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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

The 1st Protestants Jul 29, 2008

The theme of this blog is Frampton’s first Protestants. Frampton is most thought of as being an Irish Catholic settlement. Yet many of Frampton’s first settlers were Protestant. In fact, in the 1825 Lower Canada census, about half of the residents were Protestant and half were Catholic. It wouldn’t be until the huge influx of Irish Catholics in the late 1820s that the Catholic majority would be established.

Credit for being the first Protestant in Frampton Township must go to the first wife of Frampton’s first settler Andrew Murphy. Andrew Murphy married his first wife, Mary Mackie on September 5, 1809 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Quebec City. This would be one among many examples of marriage between Catholics and Protestants in Frampton. Mary Mackie went with Andrew Murphy to settle on lands in Frampton Township around 1816. She died in 1817 and Andrew remarried a Catholic.

The first Protestant settlers appear to have been from England, not Ireland. The Thomas Kell and John Hodgson families from England settled in Frampton Township in 1817. Both of these families have long established histories in the Frampton vicinity and married into the many Irish families. Thomas Kell and his wife Ann Colpitts had at least eight children that lived with them in Frampton. Some of their descendant families were among those who later emigrated to California. John Hodgson and his wife Hannah Maria Brown had at least four children that lived with them in Frampton. John Hodgson was a militia officer and his son Thomas Hodgson was a Justice of the Peace. The Hodgson would go on to be major land owners in Frampton Township.

The John Ross family arrived from Belfast, Ireland around 1820. John Ross and his wife Elizabeth Thompson’s sons Adam Ross and Andrew Ross would be prominent Frampton citizens. Andrew Ross would be Frampton’s surveyor, making his first survey in the Township in 1830.

The large family of William Wilson and Isabella Thompson arrived before 1825 from Tullocheasley, County Antrim, Ireland. This was a very significant Protestant family of at least six children. Daughter Margaret Wilson was married to William Bartholomew. Daughter Isabella Wilson was married to Hugh Bradley. Daughter Martha Wilson was married to William Morrow. So all of these Frampton Protestant families came from County Antrim as well. Isabella Thompson is found listed in the 1825 and 1831 Lower Canada census, merely as the widow Wilson.

The William Bartholomew and Hugh Bradley families arrived probably around 1823. William Bartholomew and Margaret Wilson had at least six children living with them in Frampton. Hugh Bradley and Isabella Wilson had at least nine children living with them in Frampton. These two families were very prominent in the activities of the Springbrook (Christ Church) Anglican Church. Probably more of their descendants can be found in the Springbrook cemetery than any other families.

William Wawne and his wife Sarah Litch settled in Frampton Township in 1821. It isn’t known where he was from but he was prominent in the Township’s early activities. He was Frampton’s first militia officer. He was also named with Gilbert Henderson as an administrator for construction of a bridge over the Etchemin River to East Frampton in 1829. He was also an early school commissioner and a trustee for the first Protestant church (Springbrook). He disappears from Frampton records around 1841.

William Ware was Frampton’s first surveyor who took up lands in East Frampton around 1823. In the 1825 Lower Canada census, he is listed in the Parish of Ste. Claire in a household of one. In 1831, his household included 11 persons. Other than his survey records, vert little information about his life in East Frampton has been found. He may have been only a part time resident.

There were several other Protestant families found in the 1825 census. Joseph Gathwaite (spelled Garwitts in the census) and James Scott arrived around 1820. George Beatty arrived around 1821. Kenneth Sutherland from Scotland also arrived about 1821. Charles White and his wife Susan settled in Frampton around 1824 from County Cavan, Ireland. His presence would attract most of his siblings to Frampton by the 1831 census.

The early Protestant community worked closely with the Catholic community in establishing the a village of sorts in Frampton. In the History of Frampton in the Newspaper L’Action Sociale it is mentioned that the Protestants assisted in the construction of the first Catholic chapel in Frampton in 1825. The Protestants would work towards establishing their own church at Springbrook. But the Springbrook church did not start until June 7, 1835. The first entry on June 7, 1835 in the Springbrook register was the baptism of Ann McNeely, daughter of Robert McNeely and Jane Watson. It would be followed that day by 13 other baptisms for families from Frampton, Standon and Cranbourne. Prior to Springbrook’s establishment in 1835, the Protestants of Frampton were served by a variety of other congregations. Some of these were: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Quebec City, Chalmer’s Presbyterian Church in Quebec City, Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Quebec City, the Traveling Anglican Missionaries in Quebec City, Aubigny Church of England in Levis, Leeds Church of England in Megantic, Liniere/Kennebec Church of Scotland and St. Peter’s Protestant Church in St. George Beauce. There may have been others that the Frampton Protestants traveled to or their ministers were involved in making visits to the Frampton vicinity.

There are three important sources for information about the history of the Frampton Protestant community. An Anglican Heritage, Christ Church in Frampton by Anne-Marie Poulin provides a good overview. Anglican Church and Cemetery in Springbrook (Frampton, Quebec) by Jean Simard and others at Laval University is a much more detailed study and includes some genealogy charts of the major families. The chapter La communaute protestante d’hier a aujourd’hui in Saint-Malachie, d’hier a aujourd’hui, 1857-2007 by Jean-Francois Caron provides additional background, especially as it pertains to the Protestants of St. Malachie and Standon and the St. Paul’s chapel.

My research and study of the Frampton Irish, both Catholic and Protestant, has led me to believe that the lines between the Protestant and Catholic communities were not very black and white. Study of this community using a genealogical approach clearly shows a great deal of inter-marriage between the communities despite what some local historians would have you believe. Further, some families baptized some of their children at the Catholic church and some at the Protestant church. I have discovered absolutely no animosity between the Protestants and Catholics. In fact there are many examples of the two religious communities working together for the betterment of all.

I came to realize that no study of the Frampton Irish would be complete without doing research in the Protestant church records. So I recently completed the extraction of all the events recorded in the Springbrook register from 1835 to 1900 using both the Drouin Collection and the original microfilm. I am now working towards putting this data into my "indexing" project. I also extracted all the Protestant events that made reference to Frampton that were found prior to 1835 in the registers of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Quebec City, Chalmer’s Presbyterian Church in Quebec City, Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Quebec City, the Traveling Anglican Missionaries in Quebec City, Aubigny Church of England in Levis, Leeds Church of England in Megantic, Liniere/Kennebec Church of Scotland and St. Peter’s Protestant Church in St. George Beauce. From this work, I have found many more places of Irish origins and have been able to link some of the families together.

In terms of research tips, the Protestant church records for those that lived in the Frampton vicinity are generally found in the Springbrook registers. The Springbrook registers were a collection of events that occurred within the congregations of Springbrook (Christ Church), St. Paul’s in St. Malachie, St. James’ in Cranbourne and Standon. Most of these registers are available in the "Drouin Collection" on But the original microfilm version has some records that are not in the "Drouin Collection." The "Drouin Collection" has the years 1858 through 1865 and 1874 to 1876 "mis-filed" with the St. Edouard de Frampton register. Further, the years 1866 to 1873 are completely missing from both the "Drouin Collection" and the original microfilm. Anyone searching for events of the Frampton Protestant community would also be wise to check Protestant registers in both Quebec City and Levis as well.

Unfortunately, the methods and styles of writing the entries for baptisms, marriages, and burials was not as "standardized" as in the Catholic registers. For example, the Protestant records seldom give the names of the parents in a marriage record. They also don’t always mention the name of a spouse in a burial record. But because the register could vary church to church and minister to minister, all events in the original records should be found for a given family just in case important information might be provided.



The Three Murphys Jun 25, 2008

The theme of this blog is the first three Murphys to settle in Frampton Township. Murphy is perhaps the most common surname among the Frampton Irish. From Quebec records, I have determined that there were at least 18 "distinct" Murphy families who lived in the Frampton vicinity in the 19th century. I refer to them as "distinct" because even though I have my suspicions that many may be related, I have not specifically found the evidence that links these families. The 1831 Lower Canada census contains only six heads of household with the Murphy surname. These were Andrew Murphy, Peter Murphy, Patrick Murphy, Martin Murphy, Michael Murphy, and Thomas Murphy. The first census taken for Frampton Township was in the 1825 Lower Canada census and it included only three Murphys: Andrew Murphy, Peter Murphy, and Martin Murphy. The likelihood of these three being related is very high and these "pioneer" Murphy families may have been responsible for attracting all the other Murphys.

Andrew Murphy was reported to have been the first settler in Frampton Township, according to a death notice published in The Quebec Mercury Newspaper. Andrew Murphy was born about 1783 to Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan in County Wexford. The Miles Murphy family lived in the townland of Tinnock in the Parish of Kilcormick on the road from Oulart to Enniscorthy. Andrew Murphy came with his parents and some of his siblings to Lower Canada in 1806. He married Mary Mackie on September 5, 1809 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Quebec City at which time his occupation was listed as a clerk. He is listed in an 1810 land petition document made by his father Miles Murphy. His first three children were born in Quebec City where he was an inspector of timber. Andrew worked his way up in the ship yards of Quebec City until he became a ship carpenter.

Most local history books set the year of the opening of settlement of Frampton Township as 1815. Andrew Murphy received his first land concession for parts of lots 1 & 2 of range 3 of Frampton Township from Pierre Edouard Desbarats on January 24, 1816. It becomes obvious that Andrew was given first choice of the lands considering that Desbarats would establish the first grist mill and saw mill on an adjacent property. His brother-in-law Robert Wright (husband of his sister Mary Murphy) received a land concession for part of lot 2 of range 3 adjacent to Andrew’s property on the same day. Andrew’s first wife Mary Mackie died on September 25, 1817. Andrew married Elizabeth McMahon at Notre Dame de Quebec on July 28, 1818. Elizabeth was from Enniscorthy in County Wexford. Andrew was appointed Captain of Militia for Frampton on April 6, 1831. The Captain of Militia was more than just a part-time military officer. The "Captain" was more-or-less the ex-officio mayor of the settlement. Andrew was also among the first "marguillers" or church wardens for the St. Edouard de Frampton Parish. Edward Brennan became the first marguillier or syndic in June 1829. Andrew Murphy, Peter Murphy, and Walter Fitzgerald became marguilliers in October 1829.

Some of Andrew Murphy’s descendants stayed in the Frampton area and live near there today. Other’s moved on to New England, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas and other parts of the United States. Andrew Murphy’s granddaughter Elizabeth Murphy married John McLane and is my great grandmother.

Peter Murphy was born in County Wexford about 1770. Peter Murphy was married to Margaret Lambert, probably in County Wexford. Peter Murphy is found in a June 16, 1799 document in the Rebellion Papers as a person who posted bail on behalf of state prisoner Michael Brennan in which his residence was reported as the townland of Ballygortin in the Parish of Kilmuckridge of County Wexford. Peter Murphy and his wife had a son named James Murphy born on March 25, 1809 at the Parish of Oylegate in County Wexford, Ireland. Peter Murphy arrived in Lower Canada shortly after that. Peter’s son Patrick was born in 1811 while he was living in Pointe Levy. Peter Murphy is found among land petitions for land in the Seigneurie of Jacques Cartier in 1817 and 1819 in which he was identified as a yeoman in Lorette. Another 1819 document identified him on a farm lease in Ancienne Lorette. Peter Murphy received his first land concession in the Frampton vicinity in 1821 for some land in Concession St. Thomas of the Seigneurie of Jolliet (just north of the Frampton Township line). In the Rebellion Papers, Lower Canada land petitions and the land concession near Frampton, Peter Murphy’s signature is present. I have compared these signatures and have concluded that they are the same, so this is the same person. In both the 1825 and 1831 census, Peter Murphy’s name is found right next to Andrew Murphy’s name. In later documents, it is found that Peter Murphy’s primary farm was located on the same lot as that was originally obtained by Robert Wright in 1816 that was right next to the farm of Andrew Murphy.

One of Peter Murphy’s sons was James Murphy. James Murphy had at least ten children in the Frampton area. However this family seems to have vanished from Frampton after the 1861 census. Also among Peter Murphy’s descendants are Brennans and Meaghers. There was also another Peter Murphy (spouses: Ann Synott and Honora Nevins) in the Frampton area that was born about 1799. This would be consistent with being a possible son of Peter Murphy.

So was Peter Murphy related to Andrew Murphy? I believe that they were probably brothers. There is a great deal of circumstantial evidence that supports this belief. This evidence is as follows: (1) Peter Murphy’s approximate birth year is consistent with the possibility of being a child of Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan; (2) Peter Murphy lived in County Wexford not very far from the Miles Murphy family; (3) Peter Murphy was associated in Wexford with a Michael Brennan and later in Frampton, Peter Murphy’s daughter Bridget would be found married to Edward Brennan; (4) Peter Murphy’s name appears right next to Miles Murphy (probably his father) in an 1806 land petition in Lower Canada; (5) Peter Murphy lived at first in Ancienne Lorette which is very close to Sillery where the Miles Murphy family had a farm lease; (6) Peter Murphy somehow acquired the same Frampton farm as was originally conceded to Robert Wright (probably his brother-in-law) that just happened to be next to the farm of Andrew Murphy; (7) Peter Murphy and Andrew Murphy served as church wardens at the same time in Frampton; and (8) the given name Peter is among the names of descendants of Andrew Murphy.

The third early Frampton Murphy was Martin Murphy. Martin Murphy was the most "famous" of all the Frampton Murphys. Martin Murphy’s fame was secured by his famous trek by covered wagon across the west to California in 1844 putting him among the first to do so. He subsequently became one of Santa Clara County, California’s prominent pioneers. According to one family history, Martin Murphy was born on November 12, 1785 to Brian Murphy and Margaret Howell. So this means that he was not a brother of Andrew or Peter Murphy. One source says that Martin Murphy was from Ferns, Wexford (North of Enniscorthy) and another says he was from Balnamough, Wexford (near Wexford Town) Another source, a webpage related to Marin County, California identified Mary Murphy’s birthplace as Enniscorthy. However, the marriage record for Martin Murphy’s daughter Johannah to Patrick Fitzgerald identifies Martin Murphy’s origin as Ballyhuskard, a civil parish that is adjacent to Enniscorthy. As this Ballyhuskard location was found in a primary record, it is probably the most accurate. Further, another Frampton Irish named John Sinnott was the nephew of Martin Murphy and John Sinnott’s family lived in the Ballyhuskard vicinity.

In terms of arrival in Lower Canada, Martin Murphy arrived some 14 years after Andrew and Peter Murphy in 1820. However, 1820 was just four years after Andrew Murphy had first obtained his land concession in Frampton. Further, it appears that Martin Murphy took up land in Frampton almost immediately with little time spent elsewhere in Lower Canada. This quick and immediate arrival in Frampton is an indicator that he probably had advanced information about the area, most probably provided to him in letters from Andrew Murphy. This implies a relationship between the two, either relative or acquaintance. It is improbable that Martin Murphy or any other Frampton settlers from County Wexford would have independently selected to make their home in Frampton Township when there were so many other choices available at that time unless they wished to live near their former Wexford neighbors and relatives. Martin Murphy’s name is found considerably separated from those of Andrew and Peter Murphy in both the 1825 and 1831 census. His primary farm was located in lot 10 of range 4 a few miles south of the farms of Andrew and Peter. Martin Murphy became a Captain of the Militia on April 21, 1834 and served along with Andrew Murphy. Unfortunately, my research has yet to turn up any evidence that directly links the Martin Murphy family to Andrew and Peter Murphy.

Martin Murphy’s descendants are numerous in California. Further, many other Frampton Irish families followed the Murphy’s to California in subsequent decades.

The answer to whether these first three Murphy families are related will have to wait until further evidence comes forward. It might just be in the form of family lore, an old bible, or a yet to be found notaire document. However, if male descendants of these three families who bear the surname Murphy can be found, a DNA test could provide the positive evidence of a relationship. So if there are any willing volunteers out there, let me know and it may be worthy of discussing how to go about obtaining such a test.

In terms of research tips, I want to emphasize the importance of maps. In my trip to the Allen County Library, I obtained numerous copies of pages of large maps of the County of Wexford that shows the locations of the various townlands. It took me awhile to match up the pages and literally cut and paste the pages together. I then studied these maps using the numerous place names I found in the Rebellion Papers. In my previous blog I had erroneously reported that Miles Murphy lived on the road from Enniscorthy to Vinegar Hill and that is how he became to witness the crowd of rebels passing in front of his house. After my study of the maps and some histories of the rebellion, I have determined that his house was in the townland of Tinnock which is just west of Oulart on the road from Oulart to Enniscorthy. In the history of the Rebellion of 1798, after the rebels won their first battle at Oulart Hill they proceeded from there to take the Town of Enniscorthy and it was at that time that the rebels most likely passed in front of the Miles Murphy house in Tinnock. In another document, the house of Moses Donahue was reported to be in the townland of Oulartwick, which is right next to Tinnock. Miles Murphy’s sister Mary Murphy was married to a Michael Donahue and these Donahues would later appear in Frampton Township. I was amazed in my study of these maps and plotting the place names that the story of the Frampton Irish from County Wexford seemed to unfold before my eyes.

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