Report on the 2011 November Reunion

Well, look what I found among my drafts for posts …

Haha .. Never managed to post it! But as with most things genealogy .. “Better late than never!”

Our reunion was a great success! With all that has been going on since, I haven’t had a chance to talk about the day.

It was a great chance to meet relatives who didn’t know one another! And we did bring together quite a crew of descendants of Matthew O’Connor and Mary Doyle. And yes, we had a birthday cake in their honor, thanks to cousin Sharon!

My sister Margo (who was unable to come) was hoping that we could find some relatives from the Cadieux side. And we did! Our cousin Neal (his grandmother was Belle Cadieux) joined us and we were thrilled that he brought along some photos to share too.

I had been doing some research at the Arnprior & McNab Braeside archives and came upon a host of photos from our Frood ancestors. Maybe our 2012 reunion will have someone representing the Frood or Watt families.

Turns out that we still have some cousins from my father’s generation in the Ottawa area, which was a great and happy surprise  Matthew O’Connor and Mary Doyle’s next to last child was Emmett (my grandfather’s brother). His daughter Marion, who coincidentally lives not far from the site of the reunion, joined us! What a thrill to catch up with her and that part of the family. Her sister Rita lives in Oklahoma and brother Desmond in the Ottawa area. When I visited with her on the Sunday following, she showed me a letter to our grand uncle Msgr. O’Connor from FDR, asking his advice.

Family of another of my grandfather’s brothers, Stephen, were represented, too! Richard wasn’t able to join us, but his brother stopped by, and was interested in the details of the tree. He got to meet some new cousins, too!

Connie, representing the Delaney branch, was also with us. Her grandmother was Mary “Minnie” O’Connor (my grandfather’s sister; daughter of Matthew & Mary) who married George Delaney.

Gary Allen has been doing research on the Irish in the Ottawa Valley. He joined us for the family names, and discovered a connection to the family through Isidore Cadieux, brother of my great grandfather David!

Cousin John is very knowledgeable on the O’Connor tree, having done most of his research before we had internet sources, so he knows the original sources and details well. He was a great resource for those with questions about the O’Connor and Dolan lines.

Cousin Sharon is also well versed in the O’Connors and Dolans. She too was a go-to person for questions. …and she helped with the cake and refreshments.

We had a really great morning together. It was a great chance to connect to family we had only seen as names on the family tree, but have now had a chance to meet and enjoy. So many commented that it would be nice to do this each year, that we are working on the dates for 2012.

I’m hoping to find some representatives of the Wilson and McEwan lines who could join us.

Back To Ireland Through The Killeen Family

Helena Killeen (1863-1950) married Peter Dolan (1863-1946) (picture left) in Notre Dame Basilica, Ottawa on 15 Nov 1885. Their fifth child, was Gertrude Pearl (1894-1978), my grandmother.

Helena’s father, Dennis Benjamin Killeen (1829-1914) was married to Ellen O’Brien.

It’s through Dennis Benjamin that we’ve been able to trace the family back to Ireland.

His father Denis Killeen is mentioned in a history of Ottawa published in 1927  [A.H.D. Ross, Ottawa: Past and Present (Ottawa: Thorborn & Abbott, 1927), p. 39]:

“the first white child born in the Township of March was Patrick Killean, whose father, Denis Killean, was in Captain Monk’s employ, and the second was Benning Monk.”

An earlier mention of the same information came in a talk by Mrs. M.H. Ahearn,  “The Settlers of March Township,” which was first read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa on 10 March 1899, and later published by the Ontario Historical Society [Mrs. M.H. Ahearn, “The Settlers of March Township,” Ontario Historical Society, Papers and Records, vol. 3 (Toronto: 1901; reprint, Millwood, New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1975), pp. 98-99].

Denis, born around 1786 in the parish of Meelick in East County Galway, Ireland, had served under Captain John Benning Monk in the 97th Regiment of Foot. He had apparently then followed Monk to March township as some sort of domestic (or “soldier servant,” in Mrs. Ahearn’s words). He later received a patent from the Crown, in 1828, for 100 acres at Concession 3, Lot 11, March township.

Thanks to Mary Catherine Moran for these details from her website Ottawa Valley Irish.

Those O’Connor Boys!

Fergus Vincent O’Connor (1890-1915) married Harriet Ann (Hattie) Dolan (1889-1923). Joseph Emmett O’Connor (1889-1964) married Agnes Sevina Dolan (1890-1973 ). Daniel Patrick O’Connor (1881-1965, pictured left) married Gertrude Pearl Dolan (1894-1978). Fergus, Emmett and Daniel were brothers — all farmers in the area of Osgoode. Hattie, Agnes and Pearl were all farmers’ daughters in the Dunrobin area.

How did these O’Connor boys end up meeting the Dolans, as Osgoode and North and South Gower are a hefty distance from Renfrew South ?

Cousin Sharon suggests

It could have been in the days of logging down the river.

I remember my Dad saying that his Dad (Daniel P.) had gone by train to visit Pearl. Seems like he said it was the next stop along the train route. Then it was a bit of a ride by wagon.

Don’t know what there was there in the Renfrew area that they would be familiar with at that stop (besides the Dolan girls!), but I will be looking to see what was in Renfrew in those days, hunting down a town directory.

Did they maybe meet in church?

Sharon suggests

Apparently there were big dances at halls, not sure if church halls, or town halls. I suspect the 3 O’Connor boys met the 3 Dolan girls in that manner. It would be about 30 miles from North Gower to Dunrobin. The Rideau River runs close to Osgoode/North Gower and empties into the Ottawa River which travels up by Dunrobin/Fitzroy Harbour.
There was a train that went to Chalk River in those days, which is on the correct pathway. Not sure where they would have boarded .. possibly on a train to Ottawa, and then changed trains.