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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

Migration to Maine Sep 09, 2010

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.

Murphy Papers Jul 29, 2010

It has now been a few months since my last blog. I am afraid time is passing by very quickly for me lately and I have been increasingly busy. But I have squeezed in some time for research and genealogy work here and there. The theme of this blog is the Murphy papers. When I get the chance I am constantly searching notaire indexes and records for a few particular documents. The quest for these documents are my motivation. First, I would like to find a document that constitutes the sale or transfer of land from Mary Murphy Wright to Peter Murphy. The particular piece of land was lot 2 of range 3 of Frampton Township. This piece of land was first granted to Mary Murphy’s husband Robert Wright who received a concession for that land in 1816, but he died in 1821. Peter Murphy was living on that farm by about 1823 and that farm was right next to Andrew Murphy. I suspect that Peter Murphy was the brother of Mary Murphy and Andrew Murphy, but I am looking for a document to prove it. If I can find the sale or transfer document it may mention that Peter was a brother. As a substitute for that document, a property inventory of the estate of Miles Murphy and his wife Margaret Nowlan might reveal the same information. Another document I seek is the original land entry document for my ancestor James McLean or his neighbor (and cousin) Hugh McDonough. I have found in my research that original land entry documents sometimes indicate what county in Ireland the person came from. James McLean is my only Frampton Irish ancestor that I don’t know the Irish county of origin for. So the basis of my research is looking for these documents and as I proceed I always come across numerous documents of the Frampton Irish that I wasn’t necessarily looking for, but never-the-less there they are, so I index them in case anyone else is interested in me obtaining copies for them. In my searching I have come across numerous papers involving the Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan family that paints a very interesting picture of their lives. I have discovered that if all you know about your ancestors is births, marriages and deaths, then you actually don’t know much about your family at all.

One of the projects that kept me busy was my son needing help with a sprinkler project in early May. So I went to his home in West Jordan, UT to work on this project. As West Jordan is just a few miles south of Salt Lake City, I was able to spend two nights at the Family History Library. So I was able to continue my project of indexing notaire records in the hopes of soon publishing a volume III index of Frampton Irish documents found. Before I went on the trip, I had consulted the on-line index on the Archives de Quebec website for the register of Notaire Edouard Glackmeyer. Glackmeyer was a notaire that operated in Quebec City from 1816 to 1880. His place of business was near the Irish neighborhoods of Quebec City. I found several important documents in his register related to my Murphy families. I also found a few things that may be of interest to some of you I have been in contact with and/or done custom reports for. I am not able to provide updated information to everyone I have done research for. So here are a few things that may interest some of you. The first mill in Frampton on the Desbarats River in lot 1 of range 3, was in existence in 1818, as I found a contract for its repair. I once did a report for a descendant of Darby (Jeremiah) Kildiff, father of Ann Kilduff who married John Walsh of St. Malachie. I found an apprentice agreement for his son Patrick. I found what appears to be the first land sale to Moses Jordan dated June 24, 1831 and the document stated that he was late from County Wexford. Here is where you can see that original land entry documents can identify the place of origin and they provide the precise year that the person arrived in Quebec. I found a building lease where Joseph Wilson leased some rooms in Quebec City from merchant William Hossack in 1835. As there was a Joseph Wilson who was a merchant in St. Malachie and was married to a Margaret Hossack, this could be an important clue for someone. So as you can see interesting things pop up in notaire records, even in those notaires that worked in Quebec City.

But my main interest in the Glackmeyer register remains my Murphy families. I had found clues in other notaire registers that indicated there were possibly other Murphy records in this register and I was not disappointed. I found the familiar Murphy names in the on-line index. But unfortunately, many of the handwritten indices do not provide enough information to confirm that the index entry is indeed the persons you are looking for. Then with the Family History Library rental fee at the price of $5.75, it becomes somewhat of a financial risk to order a microfilm only to discover that the record was another Murphy with the same given name. But, a least one of the index items listed a Miles Murphy, husband of Margaret Nowlan and another item was a Margaret Nowlan, who was the widow of a Miles Murphy. So these were sure things for me and I paid the rental to have the films sent to my neighborhood LDS family history center. They were indeed records of my Murphys. There were many other possible Frampton Irish records in the Glackmeyer register, but they were contained on many rolls of microfilm. Rather than pay the $5.75 each, I decided to wait until my visit to Salt Lake City in May to look at all those possible items and index those that I confirm to be Frampton Irish. Even with gasoline costs to Salt Lake City, when there are multiple films to look at it is more cost effective.

In the Glackmeyer register I found the following Murphy documents. On August 24, 1832, Miles Murphy of Ste. Marie de Beauce made a testament. He listed only his wife Margaret Nowlan and children Miles Murphy, Dorothy Murphy, and Mary Murphy, previously married to Robert Wright, but now married to Thomas Murphy, tavern keeper at Woolf’s Cove. He bequeathed his property to Miles Murphy, Dorothy Murphy and his granddaughter Margaret Wright. He appointed his son-in-law Thomas Murphy as his executor. On September 1, 1832, Thomas Murphy, tavern keeper, took on an "apprentice" worker John Shearan, son of John Shearan and Sarah Cook from County Longford, Ireland. On December 22, 1835, Margaret Nowlan, widow of Miles Murphy, of Ste. Marie de Beauce made a testament in which she named the same children and made the same bequeathments as mentioned in Miles Murphy’s testament. She also appointed her son-in-law Thomas Murphy as her executor. On September 25, 1840, Mrs. Mary Murphy received a receipt for payment on an obligation owed by the late Miles Murphy in a contract made on June 2, 1818 before Notaire Lelievre. This was an indication that Mary Murphy was operating on behalf of the estate of her father Miles Murphy in 1840. Which means that if this was the case and the fact that Mary and her husband Thomas Murphy lived in Quebec City, then if any estate property inventory records exist for Miles Murphy, they were probably taken before a notaire that lived in Quebec City and not in Ste. Marie de Beauce where Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan had lived. An April 4, 1844 document indicated that Ellen Murphy Daly, daughter of Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan and widow of Patrick Daly, leased plot #37 in the St. Louis Cemetery.

In Notaire record research, one clue leads to another and so on! One of the records found in the Glackmeyer register mentioned an obligation contract taken in 1818 before a notaire with the last name Lelievre. There happens to be three notaires with this surname that operated in Quebec City. But only one that was in the 1818 time frame and that was Roger Lelievre. Unfortunately I was not able to consult that film while in Salt Lake City because like many rarely used Quebec notaire records, the microfilms were not stored at the library, but were rather stored in the LDS vault facility and to get them to the library requires an advanced request, so I decided to just wait until I get home and pay the $5.75 in rental fee and wait for it to arrive at my neighborhood Family History Center. I was going to wait to write this blog until I had a chance to look at this film. But because it is stored at the vault it takes longer to obtain and it has now been over one month and it hasn’t arrived yet. Another notaire named Lelievre was Simeon Lelievre and his register was available at the library. The index contained only one possible Frampton Irish record and that was the testament of Patrick Murphy. When I consulted the actually record, this turned out to be the same Patrick Murphy who was the son of Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan. The testament was dated May 15, 1826 and indicated that Patrick Murphy was sick and in the house of Thomas Murphy at Woolf’s Cove. He named his sister Mary Murphy as his "universal legatee" on the condition that she will keep and support Dorothy Murphy of St. Marie. He bequeathed all his property to Margaret Nowlan, wife of Miles Murphy and his mother. He appointed as his executors tavern keepers Thomas Murphy and John Nowlan. This John Nowlan was a new clue that may end up being related to the Murphys. This record also shows that Patrick Murphy probably died in Quebec City, but his burial record was made at Ste. Marie de Beauce.

The testament made by Margaret Nowlan before Notaire Glackmeyer would not be her last. In the past, I had a testament made by her on March 3, 1837 before Notaire Charles Edouard Reny. This document is now available on-line on the Archives de Quebec website. In this document she bequeaths her property, including the family farm in Ste. Marie to her children Miles and Dorothy Murphy and designates them her "universal legatees." She provides that in the event of their deaths, that the property reverts to her daughter Ellen Murphy. The document mentions that the neighboring farm is owned by Thomas Murphy. There is no mention of her other children.

Then when she was on her "sick bed" she made yet another testament on March 2, 1838 before Notaire John J. Reny. She bequeaths her property to her children Miles Murphy and Dolly (Dorothy) Murphy and her granddaughters Margaret and Mary Wright. She does not mention the names of the other children, but states that each of her other children are to received 5 shillings each for their rights to the property. She appointed Fr. George Derome, curate of Ste. Marie as her executor. This document is a clue that somewhere contained in the hundreds of notaire registers would most likely be found a property inventory document done by the executor in which the property is distributed. In such a document the other children who were to received 5 shillings each may be named and maybe Peter Murphy’s name might appear there. Ultimately, the ownership and or operation of the family farms in Ste. Marie would fall to son-in-law Thomas Murphy, although the main farm remained titled to Miles and Dorothy Murphy. After the deaths of Thomas Murphy, Mary Murphy, Dorothy Murphy and Miles Murphy, Jr., ownership fo the family farms in Ste. Marie fell to granddaughter Ellen Wright. She sold some of the land in 1879. She lived in 1881 on the farm with her nephew Thomas Cullen, son of Michael Cullen and Mary Wright Cullen. Mary Wright Cullen was Ellen Wright’s sister and they were daughters of Robert Wright and Mary Murphy. Thomas Cullen married Ombeline Turmel and they had at least seven children and were still living in Ste. Marie in 1901.

So the search continues. I expect that the record that may be found in the Roger Lelievre register will most likely lead to another set of records!

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