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:
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 http://www.torrens.org.uk/Genealogy/BannValley/index.html 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 http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/bannvalley/
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
http://www.rootsweb.com/~nirldy/aghadowey/ag_index.htm 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.
E-mail Allan Lewis
December 28, 2007:
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 sympatico.ca (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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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".