County Derry, Ireland to the Ottawa, Canada area in the 1800's

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

November 9, 2007:

Dear Al,
Using your search engine on Bytown or Bust I was able to connect my Blairs
from Old Chelsea, Gatineau QC to Errigal Parish county Derry Ireland. I will
send my Blair info in a later post. There are three great websites for the
eastern parishes of Derry that I thought would be a good link for Bytown or Bust

The Bann Valley Genealogy website at by
Richard Torrens has records from a variety of parishes in Eastern Derry. The
site began researching mainly the Torrens family but they have expanded the
information to include other families. I recommend that you use the search
engine to find all of the available records for your surname.

The Northern Ireland - Bann Valley Family Information website by Lavonne
Kennedy Arburn Bradfield is at
has links to the ordnance survey memoirs for Errigal and Desertoghill
Parishes near the bottom of the website. The names Mullen, Crilley,
McCloskey, Mooney and O'Kane are listed as emigrating to Quebec in
1833-1834. Lavonne has received permission from the Institute of Irish
Studies and the Queen's University of Belfast to post the information from
these Ordnance Survey Memoirs.

The final site is Aghadowey Parish Records maintained by Dan
Wilson. This site has parish records, flax grower records and emigration
information from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs excerpted from the book
Aghadowey by Rev. Thomas H. Mullin, Belfast: Century Services, 1972 and used
by permission of the author. Names from the list include Blair, Boyd,
Jamison, McAfee, McAllister, Mullan, Orr, Reid, Tracey and Workman. The
Ordnance Survey Memoirs lists many émigrés as going to Philadelphia but I
know that the Blairs came to the Bytown/Hull area. Philadelphia was the
ultimate destination of many ships from Derry that also stopped at St.
John's and Quebec.

Anne McEligot
December 28, 2007: G'day, I have been going through your site. I am descended from the Pontiac County Dale family who emigrated from County Derry. I have been doing a lot of research in the records for the Magherafelt and Artrea areas of Derry and would be happy to do look ups for Ottawa Valley folk. Many, many of the names from the Ottawa Valley are found in the Church records that I have been transcribing. You may freely share my email address with your fellow researchers. e-mail: ron.dale at (replace " at " with "@") ... Ron Dale ____________________________ Hello, Mr. Dale: Thanks for your e-mail and your offer to look-ups from the church records of County Derry. If it is OK with you, I will add your e-mail to the web page on our site for early settlers to our area from County Derry and folks can then build on the new page with their various surnames from County Derry. Do you know if there was an organized emigration to the Ottawa area from Derry in the 1800's? There is a region in western Goulbourn Township or eastern Beckwith Township, west of the village of Richmond, called "The Derry" and someone once told me that the pioneers there were from County Derry. Thanks again for this. ... Al Note: See posting dated February 4, 2010 by Bill Mains on our Beckwith Township web page by Mr. Bill Mains. "Note, that contrary to the comment on Bytown or Bust, "The Derry" in Beckwith is not named after County Derry in Ireland, but is in fact based on Scottish Gaelic." ________________________ Thanks Al, There was a lot of migration from Derry in the post Waterloo period, after 1815. The linen market was in a depression and tithes and rents were being raised, forcing movement and emigration. It is likely the reason my ancestor John Dale left. His brothers continued to farm in Derry but their flax growing operation would not support all. While I grew up in Goulbourn I was not aware of 'the Derry." It sounds intriguing. I will have a look at the 1851 census and see how many Derry names I can find. I will keep my eye on your website and will do a "Derry" search as you suggest. Ron ___________________________ Hi Ron: On second thought, I think that "The Derry" may be in Beckwith Township, not Goulbourn. Travelling westward, along the road between Richmond and Franktown, not far west of the village of Prospect (past the chip wagon on the left and the Christmas Tree farm on the right, is an intersection at the bottom of a long gradual hill. Turning right (north) will take you to "The Derry". I think there is a sign for it. ... Al ___________________________
Here are some early settlers from County Derry who were in the Ottawa area in 1829: These men are all on the 1829 McCabe List, a petition among persons who were already in the Ottawa area at the time of the construction of the Rideau Canal. Michael O'Neill (father Francis in Ireland at Ballymeeny, known to Mr. Rolly Miller) John Crawford has a brother, Nathaniel, living at Dumbo, Burrinbeg, known to Sir James Brush. William Reed or Reid, at Aughinvale, Whitehall. His father, Alexander known to Reverend Charles Moore. Haslet Andrew, at Dumboo near Coleraine. He has six brothers, unmarried but grown up. Edward Melon (Mullin?) from Drummarton / Moneymore, his father Patrick is known to Mr. Keene, Justice of the Peace John Gillard from Londonderry Patrick Young (wife=Alice Hanlon from Bavary, Derrylane James Spratt from Desertlan, Dronlone (relations all in Canada) Samuel Kitt / Kitts from Castledawson. Charles McKenny / McKenna, from Mahara, Castle Dawson Charles Creely or Crilly, from Arrigale, Garvil
February 7, 2010: More interesting material from Bill Mains: A Myth Put to Rest Hi Al: Here is more about "The Derry" in Beckwith Township as found in "The Story of the Derry", George Kidd, 1943, p. 52. The origin of the name "Derry" is directly connected with this farm (S.W. 1/2 Lot 22, Concession 5, Beckwith; Robert Ferguson farm). The story is told by James D. Ferguson of Winnipeg: "The word 'derry' means a grove, such as is comprised principally of ash, oak or birch trees. It seems probable that my grandmother, finding all these trees growing on her son's farm gave the place this name, which eventually came to include the whole community." Mr. Ferguson states further: "There is a song which I heard sung long ago, but I remember only the chorus- Hame, Derry, hame: and it's hame we ought to be Hame Derry, hame: to our ain countree Where the ash and the oak and the bonnie birchen tree Are all growing green in our ain countree." There is a place in Perthshire, Scotland, of the same name. The fact that it is always spoken of as "The Derry", and not "Derry" seems conclusive evidence that the word is the Gaelic name for a grove, containing especially those trees mentioned in the song. Bill Mains __________________________________ Thanks again, Bill. This auld song is a beautiful example of early Scottish Gaelic in our region. A few years ago, I met a man in Dunvegan, Ontario, where Highland Scottish pioneers settled beginning in the late 1700's. This man had retained the Gaelic language and was equally comfortable speaking Gaelic or English. And, some of us were talking about the almost lost art of calling people by nicknames. Even when I was young, almost everyone, adults and children, had a nickname. Alexa Pritchard sent along some early nicknames in Glengarry County. These names were used in a community where is was necessary to distinguish among all of the persons named "MacDonald". ... Al
E-mail Allan Lewis

search engine by freefind advanced