William SHEAN, from Ireland to Gloucester Township, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
also the surname FREEMAN
March 29, 2013:
I just came across this site and was wondering if you had ever seen any evidence of one William Shean settling in around Johnstons Corners,
Gloucester Township in early to mid 1800's. there is a story in my family that my 3rd great grandfather Thomas Shean who settled in York, had a brother William
who settled in Johnstons Corners. Thomas would from time to time send his children up to visit their uncle. The kids were Peter, James,
William, and Sarah. Sarah would eventually marry Thomas Freeman of the Freeman's of Bowesville, and they would end up moving back to
outside Mitchell in Perth County where all the boys had farms. We've had considerable difficulty finding where Thomas came from in Ireland
and was hoping there may be more information on his brother. I live in Ottawa now, and funny enough frequent Johnstons corners.
I would love to know if there is anything you have ever come across or if you could point me in a direction that would be extremely helpful.
Thank you very much.
Good morning, Rick:
Thanks for your interesting e-mail.
It's a small world. Our ancestors farmed close to each other in Gloucester Township in 1879 and would have been friends and neighbours!
On the map below,showing South Gloucester (Bank Street and Mitch Owens Road), you will see two Shean farms in the north-east corner. At the bottom
of the attachment, is the farm of Terrence McGee who was one of my ancestors.
The below map is extracted from http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/Countyatlas/images/maps/townshipmaps/car-m-gloucester.jpg.
This map is part of the McGill University Digital Atlas project.
Is it OK with you if I start a new web page on our site for your Shean family? Please let me know. We have individual web pages for most of these
Hopefully we may hear from others who are researching this family.
Thanks again for this.
... Al Lewis
William Shean Farms in 1879 in Gloucester Township,
Carleton County, now the City of Ottawa
Can't believe how close our ancestors were. Definitely no problem to start a new page.
There are a lot of people
researching the Freemans, but not much that I can see from our side. That
story is actually the only link we have of Sarah to the 3 boys, and it comes
from the Freeman side, the contributor of the story has been lost so itís a
bit of a mystery. We know Thomas was Sarahs father, and that her and Thomas
Freeman had farms adjacent to the 3 Shean boys in Mitchell, but no really
hard facts as Thomas and Sarah moved from Mitchell up into Bruce county and
ended up in Manitoba, I recently found their gravestone which was really
nice to see. Kind of funny though that there is no concrete proof I was
even related to her.
This is a great start to see if others can help me connect.
Thank you very much for your work on the website and connections, funny what
a small world this is. My main Millwork contractor is right at Johnstons
corners as well.
This may be a long shot, but quite a few families who settled in Gloucester
came from the Fitzwilliam Estate in southwest County Wicklow. We have two
main web pages providing background on this emigration:
www.bytown.net/wicklowemigrants.htm and www.bytown.net/coolattin.htm . Some
of these families came as early as the 1820's to work at building the Rideau Canal,
but the majority came starting in the 1840's and peaked between 1846
and 1854. Lord Fitzwilliam, at that time, gave assisted passage to many of
his tenants. There is a William SHEANE mentioned on both of the above web pages.
I'm also interested in the Freeman surname -- some of them also came from
County Wicklow to Gloucester Township. They are mentioned in the book Gloucester Roots.
I don't know if your William Shean was Catholic or Protestant but the registers of the pioneer Catholic Church at South Gloucester
(Our Lady of the Visitation), contain some Shean names
but it may refer to a Sheehan family.
I'm also sending a copy of this e-mail to Michael Daley, Mary Quinn, Anne
Burgess and Annette Code who are also interested in County Wicklow and
settlers in Gloucester Township. Good morning, all.
Thanks to Anne Burgess for this detailed contribution!
Hello Rick and Al,
Rick, I would think your Sheanes probably came from Coolkenna or Aghold in the Fitzwilliam Estate, Co. Wicklow.
There were Sheanes in both townlands, according to the Fitzwilliam rentals records for 1839, transcriptions attached.
I see them in the 1827 rentals records, as well.
There was also an Andrew Sheane, living in Coolattin, who was probably this one below, mentioned re a lease for land to a
Thomas Astleford, which was in the life of Andrew Sheane, s/o James Sheane of Coolkenna:
"THOMAS ASTLEFORD did not live in COOLKENNO but he was leased 18 acres 35 perch there and this had been LATE in the lease of
Abraham Nixon alias Nickson deceased. This lease is dated 25th March 1808. This was in the life of Andrew Shean 1st son of
James Shean of Coolkenna."
Then there is this quote from an Ann Dowling letter of 1855 from Coolkenna:
"Mrs. John Nickson died about a month ago. It is easy to pay rent in this country now and make money too but it is very hard
to get land. Maurice Whelan got Jas. Coeís farm as he was in joint lease with it and Mr. R. Sheane got Mrs. Astlefordís."
Below are lists from the Fitzwilliam estate financial records, detailing those who have applied to go to America (which was
how they referred to Canada). All these names are seen among early settlers to Bytown and environs:
All under 25th March 1832 :
ASSISTANCE FOR PASSAGE & PROVISIONS ON EMIGRATING TO AMERICA
It definitely indicates also these names and THEIR FAMILIES.
WILLIAM ARMSTRONG £20
THOMAS "SHEANE" (ILLEGIBLE SURNAME)
GEORGE CODD £6
PETER NOWLAND £9
ELIZA HINCH £20
WILLIAM EVANS £20
JOHN HINCH £20
THOMAS HINCH £33
JOSEPH DUNN £35
MICHAEL STYLES £5
PETER TWAMLEY £5
WILLIAM DIVER OR DRIVER £10
MICHAEL JAMES £10
JOHN BAYLEY (THIS WOULD ALSO BE BEALY AND BAILY) £25
PATRICK TOMPKINS £9
TERENCE OR JAMES (ILLEGIBLE FIRST NAME) MURPHY £16
MICHAEL KEOGHOE £34.10.0
JOHN GAHAN £20.15.0
MICHAEL BYRNE £12
PATRICK BYRNE £23
JAMES WHELAN £31.15.0
EDWARD MURRY £18
MICHAEL COSGRAVE £20.10.0
JOHN BYRNE £20.15.0
GEORGE DIVER £12.15.0
TOM "BUMBARY" (ILLEGIBLE SURNAME.THIS IS AN EDUCATED GUESS) £5.0.0
1844 APPLICANTS to go to America (Canada):
JER GAFFNEY -KILLINURE
WIDOW ELLEN ROACH -BALLYCONNELL-5
MICHAEL AND DENIS TRACEY
Hope some of these names - William, Richard, Andrew, etc. are yours.
April 7, 2013:
Thanks to Annette Code for the following:
back from holidays to the UK and not having read all the emails, responding to one at a time:
On the Petition of 1837 to move the Assize Court from Baltinglass to Shillelagh:
Andrew Shean, Ballashane
John Shean, Coolkenna
Richard Shean, Coolkenna
Daniel Shean, Tomnafinnoge
I also have an 1830 letter to Earl Fitzwilliam with signatures. Not alphabetical or by townlands.
No Freeman on this is but the name is familiar.
... Annette Code
January 19, 2014:
My name is George Russell Freeman from Hartney Manitoba. Thomas Freeman and Sarah Shean are my great grandparents.
Our line are decended from their son Thomas. A few years ago, my cousin from Portage La Prairie Man, purchased a
headstone and had it put up for Sarah beside her husband in Killarney Cemetery. I seen this site and then tried to
look up Rick Sheans phone number in 411 in Ottawa, but could not get one. I would have loved to touch base with him.
I am retired now and have lots of time to talk. We recently found a site on Wikitree that was on William Campbell and
he was married to Ellen Freeman and had even lived near Killarney, Manitoba for a short time and probably went back east.
We have no info if they ever had any family. The Freeman homestead is still in the family and we know all the other
Freeman homesteads that belonged to our grandfathers brothers and decendents. We have kept in contact with many of
James Freemans family that moved to Alberta. Anyway, we hope to make contact.
... George Freeman
(George Freeman and Rick Shean have now connected via e-mail ... Al)
E-mail Rick Shean, Anne Burgess, Annette Code, Mary Quinn, Michael Daley, George Freeman and Allan Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada, area -- Gloucester Township