The theme of this edition is "Frampton’s Most Wanted." I will present here some of those "most wanted" that I found and some that remain "wanted."
So many things have happened in the past year that it is hard to know where to begin. But perhaps the most significant thing was the placement of the "Drouin Collection" on-line by Ancestry.com. This event has tremendously enhanced abilities to conduct research in Quebec church records, both Catholic and Protestant. I will describe this source and some tips in the conclusion of this edition. Also this year I had a wonderful trip to Quebec and the St. Malachie anniversary celebration. Just before I left for Quebec, I pursued a hunch with the "Drouin Collection." I searched some hospital registers in Quebec City and I found the burial record of my great great grandmother Anastasia O’Connor. She died and was buried at the Catholic "Quebec Insane Asylum." While in Quebec City, I was able to tour the old facility as it is now a museum. They said I could make a request for records, but I would have to provide proof that I was her descendant. After much time spent in compiling birth and death certificates and parish records, I sent my request to them. But the only records I got was her date of admittance, her date of death and a diagnosis of "mania." Then recently I was doing some research for a client and low and behold, I found a burial record for his ancestor at the Protestant "Insane Asylum" in Verdun, Quebec. After studying the issue somewhat, I have concluded that the Quebec "Insane Asylums" were most likely what we Americans would call an "old folks home" where the patients may have had various forms of dementia. So she was one of my "Frampton’s Most Wanted" that I found.
I spent several days at the Archives de Quebec in Quebec City and learned some new things. I discovered the register of Notaire Joseph Valentin Gagnon. He was the only notaire known to have actually lived in Frampton during his tenure. His register includes many documents, contracts, etc, for the Frampton Irish and you may have noticed that I now have placed an index to those Frampton Irish on this website and I now own a copy of the microfilm and can retrieve records from it. I had come across his name before in my research and I couldn’t figure why I could not find a microfilm for his register in the LDS Family History Library (FHL) Catalog. What I learned is that the FHL did not purchase the entire collection of Quebec notaire microfilms. I also used to think that notaire records were not indexed. However, it seems that the Archives de Quebec has these indices on microfiche that is a separate collection than the actual notaire register microfilms. The FHL apparently never purchased the notaire index microfiche collection. So the good news is that these things exist. The bad news is that the Archives de Quebec does not make inter-library loans to United States locations. But their affiliated "Federation des familles-souches du Quebec" has available for sale all their microfilm and their microfiche collection. I obtained one of their catalogs and I was amazed at the many available records at Arhives de Quebec that are not available through the FHL. Also, their catalog is now my main reference source for the "Drouin Collection" as it lists all the church and parish registers by their name and their inclusive years. Further, the Archives de Quebec is in the process of placing many of the notaire indices on-line on their website. So the category of notaire indices is one of "Frampton’s Most Wanted" now found.
There were a few things that remain as "Frampton’s Most Wanted." While extracting records from the St. Edouard de Frampton parish register, I found a copy of a form when the register was filmed that was an "inventory" of what was in the parish archives in the 1970s. On that list were parochial census taken in the 1830s. The form indicated that these were not filmed and remained in the parish archives. I wrote to both the St. Edouard de Frampton fabrique and the Catholic diocese archives in Quebec City. They both indicated that they did not have copies of same. If these sources can be found they might prove to be very valuable. The 1866 parochial census that was filmed even had a few notes made by the priest of the places of Irish origin for some of the families. Perhaps these 1830s census’ have such detailed information. Further, in 1830s all the Irish were members of the St. Edouard de Frampton parish before the surrounding parishes were founded. It remains a missing item, but what a find it might be if located..
Also this year I was able to make contact with Patrick Redmond, the author of "Irish Life in Rural Quebec," which he wrote in the 1970s. I asked him about the "Framptonology" manuscript referenced in his book. I asked if he remembered if that document was bigger and more comprehensive than the one provided on my website. I asked because the old photocopy that was sent to me had mysterious reference numbers on it that seem to point to other pages. He said yes, that it was much longer and was meticulous kept by its author, Fr. William Enright. Further, if this was a major project of Fr. Enright’s, it certainly would have been more than 18 pages long. Also note that as a priest at St. Edouard de Frampton he had access to the parochial registers mentioned above. So the rest of "Framptonology" remains on the "Frampton’s Most Wanted" list.
One of the many people I contacted at the St. Malachie celebration was Tom Kelly and his father. We had a wonderful conversation as this Kelly family lived quite near to my McLane family in Ste. Marguerite. I happened to ask about why they thought that the Ste. Marguerite cemetery has so few Irish gravestones. Tom’s father said that on one of his visits years ago, he noticed that Irish gravestones had been removed from their original locations and stacked against the church outer wall. After he inquired, he was told the stones were being removed to make room for recent burials. Upon his next visit, the stones were gone! So now among the "Frampton’s Most Wanted" are where did the stones go? In a barn somewhere? As part of someone’s deck or patio? My great great grandfather James McLean has a burial record at Ste. Marguerite, but no stone there. If a stone exists, I would love to at least know what it said. There are a few Irish stones at the cemetery, but they appear to have been placed more recently (in the last thirty years). Among those are for the "Nevilles" and the "McDonoughs." I would love to make contact with the descendants of these families, as Hugh McDonough was the cousin of my James McLean and they were neighbors in Ste. Marguerite. Tom’s father also said that he heard that the collection of Frampton genealogical and historical materials once kept at the little restaurant in Frampton had been donated to the "archives" in St. Joseph. I have since confirmed that the "fonds Corporation culturelle de Frampton" are at the Societe du patrimoine des Beaucerons in St. Joseph. Could those "fonds" have the missing parochial census or the complete "Framptonology?" Does anyone know if the "Corporation culturelle de Frampton" still exists and how to get in contact with them? I believe they were somewhat responsible for the historic site at Springbrook and the restoration of the "Old Frampton" cemetery. I also would like to get in contact with Anne-Marie Poulin, author of "An Anglican Heritage, Christ Church in Frampton." These remain on the list of "Frampton’s Most Wanted."
Another person I met at St. Malachie was none other than Malcolm Henderson, a descendant of the proprietor of East Frampton. Malcolm indicated that he had donated a number of Henderson papers to the Societe du patrimoine des Beaucerons in St. Joseph. And I confirmed that the "fonds Famille Gilbert Henderson et Sarah Harper" are in their collection. Also, Malcolm said that he would be in contact with me and send me some things, but I never heard from him. So if anyone knows how to contact him, please let me know. Unfortunately I did not have time during my trip to Quebec to visit the Societe du patrimoine des Beaucerons in St. Joseph. I guess that will have to wait for the next trip.
Another of "Frampton’s Most Wanted" are the Louis Morin papers. Louis Morin was known by many to be the local historian and while he was still alive assisted many in finding their Frampton Irish ancestors. I regret that he had died before I was ever able to make contact with him. I have heard from some of you that his papers are in the possession of one of his sons. It would be great just to know what his collection included. Could it have included the missing 1830s parochial census or the complete "Framptonology?" Who knows. If anyone knows anything about his collection, I would love to here from you. Perhaps, it could be suggested that the papers be donated to the Societe du patrimoine des Beaucerons in St. Joseph where they could be accessed. I also would be willing to travel to the location where they are stored and inventory them if I knew where they were and could obtain permission.
Last of the "Frampton’s Most Wanted" that warrants mention is the Ryan journal. In "Histoire de la Paroisse de Saint-Malachie" by Fr. Jules-Adrien Kirouac, there is the story of how the Edmond Ryan family left County Tipperary in April 1826. Kirouac goes on to say that Edmond’s eldest son Patrick Ryan kept a journal of all the details of their trip from Tipperary through Limerick to Quebec. This journal would be a great value to all descendants of the Frampton Irish since there is so little literature on Irish emigration to Quebec in that era. So if anyone knows any descendants of this Ryan family that might know the location of this journal, please let me know. I would be willing to travel to their location for the purpose of transcribing the journal to make the story more readily available.
Enough of the "Most Wanted." I wanted to offer a few tips about the "Drouin Collection." The collection can be accessed through a subscription to Ancestry.com. The collection are parish and church records from throughout Quebec. It is the registers that were copies of the originals that were forwarded to the District Courts, so they may differ from the microfilms of the original registers. At this point the collection is not searchable. Apparently they are being indexed by the University in Montreal. Considering the size of the collection, it may be some time before they become searchable. Further, it will be a difficult task searching for Irish names that were handwritten by French priests unfamiliar with Irish spellings. The way it works now without a search function is that you must guess at which parish or church an event might be found and the approximately year it occurred. The first page of the collection is an alphabetical list. Some churches are found under their location and others are found under their names. This is where the "Federation des familles-souches du Quebec" catalog mentioned above comes in handy. Once the church register is found, it is sorted by year. Generally the last few pages of the year includes a handwritten index to the events of the year. Although, sometimes the index is found in the first few pages and sometimes there is no index requiring a page by page search. The index provides the "folio" or "leaf" number the event can be found on. These are not page or "image" numbers. However, to begin with use that number and then select the ancestry.com "image" number. Each image usually consists of two pages of register. Then examine the image and in the upper right corner of the image will be the "folio" or "leaf" number in handwriting. This number pertains to the right half of the image you are looking at and the left half of the following image. So from there you must go image by image until you find the correct "folio" or "leaf" number. Generally in the Catholic registers the "folio" number will be written in French, so have your dictionary available. In the Protestant registers the "leaf" number will be in English. I have found a few problems in the collection that complicate things. For example, I found several of the years for the Frampton Protestant (Springbrook) register mixed up among the years of the St. Edouard de Frampton Catholic register. Also, I have found some records and other features on the St. Edouard de Frampton microfilm that do not appear in the "Drouin Collection." Further, I have found some years of coverage for the Frampton Protestant (Springbrook) register on the microfilm that are not in the "Drouin Collection." So the lesson learned is that just because you don’t find what you are looking for in the "Drouin Collection" doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
So I think I have blogged quite enough for this month! If you might know the answers to some of these "Frampton’s Most Wanted" please considering writing your answer in the guest book so all readers can gain the knowledge. Be sure to include your e-mail address in case there are further questions. Or if you would rather, send me an e-mail.