County Tipperary, Ireland, to Huntley Township and then to Renfrew County
also Patrick HARTY / HEARTY
Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893
June 24, 2002:
Yes my Bonfield (James) did pass through Huntley Township on his way to Eganville,
Ontario where he settled permanently. He was accompanied by his orphaned
nephew Patrick Harty / Hearty, whose mother, James' sister Margaret, a widow, died
at sea, leaving James to rear her 8 year old son ... this was circa 1847/48.
I always wondered what was the Huntley connection ... there must have been a
relative there, possibly a brother called John whom I am trying to trace.
I would love a photograph of your painting which I would like to include
in my Bonfield "opus" if you agreed. James' daughter Elizabeth married Edward
Dowling whose mother was Mary Leahy daughter of our original ancestors
who arrived in Canada in 1823, Patrick and Joanna Leahy. Again, proving the old adage
that life is circular.
Thanks for your e-mail.
I see that there is a James Bonfield -- spelled BONSFIELD -- on the 1879
map of Huntley Township. He has two properties (at least), Lot 26, Con. XII
and Lot 25, Con. XI. Would your James have already left for Eganville by
then? You can see the property location at
I also have some records of Bonsfields as being witnesses to marriages, both
at St. Michael's at Corkery and further west, presumably around Eganville.
Do you have this info? If not, I'll send it to you also.
Thanks, Al -
My James Bonfield was in Eganville by 1848 and lived there for the
rest of his life..he died in 1883, an MP, and called "The last of the lumber barons
of the Bonnechere River".
I would love the info re Bonfield being witness at various weddings and of
course - the e-mailed photo!
Here's a picture of a picture.
It's the painting signed "James Bomfield/30". It looks like an "m" in the
signature, but it could be an "n". This painting is either 72 or 172 years old.
I took the photograph through the glass which covers the painting -- the painting
is well framed and bound on the back and thought that it if I took it apart, it
might not go back together well.
The actual painting is about 6.5 inches high and 5.5 inches wide.
I'll send you the Bonfield witness info, etc. in a day or two. If you don't
mind, I'd like to start a Bonfield page on my web site, and include an image
of the painting by James Bonfield and a mention that your James Bonfield
went to the Eganville area. Someone may be able to shed some light on this.
June 24, 2002:
References to the surname BONFIELD at St. Michael's RC Church, Huntley Township
Birth: Connor, Julia
daughter of Connor, John and Clary or Cleary, Hanna
Godparents: Bonfield, James & Meehan, Mary
Birth: Hogan, Mary
daughter of Hogan, Hugh and Seamer ?, Judith
born on 7/20/1850
Godparents Bonfield James & Bonfield, Elizabeth
Birth: Quinn, Daniel
Son of Quinn, James and Bonfield, Mary
born on 12/7/1840
Godparents: McGrath, Michael & Ryan, Mary
Liston, Michael son of Liston, Michael and Flannery, Johanna
Whelan, Elizabeth daughter of Whelan, Peter & Bonfield, Eliza
Witnesses: McGrath, Mathew & Lindsay, Elizabeth
Whelan, Mrs Peter nee Eliza Bonfield age 74
Spouse: Whelan, Peter
Witnesses: Grace, John & Liston, Michael
E-mail Allan Lewis
Bonfield references at Brudenell (Eganville?)
Item#3 Page 25 Daniel Quinn & Ellen Bennett
August 19th 1872 We the undersigned Parish Priest of Brudenell married
Daniel Quinn son of James Quinn & Mary Bonfield to Ellen Bennett daughter of
Matthias Bennett & Johanna Lyons. Witnesses: John Bennett & Ellen O'Brien.
No calls. James McCormac,P.P.
Item#3 Page 120&121 Michael Power & Margaret Droghen
April 14th 1880 The bans of marriage of Michael Power the son of Thomas Power and
Hanora Behan of the parish of Eganville on the one part and Margaret Droghen / Drohan the
daughter of James Droghen and Mary Purcell on the other part, no impediment having
been discovered, We the undersigned Parish Priest of Brudenell having received
their mutual consent to marriage gave them the nuptial benediction in the presence of
John Bonfield and Mary Furlong.J.McCormac, P.P
Item#3 Page 202#85 Julia Agnes Gallagher
November 2nd 1884 We the undersigned Parish Priest of Brudenell baptized Julia Agnes
Gallagher born Oct 29 of the lawful marriage of Edward Gallagher and Serah Kileen / Killeen. The
sponsors were John Bonfield & Agnes Kileen. James McCormac,P.P.
Item#3 Page 260 Michael Hanlon & Catherine Killeen
June 19th 1888 The Banns of marriage having been once published between Michael Hanlon
the son of Michael Hanlon and Mary Doyle on the one part and Catherine Killeen the
daughter of Denis Killeen and Ellen O'Brien on the other, no impediment having been
discovered, we the undersigned Parish Priest of Brudenell having received their mutual
consent to marriage gave them the nuptial benediction in presence of James Bonfield &
Agnes Killeen . James MacCormac, P.P.
January 25, 2003:
Shirley and Al...
Would really appreciate any leads on Bridget Bonfield... 2nd spouse of James
Ancestors of Bonfield Bridget
(22 January 103)
1 : Bridget Bonfield, born in Clonmell / Clonmel, County Tipparary, Ireland? in 1840, died in
Pembroke, Ont the 24 February 1902, daughter of ? Bonfield and ? Maloney),
married James Ralph, in 1866 (born in 1813 in Ireland and died the 27
December 1895 in Alice Township Ontario, son of William Ralph).
(Notes : See notes re: James Ralph Related to James Bonfield, M.P., Renfrew South
Town Called after her..?? family..)
2 : ? Bonfield.
3 : ? Maloney.
Tim Houlihan, MCIP, RPP
March 10, 2004:
From Ellen Paul's records of Notre Dame Cathedral:
20 Nov 1854
After dispensing with banns, marriage of James Bonfield of Huntley, adult son of
John Bonfield and Eliza O'Mara / O'Meara, to Catherine Tracy / Tracey of Bytown,
minor daughter of James Tracy and Julia McDonnell
Witnesses: William Queen / Quinn & Alice Curry
Februsry 23, 2005:
James Bonfield (Renfrew North) was a Member of Parliament in the Provincial Legislature.
There is a Township and a village near Mattawa, Ontario named "Bonfield".
See map posted on February 23, 2005 on our Fur Trade page.
March 18, 2005:
Finally discovered my Clara (Whelan) Grace (b.1840) parents names yesterday in
the 1851 census - Peter Whelan and Elizabeth Bonfield. The death of Mrs. Peter Whelan
that you show on this page has two of her son-in-laws as witnesses; one of them,
John Grace, was Clara's husband. Clara had predeceased her mother, though I couldn't
find her death in the archives index, and John was a widower by 1881.
Do you know the relationships of these Bonfield's to each other?
August 22, 2005:
Thanks to Donna McGinty for the following:
Donna McGinty trip to Canada 2004:
The Canadian Biographical dictionary, Ontario Volume 1880.
James Bonfield M.P.P Eganville: James Bonfield, the representative of South
Renfrew in the Ontario, Legislature, descends from an old agricultural family in
Ireland and was born in Gortmore, county of Tipperary, in 1825, his parents being
John and Elizabeth O'Meara Bonfield. A maternal uncle of James, father Morgan O'Meara,
was a Catholic priest. Mr. Bonfield received a good English education, including the
higher mathematics, attending school most of the time until 1848, in the spring of which
year he came to Canada, and settled at Eganville, township of Grattan, where he has
resided for thirty-two years. He commenced work in this Province as a clerk for
John Egan, from whom the village of Eganville was named; in 1863 opened a general
store for himself, and not long afterwards commenced lumbering and discontinued merchandising.
Mr. Bonfield was at one period reeve of the township of Grattan, in 1875 was
elected to the local Parliament for the riding of South Renfrew, by acclamation and
at the expiration of his term, after an animated contest, was re-elected by a
handsome majority. His political affiliations are with the Reform party.
Mr. Bonfield was reared in the Roman Catholic church and earnestly adheres to
the faith of his parents and a long ancestral line. His marriage is dated Nov. 20,
1854 his wife being Miss Catherine Tracy / Tracey.
Notes* Donna,- James was 22 when he came to Canada and was born in 1825, that
means he came to Canada in 1847.
Book Eganville, Jewel of the Bonnechere
p.9 James Bonfield was listed in the officially registered "Canadian Directory"
which decribed the community of Eganville as " A small village on the Bonnechere
River in the Township of Grattan and the County of Renfrew Distant from Ottawa 85
miles, and from Perth 80 miles. Mail tri- weekly, population 175. James was
listed a clerk.
John Egan died in 1857. In 1868 the mills and other village properties were bought
from the Egan estate by James Bonfield and Robert Turner, Bonfield soon became the
sole owner. Unlike Egan, Bonfield took up residence here and one of his acts was to
give as a free gift of land for the use of St. John's church cemetery. At this time,
also, he built a second saw mill.
p.19 James Bonfield born in Ireland in 1826, came to Eganville as a bookkeeper
for John Egan. He subsequently owned 1000 acres of land of Grattan Township. His was
the last great name in lumbering on the Bonnechere. He served as Liberal MPP
for South Renfrew.
... Donna McGinty
April 9, 2007:
I am g granddaughter of Patrick Harty, and James Bonfield would
have been my ggguncle.
I've never been able to find out what Patrick Harty's father's name was or
what his mother's maiden name was.
Also, there is a small reference in my late aunt's notes that Patrick
had 3 brothers - Michael, John, and Stephen Harty. There again I haven't
been able to discover if they ever came to Canada or what happened to
John and Stephen. Michael Harty was here (1871/72) when he married Bridget
Bennett of Brudenell (daughter of Matthias Bennett and Johanna Lyons).
I know that they moved to Youngstown, Ohio, USA.
Any leads would be greatly appreciated.
See also Owen Hearty and Ann McGee.
October 21, 2007:
According to the Ontario Registrations for BMD's, there is the following:
Michael Harty, 28, son of Philip Harty and Ellen Bonfield, married 20 May 1872
in Douglas, Renfrew county, Ontario, Bridget Bennett, 27, daughter of Mathew
Bennett and Johanna Lyons. Both Michael and Bridget were born in Ireland and
both were living in Eganville at the time of their marriage.
Died in Renfrew county 13 April 1922 at age 89 and having lived in Canada for
70 years, Patrick Harty (no name of father given, but mother's surname of
Bonfield is given). The informant was Patrick's son-in-law Timothy Dwyer.
I can't find the death registration of the above Patricks wife, whom I believe
was Margaret Tracy.
Note that there is another Patrick Harty who was also born abt 1833 in Ireland
who died in Ottawa (where he is found in various censuses) 3 July 1921.
According to his death registration, he was a son of William Harty and Mary Rigney.
Born 6 May 1877 to Patrick Harty and Margaret Tracy in Renfrew county, Patrick Harty.
Married 2 Feb 1909 in Eganville, Patrick Harty, 32, son of Patrick Harty &
Margaret Tracy, to Catherine Loretta O'Brien, 24, daughter of Patrick and Mary O'Brien.
Married 27 June 1888 in Renfrew county, Ellen Harty, 22, daughter of Patrick Harty
and Margaret Tracey, to Timothy Dwyer, 27, a son of Cornelius Dwyer and
Married 16 Jan 1902 in Renfrew county, James Harty, 30, son or Patrick Harty and
Margret Tracey, to Mary Ellen McGrath, 25, a daughter of Morgan McGrath and Johana Reiley.
Died 5 Feb 1922, James Harty, son of Patrick and Margaret (Tracey) Harty in Eganville.
Married 1 August 1887 in Renfrew county, Julia Harty, 23, daughter of Patrick
Harty and Margret Tracey, to Martin Walsh, 22, a son of Michael Walsh and Mary
Married 4 Nov 1902 in Renfrew county, Philip John Harty, 32, son of Patrick Harty
and Margret Tracey, to Teresa Foy, 24, a daughter of Nicholis Foy and Catherine Ryan.
Married 18 Sep 1906 in Renfrew county, Katie Harty, 32, daughter of Patrick Harty
and Margret Tracey, to John Ryan, 39, son of John Ryan and Bridget Collins.
January 7, 2008:
I came across your webpage tonight and believe there is a direct connection! I can
remember my father (MEH, Jr.) talking about a town in Canada that was possibly named
after a relative (Bonfield) as well as a priest that was a relative from that area.
I'll pass this information along to a few family members that may have more knowledge
since I am the youngest and last of the Harty line.
I'd love to hear from you!