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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

Notaire Records Jun 29, 2009

The theme of this blog is Quebec notaire records. Notaire records are my favorite source to use for research into the lives and times of the Frampton Irish. If you have ever sampled some of the local histories written in Quebec, you soon learn that they are all about the rich landlords, seigneurs, and significant citizens. The notaire records is where you can learn about the lives and times of the common people. When I am scanning through notaire records, I sometimes feel like I am in a "time machine" as I peruse the contracts, mortgages, receipts, testaments, and inventories. You can learn a lot about your ancestor’s lives by obtaining copies of their notaire records. In notaire records I have screened in the past, I discovered that my ancestor Andrew Murphy was the first settler in Frampton Township and this is a fact that is never mentioned in the local history books. I also found out that my ancestor James McLean’s neighbor Hugh McDonough was his cousin. Then, although the many church records I checked indicated that my ancestor James McLean could not write his name, I found a notaire record in which he did sign his name "James P. McLean." This meant that some successive ancestor of mine changed the spelling of the name to "McLane." I have even been able to use signatures found on notaire documents to compare them to persons of the same name in other locations to confirm that it was the same person.

I mentioned in my last blog that I was able to visit the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City in March. When I am "sampling" various notaire registers, I refer to it as a "fishing expedition." Finding notaire records of the Frampton Irish is much like going fishing for the skittish trout that live in the rivers and streams of Idaho. You have to cast your line in a few likely spots until you discover a place where the fish are biting. This is the methodology I have developed for notaire records research. I find a mention of the name of a certain notaire referenced in the register of another notaire, I record these names and when I visit the FHL, I sample one or two microfilms of that notaire’s register. If I find one or two Frampton Irish records there, I then know that there might be more. Then when I get home I start ordering all the microfilms for that register so that I can screen and index all the Frampton Irish entries that I find. After sampling two different notaire registers in March, I ordered the microfilms for them at my local Family History Center. Because I know there are some Frampton Irish documents in those, I am not as concerned about spending a lot of money ($5.75 per film) on microfilms that might not have anything on them. I made a goal for myself to at least index three notaire registers by the end of June. Unfortunately, I have so far only succeeded in doing two. But what is remarkable is that I was able to learn several significant things. I found the register in which Patrick Daly, of Quebec City, tavern keeper, landlord, and husband of Andrew Murphy’s sister Ellen rented and leased buildings and rooms to the newly arrived Irish and that the buildings he owned were on Pres de Ville Street in Quebec City. I found out that Thomas Murphy, husband of Andrew Murphy’s other sister Mary, was a tavern keeper in 1834 and had Irvine’s Wharf and several other buildings in Lower Town of Quebec City under lease. In an inventory document, I was able to link the David Barry family of Cranbourne to the other Barry families that lived in Frampton. I confirmed that Nicolas Murphy of Ste. Marguerite had a father named Thomas Murphy who was living in West Gillimbury Township, Ontario in 1840. I found several documents in which the farmers of Frampton and Cranbourne sold timber from their lands to a timber merchant named G.B. Hall of Quebec City. One document was G.B. Hall making a protest against the Armstrongs of Cranbourne for building a dam and a saw mill on a river and they were blocking Mr. Hall’s ability to have logs driven down the river to his mills. In another document, I confirmed that Alexander Craig was Frampton’s second mill operator, but he later filed a protest of his dissatisfaction with the mill agreement with the Desbarat family landowners. His departure from the mill property made way for the arrival of miller Dudley Colclough. Some other documents identified the arrival years of James Madden and John O’Toole. Another document provided all the names of the Kell children. I also discovered a significant pocket of Cranbourne records. There is just so much history to be had in the notaire records, that it often surprises me how few family history researchers are interested in obtaining copies of these documents. I have made finding many of these records fairly easy through my indexing project and publishing the indices. Then I am able to search the publication for a given surname and find all the documents for a given individual. I have published volumes I and II and I am working on a draft of volume III.

But finding and indexing wasn’t always that easy. Having a general understanding of the French notaire system and how it functioned in Quebec is required in order to find the records. All the research guidance indicates that you should start with the notaires that worked in the vicinity of where your ancestors lived. In the case of the Frampton vicinity this would be those that worked under the judicial district of Beauce. When I started in notaire research, I consulted the FHL catalog under "Dorchester County" where "all" the Beauce district notaires were listed. But there were a lot of them and hundreds of rolls of microfilm. So I thought that maybe the Irish would use a notaire with an Irish name, so the first register I ever indexed was that of John Walsh of Ste. Marie de Beauce. What I slowly began to learn is there appears to be "no rhyme nor reason" as to what register your ancestor’s records might be in. It seems that a person was able to choose whatever notaire they wanted without regard to what judicial district they worked and lived in. Further, even though one notaire may have been recorded as operating in a particular judicial district, it didn’t mean that they had only documents that pertained to that area. I soon discovered that there are existing indices for many of the notaire records. But these are not found on the same roll of microfilm as the register documents nor are they found in the FHL catalog under the judicial district location, they are rather found under the "Province of Quebec." The Archives of Quebec had placed all the actual registers on microfilm, but the indices are on microfiche. The indices are referred to as instruments de recherche. The microfiche are sorted alphabetically under the notaire’s name which means you already have to know the name of the notaire to perform a search. Further, very few notaires kept an alphabetical index of the names of their clients. Rather, they kept a chronological index of the document numbers with the names of the document parties listed on each line, meaning you must scan line by line looking for the names of your ancestors. I have found that using the indices "long distance" was cumbersome and caused unnecessary expense. Rather than paying first to borrow the microfiche index and then scanning through the pages, it was easier just to order the microfilms of the main register and scan page by page through them. Some of the notaires had made it somewhat easy by writing the document date and the names of the parties on the top or side margins. On registers where this wasn’t done, the date and the names could usually be found in the text on the first page. But the cautionary note is that most registers where kept for the most part, in French, and the handwriting can be difficult to interpret. This had remained my primary method of searching the notaire records for quite sometime. But then I began to encounter the names of certain notaires in the registers and I would check the FHL catalog under author’s name and couldn’t find those registers. I had become most interested in a notaire named Joseph Valentin Gagnon, as I learned that he was perhaps the only notaire to have ever lived in Frampton.

I learned in my last visit to Quebec that the register of Joseph Valentin Gagnon did indeed exist and it was at the Archives de Quebec in Quebec City. But unfortunately that archives does not participate in the inter-library loan system outside of Canada. So I decided that I would purchase the Gagnon register as it existed on only one roll of microfilm. I now have that microfilm and have throughly indexed it into my draft "volume III." The microfilms at the Archives de Quebec are available for purchase from the "Federation des familles-souches du Quebec." Along with the roll of microfilm I purchased the organization’s Catalogue 2006, microfilms et microfiches produits par les Archives nationales du Quebec. This publication has been invaluable to me in notaire research. I soon learned that there were many notaire registers that are not available through the FHL in Salt Lake City. It seems that the FHL purchased only a portion of the total collection. So now when I come across a notaire name that I wasn’t familiar with I can quickly look it up and determine which judicial district they worked under. I still use the FHL films as much as possible because at least I can rent those films at my local Family History Center which is right down the street from my home. But I thought I could save the names of the notaires that the FHL didn’t have for my next trip to Quebec, whenever that happens!

In the last six months, I have discovered something wonderful in the area of notaire record research. The Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Quebec (Library and Archives of Quebec) had begun placing notaire indices and in some cases the actual register documents on their website at However, don’t expect a "magic" search engine where you can put in your ancestors names and view all the hits. The indices are merely images of the notaires actual handwritten index, so you still have to go page by page and line by line for the "chronological"(repertoire chronologique) indices. However, those that have "alphabetical" (index des noms) indices, you can look up a name and then find a document number and then go to the actual register to find the document. But, so far there are very few for which the images of the actual registers have been made available. But if you find something in an index, then if the microfilm of that register is available through the FHL it can be ordered at a local Family History Center and the document can be found. So now I am doing some of my "fishing expeditions" at my own computer. This website also has a wealth of other resources as well. One of the recent additions had been actual images of the Quebec Mercury newspaper found at This was one of the newspapers that served the Quebec City area during the 19th century that was published in the English language. If you are really interested in the everyday history of the Quebec City region, this newspaper makes interesting reading.

I am soon expecting a few more microfilms for the registers I sampled in Salt Lake City, so I plan to do a little more "fishing" for the history of the Frampton Irish. I am confident that there are many more notaire records of the Frampton Irish to be found. For example, I have found many original land documents in Frampton and St. Malachie, but there are still many more missing. Also, I have yet to find all the early Cranbourne records, so there are notaire registers out there waiting to be discovered. But the month of July will be a busy one for me. We are planning on a camping and a real fishing trip to the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho with our children and grandchildren and make chase for those skittish trout. We are also going to California to attend our 40th high school reunion. But I do have a side trip planned to the Martin Murphy Museum (Heritage Center) in Sunnyvale, California. The Martin Murphy family left Frampton in 1841 and went to California. It seems they have built a replica of the Murphy ranch house there and I am anxious to see it. I am now planning that my next blog (probably on our return in August) will be about the Frampton Irish families that went to California.

By the way, another development you might be interested in is the Irish Family History Foundation website at This organization is now working towards having one database that can be searched that accesses all the data that has been transcribed and indexed by the County Genealogy Centres in Ireland. However, not all the counties are on-line yet (for example County Wexford is not yet on-line). Also, it is a fee site (5 "euros" per record) and you must register to get past the "Free Index Access." You can also find out exactly what sources are available on-line and see a map of the Counties that shows which ones are on-line. I look forward to hearing from any of you that have tried it or do try it to find out where your Frampton Irish ancestors may have come from. I am going to wait until County Wexford comes on-line and then run a search on the families I paid for a search on with the County Wexford Genealogy Centre to test the consistency of the database.

Tithe Applotment May 13, 2009

I do indeed realize that quite some time has passed since my last blog edition! In fact, in my last blog I mentioned the map of central County Wexford that I was working on. That partially finished map is still laying on my office floor where I placed it after writing my last blog. I am delinquent in my "blogging" because I was forced to put aside my favorite pursuit (genealogy) in order to complete some overdo deferred maintenance on my house. I needed to paint the exterior and since I am a "retired" person I decided to do it myself. So preparing to paint, preparation of the surface, a primer coat and a final coat and trim work became rather time consuming over the past couple of months. Just prior to my painting project, we traveled to the Salt Lake City area to visit our son and family and help some friends of our’s with a project. While there, I was only able to squeeze in about six hours at the Family History Library where I had a few follow-up look-ups to do and I sampled some notaire records on microfilm that I believe will prove fruitful in the future. But since then, I haven’t done much genealogy other than responding to e-mails, paid research requests and sale of some publications. But now the house is done and I am ready to get back at it!

The theme of this blog is the Irish Tithe Applotment Books. Most of us have learned that the "Frampton Irish" came to Quebec so early, that there are few sources available in Ireland in the time period prior to their emigration that can locate them there. In the last blog I discussed how a "preponderance of evidence" of an emigrant’s Irish origins can be developed through link analysis. But sometimes there are so few records and information that we might have to settle just for "clues" about a particular location in Ireland. I read an article recently that was making reference to the surname "Doran" in the statement, "a name which suggests a Wexford origin." This statement attracted my attention as my Great Great Great Grandmother Elizabeth Doran was indeed from Wexford as was her brother Michael Doran. So sometimes a surname which "suggests" a certain Irish location can focus your attention in the right direction. One of the great Irish sources for finding where certain surnames were predominant is "The Ireland Householders Index." This essentially in a "census substitute" that can locate families of a certain surname in a certain Irish County, civil parish and townland. This source is an index of surnames that were found in the Tithe Applotment Books and Griffith’s Primary Valuation Lists. These were tax records that at a minimum listed the name of heads of households living in specific locations. The Applotment Books were made between 1823 to 1838 and Griffith’s Valuation Lists were done between 1847 and 1864. Unfortunately, Griffith’s Valuation Lists were done quite some time after most of the Frampton Irish were in Quebec so its uses are limited to locating the surnames of those who stayed in Ireland only. However, some of the Tithe Applotment Books were done at a time that was prior to the emigration of many of the Frampton Irish. Sometimes the given name and surname found on these lists match exactly those found among the Frampton Irish. But this is not the case in all parishes as many lists are dated after some of the Frampton Irish had left Ireland. Nevertheless, these sources can be used to determine if "a name suggests a certain Irish origin." Then other sources such as surname dictionaries and specific county genealogy guides can be used to support this "suggestion."

In this blog, I will examine three Irish locations to see what "suggestions" can be made. I will examine County Wexford, County Tipperary, and the "North of Ireland." I have selected County Wexford as it is specifically mentioned in the "History of Frampton" published in L’Action Sociale by Fr. Theodore A. Gagnon as the origin of the early settlers. Also more of the Frampton Irish came from County Wexford (and neighboring counties) than any other Irish county. I have selected County Tipperary because a Tipperary Catholic parish called Ballyporeen was used by the Henderson brothers to name one of their "concessions," as mentioned by Fr. Jules Kirouac in Histoire de la Paroisse de Saint Malachie. Then I have selected the "North of Ireland" as place names there were also mentioned by Kirouac and many of the early and later emigrants in the Frampton Irish Protestant community came from those locations.

In the last blog, my "map analysis" resulted in pinpointing the area around the parishes of Kilcormick, Ballyhuskard and Meelnagh (Oulart) in County Wexford as the origins of many of the Frampton Irish. Unfortunately, the Tithe Applotment Books for most of the parishes in this area were taken after many of the Frampton Irish left for Quebec. However, the Applotment Book for the Parish of Kilcormick was taken on September 24, 1825. I have a complete copy of this list. This list contains many of the surnames that can be found among the Frampton Irish. The specific persons I found that may be a match to the Frampton Irish were: Owen Kinshela (Kinsella), Widow Brennan (could have been the mother of Edward Brennan), James Murphy, John Murphy, John Fitzhenry (could have been father of Nicholas Fitzhenry), Thomas Murphy, James Barden, William Walsh, Michael Bryan (O"Brien), Widow Dempsey (could have been mother of Joseph Dempsey), James Kelly, Nicholas Lambert (could have been father of two Lambert wives), Nicholas Murphy, James Doyle, Moses Murphy, Patrick Carroll, Miles Doyle, Edward Whelan, Patrick Bulger, Lawrence Landrigan, Widow Keegan (could have been mother of John Keegan), Widow Redmond (could have been mother of Andrew and Hugh Redmond), Moses Breen, Widow Cullin (could have been mother of Edward Cullen), and John Walsh. The Applotment Book for the Parish of Killegney was taken on March 31, 1826. I have a partial copy of this list and confirmed that Frampton Irish James Furlong’s possible father Peter Furlong was on this list. I also have the book County Wexford, Genealogy & Family History which provides many of the predominant County Wexford surnames. So based upon the Applotment Book for the Parish of Kilcormick, the book County Wexford, Genealogy & Family History, and the knowledge I have about the surnames of the Frampton Irish and some of their Irish origins I can provide a list of which surnames are "a name which suggests a Wexford (or adjacent county) origin." These surnames are: Barden, Breen, Brennan, Bulger, Butler, Byrnes, Carroll, Carton, Colclough, Connors, Conroy, Cullen, Culleton, Dempsey, Devereux, Donahue, Doran, Duff, Erwin, Fitzgerald, Fitzhenry, Foley, Fortune, Furlong, Gillespie, Jordan, Kavanagh, Keegan, Kehoe, Kinsella (Kinsley), Lambert, Lawlor, Madden, Miller, Murphy, Neville, Nowlan, O’Connor, O’Grady, O’Neil, O’Toole, Quigley, Redmond, Reed, Roach, Scallen, Sinnott, West, and Whelan.

Ballyporeen is a Catholic parish located in the Civil Parish of Templetenny in County Tipperary. It is also a townland in that civil parish. The Applotment Book for the Parish of Templetenny was taken prior to the departure of many of the Frampton Irish. I have a partial copy of this list. The specific persons I found that may be a match to the Frampton Irish were: Thomas Hickey, Edmund Ryan, James Sheehy, John Sheehan, John Walsh, and John McGrath. So based upon the Applotment Book for the Parish of Templetenny and the knowledge I have about the surnames of the Frampton Irish and some of their Irish origins I can provide a list of which surnames are "a name which suggests a Tipperary origin." These surnames are: Dwyer, Healy, Hickey, Humphrey, McGrath, Meagher, Ryan, Shea, and Sheehan.

The "North of Ireland" is a phrase used by the Irish to describe the area that includes Ireland’s northernmost counties of Donegal, Londonderry, Antrim, Armagh, Down, etc. It is also often referred to as the Province of Ulster and much of it is part of Northern Ireland. Part of its unique history is that many of the surnames originated in Scotland as many Scots came to the "North of Ireland" during the plantation of Ulster in the 1600s. My own surname McLane (my Frampton Irish ancestor spelled it McLean) has its origins in County Argyll of Scotland, but my ancestor gave Ireland as his origins in all the Quebec census. The term "Scotch-Irish" or "Scots-Irish" has been used by some to describe this category of people. I have a book, The Book of Scots-Irish Family Names that can be used to help determine which Frampton Irish surnames may be from the "North of Ireland." So based upon this book and the knowledge I have about the surnames of the Frampton Irish and some of their Irish origins I can provide a list of which surnames are "a name which suggests a North of Ireland origin." These surnames are: Bartholomew, Beatty, Black, Boyce, Bradley, Connolly, Coyle, Cunningham, Doherty, Duncan, Falls, Foster, Hamilton, Harbisson, Haslet, Hurley, Lennox, Loughlin, Manes, McCaughry, McDonough, McLaughlin, McLean, McNeely, Morrow, Paisley, Ross, Rutherford, White, and Wilson.

I cannot guarantee that my "suggestions" will all be true. They certainly do not constitute a preponderance of evidence. They serve only to point to a target location for further research and the potential of the Tithe Applotment Books for locating your Frampton Irish ancestors. I have yet to find the origins of my Frampton Irish Great Great Grandfather James McLean’s origin. However, given that he arrived after 1831, and many of the other Frampton Irish arrivals after 1831 coming from the "North of Ireland" the clues all "suggest" that location. I have also found out that his neighbor in Ste. Marguerite, Hugh McDonough, was his cousin. So now I am working on two "North of Ireland" surnames. Using the Tithe Applotment Books can be somewhat time consuming. Also, they tend to just give the given name and surname of the head of household, so there isn’t enough information to make a positive match. But without using them to determine a target location, a lot of time can be wasted looking in the wrong locations. The LDS Family History Library has a complete set of the Tithe Applotment Books. They are sorted in the microfilms (starting with #256560) in alphabetical order according to the name of the civil parish. So if you have in mind screening through the microfilm in a particular Irish county, you will need a reference book that provides you all the names of the parishes in that county. Then unfortunately "bouncing around the alphabet" in that county will require quite a large number of films. That is why consulting the "The Ireland Householders Index" should bedone first as it is sorted according to County first and then civil parish and each parish has pages that show the frequency of the surnames. The website has research guides available for downloading that has far more information about these sources than I can provide here. I have given here what these sources have "suggested" to me about the origins of the surnames of the Frampton Irish.

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