County Kilkenny, Ireland -- Emigration to the Ottawa, Canada area
beginning in the 1820's
December 20, 2008:
Photo Source: Kay Brennan
Map Source below: This map is a portion of a widely-distributed black and white map of Ireland in 1848.
It appears in, for example, The Great Hunger, Ireland, 1845-1849, by Cecil Woodham-Smith, page 13
The following text is an excerpt from The McCabe List: Early Irish in the Ottawa Valley, by Dr. Bruce Elliott,
Ontario Genealogical Society, ISBN 1-55075-048-8, page 5.
It refers to an 1829 document called the McCabe List which was signed in Bytown, Upper
Canada, (now Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) by mostly Irish men, most of whom were working
on the construction of the Rideau Canal in 1829. The signors recommended new settlers, often family members, who were
back home in Ireland and who may be interested in settling on the frontier in Upper Canada:
MURPHY, William, Thomas Town Newhouse
BRADLEY, James, Castlecomer
SCHARF, Thomas, Castlecomer, Tirody Colliery (see also John Scarf from Castlecomer)
WALKER, William, Monghallee, 2 miles from Castlecomer
BOYLE, Daniel, Castlecomer
CURREN, Thomas, Castlecomer (CURRAN)
CURRAN, Morgan, Castlecomer
LOUGHLIN, John, Galmoy, Johnstown
BRADY, Patt, Tilrone, Rahaley near Kilkenny
TRACEY, Dennis, Tibrone, Tibrone, (Tracy)
BRANACK, Stephen, Balkallen, Gratogue, (Brannack)
GRACE, John, Tibrone, Rahaley
MORRIS, Richard, Tylerone, Trencherstown
DAILY / DALEY / DALY, John, Castlecomer
WALSH, William, Callen, Callen
HOULIHAN, Philip, Golmoy, Bagswell (Houlahan, Hoolehan)
RYAN, Thomas, Castlecomer, Castlecomer
WARD, Robert, Castlecomer, Castlecomer
SHORTELL, James, Lisdowney, Freshford, (Shortall)
RYAN, Stephen, Castlecomer
BRADLEY, Robert, Castlecomer
SHIRLEY, William, Mowhill, Castlecomer
KELLY, William, Powerstown, Gore's Bridge
ENGLISH, William, Motehill, Motehill
WHELAN, Michael, Gorin, Goran
CLARE, Thomas, Goran, Castlewarren
KELLY, John, Freshford, Freshford
KINCH, Alex, Castlecomer, Coom
DEEVY, Michael, Castlecomer, Coon ("near Castlecomer") (DAVEY)
WRIGHT, John, Morninro, Castlecomer
RYAN, Richard, Ornan, Garry Duff
FOLEY, Edward, Fasserdinnen, Coolcullen
FOWLER, Thomas, Kilkenny, Kilkenny
MURPHY, John, Grane, Grane
BROPHY, Walter, Dunamaggan, Dunemagan
FITZGERALD, John, Dunnemeggen, Kels
DORCEY (Darcy?), John, Grane, Johnstown
FITZGERALD, John, Tillis Coffin, Castlewarren
MADDEN, John, Thomastown, Thomas Town
BURNS, William, Castlecomer, Tirody Colliery (Byrne or Byrnes)
O'NEILL, Michael, Gouen, Gouen
PURCELL, Peter, Tullough, Bally Daniel
O'MEARA, Richard, John's Well, John's Well
KINCH, Alexander, Cormer, Castlecomer
DOOLIN, Michael, Lisclowny, Ballane (Dolan or Dooley or Dowling)
MURRAY, Michael, Goran, Goran
Source: The McCabe List: Early Irish in the Ottawa Valley, by Dr. Bruce Elliott,
Ontario Genealogical Society, ISBN 1-55075-048-8
Web Sites related to Castlecomer and area: (suggested by list users in the Rootsweb newsgroup
From a posting by Jack Langton on December 17, 2008:
In his book "Castlecomer Connections" the late Tom Lyng, a Castlecomer
historian, had a list of heads of households who were assisted in emigrating by
the Wandesforde family, who owned the coal mines. (Published 1984 by the
Castlecomer History Society, it may well be out of print.) The years covered were
1847-1853. Another list was put on the Rootsweb Castlecomer mailing list by
Jim Bradley, list admin, in January 2004 covering the years 1840-1843. The
various postings can be found in the list archives for that month. I don't know
of an earlier list, but since the mines operated for hundreds of years i'm sure
assisted emigration started well before that.
I recommend several websites for information on Kilkenny overall and
Castlecomer in particular:
Hosted by Jane Lyons, it has a wealth of information
A new exhibition park in Castlecomer devoted to it's history
A National School project, it depicts the area, with emphasis on coalmining
And the Rootsweb Castlecomer mailing list can be accessed at
and two more web sites also posted on December 17: (sorry I don't know the name of the author)
Here are two links to information on the coal mines and the Wandesforde
family's ownership of them:
and Pat Connors has a list of emigrants from the Castlecomer area between 1847 and 1853 at:
See also our web page on Irish Famine immigration in the Ottawa, Canada area.
Deteriorating economic conditions in Ireland following the Napoleonic Wars, labour unrest
in the coal mines and the usual religious friction led many Kilkenny families to seek a
better life in Canada. Also, the impending Catholic Emancipation, achieved in 1829, was
an incentive for Protestants to emigrate.
December 20, 2008:
The Roman Catholic Church at Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Here are a few other pioneers from County Kilkenny (Source: Drouin Records at ancestry.ca)
29 Dec 1833 (Notre Dame Cathedral)
Bytown Burial of James Cuddy / Cuddihey who was killed by the fall of a tree on the
27th inst. At Hogsback (Hog's Back). He was a native of Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland
28 September 1846 (St. Philip's at Richmond)
Marriage of John Kelly, son of Denis Kelly and of Mary Ryan of County Kilkenny, and Ann
Lawler, daughter of William Lawlor and of Mary Broomfield of Goulbourn Township.
The witnesses were William Peel and Bridget Lawler.
5 June 1846 (St. Philip's at Richmond)
Marriage of William Kennedy, son of Michael Kennedy and Ann Tierney of the Parish of
Muddering / Modreeny, County Tipperary now residing in Goulbourn and Margaret Brennan,
daughter of Denis Brennan and Mary O'Faul, Parish of Castlecomer, County Kilkenny.
The witnesses were Patrick Corcoran and Ellen Fitzgerald.
4 February 1851 (St. Philip's)
Marriage of Daniel McCarthy, widower of Judith Duggan of Goulbourn, and Margaret Dooley,
daughter of Patrick Dooley and Ann Davey (deceased), County Kilkenny, at present of
Nepean Township, now part of the City of Ottawa.
The witnesses were James Emery and Ann Bamkirk / Bambrick?
17 April 1851 (St. Philip's)
Baptism of Richard, born the 5th inst., legitimate son of William Burden (had tavern at Twin Elm)
and Mary Maher / Meagher.
The sponsors were Thomas Troy (parents from Ballingarry, County Kilkenny) and Margaret Dooley.
4 November 1861 (St. Philip's)
After the publication of one bann, marriage of James Fitzgerald, farmer and son of age of
Thomas Fitzgerald and Joanna Deegan of Rosbercon, County Kilkenny, and Elizabeth Cavanagh,
daughter of age of Peter Cavanagh and Elizabeth Jeffers / Jeffries of this parish.
Present: Daniel Barton and Elizabeth Jinks.
December 24, 2008:
October 12, 2011:
I have a nice little catch here - emigration lists, 1847, from the Prior Wandesford estate in County Kilkenny. I'm hoping some
of the names will mean something to you, given the large number in the McCabe List who came from Kilkenny. With chain migration,
some of these might be relatives.
... Anne Burgess
Anne: Thanks for this.
There are hundreds of names on the list below. Just a few from the first page are included here.
May 26, 2017:
Thanks to Kevin Gerald Ryan who posted this link to our Facebook page, Irish Famine Migration to Canada, 1846-1854.
He is researching his Ryan ancestors from Castlecomer.
(Link is to one page of Pat Connors great Irish web site ... Al)
April 19, 2019:
The Carrickshock Incident in 1831
See the Wikipedia discussion about this battle between tithe collectors and tenant farmers in southern Kilkenny.
Here is a quote from this research: The Carrickshock incident, Carrickshock massacre, or battle of Carrickshock was a confrontation
between the Irish Constabulary and local Catholic tenant farmers near Carrickshock, near Hugginstown, County Kilkenny on 14 December 1831,
during the Tithe War in Ireland. Seventeen were killed: 14 of a party attempting to collect tithes and three of the crowd of locals who
confronted them. The incident was unusual among massacres in the Tithe War in that the majority of casualties were supporters rather than
opponents of tithes.
E-mail Anne Burgess and Al Lewis
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