Charles James ROWAN and Mary Ann FARRELL
Ireland to Bytown, Upper Canada, 1830's
February 22, 2003:
Charles James Rowan (father Patrick) was born 1809 in County Sligo, Ireland, and
died on March 5,1883 at the age of 74. He married Mary Ann Farrell in 1833 at Notre Dame Cathedral.
Her birthdate is abt. 1817 in King's County Ireland and she died March 26, 1887.
Charles James Rowan came to Bytown in 1833. He kept a hotel at 56 Rideau Street in Lowertown
for many years and later opened a grocery store on Clarence St. He was a member
of City Council in 1855. His residence was 201 Clarence St.
He is buried on Lot 384 C Notre Dame Cemetery, 455 Montreal Road, Ottawa, Ont.
Upon his death in 1883, his son Joseph Francis inherited the plot.
Charles James Rowan and Mary Ann Farrell had 11 children, Patrick Rowan, b. 1840,
William b. 1841, (he inherited a farm in the township of Gloucester, county of
Carleton, Lot 8, east of Ottawa and Prescott Road - farm bought by Charles from
Mr. Sheehan in 1847) James b. 1843 d. 1843, Jane (twin of James) 1843,
Charles b. 1844, Mary Ann Rowan b. 1846, Married A. Kierney / Kearney, Joseph Francis Rowan
b. 1849, d 1904.
Joseph never married, and he bequeathed all of his property to his cousin James Rowan
when he made his will on Feb 9, 1899- Toronto Archives
Elizabeth Jane b 1850 d. 1886, Catherine Rowan b 1853 d. 1853, Sophia Cecilia Rowan
b. 1854, John Michael Rowan b. 1857 d 1857.
Charles was the 2nd generation that I found and there are details on the next 5
generations that I have on my computer.
I have a lot of information, but I do not know how much of all this you would like.
Talk to me. I found a book called Ottawa: An Illustrated History by Professor John H. Taylor,
a professor at Carleton, whom I contacted. In his book is a picture of the
J. Rowan Hotel at 34 York St.
I do not as yet know the year that this picture was taken, but the J. Rowan
was a man named James, b.1857 d. 1917
Patricia E. Rowan
also posted on February 22, 2003:
Thanks for your e-mail. This is really interesting.
My ancestors bought a farm in Osgoode Township about 1850 from Charles Rowan.
On the 1879 map showing the farms in Osgoode Township, there are a couple of others
owned by the Rowan family. Charles Rowan was an early speculator in land in Bytown and in
the neighbouring townships.
I have the picture of Rowan's Hotel on York Street also (last fall I took the Urban
History course at Carleton from John Taylor).
Charles Rowan and his wife Mary Ann Farrell were godparents for many of the early
children born in Bytown. The impression I get is that there were about a half dozen
leading Catholic families in the Bytown area including Daniel O'Connor, the Rowans, Friel family,
Pennefather, George Thew Burke and the Doherty and Sparrow families, plus a few leading French speaking
families such as Potvin Chartrand, Dagenais and Albert. They seem to be the early Catholic
families involved in business, farming and politics here. Also, William Frederick Brennan whose Great Great
grandaughter visited today (July 17, 2014) from Michigan, USA.
Anyway, I'd like to set up a new Rowan web page on my site. If you wish to send me
material I'll post it. The Rowan's are related to many families here.
Generally I just include information on people born before 1900, for privacy reasons.
Thanks again for contacting me.
Also posted on February 22, 2003:
Descendants of Patrick Rowan
Generation No. 1
1. PATRICK ROWAN was born Abt. 1790. He married CATHERINE FOYLE. She was born Abt. 1792.
Children of PATRICK ROWAN and CATHERINE FOYLE are:
2. i. CHARLES JAMES ROWAN, b. 1809, County Sligo Ireland; d. March 05, 1883,
At the age of 74.
3. ii. JOHN CHARLES ROWAN, b. 1823, County Mayo, Ireland; d. October 28, 1886,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Generation No. 2
2. CHARLES JAMES2 ROWAN (PATRICK1) was born 1809 in Sligo Ireland, and died
March 05, 1883 in At the age of 74. He married MARY ANN FARRELL 1838. She was
born 1817 in King's County Ireland, and died March 26, 1887.
Notes for CHARLES JAMES ROWAN:
Came to Bytown in 1833. He kept a hotel on Rideau St. (# 56) for many years and
later opened a Grocery store on Clarence St. He was a member of City Council in
1855. His residence was 201 Clarence St.
Lot 384 Block C Notre Dame Cemetery, 455 Montreal Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1V 0V2. (This is the cemetery
we visited on July 17, 2014. The tombstone of William Frederick Brennan is beside the Charles Rowan gravemarker.
Is located to the right of the Laurier Monument as you go in the entrance of the
cemetery. The names of the plots are Renaud, Graham then C. Rowan. The stone is the
same design as the stone of John Rowan Lot 2759 Block Z but the granite is grey,
Owner, Charles James Rowan ( Sligo, Ireland) Bought Oct 2, 1872. Upon his death
in 1883, his son Joseph Francis Rowan inherited the plot.
NAMES SHOWN ON TOMBSTONE ONLY
Charles Rowan, died March 5, 1883, 73 yrs.
Wife, Mary Ann Farrell, Kings County, Ireland, 69 yrs
Son James, born July 19 1843, died Sept 9, 1843
Daughter Catherine born June 27 1853 died July 1853
Daughter Elizabeth Jane, Died April 28, 1886
Walter 1886-1849 (1949)
NAMES SHOWN IN THE CEMETERY RECORD BOOKS.
Charles Rowan, died March 5, 1883, 73 yrs
Daughter Elizabeth Jane, Died April 28, 1886
Son; Joseph Francis Rowan, died Jan 4, 1904
Walter John Rowan died June 4 1949 62 yrs
Wife Theresa ann Rowan, died Dec 31 1962 age 72 yrs
Daughter Mary Rowan died May 5, 1916, 1 year
Baby Rowan died Oct 30,1928
Baby Rowan died April, 1930 newborn
Children of CHARLES ROWAN and MARY FARRELL are:
i. PATRICK ROWAN, b. 1840.
ii. WILLIAM ROWAN, b. 1841.
Notes for WILLIAM ROWAN:
Farm in the township of Gloucester, county of Carleton, Lot # 8, east of Ottawa
and Prescott road - farm bought by Charles from Mr. Sheehan in 1847
iii. JAMES ROWAN, b. July 19, 1843, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; d. September 09,
1843, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
iv. JANE ROWAN, b. July 19, 1843.
v. CHARLES ROWAN, b. 1844.
vi. MARY ANNE ROWAN, b. 1846; m. A. KIERNEY / Kearney.
vii. JOSEPH FRANCIS ROWAN, b. 1849; d. January 04, 1904, At the age of 50.
Notes for JOSEPH FRANCIS ROWAN:
Lot 384 Block C was left to James Rowan by Joseph Francis Rowan
(son of Charles Rowan and Mary Ann Farrell) when he died on Jan 4, 1904.
Joseph never married and he bequeathed all of his property to his cousin
James Rowan when he made his will on Feb 8, 1899. Ontario Archives, Toronto.
Reference RG 22, Series 354 number 8453/1917
viii. ELIZABETH JANE ROWAN, b. 1850; d. April 28, 1886.
ix. CATHERINE ROWAN, b. June 27, 1853, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; d. July 01,
1853, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
x. SOPHIA CECILIA ROWAN, b. 1854.
xi. JOHN MICHAEL ROWAN, b. September 02, 1857, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada;
d. November 19, 1857, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
3. JOHN CHARLES2 ROWAN (PATRICK1) was born 1823 in County Mayo, Ireland, and
died October 28, 1886 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He married ANN ROWAN August 22,
1848 in Notre Dame Church, Ottawa, Ont., daughter of PATRICK ROWAN and ANN PARKS.
She was born Abt. 1831 in Ireland, and died November 15, 1910.
Children of JOHN ROWAN and ANN ROWAN are:
i. CATHERINE3 ROWAN, b. May 24, 1849, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; d. December 19,
1940, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; m. HENRY LYNCH, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; b. 1854;
d. November 03, 1921, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
ii. CHARLES MICHAEL ROWAN, b. 1851.
iii. MARY ANN ROWAN, b. 1851.
iv. BRIDGET ANN ROWAN, b. 1854; d. June 11, 1914, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
v. JAMES ROWAN, b. 1857, Nepean, Ont; d. October 26, 1917, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Notes for JAMES ROWAN:
Re lot 2759 Block Z ( bought in 1910) is to the left side (West) of the Main Road
and is located in the 4th Row of the Notre Dame Cemetery, 455 Montreal, Road,
Ottawa, Ontario K1V 2V2
It is back of monument of Hawley, Delorme / Marchand, Dupuis, Ruel in the front
row of monuments.
This stone is the same design as the stone of Charles James Rowan, Lot 384,
Block C but the granite is red instead of grey.
James Rowan, in his will dated Oct 26, 1917, left this plot to Mrs. Thomas Rowan,
wife of his nephew, James Thomas Rowan, Ontario Archives, Reference RG 22,
Series 354 #453/1917.
Lot 18 Block Z Bought in 1949, by James Thomas Rowan. It is located to the Northwest
of the Rowan plot and several rows away. It is in the second row from the first road
West of the main Cemetary road. Adjacent to this plot are lots with the names
Archambault, Gauvreau, Shea on one side and Murphy, Boudreau, Watt on the other side
or third row back from the secondary road.
Ownership transfered to Anna Valade Rowan, Wife of John J. Rowan May 3, 1986.
Lot 384 Block C - James Rowan in his will dated Oct. 26, 1917 left this plot
to his nephew Walter Rowan, Ontario Archives, Toronto Reference RG 22 Series 354 number 8453/1917.
James originally owned and operated a hotel on York Street, near Sussex St in Ottawa. Ont.
In later years he worked at the Govenrment Printing bureau in Ottawa, Ont. James, who
continually smoked a pipe, developed a lesion on his lip which became malignant and he
passed away at the age of 60. These are the memories of Maurice Rowan, brother of
John J. Rowan.
4. vi. JOHN VINCENT ROWAN, b. March 24, 1858, Osgoode, Russell, Ont; d.
August 16, 1898, Chicago, Illinois, U S A.
vii. THOMAS ROWAN, b. 1859; d. October 17, 1886.
viii. PAUL ROWAN, b. 1862.
ix. ALBERT ROWAN, b. 1864.
x. ELIZABETH JANE ROWAN, b. 1871, Osgood, Ont; d. May 17, 1913, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Generation No. 3
4. JOHN VINCENT ROWAN (JOHN CHARLES2, PATRICK1) was born March 24, 1858 in Osgoode,
Russell, Ont, and died August 16, 1898 in Chicago, Illinois, U S A. He married
MARGARET GREEN 1883 in Chicago, Illinois, U S A, daughter of PATRICK GREEN and CATHERINE RYAN.
She was born August 16, 1855, and died December 02, 1898 in Chicago, Illinois, U S A.
Notes for JOHN VINCENT ROWAN:
After attending a Knights of Columbus dinner and dressed in evening clothes, he was
found unconscious at his front door. He had been clobbered on the head, leaving a
trail of blood. He died on 16 Aug 1898 at the age of forty. The culprits were probably
Notes for MARGARET GREEN:
Margaret Green was born 11 Aug 1856 and married John Vincent Rowan in Chicago, probably
in 1883. At the age of 42, and with 4 young children living , subsequent to the untimely
death of her husband, she suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized.
On Friday, 2 Dec 1898, she is reported to have donned a nurse's cape and escaped from the
hospital under cover of darkness. She was killed by street cars at Diller and Kenzie
Streets in Chicago that same night.
Children of JOHN ROWAN and MARGARET GREEN are:
i. CHARLES MICHAEL4 ROWAN, b. 1884, Chicago, Illinois, U S A; d. September 1936,
Chicago, Illinois, U S A; m. KATHERINE GUINAY / Guiney, Chicago, Illinois, U S A; b. 1884;
5. ii. WALTER JOHN ROWAN, b. 1886, Chicago, Illinois, U S A; d. June 04, 1949,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
6. iii. JAMES THOMAS ROWAN, b. September 09, 1890, Chicago, Illinois, U S A;
d. November 20, 1941, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
iv. MARIE LILIAN ROWAN, b. 1892, Chicago, Illinois, U S A; d. September 10, 1969,
Coquitlam, B.C.; m. FRED CLITHEROE; b. 1886; d. March 06, 1969, Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Notes for MARIE LILIAN ROWAN:
Marie Lillian Rowan, lived with Catherine Rowan, her Aunt, for many years, in
the upper town of Ottawa and never attempted to learn any language other than
English. Eventually, she moved with her brother James Thomas and Valeda. Later,
she had her own apartment on Cooper Street in Ottawa while working for the Department of Labour.
of the Canadian Government. She married Fred Clitheroe in her later years, lived in
Toronto and later in Coquitlam in British Columbia, her last residence.
From notes by Maurice Rowan.
v. MARGARET ROWAN, b. 1895; d. 1898.
Generation No. 4
5. WALTER JOHN ROWAN (JOHN VINCENT3, JOHN CHARLES2, PATRICK1) was born 1886 in
Chicago, Illinois, U S A, and died June 04, 1949 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
He married THERESA ANN KING, daughter of WILLIAM THOMAS and MARY TIERNEY. She was
born 1890, and died December 27, 1962 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Notes for WALTER JOHN ROWAN:
Lot 384 Block C was left to Walter by his Uncle James Rowan in his will dated
Oct 26, 1917
Walter John Rowan was the brother of James Thomas Rowan who is buried in Lot 2759
Block Z. James Rowan ( son of John and Ann Rowan) also buried in Lot 2759 Block Z
was the Uncle of both Walter John Rowan and James Thomas Rowan
Walter, upon reaching maturity, became a Jeweller in Ottawa. Apparently, with the
financial assistance of his Uncle Jim, he owned 2 establishments and during the
depression in the 30's this was reduced to one and eventually he was forced to
cease this business. Subsequently, circumstances obliged him to accept employment
for the Ontario Government.
Having married Theresa King, they made their home in the so-called upper town section
in Ottawa, which was predominently anglophone. The family was raised in an
From Notes taken from Maurice Rowan.
Children of WALTER ROWAN and THERESA KING are:
i. MARY5 ROWAN, b. 1915; d. May 05, 1916.
7. ii. WALTER J ROWAN, b. April 04, 1917; d. May 18, 1989, Toronto, Ontario.
8. iii. CATHERINE ROWAN, b. October 21, 1918, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
9. iv. RITA ROWAN, b. July 15, 1920.
10. v. ELIZABETH ROWAN, b. November 04, 1924.
11. vi. GLADYS CECILIA ROWAN, b. November 24, 1925; d. April 15, 2001,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
vii. BABY ROWAN, b. 1928; d. October 30, 1928.
viii. BABY B ROWAN, b. 1930; d. 1930.
6. JAMES THOMAS4 ROWAN (JOHN VINCENT3, JOHN CHARLES2, PATRICK1) was born
September 09, 1890 in Chicago, Illinois, U S A, and died November 20, 1941 in
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He married VALEDA MARIE CARDINAL September 14, 1911 in
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, daughter of ADELARD CARDINAL and CATHERINE GOSSELIN.
She was born February 26, 1891 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and died January 28,
1946 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Notes for JAMES THOMAS ROWAN:
The illness of James Thomas, known as Thomas in Ottawa, was a concern as he has
smoked lightly and was carried away by a malignancy to his amputated left thigh,
at the age of 51.
James Thomas Rowan suffered a serious accident to his left foot, at about age 12,
when he was pushed from an open-sided street car during his school years in Ottawa,
Ont. His left foot was amputated in 3 surgical procedures about 1902. Initially the
foot was removed, later the lower leg below the knee and subsequently above the knee.
From about the age of 18, he was fitted with an artificial limb made by the
F. Buckstein Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This enabled him to walk without crutches.
James Thomas Rowan is believed to have been employed as a clerk in a
law office, learning Gregg shorthand and became a court reporter. He was acquainted
with Mr. Gregg, the creator of the Gregg Shorthand Method. He subsequently teamed up
with Captain Demers (who bore a striking resemblance to King George V of England)
to form the Wreck Commissioner's Court- a Canadian Government Agency- which
investigated marine disasters in Canadian waters and ports from coast to coast.
These wrecks were numerous and widespread during the period of WW 1, 1914-1918
and in the ensuing years. During the 1930's the National Harbours Board was formed
and Tom Rowan became the Secretary of this Federal Government Board.
This is from notes of Maurice Rowan, son of James Thomas Rowan.
Notes for VALEDA MARIE CARDINAL:
Valeda Cardinal Rowan- a franco-phone, had worked in the offices of Edward Gleason,
Attorney, Ottawa, Ontario. Valeda and Tom (J T Rowan) probably became acquainted
in their work enviroment. Subsequent to their marriage, they took up residence in
the lower town of Ottawa, in St Anne's Parish, the same area as Valeda's Mother
and family resided, which was predominently francophone.
This had an influence on the character of the family and the children grew up in
a bilingual atmosphere. As such, the orientation was in contrast to the children
of Walter and Theresa Ann Rowan in their early years.
From notes of Maurice Rowan, her son.
Children of JAMES ROWAN and VALEDA CARDINAL are:
12. i. JOHN JAMES CHARLES5 ROWAN, b. November 04, 1912, Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada; d. April 30, 1986, Cornwall, Ontario, Canda.
13. ii. MAURICE PATRICK ROWAN, b. June 11, 1914, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
iii. MARGUERITE VIOLA ROWAN, b. October 21, 1917, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada;
d. April 05, 1995, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; m. GEOFFREY C WIGZELL, October
02, 1946; d. June 29, 1984, Huntsville, Ontario, Canada.
14. iv. FRANCIS THOMAS ROWAN, b. September 25, 1921, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
v. CECILE THERESE ROWAN, b. October 27, 1924, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; d.
March 01, 1997, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
15. vi. HELENE VALEDA ROWAN, b. December 15, 1928, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
The above was submitted by Patricia Rowan
March 28, 2003:
I don't know as yet if Hugh Rowan (from County Mayo, ML# 165 on the
McCabe List of 1829) was related.
I do know that some of the Rowans did come from County Mayo.
This is a work in progress, as you well know.
Are you interested in knowing about the Shaughnessy family? One of my relatives
married Gerald Shaughnessy and I have some thread to follow there.
The map that you mentioned, (you have on your website,) near the top of the
road marked 8th concession, there are 2 plots with the name Rowan as well as the
plot with the name Paul Rowan, which I found.
Patricia E. Rowan
March 28, 2003:
Patricia has sent along the descendants of John Shaugnessy,
born 1824 in County Limerick.
September 30, 2003:
My name is Sheila Massey (formerly Rowan). My father was Charles Rowan,
his parents were Rose Grant and John Rowan. John's parents were John Charles Rowan
and Bridget Enright. John's parents were Charles James Rowan and Mary Ann Farrell
(which is how I ended up on your website). Charles parents were Patrick Rowan
and Ann Parks (so I have been told).
According to the history we have, they came from Sligo County, Ireland.
I would like to find out where our ancestors are in Sligo or some other county
in Ireland. do you have this information or do you know how I can find it?
My father's sister was May Kelly (married to Jim Kelly). I was visiting Kelly cousins
a couple of weeks ago. five years ago my cousins gave us pictures of our grandparents,
parents and my father and his sister as young children. My sisters and brothers had
never seen these pictures. It was really quite interesting.
I have a Rowan history prepared by dinne Townend. I believe Jim Rowan from Metcalf
(my father's cousin) did some of the work in the preparation of it.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
March 4, 2005:
Hi: I have just stumbled across your web site. I am working on the family tree
of Anthony O'Donnell of Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland. His wife was Mary Rowan,
also of Castlebar. Information given to me by Mary's granddaughter has led me
to believe she was the sister of John Rowan, listed on this site as John Charles
Rowan born 1823 in County Mayo and married to Ann Rowan. The granddaughter, now
deceased, remembers visiting Ottawa when she was young. One relative she
remembers visiting was Catherine Lynch.
I believe Mary married Anthony in August 1839 in Notre Dame Cathedral.
They then moved to Bradford, Ontario to settle on the farm of Anthony's
brother John O'Donnell. After Anthony died in 1880, Mary moved to Barrie and
then Hamilton to live with her daughter Amelia. She died in 1902 in Hamilton but
is buried in Holy Martyrs of Japan Church in Bradford, Ontario.
According to the 1901 census Mary immigrated from Ireland in 1839.
I would be pleased to provide you with any other details of Mary's family,
if you so desire.
In the meantime your site has really been an exciting find for me.
Hi Al: Thanks for the quick reply.
I have researched our branch of the O'Donnell family and as far as I
know none immigrated to the Ottawa area. I also know they were from Castlebar,
County Mayo as was Mary Rowan.
However, I did not know Charles Rowan was related to what I tend to call
"our Rowans", but did know that John Rowan was Mary's brother. By the way Mary
was born February 14, 1813 and died May 8, 1902.
If you are interested in any more information about Anthony and Mary,
children etc. I can provide it. (My husband is Anthony and Mary's
great-great-grandson.) I also have a photo of Mary Rowan O'Donnell.
And yes you may add my e-mail address to your site.
August 20, 2006:
Al, Nancy, Patricia and Sheila:
My wife, Jane O'Donnell (Hurley) is a descendant of Anthony O'Donnell and
Mary Rowan - through their son Patrick to his son Hugh Anthony to Jane's
father Hugh John. We would be very interested in any additional information
and photos that you would be willing to share.
The information you provided fills many of the gaps in the trees we have
been able to cobble together. (We have not added this information yet.)
Nancy - was Amelia known as Minnie? The 1901 Census for Hamilton has Mary
O'Donnell, age 88, living with her daughter Minnie and son-in-law Victor
I have attached an outline descendant tree, a modified group sheet and
pictures of Hugh Sr. and Hugh Jr. with their wives. I am happy to forward
any information we have. If you wish, you can contact us directly at
Cheers - Bruce Hurley
July 17, 2014:
Today we visited Notre Dame Cemetery to find the grave marker for William Frederick Brennan who died in 1844.
His grave marker is immediately east of the stone for Charles Rowan and Mary Ann Farrell.
October 9, 2014: (Happy Birthday, Scott Lewis!)
The photo of Charles Rowan's gravestone now on the Bytown or Bust website was taken the day that we were there.
I have been doing some digging in Ireland via the web but so far, have not come up with anything. Unfortunately,
civil records were not kept in most areas of western Ireland prior to 1855 and Roman Catholic records were few and
far between, if not non-existent, prior to 1833 … so it doesn't look like i'm going to get much more info on anybody
prior to our visit to Ireland next June, but I'm still trying.
To the Rowan descendants-we've seen indications that the Rowans were very good friends with my William Brennan and
his wife Miriam. Do any of you know anything about that or how his final resting place in Notre Dame Cemetery
happens to be right next to Charles Rowan? Are any of you in possession of any information on the Rowan grave p
lots in Notre Dame that indicate that Charles's family may have given / sold the plot that William and his wife
are in to members of the Brennan family?
Anything you know at all would be much appreciated!!
Linda Brennan Gallagher
February 10, 2016
Thanks to Sue for sending this photo
E-mail Patricia Rowan, Sheila Massey, Nancy O'Donnell, Bruce and Jane, Linda Brennan Gallagher, Sue and Al Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area