Robert Edmund DOYLE and Bessie (Elizabeth) SMITH
also John McGEE and Catherine DOYLE
Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893
It was nice to hear from you, as I have visited your site several times
and found it enjoyable and informative. I haven't find any connection
with my ancestors from using the search engines, perhaps because they
left in 1865, and to my knowledge left no descendants in the Ottawa
region, although some have continued on in Renfrew County. There is
still a lot to be discovered about my Doyle ancestors' 30+ year sojourn
in Ontario. I will set down here an outline of what I have; I'm not
sure what will be of interest to you. I'll provide a sketch of the
Doyles from 1830s to 1865, and will send another email that is a story
about the family's migration to Iowa, which may or may not be of
interest to you or others.
Richard Doyle, his wife Catherine Griffith, and family came from
Waterford, Ireland to Ferguson Falls, Lanark County, Ontario in about
1833. (He had relatives there already, but I haven't sorted out all the
Doyles yet) There are several records of marriages of their (known)
children found in the St. Jean de Baptiste Church of Perth microfilms in
the late 30s, including
-John Doyle, md to Elizabeth Dary, settled and raised a family in
Admaston Twp., Renfrew County (see below, another query dated January 2, 2003)
-Catherine, who married William Cardiff and also moved to Renfrew.
-Robert Doyle (my ggg grandfather) who married Elizabeth Smith, who came
with her parents, sisters, and brother from County Cavan, Ireland
There is evidence to indicate that Richard the father and Robert, his
son spent some time in Renfrew as well. But I have not found them on
any census. Robert is found living in Drummond Township in 1842, and working
as a schoolteacher at Perth. He also did some farming at that time. I
have just recently found Robert's family on the 1862 census in Nepean
Twp., Carleton County. He is there with wife and nine of their twelve
children. His father Richard is there as well, alive and 70 years old.
One of Robert's daughters, Catherine, married John McGee in 1862 at
Nepean. I think another was born at Richmond. I didn't find the Doyle
family in the 1851 census yet, but I still haven't checked the two
Besides their wherabouts in 1851, I am interested in finding the parish
or parishes that they were members of from 1850 to 1865. I have no idea
of the Catholic Churches which were around at the time. I'd like to
know what other records might be available of Carleton County, and the
whereabouts of Richard Doyle's grave. In any case, Robert Doyle and his
family pulled up stakes in 1865 and moved to America, probably timed to
avoid the Civil War which was just ending. I'll send another e mail of
that story and would be happy to provide any more info that you might
want. Just let me know.
E-mail Allan Lewis
Here is the story handed down about Robert Doyle's family and their trip
to Iowa from Ontario in 1865:
In a letter dated 19 Sep 1971, Mrs Robert T. (Maureen) Woolm of
Osage, IA to Mrs Roger C. (Dorothy) Doyle of Kansas City, MO, the
following story is told of the family's emigration from Canada to Iowa:
"The story goes: In 1839, Bobbie (Robert Edmund I) Doyle married
Bessie (Elizabeth) Smith in Canada. Bobbie taught school and owned a
100 acre farm near Perth, Canada. Once, when he served on a jury, he
met a man who was organizing a group of Catholics to go to the U.S. and
settle in the Oregon Territory. Unknown, to his wife and family, he
sold the farm in preparation to moving. The family moved by a team of
oxen into the U.S. (The group was) on the way to Omaha, NE to meet more
immigrants and form a group large enough to give protection from the
danger of scalping by the Indians. (When) Mrs. Doyle heard this, she
said, 'That settled it!' for 'she would go no place where her children
would be scalped by the Indians.'
The family tried to buy a farm in Illinois on the Pecatonica River but
because of the ending of the Civil War, they were unable to get a clear
deed. They continued west and, since the Illinois Central Railroad was
being built, Mr. Doyle wanted to put his wife and children on the train
so they could ride as far west as the train would go. Since she
refused, Grandfather Smith was put on the train with two wooden chests
and he went as far west as Aplington, Iowa, until the family arrived
with the ox team."
Mrs. Woolm relates that "the story of Robert and Elizabeth Smith Doyle
was told by Aunt Teresa (Doyle) to Kathleen and Dorothy McMahon, (Mrs
Woolm's) first cousins, who inherited Aunt Tess's property. Kathleen has
one of the two wooden chests which Elizabeth Smith Doyle's father
brought into the U.S. from Canada in 1865." Kathleen and Dorothy were
the daughters of Robert McMahon who lived in Minneapolis, MN.
In 1870, Robert Doyle became a U.S. citizen on the 12th day of July in
Butler Center, Butler County, Iowa. Robert's citizenship papers stated
that he renounced his allegiance to Victoria, Queen of England and
Ireland. The papers further state that Robert had resided within the
United States for at least five years and within one year in the state
Robert Doyle died in 1888 and is buried in the Nettleton Cemetery near
Greene, Iowa along with his wife Elizabeth and children Mary Emily,
Matilda Doyle Saunders, and Teresa.
Thanks for the e-mail.
I would be interested in getting the e-mail address for Robert McGee.
There was a Joseph McGee in Ottawa or Hull in 1829. He came from County
Tyrone and may be an ancestor of Robert and I.
I hope to have a closer look for your Doyles this week.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Kenney"
To: "Al Lewis"
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2001 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: Doyle Immigration Story
> Hi Al,
> Thanks for the posting of my Doyle family. It would be interesting if
> we could find another descendant of one of those Catholics that left on
> the same wagon train in 1865.
> As for John McGee, I have a little more to add if you are interested:
> John was born April 17, 1835 at either Montreal or in Ontario. He
> learned the trade of shoemaker at Hull, Quebec, serving two years as an
> apprentice. He then went to Ottawa where his parents lived and worked
> with his father, who was also a shoemaker. In 1861 he married Catherine
> Doyle in Richmond, Ontario, and in 1862 they moved to Haysville, Ohio.
> From there they moved to Butler Center, Iowa, and in that county they
> resided for the remainder of their lives.
> This was excerpted from John McGee's obituary. I also found the McGees
> in the 1861 census of Carleton County, Ontario. The father is Joseph
> McGee, a shoemaker, age 55, born in Ireland. The mother is Mary, age
> 53/55 also born in Ireland. John is there, a shoemaker, age 22, born in
> upper Canada. Two of his brothers there are Alexander and Robert McGee,
> age 20 and 15 respectively.
> There is a descendant of John's whom I have corresponded with named
> Robert McGee. I have his e mail if you are interested.
> Thanks again, and keep in touch,
Thanks for the posting of my Doyle family. It would be interesting if
we could find another descendant of one of those Catholics that left on
the same wagon train in 1865.
As for John McGee, I have a little more to add if you are interested:
John was born April 17, 1835 at either Montreal or in Ontario. He
learned the trade of shoemaker at Hull, Quebec, serving two years as an
apprentice. He then went to Ottowa where his parents lived and worked
with his father, who was also shoemaker. In 1861 he married Catherine
Doyle in Richmond, Ontario, and in 1862 they moved to Haysville, Ohio.
From there they moved to Butler Center, Iowa, and in that county they
resided for the remainder of their lives.
This was excerpted from John McGee's obituary. I also found the McGees
in the 1861 census of Carleton County, Ontario. The father is Joseph
McGee, a shoemaker, age 55, born in Ireland. The mother is Mary, age
53/55 also born in Ireland. John is there, a shoemaker, age 22, born in
upper Canada. Two of his brothers there are Alexander and Robert McGee,
age 20 and 15 respectively.
There is a descendant of John's whom I have corresponded with named
Robert McGee. I have his e mail if you are interested.
Thanks again, and keep in touch,
Correspondence with Bob McGee, April 3, 2001:
Thanks for your e-mail regarding the McGees in the Ottawa area.
As you say, the different spellings make it a challenge. In addition to
McGee and Magee, there were a few McKee spellings early in this area, later
changed to McGee in some families.
You could try a search for the above spelling (one at a time) at the search
engine below. We may yet be related!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 12:24 PM
Subject: Re: McGee Ancestors in Ottawa, Canada
> Dear Al:
> Nice to hear from you. It seems to be real tough sledding when it comes to
> researching the McGee's or Magee's - or at least I have found it that way. I
> can give you enough info so that we can determine any common ancestry. My
> great grandfather was John G. MCGee born April 17, 1835 in Canada East
> (Montreal). He married Catherine Doyle (Joe Kenney link) and they had 9
> children-Edmund, Charles,Joseph,Robert, Lambert, John, Simon or Frank(my
> grandfather) Mary and Donovan. Edmund the eldest was born in Ottawa.They
> moved to Ohio and ultimately to Butler Center, Iowa. John G. McGee had two
> siblings, a brother J.A. McGee a publisher in N.Y. and Mary. John G. was
> bootmaker. I'd be curious to know whether your family history reflects a
> change from Magee to McGee.
> Bob McGee
January 15, 2002
I found your correspondence while browsing. That is a great bit of research and
Mr. McGhee, you may have talked to and maybe even met my brother Dave.
No doubt you have found his website on Robert Edmund Doyle.
He does not have much time to devote to upkeep, but I feel he has done a good job
working on borrowed computer time. Most of the information on our Doyles was
collected by my Mother over many years. When she passed away, we did not keep
so much of her collection and Dave gave most to relatives and interested parties.
Michael Allen Doyle
Keywords from Robert Edmund Doyle Web Site(above):
Iowa Griffin McCabe Perth Sanders Hagarty McMahon O'Brien Shea Sherwood
January 2, 2003:
Do you gentlemen have any more information on the John DOYLE/Elizabeth
DARY / DEARY line that lived in Admaston Twp, Renfrew, Ontario? These two
were my Great,great, great grandparents through their daughter Catherine DOYLE
who married Simon McMAHON.
Thanks in advance,