Paul COOPER and Rachel WALLACE
Ireland to Osgoode Township, Ontario, Canada
March 26, 2002:
I am researching the genealogy of Paul Cooper who came to Bytown from Ireland in 1830 with his wife Rachel (nee Wallace)
and set up a Shoe store in Bytown. I was under the impression that they settled in Osgoode Twp in the 1830s, but it turns
out, based on baptism records, that they were living in Bytown until at least 1849.....and sometime there after (but
before 1861 census) moved to Osgoode Twp.
Have you found out anything about him or his brother-in-law John Wallace (married to Paul's sister Ann)?
Cheryl A. Cooper
Thanks for your e-mail regarding Paul Cooper.
It's a small world. When I began researching my Burns ancestors in Osgoode Township a few years ago, one of the first things I
looked at were the census records. Guess what, one of the first names to show up was Paul Cooper.
Now, this was about five years ago and I have no idea where he was - but hopefully we can find out. I think he was listed as
temporarily living at one of my ancestor's homes, on the Manotick Station Road, and might have been listed as a mason. I hope
I can find that reference for us. It struck me at the time as odd - I believe he was Protestant and my ancestors (on my mom's
side) were Catholic. I know that there was a Cooper family on a farm (near Metcalfe?) - it's on one of the early maps.
Anyway, I'll hunt around and see what there is in my so-called "filing system".
Thanks again ! This is interesting.
July 19, 2002:
Would you have any info on an Annie Cooper? She married William Lackey. The info I have is that she was from Lacolle, Quebec.
December 29, 2011:
I found your note from 2002. Are you still doing family research?? Did you find what you were looking for?? I have extensive
files and contacts.
Thanks to Cheryl Cooper for this wonderful document on the Cooper family:
The Cooper Family
of Cooper Hill Road
Motto: "Noli irritare leonum"
Translation: "Don't rouse the lion"
"The Coopers were an old Irish family whose ancestors came from England to the Green Isle in 1650. These ancestral Coopers formed
one of the famous expeditions which came over under Oliver Cromwell to suppress the Irish Rebellion. For their services the Cooper
Family received a grant of land from Queen Elizabeth I in Queen's County; known to this day as "Cooper Hill." In the north-east
corner, of the re-named County Laois, and several miles to the north of, the above mentioned Cooper Hill, lie the towns of
Portarlington, Emoe Park and Killminey. An area in the estate of the Earl of Portarlington, Emo Park (Lot 19) was also designated
"Cooper's Hill." It is here that some of the Cooper descendants migrated.
In addition to the Coopers, Portarlington had a large settlement of French Huguenots; Protestant nobles who fled France during the
French Revolution. One of these young women, Miss Martha Dodds married area farmer Mr. John Cooper. Martha's family owned a
Boot and Shoe Establishment in Portarlington; run by her father John, succeeded by brother Paul Dodds. John and Martha Cooper
had eight children for whom baptismal records were found; Jane (Feb 1805), Thomas (Apr 1807), Paul (June 1809), James (Feb 1812),
George (May 1814), Anne (Dec 1815), Elizabeth (July 1820), and Martha (Sept 1822). In the late 1820s, it is speculated after the
death of their mother Martha, the family separated.
In 1826, the eldest Jane, married Langley Claxton of Rathleague (Maryborough parish). At the age of 23, in 1828, Thomas joined the
Royal Irish Constabulatory. He married Marianne Jackson in 1852 and retired after 25 years service with the rank of 2nd Head Constable.
James Cooper was 20 when he too joined the R.I.C. in 1831. A mounted member, Sgt. James resigned after 22 years of distinguished service.
He came to Canada in the 1850s joining Montreal's RCMP, marrying Mary Ann Dunbar (1858), having a family of seven, and retiring at the
age of 77 from employment at McGill University. George died at the age of 21 in Maryborough; perhaps while working in that area,
close to his sister Jane.
In 1832, Paul left for Canada with sisters Anne and Elizabeth. The trip took them eight weeks by sailboat. On the same boat was a family
named Wallace. Two romances occurred on board; John Wallace, age 20, fell in love with and married Anne Cooper, age 17. After their arrival
at Bytown, Paul Cooper set up a small shoe business and married John's sister Rachel Wallace in 1835. Their marriage record from the
register of Christ Church Anglican, Bytown states:
"Cooper and Wallace On this the 4th day of March, 1835, Paul Cooper of Bytown, shoemaker, and Rachel Wallace of Hull in Lower Canada,
spinster, were married together under the authority of a special license by me. A.H. Burwell"
An article from an Ottawa newspaper circa 1890 recalls an incident in the rebellion of 1837-38:
"In the fall of 1837 there walked into Bytown, from the township of Osgoode, five loyal and sturdy young men to offer their services to
the government as volunteers during the critical times of Mackenzie and Papineau. The names of these young men from the 30th ult. deserve
to be remembered among those of the pioneers of Carleton County: They were John McEwen, Henry Latimer, Benjamin Wallace, John McKay and Paul
It is unclear why Paul is said to have come, at this point, from Osgoode Township, as he was working in Bytown and does not appear in the
Osgoode census until 1861. That is unless he was perhaps a land owner.
Joining the Methodist Church, now known as the Dominion Church, the young couple settled for a time in Bytown. Paul went to work
as messenger / clerk for the Rideau Canal Works of the Imperial Government. One duty included measuring the timber for toll collection
as it passed through the canal. The Cooper family Bible records the births of six sons: Thomas (Jan 16,1837), James (Oct 13, 1838),
Robert Wallace (Dec 4, 1840), Joseph (Jan 20, 1843), Benjamin (July 20, 1845), and John (Sept 25, 1848).
Wesleyan-Methodist Baptismal Registers show that the family was residing in Bytown at the time of these baptisms.
Some time between 1851 and 1860 the Coopers moved to a log house on 200 acres at North Osgoode (Lot 11 Concession VIII Osgoode Township).
The house was on the west half of the land. Eldest son Thomas, a stonemason/contractor, remained in Bytown. In 1860
he and brother James (Jim), also a mason, built the stone family homestead attached to the log house; referred to as "Maple Grove"
in those days. Of note is Jim's enrollment in the Ottawa Field Battalion of the Royal Canadian Volunteer Artillery as a Gunner
in 1855. The township census of 1861 lists Paul and Rachel living with their five youngest sons and 16 year old Margaret Wallace
in the log house; as the stone house was probably not yet finished. They became active in their new community and devout members of
the Metcalfe Wesleyan-Methodist Church. Paul donated a half acre lot for the building of S.S.#10; a one-room stone school house
that would educate three generations of Coopers to come.
Paul retired from his distinguished government post in 1872 to farm with sons Benjamin and John. Robert W. continued the family's
Rideau Canal tradition by becoming its' accountant in 1870 and moving back to Ottawa. He married Addie Anderson in 1872 and
had five children. Joseph (Joe), the third brother to become a stonemason, married Jane Fraser and received the south-west
50 acres of Lot 11; hereafter referred to as the south house. They had a family of five. These three brothers Thomas,
Jim and Joe worked as masons on the building of the Parliament Buildings between 1857 and 1866. Stories have passed down that
although the boys worked hard they also played hard; frequenting the local hotels in Bytown and Metcalfe. Sometime after 1874
Thomas went south to Chicago with his wife Catherine Elizabeth. It is speculated that he went to assist in rebuilding the city
following the great Chicago fire.
At the age of 29, on June 10, 1875, Benjamin Cooper married neighbour Ann Jane Stanley age 20; daughter of Richard Barber Stanley
and Ann Lawlor. They built a home on the west 100, just over the top of the hill. John married another neighbour Mary Jane Elliot
and built across the road beside brother Jim's 50 acres; hereafter referred to as the north house. Their children Jimmie and
twins Rachel and Ruth would soon be born. Jim, a bachelor remained living with parents Paul and Rachel in the stone house.
The map of Osgoode Township 1879 shows Paul owning the stone house on the north-west 50 acres of Lot 11, Joe the frame house on
the south-west 50, Ben the house on the east 100 acres, John the house on the west half of the east part of Lot 10, and Jim
the east 50 of the same.
As Paul aged, sons Ben and John continued to operate their farms. Ben is recalled by a grandson as a quiet, hardworking farmer who
seemed always adorned in a fur coat. They had a family of three boys and four girls: Robert Erwin (Robbie) (April 12, 1876),
Rachel Ann (Annie) (Aug 9, 1878), Henrietta (Ettie) (Feb 18, 1880), Sarah Clarenda (Clara) (Oct 9, 1882), Charles Burnet (Charlie)
(Sept 4, 1888), Olive Mamie (Nov 4, 1890), and Harry Wilfred (Apr 23, 1893). The oldest grandchild and living next door,
Robbie would often visit and help care for Paul and Rachel.
On January 30, 1892 patriarch Paul Cooper died. Excerpts from his death notice exemplify that his impact would not quickly vanish:
"Mr Cooper was a man of generous and charitable disposition, of sterling integrity, and who through a long life of eighty-four years
of upright and honorable character, had the universal confidence and esteem of the community. He was a man of wide and varied
information, a close student of history, reading carefully, thinking fully and dispassionately, and forming his opinions
conscientiously and independently on all matters calling for his judgment."
Cooper Street in Ottawa is named in his honour. Following Paul's death Rachel continued to live at Maple Grove with son Jim.
By 1896 Joe had moved his family back to Ann Street, Ottawa. On October 29th, 1896 Jim sent a telegram to brother R.W. to
announce the death of their mother at the advanced age of 81. Her death notice also describes the loss of "another pioneer...
probably the oldest member of the Bytown Methodist Congregation." Jim now lived alone in the homestead.
In September of 1900 Robert Erwin A. Cooper married Louisa Sheldrick; daughter of Alfred Sheldrake and Margaret Ann Cook
from South Indian. They moved to the south property (where Uncle Joe had lived) and built a new frame home.
Annie married Samuel Benson Latimer and moved to farm on the 10th Line. Ettie married farmer Robert Hardley Whitley of
North Russell. Charlie married Elizabeth Worrey and moved to Montreal to work as an engineer on the railroad line
between Ottawa and Montreal. Clara became a midwife and remained single; for a brief time around 1901 living with and
helping care for her Uncle Jim. Olive, who had spastic Cerebral Palsy, cared for many area youngsters. These two spinsters
remained at home with their parents Ben and Ann Jane and younger brother Harry. Later on they would live in the
front part of the house following Harry's marriage to Lulu Thompson of Metcalfe.
Robbie and Louisa had a large family of four girls and six boys: Ella Louisa (Sept 1, 1901), James Everett (Dec 23, 1902),
Muriel Susannah (Nov 17, 1904), Harold Irwin (June 12, 1906 stillborn), Hazel Irene (Sept 4, 1907), Lawrence Sheldrick (Dec 8, 1909),
Charles Winston (Sept 8, 1911), Chester Benjamin (Sept 6, 1913), Norman Robert (Nov 3, 1916), Kenneth Malcolm (Feb 24, 1920),
Marjory Winefred (Aug 3, 1922).
Following the death of Robbie's mother in 1916, he and his family moved to the stone house to care for Uncle Jim, whose health
was in decline due to alcohol and blindness. Robbie's loyalty to his grandparents and uncle would leave him to inherit the
homestead upon Jim's death. Robbie continued to farm beside father Benjamin and brother Harry. Louisa and Robbie's children
acquired from the Coopers their independence, mischievousness, and work-ethic; from the Sheldricks their artistic talents
of design, carpentry and music. The boys enjoyed a rich hunting tradition with Uncle Harry Cooper and the neighbour
Henry Morrison. Wincey, Chessie, Normie and Kenny entertained with fiddle music; often playing for local dances.
In 1921 Ella married Ogill Herrington of Russell. They, like the Cooper newlyweds to follow, lived for a time in the south
house. Ogill worked at various trades; butcher, policeman and labourer. Ella and Ogill moved to Ottawa and had five
girls and one boy: Doris, Emmerson, Lois, Beverly, Audrey and Carol. Everett remained a bachelor for many years, living
and farming with his parents at the stone house. Later, in the 1950s, he met and married Florence Pinkham of Ottawa.
She was a widowed mother of a daughter Jean and two sons, Harvey and Ronnie. Sisters Muriel and Hazel married brothers Hughie
and Reuban Ross of North Russell, in a double wedding on Mar 23, 1923. An electrician, Hughie and Muriel moved around
considerably to find work. They had 14 children (Evelyn, Wilmer, Wallace, Lloyd, Maurice, Elaine, Harry, Gwen, Keith, Dwayne,
Ralph, Lois, Brian & Linda). Reuban and Hazel meanwhile had three children; Jean, Bruce and Betty. Reuban worked with hydro
at the beginning and end of his career. They lived in various locations including Lancaster, Ottawa and the west.
Following these happy occasions, in 1925, at 80 years of age grandfather Ben died. His son Uncle Harry continued to farm the
east 100 acres. He and Lulu had 3 sons; Charlie (who died at age 3), Ritchie and Stanley. Shortly after, in 1927, Uncle John died.
His son Jimmie would reside across the road; following the failure of his marriage to Josie Sully. Upon his departure to the
Toronto area sister Rachel and husband Chester Sheldrick took over the property.
Meanwhile Robbie's children continued to become established. In 1933 Wincey, married Neatta Morrison the daughter of neighbours
Dave and Lottie. In search of work they moved to St. Catherine, Ontario where Wincey spent a career working for McKinnon
Industries producing GM motors. They had two boys; Ronnie and Leslie. Chessie married Edna Morrison, daughter of neighbours
Henry and Maggie, on Mar 14, 1935. Edna and Chessie had a family of two; Rudy Floyd and Audrey Edna Mae. Like the rest of
his siblings, Chessie was a creative man. He worked as the supervisor of a sign shop for the Exhibitions Canada.
A Cooper trait, he demanded perfection; and was known to destroy his own work if it failed to meet his standards. In 1937 Lawrence
married cousin Greta Sheldrick and moved to Kenmore to work as a carpenter at Carkner's Mill. They then moved to the south
house where he worked for brother Normie and in the chicken industry. They had two children; Floyd and Faye.
Normie, like Chessie before him and Kenny after, attended High School in Metcalfe. On April 18, 1942 Normie Cooper married
Clara Mary Morrison sister of Edna and ten years his junior. That summer he worked with Uncle Chester Sheldrick and son
Alfred learning the trade of barn framing while they built, his father-in-law, Henry Morrison's stable. Normie would
apply that knowledge over the next 20 years to design and supervise the framing of countless barns in Osgoode Township;
including families such as Reaney, Quaile and James. He would employ brothers Lawrence and Kenny, cousin Stanley and
nephews Floyd, Harvey Pinkham and Harry Ross. During the first year of their marriage, they had their first son Gary Wayne
(August 13, 1942) and lived at the stone house with Grandma, Grandpa and siblings Everett, Marj and Kenny. The next spring
they moved back the north road to rent the old Hawkins house. Two more boys were born; Bruce Emmitt (Oct 21, 1944) and
Dennis Valmer (June 23, 1946). Finances were always tight in those times and Clara would work at housekeeping or the two
would play music at dances to make extra money. Normie would walk for miles for his next job.
Youngest brother, Kenny, joined the RCAF during WWII and saw active service in Eastern Canada. By request of his parents,
he was discharged to help on the family farm; fortunately never having served overseas. On a bitterly cold day in January,
1946 Kenny married Betty Dowser of Metcalfe. They would have four children: Bob, Norma Jean, Diane and Susan. Norma was
born with spina bifida occulta and died due to complications as a 5 month old infant. Kenny, a talented carpenter as his
brothers, built three homes in Metcalfe. Marjory married engineer and cousin Roy Whitley; having a son named Bobby. Roy died
of a heart attack in 1964 and Marj re-married Edward Patzer of Ottawa
The Coopers had a long employment history with the Central Canada Experimental Farm. Cousin Richie worked in the soils
department, his brother Stanley was a tractor operator, Normie left the private sector to work for over twenty years in the
sign shop and Kenny worked in the carpentry shop.
As other siblings moved away from the homestead, in 1952 Normie and Clara were given a half acre off of the south-west corner
of the farm. They purchased the Hawkins house for $800 and on June 13th moved it to the new lot on four wagons.
A big event, son Gary recalls being let out of school to watch the house go by with neighbour Erwin Wallace sitting atop in the
rocking chair playing the violin. From their transplanted home Gary, Bruce and Dennis were at the hub of Cooper-Morrison activity.
Gary worked at countless odd jobs in the neighbourhood; including, care-taking at SS#10 and harvest at Uncle Harry Morrison's.
After public school the lads attended Osgoode Township High School. Leisure time was spent hunting& fishing, playing sports
or continuing the family's music tradition. Gary learned guitar and fiddle, Bruce the guitar and Dennis the bass.
They played for local house parties, initially with their parents and then became members of various musical groups. Gary and Bruce
were both accomplished athletes; including Senior City Men's Fastball, hockey and curling. Gary left high school to work for
a time for the CPR at Osgoode Station; but left due to the decline of the railroad. Like their Dad, Gary and Bruce would go
on to work at Agriculture Canada; Gary as a Research Technician in the Cereal Crops Division and Bruce as a Entomology Research Technician.
Dennis meanwhile would spend most of his career at Ottawa Hydro. The brothers drove to work together everyday for over 25 years.
On August 31st, 1963 Normie and Clara's son Gary Wayne Cooper married Doris Anne Magladry of North Russell; daughter of farmer
John Thomas Gordon Magladry and Ida Alvira Morrow. Three hundred dollars bought them a half acre from Tommy Stanley;
just across the corner from the stone house on the east half of Lot 10 Concession 7. With the help of contractor Dad and the
rest of the family, they built a three bedroom bungalow. Their closest neighbours to the west were first cousin Audrey Cooper
and step-cousin Harvey Pinkham who had married in 1959. The two couples would raise their families side-by-side for 35 years.
Gary and Doris, like their ancestors, were leaders in their community. Doris was a founding member of the Metcalfe Recreation
Association, secretary of the Metcalfe Union Cemetery, director of the Metcalfe Fair Board Family Division, Fur Sealer for the
Ministry of Natural Resources and Insurance Broker at both McVey and Hicks Insurance in Metcalfe. Gary became heavily involved
with Traditional music; teaching violin for over thirty years, composing and recording with the Glengarry Strathspey and Reel
Society. He and cousin Bruce Ross were inducted into the Glengarry Celtic Music Hall of Fame, as members of the GS&RS.
Gary also served as President of the Osgoode Township Fish and Game Club, Predator Control for the MNR, director of the
Fair Board, and coach of local ball teams.
Bruce and Dennis' weddings would follow in the coming years. Bruce married Donna Jane Woods from Metcalfe (Aug 10, 1968) and
Dennis married Connie Jane MacTavish from Harrington, Quebec (Sept 21, 1974). They bought adjacent lots (around the corner on
the 8th Line) from the Artie Baker family. "Cooper Construction" was responsible for these homes as well as three cottages
on Centennial Lake in the coming years.
Uncle Harry continued to farm the lower property. Following the death of his wife Lulu in 1962, son Stan and Esther and
their children moved in. Everett meanwhile farmed the homestead while caring for his aging parents. The frail Robbie and
forgetful Louisa refused to be separated; moving to the Montcrieff Nursing Home at Vars in the early 1960s. At the age
of 92, Grandpa Robbie passed away on December 17, 1967. The year 1970 brought to a close a great part of the Cooper Family history.
Having no one to carry on the farm, Everett sold the stone Cooper homestead to Roger and Vivian Shorey and retired to Metcalfe.
On October 23, 1970 Gary and Doris had their first child, Cheryl Anne Cooper; the fifth generation of Cooper born on the road.
A brother, Coral Wayne, was born on May 24, 1977. Both inherited musical talent; Cheryl singing, composing and playing guitar
and Cory playing back-up fiddle and singing. Both were heavily involved in sports; coaching and playing competitive hockey
and ball. In the footsteps of their parents, both volunteered and served the community; Cheryl belonging to the Metcalfe
Agricultural Society and Cory the Osgoode Township Fire Department. Cory continues to carry on the hunting tradition with
father Gary, uncles, cousins and great uncles. Cheryl received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from University of
Toronto in 1993 and opened Cooper Physiotherapy Clinic in Osgoode on October 3rd, 1996.
Bruce and Donna had two children; Troy Emmitt (Aug 10, 1975) and Stephanie Lynn (Jan 1, 1978). Next door, Dennis and Connie
had Evan Dale (Aug 1, 1977) and Erin Jane (Aug 12, 1979) who developed Cerebral Palsy secondary to complications at birth.
Troy married American Janet Beauvais, moved to Virginia and had a son in 2002 named Daulton Emmitt Cooper. Stephanie
relocated to Toronto to work as a 911 & fire dispatcher, married Toronto Police Officer Jim Rowe and had a daughter named
Kira Dawn J. Rowe. Evan received degrees from Carleton and Ottawa U. and returned to teach at Osgoode Township High.
In 2007 he purchased Dr Byers home on Victoria Street. Erin attended Clifford Bowey School until age 21 and remained at home
with her parents until 2007 when she relocated to a group home in Orleans.
Following cousin Stan's death in 1982 and Uncle Harry's death in 1983 the lower house was sold to the Loubert family.
In 1984, Clara and Normie sold their home and retired to the Stanley Apartments in Metcalfe. Normie enjoyed helping
with projects around the building until his death from a massive heart attack on September 25, 1989. He was in his 73rd
year and had enjoyed 47 years of marriage. Clara stayed on at the Apartments volunteering with Home Support, Wednesday
Friendship Club and at the Township of Osgoode Care Centre. Due to severe osteoarthritis she moved to the Dundas Manor
in January 2008, transferred to the Care Centre in October of the same year and passed away February 27, 2009 at the age of 82.
During the 1980s, based on 125 years of consistent residency, Osgoode Township named the road between Lots 10 and 11 Cooper Hill Road.
Due to urban sprawl, Gary and Doris sold their home in the spring of 1998 and moved south of Metcalfe to 50 acres at 3750 9th Line
(Lot 34, Con 8). Cheryl married dairy farmer and neighbour Hugh John McEwen on July 13, 2002. They built a home, Braeview,
on McEwen land south of Cheryl's parents and had two children Katherine (Kate) Anne McEwen (2004 02 22) and Stuart John McEwen
(2008 01 05). Cory achieved Interprovincial Standard Certification as a Diesel Equipment Mechanic from both Algonquin and Kemptville
Colleges. On July 22nd 2006 he married fellow volunteer firefighter Amanda Marie Duguay and had a daughter Ashlyn Marie Cooper (2007 06 27).
Cory went on to join the Ottawa Fire Department full-time in 2008. On March 9th, 2010 they had a baby boy Seamus Wayne Cooper.
He and his sister Ashlyn are the seventh generation of Cooper to live in Osgoode Township over the past 160 years.
The only members of the Cooper family remaining on Cooper Hill Road are Julie (Cooper Pinkham) Patterson and her daughters
Kelsey and Mikayla. Following the death of her mother Audrey (Cooper) Pinkham, in the fall of 2005, Julie purchased the
property from her Dad Harvey. The Coopers of Cooper Hill Road will continue if not in body, in spirit; for our forefathers
legacy is left in the stones on Parliament Hill, the homes and barns of Osgoode Township and hearts of those who recall
their music. A legacy of which to be proud.
By: Cheryl A. Cooper
2010 06 30
September 3, 2013:
Just cleaning up some formatting.
E-mail Ron, Cheryl Cooper, Jenn Stanley and Al Lewis
Back to "Bytown or Bust" - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area -- Osgoode Township