LARKIN Pioneer Families
Ireland to the Ottawa, Canada area, 1830's

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

The 1829 McCabe List shows a Patrick Larkin from King's County, Ireland.

Patrick, Michael and John Larkin were brothers who were in Bytown early. I'm not 
sure if the Patrick from King's County was related to them. They settled
in Gloucester Township although some went also to Nepean and Goulbourn.

1. Descendants of John Larkin
	1  	John Larkin	1825 -
..		+Ellen Malone	
.......	2  	Thomas Larkin	
.......	2  	Daniel Larkin	
.......	2  	Mathew Larkin	
.......	2  	Margaret Larkin	
.......	2  	Frances Larkin	
.......	2  	Elizabeth Larkin	

Descendants of another John Larkin
	1  	John Larkin	1824 - 1911 bur. Vis. #231
..		+Mary Mears or O'Meara	1833 - 1908

2. Descendants of Michael Larkin
	1  	Michael Larkin	1830 - 1882
..		+Mary Ann Birt	1840 - 1916 (could be BRITT)
.......	2  	Maggie Larkin	1881 - 1887
.......	2  	Agnes Larkin	1883 - 1887
.......	2  	Minnie Larkin	1876 - 1919
.......	2  	Kate Larkin	1861 - 1901
...........		+M. J. Delaney	
.......	2  	William J. Larkin	1870 - 1929
.......	2  	O. J. Larkin	1864 - 1933
April 4, 2005: Hello, I've recently found my gggrandfather and family on the 1881 census. I then proceeded to the OCFA to locate their gravesites, which mostly were at Our Lady of the Visitation in South Gloucester. It was of utmost hope that upon finding these gravestones, I would find an inscription of where in Ireland they came from, but of course, that wasn't the case. So, lives on the mystery. I've found a few of the family members on the Bytown or Bust site and their spouses. I was hoping that perhaps someone who has information regarding these Larkins would know where they hailed from. My greatgrandfather was Matthias Larkin married to Bridget Collins. (see photo below, dated January 23, 2006). On the 1881 Census, he was 1 year old and was listed as being born in Ireland. I've emailed Kevin Collins and he's not aware of their origins, but did have a picture of my greatgrandparents!! If anyone may know, could they please contact me at With much appreciation of your site, Dinsdale Raddatz ______________________ I'd appreciate it very much if you could add my email to the site. My grandfather's youngest brother is still living and I've just recently spoken to him and he told me the old homestead was on Limebank Road. he said even the outbuildings are gone now, so he's not exactly sure of even which piece of land is the correct spot. He did say that my greatgrandfather, Matthias, worked for the City of Nepean (perhaps called Township back then) in the summers as he'd use his horses and a mower to cut all the grass in the ditches. He also said they had lived in Westboro. At one point, they had moved out to Ashton Station, the house is still standing, and occupied, but not by the family. I'll look forward to hearing more about my family. Many thanks, Dinsdale Raddatz ____________________ Here is a burial at Our Lady of the Visitation: Mathias Larkin 1880-1956, husband of Bridget Collins, 1885-1968 ... Al
April 7, 2005: Dinsdale, I was just searching the site and found that you have a Kate Larkin (1861 - 1901) marrying M. J. Delaney. This may be a common connection and I'm wondering if we could compare notes. Here's what I know... Matthew John Delaney was my great grandfather, born 1868 in Sarsfield, Russell County, Ontario. I don't know too many facts really, but my grandfather (son of Matthew) was born in 1903 in Syracuse, NY, USA. So I've been trying to connect him to the Delaney's in Ontario for a while now, but can't seem to prove anything. I have info from a marriage record of a Matthew Delaney marrying a Catherine Larkin in 1892. Parents of Catherine are listed as Michael and Mary Ann Larkin. Parents of Matthew listed as Thomas & Ellen Delaney. When searching census records in New York State, I've found a Matthew and Catherine Delaney on the 1900 census living in Syracuse. By the 1910 census, there's no trace of Matthew and Catherine, but I see my family listed in Syracuse - Matthew and Martha Delaney with kids including my grandfather. Not all dates are matching perfectly though. You have Kate Larkin as dying in 1901... do you know where she died? NY perhaps? I'd love to compare notes and see if we can figure anything out. Thanks, Bob Delaney
January 24, 2006: From Mary Quinn: Hi Mike - When visiting you before Christmas you were trying to find out some information about Matt Larkin. Please see below from my Grandmother's scrap book ~ she wrote "Jan 24/56" at the top. I am trying to index this scrap book to make it more easy to find someone. I was also able to find a picture of Matt in her wonderful collection. The photo is below. B.M. Larkin Farmed in Gloucester for 50 Years Bernard Matthias "Matt" Larkin, of 208 Nepean Street, well-known farmer in the Gloucester district for 50 years until his retirement 13 years ago, died in hospital on Tuesday after a short illness, at the age of 75. Father of 14 living children - five sons and nine daughters - Mr. Larkin was born at South Gloucester and was a son of Matthew Larkin and his wife, Margaret O'Brien (see posting dated November 22, 2006). He was married at South Gloucester in 1904 to the former Bridget Mary Collins who survives. Mr. Larkin attended St. Patrick's Church in Ottawa and was a member of the Holy Name Society. Mr. Larkin leaves, besides his widow: Five sons, Patrick, Guelph, Ont.; Matthew, Almonte; Arnold, Ottawa; Raymond, Vancouver; and Donald, Ottawa; nine daughters, Mrs. Thomas Stackpole (Pearl), and Mrs Joseph Sheko (Marjorie), both of Detroit, Michigan, USA; Mrs. Dalton Teske (Claire), Buckingham, Que.; Mrs. Ted Meier (Rita), Detroit; Mrs. Lloyd Martin (Marie), Ottawa; Miss Lola Larkin, Ottawa; Mrs. Eddie Cecchetto (Phyllis), Sudbury, Ont.; Miss Lillian Larkin, and Mrs. Douglas Van Deusen (Jean), both of Ottawa; and one sister, Mrs. Joseph Meagher, of South Gloucester. The funeral will be held Friday at 7:55 a.m. from McEvoy Brothers Funeral Home, 235 Kent Street, to St. Patrick's Church for requiem mass at 8 a.m. Interment will be in St. Mary's (original name for Our Lady of the Visitation)Cemetery at South Gloucester ... Mary ______________________ and from Michael Daley: THANKS , Mary i forwarded your info to Dinsdale. Al this was in regard to a decendant of the Gloucester Larkin family REQUEST WAS where did they they come from Ireland? as this WOMAN wanted to visit her brother in IRELAND , I THINK I WAS ABLE TO VERIFY THEY CAME FROM COUNTY LONGFORD. ... Michael

November 22, 2006:
Margaret O'BRIEN
Dear Al, My name is Christopher Muller and I am the great great grandson of Margaret (Marget) O'Brien. My sister is Dinsdale Raddatz. I was wondering if you had any information on the ancestors of Margaret? I have found her in the 1901 census widowed and living in Gloucester with some of her children but I have been unable to ascertain for certain who her parents are. According to the 1901 census she was born approximately 1838 (I believe in Ireland). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Chris Muller
November 24, 2006: Hi Everyone. This is some info and pic of the Larkin family. I have more photos. I am related thru the Marriage of John Larkin [son of Patrick grandson of John] and Margret Lennon [my great grandmother sister] Their daughter Eliza was my grandmother's closest friend. ... Ernie Kilroe
LARKIN family: Ellen, John, Joe?, Margaret, Patrick LARKIN Family

September 18, 2007: Hello: My name is Cheryl Larkin. Margaret O'Brien and Matthew Larkin were my great-grandparents. My grandparents were Bernard Mathias Larkin and Bridget Collins, who had 14 children. My mother was one of those children. (Of the 14, only one is still living.) My mother married and moved to the Detroit area, USA, where three of her eight sisters, Pearl (Stackpole), Marg (Sheko), and Rita (Meier), were already living. I am the youngest of five children. My mother passed in July 2005, and I legally changed my last name to Larkin to honor her memory. I was thrilled when one of my sisters found the Larkin Brothers website, as I am planning to take a trip to Ireland next spring and am trying to find some family history. I would love to find some living Larkin relatives in Ireland. My aunt Jean visited Ireland many years ago and was able to find old family gravesites there. I'm presently trying to track down the research she had on the family. We have had several Larkin reunions (with the 14 children and their families) and can probably add a lot of photos and history to your website. Here is a story (it's rather long, but I thought you might enjoy reading it) that was passed on to us about how the Larkins came to Canada (this was written by Harry and Olive Walker in Carleton Saga): In 1845, the year of the Irish Potato Famine, an O'Brien family was among the unfortunate emmigrants to sail from the Tipperary / Limerick region for Canada. Like cattle they were crowded into the hold of a filthy ship to endure six weeks of terrible sickness and near-starvartion. Then, in terrible condition, they arrived at the quarantine station on Grosse Isle outside Quebec City. Great were the three children's confusion and loneliness for their father had died at sea and their mother was gravely ill. The mother passed away and the orphans were destitute. Somehow, the children got separated. Margaret was ten and the authorities gave her to a family at Fallowfield, Nepean Township, as a servant girl. Her brother and sister were sent to the States, possibly to Boston. In fear and loneliness, Margaret arrived at a beautiful home in the midst of the wilderness. It had been built in 1827 and still stands (1982) as a heritage house. I have a picture of it given to me by Mary Bea Martin, and I have seen it. As I stopped to gaze on this place, visions of the lovely white-haired lady whom I knew as Grandma floated all around, but she was a little friendless child back in 1845. I visualized her washing heavy clothes in a tub of cold water with no soap. For a moment, I vicariously experienced her chills as she tried to sleep in her unheated room. Pangs of heartache for her stirred for the first time within me as I recollected all the tales she told me of her two years in that house, for now I had lived enough to understand fully. So she ran away. But to where? To Richmond through a bush for several miles. Here she found warmth and understanding wit the family Des Les Hares (see below). Richmond had been established since 1818 so she could find work and keep herself. Twenty years earlier, 1825, John Larkin born 1787 and his wife Margaret McCormack / McCormick ? set out from County Longford, Ireland, for the forbidding shores of Canada. Their fourth child, John, made his first unsteady steps on that boat. No doubt, they came by way of the Ottawa River, then called The Grand, to Richmond Landing at the Chaudiere. Then on through the forest on the road to Richmond where they applied to the "Land Board" for a 200 acre lot of land. It was poor land, sandy and full of stones. But little by little they cleared the land, built a shanty and struggled to survive. Two more children were added to the family. It was too much for the young wife and mother, and like many other pioneer women, she died before her time. In those times, it was impossible for a father to carry on alone, so John married Catherine McCormack / McCormick, either a cousin or sister to his first wife. Seven more children were added to the family. Today a plaque to this John Larkin lies flat on the ground in Richmond Cemetery. Sons in those days had to do as their fathers had done before them. To get a little money some would to to the lumber shanties in winter. One member tells how he, on having his pay cut from two dollars a day to one dollar changed bosses. The new boss gave him three dollars a day to carry a bag of flour on his back from a mill 30 miles away. So, day after day he walked the 30 miles to earn his three dollars. With their money they would get a grant of land, marry, and start their own lives. So the three eldest Larkin boys, Matt born 1821, John born 1824, and Michael born 1830 trekked some 10 miles through the bush to the Rideau River / Canal. I wonder how they crossed for the first bridge was not built until 1854, three years later. Possibly on a raft with their meager supply of bare necessities. Then ten miles more through a bush trail to their three lots, where after many years they would establish prosperous farms. But this was a happy group full of hope, for Matthew had his bride with him. Sixteen-year-old Margaret O'Brien was starting on the second great adventure of her life. On arrival she found the shelter which Matt had previously built of boughs, her first home, completely flooded. That day she cooked for the three men on the stump of a fallen tree. At once all set to work. They slashed the underbrush, cut down trees, and pulled stumps with levers until they had a clearing for the first log shanty. Then on they went to the brothers' lots, for time was precious. The first shanties had to be built before the winter came. Margaret worked by her husband's side day after day. They worked the land with only a spade, and scattered the seed by hand. The precious grain was harvested and carefully ground into flour in a hollow tree stump. How well off they felt when they got their first oxen and some sheep. Then they could make moccasins from the untanned leather and clothes from the coarse homespun wool. The oxen would pull their stumps. Ten children were born to this marriage. Our mother, Bridget Mary, was the second youngest. But the lack of communication and the hardships seemed to strengthen their family ties. When the three brothers received word that their brother Patrick in Richmond had died, they put their axes over their shoulders and walked the 20 miles back home. For a week they chopped and piled wood from daylight until dark. At least the young widow and her fatherless children would be warm that winter. When Matthew and Margaret had three children, around 1860, a weary stranger walked along the trail toward their shanty. It was Margaret's loving brother who had come from Boston, USA. He had perservered and at last he found her. Likewise in 1900 her long lost sister and niece walked from the nearest railway station so they could have two glorious weeks together. It was the only visit they ever had. For many years the priest came to each area once a year. Then a mission was established about 10 miles away at South Gloucester. They carried the children through the bush to be baptized. "Not each time," Grandma told me, "for we would wait until there were two." Grandma lost her husband when she was 48. But their farm was all cleared and in place of the shanty was a new home. She died in this home in 1930 at 94 years of age. Her son Matthias and his wife Bridget Collins carried on the family tradition with their 14 children. Quite a story, isn't it? I haven't been able to find any information about the O'Brien brother and sister who supposedly settled in the Boston area. That part of the family history remains a mystery. As I mentioned earlier, we have a lot of old pictures of the Larkin family. In fact, a large portrait of Margaret O'Brien is hanging in my home. I admire her strength and courage every time I look at her picture. I've copied my four siblings on this message, so please reply to "all" if you would like to communicate further. I think it would be fun to put all of our "stories" and facts together and see if we can put the puzzle pieces together. Hope to hear from you soon, Cheryl Larkin __________________________________ Hi, Al: You are very welcome. I knew you would find the story interesting. It really shows the strength and perserverance of our ancestors, doesn't it? Of course you may add my e-mail to your website and use me as a contact name for other Larkin researchers. I will go through all of my mother's old pictures this weekend, and will scan and send you whatever I can. I know we have pictures of the family on the farm (they grew potatoes and tapped maple trees for syrup) and of my grandfather with his big, beautiful horses. Can you explain to me how you fit into the Larkin family? Are we cousins? As you can imagine, with my mother having 13 siblings (scattered all over Canada) and my father having 5 siblings, I have many first cousins that I have never met. I probably can't even count the number of second or third cousins! I hope to hear from you again soon. Thanks, Cheryl _______________________________ Hi Cheryl: My mother was a Burns, born on a farm on the Manotick Station Road in Osgoode Township. Living next door to them was another Burns family. I don't think that the two Burns families were related to each other, although they used the similar naming patterns for their children. I have a picture of a Mrs. Danny Burns, mother of a Mary Burns. Mary Burns was married to a Patrick Larkin. The photo shows my Grandmother, Catherine THERESA BURNS, nee CHRISTOPHER on a horse-drawn buggy with Mrs. Danny Burns. The photo was taken, I believe, during the 1920's. My mother said that this Mary Burns died in childbirth. My ancestors attended St. Mary's Church (now Our Lady of the Visitation) at South Gloucester. There are many Larkins buried there as well. However, there were Larkins, O'Briens and Collins families across the Rideau River in Nepean and Goulbourn Townships; some of them may have been related. I'm going to look into the "Des Les Hares" family at Richmond. I might have some info on them. I think that the head of this family was a retired Spanish soldier, first name Valentine or Valentino. The priests and census takers had trouble spelling his last name over the years. Here are Valentine and Margaret O'Brien in some church records at Richmond: 21 August 1853 Baptism of Alexander, born 17 June last of the legitimate marriage of Alexander McNally and Matilda Ennis or Innis. The sponsors were Valentine Delassero and Margaret O'Brien. ... Al
September 22, 2007: Hi, Cheryl: Thought you might be interested in this old photo of a picnic at the home of Patrick Collins and Sarah Reynolds. Bernard Mathias Larkin is at the left end of the back row. The two little girls in the front row are Pearl and Marjorie Larkin. ... Kevin Collins
The following 1881 census records show two Ellen Larkins, aged 19 and aged 18 in 1881: 1881 Census Place: Gloucester, Russell, Ontario, Canada Source: FHL Film 1375865 NAC C-13229 Dist 104 SubDist E Div 4 Page 47 Family 192 Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace Occ Religion Mathew LARKIN M M 57 Irish Ireland Farmer Catholic Margarett LARKIN F M 43 Irish Ireland Catholic Margaret LARKIN F 23 Irish Ireland Catholic Mary LARKIN F 21 Irish Ireland Catholic Ellen LARKIN F 19 Irish Ireland Catholic John LARKIN M 17 Irish Ireland Catholic Catherine LARKIN F 15 Irish Ireland Catholic William LARKIN M 13 Irish Ireland Catholic Elisabeth LARKIN F 11 Irish Ireland Catholic Patrick LARKIN M 8 Irish Ireland Catholic Bridget LARKIN F 5 Irish Ireland Catholic Mathew LARKIN M 1 Irish Ireland Catholic ____________________________ All of the above children were born in Ireland, including one year-old Mathew, so this family would seem to have come to Canada in 1881. However, there were many other Larkin families in the Ottawa area at that time. This family's next door neighbours in 1881 were the family of John Larkin, who also had a daughter, Ellen, whose age is given as 18 in the 1881 census: 1881 Census Place: Gloucester, Russell, Ontario, Canada Source: FHL Film 1375865 NAC C-13229 Dist 104 SubDist E Div 4 Page 46 Family 191 Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace Occ Religion John LARKIN M M 57 Irish Ireland Farmer Catholic Mary LARKIN F M 46 Irish Ontario Catholic John LARKIN F 26 Irish Ontario Catholic Annie LARKIN F 29 Irish Ontario Catholic Ellen LARKIN F 18 Irish Ontario Catholic Elizabeth LARKIN F 16 Irish Ontario Catholic Mary LARKIN F 14 Irish Ontario Catholic Martha LARKIN F 10 Irish Ontario Catholic Bridget LARKIN F 8 Irish Ontario Catholic Tressa LARKIN F 6 Irish Ontario Catholic Lavina LARKIN F 4 Irish Ontario Catholic Florence LARKIN* F Irish Ontario Church of England Born: Dec; * All of the children of John Larkin were born in Ontario, so this family was in this region much earlier. ... Al
November 16, 2007: Hi Looked up marriage Ellen Larkin and John Bowes Married june 25 1889 She was born in Gloucester abt 1862. She is from the 2nd list of Larkins. Checked by Looking up Marriage of John Malone to a Larkin. James malone Married Martha Larkin [born abt 1871], June 25 1894. Both Larkin Girls had the same parents JOHN LARKIN and MARY MYERS (Mears / O'Meara?). Do you want copy of marriage record got off ... Ernie Kilroe
November 18, 2007: Your Larkin family is in the 1881 Gloucester, Russell, Ontario census: John, 57, born Ireland Mary, 46, born Ontario John, 26 Annie, 29 Ellen, 18 (married Thomas Bowes 25 June 1889, son of John Bowes and Jane McGuigan). Elizabeth, 16 Mary 14 (Mary Jane, married Michael Cavanagh in 1900) Martha, 10 (married James Malone in 1894) Bridget, 8 Tressa, 6 Lavina, 4 (Vina, married Andrew Sabourin) Florence, born Dec 1880 Note: All children were born in Ontario, All of the family is listed as Roman Catholic with the exception of baby Florence who is listed as Church of England. ________________ Died: Mary Larkin (her maiden name was Myers, Meers / Mears) 3 March 1908 at 74 years. Lived on Lot 21 Con 2RF (Rideau Front) Died: John Larkin, born June 1823 in Ireland, died in Gloucester 24 April 1911, widower. John was a son of John Larkin and Margaret McCormick. Informant was John Larkin. Residence was same as that given for wife Mary. Hope this helps, ... Sue
October 18, 2011: Very interesting post. I wanted to add something to the page on the site - do I do that by sending an email to the webmaster? (Yes ... Al). Also, please add me to the list. Margaret (O'Brien) Larkin is my Great Great Grandmother. Beautiful stories, I do hope we can be in touch. Here is a story I heard. I heard it long ago, I don't know if I heard it from our dear Michael Daley or from someone in my family. I do know that when I was young, I heard from relatives the story of the ancestor who came over on one of the famine ships, her parents died on the way or upon arrival, and she was left an orphan in Canada. One day, the great Prime Minister, Wilfred Laurier, was riding on a train. Laurier was going to be dedicating the memorial to the Irish who died on the cholera ships at Grosse Isle in 1909. As Laurier was talking about it, a conductor on the train, where so many Irish worked in those days, overheard the great Canadian and told him that there was a woman on the train who had survived the cholera ships. Laurier asked to meet her, and they talked. Laurier, impressed by her story, invited the woman, my great great Grandmother Margaret (O'Brian) Larkin, to join him. She did so, and sat on the stage with Laurier at the dedication. She would have been about 74 or so at the time. Historically, the monument and dedication meant a great deal to Canadian Irish, attracting 7,000 people to attend. I have not been able to confirm the details, or find a photo of the stage party, but I find there is often truth in these tales. Jaimie McEvoy New Westminster, British Columbia
September 26, 2016: Good Day Al, My name is Christopher Muller and we have been in contact before regarding the Larkin Pioneer Family on the Bytown or Bust Site. My mother was Shirley Larkin who died on March 31st of this year. I have just returned from a visit to Grosse Ile .... thanks to the information I learned from the Bytown or Bust Site. I am descendant from the Matthew Larkin and Margaret O'Brien lineage and was able to take a picture of the engraving of what is believed to be Margaret's mother Mary's name on the memorial since Mary was buried on the Island in 1845. Cheryl Larkin tells a very interesting story on Bytown or Bust about Margaret's life after she left Grosse Ile. And herein lies what appears to be an error on Census Canada's part. You have transcribed results from the 1881 Canada Census to the Larkin Pioneer Family Page which seem to indicate that Matthew Larkin and his family (Family 192) were all born in Ireland ... and yet on the same page we have Cheryl's story of how his wife Margaret arrived in Canada at the age of 10 on Grosse Ile and we also have the obit of his son Bernard Matthias "Matt" Larkin which states that he was born in Gloucester, Carleton, Ontario. I think from this we can conclude that all the children of Matthew Larkin and Margaret O'Brien (Family 192) were born in Gloucester, Carleton, Ontario and not in Ireland as indicated. I also believe that the Larkin Family next door will prove to be his brother John. Thank you for all your hard work on this site. Without what I have learned here, I would never have known the history of the Larkin Family and would have never made this recent amazing trip to Grosse Ile and a visit to the National Monument to the Irish that stands there. Best regards, Chris __________________ Hi again Al, I am now able to confirm that that was NOT Margaret's mother Mary that died on Grosse Ile in 1845. Mary was only 14 or 15 years old at the time of her death according to the records at The Canadian Archives. Perhaps a sibling? Perhaps her mother died after leaving Grosse Ile so therefore there is no record of her death there. But then again, her marriage certificate stated that her father was deceased but not her mother. Strange mystery to unravel !!! And that both her parents were from Goulbourn !!! It gives her mother's name as Ann Lynch. So much yet to learn !! PS Thanks for the link !! I will definitely take a look later today. If you need any help doing research on the impact of the famine please let me know - at least research that can be done online or at the Vancouver Public Library since I am far far away !! I think I need to plan a month's holiday at the Archives in Ottawa !!! Chris ______________ Hi again Al, I am now able to confirm that that was NOT Margaret's mother Mary that died on Grosse Ile in 1845. Mary was only 14 or 15 years old at the time of her death according to the records at The Canadian Archives. Perhaps a sibling? Perhaps her mother died after leaving Grosse Ile so therefore there is no record of her death there. But then again, her marriage certificate stated that her father was deceased but not her mother. Strange mystery to unravel !!! And that both her parents were from Goulbourn !!! It gives her mother's name as Ann Lynch. So much yet to learn !! PS Thanks for the link !! I will definitely take a look later today. If you need any help doing research on the impact of the famine please let me know - at least research that can be done online or at the Vancouver Public Library since I am far far away !! I think I need to plan a month's holiday at the Archives in Ottawa !!! Chris

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