Emigrants from the Ottawa, Canada area to
North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba in the 1800's
There was a large migration from the Ottawa area to the USA beginning in the
1850's as second-generation pioneers left the Ottawa Valley to acquire
farmland in the new frontier of the American mid-west. This page represents
just a few of the folks who went to North Dakota, USA.
Prior to the Irish famine years, 1846-1854, most of the Irish emigrants who came to Canada
(British North America), were persons with some capital who were able to purchase
new farmland in the wilderness and most of them stayed in Canada. The second generation
of these families, however, facing land shortages here, often moved to the United States.
During and after the famine years, immigration to Canada, relative to the United States,
decreased as can be seen in the following graph:
From Rita Meistrell - copy of an e-mail sent to the UOVGEN List on August 6, 2000
Recently, I had the opportunity to do some research in the North Dakota / Minnesota area to
which my Canadian ancestors moved. I got some hints as to why so many of them moved west.
Many of the Irish-Canadians who settled in Canada were disappointed
with their land in Ontario. The availability of land in western Canada and
the conflicts with their Scot neighbors acted as the impetus for them to
move. Most originally hoped to find more fertile land in western Canada. At
that time it was easier for west bound travelers in Canada going from Ontario
to Manitoba to take a train to St. Paul, Minnesota and then to proceed on toward either
Fargo, ND or Fishers Landing, MN. From there they went northward by boat.
On the way up the Red River to Manitoba in 1874, one of the first emigrants ,
James E. Sullivan, stopped in Nashville, which would later become East Grand
Forks, Minnesota. While there, Jim decided to take a short trip up the Red
Lake River. Near the original East Grand Forks city limits, he was
captivated by a parcel of land overlooking the river in Huntsville Township.
However, Jim continued on with his journey to Manitoba. Once there, he was
unable to find any land that was more suitable to the family's needs than the
parcel near Nashville. So on his return trip to Fargo, Jim again stopped in
Nashville and made a verbal agreement with the owner for the purchase of land
in Section One of Rhinehart Township, Polk County, Minnesota. Jim returned
to Renfrew County and expounded upon the many assets of the area. He and his
family, along with many others started making their move. Many families moved
to the Grand Forks area in 1878 and 1879. In addition, James J. Hill,
builder of the Great Northern Railroad, recruited farmers to emigrate from
Ontario and settle the Red River Valley. Most of the Irish-Canadian settlers
gathered near their neighbors in Manvel, ND and Grand Forks, ND/ East Grand
Forks, MN. Most people at the time said they were going to Grand Forks, ND.
It was the largest town in the area. However, most of the Irish Canadians
moved across the river to East Grand Forks (EGF), MN, a very small town.
Apparently, when ND became a state in 1889, it was a "dry" state--prohibited
alcohol. Although most of the Irish-Canadians had already started their
farms on the MN side, the prohibition created booming business on the EGF
side. According to one article in April of 1891, there were applications for
4 more saloons ( 27 to date in a short few blocks) with more to be heard
from. In addition, the local papers were trying to keep their residents from
going up to Manitoba. Below is from an article in the Grand Forks Herald
5/21/1891 (remember these are their words, not mine):
"It was a sorry lot of human beings that arrived here yesterday from
Winnipeg. They constitute the advance guard of the main body of deluded
Dakotans who went to Manitoba in search of land flowing with milk and honey.
They find instead, a barren waste of desert sand, either destitute of all
vegetation or grown up with sage brush, and an inhospitable climate where
vegetable growth is impossible. These misguided unfortunates were warmly
welcomed here and provided with necessary relief for their wants and will be
given employment. They tell sad tales of destitution and suffering."
Below are some familiar names that I came across while doing my research.
Families from Canada that I saw in the following cemeteries:
Calvary Cemetery in Grand Forks, ND-
HARVEY, SULLIVAN, RACINE, POWERS, O'LEARY, McCOY, ENRIGHT, DRISCOLL, McGUIRE,
MURPHY, FOLEY, RYAN, LAVELLE, NEVILLE, HANRAHAN, MCILRAITH, CONNELLY, MORIN / Moran,
O'NEIL, CARROLL, BUSHAW, BUSHEE, BOUCHER
St. Timothy Cemetery, Ferry Twp, Grand Forks Co.-
BUSHAW, O'NEIL,CONNELLY, QUINN, HARVEY, MURPHY, McGUIRE, NAGLE, FERRY, DOYLE
Nisbet Cemetery, Huntsville, MN -
HANNAH, LEE, McDONALD, McKINNON, NISBET, RUTHERFORD, BRYSON, COULTER,
CHALMERS, FEASE, GILMOUR, FLEMING, LOVE, McVEETY, MORRISON, NEVILLE, DRISCOLL,
I found bio's on the following names that said they were from Ontario in "The
Meeting of the Reds, East Grand Forks, MN 1887-1987 Centennial Book", 1989:
James CUMMING , Carleton Co.
Michael and Bridget GORMAN, Smith Falls, Ont
John LOVE's wife Ann Marie ARMSTRONG
James McDONALD, from Frontenac County, (Kingston area), Ontario
NAGLE, O'NEIL - Almonte, Ontario (mentions DOYLE family went to Livermore
Iowa before moving to Manvel, ND)
James NISBIT / Nesbitt, North Sherbrooke, s/o William and Christena
John O'NEIL & Mary O'DRISCOLL, from Ramsay Township, d/o Denis & Johanna (White), County
John O'LEARY, Almonte, Ontario (includes MURPHY from Pakenham)
From "Half century of Recollections", a series of 111 articles originally
published in the Grand Forks Herald 1935-1936 and found at the University of North Dakota,
the following names were from Canada:
Archie O'CONNOR - b. Renfrew 4/8/1875
WV O'CONNOR - b. Lanark, Ont.
John N. BATHGATE - b. Guelph,Ontario 12/26/1876
James A DINNIE - Hoosie, Ontario 2/7/1863
Frank GILBY - Oakville, Ont. 3/10/1858
Tom C. GRIFFITH - Welland, Ont 4/3/1870
Wallace A HUFF, Belleville, Ont. 11/6/1853
George HYSLOP / Hislop, Ont. 12/13/1849
JW LOWE, Ontario 9/8/1857
JH McNICOL, s/o Duncan - Renfrew, Ont. 1877
O"KEEFE - Lindsay, Ont
Joseph R POUPORE - Pontiac County, Quebec 2/8/1860
(The Poupore family were important in the lumbering industry in the Ottawa area
JJ QUIGLEY - s/o Hugh, Perth, Ont 2/21/1876
George STEAD - Lanark Co. (Middleville)
CC Stewart, s/o George - 2/2/1870 Easton, Ont
Alec THOMSON - Ontario
From the North Dakota 1930 WPA Pioneer Biographies Project:
Descendants of Dennis Sullivan
1 Dennis Sullivan b: in County Cork, Ireland d: 1916 in
Grand Forks, ND
. +Bridget ? b: in Belenack, Ireland d: 1915 in Grand
.. 2 Patrick Sullivan b: 1855
.. 2 Jerry Sullivan b: October 08, 1867 in Huntley Twp, Carleton County, Ontario, Canada,
...... +Florence Hubert
.. 2 John Sullivan
.. 2 Martin Sullivan
.. 2 Dan Sullivan
.. 2 George Sullivan
.. 2 William Sullivan
.. 2 Katherine Sullivan
...... + ? Ryan
.. 2 Elizabeth Sullivan
...... + ? Chaplin
.. 2 Ann Sullivan
...... + ? Murphy
.. 2 Jessie Sullivan b: 1885
I have much more on some of these families- Enrights, Sullivans, Driscolls,
I hope this helps some researchers in Ontario find where some of their
families disappeared to.
Visit Rita's excellent website which contains a database of over 4000 names:
Here's an e-mail from Jan Gorman, same subject:
Thank you for the terrific article on the migration west from Ontario !!
You can add to your listing a bunch of O'GORMANs and GORMANs who are buried
in Calvary Cemetary in Grand Forks. Just recently learned of a Robert Paul
PURDY who left Carleton County and went west to ND too. I suspect he is also
buried somewhere there.
Those O'Gormans (Thomas and family) in the cemetery can be found in
Canadian records as simply Gorman, but they decided the name was "properly"
spelled O'Gorman when they got to ND. The Gormans you mentioned in East
Grand Forks are also related to me.
In searching through the ND records, I've also found other families of
Gormans in Pembina County, as well as a number of Purdys from "Canada". They
are not my Purdys and I don't know about those Gormans (George, Thomas,
On the ND GenWeb site, there is a place where you can search for these
folks' applications for citizenship. You can order copies from the
Historical Society in Bismarck via e-mail and then pay $5 per person after
the copies of one or both "papers" are mailed to you. About the only unique
information I obtained on my Thomas was that he had entered the U.S. via Port
Since I've gotten involved in this search for my ancestors, I have come
to believe that someone should do a "book" on the Canadians, especially those
from the Upper Ottawa valley and nearby who settled in ND. It would be helpful to
researchers, AND remind folks in that area that there was a large
Canadian-Irish influence. So often in that Red River Valley between Fargo
and Grand Forks, folks believe that the Scandinavians were the only primary
settlers of that area. (Watch the movie "FARGO")
I found your web site on Canadians who came from Ontario to Grand Forks and
Manvel North Dakota around 1890. My grandfather John McGuire and his son
Charles McGuire homesteaded in the Manvel Grand Forks County 1890. My
grandfather John McGuire emigrated to Mitchell Ontario and later moved on to
Grand Rapids Michigan, USA, then on to Manvel, North Dakota, USA, in 1889-1890.
His son in-law William M. Harvey also emigrated to Grand Forks North Dakota from
Ontario Canada. (See also posting dated July 6, 2011, below)
I believe all six of the Harvey Children were born in the Grand Forks area, I have
three of my uncles buried in Grand Forks County Daniel McGuire Born : October
1868 Died September 11, 1902 buried some where in Grand Forks County as
Well as his Brother James McGuire died July 14, 1903.
A third uncle Francis John McGuire Died November 26, 1890 and is buried at
St. Timothy's Cemetery Ferry Township, Grand Forks County.
I have tried to obtain information on these families with very little success.
If you have any information on the above people I would appreciate hearing from you.
Here's another from Jan Gorman - a great source of info on North Dakota
No problem with having my name and e-mail address on your site. And
after I thought about the query, and responded, I thought "come to think of
it, I think that Al had added some of that material that had been exchanged
on the UOVGEN Mail list on emigration to ND."
No problem with your including these sites to help folks find
information. The more we exchange information, the more we find. All the
info I had gathered on-line before my trip to the Ottawa area this past
summer was sooo helpful.
In working on my family long distance, I have found that ND GenWeb site
most helpful, plus the ones for each individual county. Several of them have
indexes for cemetery books published by the Red River Genealogy Society in
Fargo -- the unfortunate part is they are only an index.. to get the entire
entry, one has to contact that RRVGS and pay them $2 for each lookup. And
they haven't done all the cemetaries, especially the big ones in Grand Forks
((Fargo is about 90 miles south of Grand Forks))
Someone on the UOVGEN mail list did contribute phone numbers so one could
call those cemetaries, but the Norman Funeral Home (address on Grand Forks
County GenWeb site) does have the records for the Calvary (R.C.) Cemetary and
they have been helpful to me. St. Michael's RC Church in Grand Forks has
also been helpful and they have been there since who knows when....I got my
grandparents 1884 marriage record from them.
The 1885 Territorial census is also on line -- but it doesn't include
Grand Forks County much to my dismay.
One can't forget to also check on the far western counties of Minnesota,
even if they believe their people went to North Dakota. The two states are
separated by a small river and there are adjoining "twin-towns" on either
side of the river, such as Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN; Fargo,
ND and Moorhead, MN. So it is not unusual to have records between the two
states. For example, in Rita's e-mail she noted a Michael Gorman in East
Grand Forks...he lived and died there, but is buried in Grand Forks. In my
immediate family, most were born in Fargo, ND but lived all their lives on
Minnesota side, then died in Fargo hospitals--thus the birth/death records
are with ND, they are buried in Minnesota, and if you want to know what they
did in their lives, you have to go to Minnesota records.
You will want to do a little editing of the above if you add any of this
to your site.
I anticipate being in the Fargo area over the Christmas holidays and if I
come up with any new info, will let you know. I'm originally from that area
and am at least somewhat familiar with the geography.
Jan Gorman in Maryland USA
Researching Gorman, Purdy, Brislin / Brislan / Breslin, and affiliated O'Brien,
O'Neil, Driscoll lines, in Carleton County (Marlborough and Goulbourn), Lanark (Montague Township), and Grenville Counties.
(added Grenville after this past summer's trip)
Send Email to Jan Gorman, Charles McGuire and Al Lewis.
And from Linda in Michigan: From an obituary in the Renfrew Mercury for my
ggrandfather, his son Michael Enright was living in Vanhook, North Dakota in 1941.
Does anyone know which county Vanhook is located in or if the name still exists?
(See (1) below ... Al)
Michael was thought to have moved from Admaston/ Ferguslea area of
Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada to North Dakota with his uncle James
McMahon. It is also thought that Michael is buried in a catholic
cemetery in North Dakota.
Linda in Michigan
This message was originally posted to the UOVGEN List
February 23, 2002:
(1) ... and Thanks, Maylene for this:
This is for Linda, looking for VanHook, ND. It is located about 2 miles west
of Shell Creek Bay of Lake Sakakawea. There is a cemetery named Van Hook. Van Hook
was one of 3 small towns that were flooded by the creation of Lake Skakawa and the
Garrison Dam on the Missouri River. New Town, ND has replaced the 3 communities.
It was located Section 32, T152-R91 of Van Hook Township in Mountrail County. It had a
post office from 1915 to 1953. The area above the water line has become a park. There
was a Newspaper at Van Hook.
sources: F.D. Holland, Jr. Geology Library UND
State Archives & Historical Research Library, ND
PS I also found the town in an obituary.
Note: This week I was researching through some old (1850-1880) copies of the local
Ottawa newspapers on microfilm at the National Archives. There were many advertisements
for land which was available in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Send Email to Linda
September 21, 2003:
Thanks to George Anton for sending along the following links to North Dakota and Minnesota:
Walsh County Databases: Searchable databases, online Census Pages.
North Dakota State Archives:
Cass County, North Dakota: Searchable databases.
Clay County, Minnesota: Searchable databases.
Minnesota Historical Society: Searchable Death Certificate database.
The 1880 North Dakota Census includes many folks who were born in Canada.
March 14, 2007:
Hello Al and Rita,
Re: your "Emigrants from Ontario, Canada to North Dakota, Minnesota and
Manitoba" page; just a note to let you know there is a transcription of
Nisbet Cemetery, Huntsville Twp., Polk Co., Minnesota at:
Rita's posting prompted me to start putting the site together. It's a
work in progress (sometimes kind of slow), but I hope it's helpful to
researchers. I've put a link on my site to your site-- hope you
Jo Lynn Gunness
I tried to reply to your e-mail last night but it was rejected by your server.
Maybe it's rejecting all mail from sympatico.ca
I can receive messages from you, however.
Here's my reply to you from last night:
Hello, Jo Lynn and Rita:
Thanks very much for sending along the link to your transcription of the
Nisbet Cemetery in Polk County, Minnesota.
It's fascinating how our ancestors travelled in groups from one specific
location to another. Robert Sample once sent me a link to a similar cemetery
in North Dakota -- the cemetery "residents" were almost all from from the
The page on my site to which you refer was created early on, before I
realized how many people went from here to the USA in the 1800's. The past
few years I have just entered "USA" on individual web pages in order to get
some idea of the scale of this migration. If you enter the word Minnesota in
our search engine near the top of www.bytown.net, you should find quite a
few families who went to Minnesota.
Thanks again for the link. I'll add it to my site tomorrow.
... Al Lewis
Here is a list of some of the surnames which appear on Jo Lynn's site:
I recognized from my researches in Lanark County where my ancestors first settled
(in Bathurst and North Sherbrooke Townships after immigrating from Ireland and Scotland).
Bain, Brownlee, Bryson, Buchanan, Cameron, Casmey, Chalmers, Clint, Coulter, Cumming,
Davidson, Dickson / Dixon, Kelly, Lindsey / Lindsay, Ferguson, Fleming, Fletcher, Geddes, Gilmour,
Gunness (Gunnis), Hannah, Hunt, Lee, Love, McDonald (McDonal), McDougall, McKinnon,
McVeety, Morrison, Morrow, Nevill, Nisbet / Nesbitt, Playfair, Roberton / Robertson ?, Rutherford, Shanks,
Skiffington / Skeffington, Stewart, Welsh, White, and probably others.
March 18, 2007:
New e-mail address for Jo Lynn Gunness added to the list below ... Al
February 15, 2009:
Some members of the Lawrence Hickey family, from Fitzroy Township went to North Dakota
in time for the 1880 census there.
June 28, 2009:
I enjoy reading the articles you have compiled that discuss families from Ontario who came to
the Red River Valley.
I live in Grand Forks, ND and work in Oslo, MN (about 1/2 hour north of Grand Forks). If you
like, I can do look ups in my records and in the materials in the "Grand Forks Room" at the
Grand Forks Library. This is a room loaded with genealogy and history information. I can
also easily access the UND library's special collections that have extensive collections of
community histories in our region.
I have access to information on Grand Forks and Walsh counties in North Dakota, and Marshall
and Polk Counties in Minnesota. I also have information on Freeborn County in southern
As long as the research isn't too involved or lengthy, I do the lookups at no charge. This
is my hobby.
Please let me know how I can help.
July 2, 2009:
I just finished reading your e-mail posted on Al Lewis's "Bytown or Bust" site offering to do
look-ups. Bytown or Bust is a wonderful site which contains a wealth of fabulous information.
The surname I'm interested in is McAuliffe. Randel Joseph McAuliffe married Julia Sabourin
sometime in October in 1893, North Dakota. I haven't been able to find a marriage record.
He went by the initials JR on the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census. Children born to them were
Frank - 1894, John - 1896, James - 1900, Rose - 1906, Grace - 1908 and Helen - 1910, all in ND.
No birth records, this information is from the census records.
Randel Joseph McAuliffe was born in Huntley Township, Ontario, abt. 1866, son of John McAuliffe
and Margaret Fitzgerald, and died July 30, 1949. Julia Sabourin was born Nov 11, 1874 in the
Parry Sound district, daughter of Paul Sabourin and Bridget Madden and she died Sept 9th,
I found a naturalization record for Randel Joseph McAuliffe, he intended to become a citizen
of the USA, it's dated Oct 29th, 1880, Walsh County, North Dakota. In 1920 he is living in
Minnesota, Polk County, Grand Forks township. The only other info I have are death and
military records for Randel's two sons, Frank J. and James McAuliffe. Could I request look-up
please, any information at all on this family would be greatly appreciated. Many kind thanks.
Dorothy McAuliffe Payne
July 27, 2009:
My great grandfather William Matthew Kelly died in East Grand Folks in the 1950.s...He is
buried in the Calvert Cemetery in Grand Forks next to my great grandmother Rose Williams Kelly.
Her father was James Williams who settled into Huntsville and Sullivan, married a woman by
the name of Marion / Marian (don't know last name) who may have come from Canada per the
census records...my great grandmother Rose was born in Huntsville and Sullivan along with her
sister Charlotte. I have birthdates and such but I am more interested in their mother Marion..
I have no last name how could I go about finding out about her?? What records would give me
some insite into who she was and her lineage as her folks and such.
My great grandfather William Kelly's family came to the US from the County of Cork in Ireland
but I have NO information on his parents or siblings...how would one go about tracking his
parents?? I am hoping to come to Minnesota in the next few months to do some look ups but
any current ways to obtain information on my family would be great!! I have written to the
County Clerk's office to obtain my grandmother Arlowa's birth certificate...and they didn't
have birth records persae...only recorded births.
William and Rose Kelly lived at 813 Allen Street in East Grand Forks until Williams' death
in the 50's.
Thank you for your time and concern in this matter...I am
Thanks to Deborah Hanson for the following reply to Mary. They have been pursuing this puzzle together.
This refers mainly to North Dakota and Minnesota than to the Ottawa area, but Deborah is very
knowledgeable and has volunteered to give us some historical context on why people migrated
to Minnesota and North Dakota.
Here is some preliminary information:
I noticed a typo, the cemetery's name is "Calvery". This was originally a Catholic Cemetery,
and although it is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, other pioneers from East Grand Forks
on the Minnesota side of the river are buried there.
Go to www.pvillage.org (Pennington County Historical Society) and type in "Williams" in the
general search box. As you scroll down the results, you will see "Landowner Records". On
the list in Huntsville Township, Polk County are J. Williams and Mary Williams. I believe
these are your g-g-grandparents.
Next Step, go to the US Bureau of Land Management's Land Patents search page
Choose "Minnesota" as the state, and type in "Williams" for the last name. When I did this,
I was able to find Mary's information, but not James'. This could be that James did not
"prove up" the land listed on the pvillage site.
Choose "Mary A" of Polk County from the list, and choose to see the original document. On
the original Document, her name is listed as "Mary Ann" (that is, Marian). It is possible
to download and/or print a copy of the original document. For me the PDF files are the
best bet for printing correctly the first time.
I will send you more information once I've checked some other genealogy resources.
March 31, 2010:
Some migrants to North Dakota from the Ottawa area
Surnames O'Brien, Foley, Eccles
Source: Peter Robinson's Settlers, 1823 1825, by Carol Bennett, page 41
April 14, 2010:
Information please re emigrants to North Dakota
Would you be kind enough to point me in the direction of research sources for Ontario residents who migrated to ND .
I'm trying to research a relative from Ontario, Isabella McKenzie, who was married to Roger Allin in North Dakota in 1882.
He later became Governor of North Dakota. She had a sister Agnes who also went at the same time and another sister,
Margaret who went to Ireland to marry a landowner there. She was my great grandmother.
Are there any sources in Ontario that I might try to access. With many thanks.
Good morning, Ms. Joyce:
Thanks for your e-mail regarding the McKenzie sisters in Ontario, Canada and in North Dakota.
I believe that the following is the Isabella McKenzie family as shown in the 1861 Census for Ontario, Canada:
Mary Mckenzie Female 51 1810 Scotland Widowed
Alex Mckenzie Male 27 1834 Scotland Single
John Mckenzie Male 25 1836 Upper Canada Single
James Mckenzie Male 24 1837 Upper Canada Single
William Mckenzie Male 23 1838 Upper Canada Single
Catherine Mckenzie Female 21 1840 Upper Canada Single
Agnes Mckenzie Female 20 1841 Upper Canada Single
Margaret Mckenzie Female 18 1843 Upper Canada Single
Isabella Mckenzie Female 17 1844 Upper Canada Single
George Mckenzie Male 16 1845 Upper Canada Single
Thomas Mckenzie Male 14 1847 Upper Canada
Source: 1861 Census of Ontario, Canada at www.automatedgenealogy.com
The family is headed by 51-year old widow, Mary McKenzie, who was born in Scotland. Isabella is shown as being 17
years old in 1861, making her birth date as 1844. Also shown are her brothers and sisters, including Margaret and Agnes.
This census was for the town (now city) of Whitby, Ontario which is just east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
October 31, 2010:
Gordon is researching his Forrest ancestors who went to North Dakota in the 1870's. He has found an online book,
written in 1900, concerning pioneers in North Dakota. If you do a search for the word "Ottawa" or Canada",
many pioneers from Canada who went to North Dakota will show up.
This terrific book is online at
Here's an example of using both Canadian and American records to track your ancestors:
From the registers of St. Philip's R.C. Church in Richmond, Goulbourn Township:
27 June 1853,
Marriage of Thomas Shanahan, son of Bryan Shanahan (deceased in County Tipperary, Ireland) and Ann Ryan,
to Jane Mears, daughter of John Mears and Elizabeth Kerrison / Kerrigan.
The witnesses were John Whelan and Bridget Whelan.
(Thomas and Jane later went to North Dakota).
and here they are in Grand Forks, North Dakota (from the online book, above):
Also, here's an advertisement which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen of October 21, 1882.
July 6, 2011:
I have been doing some research into my ancestors and came across your
article and the follow up responses through googling.
I am related to the Harvey's and Mcguire's. You also mention German
migration to the Manvel area. I have a connection there too. My great
grandfather, William Knaus with his wife, Alice Harvey met and started
their family in Manvel before emigrating to the Irish Colony,
Saskatchewan in 1905. Alice's mother was a Mcguire. Tom and Ed Mcguire
also emigrated at around the same time.
I would love to hear from anyone who may have any ancestors in common or
who is interested in the second Canadian leg of this migration.
Thank you for getting back to me. Yes add my e-mail to your web site. I am just getting ready to head out to the Winnipeg
Folk Fest so this is just a quick reply, I will write at more length next week.
The Irish Colony in Saskatchewan was renamed Sinnett after John Sinnett the priest responsible for starting the colony.
It is about 150 km. east of Saskatoon. This area was homesteaded in 1905 largely by people from Sheenboro, Pontiac County, Quebec,
a former parish of Sinnett's. There were some folks from across the Ottawa River in Renfrew County as well. There were four families that
came from Manvel, ND, as well. The Doyle brothers and my Great grandmother Alice Knaus (Harvey) had connections to the
I believe that Alice Harvey's parents, William Harvey and his wife Kate(?) McGuire had migrated to Manvel with John McGuire
from the Ottawa Valley. There were also Thomas and Ed McGuire who homesteaded in the Irish Colony having left the Ottawa Valley
February 16, 2019: (post retirement)
There is a very good biography of Harry McLean who was a well-known international
builder of railways and hydro-electric dams. He came from North Dakota to Canada in
the 1920's. He was headquartered in Merrickville, Ontario for many years, a self-made man
who became wealthy and made a lot of charitable donations directly to his workers and
to his community. He paid off many mortgages for persons in unfortunate circumstances.
Here is the book:
It's called Building an Empire: "Big Pants" Harry F. McLean and his Sons of Martha
Source for the next two photographs is Building an Empire: "Big Pants" Harry F. McLean and his Sons of Martha
E-mail Rita Meistrel, Jo Lynn Gunness, Deborah Hanson, Dorothy Payne, Mary Ridenour, Phyllis Joyce, Ed Eaton and Al Lewis
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