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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

Murphy Papers Jul 29, 2010

It has now been a few months since my last blog. I am afraid time is passing by very quickly for me lately and I have been increasingly busy. But I have squeezed in some time for research and genealogy work here and there. The theme of this blog is the Murphy papers. When I get the chance I am constantly searching notaire indexes and records for a few particular documents. The quest for these documents are my motivation. First, I would like to find a document that constitutes the sale or transfer of land from Mary Murphy Wright to Peter Murphy. The particular piece of land was lot 2 of range 3 of Frampton Township. This piece of land was first granted to Mary Murphy’s husband Robert Wright who received a concession for that land in 1816, but he died in 1821. Peter Murphy was living on that farm by about 1823 and that farm was right next to Andrew Murphy. I suspect that Peter Murphy was the brother of Mary Murphy and Andrew Murphy, but I am looking for a document to prove it. If I can find the sale or transfer document it may mention that Peter was a brother. As a substitute for that document, a property inventory of the estate of Miles Murphy and his wife Margaret Nowlan might reveal the same information. Another document I seek is the original land entry document for my ancestor James McLean or his neighbor (and cousin) Hugh McDonough. I have found in my research that original land entry documents sometimes indicate what county in Ireland the person came from. James McLean is my only Frampton Irish ancestor that I don’t know the Irish county of origin for. So the basis of my research is looking for these documents and as I proceed I always come across numerous documents of the Frampton Irish that I wasn’t necessarily looking for, but never-the-less there they are, so I index them in case anyone else is interested in me obtaining copies for them. In my searching I have come across numerous papers involving the Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan family that paints a very interesting picture of their lives. I have discovered that if all you know about your ancestors is births, marriages and deaths, then you actually don’t know much about your family at all.

One of the projects that kept me busy was my son needing help with a sprinkler project in early May. So I went to his home in West Jordan, UT to work on this project. As West Jordan is just a few miles south of Salt Lake City, I was able to spend two nights at the Family History Library. So I was able to continue my project of indexing notaire records in the hopes of soon publishing a volume III index of Frampton Irish documents found. Before I went on the trip, I had consulted the on-line index on the Archives de Quebec website for the register of Notaire Edouard Glackmeyer. Glackmeyer was a notaire that operated in Quebec City from 1816 to 1880. His place of business was near the Irish neighborhoods of Quebec City. I found several important documents in his register related to my Murphy families. I also found a few things that may be of interest to some of you I have been in contact with and/or done custom reports for. I am not able to provide updated information to everyone I have done research for. So here are a few things that may interest some of you. The first mill in Frampton on the Desbarats River in lot 1 of range 3, was in existence in 1818, as I found a contract for its repair. I once did a report for a descendant of Darby (Jeremiah) Kildiff, father of Ann Kilduff who married John Walsh of St. Malachie. I found an apprentice agreement for his son Patrick. I found what appears to be the first land sale to Moses Jordan dated June 24, 1831 and the document stated that he was late from County Wexford. Here is where you can see that original land entry documents can identify the place of origin and they provide the precise year that the person arrived in Quebec. I found a building lease where Joseph Wilson leased some rooms in Quebec City from merchant William Hossack in 1835. As there was a Joseph Wilson who was a merchant in St. Malachie and was married to a Margaret Hossack, this could be an important clue for someone. So as you can see interesting things pop up in notaire records, even in those notaires that worked in Quebec City.

But my main interest in the Glackmeyer register remains my Murphy families. I had found clues in other notaire registers that indicated there were possibly other Murphy records in this register and I was not disappointed. I found the familiar Murphy names in the on-line index. But unfortunately, many of the handwritten indices do not provide enough information to confirm that the index entry is indeed the persons you are looking for. Then with the Family History Library rental fee at the price of $5.75, it becomes somewhat of a financial risk to order a microfilm only to discover that the record was another Murphy with the same given name. But, a least one of the index items listed a Miles Murphy, husband of Margaret Nowlan and another item was a Margaret Nowlan, who was the widow of a Miles Murphy. So these were sure things for me and I paid the rental to have the films sent to my neighborhood LDS family history center. They were indeed records of my Murphys. There were many other possible Frampton Irish records in the Glackmeyer register, but they were contained on many rolls of microfilm. Rather than pay the $5.75 each, I decided to wait until my visit to Salt Lake City in May to look at all those possible items and index those that I confirm to be Frampton Irish. Even with gasoline costs to Salt Lake City, when there are multiple films to look at it is more cost effective.

In the Glackmeyer register I found the following Murphy documents. On August 24, 1832, Miles Murphy of Ste. Marie de Beauce made a testament. He listed only his wife Margaret Nowlan and children Miles Murphy, Dorothy Murphy, and Mary Murphy, previously married to Robert Wright, but now married to Thomas Murphy, tavern keeper at Woolf’s Cove. He bequeathed his property to Miles Murphy, Dorothy Murphy and his granddaughter Margaret Wright. He appointed his son-in-law Thomas Murphy as his executor. On September 1, 1832, Thomas Murphy, tavern keeper, took on an "apprentice" worker John Shearan, son of John Shearan and Sarah Cook from County Longford, Ireland. On December 22, 1835, Margaret Nowlan, widow of Miles Murphy, of Ste. Marie de Beauce made a testament in which she named the same children and made the same bequeathments as mentioned in Miles Murphy’s testament. She also appointed her son-in-law Thomas Murphy as her executor. On September 25, 1840, Mrs. Mary Murphy received a receipt for payment on an obligation owed by the late Miles Murphy in a contract made on June 2, 1818 before Notaire Lelievre. This was an indication that Mary Murphy was operating on behalf of the estate of her father Miles Murphy in 1840. Which means that if this was the case and the fact that Mary and her husband Thomas Murphy lived in Quebec City, then if any estate property inventory records exist for Miles Murphy, they were probably taken before a notaire that lived in Quebec City and not in Ste. Marie de Beauce where Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan had lived. An April 4, 1844 document indicated that Ellen Murphy Daly, daughter of Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan and widow of Patrick Daly, leased plot #37 in the St. Louis Cemetery.

In Notaire record research, one clue leads to another and so on! One of the records found in the Glackmeyer register mentioned an obligation contract taken in 1818 before a notaire with the last name Lelievre. There happens to be three notaires with this surname that operated in Quebec City. But only one that was in the 1818 time frame and that was Roger Lelievre. Unfortunately I was not able to consult that film while in Salt Lake City because like many rarely used Quebec notaire records, the microfilms were not stored at the library, but were rather stored in the LDS vault facility and to get them to the library requires an advanced request, so I decided to just wait until I get home and pay the $5.75 in rental fee and wait for it to arrive at my neighborhood Family History Center. I was going to wait to write this blog until I had a chance to look at this film. But because it is stored at the vault it takes longer to obtain and it has now been over one month and it hasn’t arrived yet. Another notaire named Lelievre was Simeon Lelievre and his register was available at the library. The index contained only one possible Frampton Irish record and that was the testament of Patrick Murphy. When I consulted the actually record, this turned out to be the same Patrick Murphy who was the son of Miles Murphy and Margaret Nowlan. The testament was dated May 15, 1826 and indicated that Patrick Murphy was sick and in the house of Thomas Murphy at Woolf’s Cove. He named his sister Mary Murphy as his "universal legatee" on the condition that she will keep and support Dorothy Murphy of St. Marie. He bequeathed all his property to Margaret Nowlan, wife of Miles Murphy and his mother. He appointed as his executors tavern keepers Thomas Murphy and John Nowlan. This John Nowlan was a new clue that may end up being related to the Murphys. This record also shows that Patrick Murphy probably died in Quebec City, but his burial record was made at Ste. Marie de Beauce.

The testament made by Margaret Nowlan before Notaire Glackmeyer would not be her last. In the past, I had a testament made by her on March 3, 1837 before Notaire Charles Edouard Reny. This document is now available on-line on the Archives de Quebec website. In this document she bequeaths her property, including the family farm in Ste. Marie to her children Miles and Dorothy Murphy and designates them her "universal legatees." She provides that in the event of their deaths, that the property reverts to her daughter Ellen Murphy. The document mentions that the neighboring farm is owned by Thomas Murphy. There is no mention of her other children.

Then when she was on her "sick bed" she made yet another testament on March 2, 1838 before Notaire John J. Reny. She bequeaths her property to her children Miles Murphy and Dolly (Dorothy) Murphy and her granddaughters Margaret and Mary Wright. She does not mention the names of the other children, but states that each of her other children are to received 5 shillings each for their rights to the property. She appointed Fr. George Derome, curate of Ste. Marie as her executor. This document is a clue that somewhere contained in the hundreds of notaire registers would most likely be found a property inventory document done by the executor in which the property is distributed. In such a document the other children who were to received 5 shillings each may be named and maybe Peter Murphy’s name might appear there. Ultimately, the ownership and or operation of the family farms in Ste. Marie would fall to son-in-law Thomas Murphy, although the main farm remained titled to Miles and Dorothy Murphy. After the deaths of Thomas Murphy, Mary Murphy, Dorothy Murphy and Miles Murphy, Jr., ownership fo the family farms in Ste. Marie fell to granddaughter Ellen Wright. She sold some of the land in 1879. She lived in 1881 on the farm with her nephew Thomas Cullen, son of Michael Cullen and Mary Wright Cullen. Mary Wright Cullen was Ellen Wright’s sister and they were daughters of Robert Wright and Mary Murphy. Thomas Cullen married Ombeline Turmel and they had at least seven children and were still living in Ste. Marie in 1901.

So the search continues. I expect that the record that may be found in the Roger Lelievre register will most likely lead to another set of records!

Cemeteries Apr 24, 2010

The theme of this blog is cemeteries. It is certainly an appropriate theme following last month’s on names. After all, a cemetery is a large collection of markers with names on them. Then if you are lucky there is sufficient genealogical information on them to identify the person buried there. This theme came to mine because of the recent posting of gravestone and cemetery photos on the web. We all owe a great debt for the work of Cindy Donahue and her granddaughter Jessica for taking the photos, organizing them and placing them on a website.

Before I ever visited Frampton for the first time, I must admit that I dreamed of finding missing information about my ancestors in the local cemeteries. At that time, obtaining any books that inventoried the cemeteries in the area were extremely rare. Most were extracted from the burial records contained in the church registers. The exception for Frampton was Springbrook (Christ Church). That church had a booklet published that included an inventory of the gravestones in the cemetery. So when I visited Frampton, I made a point to visit the cemeteries at the Old Chapel of St. Edouard site, the current St. Edouard’s, the St. Malachie cemetery, the St. Leon cemetery, the Cranbourne cemetery, and the Ste. Marguerite cemetery. I discovered that out of my numerous Frampton Irish ancestors, I found only one gravestone of an ancestor and that was for Bridget O’Farrell Murphy in the current St. Edouard’s cemetery. I had several ancestors whose names appear in the burial records, but no gravestone can be found. For example, my ancestor James McLean is buried at Ste. Marguerite, but not only is his "marker" missing, but I found there only about three markers with Irish names even though many Irish are recorded as buried there.

While the current St. Edouard’s parish community has done an admirable job in keeping up the site of the Old Chapel of St. Edouard, identities of those buried there is provided only on small plaques with names derived from the burial records. (caution: there are quite a few mis-spellings on the transcribed burial lists, see last months blog on names!) I can’t help but wonder, whatever happened to all the stones. This old cemetery was inactivated in 1863 when the current church location was established. About 500 burials had been made there from about 1828 to 1863. There must have been more gravestones then the two that are displayed at the site. Further, very few "re-burials" are found in the parish register in which bodies were moved to the new cemetery. So for the most part, the bodies of Frampton’s first generations are still buried there. But where did the stones go? Were they collected by family members? Were they discarded? Were many made of wood and simply deteriorated? It seems they are lost to time. I cannot help but be somewhat disappointed in that a marker for my ancestor Andrew Murphy is not present even though he was Frampton’s first settler and a significant leader in the community. But, nevertheless, the bodies of my ancestors are there! In both of my visits to Frampton, I went to that site and spent about an hour of my time sitting on the bench and soaking up the experience of being in their "presence."

I often tell those that contact me and say they want to visit the graves of their ancestors in Frampton to not get their hopes up. The chances of actually finding a gravestone for an ancestor is not that great. But now that Cindy and Jessica have placed photos on the web, a person can now at least confirm whether a "stone" still exists or not. The information contained on the stones that they have photographed was very valuable to me. Most noteworthy were those for St. Paul’s cemetery in St. Malachie. During my last visit to the area in conjunction with the St. Malachie anniversary celebration, I visited the St. Paul’s cemetery and was amazed by the number and quality of the stones. Also, that some of the dates would indicate that the cemetery was still active. As I was busy at the anniversary celebration, I told myself that if I ever returned, I would like to inventory that cemetery. Now, thanks to Cindy and Jessica I was able to prepare a written inventory using their photographs. What makes such an inventory significant is that the information on the stones serve to fill in some major gaps in the existing records. The records for the St. Paul’s church were kept in the Springbrook (Christ Church) register. I have completely extracted all the events in that register from both the Drouin collection and the available microfilm. Unfortunately these available records are missing a few years. For example, the year 1855 and the years 1866 to 1873 are completely missing. So I found that an inventory of the St. Paul’s cemetery filled in some of these gaps much as the cemetery records for Springbrook do. I then was able to determine the identities of some of the married couples mentioned on the "stones" and then used the Drouin collection to confirm the marriage dates. This allowed me to add significantly to my database of the Frampton Irish. My database can then show the relationships between the various families that used St. Paul’s cemetery as their final resting place.

But in my inventory and database work, I discovered some conflicts between what was contained on the stones and what is provided in the church register. This is always the case and a word of caution about data contained on gravestones. It is usually the next of kin that provides instructions to the stone cutter. The information provided was that which was known to be true at the time. Unfortunately this results in some information being in error. I always give the example that the birthday my grandfather Miles McLane always celebrated was a least 18 months off from his actual birth date in the Ste. Marguerite register. But the erroneous year of birth is on his bronze grave marker in Los Angeles, CA. While stone provides a much more permanent method then all others for memorializing the dead, the errors will forever remain "carved in stone!"

A cursory review of the photographs provided by Cindy and Jessica for Springbrook, St. Paul’s, St. Malachie and the St. Edouard’s Chapel provide a general overview of the family surnames of the Frampton Irish. What is remarkable is the way these names are found in all four cemeteries, and this is indicative that religion and location were not quite the boundaries some historians would have you believe. Marriages between Catholics and Protestants were perhaps more widespread than thought. Further, intermarriage between families that settled in the west part (St. Edouard) of Frampton Township with those on the east part (St. Malachie) was common.

I didn’t have a lot of personal time this month due to the sale and closing on my dad’s house so I wasn’t able to do much research or for that matter think much about my Frampton Irish work. But Cindy and Jessica’s work peaked my interest and took me on a diversion from what I have been involved in. Their work took my mind back to Frampton where I could once again walk in the presence of my ancestors.

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