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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

Military Involvement Apr 17, 2012

The theme of this blog is military involvement. It has commonly been said that one of the reasons for the Province of Lower Canada supporting the Irish settlements on rural lands between Quebec City and the U.S. border, was to provide a fringe of defense against potential invasions by the U.S. The U.S. had made several invasions into the Canadas during the War of 1812. Many veterans (on the British side) of this war were then entitled to land grants of "waste lands" in East Frampton. The Henderson brothers had served in the war. As part of their plans to develop the East Frampton settlements they purchased these entitlements from these veterans. Very few of the veterans would ever endeavor to settle on those lands as they wouldn’t be ready for settlement until around 1827. In the 15 years between the war of 1812 and 1827, most had found other places to settle and they were quick to accept the purchase offers from the Hendersons.

In order to be prepared for the unpredictable nature of the U.S., the Province of Lower Canada established militia units in the rural settlements. In 1815, a militia division was established for the County of Beauce. At first, those who were developing the settlements were appointed as militia officers. By October 1825, Edward Pyke was a Captain of the Militia and he conducted the 1825 census of Frampton Township as part of his duties. In February 1827, Gilbert Henderson became Captain of the Militia for East Frampton and in the following month settler William Wawne was appointed Lieutenant of the Militia for West Frampton. Andrew Murphy became Captain of the Militia for West Frampton in April 1831 replacing Wawne. In April 1834, Martin Murphy and John Hodgson became Captains of the Militia for West Frampton. In August 1834, Timothy Connell became Captain of the Militia for East Frampton and later that year John Dillon would be found as a Lieutenant of Militia in the same area. These persons had sworn their allegiance to the Province of Lower Canada.

But the threat of military action in the 1830s did not come from the U.S. It was in the "internal" Rebellion of 1837. Political unrest in the Canadas had arisen as a result of an economic depression. Declining agricultural prices as well as some crop failures created an agrarian crisis in Lower Canada. There were mass meetings, fiery speeches and a revolutionary spirit became visible in the fall of 1837. A riot of French and English extremists occurred in November. The insurgents were called "patriotes" perhaps due to the involvement of those of French descent. Most of the violence occurred in and around Montreal. While there was little, if any, involvement by the Frampton Irish, it didn’t mean they had no concerns about the potential effects of this rebellion.

A few months ago, a fellow researcher Jack Garneau (descendant of Edward Anderson and the George Smyth families) found a document at the National Archives of Canada that expressed the concern of the Frampton Irish. He sent me a copy of the document. Whenever I receive something significant on the history of the Frampton Irish at no cost, I try to share it as broadly as possible. So the following is a transcription of the document.

To His Excellency Lord Gosford, Governor in Chief of the Canadas

We the undersigned inhabitants residing in the Township of Frampton, District of Quebec beg leave most respectfully to approach your Lordship with feelings of loyalty and confidence.

From the present state of affairs in this province we conceive we have full reason to be alarmed for our personal safety, detached as we are from other settlements inhabited by persons of like origin of ourselves. We have every reason to apprehend that in case of any popular outbreak our isolated condition will mark us out as an easy prey to the French population by which we are surrounded, here we are ready and willing to defend ourselves, our Sovereign and our laws provided we have the means.

We therefore pray your Lordship will sanction the formation of a volunteer corps in this township that you will cause them to be supplied with arms & ammunition that should our services be required we may be able to oppose the rebellions in this portion of the district, or if unfortunately we should be obliged we might be in a condition to make a safe retreat to Quebec where we would gladly defend to the last the honour gained by the immortal Wolfe, and the blood of our countrymen.

We pray your Lordship will be pleased to select officers (in case you concede to our prayer) out of the names hereunto annexed.

George Smyth, Chairman

Received and answered on 13 December 1837 to G.S. Bagnall, Esq.

William Dickson, G. S. (George) Bagnall, George Smyth, John Thompson, James Wilson, Edward Wilson, William Wilson, John Foster, Sam Davison (Davidson), George Smyth, Jr., Joshua Smyth, Joseph Smyth, Charles Smyth, Thomas Smyth, William Smyth, James Wilson, John Darker, John Stanley, William Stanley, George Stanley, Jacob Brown, William Gibson, Charles Harper, Sr., Charles Harper, Jr., David Harper, John Harper, William Harper, John Sergeant, Jr., Owen Birds, Mic (Michael) Rooney, John Corrigan, James Corrigan, James Maclegun (McElgan), James Scott, John Watson, Sr., John Watson, Jr., Edward Anderson, James Hall, Robert Hall, Daniel Miles, Jack (John) Flack, John Bagley, Sr., William Bagley, Thomas Bagley, John Bagley, Jr., Jonathan Bagley, Robert Bagley, John Crawford, William Holms (Holmes), John Nicholson, Sr., Richard Nicholson, John Nicholson, Jr., Francis Hunter, Andrew Reazin, Isaac Holt, James Watson, Robert Morris, John Morris, John Lalley, Robert Kell, John Kell, George Kell, William Kell, Robert Fourd (Ford), John (Illegible), John Dillon, Thomas Hall, Robert McNeely, John McNeely, Robert McNeely, Jr., James McNeely, James McNeely,Jr., John McNeely, Jr., William McNeely, Joseph McNeely, John Sergen (Sargeant), Thomas Sergen (Sargeant), William Sergen (Sargeant), H. (Hugh) Dickson, Thomas Dickson, Michael Kenny, Anthony Comber, Hugh Rooney, and Michael Fitzgerald.

Although many of these names were probably members of the local militia unit, they seemed to wish to make their loyalties clear to the Provincial governor. Their notation to the honour gained by Wolfe, was in reference to British General James Wolfe who successfully invaded Quebec City in 1759 causing the surrender of the French forces. This list of names also serves as a "heads of household census" of East Frampton in 1837. Many of the names were Protestants, but there are also several Catholics named. I always try to point out that there was little, if any, conflict between the Irish Protestants and the Irish Catholic in Frampton. They seemed more inclined to identify with their common Irish heritage than to resort to any sectarian division.

I have also received several transcriptions of genealogical documents from another source. I intend to make those the theme of next month’s blog.

Names Database Mar 19, 2012

Wow, it has now been a little more than a year since I last posted a blog on this site. That year was filled with the work I have devoted in writing a book related to the "History of the U.S. General Land Office." The General Land Office was created in 1812, 200 years ago. That anniversary was the reason why I diverted my attention to this project. I have researched and collected sources and evidence for this book over the past thirty years. But I had set it aside in favor of genealogy for over a decade. But over a year ago, I realized that I should take advantage of an important marketing opportunity for this book by trying to get it published and released during 2012. I now have it in a semi-finished manuscript and a professor of political science at Boise State University is reading it now and may write a forward to the book for me. I then must get it off to a publisher and will probably have to pay the publishing costs up front. Once, I get it off to the publisher, I will have a little more time to get back to some Frampton Irish work.

The theme for this blog is the new Frampton Irish name database that is now up and running on this site. Some of you may have already noticed a new "registration" feature on the site that leads to access to the database. My son-in-law, who is my webmaster, is dragging me kicking and screaming into new levels of web based technology. I first want to assure you that the registration information that you provide has the best available technology applied to protect its security. Further, I promise that I will never use it for any other purposes than to keep you informed about Frampton Irish history and genealogy developments. I have chosen to require payment of a annual $35.00 subscription for access to this database. It is my intent that through subscriptions I can financially support the continued operation of the website into the near future. We debated whether to make the viewing of each family record subject to a separate fee on a pay per view basis. But I decided I wanted the entire database viewable for a single price and $35.00 is a very reasonable price for access to 13,000 names. I also rejected any payment methods that would require acceptance of credit cards, paypal, charges for foreign exchange, etc. because I wanted to avoid any administrative fees related to those services that might have served to increase the price of subscription. So I decided to stick with using personal checks as a methods of payment.

So I invite you all to consider making a subscription to the database. I also invite the many of you that have enjoyed the free services of this website for many years to consider making a subscription as a more-or-less contribution for the services you have enjoyed. I realize that some may subscribe and get all the information they need and decline to subscribe in subsequent years. In order to encourage future years subscriptions, I intend to add features each year in terms of some of the research I have done. For example, I intend some day to digitized my maps that provide locations of your ancestor’s farms.

Here are a few words about the database itself. The creation of this database started over 15 years ago when I began doing research on my own ancestors. The information that I was most interested in was finding out where specifically in Ireland my ancestors came from. My initial research did not reveal this, but I had discovered my Quebec Irish heritage. I had read somewhere that it you don’t find the origins of your ancestors by researching them, then researching their "neighbors" could reveal the information you seek. So I decided to research the entire Irish community that lived in and around Frampton Township. (By the way, I did discover that my ancestor James McLane’s neighbor, Hugh McDonough was his cousin. But I still have not found where in Ireland that either of them came from!) When I started, I thought that it might be a rather small community and may be easy to do. But 15 years later, the database includes almost 13,000 names. It was a sizable Irish community! I started the database by doing a complete extraction of all Irish families in the 1861 Quebec Census (back when this had to be done with microfilm). Then through the years many new sources where added. Among the sources used that support the information in the database are: Christ Church in Frampton; Anglican Church and Cemetery in Springbrook (Frampton, Quebec); Irish Life in Rural Quebec; A History of Frampton; Index of Burials of the Parish of St. Edward, Frampton, Quebec; Histoire de la Paroisse de Saint-Malachie, Frampton, Quebec; Martin Murphy Jr. : California Pioneer 1844-1884; Cemetiere St. Malachie (1857-1986); Cadastres Abreges des Seigneuries de District de Quebec, 1863; Mariages de Notre Dame de Quebec (1621-1900);1840-1940, programme-souvenir du premier centenaire de la paroisse Sainte-Marguerite, Dorchester 6, 7 et 8 juillet 1940; Saint Edouard’ Chapel; Histoire de Sainte-Marguerite; Rememorations, Ste-Marguerite, Dorchester (1840-1983); Saint-Edouard de Frampton, 1815 - 1829; Frampton Trees, ABC Volume to Our Ancestors; The Martin Murphy Family Saga; Early Settlers Files at the Santa Clara County Central Library, San Jose, CA; Recueil de Genealogies des Comtes de Beauce, Dorchester, Frontenac, 1625-1946; Frampton, 1825 - 1975; Repertoire des officiers de milice du Bas-Canada, 1830-1848; Sainte-Marie de Beauce; 1825, Census of Lower Canada, Dorchester County; 1831, Census Returns of Lower Canada, Dorchester County; 1861, Census Returns of Dorchester County; 1881 Quebec Census Index; Sainte Marguerite, Registres Paroissiaux, 1840-1900; Saint Edouard de Frampton, Registres Paroissiaux, 1829-1876; Sainte Marie de Beauce, Registres Paroissiaux, 1738-1907; Histoire de Sainte-Henedine; Repertoire des Mariages et Sepultures a St Leon de Standon (1872-1989); Necrologe de St. Anselme, Dorchester (1830 - 1976); St. Odilon de Cranbourne Burial Index; Repertoire des Baptemes, Mariages, Sepultures de la Paroisse de Ste. Germaine (1867-1994); Index to Land Grants by the Crown in the Province of Quebec from 1763 to 1890; Notaire records from the registers of numerous notaires in the court districts of Beauce and Quebec City; 1901 Canadian census index; U.S. Census images and local histories found on the Heritage Quest website; Clark County, Wisconsin ALHN & AHGP website; Old Canada Road website; Saint-Malachie, d’hier a aujourd’hui, 1857-2007; The Doyle, Duff, and Mills Families; and Quebec Vital Records (Drouin Collection), 1621 - 1967. This is just to name a few!

As I collected data from these various sources, I began building a very large index of Frampton Irish people. This became the publication I used to sell on the website titled An Index of Irish Families of Dorchester County, Quebec (Frampton and Vicinity). This index contains references to ALL the information I have found and gathered on all the people and families. I used to sell a first of edition of this index and later a second edition. But now, my current version is so large that it has grown beyond my ability to self publish it and my costs of making copies of it have become somewhat prohibitive. So I decided several years ago to begin building a database of the people and their families, but to only enter their vital information, births, marriages, and baptisms. So the database represents only a portion of my total research. For many of the people in the database, I have a good deal of supplemental information about their lives.

Recently I was looking through some of the "public trees" on I was pleasantly surprised to find several trees that had Frampton Irish people in them, including my own ancestors. After 15 years of researching the Frampton Irish through numerous sources, I was surprised to find that in some of those trees there were family members and links to ancestral families that I had not found in my research. Since I am somewhat particular about "proof," I left messages for several of the "tree authors" to ask what sources they could name that proved those links. Only a few person answered, and they could not name sources and merely stated that they copied the information from other "public trees." What I came to realize is that if someone makes an error or a false assumption in their tree and then posts it on, many others begin to copy it and the "false information" goes viral. I want to assure you that I have remained somewhat particular about the information in my Frampton name database. I do not add people to a family or link persons to another family unless I have some proof. First I try to find at least one source that provides direct evidence of a link. Usually that happens with a vital record. Then I have attempted to corroborate that information with another source like a census record or a notaire record. But I have made some links based upon a "preponderance of evidence." What this means is that although I have not found a piece of direct evidence, I may have found several indirect sources that all seem to say the same thing. In other word, I may have found more evidence to say something is true than evidence that says its not true. So I am fairly confident in the accuracy of my database. I invite those of you that have taken information from any of the "public trees" to compare them against my database and if I didn’t make the link then you can assume that there are no sources that prove it. The one thing that quite possibly is not accurate may be the spelling variation I chose to use for your ancestral families. I have tried to use the most commonly found spelling like Smith for Smyth. So if I spelled your ancestor’s name wrong or not the way your accustomed to, please accept my apology.

The Frampton Irish name database will provide you a very quick picture of your ancestral family tree with all the links to collateral relatives. It is not a set of individual records like the Drouin Collection with a search engine, rather it is an interconnected database. With this database you might be able to get a good start on your family tree in one hour that might take you weeks of searching for individual records in the Drouin Collection on (the Canadian version) for about 25% of the cost.

If you find your Frampton Irish ancestors in the name database, it is fairly certain that I can provide a lot more information about your families. To receive that supplemental information and an explanation of the sources used will require that you order the "customized report" that I offer on the services page.

I mentioned at the start of this blog, the 200th anniversary of the U.S. General Land Office. I want to point out that another significant 200th anniversary is coming up. 1815 was the year in which Frampton Township was opened up for settlement. Andrew Murphy (my GGG Grandfather) was the first to settle on lands in Frampton Township in about 1815. He probably moved on the land based upon a "location ticket" from Pierre Edouard Desbarats most likely before winter in 1815. He received his actual land concession on January 16, 1816. So the year 2015 is indeed the 200th anniversary of the beginning of Irish settlement in Frampton Township. In Quebec, celebrations are usually held for the anniversaries of the parish church. But for the Frampton Irish the settlement anniversary may be more significant. I couldn’t help but notice that Donald Brennan said in the guest book for this website that he wished we could all have a great gathering in the year 2015. I fully support that proposal. Perhaps he and others who still have active connections to the Frampton community can start making this suggestion. I would certainly make the trip if it became an opportunity to meet with my Frampton Irish brethren!


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