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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

Rebellion of 1798 May 24, 2008

The theme of this blog is the 1798 Rebellion and the Frampton Irish. I will present here a few of the things I have recently found relating to this event and how they relate to the Frampton Irish.

Any genealogical or research effort usually starts with a question. Or at least that is the way it works for me. Sometimes my curiosity about the answer becomes a driving force. Questions have driven me to find many new things about the Frampton Irish. In my research, I have determined that of all the Frampton Irish for which a place of origin is found in Quebec records that about 36% had come to Quebec from County Wexford, Ireland. This is especially true for those who arrived between the 1825 and 1831 Lower Canada census. If you add those who came from the neighboring counties of Kilkenny and Carlow, the percentage is even larger. So that brings up the question, why were so many of the Frampton Irish from County Wexford?

Recently, I have found some Lower Canada (Quebec) records that are proof positive that my Frampton Irish ancestor Miles Murphy and his family (including Frampton’s first settler, his son Andrew) arrived in Lower Canada in 1806. This proof was found in an 1810 land petition in which Miles identified the members of his family and stated that they had been in Lower Canada for four years. In an 1806 record, there is list of those asking for Crown land grants where the name of Miles Murphy can be found and immediately under his name was that of Peter Murphy. In a later petition, Peter Murphy would state that he and members of his family had chartered a brig in the City of Wexford to bring them to Quebec City. Peter Murphy would later be found living on a farm in Frampton right next to Andrew Murphy and the two of them along with Edward Brennan were the first church wardens of St. Edouard de Frampton church.

While doing research in the Notre Dame de Quebec parish register in the years 1806 to 1815, I couldn’t help but notice that there were very few Irish in the register. Most of the Irish entries were soldiers at the Garrison of Quebec. The Miles Murphy family and a handful of other families are the only "civilian" Irish found. Further, in my reading and research on Irish emigration patterns to Lower Canada, I have found many references to the fact that most of the Irish didn’t begin "mass" migration until after 1815. It seems that many of the Irish experienced some degree of "prosperity" during the Napoleonic Wars and their was little reason to leave until that war was over in 1815. The Quebec timber trade also began to boom in the last few years of that war which would influence cheap fares on the timber ships. So that presented me with the question, why 1806? What was the reason for my ancestors to leave their beloved Erin and emigrate to Lower Canada in such an "early" year?

Through the years I have collected a few clues on how some of the Frampton Irish were tied to the events of the 1798 Rebellion. The first big clue was geography. For a handful of Frampton Irish, records have been found in North American sources that names the parish and sometimes the townland in County Wexford where they came from. Almost all of these place names are located very near the epicenter of the events of the Rebellion of 1798 in County Wexford. Further, in several sources written about the Martin Murphy family, Martin is said to have been directly involved in the Rebellion. Martin Murphy’s nephew John Sinnott’s (another Frampton Irish) father was Thomas Sinnott who was a leader of the Rebellion and was killed in one of the battles. Also I had received a copy of a letter that was written by another researcher’s Great Aunt Margaret Murphy in 1977 that stated that her father’s (John Murphy’s) uncle once removed was a priest who was beheaded by the English. Those of you who know some of the story of the 1798 Rebellion will know that it was a Priest Fr. John Murphy (curate of Boolavogue, Parish of Kilcormick) who was a leader of the Rebellion in County Wexford and when he was captured he was indeed beheaded. So these clues lead me to the theory that part of the answers about "Why Wexford?" and "Why 1806?" could have something to do with the 1798 Rebellion.

I had heard of the collection of records referred to as the "Rebellion Papers" and I thought that research in that collection might yield some information. But until recently, those records could only be consulted at the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin. But a few months ago I learned that the Allen County Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana recently acquired the entire "Rebellion Papers" collection on microfilm. In April, I made the journey to Ft. Wayne and spent several days looking through some the "Rebellion Papers" and the several histories of the Rebellion that this library had on their shelves.

I soon learned that the "Rebellion Papers" are an imposing collection. To start research in the collection, consulting the "calendars" is the first step. The "calendars" are large books that list all the documents in the collection with their reference numbers so they can be found in the microfilm collection. I found out they are called "calendars" for a reason. It is because the documents are somewhat listed in a "chronological or calendar" order. Unfortunately, the titling of each document is not very precise from a "cataloging" point of view so I am certain I may have missed a lot. But I went through the calendars and made a list of the documents I wanted to consult later. Some of the things on my list were "minutes from courts martial," "Magistrate trials," "list of prisoners," etc. I was amazed at how many of the surnames in these records were the same as many of the surnames found in Frampton.

I have still yet to sort through all that I found and copied. But as I searched, a story began to emerge and by the time I finished in Ft. Wayne, I had the answers to my questions. The first mention of Miles Murphy in the "Rebellion Papers" was in a testimony given before Magistrate Hawtrey White by a Joseph Murphy accusing Miles Murphy of being a "United Irishman." In this testimony, Joseph Murphy said that he had been approached often by a Moses Donahough about becoming a United Irishman. Joseph Murphy further stated that Miles Murphy of Tinock (townland in Parish of Kilcormick) among others had showed to him the "signs and tokens of United Irishmen." This testimony was given on September 30, 1797 almost nine months before the outbreak of the hostilities. From Quebec records I have learned that Miles Murphy’s sister Mary Murphy was married to a Michael Donahue and their two sons William and Moses Donahue were later settlers in Frampton. Were these Donahues related to the "Moses Donahough" in the testimony? Probably so.

Sometime after the hostilities of the Rebellion ended between September 1798 and December of 1798, there was a Court Martial of a John Walsh for aiding and assisting in the murder of a John Keating at Vinegar Hill (a major encampment of the rebels). Apparently the route from Enniscorthy to Vinegar Hill went by the house where Miles Murphy and his family lived. Miles Murphy, an Eleanor Murphy, and a Edmund Murphy were called to be witnesses in the Court Martial. Their testimony related to the actions of the defendant John Walsh as he passed by their house with the victim and others. In his testimony, Miles Murphy was asked "How much nearer to Enniscorthy is Mr. Colclough’s gate than your house?" Miles answered that it was about three quarters of a mile. What was of specific interest to me here was that the family lore of my Murphy ancestors always said that they came from Enniscorthy! Here it was in this record in "black and white!" Further, his testimony gave a rather precise location. Also, I know from Quebec records that Miles Murphy did have a daughter named Ellen or Eleanor who was a young girl in 1798 and would later emigrate with her family to Lower Canada. However, I have no knowledge of an Edmund Murphy and how he might relate. Of note was that a "Colclough" had an estate with a "gate" in the area. The Colclough family were a large "landed" family of County Wexford that were known to mostly be Protestants. However, Dr. John Henry Colclough was one of the leaders of Rebellion who was executed for his part. More on the Colcloughs later.

The names of Peter Murphy, Miles Murphy, Thomas Murphy, and Michael Dunnahu were found in the "Rebellion Papers" on various lists of Rebellion prisoners. Peter Murphy and Michael Brennan’s names were also on a petition dated June 16, 1799 for release giving their places of residence in Parish of Kilmuckridge, Wexford. On the "State Prisoners/Convicts list" made in about 1800, Miles Murphy and Thomas Murphy are on the list in Kilmainham Jail in Dublin. Miles had been confined by Major Sirr (police chief of Dublin) for rebellion and robbery. There are lists of those who had been discharged from imprisonment in 1799, but the above names are not on that list. There were also many prisoners who were sentenced to serve in the British military abroad (probably some of the soldiers later to be found at the garrison of Quebec City) and others who were transported (for life) to Botany Bay, Australia.

After reviewing those records, it was time to try to find a little background on the events of the Rebellion. In the Memoirs of the different rebellions in Ireland from the arrival of the English; also, a particular detail of that which broke out the 23rd of May, 1798; with the history of the conspiracy which preceded it, by Sir Richard Musgrave, I found an actual reference to Martin Murphy of Curraghmore (townland) in "recruiting his neighbors" to join in the rebellion. I found reference to the death of Thomas Sinnott in Persons who died in 1798 by Brian J. Cantwell. After three days of research I still didn’t quite know how the story would unfold. But I happen to be carrying my own copy of Revolution, Counter-Revolution and Union, by Jim Smyth with me on my trip. That night in my motel room I happened to be reading the chapter on Marquess Cornwallis and his liberal treatment of the Rebellion prisoners. I read a sentence about how some of the former prisoners found their way to Philadelphia and New York and how they were joined by some of the other "Fort George state prisoners" in 1805-1806. These prisoners had been "banished at the peace of Amiens." There was the year "1806" staring at me from a book I have had in my possession for several months. Now I couldn’t wait to get back to the library and research this "Fort George" and "peace of Amiens" connection.

The next day, I found a book entitled The Irish confederates, and the rebellion of 1798, by Henry M. Field. That book laid out the story of what happened to the some of the prisoners held in Kilmainham Jail in Dublin. They had been held in jail since the end of hostilities in the summer of 1798. After about 12 months in captivity had passed (probably around August 1799) at least twenty of the prisoners were transported to Fort George on the eastern coast of Scotland.  After finding a list of these prisoners, I found that Miles Murphy was not among them. 

The peace of Amiens occurred in 1802. The French had direct involvement in the Rebellion of 1798 in a failed invasion of Ireland and were considered part of the hostilities against the British. Among the conditions made by the French in the peace treaty was for the release of the Rebellion prisoners which the British agreed to. The twenty prisoners at Ft. George were put in a ship and sailed across the channel and were turned loose on the shores of Holland and were to be banished from ever returning to Ireland. From there they scattered and many ended up in America.

But what about the other prisoners on the list of "State Prisoners" in 1800 at Kilmainham jail?  The only other reference I found was in a short history of another Kilmainham prisoner "Ann Develin."  In that item it was reported that "In 1806 following the death of Prime Minister Pitt a move was made to release all state prisoners from Kilmainham jail."  Miles Murphy probable found his way back to County Wexford and began working on plans for emigration to Lower Canada. It may have taken some time to raise the necessary funds, gather the various families, and charter a brig at the City of Wexford (as Peter Murphy would say later in a Quebec record) and sail for Quebec. In 1806, there did not seem to be regular and recurring shipping between Wexford and Quebec, so a charter was probably the only way they could make a direct voyage.

It would be another decade (1816) before Andrew Murphy would receive his land concession in Frampton Township from Pierre Edouard Desbarats. Martin Murphy (a possible relative) and his nephew John Sinnott would arrive from Wexford a few years later in 1820, along with some other Wexford families. Before 1831, many of the Murphy’s family and friends from the Wexford parishes of Kilcormick, Kilmuckridge, and Ballyhuskard would find their way to Frampton. I am convinced that it was the Miles Murphy family that were the first to arrive in Lower Canada and they would influence the Wexford "chain migration" to Frampton. By the 1830s, Andrew Murphy was well established in the northwest corner of Frampton Township. Peter Murphy had the farm next to his. Andrew Murphy’s farm was also next to the first mill in Frampton and the Desbarats heirs had leased the mill to the second miller in Frampton history. That miller’s name was none other than Dudley Colclough. Dudley’s father John Colclough III was the first cousin of Dr. John Henry Colclough, an executed leader of the rebellion. A Colclough family had been the neighbors of Miles Murphy in County Wexford. Was it just a coincidence that a Colclough family was now the neighbors of Miles’ son Andrew in the forests of Frampton on the other side of the world? I think not. I believe most of the Frampton Irish from County Wexford all knew each other in the old country. I also believe the events of the Rebellion of 1798 was the start of a path of the families of County Wexford towards Frampton.

Few of the Frampton Irish may ultimately be found as directly involved in the events of the Rebellion of 1798. This is because almost all the Frampton Irish progenitors are a full generation younger than those who were directly involved in the Rebellion. But it was probably their fathers who were somehow involved. Many had lived in the Parish of Kilcormick where their own Parish Priest John Murphy was a leader of the Rebellion. The questions is, how could they not be affected? Many Americans take pride in finding out that one of their ancestors was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War. But for a person of Irish descendant, much pride can be derived from knowing your ancestor was a "United Irishman." So I am confident that I have proved that in my case. However, there is much more research to be done to support the story. But it may involved research in records only available in Ireland.

So what are the answers to the questions? Why 1806? Because my ancestors were imprisoned for several years and may have been "banished" they had to get out of Ireland and 1806 was as soon as they could make it. Why so many Frampton Irish from Wexford? The Miles Murphy family were in communication with many of the family and friends back in the old country. When conditions were such that emigration became necessary, the Wexford families went to a place (Frampton) that they knew about from information from the Murphys.

If any of you have family lore or other information that connects your Frampton Irish family with the Rebellion of 1798, please feel free to e-mail and tell me you story.

In terms of research tips! First I am sure those of you with access to have noticed by now that the "Drouin Collection" (mentioned in the last blog) now has a functioning search engine that is quite effective. Second I would highly recommend the genealogy research facilities at the Allen County Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Although it is only the "second largest genealogy library" it has a lot of resources for basic research and has some things (like the Rebellion Papers) that are not available at the LDS Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City. I even found a book on their shelves that the FHL did not have that enabled me to overcome a "brickwall" in my wife’s genealogy. I was there on the week days and there were no lines to wait in for use of copy machines, computers or any other features. Further, copies made from microform were free!


The Most Wanted Apr 03, 2008

The theme of this edition is "Frampton’s Most Wanted." I will present here some of those "most wanted" that I found and some that remain "wanted."

So many things have happened in the past year that it is hard to know where to begin. But perhaps the most significant thing was the placement of the "Drouin Collection" on-line by This event has tremendously enhanced abilities to conduct research in Quebec church records, both Catholic and Protestant. I will describe this source and some tips in the conclusion of this edition. Also this year I had a wonderful trip to Quebec and the St. Malachie anniversary celebration. Just before I left for Quebec, I pursued a hunch with the "Drouin Collection." I searched some hospital registers in Quebec City and I found the burial record of my great great grandmother Anastasia O’Connor. She died and was buried at the Catholic "Quebec Insane Asylum." While in Quebec City, I was able to tour the old facility as it is now a museum. They said I could make a request for records, but I would have to provide proof that I was her descendant. After much time spent in compiling birth and death certificates and parish records, I sent my request to them. But the only records I got was her date of admittance, her date of death and a diagnosis of "mania." Then recently I was doing some research for a client and low and behold, I found a burial record for his ancestor at the Protestant "Insane Asylum" in Verdun, Quebec. After studying the issue somewhat, I have concluded that the Quebec "Insane Asylums" were most likely what we Americans would call an "old folks home" where the patients may have had various forms of dementia. So she was one of my "Frampton’s Most Wanted" that I found.

I spent several days at the Archives de Quebec in Quebec City and learned some new things. I discovered the register of Notaire Joseph Valentin Gagnon. He was the only notaire known to have actually lived in Frampton during his tenure. His register includes many documents, contracts, etc, for the Frampton Irish and you may have noticed that I now have placed an index to those Frampton Irish on this website and I now own a copy of the microfilm and can retrieve records from it. I had come across his name before in my research and I couldn’t figure why I could not find a microfilm for his register in the LDS Family History Library (FHL) Catalog. What I learned is that the FHL did not purchase the entire collection of Quebec notaire microfilms. I also used to think that notaire records were not indexed. However, it seems that the Archives de Quebec has these indices on microfiche that is a separate collection than the actual notaire register microfilms. The FHL apparently never purchased the notaire index microfiche collection. So the good news is that these things exist. The bad news is that the Archives de Quebec does not make inter-library loans to United States locations. But their affiliated "Federation des familles-souches du Quebec" has available for sale all their microfilm and their microfiche collection. I obtained one of their catalogs and I was amazed at the many available records at Arhives de Quebec that are not available through the FHL. Also, their catalog is now my main reference source for the "Drouin Collection" as it lists all the church and parish registers by their name and their inclusive years. Further, the Archives de Quebec is in the process of placing many of the notaire indices on-line on their website. So the category of notaire indices is one of "Frampton’s Most Wanted" now found.

There were a few things that remain as "Frampton’s Most Wanted." While extracting records from the St. Edouard de Frampton parish register, I found a copy of a form when the register was filmed that was an "inventory" of what was in the parish archives in the 1970s. On that list were parochial census taken in the 1830s. The form indicated that these were not filmed and remained in the parish archives. I wrote to both the St. Edouard de Frampton fabrique and the Catholic diocese archives in Quebec City. They both indicated that they did not have copies of same. If these sources can be found they might prove to be very valuable. The 1866 parochial census that was filmed even had a few notes made by the priest of the places of Irish origin for some of the families. Perhaps these 1830s census’ have such detailed information. Further, in 1830s all the Irish were members of the St. Edouard de Frampton parish before the surrounding parishes were founded. It remains a missing item, but what a find it might be if located..

Also this year I was able to make contact with Patrick Redmond, the author of "Irish Life in Rural Quebec," which he wrote in the 1970s. I asked him about the "Framptonology" manuscript referenced in his book. I asked if he remembered if that document was bigger and more comprehensive than the one provided on my website. I asked because the old photocopy that was sent to me had mysterious reference numbers on it that seem to point to other pages. He said yes, that it was much longer and was meticulous kept by its author, Fr. William Enright. Further, if this was a major project of Fr. Enright’s, it certainly would have been more than 18 pages long. Also note that as a priest at St. Edouard de Frampton he had access to the parochial registers mentioned above. So the rest of "Framptonology" remains on the "Frampton’s Most Wanted" list.

One of the many people I contacted at the St. Malachie celebration was Tom Kelly and his father. We had a wonderful conversation as this Kelly family lived quite near to my McLane family in Ste. Marguerite. I happened to ask about why they thought that the Ste. Marguerite cemetery has so few Irish gravestones. Tom’s father said that on one of his visits years ago, he noticed that Irish gravestones had been removed from their original locations and stacked against the church outer wall. After he inquired, he was told the stones were being removed to make room for recent burials. Upon his next visit, the stones were gone! So now among the "Frampton’s Most Wanted" are where did the stones go? In a barn somewhere? As part of someone’s deck or patio? My great great grandfather James McLean has a burial record at Ste. Marguerite, but no stone there. If a stone exists, I would love to at least know what it said. There are a few Irish stones at the cemetery, but they appear to have been placed more recently (in the last thirty years). Among those are for the "Nevilles" and the "McDonoughs." I would love to make contact with the descendants of these families, as Hugh McDonough was the cousin of my James McLean and they were neighbors in Ste. Marguerite. Tom’s father also said that he heard that the collection of Frampton genealogical and historical materials once kept at the little restaurant in Frampton had been donated to the "archives" in St. Joseph. I have since confirmed that the "fonds Corporation culturelle de Frampton" are at the Societe du patrimoine des Beaucerons in St. Joseph. Could those "fonds" have the missing parochial census or the complete "Framptonology?" Does anyone know if the "Corporation culturelle de Frampton" still exists and how to get in contact with them? I believe they were somewhat responsible for the historic site at Springbrook and the restoration of the "Old Frampton" cemetery. I also would like to get in contact with Anne-Marie Poulin, author of "An Anglican Heritage, Christ Church in Frampton." These remain on the list of "Frampton’s Most Wanted."

Another person I met at St. Malachie was none other than Malcolm Henderson, a descendant of the proprietor of East Frampton. Malcolm indicated that he had donated a number of Henderson papers to the Societe du patrimoine des Beaucerons in St. Joseph. And I confirmed that the "fonds Famille Gilbert Henderson et Sarah Harper" are in their collection. Also, Malcolm said that he would be in contact with me and send me some things, but I never heard from him. So if anyone knows how to contact him, please let me know. Unfortunately I did not have time during my trip to Quebec to visit the Societe du patrimoine des Beaucerons in St. Joseph. I guess that will have to wait for the next trip.

Another of "Frampton’s Most Wanted" are the Louis Morin papers. Louis Morin was known by many to be the local historian and while he was still alive assisted many in finding their Frampton Irish ancestors. I regret that he had died before I was ever able to make contact with him. I have heard from some of you that his papers are in the possession of one of his sons. It would be great just to know what his collection included. Could it have included the missing 1830s parochial census or the complete "Framptonology?" Who knows. If anyone knows anything about his collection, I would love to here from you. Perhaps, it could be suggested that the papers be donated to the Societe du patrimoine des Beaucerons in St. Joseph where they could be accessed. I also would be willing to travel to the location where they are stored and inventory them if I knew where they were and could obtain permission.

Last of the "Frampton’s Most Wanted" that warrants mention is the Ryan journal. In "Histoire de la Paroisse de Saint-Malachie" by Fr. Jules-Adrien Kirouac, there is the story of how the Edmond Ryan family left County Tipperary in April 1826. Kirouac goes on to say that Edmond’s eldest son Patrick Ryan kept a journal of all the details of their trip from Tipperary through Limerick to Quebec. This journal would be a great value to all descendants of the Frampton Irish since there is so little literature on Irish emigration to Quebec in that era. So if anyone knows any descendants of this Ryan family that might know the location of this journal, please let me know. I would be willing to travel to their location for the purpose of transcribing the journal to make the story more readily available.

Enough of the "Most Wanted." I wanted to offer a few tips about the "Drouin Collection." The collection can be accessed through a subscription to The collection are parish and church records from throughout Quebec. It is the registers that were copies of the originals that were forwarded to the District Courts, so they may differ from the microfilms of the original registers. At this point the collection is not searchable. Apparently they are being indexed by the University in Montreal. Considering the size of the collection, it may be some time before they become searchable. Further, it will be a difficult task searching for Irish names that were handwritten by French priests unfamiliar with Irish spellings. The way it works now without a search function is that you must guess at which parish or church an event might be found and the approximately year it occurred. The first page of the collection is an alphabetical list. Some churches are found under their location and others are found under their names. This is where the "Federation des familles-souches du Quebec" catalog mentioned above comes in handy. Once the church register is found, it is sorted by year. Generally the last few pages of the year includes a handwritten index to the events of the year. Although, sometimes the index is found in the first few pages and sometimes there is no index requiring a page by page search. The index provides the "folio" or "leaf" number the event can be found on. These are not page or "image" numbers. However, to begin with use that number and then select the "image" number. Each image usually consists of two pages of register. Then examine the image and in the upper right corner of the image will be the "folio" or "leaf" number in handwriting. This number pertains to the right half of the image you are looking at and the left half of the following image. So from there you must go image by image until you find the correct "folio" or "leaf" number. Generally in the Catholic registers the "folio" number will be written in French, so have your dictionary available. In the Protestant registers the "leaf" number will be in English. I have found a few problems in the collection that complicate things. For example, I found several of the years for the Frampton Protestant (Springbrook) register mixed up among the years of the St. Edouard de Frampton Catholic register. Also, I have found some records and other features on the St. Edouard de Frampton microfilm that do not appear in the "Drouin Collection." Further, I have found some years of coverage for the Frampton Protestant (Springbrook) register on the microfilm that are not in the "Drouin Collection." So the lesson learned is that just because you don’t find what you are looking for in the "Drouin Collection" doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

So I think I have blogged quite enough for this month! If you might know the answers to some of these "Frampton’s Most Wanted" please considering writing your answer in the guest book so all readers can gain the knowledge. Be sure to include your e-mail address in case there are further questions. Or if you would rather, send me an e-mail.

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