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.