Migration to Illinois, USA, (mainly Chicago)
from the Ottawa, Canada area in the 1800's



Some of the early Irish migrants from the Ottawa area went to Illinois to work on the railways and in the giant meat-packing plants in Chicago. However, the 
following posting to Newsgroup soc.genealogy.ireland relates how many Irish came to Chicago to help re-build the city after the Great Fire:

My ggrandfather, Michael Foley, came to Chicago after the Chicago fire which was in 1871. I'm not sure when exactly but he married about 1880 in Chicago to Kate Caulfield or Canfield. He was a stonecutter who came over to build the skyscrapers. Unfortunately he died of consumption caused by stonecutting (per his death certificate). His younger brother, Patrick, also came to Chicago but I don't know when. I don't think Pat was a stonecutter. Does anyne know anything about where the stonecutters were recruited? Thanks Janice Foley Bessinger ---------- Janice, I found your marriage for you... a whole lot faster than I have found most things for myself! Everybody at the small Mormon library where I do my work would burst out laughing that I found anything this fast. This was not on the Web when I started. On the Illinois Marriage Index on the Web. I just took a stab and there it was. FOLEY, MICHAEL CANFIELD, KATE COOK 04/10/1882 I wish I had known two years ago when I did Holy Name Cathedral page by page for a whole summer and I would have watched for it. No index. To get the certificate, go to LDS catalogue, Chicago or Cook County, Vital Records. You know the year now, so you don't have to order the index first, you can go right to the year. That MAY give you a church, usually just a priest's name. I don't think they were building skyscrapers then...they were rebuilding the whole city. Find a book on the Fire with some pictures and you will see what I mean. I don't have a scanner or I would scan you a picture of the standing Chicago Water Tower in endless blocks of stone rubble. My Michael Carbine was in Chicago by 1857, came from outside Syracuse, Famine Immigrant from Ireland. All census records say he was just a laborer, but Chicago city directories are sometimes more specific. Chicago city directories are at LDS too. One of his jobs was at a Dewey and Co, and I found that under businesses, and it dealt with stone. The Irish went where the jobs were, and in Chicago after the Fire, there were plenty of jobs, there were also lots of railroad jobs. People came from everywhere after the Fire...the whole city had to be rebuilt. I am sure there were ads in papers. If you read about the Fire, emergency help came from all over the country immediately after. The whole center of what was Chicago burned. Coming after the Fire should help you, mine came before, so all records (save a few like the city directories) burned. Most church records in the Fire area did, with Old St Mary's being an exception. Holy Name, the cathedral, starts in 1872, as do most. Naturalization burned. If you have his death certificate, it should have his address and the cemetery where he was buried. Probably Calvary? Depending on how much he moved, you should be able to find him on a city directory and if you really luck out, find a Patrick at the same addrees, or nearby. The above was posted by Barbara Ford Providence RI
March 26, 2003: Here is another link to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 ______________________________________________________________ Irish Emigration to Canada and the United States

June 14, 2012: (added the table, below)
Table 1
Immigration to Illinois, USA
from Ontario and Quebec, Canada
in the 1800's
BAMBRICK
BEAMAN
BENSON
BOLGER / BULGER
CARROLL
CASSIDY
CAVANAUGH John C. Cavanagh
CHAPMAN
CONWAY
COOPER
CORNWALL
DUNNIGAN
GLEASON
GRANT
GUEST and PETTAPIECE
HERVEY wife of Robert HERVEY, died in Chigago
HONEYWELL
KEYES
LEE
LENDRUM associated surnames: Brock, Ralph and Beggs
McDERMOTT Land Surveyor
McNULTY from Buckingham, Quebec
O'BRIEN
O'NEILL
PLAYTER
ROCHE / ROACH
ROWAN
SKEFFINGTON
SLAVIN or SLEVIN
STACKPOLE
SULLIVAN
THOMPSON see also Alexander THOMPSON
TURGEON
And some excerpts from the Ottawa Free Press of 1881. (Thanks to Sue). FEB 1: Patrick O'MEARA, an old resident of Ottawa who carried on a thriving hotel business in this city some years ago, left with his family last evening to take up residence in Chicago, Illinois. He will open a restaurant on State Street in that city. MAR 15: Messrs. M. COUGHLAN / COUGHLIN and E. HAYES, members of St. Patrick's Literary Association Band, left last night for chicago, where they have secured situations. MAR 17: Mr. Horace LANGRELL, son of the ex-Chief of Police, has left for the North West where he takes up his residence. Mr. E. BAMBRICK, a brother of Mr. Bambrick, of BAMBRICK & WALL, who went to Rockaway Beach with the exodus party of a year ago, has returned. He gives a good account of Chicago, where he was employed of late, and intends returning in a couple of weeks. He states that ex-P.O. (police officer?) MCKENNA is employed at a distillery in that city and at good pay. APR 19: Mr. David KENLY, (McKINLEY ?)an Ottawa boy, has returned from a two years' stay in New York, looking well. David LEWIS, of North Augusta, recently paid Thomas PADGETT, of Nepean, $500 for a young stallion. Mr. W.J. MCDERMOTT, now employed at Patterson & Law at New Edinburgh, shortly returns to Chicago, where he has received a good situation. Mr. Joseph HARTUEDY, for many years a clerk for ex-Alderman STARRS / STARR, left this morning for Cincinatti, Ohio, where he has been offered a lucrative position. APR 20: Mr. Thomas COSTELLO, of Murray Street, an old and respected citizen of Ottawa for over 40 years, leaves tomorrow to take up residence in the city of New York. Mr. J. SPELLMAN, a native of Ottawa and a recent graduate of the Kingston Military College, left town yesterday for Chicago. Messrs. SHAW and E. BAMBRICK, two city carpenters, also left last night for Chicago, where they have secured employment. Masters R. WALKER, Thomas FRASER, and Alfred RIDDELL, of Kinburn, have gone to attend the Agricultural College at Guelph. _____________ A very interesting book,City Life by Witold Rybczynski, has a lot of material on 19th Century Chicago and urban history in general. Published 1996 by Harper Collins, ISBN 0-00-638545-1.


March 28, 2003: Thanks to Kathy Adamson for the following: Good morning Al: Here are some Chicago Irish Parishes: Old St Patrick 1853 Holy Family Church 1857 Holy Name Cathedral 1874 St Anne's 1875 St James 1875 Old St Patrick's founded 1846 was the 2nd Catholic Parish in Chigago-following St Mary's in (1833). St Patrick's is noted for interior decoration based on The Book of Kells. It has stained glass windows by Chicago artist Thomas O'Shaughnessy, produced by Kinsella Art Glass Company of Chgo. Early Irish dug canals, quarried Lemont limestone, worked for railroads,worked in all construction unions, as well as holding civil service jobs as policemen, firemen, and politicians. Irish still well represented in the City. The Mayor is Richard M. Daley. Kathy Adamson

E-mail Kathy Adamson and Al Lewis

Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area