William RYAN and Bridget DOUGHNEY (DOWNEY?)
Daniel RYAN and Ellen QUINN
County Kerry to England to North Gower to Nebraska and Kansas, 1850's
September 16, 2003:
I have been trying to track my Ryan family back into Canada from Nebraska
and Kansas, where they went in 1856-57. Kansas county histories state that
one William Ryan was born to Irish parents in London, England in 1830 and
the family came to Canada in 1835. His wife's name according to those histories
was Bridget Doughney (Downey?) but it is also sometimes given as Donnelly or
Donahue. A Daniel and Ellen Ryan appear in the 1860 Nebraska census in Omaha
living next to William and Bridget Ryan. Their household includes my
three-year-old great grandfather. In 1850 in North Gower township there is
a Ryan family sharing a dwelling. The family consists of two couples - the
elder one is Daniel and Ellen Ryan and the younger one is William and Bridget Ryan.
William and Bridget's second son, John J. Ryan, reports in the county history that
he was born near Ottawa in 1854 (or so) and that his father, William, worked
for the railroad.
I am not proficient with Canada land records but it seems to me that Daniel
and Ellen Ryan owned land on the Rideau River which they sold in 1856 to a
fellow named CHAMBERS, if I am understanding the records on microfilm in
Salt Lake properly.
There is a Daniel Ryan listed as head of household in the 1842 census for
Carleton County. He is shown in Nepean township. According to the census, he
may have owned land in Nepean township in the 1840s.
Stuck here as I am in Casper, Wyoming and without any expertise in Canadian
records, what would be the logical thing to do next? I would like to know if
that Daniel in Nepean township had a wife named Ellen. Would land records show
this, probably when the land was sold? How are they indexed? What are good sources for
Irish Catholic marriages and baptisms in the time period and area? My William had a brother
named Thomas. His marriage and the birth of their first child are recorded at Kemptville
but I have found nothing in those records about William and Bridget.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to post this information and ask questions.
Kathy Ryan England
also posted on September 16, 2003:
Thanks for your e-mail.
When I first read it this morning, it looked like a "needle in a haystack" query.
However, thanks to Ellen Paul, who has transcribed many of the original Catholic
church records for this area, we have the following which was recorded at
St. Philip's Church in Richmond Village (now part of the City of Ottawa):
23 June 1851
Marriage of William Ryan, son of Daniel Ryan and Ellen Quinn to Bridget Daughany,
daughter of William Daughany and Margaret Parr, both of North Gower.
The witnesses were Henry O’Connor and Julie Tighe.
I'll start a new web page for these folks in case others may have information.
Kathy: Do you know who Thomas Ryan's wife was?
September 17, 2003:
Thank you for the information - that is wonderful. It is surely the right
people and we have looked many long years for it. My cousins in southern Kansas
will dance on table tops.
Thomas Ryan married Anne O'Neil. I believe the marriage record says Anne and
the baptism of their first daughter(named Mary) calls her Mary O'Neil - I will
pull out my notes and double check that I am correct. Thomas and Anne O'Neil
Ryan show up in Omaha at the same time as Daniel, Ellen, William and Bridget,
in 1856. They had several more children there and the children got married
there; Anne is sometimes referred to as Anne and sometimes as Mary in those
records too, so I assume she had and used both names. She lived until 1887,
died in South Omaha. Thomas lived unitl 1896, died in Denver Colorado while
visiting his daughter.
Daniel and Ellen's grandson William H. Ryan, who is my great grandfather, was a
state senator and so figured in several county and regional histories. Some of
them say he and his family came to Toronto but we have never found a trace of
them there. The one that seems the most accurate is the one that says they
lived near Ottawa and that William worked for the railroad. All the histories
agree that the family left Ireland, went to England for at least five or six
years, then left England for Canada around 1835.
Thomas Ryan was born in 1822 and William in about 1830. We suppose there must
have been other children in that time span. If the Daniel Ryan in Nepean
township in the 1842 census is ours, then there were maybe nine children total
(if I am reading the census correctly.) That Daniel says he has only been in
the province for one year in 1842. It does seem to say he was a land owner in
The Ryans show up in Omaha in 1856. In North Gower land records there are
several land transactions involving Daniel, Ellen, Thomas and Anne selling land
along the Rideau River beginning in May,1856.
Thanks again to you for your help and thanks to Ellen Paul. Are her
transcriptions published or otherwise available to researchers? I would sure be
interested in looking for other "Ryan" events. And I certainly would be willing
to help anyone interested in this family though my information runs toward
descendants of Daniel and Ellen than toward ancestors of same. One piece of
information the 1860 Ohama Nebraska census provides is that they came from
Kerry County Ireland. It seems that the third district census taker wrote down
Irish counties of origin. Helpful!
also posted on September 17, 2003:
Interesting that the Ryans originally came from County Kerry. I just
finished reading a new book
regarding families who came to this area from County Kerry, including some
Ryans but there doesn't seem to be a connection to your Ryan family.
Here are two more records from St. Philip's:
4 January Baptism of Elinor, born 26 December 1847, legitimate daughter of
Thomas Ryan & Ann O'Neil. The sponsors were Francis LePlount & Mary O'Connor.
25 February 1851 Baptism of Eliza Jane, born 15 January last, legitimate
daughter of Thomas Ryan and Ann O'Neil. The sponsors were Thadeus Ryan and
(Thadeus, later translated as Timothy, may have been another brother to
William, Thomas and Daniel).
Most of the Irish families who emigrated to the U.S. in the 1850's went to
Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, or the Dakotas. The only other family I know of to go to
Nebraska and Kansas was the Thompson family who had associated family names
of McNally, Burns, and Corrigan.
November 4, 2003:
Hi - I saw the page re Ryan & Daughany and wondered if anyone would have
more information on the Daughany family. We have been searching for marriage
and/or any information re. Thomas Moore & Catherine Dohoney and sometimes found
it spelled Taughney and wondered if there could be a link as the spelling
looks pretty close.
May 14, 2007:
New E-mail for Eldeen: email@example.com
E-mail Al Lewis, Ellen Paul, Kathleen England and Eldeen
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