My Account

Whats New
The Book
Irish Emigrants
Irish Life
Guest Book
Names Database
About Us

   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

Ireland, part 1 Nov 12, 2010

The theme of this blog is my trip to Ireland. This blog will be done in a few parts. I have had a busy two months since my last blog in September. I found out in August that I was going to need to have surgery with a significant recuperation period. So I decided to make a long anticipated trip to Ireland before having surgery in October. I went to Ireland in the third week of September. All in all the trip was fantastic and well worth it. But I had some disappointments. In the course of these blogs I will label what was "WELL WORTH IT" and what was a "DISAPPOINTMENT."

From the moment I stepped onto the Aer Lingus (an Irish airline) plane in Boston, I felt like I was already there and my anticipation was building. Seeing the flight attendants in their crisp "Erin Green" uniforms was a welcome sight and hearing their musical Irish accents was an added blessing. Even the audio entertainment menu included selections of Irish and Celtic music. I was finally on my way to the land of my ancestors.

When planning my trip, I deliberately stayed away from joining any organized tour group. Such tours would not include all of the destinations I intended to go to, they would be too time consuming for non-research activities, and I believe that they would tend to isolate me from the Irish people and their culture. I left for Ireland on a Saturday morning with expected arrival in Dublin on Sunday morning. As the places I intended to do research were not open until Monday morning, I was able to explore around Dublin somewhat upon arrival and then retiring to my hotel when the "jet lag" tiredness set in. Unknown to me when planning the trip was that the day of my arrival was the day after the finals of the Gaelic Football championship. My hotel had a pub (with Irish food, drink (read as Guinness on draft) and live music) connected to it and the hotel and pub were full of Irish people celebrating their win and or bemoaning their loss. My hotel was located right across Kildare St. from the National Library of Ireland with Trinity College across the other street. It was also just two blocks from Grafton St. (a significant shopping area). My hotel was in a great location and full of Irish people. But in terms of amenities, it was lacking. I had to carry suitcases up four flights of stairs (no elevators) and no phones in the room. But it was just what I had in mind.

On Monday morning, my first stop was the National Archives of Ireland. My primary objective was to examine the Kilmainham Jail register that they had available on microfilm. As I had found my ancestor Miles Murphy in the "rebellion papers" as a "State Prisoner" at Kilmainham, I was hoping that this register might provide additional details so I might further confirm that I had the correct Miles Murphy. Unfortunately, after spending a few hours obtaining my "reader’s card" and asking for the microfilm (no self service here) and looking through it, I found out that the register for the target time period was a register of the "common criminals" and the "State Prisoners" (read as political prisoners) were not included in the register. DISAPPOINTMENT. The archives also has the "rebellion papers" and a card index of names for them. I consulted the name index, but did not find any references that I hadn’t already seen in my "rebellion papers" research in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I looked through all the various card and hand written indices without finding anything significant. So spending my first morning at the archives was a DISAPPOINTMENT. There are a lot of records available there, but I would have to know more about the specific origins of my ancestors and have a little more knowledge and guidance before research at these archives could be more successful. Also it is a difficult location to plan for as they have very little on-line in terms of indices and catalogs to determine precisely what is held there.

Walking back to my hotel from the Archives, I found a shop called the "National Map Store." As I am a "map gazer" and understand things best through geography, I was delighted. I immediately walked in and found a large selection of "Ordinance Survey, Discovery Series" maps and found the one for the northern part of County Wexford. It is an excellent map showing current routes and road conditions and provides place names for villages and townlands. This map would aid me tremendously when I would explore the "heartland" of the Frampton Irish later in the week. This is a map I would not have been able to find anywhere but Ireland so it was WELL WORTH IT. So the journey to the Archives was not a total waste of time.

My first successes began at the National Library of Ireland (NLI) later that day. To ask for the books and sources that I wanted to look at, a "reader’s card" had to be obtained first. Then I worked in the main reading room. I had searched their on-line catalog prior to departure and printed out the various books and sources I wanted to view. There is a wealth of information on the Rebellion of 1798 in County Wexford. I looked through all the books on that subject that I hadn’t seen at other repositories. One particular piece of research I did on-line prior to departure was trying to find more information about the "Banishment Act of 1798." I had found several references to it and the fact that it included a list of names in the full text. But the full text was not available anywhere on line. I found the full text at NLI in the Journals of the House of Commons of Ireland. The Banishment Act passed and took effect on 6 Oct. 1798. It did include a list a persons who had already "surrendered" or who had been captured by that time. My ancestor Miles Murphy was not on the list. However, he was not identified as a "State Prisoner" until a record that was made in 1800. But the Banishment Act would indeed apply to him as the full text of the law included: ". . . and whereas his Majesty may of his Royal clemency, be most graciously pleased to grant his pardon to such of the said persons as have already confessed their guilt, as aforesaid, and to others who may hereafter in like manner throw themselves upon his Royal clemency, upon such conditions as his Majesty may be pleased to prescribe: . . ." Also among the terms of the Banishment Act was that a released prisoner was allowed two months to leave the country. So it was a "open ended" law that would essentially banish from Ireland any future "rebellion prisoners" that may be released. It is my belief, that it was this Banishment Act that forced Miles Murphy to emigrate to Lower Canada in 1806. So being able to read the full text of this law and realizing that this source was only available at NLI it was WELL WORTH IT. I attempted to try to find out further information as to the release of the "State Prisoners" in 1806, but the sources I searched through at this time did not reveal this information.

As the NLI has a complete collection of microfilm of Catholic parish registers for all of Ireland, this was my next research effort. Many of these registers are only available at NLI. The registers have been indexed by the Irish Family History Foundation through their County Genealogy Centres. But the indices are somewhat "monopolized" by the organization and obtaining each record costs 5 Euros and the Wexford records are not yet on-line. My objective was to examine any of the registers for parishes in County Wexford that had any records earlier than 1830. Most of the Frampton Irish were already in Canada by 1830. The search was somewhat complicated! First, many of the registers for the area that constitute the "heartland" of the Frampton Irish in County Wexford have only a few years before 1830. Second, the handwriting in the registers was extremely difficult to read and lacked any standard formats for what information to include or the order in which it was presented. Third, some of the registers were written completely in Latin, the names were in Latin or the given names were expressed in "nicknames." Fourth, there was absolutely no indexing or sorting. So the only way to use these sources is to read through and screen through every page from beginning to end. Why did I bother?? I wanted to at least find a few more Frampton Irish families in some Irish records that gave evidence of their County Wexford origins. My theory had always been that the majority of County Wexford emigrants came from the Catholic parishes that center on the parish of Oulart and stretch from Enniscorthy on the west to Blackwater on the east. To make family search requests through the Irish Family History Foundation genealogy centres would be cost prohibitive for a search for several families considering that I spent a few hundred dollars just requesting searches for my own ancestors. So the registers at NLI was the only repository where I believe I could look at several registers at no cost.

Searching the parish registers at the NLI was time consuming. Each microfilm had to be ordered at the desk in the main reading room. You can order up to three films at a time, but they will only deliver one film to you at a time. So each time you are ready to look at another film involves a time lag. Screening and scanning the films page by page was laborious. Fortunately I am so familiar with the surnames of the Frampton Irish that I could scan down until I saw a possible surname and then check a "print-out" I had prepared ahead of time to confirm a possible find. I worked at this until library closing time on Monday and Tuesday of my trip. After all that screening I confirmed that three Frampton Irish families came from the Parish of Blackwater, one family came from the Parish of Enniscorthy, two families came from the Parish of Wexford Town, two families came from the Parish of Olyegate and five families came from the Parish of Kilmuckridge. It sounds like a lot of work for very little outcome, however I was quite pleased because the search completely confirmed my theory about the "heartland" of the County Wexford emigrants. And since the NLI was among the few places where these films can be viewed it was WELL WORTH IT. Unfortunately, the film the NLI had for the Oulart parish didn’t start until after 1830. As I knew that earlier record existed for that parish I was hoping that my planned visit to County Wexford later in the week would allow me to screen those records. There were many other sources I could have viewed at the NLI, but I was out of time.

The following day I had took the train from Dublin to Wexford Town for a visit to the Frampton Irish heartland and more research at the County Wexford Library and Archives. It was only about 22 Euros for the round trip. The train was a pleasure, very clean and comfortable. I was delighted to hear the little Irish children speaking to their parents in Gaelic. The train followed the coast for a little ways with great views of the English channel and the Irish countryside. The ride took a little less than three hours and the time went by quickly. I had a nice seat with a table where I could consult my maps and keep track of the stops and our location as we proceeded. The train ride was WELL WORTH IT. My blog next month will be part 2 of my trip and my adventures in County Wexford.

Migration to Maine Sep 09, 2010

The theme of this blog is migration to Maine. The Frampton Irish were often employed in the logging and lumber industries in Quebec. For many of them this was their first employment in Quebec after arriving from Ireland and it gave them the opportunity to earn the money they needed to buy their farms in the Frampton vicinity. Later, some found that their Frampton area farms were not entirely suitable for providing a complete subsistence on farming alone and often turned to "lumbering" to supplement their farming income.

The State of Maine had always been rich in timber resources. However at the time the Township of Frampton was settled the transportation route to Maine was woefully inadequate. Eventually this route would become improved and became known as the "Kennebec Road" in Canada and the "Old Canada Road" in Maine. In 1841, there were 2,000 men employed in the lumber industry in Maine and 40,000,000 board feet of lumber was harvested from the Kennebec. From its beginning, the Maine lumber industry primarily employed Maine natives. But after about 1850 the demand for lumber from the Maine woods became so great that there were many timber jobs available for those from outside Maine.

Migration to the State of Maine, especially Somerset County, was wide spread for several Frampton Irish families. The History of Moose River Valley provides: "Many of the early Irish settlers came here from the Cranburn-Frampton area of Quebec Province." Many of the Frampton Irish followed the timber jobs into Maine and down the Kennebec River. Some later migrated to other regions of the U.S. where timber cutting was the leading industry. Catholic Priest Francis Aloysius (Fr. Joe), a great grandson of Andrew Murphy, Frampton’s first settler, wrote:

In the era before 1860 many of them (the Frampton Irish) sought employment elsewhere. Farmland was in short supply around Frampton, and my father (William Murphy, son of Miles Murphy), always maintained that it was of poor quality, a few inches of soil on top of lots of rock. The French settlers had taken up the good land in the surrounding valleys quite before the Irish came. So many youngsters gravitated over into Maine, the boundary of which was very close by. There the usual and standard employment was in the lumber camps of the Maine woods. My father often spoke of cutting heavy timber during the winter months and then, after preparing the logs, running them down the Kennebec River when the spring thaws would come. The big sawmills were far down the river. Members of many families went into these activities. In course of time these lumberjacks moved westward, to Michigan and Wisconsin.

As the "logging season" was generally in the winter, the Frampton Irish were sometimes able to spend the winters in Maine and summers in Quebec on their farms. So the first to take the jobs in Maine were somewhat itinerant. Logging along the Kennebec was for a period of twenty-four to twenty-eight weeks depending on weather conditions and the quantity of trees to be cut. Some trees were cut in early fall and "yarded" until sufficient snowfall had accumulated. A good layer of snow on the ground was necessary for sledding and skidding the logs to the landings near the rivers. The cutting and moving of the logs would continue through the winter until the spring thaw. Then the logs were launched into the river to form "rafts" that were "driven" downstream to the mills. A "log driver" was literal the man who would walk on the logs to guide them down the river and clear any jambs. By the 1860 U.S. Census, Somerset County had a total of 55 mills with 28 of these in Fairfield, Maine and the remaining 27 in other towns.

West Frampton contributed many of the early migrants to Maine. Edward O’Neil left Frampton in 1846 for Skowhegan, Maine. He was followed shortly thereafter by Peter Redmond and Michael Redmond. Peter went to Solon, Maine in 1849 and Michael went to Caratunk, Maine in 1853. Their brothers Richard and James Redmond would go to the same areas in 1867. Thomas Fitzsimmons was in Caratunk, Maine as early as 1850. John Ambrose left Frampton in 1859 for Moscow, Maine and his parents Michael and Ann Ambrose went to Moscow in 1867. By 1860, brothers James and Michael Bearny were located in Moose River and Skowhegan, respectively. Richard Conroy and Martin Duff were residing in Parlin Pond, Maine in 1860. The Mahoney family, Philip Mahoney, Sr. and Philip Mahoney, Jr. and his children made the move to Bingham, Maine in about 1868. By 1870, brothers John and Joseph Fitzmorris would be found in Moscow. James Walsh was in Mayfield, Maine in 1870. Thomas Butler went to Skowhegan by 1880 and Michael Hannon left for Bingham in 1885.

The migration from Standon Township started with Thomas Lally, Jr. who went to Skowhegan, Maine in about 1858. Apparently, his mother Elizabeth Nicholson Lally must have went with him as her son Joseph Lally was born there in 1858. In 1860, Elizabeth Nicholson Lally and her children are found in the 1860 U.S. census in Skowhegan, Maine where she was a washer woman. Yet, her husband Thomas Lally, Sr. would be enumerated in the 1861 as a farmer in Standon Township. Elizabeth Nicholson Lally is found once again in the 1880 U.S. census in Skowhegan along with her daughter Mary. Yet, her husband Thomas Lally is found in 1881 Canada census in Standon. So a portion of the Lally family made the move to Skowhegan. In an 1870 notaire document, Robert Ford, formerly of Standon was identified as a resident of Somerset County. His sons Robert and Samuel Ford are found in the 1870 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. In a later census, Robert Ford, Jr. is found living in Norridgewock, Maine. Brother and sister George Crawford and Sarah Crawford of Standon went to Jackman, Maine in about 1882. Their father William Crawford would follow in 1896. William Crawford’s brother Robert Crawford went to Moose River, Maine in 1886. John C. Holmes left Standon in 1879 for Moscow, Maine where he was a log driver. He is found in Moscow in the 1880 U.S. Census, but later that year he went to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and then in 1885 to Drammen, Wisconsin.

There were many St. Malachie migrants to Maine. By the 1870 U.S. Census, Patrick Lyons and his wife Catherine Dwyer are found in Norridgewock, Maine. As he sold his farm in St. Malachie in 1868, that was probably when he moved there. Catherine Dwyer’s brother Patrick Dwyer and his wife Ellen Ryan and Catherine’s sister Jane Dwyer were found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Skowhegan, Maine. William Scallen, son of James Scallen and Ann Burns, was found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Skowhegan, Maine. John Kelly of Buckland went to Bingham, Maine in 1873. Patrick Cahill went to Moscow, Maine in 1875. Most of his children also made the move. One of his sons, Thomas D. Cahill, married in Bingham, Maine in 1905 and built a large house there. He went on the Cambridge, Massachusetts where he had a stewardship at Harvard. He returned to Bingham in 1922 and converted his house in Bingham into the Hotel Cahill. Patrick J. Walsh went to The Forks, Maine in 1881. Robert McLaughlin of Buckland went to Moscow, Maine in 1885. James Hickey went in 1870 to Old Town, Maine where he became employed as a sawmill worker. His son John H. Hickey would become mayor of Old Town, Maine in 1928.

Families from Ste. Marguerite also went to Maine. Patrick Bearny and his wife Margaret Quigley were residents of Concession St. Alexander. Their sons Thomas Bearny and James Bearny went to Moose River, Maine in 1855. Their brother Lawrence Bearny followed them to Moose River in 1868 and brother Patrick Bearny and sister Ellen Bearny were in Moose River by 1870. Patrick, Thomas and James Bearny later moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Richard Redmond was the son of Hugh Redmond and Marcelline Fitzsimmons of Concession St. Thomas. Richard Redmond moved his family to Concord, Maine in 1868 and later went to Wisconsin. James McLean, Jr. of Concession St. Alexander was in Caratunk, Maine and John Temple, Jr. of Concession St. Thomas was in Solon, Maine in 1870. Nicolas A. Murphy, son of Nicolas Murphy and Margaret Evoy of Concession St. Ambroise (Antoine), went to Moose River, Maine in 1882.

Cranbourne Township made the greatest contribution of all the Frampton communities in migration to Maine. Henry Hamilton married Ann Nicholson in 1845 at Springbrook and their first child was baptized at Springbrook in 1846. However, their second child Henry Crawford Hamilton was born in Skowhegan, Maine on June 28, 1848. So he had already established a pattern of temporary residence in Maine as he is found in the 1851 census as a resident of Cranbourne. However, he and his family are found in the 1860 U.S. census in Skowhegan, Maine where he was a day laborer. Thomas Free who was the son of Cranbourne settler Richard Free, went to Maine in 1865 where he worked on farms and in shipyards at Bangor. He also worked in the Maine pineries bur left for Clark County, Wisconsin in 1867. At least three children of Thomas Kennedy and Bridget Gorman had moved to the Bingham, Maine by the 1870 U.S. Census. Ann Jane Kennedy, age 9, was living in the household of Seth Robinson in Bingham, Maine. Andrew Kennedy, age 11, was living in the household of Samuel Adams in Madison, Maine. Michael Kennedy, age 12, was living in the household of Jonas Jones in Bingham, Maine. It is possible that the children were orphaned. Their older half brother Matthew Kennedy and family would make the move to West Forks, Maine later. He and his family were still located in Cranbourne in the 1871 Canada census, but are found in West Forks in the 1880 U.S. Census. Thomas Routh made a ratification of sale of some land in lot 11 of range 6 of Cranbourne Township to John Free on August 19, 1870 before Notaire Thomas Jacques Taschereau. In that document he was identified as a resident of Moscow, Maine. He and his family were further found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Moscow, Maine. John Matthews and Joseph Matthews, sons of George Matthews and Mary Trotter, are also found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Maine. They were both found in a location in Somerset County called "Canada Road." But by the 1881 Canada census, Joseph Matthews was back in Cranbourne. Thomas Gorman, son of Bartholomew Gorman and Mary Kennedy, was also found in the Canada Road area in the 1870 U.S. Census, but he returned shortly to marry at Ste. Marguerite and settle there. However, his brother John Gorman and his wife Mary McLane went to West Forks, Maine where they raised their family. They are buried in a West Forks cemetery alongside the Kennebec River. Andrew and Henry McClintock, sons of Alexander McClintock and Margaret McLean, were both in Maine by 1870. Andrew McClintock is found in the 1870 U.S. Census in Solon, Maine and Henry McClintock is found in the same census in Bingham, Maine. Their brother James McClintock had been in Skowhegan, Maine in 1854 as was recorded in the baptism record of his oldest child at Springbrook. But he returned to Cranbourne, and then was found later in the 1880 U.S. Census in Whitefield, New Hampshire. Patrick Cassidy of Cranbourne had made a receipt to Martin O’Connor in 1878 before a notaire. He was representing James Cuddy in regards to an act taken in Somerset County, Maine on December 7, 1871. So James Cuddy was in Somerset County, Maine in 1871. He is found in the 1880 U.S. Census in Mayfield, Maine. Patrick Hurley, son of John Hurley and M. Grace Matthews, went to Maine in 1883. He is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. Henry Connors and his family went to Maine in 1885. He and his family are found in the 1900 U.S. Census in Bingham, Maine. Several children of the Patrick Comber and Mary McCaughry family made the move to Maine. William Comber died in Bingham, Maine in 1879. However, the rest of the family went to Maine starting in 1889. Anthony Comber went to Bingham, Maine in 1889 and is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. Mary Ann Comber married Patrick Fitzmorris in 1889 at Skowhegan, Maine. John B. Comber’s son was born in 1893 at Bingham, Maine. Michael Comber died in 1895 at Bingham, Maine. Hugh P. Comber married in Jackman, Maine in 1895 and is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. Lawrence F. Comber married in The Forks in 1896 and is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in The Forks, Maine. Even the grandsons of Cranbourne’s prominent citizen Patrick Cassidy would find their way to Maine. John J. Cassidy, Patrick Cassidy, and Joseph Cassidy, sons of Edward Cassidy and Ellen Colgan, went to Maine in the 1890s. John J. Cassidy was married in 1896 at Bingham, Maine and is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in Bingham, Maine. Patrick Cassidy is found in the 1900 U.S. Census in Bingham, Maine. Joseph Cassidy married in 1916 at Bingham, Maine.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - [6] - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - Last