Irish in Canada
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And other bits and pieces collected here and there
Only small numbers of Irish are Recorded in Canada between 1625 and 1700.The 18th Century Brought many Irish Solders to Canada or New France some were in the French army more were captured prisoners or deserters from the British army. Irish soldiery who deserted from the British army were sometimes accused of spreading anti-British feeling among some of the Indian tribes doughtier of a doctor O Sullivan born C1730 founded the grey nuns of Canada. In 1748 a pirate ship captured a grope of young Irish women on their way to Virginia took them to Quebec No trace of their Later Life has been recorded. Because of the penal laws in Canada many Catholic Irish men are slow to Emigrate there until about 1800 when the laws were relaxed. We are told that in 1820, 30 families from Ireland went to Quebec there bishop said they were in direst poverty and winter was coming a Dublin called Talbot got nearly 700,000 ac Of land in Ontario. He brought many Irish to the province. In 1825 Peterboro was founded near Lake Ontario were about 2,000 Irish Settled. Many from the Listowel Area some can still trace their ancestor?s back to the Galvins of Rathea. It is claimed that between 1830 and 1860 200,000 settled in Ontario. From 1826 to ?36 over 150.000 Irish Landed in Quebec. It is Est. that 100,000 Irish went to Canada in 1847.Many died of Disease and Hunger. The Ancient order of hibernians erected a cross to the memory of the dead at Grosse Isle in 1909.Thousands of Irish children orphans were brought in French Canadian households and lost their Irish identity. The census for 1871 show over 200,000 of Irish birth were in Canada. While the 1901 census show that over 100,000 were of Irish birth. Canada is now a model democracy. Where there is great diversity of ethnic groups. The country is rich in oil, timber, and coal. They like to feel independent of their big brother the U. S. A. Canada was used by many Irish to enter the U.S.A. As they entered illegally many were never able to return and visit their families in Ireland. The present Irish man is well educated and able to cope with most legislation. Men and women of previous generations had very little education. They were taught through the medium of Irish and ill prepared for what lay ahead.

Bits and pieces about the Irish

SERGEANT-MAJOR'S DEATH-The death in action of Sergeant-Major John Hennessy,
Leinsters, has occasioned keen regret in his native town, Listowel. The
deceased was 21 years in the army, and served through the South African war,
and was about receiving a commission when he was killed by a shell. He was
the son of the late Mr. D.C. Hennessy, journalist, and author of the "Lays
of North Kerry."

Boston Globe
Of JOHN, Bridget, and Ellen KELLY, of parish New Castle West [co. Limerick]. Bridget and Ellen came to this country about 7 years ago; when last heard from were in Syracuse, N Y. John came about 4 years ago. Should this come to his notice or any friend, please direct to his cousin, Jeremiah Kelly, Osage city, Cole county, Missouri.

Of ELLEN & BRIDGET KELLY (sisters) natives of Newcastle-west [co. Limerick]; sailed from Cork in April, 1849, and landed in New York.  Address DANIEL BRODERICK, Durham Station, Acton Post office, St. L. & A. Railroad, Eastern Townships, Canada East.

12 July 1856
Of JAMES GRANT, who left Listowel [co. Kerry] 6 years ago. - Please address
his brother, Michael Grant, Wappelo, Louisa county, Iowa.

From The Cork Examiner, 22 November 1847 -

                (From the Tralee Post)
      As already announced, there was an attack on the Tralee
   Workhouse this week.
      At Killarney, on Monday, the Guardians were obliged to
   call in the military to preserve the peace and prevent
      In Dingle, the Relieving Officer was obliged to receive the
   protection of a police force.
      Threatening notices have been served on the best
   landlords and most attentive guardians in Irraghticonnor.
      On Wednesday last, some persons went to a tillage field
   near Blennerville, out of which the crop had already been
   dug, to turn it up for the sake of any small potatoes that
   might have been left in the ground. The owner of the field, a
   man named Kean Mahony, came to prevent them, armed
   with a loaded gun, and some hot words arose, during which
   a young man named Flynn raised his spade--he says to put
   it on his shoulder, preparatory to going away, but Mahony
   asserts that it was to strike himself--on which Mahony fired
   at him, and shot his right arm to pieces, just below the
   shoulder. Poor Flynn was brought in to the County
   Infirmary where the wounded limb was since amputated by
   Dr. Crumpe. The young man still continues in the most
   dangerous state. He bore the character of a most inoffensive

Between 1847 and 1852 Over 1,200,000 of the Irish people emigrated to other lands. More than 1,ooo,ooo of these went to the United States of America, Between 1851 and 1905 4,028,589 emigrants left Ireland- 2,092,154 males and 1,936,435 females .1852 the highest total, 190,322 people, and 1905 the lowest, 30,676 .Since 1892. 1841 the rural population was, returned as 7,052,923 and the urban as 1,143,674,  1901  rural 3,073,846 and town 1,384,929
1901, the population had diminished as compared with 1891 by 245,975. Of the total population of 4,458,775, 2,200,040 were males and 2,258,735 were females. The inhabitants of the rural districts (3,073,846) decreased during the decade by over 380,000; that of the urban districts (1,384,929) increased by over 140,000. Between 1891 and 1901 Belfast increased from 273,079 to 349,180; Dublin from 268,587 to 289,108; and Londonderry from 33,200 to 39,873. Cork (75,978), Waterford (26,743) remained the  same over 10 years.
Thanks so much for your reply to my inquiry regarding the O'Connell's from
Newtownsandes. I do not know of any relationship to the priest you mentioned,
but I do not know much about my O'Connell either. The sum and substance of
everything I know is as follows:
My great grandfather Maurice O'Connell was born @1866. He immigrated to the
US in @ 1886 and settled in New Jersey (across the river from New York). His
brother John, born @1868, followed @ 1889-1890 and settled in  the same
area-- known as the Oranges ( suburbs of Newark NJ) Maurice married Anna
O'Brien in 1889. Anna was  also an Irish immigrant and is believed to be from
the same area as Maurice. Anna's mother's maiden name was Ann Kirby. My great
grandfather's marriage and death certificates both list his parents as John
and Catherine O'Connell.
My mom never had any idea where her grandfather was from, although she did
recall her mom saying that he took in a lot of immigrants to give them a
start. I checked the census returns for New Jersey and found some of these
people he took in. They were all O'Connell's. Through the Ellis Island data
base I was able to locate the manifests  for the ships on which they arrived.
Immigrants arriving after 1899 had to list where they were going, where they
were from and who they were to stay with. Each of the people with my great
grand list Newtownsandes as the place they last resided before coming to the
US and each of these people  provide my great grands address as the place
they were going. here is a website ( that allows a search by
the town people came from. Through that search engine I located no less than
eight people named O'Connell from Newtownsandes going to stay with my great
grand. The information I have on them is as follows:
1.James O'Connell  immigrated 1903 from Newtownsand. James apparently left
and returned in 1907 with a John O'Connell both from Newtownsandes and both
Identifying my great grand as a cousin. (James stayed with my great
grandmother throughout his life. His obituary indicates his mother's name is
Catherine Doherty)
2.Two Lawrence O'Connell, both from Newtownsandes, immigrated a week apart in
1904. Both of them were age 25 and both said they were going to stay with
"their brother James" at my great grand's address ( so was my great grand
running an illegal immigration operation?)
3. 1906-A John O'Connell  (age 27) from Newtownsandes arrives to stay with my
great grand. Refers to my great grand as his "brother" (not possible since
Maurice's brother John was already here)
4.1907-Another James O'Connell(age 25) arrives a week before the returning
James (actually I am not sure which is the original James and which is the
returning James) Again says going to his cousin (my great grand). Says he
last resided in Newtownsandes and was born in Ballymacelligot
5. 1911- Lawrence O'Connell  (age 34)returns (yet again) again going to his
brother James at my great grand address. Says he last resided with his sister
Catherine in Newtownsandes
6.1913 (this is the strangest one of all) A Daniel (age 33) and Mary
O'Connell (age 36) arrive. He had never been in US before. She had been here
previously. They are listed as husband and wife. Daniel says he last resided
with his father John O'Connell in Ahalana, Newtownsandes. Mary says she last
resided with her brother James O'Connell in Ahalana. Both are going to my
great grand's brother John. Mary refers to John as "her brother John" ;
Daniel refers to John as "my cousin John" (were they also intermarrying?)
Finally in 1914 Daniel returns again having his nearest living relative as
his father John in Newtownsandes. He is returning to the US to his wife Mary
who is by that time living with my great grand Maurice.
Do any of these people show up  in your research? Do you have any suggestions?
for me as to any local sources to tap into to solve these relationships?
I had inquired in my last e-mail as to the names of the town lands that would
be considered part of Newtownsandes. The reason for that inquiry was to allow
a more thorough search of the website mentioned above. There are no less than
4000 O'Connell's in the Ellis Island Data Base. I found the ones mentioned
above by searching the word Newtownsandes and variations thereon. I thought
if there were other names that folks might use to describe the area I could
search using those descriptions as well.
Any help is appreciated.
Francine Schott

DAIL Report

The PRESIDENT: I move:-

Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh [70] thar £50,000 chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun Roimhíocanna d'íoc le Cumainn Chreidiúna Talmhaíochta agus chun costaisí a bhaineann leis sin d'íoc.

That a sum not exceeding £50,000 be granted to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for Advances to Agricultural Credit Societies and for defraying expenses incidental thereto.
Mr. HOGAN: A sum of £25,000 has already been voted on account. The sum of £50,000 that is now asked makes a total of £75,000. I am glad to see that this credit society scheme has definitely succeeded, and is definitely spreading. I believe that every penny of the £75,000 to be provided this year will be absorbed, and absorbed by the areas needing it most. The State advances to the credit societies in existence amount to £33,687.
Mr. JOHNSON: Is that out of the current year's vote?
Mr. HOGAN: No, since the beginning.
Mr. JOHNSON: Could the Minister tell us what was the amount advanced out of the 1925-26 Vote-out of the sum of £100,000?

Mr. HOGAN: About £31,000. The credit societies were criticised very strongly at first, and people announced that they would die before they would have them. Every attempt was made to get loans direct. Naturally that is the easiest and most satisfactory way for the borrower, whatever about the State. Everyone is anxious-we are all individualistic in this country especially when it comes to a question of credit-to get money direct, and for a long time the credit societies stopped dead because the people hoped that the Government would relent and that the money would be advanced in a way that was regarded by possible borrowers as more satisfactory. As it became quite plain that we intended to [71] stick to the idea of credit societies, and that the people had to make use of this very reasonable scheme which we propounded, then the credit societies began gradually to spread, and to spread in the areas where they were needed most, with one exception, the County Clare. There has not been a society established there yet. I hope there will be soon. Anyway, up to the 18th May last the number of credit societies established was twenty-one and the total advances made by the State amounted to £33,687; that is to say, the cash transactions of these societies would be about £50,000 or very near the amount the Northern Government has put out. I believe myself that the whole sum which I am asking for will be absorbed this year. The first State advance made to any society was issued on 3rd October last and progress has since been steady. The preceding period from May to October, entailed considerable propaganda work on the part of the organisers. The following is a list of the societies, showing the State advances made to them and the corresponding local deposits:

June 1 1926 Debate Dail

County Cavan-Killinagh Credit Society, State advances, £369; deposits, £203 14s. od. Scrabby Co-operative Society, State advances, £330; deposits, £165. These are the only two societies formed in Cavan up to the present, but I think there will soon be more. County Donegal- Tullynaught agricultural bank, State advances. £503; deposits, £335 10s. County Kerry-Ballymacelligott co-operative credit society, State advances, £5,317; deposits, £2,658 10s.; Gneeveguilla co-operative credit society, State advances, £720; deposits, £360. Milltown and Ballyhar agricultural bank, State advances, £1,491 10s.; deposits, £759. Tralee credit society, State advances, £7,416; deposits, £3,708. In Leitrim there are six societies. Leitrim is a very poor county and to my mind it is particularly suitable for credits of this sort, or to put it the other way, credits of this sort are particularly suitable for conditions in Leitrim. [72] Carrigallen credit society, State advances, £1,536: deposits, £768. Cloonmorris, State advances, £1,186; deposits, £790 18s. 10d. Cornageeha credit society, State advances, £204; deposits, £102. Eslin Bridge credit society, State advances, £988; deposits, £494. Gorvagh, State advances, £876; deposits, £584, and Kiltoghert credit society, State advances, £400; deposits, £200.

These are all new societies. There has been practically £3,000 put up in deposits in Co. Leitrim to over £6,000 given by the State. Leitrim is a poor county and these are all small societies. A point I want to stress is that this money has in the main been put up by farmers, small farmers, and the same applies to other counties also.
Mr. RODDY: Have all these societies been organised since the outbreak of the fluke?
Mr. HOGAN: There was one society, I think, in Carrigallen, but I cannot pick out for you now one or two old societies that may have been established. There may have been three of them established, but you may take it that the bulk of the deposits are all new and have been put in since the fluke outbreak. There may have been one or two of the old societies in Leitrim, but there are six societies there now. I think Carrigallen was in existence, but if it was, there was £768 put in in deposits since, and the State has made an advance of £1,536. County Limerick seems to be very much in love with this particular scheme, though it is not by any means a poor county. There are five societies in that county, only with two of which, strange enough, we have had some trouble-with the Ballyhahill society and the Glin society. I think they are working all right now. They got over £8,000 from the State, and they put in £4,000 or £5,000 in deposits. In Co. Longford there is one at Killoe; in County Louth, one at Cooley, and in County Monaghan there is a society at Ballynode. Societies are being formed at Listowel, and Newtownsandes, County Kerry; Owenmore, Co. Sligo; and Clare Island, County Galway. This will bring the total to 25.

[73] I believe every penny that has been voted will be absorbed by the end of the year for this purpose, and two years after the event I am absolutely satisfied that it is the right way to give credit, especially in the really poorer areas. These societies are being organised by the I.A.O.S., and I impressed on that society the necessity for the very closest supervision. I believe the closest supervision is being kept on the operations and on the personnel of the societies. It is obvious to anyone who knows the country that there could be a certain amount of wrangling in connection with these societies. Certain attempts were made in that direction in one or two cases, but I have taken care to have had three or four inspections of these societies within the last few months. From the reports I have got I am satisfied with the personnel of these societies, with the committee, and with the general management of the societies. I am satisfied that the money is being lent for right purposes, that the security is good, that the whole point of view is sound, that the money is to be repaid, and that the money is used in a thrifty and economical manner. I anticipate the minimum amount of trouble from these societies, but the trouble will come undoubtedly when the money has to be collected again. It is a question that will have to be considered whether in some cases a certain amount of extra time should not be given. I think that is the scheme as originally framed, and we can readapt it as it works out, when we will see the weaknesses of the scheme so far as they will show themselves. We can then deal with any new points, and with any gaps that need to be closed. Any other things that need to be done can be done as societies are re-organised and as we see their strong points and weak points. In a word, I am satisfied with the way these societies are going on, and I hope and think they will spread.
Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Finance if he will extend (a) the Feale drainage scheme from Listowel bridge to Abbeyfeale bridge, and (b) the drainage scheme for the Galey river from Moyvane, Newtownsandes, to the Limerick/Kerry boundary.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance (Mr. Donnellan) MichaelParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance (Mr. Donnellan): The extensions of the Feale catchment drainage scheme suggested in the question would be so uneconomic that they could not be justified.
Mr. Finucane: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that large tracts of valuable land have been flooded during the month of May of this year? Crops have been destroyed. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to carry out a reinvestigation and build some embankment to prevent a recurrence of the flooding.
Mr. Donnellan: I will do so. At the moment, the report is that, to protect [186] those, you would have to get embankments and they would have to be put so far back that, for the sake of the amount of land that would be reclaimed, it would not be worth it. The Minister met a deputation in the matter and got a report and it has been shown to be uneconomic to do so.
Mr. Finucane Mr. Finucane
Mr. Finucane: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the Brick and Cashen drainage has cost £1,500,000 and some of the best land in Kerry is still subject to flooding-in those two areas? I would emphasise the need of a reinvestigation.
Mr. Finucane Mr. Finucane
Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Finance when it is proposed to start drainage operations on the River Maine.
Mr. Donnellan Mr. Donnellan
Mr. Donnellan: The design and preparation of a scheme is in hands but, pending compliance with the requirements of the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945, in regard to exhibition and confirmation of the scheme, it is not yet possible to give an exact date for the commencement of the works.
Mr. Finucane Mr. Finucane
Mr. Finucane: Could the Parliamentary Secretary give the exact date?
Mr. Donnellan Mr. Donnellan
Mr. Donnellan: I regret I cannot give the exact date, but we expect to start work next year

Quebec, the 9th June 1847.
"MY LORD AND VENERABLE BROTHER--The voice of religion and humanity imposes on me the sacred and imperative duty of exposing to your Lordship the dismal fate that awaits thousands of the unfortunate children of Ireland who come to seek in Canada an asylum from the countless evils afflicting them in their native land.
Already a considerable number of vessels overloaded with emigrants from Ireland have arrived in the waters ot the St. Lawrence. During the passage many of them weakened beforehand by misery and starvation, have contracted fatal diseases, and for the greater part have thus become victims of an untimely death.
This was but the natural result of their precarious situation. Crowded in the holds of the vessels, unable to strictly adhere to the rules of cleanliness, breathing constantly a putrid atmosphere, and relying frequently for nourishment upon insufficient and very bad provisions, it was morally impossible to escape safe and sound from so many causes of destruction.
Anchoring at Grosse-Isle, about 30 miles below Quebec, where they are compelled to perform a quarantine, the transatlantic vessels were most commonly infected with sick and dying emigrants. Last week at that station more than 2,000 patients, of whom scarcely more than half could find shelter on the island. The others were left in the holds of their respective vessels, in some cases abandoned by their own friends, spreading contagion among the other healthy passengers who were confined in the vessels, and exhibiting the heartrending spectacle of a morality three times greater than what prevailed ashore.
Our provincial government has undoubtedly manifested the greatest zeal and most parental anxiety in assisting the unhappy emigrants, but yet could not in due time employ the requisite precautions to meet their manifold wants. The consequence is, that vast numbers sighed, and do still sigh, in vain after the charitable care so necessary to the preservation of human life.
Already more than a thousand human beings have been consigned to their eternal rest in the Catholic cemetery, precursors of thousands of others who will rejoin them if the stream of emigration from Ireland continues to flow with the same abundance.
One Catholic clergyman alone, in ordinary circumstances, ministered to the spiritual wants of the quarantine station; but this year the services of even seven at a time have been indispensably required to afford to the dying emigrants the last rites and consolations of their cherished religion. Two of these gentlemen are actually lying on the bed of sickness, from the extreme fatigues they have undergone and the fever they have contracted in visiting the infected vessels and the hospitals on the island to accomplish the duties of their sacred ministry, and gladden the last moments of the Irish emigrant.
The details we receive of the scenes of horror and desolation of which the chaplains are daily and ocular witnesses, almost stagger belief and baffle description; most despairingly and immeasurably do they affect us, as the available means are totally inadequate to apply an effectual remedy to such awful calamities.
Many ot the more fortunate emigrants who escape from Grosse-Isle in good health, pay tribute to the prevailing diseases at Quebec or Montreal, and overcrowd the hospitals of these two cities, where temporary buildings are erected for the reception of a greater number, without still affording sufficient accommodation.
Amid the present confusion, we have had neither leisure nor opportunity to ascertain the number of orphans and families that are thrown for support on public charity.
I deem it necessary to mention that those who have escaped from the fatal influence of disease, are far from realizing on their arrival here, the ardent hopes they so fondly cherished of meeting with unspeakable comfort and prosperity on the banks of the St. Lawrence. To attain so desireable an end, they should possess means which the greater number have not, and which cannot be rendered available and efficacious, unless emigration be conducted on a more diminished scale.
I submit these facts to your consideration, that your lordship may use every endeavor to dissuade your diocesans from emigrating in such numbers to Canada, where they will but too often meet with either a premature death, or a fate as deplorable as the heartrending condition under which they groan in their unhappy country. Your lordship will thus open their eyes to their true interests, and prevent the honest, religious, and confiding Irish peasantry from being the victims of speculation and falling into irretrievable errors and irreparable calamities.
I have the honor to remain, my lord and venerable brother, with sentiments of profound respect, your most humble and obedient servant."
Archbishop of Quebec

20 November 1852 DANIEL DUNFORD Of DANIEL & PATRICK DUNFORD, native of parish Murkher, Newtownsands [co. Kerry] - when last heard of Daniel was in Cleveland Ohio; Patrick sailed from Tralee in August 1851, for Quebec, in ship Nestor. Also of HENRY FITZMAURICE, of Ballydonohue, parish Galey, - was in Livingston County, N. Y, in March, 1851. Information will be thankfully received by TIMOTHY FLAHAVAN, Hedgesville, Berkley, Va. Volume II: 1851 - 1853
3 March 1855 ELLEN PELLICAN OF ELLEN PELLICAN and her two children, William and Mary, also Betsy Pellican and Ellen Connors, all natives of Newtownsands parish of Murher, co Kerry, who sailed from Limerick August 3 '54, for Montreal; when last heard from they were in Montreal on the 11th November. Should this meet them, they will direct to John Pellican, in care of James L. R. Leonard, Tuscumbia, Franklin co, Ala. Volume III: 1854 - 1856
19 May 1855 LAWRENCE CUSIC OF LAWRENCE & EDMUND CUSIC, natives of parish Newtownsands, co Kerry. Lawrence when last heard of was in Sidndy [sic], Ohio, last summer. Edmund, in '53, was in Indianapolis. Information will be received by their sister Hanora Cusic, Rockville, Parke co, Pa. Volume III: 1854 - 1856
20 February 1858 LAWRENCE CUSIC OF LAWRENCE CUSIC, native of parish Newtownsands [co. Kerry]; when last heard from was in Sidney, Ohio, and moved to Iowa. Information received by his sister, Hannah Cusic, Crawfordsville, Montgomery county, Indiana. Volume IV: 1857 - 1860
6 March 1858 MICHAEL CONNOR OF MICHAEL CONNOR, son to Dennis Connor and Mary Sheahan, native of Newtownsands, Leitrim [co. Kerry]; when last heard from he was in New Orleans. Information received by his sister Mary, care of Bartholemew O'Connor, No 6 Middlesex street, Boston, Mass. Volume IV: 1857 - 1860
3 August 1867 MARY MULVIHILL OF MARY, JOANNA and DENIS MULVIHILL, or either of them, but especially of the last named Denis. Mary came to America in 1848, Joanna in 1858, and Denis in 1864, at which last time all three were living in or near Albany, New York, where they are still supposed to reside. They are the children of Patrick Mulvihill, of the parish of Newtownsands, county Kerry, Ireland. Whoever will have the kindness to furnish to the undersigned, by letter at an early day, any tidings of the foregoing persons, shall be repaid his trouble, and have the thanks of their brother, whose address is - Patrick J. Mulvihill, Memphis, Tennessee. Volume VI: 1866 - 1870
12 March 1870 DANIEL MULVIHILL OF DANIEL MULVIHILL, parish of Newtownsands, county Kerry; when last heard from, two years ago, he was in the State of New York. Any one knowing his where-abouts will confer a favor by addressing John Kennedy, Reese Graff and Dull Fort Pit Iron and Steel Works, Twelfth Ward, Pittsburgh, Pa. Volume VI: 1866 - 1870
17 March 1883 JOHANNA MULVAHILLE OF JOHANNA MULVAHILLE, of Glanalappa, parish of Newtownsands, Co. Kerry, who came to America about the year 1856. Any information will be thankfully received by Mary Flaherty, care of James F. Kirby, So. Framingham, Mass.

18 March 1854 MAURICE RELAHAN OF MAURICE RELAHAN, native of Kilmeany, parish of Knockanure, near Listowel, co Kerry, who arrived in New York about 4 yrs ago; when last heard of (18 months) was at Savannah. Information of him will be received by his sister and brother-in-law JOHN MOORE, formerly of Pyremount, near Tarbert, co Kerry; now of Danville, Canada East. Address, care of THOS CULHANE. Volume III: 1854 - 1856
16 December 1854 JOHN LANGAN OF JOHN LANGAN, of parish Knockanure, co Kerry, who emigrated to America about 1 yr ago last May; when last heard from he was in Lowell Hall, Wallingford, New Haven, Conn. Information will be received by his brother Thomas, Xenia, Green co, O. Volume III: 1854 - 1856
5 January 1867 TIMOTHY THORNTON OF TIMOTHY THORNTON, a native of the parish of Knockanure, county Kerry, who came to this country about seventeen years ago; when last heard from he was in Connecticut. Any information concerning him will be thankfully received by his friend, John Mulville, Box 239 Waterbury, Conn.

The Hibernian Newsletter
Ord Ársaidh na nEireannach, Litir Gaelige
Feabhra/ February 2009
John A. Gildea Div. #3 and Mary McWhorter Div. #58
Bliain Úr  mhaith Daoibh    Happy New Year to all in the month of Saint Bridget 

       Saint Patrick’s Day 50th Anniversary Ball
Please plan to come and help us celebrate not only this special anniversary but also the men and Ladies Hibernians of the year. This is a special honor for a member who is truly dedicated and gives his or her time and energy to the Division. This year we honor Joan Berry and Seán Hearty.
Were will the ball be held?  The Amber Room, Stacy Road, Danbury
What is the time? 7Pm to 12PM on March 14th 2009
What will be served? First the Cocktail hour with hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, salad, choice of prime rib or chicken, dessert. OPEN BAR ____ $75.00 p/p  Eileen Forgarty and the Very Best Band will provide the dance music.
Reservations are a must. Please contact Martin Tuite at 203-744-1651 or Patricia Brady at 203-746-1841 for tickets. Reserve your table now!
This is a special night for our divisions as we honor two special people and prepare for our move this year to our own home.  Remember the date is March 14th Put it on your calendar!

         The Saint Patrick’s Day Journal Ads
Please consider taking out an ad in honor of both the Ladies and Men’s Hibernians of the year ----Joan Berry and Seán Hearty.
Also to celebrate the 50h Anniversary of our Hibernian Ball.
A letter was sent out in January to all members asking for your support.
We have many business sponsors who also purchase our Journal ads. If you are interested in helping us to sell ads or wish to put an ad in , please call us Anne Lewis at 203-994-6218 or Phil Gallagher at 203-748-3252. A quarter of a page is $35.00, a half of a page is $60.00, a full page is  $100.00 , a gold page is $125.00, back cover  is $175.00 , inside front and back cover is $150.00. A patron is on a front patron page of the Journal and is listed at $5.00 a person.  All gold page sponsors will be published on our website. There is also a memorial section. Please remit a check with the correct amount at or before Feb. 15th. Please make the checks payable to “The Ancient Order of Hibernians” and mail to P.O.Box551, Bethel Ct 06801-0551 Attention Journal Committee   Thank you for your help.
Norm’s Bartenders   Feb. 6 is Jared Bonner, Feb.13 is Jim Palardy, Feb. 20 is Peter S. Hearty, Feb.27 is Jim Lynch, March 6 is Paul Grasseler Jr., March 13 is Peter Drake, and March 20 is Paul Blaszka.

Epitaph on a lawyer’s grave – “the defense rests.”

Page two

Undertaker to Murphy    “Would you like your mother-in-law embalmed? Cremated/ Buried?
Murphy; “That will be fine.”

On Feb. 7th Mardi Gras party at the Hall at 7:30 PM. Admission is $10.00 Free Budweiser till the keg runs dry and New Orleans’s food and drink. Live music by the “Muddy Paws “.  All the proceeds are for our new Hall. Come on down next Saturday night and have good “craic “and a good time.  Bring your friends. Laura Flake and Paul Grasseler

FESTIVAL MEETING is on FEB. 10 Feb 3rd was a snow-out
Men’s meetings are on Feb. 11 and March 11. Ladies’ Meetings are on Feb. 17th and on March 24th. The March meeting will take place after Saint Patrick’s Day. (Please note)

The Fundraiser at Molly Darcy’s will take place on Feb.22, 2009 from 2-6PM. This is an annual fundraiser for the Danbury Saint Patrick’s Day parade which will be on March15th (the day after the Saint Patrick’s Day Ball) the donation is $15.00 at the door. If you bring a non-member, you will only have to pay $7.50. The bands are “The Mighty Ploughboys, The Celtic Pipes and Drums and “The Highland Rovers”.  These bands offer their time to help with our finances and everyone has a wonderful afternoon. Molly Darcy’s will provide a little something to eat. Come on down on a winter’s afternoon.

The Greater Danbury St. Patrick’s Day Parade is alive and well and ready to step off. Unlike other cities like New Haven, the Danbury Parade is totally sponsored by us. The parade will be starting off from Rogers Park at 2PM. We march down Main Street and behind the Hall on Keeler Street. We supply hot dogs, beer and soda to the marchers. Inside the Hall you can purchase corned beef sandwiches, hot dogs, coffee, Guinness, and desserts. What combinations! Call us for your questions or if you have a group that wishes to march. Maureen Davis at 203-826-7121 or Jim Chiaramonte at 203-733-9816.

ABD      unfortunately we were unable to visit Whippoorwill in January. They called to say “they were bitten by the cold bug” and didn’t want to share their germs with us. We are looking forward to a Valentine visit on Feb.7th at one o’clock. Want to join us? Call Debbie at 792-7579 or Maura at 744-0299.

Traditional Irish Music Seisiún     Mark your calendar, Feb. 22, March29, and April 26 on Sundays at 6. Traditional musicians are for your entertainment at our Hall. See you there! 
  John Feeney

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Please note:  There will be two Masses during the days of our Saint Patrick’s celebration.  The first Mass is on March 14th at Saint Edward’s Church at 9AM. After Mass, (at about 10) there will be a parade from the church to the Town Hall for the flag raising and refreshments will follow. The next Mass is on Saint Patrick’s Day at 11 AM at Saint Peter’s Church, in Danbury. The ceremony and Flag raising will follow at City Hall.

Sick (Tinneas) and in need of prayers Kitty Gallagher, Patrick Brady, Virginia Tracey, Ann Egan, Aidan Sullivan, Helen Grandie, Bethany Parks, Baby Michael, The Williams family, Amanda Dos Santos, Dot Hurgin, Patricia Drake, Ginny Dachenhausen and  her little boys in Bolivia, and all our troops.

Teltic Collection Evening which is the 3rd Silent Auction to benefit the LAOH and the AOH Scholarship Fund. When? Saturday, April 18,2009 at Immaculate High at 7PM. Mark your calendar. April will be here before you know it. (We hope)
The scholarship Committee is asking for donations for the Silent Auction. Please contact a committee member or bring donations to the next AOH or LAOH division meeting.

Applications for the AOH/LAOH Scholarship and Hibernian Book Awards will be available at area schools by Feb. 1st. If you know of a student interested in applying please have them collect an application from their school.
The Hibernian Book Award is available to any high school senior who will be graduating in 2009. The applicant is referred by a member of one of the Danbury Divisions. The student will submit the application along with an essay on Irish History /Culture.
The AOH/LAOH Scholarship is awarded to an 8th Grade student planning on attending Immaculate High School. This Scholarship awards $1,000 per year for the first 2 years at Immaculate High School.
Joan Berry

Connecticut State Board Meetings a State Board Meeting was held on Sat. January 31 at the AOH Hall at 11AM. The Connecticut Board Retreat will take place on Feb. 6th through Feb. 8th at Holy Family in West Hartford. This event is celebrating its 19th year. Contact the past State president Dave Howe for details for the Men’s Retreat 203-767-6519
Debbi Lynch Fako, president of the LAOH, would like to know if any Ladies would like to take the Tara Degree. Let Debbi know at the next meeting.
This past Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009, 80,000 people were in Croke Park, Dublin to see the Tyrone, Dublin Gaelic Football Game They had a half time entertainment and fireworks for the 125th Anniversary of the GAA. This Monday, Ireland experienced a heavy snowfall which caused havoc with traffic.

As you realize this Newsletter is very late. due to late news items. I want to put the March newsletter out after the LAOH meeting. I ask for everyone’s cooperation I need cooperation to be on time.
Thanks Mary Hearty

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Officers & Directors of the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, Inc. Report

     Progress on our home at 6 Lake Avenue Continues to move along. finally at an increasing pace. Much of the time spent has been on developmental work with architects, engineers, surveyors and designers, as well as navigating our way through the City’s bureaucracy. No special treatment was given to us as we waited our turn. Brother Mike George is on the site daily as our project manager overseeing the work being done (doing much of the work himself). His activity is being reviewed  by Brother Joe Putnam who is acting as general contractor on behalf of the CDICC. He and Mike have fleshed out the construction budget  and have modified it as necessary as we have moved along.  Our current target is to seek a certificate  of occupancy in late March or early April, dependent on the delivery of some major items for installation. Our final hurdle to cross is to close a  gap in our available funds, with the funds necessary to complete and open the center.

    As most of you know, when we closed on the building the bank required us to move $150,000 into a certificate of deposit. This is to be held in reserve  to secure the bank interests until we have shown them a positive cash flow on the center operation. This has left us with a gap in the actual money we have available to finish the renovations. We always knew that we would have to raise additional money and that time is now.

     The officers & Directors* of the GDICC have approved a building bond program to raise the money. It was introduced at a joint meeting held on January 4, 2009 at the Main Street Hall. A separate mailing is in preparation that will explain this in greater detail, but here is the synopsis : Members and friends are being asked to loan money to the GDICC in increments of $500.00. They will receive a numbered bond for each $500.00 they lend. These bonds will then be redeemed by lottery selection each year beginning in Jan. 2011 at a rate of at least 10 bonds per year. We need to sell 300 bonds to meet our goal. We hope that each member will take at least one bond and those who can do more will try to do so. Our future is at hand.  Let us finish the work we have begun and move happily forward into our new home.
Vin Nolan – President                                    Kathy Hannigan – Board Chair
Eileen Alberts – Vice President                     Seán Hearty, Ginny McCauley,   
Norm Carvalho – Vice President                  Mary Saracino, Pat  Brady
Jim Palardy, Sr. – Secretary/Treasurer             Board Members

Fitzmaurice, John "Jack"   
John Fitzmaurice John "Jack" Fitzmaurice, age 79 of Danbury, died Tuesday at the New Milford Hospital. He was the husband of the late Ellen (Kelly) Fitzmaurice. Jack was born May 11, 1929 in Ahane-Brosnah, County Kerry, Ireland, the son of the late William and Ellen (Daly) Fitzmaurice. It was in Brosna where he was educated, and he had later served with the Irish Fermoy. Jack emigrated to the United States in 1954, where he met and married his beloved wife Ellen of 43 years. Jack was employed as a foreman with Republic Foil, retiring after a long career there. Through the years, he was active in his church, St. Gregory the Great, and in later years attended both St. Joseph and St. Peter Church. He was active within the Irish community, and was a longtime member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians John Gildea Division #3, where he was the recipient of its Hibernian of the Year Award in 1989. A devoted husband, father, and friend to many, Jack is
survived by his loving daughters, Maura Ruby and her husband, William Douglas of New Fairfield, and Kerry Coelho of Kent,; sons, Sean Fitzmaurice and his wife, Kelly of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Michael Fitzmaurice and his wife, Gina of New Milford. Jack was the proud grandfather of 11 grandchildren who will miss him dearly. In addition, he is survived by his brothers, Hugh Fitzmaurice of England, Daniel Fitzmaurice of Ireland, and Robert Fitzmaurice of New Jersey; sisters, Bridie Fenix and Mary Kelleher, both of Ireland; several nieces and nephews; and former son-in-law, Leonel Coelho of Warren. Jack was predeceased by his son, William; daughter, Eileen; and brothers James and Bill Fitzmaurice. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday September 20, 2008 at St. Edward the Confessor Church, New Fairfield at 10 am. Burial will be in St. Peter Cemetery, Danbury.

     It is a matter of conjecture when the first person from Ireland arrived   in the Danbury area.  James M. Bailey, in his History of Danbury, claimed it was one Peter O?Brien who lived in the Stony Hill section of Bethel in the l820?s.  According to Bailey, people came from miles around to view Peter?s thatched cottage and listen to his colorful brogue.

     In his autobiography, P. T. Barnum states that in the l820?s, an Irishman was a rare sight in the interior of Connecticut.  That could not have been said in l860.  By that time, many Irish had begun settling in Danbury and the surrounding towns.

     They came for the opportunity to improve their lives.  Some stayed in this area after working on the construction of the railroad lines that were extended north from Bridgeport, Norwalk, and New York City.  Others found employment in the hat shops of Danbury or the iron mines of Brewster.  A number of others realized every Irishman?s dream of owning their own land and purchased farms.  This was particularly true in the Newtown area.

     The Irish presence in the area increased in the years after the Civil War.  The south side of Danbury, which became known as the Fourth Ward, came to have the largest concentration of Irish in the area.  The Fourth Ward continued to have a large population of Irish descent until after World War II.

  The Irish began to excel in certain fields.  Some became union leaders particularly in the Hatting Industry.  Others achieved success in politics.  Danbury elected an Irish born state representative in 1874 and Newtown did the same in 1876.  Ridgefield?s First Selectman in the 1890?s was born in Ireland.  Other natives of Ireland became merchants, factory owners and contractors.

The Irish brought with them their Catholic religion.  St. Peters Church in Danbury was founded in 1851 and became the mother church for all of the other parishes in northern Fairfield County.

Irish oriented organizations also began to appear.  Fenian Circles were established in Danbury and Newtown in the 1860?s.  The Robert Emmet Club of the Clan Na Gael was founded in the early 1870?s.  It promoted the cause of a free Ireland and continued in existence up until the 1930?s..

The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was organized in New York City in 1836.  The organization has its roots in Ireland where its purpose was to defend the Catholic religion and the rights and culture of the Irish people.  The A.O.H. has continued this work in the United States as well as serving as a support group for each successive wave of immigration from Ireland.

The A.O.H. was first organized in Danbury in 1873.  The John A. Gildea Division was organized in 1959 and has thrived down to the present time.  The L.A.O.H. was first established in Danbury in 1903.  The Mary McWhorter Division was chartered in 1921.  Together the A.O.H. and L.A.O.H. are proud to sponsor annually the   Greater Danbury Irish Festival.
                                    Phil Gallagher



       DANBURY           74,818                      11,432           15.27

BETHEL        18,067            3,684        21.50

WILTON        17,633            3966        22.49

RIDGEFIELD    23,643            5,846        24.73

SOUTHEAST    17,316            4,955        28.62

CARMEL        33,006            8,252        25.00

PATTERSON    11,306            2,785        24.62

NEW FAIRFIELD    13,953            4,437        31.80

NEW MILFORD    27,121            6,238        23.00

BROOKFIELD    15,664            3,805        24.29

NEWTOWN        25,031            5,869        23.45

SOUTHBURY    18,567            4,117        22.17
MONROE        19,247            4,212        21.88

FAIRFIELD        57,067            13,816        24.09


Rhode Island

NEWPORT        26,475            7,349        27.76

MIDDLETOWN    17,324            4,507        26.00

NARRAGANSET    16,361            5,197        31.76

FRANKLIN        29,560            9,496        32.12


LEVITTOWN    53,O67        16,106        30.35


    There is much that needs to be written about the history of the Irish in Newtown, Connecticut.  In the middle to late l9th century, Newtown probably had one of the highest percentages of Irish within its population of any town in Connecticut.  The history of the early Irish in Newtown greatly contradicts the widespread belief that the Irish immigrants of the post famine years were a poverty stricken people who were prone to fighting and drinking.  We have a first person account of those early years from     none other than the Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Newtown who, in the year l860 wrote the following about the 506 Irish people, comprising ll7 families who lived in Newtown at that time.
...  “There is no class of people in this community more industrious than the Irish.  Eighty -one of these families own real estate, and it is a common remark that they stand ready to buy up all the land thrown into market in the town.  As fast as our American families fall into decay, and are obliged to sell their property, the Irish catch it up.  They buy poor land, and by hard work improve it; and they buy good land, and keep it good.  It is a constant marvel to see how fast they are getting on in the world.  They drink, but not enough to detract from their pecuniary prosperity.  I do not know one of them who can be called a low drunkard; though I presume there are some of them of that description.  They are sometimes noisy on Sabbath evenings, and when returning from funerals, but seldom make any great disturbance.  In l855 they bought the Universalist meeting - house in the Center. ....  From l855 to the fall of l859, the Catholics had a monthly service in the church.  Last fall an enterprising, intelligent and affable young Irish priest,   (Father Francis Lenihan) settled down here, and since that time, worship has been held every Sabbath.  He has purchased a parsonage property for fifteen hundred dollars, and his influence is, by common acknowledgment, beneficial to the Irish, and as good as that of a thorough policeman for the rest of us.  I do not know of one of these Catholic Irish who has become a Protestant, or who is leaning that way. Their house (church) was painted last fall.  They have an organ and organist, and a choir of singers; and the priest told me in the fall that he should have a Sabbath School.  He appears to be a thoroughgoing temperance man, and is probably doing more in that line than any other minister in town.  The Catholic children attend the common schools; and, as yet, the priest has opened no separate school for them, though one has been talked of. “ ...
A person who was described “as a man of exact and thorough observation” wrote the words quoted above.   Unfortunately, all to often, myths rather than words like these are what gets into the history books.

                                                                                                      Phil Gallagher
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