Michael SPEARS and Mary STRANGE
Ottawa Front, Gloucester Township in the 1830's
also Richard CORNWALL and Catherine O'HALLORAN
Borrisokane, County Tipperary to Ottawa, Canada - Some to Chicago, Illinois
November 15, 2006:
I am trying to locate more info about my gr-gr-grandfather, Michael (Thomas?) Spears,
an early settler on the Ottawa Front (Gloucester Township), and his descendants.
He was born c1801. (Scotland or Ireland?) I would like to find out which country
and date of arrival in Canada.
In 1833 he was assessed for 100 acres of Lot 26. He married Mary Strange and they
had 11 children. There is a one-line mention of him in Harry and Olive Walker's book, Carleton Saga
in the section on the history of Gloucester Township.
I doubt he was a "notable" . In 1851 census he and his wife lived in a log house
and were listed as farmers.
Have any of you run across the name of SPEARS or STRANGE in your research?
Thanks for your e-mail regarding your GGGrandparents.
Michael Spears and his wife were in Bytown by 1831 when they had a child baptized at Notre Dame Church on Sussex Drive.
Here's the record:
4 Dec 1831
Baptism of William, 4 days old, son to Michael Spears and Mary Strange of Gloucester
Godparents: Michael Lawlor and Maria Cullen
M. Lalor, Parish Priest
I just remembered there is a three paragraph item about Michael Spears and
family in a booklet by Robert Serre, Pioneer Families of the Gloucester Quarries in Eastern Canada.
Mr. Serre sent me the text and I am planning to order a copy of his book.
In the text he provided: the names of Michael Spears' eleven children and marriages
for some of them. Many Gloucester names turn up, mostly Irish.
Through your web-site links I found a reference to a Catherine Spears marrying
a HANRAHAN., probably moving to USA. The dates looked right for
Catherine, the 9th child of Michael and Mary (Ann?). I am hoping for a reply from
the e-mail query I sent.
Agnes, the youngest Spears child, was likely my gr-grandmother...
Here are Michael and Mary in the 1881 Census for Gloucester:
1881 Census Place: Gloucester, Russell, Ontario, Canada
Source: FHL Film 1375865 NAC C-13229 Dist 104 SubDist E Div 2 Page 27 Family 127
Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace
John SPIOR M M 36 Irish Ontario
Occ: Farmer Religion: Catholic
Mary SPIOR F M 36 Irish Quebec
Michael SPIOR M 14 Irish Ontario
Thomas SPIOR M 12 Irish Ontario
John SPIOR M 10 Irish Ontario
James SPIOR M 7 Irish Ontario
Anny SPIOR F 4 Irish Ontario
Helene SPIOR F 2 Irish Ontario
Michael SPIRE M M 81 Irish Ireland
Mary SPIRE F M 75 Irish Ireland
and their son, William Spears, also in 1881:
1881 Census Place: Cumberland, Russell, Ontario, Canada
Source: FHL Film 1375865 NAC C-13229 Dist 104 SubDist C Div 2 Page 27 Family 105+
Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace
William SPEARS M M 49 Irish Ontario
Occ: Farmer Religion: Catholic
Alice SPEARS F M 40 Irish Ireland
Mary Ann SPEARS F 20 Irish Ontario
James SPEARS M 19 Irish Ontario
Margratt SPEARS F 18 Irish Ontario
Sarrah SPEARS F 15 Irish Ontario
Alice SPEARS F 13 Irish Ontario
Ellen SPEARS F 11 Irish Ontario
Catherin SPEARS F 8 Irish Ontario
William SPEARS M 7 Irish Ontario
Lenes SPEARS F 5 Irish Ontario
Mickel SPEARS M 3 Irish Ontario
November 17, 2006:
Is it possible to add another name in connection to the
SPEARS family? Actually this may be another search completely.
Agnes Spears, youngest child of Michael and Mary Spears, married my great
grandfather, Richard CORNWALL in Ottawa, June 21 1881.
This started as a search for the Cornwall line. We can trace the Cornwalls
in Ottawa from 1868 on.
I am trying to locate the county in Ireland (and year), that Richard Cornwall's
parents came from in Ireland.
Richard's parents were Richard (1) Cornwall and Catherine O' Halloran.
We can locate Catherine O'Halloran Cornwall, widow, with three sons,
(Richard 2, James and John) in Ottawa from 1868 on... and their descendants.
What we cannot find out is where Catherine and Richard sr. came from and when.
The only clue is on Catherine's death registration (Ottawa) 1895 where her son,
Richard listed as birthplace, "Burrows" Ireland. All other official papers
just list "Ireland"
We can find no record of father, Richard Sr. ever getting to Canada. Since their
last child was born in Ireland 1857/8, we are assuming that Catherine alone,
or with Richard came to Canada 1858-1868. Perhaps she was joining a married sister,
whose name we do not know?
Griffiths Valuation of Ireland lists a tenant, Richard Cornwall in the 1850's
in North Tipperary; Parish of Borrisokane, Townland : Killeen.
This is our only clue, but it may not be our Richard Cornwall. Both Catherine
and her son were unable to read or write, so no records were kept.
Oral family history has Richard and Catherine Cornwall coming from Tipperary,
or Cork, or ..Limerick / Galway. Are there any other descendants from families in
this area and period who are on your web ? Does "Burrows" strike a cord??
Is there a way to link the surname Cornwall with O' Hallorans anywhere in 1850s
Ireland (RC) south..Cornwall surname is unusual for Ireland and searching always
turns up the geographical location of Cornwall.
We have exhausted all records from 1860's on, in Canada and US census, (where
the two younger sons moved in 1881-82). No one reported the place name in Ireland.
Can you suggest a strategy for locating the Cornwall-O' Halloran connection
in Ireland.? Anyone researching Cornwalls in Ontario is likely a relative
of mine and we are all stumped...... or alternately how and when they emigrated to Canada?
Any advice appreciated.
January 8, 2007:
Since my last e-mail regarding Richard Cornwall and his wife Catherine O'Halloran,
I have discovered further information which definitely lists their birthplace as
County Tipperary. I have also ascertained that their older two sons, Richard jr
(b. 1852/3 ) and James born 1854-6 were also born in Co. Tipperary. Since the last
child, John was born in 1857/9 in Canada, I am assuming they could have arrived
in Canada abt 1856 (+2 years?).
Catherine O'Halloran Cornwall's death registration lists "Burrows" as the parish
or townland in Tipperary, so I am concentrating my research in the parishes of
Borrisokane and Borrisoleigh.
I understand a number of Carleton County Irish came from Tipperary? Would any of
your readers recognize the names of my ancestors? There is a eight to ten year
period from their possible arrival year until Catherine Cornwall, a widow
appears in the 1871 census and a 1868 Ottawa city directory. Perhaps the Cornwall
family lived outside of Ottawa city itself. Any suggestions welcome as to where
to look from here. Thanks
Thanks for your e-mail.
A lot of the original settlers in the Ottawa area came from the Borrisokane area
in Tipperary. And, a couple of weeks ago I came across a reference in one of
the early Ottawa newspapers (I think) which stated that many of the original
pioneers called their hometown area "Burris" which could explain your reference to Burrows.
I'll add your e-mail to our Spears / Cornwall page and we'll see if anyone
else has heard of "Burris". I've also seen a document in which a man gave
his Irish place of origin as "Two Mile Borris". Another old spelling was
1881 Census Place: Nepean, Carleton, Ontario, Canada
Source: FHL Film 1375867 NAC C-13231 Dist 108 SubDist A Div 1 Page 62 Family 283
Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace
Catherine CORNWALL F Widow 55 Irish Ireland
Richard CORNWALL M 28 Irish Ireland
Occ: Saw Filer Religion: Catholic
James CORNWALL M 26 Irish Ireland
Occ: Labourer Religion: Catholic
John CORNWALL M 22 Irish Ireland
Occ: Carpenter Religion: Catholic
February 23, 2007:
I now have confirmation from Co. Tipperary that my ancestors, Richard Cornwall and
Catherine (O) Halloran were married in the RC parish of Borrisokane, N. Tipperary
24 Feb. 1852. There are no baptismal records in Borrisokane of their first two sons
Richard jr b. 1853 and James b. abt 1855 "in Ireland".
They must have been on the move soon after the marriage. Their last child, John,
was born in Ottawa abt 1858/9. So far we can find no record of the family's
whereabouts or arrival until Catherine appears as a widow in an 1868 Ottawa
city directory. Sure wish they had been farmers. At least there would be land
records to check!
The Cornwalls were Roman Catholic, came to an urban area and later (1850s), unlike
many of the Protestant North Tipperary Irish who settled in the area.
Any suggestions as to how to proceed from here?
February 24, 2007:
Thanks to Sue for the following:
I'm not researching this family but did find this in the 1900 - 1930 Chicago
censuses, Social Security records, WWI draft registrations, California death
James Cornwall Jr., born March 1855 in Ireland married about 1884 in Illinois, USA,
Bridget McGowen / McGowan, a daughter of Patrick and Ann McGowen (Patrick was born abt 1820
in Canada and Ann abt 1827 in Ireland). Bridget was born in July of 1857 in Canada.
They had 6 children, all survived to adulthood. Their children were: Kathleen M.
(4 Dec 1884 - 1 May 1856 in Los Angeles, California, USA); Bernard James(26 Jan 1887 - 8 Aug 1968
in Alameda, California); James V.(Oct 1888); Harold J.)20 Oct 1890 or 1891 -
9 May 1964 in Los Angeles); Ann (Nov 1892); and Mary Mae (Apr 1895).
All children were born in Illinois. James and Bridget are in the 1900 - 1920
Chicago censuses. James and brother John moved down to Illinois in 1881.
Next door to James lives his brother John, born Jan 1858 in Canada and became
a naturalized US citizen 13 Oct 1890. He married Mary J. Grady abt 1885 in Illinois.
They had 8 children, but just 5 survived: Frank Philip (24 Aug 1889); Norman James
(8 Aug 1891); John M.(12 Sep 1893 - Oct 1970); Raymond T. (10 Jan 1896 - Jan 1978);
and Catherine M. (21 Dec 1897 - June 1984). All children born in Chicago.
John and Mary are in the 1900 - 1930 Chicago censuses.
Hope this adds to your info,
E-mail Carol Scott, Sue and Al Lewis
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