The theme of this blog is migration to Maine. The Frampton Irish were often employed in the logging and lumber industries in Quebec. For many of them this was their first employment in Quebec after arriving from Ireland and it gave them the opportunity to earn the money they needed to buy their farms in the Frampton vicinity. Later, some found that their Frampton area farms were not entirely suitable for providing a complete subsistence on farming alone and often turned to "lumbering" to supplement their farming income.
The State of Maine had always been rich in timber resources. However at the time the Township of Frampton was settled the transportation route to Maine was woefully inadequate. Eventually this route would become improved and became known as the "Kennebec Road" in Canada and the "Old Canada Road" in Maine. In 1841, there were 2,000 men employed in the lumber industry in Maine and 40,000,000 board feet of lumber was harvested from the Kennebec. From its beginning, the Maine lumber industry primarily employed Maine natives. But after about 1850 the demand for lumber from the Maine woods became so great that there were many timber jobs available for those from outside Maine.
Migration to the State of Maine, especially Somerset County, was wide spread for several Frampton Irish families. The History of Moose River Valley provides: "Many of the early Irish settlers came here from the Cranburn-Frampton area of Quebec Province." Many of the Frampton Irish followed the timber jobs into Maine and down the Kennebec River. Some later migrated to other regions of the U.S. where timber cutting was the leading industry. Catholic Priest Francis Aloysius (Fr. Joe), a great grandson of Andrew Murphy, Frampton’s first settler, wrote:
In the era before 1860 many of them (the Frampton Irish) sought employment elsewhere. Farmland was in short supply around Frampton, and my father (William Murphy, son of Miles Murphy), always maintained that it was of poor quality, a few inches of soil on top of lots of rock. The French settlers had taken up the good land in the surrounding valleys quite before the Irish came. So many youngsters gravitated over into Maine, the boundary of which was very close by. There the usual and standard employment was in the lumber camps of the Maine woods. My father often spoke of cutting heavy timber during the winter months and then, after preparing the logs, running them down the Kennebec River when the spring thaws would come. The big sawmills were far down the river. Members of many families went into these activities. In course of time these lumberjacks moved westward, to Michigan and Wisconsin.
As the "logging season" was generally in the winter, the Frampton Irish were sometimes able to spend the winters in Maine and summers in Quebec on their farms. So the first to take the jobs in Maine were somewhat itinerant. Logging along the Kennebec was for a period of twenty-four to twenty-eight weeks depending on weather conditions and the quantity of trees to be cut. Some trees were cut in early fall and "yarded" until sufficient snowfall had accumulated. A good layer of snow on the ground was necessary for sledding and skidding the logs to the landings near the rivers. The cutting and moving of the logs would continue through the winter until the spring thaw. Then the logs were launched into the river to form "rafts" that were "driven" downstream to the mills. A "log driver" was literal the man who would walk on the logs to guide them down the river and clear any jambs. By the 1860 U.S. Census, Somerset County had a total of 55 mills with 28 of these in Fairfield, Maine and the remaining 27 in other towns.
West Frampton contributed many of the early migrants to Maine. Edward O’Neil left Frampton in 1846 for Skowhegan, Maine. He was followed shortly thereafter by Peter Redmond and Michael Redmond. Peter went to Solon, Maine in 1849 and Michael went to Caratunk, Maine in 1853. Their brothers Richard and James Redmond would go to the same areas in 1867. Thomas Fitzsimmons was in Caratunk, Maine as early as 1850. John Ambrose left Frampton in 1859 for Moscow, Maine and his parents Michael and Ann Ambrose went to Moscow in 1867. By 1860, brothers James and Michael Bearny were located in Moose River and Skowhegan, respectively. Richard Conroy and Martin Duff were residing in Parlin Pond, Maine in 1860. The Mahoney family, Philip Mahoney, Sr. and Philip Mahoney, Jr. and his children made the move to Bingham, Maine in about 1868. By 1870, brothers John and Joseph Fitzmorris would be found in Moscow. James Walsh was in Mayfield, Maine in 1870. Thomas Butler went to Skowhegan by 1880 and Michael Hannon left for Bingham in 1885.
The migration from Standon Township started with Thomas Lally, Jr. who went to Skowhegan, Maine in about 1858. Apparently, his mother Elizabeth Nicholson Lally must have went with him as her son Joseph Lally was born there in 1858. In 1860, Elizabeth Nicholson Lally and her children are found in the 1860 U.S. census in Skowhegan, Maine where she was a washer woman. Yet, her husband Thomas Lally, Sr. would be enumerated in the 1861 as a farmer in Standon Township. Elizabeth Nicholson Lally is found once again in the 1880 U.S. census in Skowhegan along with her daughter Mary. Yet, her husband Thomas Lally is found in 1881 Canada census in Standon. So a portion of the Lally family made the move to Skowhegan. In an 1870 notaire document, Robert Ford, formerly of Standon was identified as a resident of Somerset County. His sons Robert and Samuel Ford are found in the 1870 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. In a later census, Robert Ford, Jr. is found living in Norridgewock, Maine. Brother and sister George Crawford and Sarah Crawford of Standon went to Jackman, Maine in about 1882. Their father William Crawford would follow in 1896. William Crawford’s brother Robert Crawford went to Moose River, Maine in 1886. John C. Holmes left Standon in 1879 for Moscow, Maine where he was a log driver. He is found in Moscow in the 1880 U.S. Census, but later that year he went to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and then in 1885 to Drammen, Wisconsin.
There were many St. Malachie migrants to Maine. By the 1870 U.S. Census, Patrick Lyons and his wife Catherine Dwyer are found in Norridgewock, Maine. As he sold his farm in St. Malachie in 1868, that was probably when he moved there. Catherine Dwyer’s brother Patrick Dwyer and his wife Ellen Ryan and Catherine’s sister Jane Dwyer were found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Skowhegan, Maine. William Scallen, son of James Scallen and Ann Burns, was found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Skowhegan, Maine. John Kelly of Buckland went to Bingham, Maine in 1873. Patrick Cahill went to Moscow, Maine in 1875. Most of his children also made the move. One of his sons, Thomas D. Cahill, married in Bingham, Maine in 1905 and built a large house there. He went on the Cambridge, Massachusetts where he had a stewardship at Harvard. He returned to Bingham in 1922 and converted his house in Bingham into the Hotel Cahill. Patrick J. Walsh went to The Forks, Maine in 1881. Robert McLaughlin of Buckland went to Moscow, Maine in 1885. James Hickey went in 1870 to Old Town, Maine where he became employed as a sawmill worker. His son John H. Hickey would become mayor of Old Town, Maine in 1928.
Families from Ste. Marguerite also went to Maine. Patrick Bearny and his wife Margaret Quigley were residents of Concession St. Alexander. Their sons Thomas Bearny and James Bearny went to Moose River, Maine in 1855. Their brother Lawrence Bearny followed them to Moose River in 1868 and brother Patrick Bearny and sister Ellen Bearny were in Moose River by 1870. Patrick, Thomas and James Bearny later moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Richard Redmond was the son of Hugh Redmond and Marcelline Fitzsimmons of Concession St. Thomas. Richard Redmond moved his family to Concord, Maine in 1868 and later went to Wisconsin. James McLean, Jr. of Concession St. Alexander was in Caratunk, Maine and John Temple, Jr. of Concession St. Thomas was in Solon, Maine in 1870. Nicolas A. Murphy, son of Nicolas Murphy and Margaret Evoy of Concession St. Ambroise (Antoine), went to Moose River, Maine in 1882.
Cranbourne Township made the greatest contribution of all the Frampton communities in migration to Maine. Henry Hamilton married Ann Nicholson in 1845 at Springbrook and their first child was baptized at Springbrook in 1846. However, their second child Henry Crawford Hamilton was born in Skowhegan, Maine on June 28, 1848. So he had already established a pattern of temporary residence in Maine as he is found in the 1851 census as a resident of Cranbourne. However, he and his family are found in the 1860 U.S. census in Skowhegan, Maine where he was a day laborer. Thomas Free who was the son of Cranbourne settler Richard Free, went to Maine in 1865 where he worked on farms and in shipyards at Bangor. He also worked in the Maine pineries bur left for Clark County, Wisconsin in 1867. At least three children of Thomas Kennedy and Bridget Gorman had moved to the Bingham, Maine by the 1870 U.S. Census. Ann Jane Kennedy, age 9, was living in the household of Seth Robinson in Bingham, Maine. Andrew Kennedy, age 11, was living in the household of Samuel Adams in Madison, Maine. Michael Kennedy, age 12, was living in the household of Jonas Jones in Bingham, Maine. It is possible that the children were orphaned. Their older half brother Matthew Kennedy and family would make the move to West Forks, Maine later. He and his family were still located in Cranbourne in the 1871 Canada census, but are found in West Forks in the 1880 U.S. Census. Thomas Routh made a ratification of sale of some land in lot 11 of range 6 of Cranbourne Township to John Free on August 19, 1870 before Notaire Thomas Jacques Taschereau. In that document he was identified as a resident of Moscow, Maine. He and his family were further found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Moscow, Maine. John Matthews and Joseph Matthews, sons of George Matthews and Mary Trotter, are also found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Maine. They were both found in a location in Somerset County called "Canada Road." But by the 1881 Canada census, Joseph Matthews was back in Cranbourne. Thomas Gorman, son of Bartholomew Gorman and Mary Kennedy, was also found in the Canada Road area in the 1870 U.S. Census, but he returned shortly to marry at Ste. Marguerite and settle there. However, his brother John Gorman and his wife Mary McLane went to West Forks, Maine where they raised their family. They are buried in a West Forks cemetery alongside the Kennebec River. Andrew and Henry McClintock, sons of Alexander McClintock and Margaret McLean, were both in Maine by 1870. Andrew McClintock is found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Solon, Maine and Henry McClintock is found in the same census in Bingham, Maine. Their brother James McClintock had been in Skowhegan, Maine in 1854 as was recorded in the baptism record of his oldest child at Springbrook. But he returned to Cranbourne, and then was found later in the 1880 U.S. Census in Whitefield, New Hampshire. Patrick Cassidy of Cranbourne had made a receipt to Martin O’Connor in 1878 before a notaire. He was representing James Cuddy in regards to an act taken in Somerset County, Maine on December 7, 1871. So James Cuddy was in Somerset County, Maine in 1871. He is found in the 1880 U.S. Census in Mayfield, Maine. Patrick Hurley, son of John Hurley and M. Grace Matthews, went to Maine in 1883. He is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. Henry Connors and his family went to Maine in 1885. He and his family are found in the 1900 U.S. Census in Bingham, Maine. Several children of the Patrick Comber and Mary McCaughry family made the move to Maine. William Comber died in Bingham, Maine in 1879. However, the rest of the family went to Maine starting in 1889. Anthony Comber went to Bingham, Maine in 1889 and is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. Mary Ann Comber married Patrick Fitzmorris in 1889 at Skowhegan, Maine. John B. Comber’s son was born in 1893 at Bingham, Maine. Michael Comber died in 1895 at Bingham, Maine. Hugh P. Comber married in Jackman, Maine in 1895 and is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. Lawrence F. Comber married in The Forks in 1896 and is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. Even the grandsons of Cranbourne’s prominent citizen Patrick Cassidy would find their way to Maine. John J. Cassidy, Patrick Cassidy, and Joseph Cassidy, sons of Edward Cassidy and Ellen Colgan, went to Maine in the 1890s. John J. Cassidy was married in 1896 at Bingham, Maine and is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in Bingham, Maine. Patrick Cassidy is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in Bingham, Maine. Joseph Cassidy married in 1916 at Bingham, Maine.