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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

Frampton Wills Jul 13, 2012

I had said that I was going to publish a blog in May, but time has gotten away from me. I remained way too busy with some major home improvement projects, some travel, and finishing up on the final edits to my manuscript on the history of the Bureau of Land Management. The theme of this blog is Frampton wills.

The Frampton Irish have many records that could be called wills. In reality, there were several end of life records. These records were wills, holographic wills, inventories, and land donations with trust implications. End of life documents are hard to find in Quebec. It isn’t as easy as just looking through the indices in the courthouse like in the U.S. The end of life documents are scattered in the numerous notaire registers. Your ancestors end of life documents could be in any notaire’s register either in the Beauce/Dorchester Counties or Quebec City. I have found and indexed many such documents in my notaire indexing work. These documents can often reveal information that can’t be found in the census and Drouin collection records found on Most of these documents exist only on microfilm available at the Family History Library and the Archives de Quebec.

Recently I was requested by a descendant of George Abraham Smyth (1781-1856) to search for and obtain copies of all records for this family that I had located. In one notaire record, George Abraham Smyth’s son William Smyth had sold the land originally owned by George Abraham Smyth to Edward Henderson in 1868. In that document, it was revealed that William Smyth had been bequeathed the land by George Abraham Smyth and that George Abraham Smyth’s spouse was named Mary Stewart. Prior to copying this end of life related record, I had not know the name of Geoorge Abraham Smyth’s spouse, so now I reveal it to all of you who may be descendants of this family.

A few months ago I was contacted by a person who runs a website about the history and genealogy of the St. Gabriel de Valcartier area. She had asked my permission to republish my blog story on Father John O’Grady on her website, which I granted. As a result of this, I was contacted by Gerry Neville who had been engaged in transcribing wills for Irish people who had lived north of the St. Lawrence River. He offered to send to me transcriptions of wills he finds that are for persons who lived in Frampton and St. Malachie. He has now sent to me and I am in possession of the following will transcriptions for the Frampton Irish:

Armstrong, William (husband of Lucianda White)

Barry, Mary Honora Elizabeth (wife of John O'Grady)

Bartholomew, John (husband of Agnes Ross)

Bartholomew, Martha Jane [Miss]

Bradley, James (husband of Martha Ross)

Bradley, Margaret (wife of Benjamin Ralph Smith)

Brennan, Honora (wife of John O'Grady)

Brennan, Patrick (husband of Ellen Lawlor)

Cassidy, Philip (husband of Annie Lynch)

Conroy, Margaret [Miss]

Devereux, John (husband of Bridget Nugent)

Dillon, John (husband of Jane Smith)

Doyle, Frances (widow of Thomas Duff)

Duff, Hannah (wife of Michael Fitzgerald)

Duncan, John (husband of Helen Smith)

Farrell, Michael (husband of Catherine Moran)

Fitzgerald, Michael (husband of Hannah Duff)

Forrest, Julia Ann (widow of Alexander Henderson)

Franklin, George (husband of Helen Quigley)

Garvin, William (husband of Margaret Gary)

Harper, Robert M. (husband of Estella Alice Dillon)

Hayes, Catherine (widow of John Hickey)

Henderson, Gilbert (husband of Hannah Maria Hodgson)

Hennessey, Andrew (husband of Ann Sheehan)

Hodgson, Hannah Maria (wife of Gilbert Henderson)

Hodgson, Hannah Maria (widow of Gilbert Henderson)

Hurley, Edward Henry (husband of Isabella Bradley)

Kelly, Hugh (husband of Catherine O'Brien)

Lynch, Annie (wife of Philip Cassidy)

McClintock, Alexander (husband of Margaret McLean)

McLean, Margaret (wife of AlexanderMcClintock)

Mangan, Johanna (wife of William Miller)

Matthews, Joseph (husband of Judah Ratchford)

Milbourn, Elizabeth (wife of Andrew Ross)

Miller, William (husband of Johanna Mangan)

Murphy, Ann (wife of James Jordan)

Murphy, Bridget (wife of John Matthews)

Neville, Catherine (widow of James McKeown)

O'Brien, Michael (husband of Ellen Mangan)

O'Brien, Patrick (husband of Mary Thomas)

O'Farrell, Mary (widow of Thomas Murphy)

O'Farrell, Patrick (husband of Marguerite O'Neill)

O'Grady, James (husband of Ann Lawlor)

O'Grady, John (husband of Honora Brennan)

O'Neill, Marguerite (wife of Patrick O'Farrell)

Quigley, Helen (wife of George Franklin)

Ratchford, Judah (wife of Joseph Matthews)

Reed, Catherine (widow of Martin O'Brien)

Ross, Agnes (wife of John Bartholomew)

Ross, Andrew (husband of Elizabeth Milbourn)

Ross, Martha (wife of James Bradley)

Sample, John (husband of Rebecca Hamilton)

Smith, Benjamin Ralph (husband of Margaret Bradley)

Smith, Helen (wife of John Duncan)

Smith, Helen (widow of John Duncan)

Smith, Jane (wife of John Dillon)

Smith, Thomas (husband of Sarah Smith)

Tackney, Mary (widow of Denis Foley)

Thomas, Mary (wife of Patrick O'Brien)

White, William (husband of Maria Wright)

Wilson, Hugh (husband of Mary Wilson)

Wilson, Mary (wife of Hugh Wilson)

So if one or more of these will transcriptions are ancestors of yours and you would like a copy, e-mail me at and request which ones you want. However, Gerry Neville did all these transcripts in MS Word documents, so you must be able to receive and open such documents.

On another note, my suggestion about a possible 200th anniversary celebration in Frampton in 2015 has blossomed somewhat. Kathy Magher, a Frampton Irish descendant who lives in Frampton, has come forward to take the lead in organizing a 200th Anniversary celebration of the Irish in Frampton. She has tentatively named it "The Great Gathering of 2015 - the 200th Anniversary of the Frampton Irish." She suggests that among the offered activities could be: house tours, a hike through the woods from the 2nd Range to the 1st Range, cemetery tours, an afternoon at the Frampton Brasse micro-brewery, a visit to the old mill, an evening of history & story-telling, a tour of the convent, tour of the ranges, a special mass at the church to honor and remember our ancestors (perhaps a service could also occur at Springbrook), and a dinner and music at the church (which may be in the process of becoming a community center). I would offer to be there and provide a presentation on the comprehensive history of the Frampton Irish, as my manuscript on the subject may be done by then. I would also offer to share some in person genealogy information perhaps with some large charts showing who is related to who! Kathy would like to hear from any of you that think that this is a good idea. Please contact her at to offer your thoughts, suggestions, and comments about this idea. Most of all let her know if you think you might wish to attend or just to give her some encouragement. The settlement of Frampton was important to all the Irish who lived in Frampton, St. Malachie, Ste. Marguerite, Standon, and Cranbourne. It would be so wonderful to meet with all the descendants who now live throughout North America.

Military Involvement Apr 17, 2012

The theme of this blog is military involvement. It has commonly been said that one of the reasons for the Province of Lower Canada supporting the Irish settlements on rural lands between Quebec City and the U.S. border, was to provide a fringe of defense against potential invasions by the U.S. The U.S. had made several invasions into the Canadas during the War of 1812. Many veterans (on the British side) of this war were then entitled to land grants of "waste lands" in East Frampton. The Henderson brothers had served in the war. As part of their plans to develop the East Frampton settlements they purchased these entitlements from these veterans. Very few of the veterans would ever endeavor to settle on those lands as they wouldn’t be ready for settlement until around 1827. In the 15 years between the war of 1812 and 1827, most had found other places to settle and they were quick to accept the purchase offers from the Hendersons.

In order to be prepared for the unpredictable nature of the U.S., the Province of Lower Canada established militia units in the rural settlements. In 1815, a militia division was established for the County of Beauce. At first, those who were developing the settlements were appointed as militia officers. By October 1825, Edward Pyke was a Captain of the Militia and he conducted the 1825 census of Frampton Township as part of his duties. In February 1827, Gilbert Henderson became Captain of the Militia for East Frampton and in the following month settler William Wawne was appointed Lieutenant of the Militia for West Frampton. Andrew Murphy became Captain of the Militia for West Frampton in April 1831 replacing Wawne. In April 1834, Martin Murphy and John Hodgson became Captains of the Militia for West Frampton. In August 1834, Timothy Connell became Captain of the Militia for East Frampton and later that year John Dillon would be found as a Lieutenant of Militia in the same area. These persons had sworn their allegiance to the Province of Lower Canada.

But the threat of military action in the 1830s did not come from the U.S. It was in the "internal" Rebellion of 1837. Political unrest in the Canadas had arisen as a result of an economic depression. Declining agricultural prices as well as some crop failures created an agrarian crisis in Lower Canada. There were mass meetings, fiery speeches and a revolutionary spirit became visible in the fall of 1837. A riot of French and English extremists occurred in November. The insurgents were called "patriotes" perhaps due to the involvement of those of French descent. Most of the violence occurred in and around Montreal. While there was little, if any, involvement by the Frampton Irish, it didn’t mean they had no concerns about the potential effects of this rebellion.

A few months ago, a fellow researcher Jack Garneau (descendant of Edward Anderson and the George Smyth families) found a document at the National Archives of Canada that expressed the concern of the Frampton Irish. He sent me a copy of the document. Whenever I receive something significant on the history of the Frampton Irish at no cost, I try to share it as broadly as possible. So the following is a transcription of the document.

To His Excellency Lord Gosford, Governor in Chief of the Canadas

We the undersigned inhabitants residing in the Township of Frampton, District of Quebec beg leave most respectfully to approach your Lordship with feelings of loyalty and confidence.

From the present state of affairs in this province we conceive we have full reason to be alarmed for our personal safety, detached as we are from other settlements inhabited by persons of like origin of ourselves. We have every reason to apprehend that in case of any popular outbreak our isolated condition will mark us out as an easy prey to the French population by which we are surrounded, here we are ready and willing to defend ourselves, our Sovereign and our laws provided we have the means.

We therefore pray your Lordship will sanction the formation of a volunteer corps in this township that you will cause them to be supplied with arms & ammunition that should our services be required we may be able to oppose the rebellions in this portion of the district, or if unfortunately we should be obliged we might be in a condition to make a safe retreat to Quebec where we would gladly defend to the last the honour gained by the immortal Wolfe, and the blood of our countrymen.

We pray your Lordship will be pleased to select officers (in case you concede to our prayer) out of the names hereunto annexed.

George Smyth, Chairman

Received and answered on 13 December 1837 to G.S. Bagnall, Esq.

William Dickson, G. S. (George) Bagnall, George Smyth, John Thompson, James Wilson, Edward Wilson, William Wilson, John Foster, Sam Davison (Davidson), George Smyth, Jr., Joshua Smyth, Joseph Smyth, Charles Smyth, Thomas Smyth, William Smyth, James Wilson, John Darker, John Stanley, William Stanley, George Stanley, Jacob Brown, William Gibson, Charles Harper, Sr., Charles Harper, Jr., David Harper, John Harper, William Harper, John Sergeant, Jr., Owen Birds, Mic (Michael) Rooney, John Corrigan, James Corrigan, James Maclegun (McElgan), James Scott, John Watson, Sr., John Watson, Jr., Edward Anderson, James Hall, Robert Hall, Daniel Miles, Jack (John) Flack, John Bagley, Sr., William Bagley, Thomas Bagley, John Bagley, Jr., Jonathan Bagley, Robert Bagley, John Crawford, William Holms (Holmes), John Nicholson, Sr., Richard Nicholson, John Nicholson, Jr., Francis Hunter, Andrew Reazin, Isaac Holt, James Watson, Robert Morris, John Morris, John Lalley, Robert Kell, John Kell, George Kell, William Kell, Robert Fourd (Ford), John (Illegible), John Dillon, Thomas Hall, Robert McNeely, John McNeely, Robert McNeely, Jr., James McNeely, James McNeely,Jr., John McNeely, Jr., William McNeely, Joseph McNeely, John Sergen (Sargeant), Thomas Sergen (Sargeant), William Sergen (Sargeant), H. (Hugh) Dickson, Thomas Dickson, Michael Kenny, Anthony Comber, Hugh Rooney, and Michael Fitzgerald.

Although many of these names were probably members of the local militia unit, they seemed to wish to make their loyalties clear to the Provincial governor. Their notation to the honour gained by Wolfe, was in reference to British General James Wolfe who successfully invaded Quebec City in 1759 causing the surrender of the French forces. This list of names also serves as a "heads of household census" of East Frampton in 1837. Many of the names were Protestants, but there are also several Catholics named. I always try to point out that there was little, if any, conflict between the Irish Protestants and the Irish Catholic in Frampton. They seemed more inclined to identify with their common Irish heritage than to resort to any sectarian division.

I have also received several transcriptions of genealogical documents from another source. I intend to make those the theme of next month’s blog.

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