Additional Notes About Philip Farrell

of Tignish, Sturgeon, P.E.I., Ottawa, Ont., and Malden, Mass..


Copyright © 1997 - Tom O'Connor - tpoc_99@yahoo.com
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Philip Farrell was a messenger in the Canadian House of Commons and wrote a poem, "The Ice Boat Crew", about his adventures crossing the Northumberland Strait one winter. On one of his trips apparently back to Ottawa he was one of seven passengers on three mail "ice boats" that left Cape Traverse, PEI for Cape Tormentine, NB on Jan. 27 1885 and were caught in a storm and almost perished. The story is written up staring on page 60 of in Lorne Callbeck's, My Island My People, 1979, The Heritage Foundation.

The following is some additional information I found on Philip Farrell as a result of my work on the genealogy of my wife's mother, Cecilia Farrell, a daughter of James Farrell and Mary O'Connor of St Mary's Rd, PEI. James Farrell was a brother of Philip who were sons of William Farrell and Catherine Murphy who settled on Cambridge Road near St Mary's Road in the Sturgeon area of PEI about 1840. Philip's father, William was born about 1825 at Cascumpec, [Alberton, PEI] of Terrence Farrell and Ellen Condon who together with their offspring seemed to have migrated quite readily between the Sturgeon area, the Tignish area and the Miramichi. After Terrence died his widow, Ellen Condon with five young children married Thomas Hackett in Morell in 1834 and subsequently moved to the Miramichi in NB. She had four more children by Thomas Hackett; the first baptised at St Patrick's in Nelson on the Miramichi and the rest at St Simon St Jude, Tignish. Sometime between 1836 and 1840 when the second Hackett child was born Thomas and Ellen moved to Tignish and about this time three of the children of Ellen's first marriage including William Farrell settled near Sturgeon.

I suspect that Philip spent a good deal of time as a child in the Tignish area and may even have lived there with his grandmother, Ellen(Condon, Farrell) Hackett. Accordingly he would have been well known by her son and Philip's uncle, Edward Hackett, M.P. (b. 1842 Tignish) who was elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in 1878. That might partly explain how Philip got his appointment in the government. I wonder if the fact that he had one bad arm had placed him on a track that led away from the farm to more education and thus to this position. On 17 Nov 1885 he married Anne Nelligan at St Simon St Jude in Tignish by whom he had five children. She died on Jan. 6, 1901 and on June 27, 1906 he married Mary Dooner at St Patrick's in Ottawa according to the Tignish L'Impartial of July 12, 1906 and Charlottetown Patriot of June 29, 1906. Lengthy write ups in these two papers describe celebrations that while not specifically saying so seem to indicate his retirement. He received glowing praise from James T. Johns, apparentley his superior who described his service -- "in charge of the press gallery" where he earned the high regard of the newspaper men(sic). His service of many years was praised in a speech which was signed by Sixty-two colleagues and friends.

According to the Patriot the happy couple [one of the few references to the bride] were leaving on the evening train to Boston and thence to --"Tignish, PEI where they intend to reside in future". His son Philip who was baptised on 20 May 1888 at St Paul's, Sturgeon, became a dentist and practiced in Malden, Mass. He married Maude Kinch, daughter of John Kinch of Alberton, PEI. According to their son, Philip Farrell, (b.c. 1916 also a dentist now deceased) his grandfather was married again to the sister or widow of the famous "Bossy Gillis" who was the mayor of Newburyport Mass. for many turbulent years. Philip and his third bride [nee Gillis] settled in the Boston area. They lived in an apartment in his son's building in Malden where he had his dental practice.

Tom O'Connor


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