated that they had chartered a brig from the City of Wexford to sail to Lower Canada. Records of Peter Murphy’s son James’ baptism were found to have occurred in County Wexford in 1809 and his son Patrick’s baptism at Notre Dame de Quebec in 1811. This means that Peter Murphy probably arrived in Lower Canada about 1810 or 1811. However the Quebec Mercury newspaper reported only the arrival of the Jane Layburn from Dublin after a passage of 39 days carrying 19 passengers in 1811. No arrivals from Irish ports were reported in 1810.

Group one includes the very first settlers of Frampton Township. There were about 31 progenitors in this group. Andrew Murphy, Robert Wright and Patrick Byrnes were the first to received land concessions in the township in 1816. Andrew Murphy (son of Miles Murphy) and his brother-in-law Robert Wright arrived with the Miles Murphy family in 1806. Patrick Byrnes probably arrived about 1815 from County Wexford. Peter Murphy (probable son of Miles Murphy) didn’t settle in Frampton until 1821 (on the same farm as was conceded to Robert Wright who died in 1821). With the exception of the Miles Murphy family, for the most part these first settlers arrived after 1816. Also, for the most part these first settlers came from County Wexford. Although the first two Protestant families came from Northern Ireland, John Ross from Antrim and Edward Manes from Armagh. All of these first settlers would take up land in the northwest corner of Frampton Township.

The Quebec Mercury newspaper reported several ships arriving from Wexford and Waterford in 1817, 1818, and 1819. The James Fitzgerald family was known to have arrived in Lower Canada on May 17, 1820, having come from County Wexford. The Quebec Mercury newspaper just happens to have reported the arrival of the Aeolus from Waterford (near Wexford) after a 35 day crossing and carrying 120 passengers. The other possible Wexford passengers on this ship were the Martin Murphy family and the John Sinnott family. The Aeolus crossed from Waterford to Quebec City in 1819, 1825, 1826, and 1827 as well. It was reported on August 2, 1818 that 1,337 immigrants had arrived at Quebec City when the total population of the city was only 10 times that number.

Group two sort of doubled the population with about 34 additional progenitors. This group included 11 more progenitors from County Wexford. There was also the addition of three Protestant families from County Antrim and one from County Cavan. These Protestant families were probably the seed group that would bring many others to Frampton from the North of Ireland. By this era, the number of ships arriving from Ireland become far too many to mention in this brief article. The "timber trade" was now in full swing transporting timber from the port of Quebec City to the British Isles. There was a need to have a cargo to return to Quebec City and the passenger business from Ireland was booming. Most of the group two progenitors would continue to settle on the vacant lots in the northwest corner of Frampton Township. However, three Irish settlers can be found in East Frampton (enumerated under the parish of Ste. Claire) in the 1825 census. Those settlers were Patrick Kinsley, James Sheehy and Timothy Connell. Patrick Kinsley may have been from County Wexford. Timothy Connell was from County Limerick and had received his land concession from William Henderson on October 25, 1823 and that is the most probable year of his arrival. The Quebec Mercury reported the arrival of two ships from Limerick in 1823. The Mary Ann departed on May 19 and arrived in Quebec City on July 16 with 142 passengers. The Fortitude departed on June 14 and arrived in Quebec City on July 25 with 194 passengers.

Group three still included a great number of families from County Wexford. Although in this group a diversity of Irish origins begins to take place with the southeast area of Ireland being prominent. With this group, settlement was much more spread out into the southwestern area of Frampton Township (the "Luce Settlement"), into the Henderson settlements in East Frampton and into the southern concessions of the Seigneurie of Jolliet (Ste. Marguerite). Of note is the reported journey of Martin Murphy. Jr. and his sister Margaret who supposed left Wexford for Lower Canada on the Thomas Farrell on April 9, 1828. The Quebec Mercury did report the arrival of the Thomas Farrell on September 4, 1828 after departing Wexford on July 24, but the cargo was reported as ballast (stones to provide balance for sailing) rather than passengers. Martin Murphy’s more likely passage was an arrival of the Thomas Farrell on May 3, 1827 after a 26 day passage. There were 25 passengers and the departure date would have been around April 6, 1827. This is supported by the fact that his sister Margaret married Thomas Kell on April 29, 1828 at Ste. Marie. Thomas Kell was from England and the couple met each other in Lower Canada. They most likely knew each other longer than 20 days when they were married. The Thomas Farrell also made the passage from Wexford to Quebec City in 1825 and 1826.

Another group 3 passage was the journey of the Edmund Ryan family who traveled from County Tipperary to Limerick in April of 1826. They then left Limerick and arrived in Quebec City on June 4, 1826. The Quebec Mercury reported two ships departing Limerick for Quebec City in April 1826. The Commerce left Limerick on April 29, 1826 with 106 passengers

and arrived in Quebec City on June 12. The Hale also left Limerick on April 29, 1826 with 124 passengers and arrived in Quebec City on June 19. Edmund Ryan came from the Catholic Parish of Ballyporeen in County Tipperrary. He would be one among many Tipperary emigrants to settle in St. Malachie, most in the Concession of Ballyporeen.

Group 4 represented a greater diversity of Irish origins, although many appear to have been from the Northern half of Ireland from such counties as Londonderry, Armagh, Down, Antrim, Kings, Longford, etc. Group 4 had a higher proportion of Protestant settlers. This group tended to settle in East Frampton (St. Malachie). After 1831, the traffic of ships coming from Ireland was tremendous due to the partial failure of the potato crop (the first "famine") in 1830 and 1831. By the end of the 1831 immigration season, 47,708 immigrants had arrived at Quebec City in 856 vessels and most of these were the Irish. This rapid emigration may have been partly responsible for a cholera epidemic in Lower Canada from 1831 to 1834. On February 25, 1832, An Act of the Assembly of Lower Canada created the emigrant station at Grosse Isle to deal with the problem. By the time of the Irish "famine" of the 1840s, the majority of the Frampton Irish had already arrived and settled on farms in the Frampton vicinity.

For the most part, the Frampton Irish emigrants spent some time in Quebec City before they went to Frampton. In the register of Notaire Archibald Campbell, evidence is found of a substantial number of business men in the Irish Community from 1811 to 1819. Among them were Patrick Daly (son-in-law of Miles Murphy), tavern keeper; Andrew Murphy (son of Miles Murphy), inspector of timber; Michael Murphy, shoemaker; Joseph Maloney, tavern keeper; John Hennessey, tavern keeper; Martin Fitzgerald, tavern keeper; John O’Hara, merchant and inn keeper; James Hickey, ship carpenter; Henry Connelly, clerk; William O’Hara, merchant; John Staples, ship builder; James Butler, ship carpenter; Hugh Duff, master carpenter; Dennis Doyle, tavern keeper; and John Byrne & Patrick O’Connor, tailors. This community would continue to grow and most likely was of great service to the Irish emigrants stepping off the boat in the Lower Town part of Quebec City. One can only imagine the emigrant going straight to the nearest Irish owned pub where they could find someone of their own nationality and speaking their own language to get information about jobs and locations to settle. It would not be difficult for them to learn of the Irish settlement of Frampton.

Genealogy Centres Oct 25, 2008

The theme of this blog is using the Irish Genealogies Centres to research your Frampton Irish ancestors. Last month I discussed determining the Irish origins of your Frampton Irish ancestors. It is most important to use sources in North America to at least identify the County in Ireland that your ancestors came from. But once you know that where do you go from there?

As many of you may know, doing Irish ancestral research can be difficult. This is especially true for the Frampton Irish as most of them emigrated to Lower Canada several decades before the "famine" and it was before any surviving Irish census. Further, ship lists for the Frampton Irish emigrants are virtually non-existant. While libraries in North America do have some Irish sources available, they are quite limited for the time period in question.

The good news is that Ireland has a system of County Genealogies Centres available to do searches on your behalf. A varying fee is charged for this service which perhaps has scared a few of you off. I too was once reluctant to use this service in that I wasn’t sure what I would get for my money.

The Genealogy Centres have somewhat "monopolized" the local records. They seemed to have done this as a "make work" project for local citizens as well as using their efforts to encourage "genealogy tourism." Most of the early church records (both Catholic and Protestant) are available for consulting at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin. However, there is not an index or search function, meaning that you would have to know the specific church where your ancestors may have come from. The Genealogy Centres have taken these church records and other records and indexed them and placed them in a county database that can readily be searched. Again a fee is charged, but it will most likely be far cheaper than flying to Dublin and lodging there while you make haphazard searches in the church record microfilms.

The first that I heard of someone receiving information from a Genealogy Centre was when a distant Doran relative of mine e-mailed me in 2001 to tell me that he got information from the Wexford Genealogy Centre that his Great Grandfather Michael Doran (my 3 Great Grandmother was his sister Elizabeth) was born on December 7 , 1825 at the Catholic Parish of Oulart and that his parents were residents of the Townland of Bolaboy. Later I heard from another Frampton Irish researcher who not only confirmed that her ancestor John McLaughlin came from Londonderry but she received information about his specific street address and the church he worshiped at. In another example a marriage record of Miles Duff and Margaret Doyle was found in the Catholic Parish of Wexford Town along with a birth record of one of their children. It was these examples that told me it may be possible to find information on my own Frampton Irish ancestors.

I made my first attempt to request information on my ancestors from the Wexford Genealogy Centre a few years ago. I was most interested in my Murphy ancestors who reportedly had come from somewhere near Enniscorthy. At that time the on-line instructions for the Wexford Genealogy Centre asked that a form be filled out on an individual ancestor and their family and to send about $25.00 for the request. About a month later I received a reply that said a record for my ancestor (Andrew Murphy) could not be found in the Wexford database. So this request did not work out so well for me. I set that effort aside and decided it would be best to wait a couple years so that they could increase their database somewhat and by then I might have further information.

My brother and I had been discussing the possibility of going to Ireland. However, I did not want to go until I had at least some location details about our ancestors in County Wexford. So I checked the County Wexford Genealogy website and noticed a few changes. This time the centre asked for 15 Euro to be sent to obtain a Genealogy Pack. The "pack" identified three kinds of searches: individual, family and location with the fee schedule for each. The individual and family searches are for parish records. Other searches are available for Census, Griffith’s Valuation, Tithe Books and Gravestones for additional fees. Because the Frampton Irish were such early emigrants, I determined that a search of the parish records was the best bet. The "pack" also identified which parish records were available and their years of coverage. And because I didn’t do well with an "individual search" with my first attempt, I determined a "family search" would probably be necessary.

This time I decided to request several "family searches." Using the format provided in the "pack," I identified the background information for the following five "related families": Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan; Michael Donahue and Mary Murphy; Phelim Doran and Catherine Murphy; Matthew O’Connor and Catherine O’Brien and Sylvester O’Connor and Mary Roach. Upon receipt of my request, the centre informed me that the search fee would be $473.00. So I took the risk and sent the money.

Unfortunately, it took about seven months for my search to be completed. The centre asked for my patience as spring and summer are their primary tourist season as the centre location is also a museum and tourist attraction. I finally received my report the first week of this month. For the most part, very few matches were found for the family members I submitted. This is most likely due to the fact that some of the most likely parishes have records available only for time periods after my ancestors went to Canada. However, several records were found that seemed to match several Frampton Irish ancestors. I had submitted the name of Miles Murphy, born about 1750. A record was found for a Miles Murphy born September 29, 1747 at Wexford Town. Another submission was for Margaret Nowland (Miles wife) born about 1754. A record was found for a Margaret Nowland born November 10, 1755 at Wexford Town (same parish as Miles). A record was also found for a James Murphy born on March 25, 1809 at the Parish of Oylegate with parents Peter Murphy and Margaret Lambert (later residents of Frampton). A record was found for a Anne Connors born October 24, 1819 at the Parish of Kilmuckridge with parents Matthew Connors and Catherine Brien. I believe this child was most likely my Great Great Grandmother Anastasia (Anny) O’Connor. The other record found was the same as the one mentioned above for Michael Doran and thus validated the search process. There were several records provided that were not matches for my Frampton Irish families but had the same names. The researcher also provided a complete list of all events searched for in which no record was found.

At first it didn’t seem like much for $473.00. But I studied what I received and compared it to some of the locations I had identified in my research in the Rebellion Papers and I discovered that all these records collectively pointed to the same general areas in County Wexford. So I believe now I am much better prepared to make the trip to Ireland when the opportunity presents itself. I also realized that what I spent was very small in comparison to what it would have cost to go to Ireland and do the research myself. This is especially true for all the search work for which records were not found.

I would be interested in hearing from any of you that may have made requests to the Ireland Genealogy Centres and what you may have found out. I would also encourage any of you that know the County in Ireland that your ancestors came from to attempt an information request and search. The different Genealogy Centres vary in their fees, search procedures and what records are available. Most of them have a website describing their services. You can find the Irish Genealogy Centres and the sources they have in their databases at the Irish Family History Foundation website at

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