June 9, 2013: Note: We have two Fermoyle web pages on this site, this one which you are on and another one here. Hi again, Taylor: Please add this Fermoyle history to Bytown or Bust website. Thanks, Steve Morin
The Fermoyle Family John Fermoyle (1825-1911)John Fermoyle, the pioneer patriarch of this long established Nepean family emigrated from Roscrea, County Tipperary, Ireland in the mid 1800's. He was one of three brothers who emigrated to North America. The other two known brothers were Patrick Fermoyle and Michael Fermoyle who were born in the late 1820's. They both settled in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. There was one brother who remained in Ireland, and at least one sister who married and moved to Canada. The first known fact about John Fermoyle is that according to the book "The Royal Irish Constabulary (1816-1821)", (page 134) John Fermoyle was shown to be some sort of police officer. He enlisted in 1847 at age 22. He boarded the Clipper John Stuart in Liverpool, England and arrived in New York on 10 June, 1852. The ship was under the command of Captain Watson Ferris who literally brought thousands of Irish emigrants across the Atlantic to the United States in the middle of the 19th century at the height of the Potato Famine. The Clipper John Stuart John Fermoyle - Ship Passenger List - 1852 - Clipper John StuartJohn's reasons for leaving the "old sod" are unknown, but given the timing most likely related to the Irish potato famine between 1845 and 1852, several other families from the Roscrea, Borrisokane, and neighbouring communities of County Tipperary, had already preceded the Fermoyles acrossed the Atlantic to take up residence in the New York area of the United States and here in the Ottawa Valley no doubt influenced John's decision to emigrate. John's sister Mary, who lies in St. Patrick's Church Cemetery in Fallowfield, presumably came to this new land at the same time. The first record of John's existence in North America, interestingly enough, is in his own handwriting. A quotation from an old family journal reads: "Married the 16th day of February in the year of our Lord 1860. May God prosper me and mine." "Married by the Rev. Father O'Brien at Rosebury, N.Y. By the authority of the Bishop of Boston." John Fermoyle's Diary - Marriage Exerpts
John Fermoyle ultimately married Margaret Berrigan, (1834-1878), the daughter of John Berrigan and Anne Cummins, who emigrated from Ireland about 1832. John's obvious concern for God and family was typical of the early Irish settlers and as each of the Fermoyle children were born, a similar plea for Providential care was recorded in the same journal. John and Margaret's firstborn was a son, Thomas. His birth, recorded in the family journal as December 18, 1860 in New York City shows that the family stayed in the United States for at least their first year of married life. The second journal entry, however, notes the birth of their second son, John, two years later in Nepean, Upper Canada. Young John was born, December 13, 1862. Nine other children were born to the Fermoyles in Nepean, six boys and three girls. Patrick was born May 22, 1864; James, August 24, 1865 (He married November 13, 1892 and died June 24, 1917); Mary, born April 29, 1867: Michael, born February 16, 1869; Annie, born December 22, 1870; William Peter Fermoyle, born on June 15, 1872; Margaret, on February 26, 1874; Aeneas, on August 17, 1875; and lastly, Francis, born September 28, 1877. The family journal that contains this information was donated by Ron Morin in 1999 to the City of Nepean Library in memory of William Fermoyle The combined hardships of childbirth and pioneer life apparently proved too much for Margaret Fermoyle. The grim notation of her passing away on May 6, 1878 is also found in the journal. Margaret died shortly after giving birth to her son Francis. Her sister Mary came to the aid of the now motherless family and raised young Frank. Life in Nepean in the latter half of the nineteenth century was indeed hard. The area was remote, the winters harsh, and amenities of life few and far between. Nevertheless the family survived and life along the Jock River at Heart's Desire, proved reasonably prosperous. John Fermoyle was a tomato farmer and each week he would make the long trip from Fallowfield to the Byward Market in lower town. This round trip, according to his son William Fermoyle, would take eleven hours by horse and carriage. The family worked the farm to provide daily sustenance, travelled to Richmond, City View and Ottawa for supplies and, like other Catholic families in the area, attended St. Patrick's Church at Fallowfield. John's sister, Mary, who married Michael Brophy, circa 1865, at St. Patrick's Church in Fallowfield lies in the churchyard there along with her family. Mary Brophy, died November 4, 1893, aged 49 years. Her husband, Michael Brophy, was 62 years old when he died on March 25, 1886. That same church yard is the final resting place for their children: Patrick was born on May 22, 1864 and died in 1954; Bridget, died on July 18, 1876, at the age of 7 years, 7 months; Sarah Jane, passed away April 17, 1880, age 10 ; and Michael junior, who died October 13, 1882, at the age of 10. The family patriarch, John Fermoyle, passed away on February 14, 1911 and is buried along with his wife, a son and unknown daughters at St. Patrick's Cemetery at Fallowfield.
St. Patrick's Church recording of the death of John Fermoyle - 1911 Grave of John Fermoyle - St. Patrick's Church at Fallowfield
It was John's son, James Fermoyle, who purchased the headstone for his father and other family members and a few years later, James Fermoyle died on June 24, 1917 and is buried in the same church yard. In the winter, according to William Fermoyle, it was common for the men of the community to leave and work in the shanties, the major timber operations of the Ottawa Valley. William Fermoyle worked there as a cook. William or Willy, as he was more commonly known, married Margaret (Maggie) O'Hara on September 16, 1902 in Old Chelsea, Gatineau Valley, Quebec. How the two met and courted, living so far apart, is a mystery. It has been suggested, however, that since both families were farmers the young couple might have met when their families brought farm produce to the Ottawa Byward market.
William Peter Fermoyle and Margaret O'Hara
Willy and Maggie, in contrast to the previous generation Fermoyle, had a small family. Two daughters were born to the couple - Mary Margaret Elizabeth (May) Fermoyle born February 4, 1903 and Marjorie Ann Fermoyle, born June 26, 1906. Willy and Maggie lived in the west end of Ottawa all their lives. As a Stationary Engineer, William was reasonably well-off financially. Originally the couple lived on Sims Street and later at 89 Sherbrooke Street and 4 Huron Street in Ottawa's Hintonburgh area. Soon after the turn of the century Willy purchased his final home at 150 Hamilton Avenue. The 1935 Voters List shows William Fermoyle to be living at 150 Hamilton Avenue. His occupation is shown to be a fireman. (A man who stokes the fires). Marjory is also shown living at this residence and is listed as a telephone operator. The house is now gone as the land was expropriated prior to construction of the Ottawa Queensway in the mid 1960s. The west bound access lane at Parkdale Avenue now rises over the old homestead. For years William worked for the Municipal Works department of the City Of Ottawa tending the power generators at the old Ottawa Filtration Plant on Lemieux Island in the Ottawa River. Margaret had her concerns for his safety crossing the Ottawa River in a canoe to get to work each day on the island. Commuter problems, it seems, are not unique to this generation. William lived out his retirement years at his home until his death on December 22, 1951 at the age of 79. Margaret predeceased him by one year and died on May 8, 1950. Both are buried in Notre Dame Cemetery, Ottawa. William Fermoyle Margaret Fermoyle Margaret and William Fermoyle The eldest of the two Fermoyle girls, Mary Margaret, prior to her marriage on December 12, 1929 to Joseph George Alexis (George) Pepin, a career R.C.M.P. officer, worked as a typist for the Ottawa Electric Railway. Having lost their only child, a girl, at birth, Mary Margaret (May) continued to work throughout most of her married life holding various secretarial or clerical positions with the Federal government department of National Defence. She retired in the early 1960s. With George Pepin's demise on November 29, 1966, May sold their home at 10 Elterwater Drive in Nepean to live with her sister, Marjorie, at 45 Harmer Avenue in Ottawa. Marjorie attended local schools and upon graduation from Gloucester Street Convent, started work as a Bell Telephone Operator around 1923. In the early 1930s she met and married Jean-Baptiste Victor Leo Morin (Leo) Morin. The date of their marriage was July 22, 1935 and was solemnized at St. Mary's Church, Ottawa. The marriage lasted only eight short years as Leo passed away on April 18, 1944. Following his death, Marjorie and young Ronnie returned to live with his grandparents on Hamilton Avenue and his mother again returned to work. Initially she was employed by the Federal Department of External Affairs in a clerical capacity. Unfortunately, she had to leave that job to care for her ailing mother but later rejoined the work force as a telephone Switchboard Operator at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. At the time of her death on December 15, 1971, as the result of a coronary at age 65, Marjorie was Assistant Supervisor of the Communications department. She had 25 years of service with the Civic Hospital. Marjorie Ann Fermoyle (Morin) 1971 Subsequent to Marjorie's death in 1971, May entered Extendicare Nursing Home on Starwood Road in Nepean, where she lived until her death on May 21, 1990.
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