Transcribed by Dorothy Farish - firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning in 1995, Tignish resident J. Henri Gaudet began writing a column which was published in the Summerside Journal-Pioneer. He passed away on Dec 27th 2001, and it is with his brother, Charlie Gaudet's permission, we are posting this wealth of Tignish information here. Henri's brother Charlie may be sending us more information, and if he does it will be added to this file. These have been transcribed by Dorothy Farish.
Tignish Historian to Contribute Column
(From The Summerside-Journal Pioneer, December 26, 1995)
Beginning in the new year Tignish native J. Henri Gaudet will be contributing a column entitled Tignish Tellings. His articles will be of interest to local history buffs and to all Islanders who are interested in their heritage. Tignish Tellings will be a regular feature in the Focus on Tignish page which appears every two weeks, highlighting the people and events of Tignish and surrounding communities.
Gaudet has been a collector, protector and promoter of local history and artifacts for many years. He holds two university degrees, a B.A. from St. Dunstan's University, Charlottetown and an M.A. from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He also holds a diploma in Pipe Organ Music from the Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto and has studied at both the University of Poitiers and the University of Grenoble in France. He is presently retired from teaching and is curator of the Tignish Museum as well as organist at the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude in Tignish.
Gaudet commented that he is looking forward to writing the column, as it will be an opportunity to share information of historical significance about the community of Tignish.
by J. Henri Gaudet
(Published in The Summerside Journal-Pioneer, January 9, 1996)
Tignish - It's Name
This being my first column I feel obligated to state at the onset what a privilege it is for me to relate to my fellow citizens and to the general public certain aspects of Tignish history which I cherish very deeply. Moreover, I feel obligated to put in print what I have been telling people both here and elsewhere about the area I have come to love very profoundly. When it comes to choosing topics to write about I am reminded of the French dictum "J'en ai l'embarras du choix" meaning literally "It's the embarrassment of choice." There are so many things to write about that one has difficulty choosing topics. I make no bones about stating that Tignish is saturated with historic people and events of our past, and I am convinced that many of you will share this same sentiment as I attempt to unfold the history of some of those people and events through this column. The writing of this column is a timely one as we approach our bi-centennial in 1999.
I feel compelled also to write about what I know regarding our history as a way of returning to the village and its area wherein I was born some tangible token of my indebtedness for what I have received from my elders, most especially from the good and kind teachers of the Congregation de Notre-Dame, who opened the world to me in music and instilled in me a respect for nature and my fellow human beings.
Bear with me. This column will not be a medium for venting my personal feelings about my thoughts on Tignish. My intentions are above all to write history, to unfold Tignish's rich cultural heritage, which I profoundly want to share with my readers. These sentiments having been stated once and for all at the outset, I should like to relate how Tignish got its name.
Origins of the Name
The name "Tignish" is said to have come from the Micmac word "Mtagunich", meaning "paddle", because an Indian had broken a paddle while crossing a nearby inlet of water by canoe, going adrift as a result. This legend is the most prevalent one found among Tignish people. However, the meaning of the word has a diversity of meanings among many historians. Naming places thus, is not characteristic of Amer-Indians.
W. F. Ganong refers to notes in the New Brunswick Museum when he suggests that it may be "Tedneche", which means "straight across" in reference to the straight entrance into Tignish Run. Clark in 1902 has "M'tagunite", meaning "taking place". Finally, Pacifique in 1934 suggests "Mtagenetjg", meaning "trail."
Founders and Foundations - Part I
(Published in The Summerside Journal-Pioneer January 23, 1996)
Who were the first Acadians who came to found Tignish in October 1799? Where did they come from and for what reasons did they come?
It is important for me to trace their ancestral roots in France as well as in Acadia to understand better the saga experienced by our founders prior to their arrival here. This I shall attempt to do, bearing in mind the limitations of a history column as opposed to a history book on the subject.
All the founders of Tignish were born in Acadia, which was the name given to the present-day Nova Scotia, so named by Scottish settlers who arrived here in ever increasing numbers after the Acadian expulsion in 1755.
The year is about 1630. Louis XIII is the reigning monarch on the French throne. Cardinal Richelieu is his Prime Minister and the latter's cousin is Isaac de Razilly. Settlers are being recruited from lands owned by Madame de Jousserand to begin a colony in North America. These lands had been inherited by her through royal favor and consisted of La Chaussée, Martiazé and Aulnay, which are both villages and territories yet in France. Three years prior to her death, her son Charles de Menou d' Aulnay, erroneously called the Duke of Aulnay since he was not a duke, inherited these lands in turn from his mother.
There exists some controversy among historians as to whether it was Aulnay or Razilly who recruited the founding families from these lands located in the ancient province of Poitou, a bit south-west of Parisin, the central part of France. Would Aulnay have had time within the three years he was now in possession of these lands to go through the process of recruitment or had it been done by his mother before her death, or by Razilly?
In any event, the fact remains that the approximately twenty founding families of Acadia were gathered up from these lands to begin a new colony across the Atlantic. They did not own the lands they left behind in France, which had been continuously ravaged by religious wars prevalent in all of Europe at the time. Indeed, under Henry IV, Poitou was one of the provinces where it was permitted for Protestants to settle. This factor certainly did not bode well for a people staunchly Roman Catholic. Due to these religious upheavals and the degree of attenuating poverty they entailed, it is not surprising that decisions were easily made to emigrate elsewhere.
In 1604 an attempt had been made to establish a colony of settlers on the Island of Sainte-Croix on the Saint John River in New Brunswick. This settlement did not prove successful due to the severity of the winter and an outbreak of scurvy. The decision was made as a result to relocate the colony at Port Royal, which became the capital of Acadia. Port Royal (near Kentville, Nova Scotia) was to have its name changed later to Annapolis Royal in honor of Queen Anne of England during the English occupation.
The move from the Island of Sainte-Croix to Port Royal took place in 1605. From 1604 to 1632 there were few new colonists who came to settle, and it was only in 1632, when Isaac de Razilly was named governor of Acadia, that real settlement occurred at Port Royal. That year Razilly brought over with him some 300 people, among them were a few families to be joined later by other families in 1636, 1640 and 1642. These then were the ancestors of the founders of Tignish who arrived in Acadia. Here they were to lead peaceful lives far away from the religious wars in France which had left them so destitute.
Various censuses of Acadia, notably those of 1671, 1678, 1686 and 1714, indicate to what extent they prospered in Acadia since their arrival some thirty or so years prior to the first census. These censuses are a source of wealth for the researcher. Not only do they account for the names and ages of every member of the household, but they give the number of livestock in kinds, the number of acres in cultivated and uncultivated land, as well as the size and the kinds of their orchards.
Founders and Foundations - Part 2
(Published in The Summerside Journal-Pioneer February 6, 1996)
Without almost any exception the Acadians were "laborueurs" (ploughmen).
After a few generations of quiet pastoral life at Port Royal the colony became unable to contain an ever increasing population. Acadians were noted throughout history for having rather large families. The ancestors of Tignish's founders therefore sought and settled new lands to the west and to the east of Port Royal. Those who went east settled in the Grand Pré area (near Wolfville, Nova Scotia) and those who settled in the west went to the Isthmus of Chignecto area at Beaubassin (Amherst, Nova Scotia).
The real tragedy which befell the Acadians begins at this point in their history. While books have been written about it I shall try to piece it succinctly in a few short sentences. The Acadians were caught in the middle of the repeated conflicts between France and England, who vied one against the other to gain supremacy in Acadia. The mother country had in many ways abandoned them, and not wishing to swear allegiance to the British crown they posed what the English considered to be a threat against them. They (the Acadians) felt that by swearing allegiance they would lose their religion, language and culture.
In spite of the fact that they (the Acadians) wished to remain neutral, the decision was eventually made (without knowledge of the London Board of Trade) by Governor Lawrence, the son of a London painter, to deport them en masse. Those who settled at Grand Pré were deported while those at Beaubassin escaped in large part the "Grand Dérangeneut" of 1755. At Grand Pré all males ten years of age and over were summoned to their Chapel of St. Charles with the pretext that they were to be read a decree from King George III. All having entered, they were held as prisoners until vessels arrived from the New England States to deport them along the Atlantic seaboard of the United States, Louisiana and France. Members of families were separated one from the other and forcibly placed pell-mell on different ships. Their homes and churches were set ablaze. Thus it is that the ancestral relatives of the founders of Tignish underwent a tragedy considered by many to be the greatest in human history.
The Beaubassin Acadians, however, were more fortunate. They sensed what was about to occur in Acadia (which also included large parts of New Brunswick at that time), that although they wanted to remain neutral they would eventually be exiled, and they began to flee elsewhere. Some were captured by the English garrison at Fort Cumberland (near Moncton) and eventually exiled as were those imprisoned at Halifax.
The migration of the founders of Tignish from Beaubassin to Malpeque took place initially in about 1748. L'Ile Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island), as it was called then, was still a French possession, so it was safe for them to settle at Malpeque on this island. The name of the latter changed to Prince Edward Island coincidentally in 1799, the same year Tignish was founded. While some Acadians came directly from Beaubassin to Malpeque, others who were fleeing journeyed through New Brunswick woods to the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, off the coast of Newfoundland. These islands are all that is left of French possession in North America today. Some of these Acadians who sought refuge there then came to L'Ile Saint-Jean, settling at Rustico before coming to Malpeque. This proved to be the case of the Gaudet' as one example of this. There had been French settlers on this island prior to this since the first French people to arrive did so in 1720 at Port La Joye (Charlottetown). These had come for the most part directly from France to man the French fort there.
Founders and Foundations - Part 3
(Published in The Summerside Journal-Pioneer February 20, 1996)
Several censuses in which French people figured were taken in 1728, 1730, 1732, 1734, 1735, 1740, 1748 and 1752. The one in 1752, taken by Sieur de La Roque, contains much valued information concerning the Acadians who settled at Malpeque, apart from other areas of l'Ile Saint Jean. This census, apart from describing quite well the Malpeque area in the outlay of land and water, lists the names of men, women and children along with their ages, the number and kinds of livestock they owned, and lists the names of the people who granted them the lands where they had settled. Lands were granted to some 32 Acadian families at Malpeque by Messieurs de Pensens, Duchambon and Dubruisson, according to this census.
In 1758, six years after the La Roque census, the Acadians of l'Ile Saint Jean were exiled. This was three years after the Great Expulsion of their brethren from Grand Pré in 1755. The exile of the Acadians from l'Ile Saint Jean occurred the same year that the French fortress of Louisbourg on l'Ile Royal (Cape Breton Island) fell to the English. That event represented the end of French rule in North America.
In December 1758 seven vessels were used to deport Acadians from l'Ile Saint Jean. Two of the largest of these, the Duke William and the Violet, together with five smaller vessels, deported about 3,500 Acadians, of whom 700 were drowned. Meanwhile, the Acadians who settled at Malpeque (some 32 families) escaped the deportation. It was felt that Malpeque was too far from Port Le Joye, the point of embarkation and that they would soon be assimilated among Scottish settlers who were soon to arrive there.
In fact, it was in 1770 that about 60 families from Argyleshire in Scotland arrived on the Annabella at Malpeque. They thought they were heading for the Carolinas, but they were landed instead at Malpeque, which had been granted to Robert Stewart. Apart from the Stewart's there were Ramsay's, McGougan's, McKenzie's, McArthur's, McDougall's, Murphy's, England's, and McKay's. As the Annabella came close to shore it struck a sandbar. No lives were lost, but the ship was later destroyed that night by an ever-increasing storm and all their supplies were lost. Acadians assisted the shipwrecked settlers by helping them to make shelters in the woods and they spent the winter there. For food they had dried corn, local oysters, and 'sea-cow' flippers. The Malpeque Acadians supplied them with seed potatoes and grain for sowing.
About seventy more Scottish settlers came to Malpeque the following autumn. Due to the arrival of so many settlers from the British Isles at Malpeque the question of land rights became an issue which eventually forced the Acadians to leave. One historian mentions that they were "harassed", that they were squatters with no right to their lands. Moreover, like everyone living on l'Ile Saint Jean, they had to pay land rent to absentee landowners.
The question of land rights was indeed a very significant factor which prompted the Acadian founders of Tignish to move from Malpeque by boat in October 1799, some 60 miles along the shore to found a new settlement. Acadians had always been given their land wherever they settled. It was precisely on January 16, 1642 when this first occurred, about a hundred years after their first settlement in Acadia (Nova Scotia). There is another migratory reason why Acadians left Malpeque. The Acadians who lived near Low Point (Lot 14) were enticed by Colonel Compton, who lived at St. Eleanors, to move on his land (Lot 17) in the 1780's.
Founders and Foundations - Part 4
(Published in The Summerside Journal-Pioneer March 5th & 19th ,April 2nd , April 16th , Apr 30th 1996)
There was a good rapport between the Acadians and Compton because his wife was from France and could speak to them in their native language.
By 1798 (one year before the founding of Tignish) a dispute arose between Compton and his Acadian tenants. He wanted to raise their rents and had British settlers waiting and willing to pay the increased rent and waiting to settle on their lands. The Acadians had avoided paying rent before the English Conquest and had been enticed by low rent to move to Lot 17. They decided as a group to look for some area nearby that did not have any settlement and they might be able to avoid rents for a few years or longer, like the Acadians who had moved to Egmont Bay. This brings us to the foundation of Tignish.
We have been on a long journey from the farmlands of the ancient province of Poitou in France to the settlement at Tignish. It is a journey that spans almost two centuries from the early 17th century to the end of the 18th. It has been an incredible journey at times filled with pastoral peace and tranquility, and at other times with tragedy and turmoil.
The founders of Tignish were Joseph DesRoches, Joseph Richard, Jacques Chiasson, Pierre Arsenault, Pierre Poirier, Basile Poirier, Germain DesRoches and Grégoire Bernard. They arrived in October 1799, and were joined by Etienne Gaudet, Charles Doucet, Joseph Gaudet and Joseph Doucet the following spring. They travelled by boat some sixty miles from Malpeque, along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and settled at what is commonly known as "The Green". The exact origin of the term is unknown, but presumably refers to the rich green meadows and fields cultivated by the Acadians throughout their history.
Etienne (Stephen) and Joseph Gaudet were brothers. They married Madeleine Chiasson and Francoise Chiasson respectively, both daughters of Jacques Chiasson and Judithe Boudreault. Etienne, along with another brother named Raphael, were the first Gaudet's to settle in Miscouche. The former founder of Tignish had only remained at Tignish for about fifteen years before settling at Miscouche. Their brother Joseph remained at Tignish and is therefore the ancestor of all the Gaudet's here. Their father, Joseph (Chaculot) Gaudet, was born at Miquelon in 1740.
Two other brother-founders, Basile and Pierre Poirier, were married to Tharsile Bernard and Marie Chiasson respectively. Pierre and Marie were the parents of the first Acadian priest of Prince Edward Island, born at the old settlement at "The Green" in 1802. He was the Reverend Sylvain-Ephrem Poirier (Perrey). Pierre was nicknamed "Grand Couette". The sobriquet somces from the French word 'cou' meaning 'neck'. Pierre had a long bushy tuft of hair which he tied together like a braid at the back of his neck.
The fact that the Prince Edward Island census for 1826 of Lot 1 has been lost may account for the reason why we do not know whether the DesRoches' and Doucet's listed as founders were brothers or not.
In Warburton's voluminous book entitled Past and Present of Prince Edward Island, the author states that when the founders of Tignish arrived by boat they used the latter as their first habitation by turning their boats over and using them as roofs. He specifically mentions Grégoire Bernard, one of the founders, as having done this, but one can easily presume that all of them did likewise. They later built huts presumably at "The Green". It is said that they shot many wolves and fowl of all kinds. In addition, they drove a number of walruses a distance of two miles into an inland pond (Sea Cow Pond, no doubt) where they confined them, using the one-inch thick hides for moccasins and the like. The story has been told that the skeletal remains of walruses or sea cows have been found in woods at the back of the pond at Sea Cow Pond, which gives its name to that area. There exists a record of a certain Poirier who herded sea cows from the sea into the pond to be slaughtered.
According to Tignish's French newspaper published between 1893 and 1915 (I shall write about it later), the Poiriers settled on lands to the right of Tignish Run as one enters it from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Arsenaults, meanwhile, known as "Les Violoneux" (fiddlers), settled on lands to the left of the Run. It is interesting to note the numerous Arsenaults, past and present, who in fact were fiddlers, namely - Josie Jerome Arsenault, Ralph Arsenault, Walter "Georgie" Arsenault, Aurèle "Firmin" Arsenault (all deceased), Ernest Arsenault (son of Josie Jerome Arsenault, Halifax) and Henri Arsenault (Church Street, Tignish).
The Acadian founders settled where they wished at the time. In the present day there are three roads named after the family names of some of the founders. There is the Chiasson Road, the Gaudet Road, and the Doucette Road. This fact indicates where these three families settled and it is worthy to note that these lands are in the hands of their direct descendants.
The Gaudets' settled on lands that were halfway between "The Green", at times called the First or Old Settlement, and the location of the present Roman Catholic Church in Tignish North. The Gaudet and Doucette Roads are one and the same road. To the right of the main road is the Gaudet Road as one heads north and to its left is the Doucette Road. As one leaves Tignish, the Chiasson Road is situated southwest of the village and turns left to the crest of a hill where one finds the Chiasson Homestead Bed and Breakfast, operated and owned by Anita Chiasson.
The Chiassons settled on lands north of and bordering the Big Tignish River next to the Arsenaults' who settled in the Jude's Point area which is named after one of its settlers - Jude Arsenault. This Arsenault settlement was called "La Violonière" (the area of fiddlers). Melvin Doucette lives on the Doucette lands and the family of the late Fred Gaudet lives on the Gaudet lands. The other founding families, as near as research allows, have the Bernards settling at Nail Pond, the DesRoches at St. Felix, and Richards at St. Peter and St. Paul, all within the parish of St. Simon and St. Jude.
Later, from about 1817 to 1820, other Acadian families arrived, such as the Buote's, Blanchard's, and Martin's who settled at St. Roch. The LeClair's (originally LeClerc) settled at Peterville, then at St. Peter and St. Paul, and today at Ascension-Tignish. The Gallant's settled at Nail Pond along with the Bernard's.
Practically all districts within the parish of Tignish bear the names of saints, tangible evidence of their deep religious faith.
During the initial settlement of Tignish and its surrounding areas the Acadians, along with the Irish who arrived shortly after, were obligated to pay land rents wherever they settled. These rents were paid to absentee landowners, most of whom lived in England. They had local collectors appointed to settle their accounts. Rent was often paid using a system of bartering. The Tignish Museum was given several receipts of rent payment dated 1848 by Clothilde Arsenault, a long time local teacher who spent some thirty-eight years in that profession. The receipts bear the name of her grandfather, Romain Arsenault, one of the first settlers of Ascension-Tignish. He paid his land rent with farm produce such as oats, barley, wheat, etc.
It was only officially possible to purchase one's land on Prince Edward Island in 1873 when an act was passed abolishing absentee ownership. A few people had purchased their lands before this with the agreement of the owners. Acadians, as has already been noted, sought out areas where land rents were low. Initially, land had even been granted to them.
There are many instances of conflicts between unyielding landowners and tenants in the mid-nineteenth century. This fact is well illustrated in Tignish history when it was reported by Gilbert Buote, co-founder of Tignish's French newspaper, that there had been a riot in 1844 over exorbitant rent in the Tignish area. The riot in question is termed "La Révolte des Constables" - The Revolt of the Constables. According to the report, some sixteen constables (policemen) arrived in eight sleighs in February of that year to collect land rents which the local Acadians had refused to pay. Two men housed in a dwelling stood guard day and night awaiting their arrival and alerted the population. As a result some 300 Acadians - men, women and children - armed themselves at "La Violonière" with clubs, iron pitchforks and axes. The outcome obviously resulted in the constables taking rapid flight.
I should like at this point to end the first chapter of Tignish history with reference to our Acadian founders by writing about the origin of Acadian family names found in this region. During one of my several visits to France I was given a guided tour of regions there where our Acadian ancestors took root. My genial guide was Guy Blanchard, a local historian and museum volunteer. He told me that at one point in French history the King commanded that henceforth priests were to give family names to the newborn at baptism. This resulted, for example, in Arsenault's being named from an individual who looked after the King's arsenal.
Bernard, although the most common family name in France, is of dubious origin.
The Blanchard family name supposedly originates from "blanc" meaning "white". Their origin is wide-spread in France because every village had a stone cutter, their dwellings being made of stone and wood being scarce. The stone cutter was covered with white stone dust.
Buote no doubt comes from "butte" which means "hill". Did the original Buote's live on a hill?
The Chiassons' were perhaps hunters, from "chasse" the French word for "hunt".
The DesRoches' may have lived on rocky ground, from "roche" meaning "rock".
Doucet, or the feminine spelling Doucette would come from the feminine adjective "douce" which means "little sweet one."
The spelling "Gaudette" is feminine. It seems to have originated in the St. Louis area and may have been used to stress that there was a "t" at the end, since the "t" is not sounded in "Gaudet". Incidentally, I know of no other place in the entire world other than on Prince Edward Island where this name is pronounced as "Goodie". I discovered six origins of the name Gaudet while in France. It was also known as "Godet" which is French for "goblet" or "cup". They were perhaps noted for their vineyards.
Gallant's were originally known as Haché-Gallant. Were they brave woodsmen from "Haché" meaning "axe" and "Gallant" meaning "brave"?
Leclercs, now LeClairs, may come from "clerc" which means either a person in religious life or an employee of the court. The name Leclerc changes to LeClair for the first time at the baptism of Thomas LeClair in 1858 by Reverend F. Aubry in Tignish Parish Records which began in 1831. He was the sixth of eight children born of André Leclerc and Ursule Poirier.
The family name Martin is both English and French. Would it come from the animal world such as "purple martin" or the fur bearing animal named "marten"?
Maillet may originate from Maillé, a town in France.
Poirier seems logically to come from "poiré", meaning "pear". Were they noted for their orchards of pears?
The family name of Pitre is said to have originated from the southern part of Belgium which is French. The people who live there are called Walloons.
Now all of this may seem very speculative and indeed far-fetched on my part, but I do believe it to be of interest and it may serve to arouse some further research on the subject.
Over the years local Acadian family names have changed in spelling or have become anglicized. Aucoin has become Wedge, Chiasson is the correct spelling of that name. LeBlanc has become White. Maillet for some has changed to Myers. Pitre has become Peters. Poirier has become Perry. Historians wanting to remain objective have proffered various reasons for this, such as employment under the English would be better secured, the priest baptized them as such, or a gradual disinterest in Acadian roots gradually evolved. It must also be understood that many of our Acadian ancestors were unable to read or write. The census takers were English and wrote family names phonetically or the way they sounded. We find "Chasong", "Goday", "Godit", "Gallong", etc. in some Island censuses.
Numerous Tignish and area Acadians have distinguished themselves over the years in public life. I shall write about them in detail in a future chapter of our history. Most of them were native to Tignish, while others, although born elsewhere, were to leave an indelible mark on our history. At the risk of omitting the names of some of them I should like to make note of them here. There was the Rev. Sylvain-Ephrem Poirier (Perrey), the first Acadian priest of Prince Edward Island, the Hon. Stanislaus F. Poirier, M. P., Gilbert and Francois-Joseph Buote, co-founders of L'Impartial, the only French newspaper of Prince Edward Island published at Tignish until the appearance of La Voix Acadienne in 1976; Alma Buote, Tignish artist; Benoit F. Poirier, organist; the Hon. Joseph A. Bernard, Lt. Governor of Prince Edward Island; Hubert J. Gaudet, M.L.A.; Hector J. Richard, M.L.A.; Russell Perry, M.L.A.; Prosper A. Arsenault, M.L.A.; Rev. Pierre Paul Arsenault; Rev. Msgr. Jean Chiasson, etc....
There exists very little today of any signs that the Acadians once lived at "The Green", apart from the pioneer cemetery. However in recent years a committee was formed to help arouse interest in the area where Tignish first took up its roots. A local resident, Mark Gaudet, who was at one time lighthouse keeper at North Cape pointed out to Reg Porter, himself a native of Tignish and presently Heritage Consultant of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation, as well as to the author of this work, the exact location of the cellar of the house where the first Acadian priest of Prince Edward Island was born in 1802. It was his grandfather who had pointed it out to him. In 1990 an archaeologist, Scott Buchanan, was engaged to undertake an exploratory dig of the cellar which resulted in definite proof that this was indeed the correct location. Negotiations were carried on with the provincial government to have this area designated as an archaeologically protected site.
The first official declaration ever accorded by the province as such took place after the re-enactment of the landing of the Acadians on August 15, 1992. The date was the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, the national feast of the Acadian people. The ceremonies took place under balmy skies in the presence of a very large concourse of people and were followed by a traditional wine and cheese reception at the Club Ti-Pa.
The provincial government was able to secure 12.4 acres of land for the committee from Richard Andrewski of Maryland who had purchased the land which had once belonged to Pierre Poirier, one of the founders of Tignish and the father of the aforementioned Rev. Sylvain-Ephrem Poirier (Perrey). In attendance were Joe McGuire, M.P. for Egmont; Robert Morrissey, local M.L.A., a descendant of one of the founders, Jacques Chiasson; as well as Mr. and Mrs. Richard Andrewski of Maryland.
On July 10, 1995 there took place an official unveiling of large interpretive bilingual signs indicating the names of the founders, as well as a story line of the site itself. The signage consists of three large panels placed near the crest of the hill not far from the site of the landing of the Acadians in 1799 on the right of Route 12 leading to North Cape. Each of the three large panels measures four feet by six feet. David Webber, a native of England, well versed in heraldry, designed a herald which graces the large central panel. It encompasses the Acadian star as well as a mackerel and sheaf of wheat representing the main industries of the people, fishing and farming. Four smaller panels, measuring about four feet by two feet, also bilingual with story lines and sketches, were placed at the cellar of the house where the first Acadian priest of P.E.I. was born in 1802, the Rev. Sylvain-Ephrem Poirier (Perrey), the location of the Pioneer Cemetery, the location of the 1801 Chapel, as well as the site where the 1826 church once stood. The signage was the work of Technomedia of Charlottetown and cost in the vicinity of $15,000.00. Again the ceremonies were held under balmy sunny skies. Young children, descendants of the founders and dressed in period Acadian costumes, did the unveiling amidst a large gathering of people. The pastor of the parish gave the dedicatory blessing, and on both occasions listed above the Chairman of the S. E. Poirier (Perrey) Historic Site Committee was master of ceremonies for the bilingual proceedings. The members of the committee were Francis Blanchard, Wilmer Blanchard, Sr. Marie Gaudet, C.N.D., Anne-Marie Perry, Almeda Thibodeau and J. Henri Gaudet (Chairman). A wine and cheese reception with local Acadian entertainment at the Club Ti-Pa followed the ceremonies.
Tignish is the first place anywhere on Prince Edward Island to have interpretive signage in place depicting both its founders and the story of its foundation. Apart from a few depressions in the ground and the location of an old Acadian well lined with field stone, not to mention of course the old pioneer cemetery, there remains no vestige of the Tignish settlement at "The Green" bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Acadians, no matter where they live, have a unique way of identifying themselves. Although peculiar to some, it is useful for genealogists. Locally we hear such names as Clifford Eddie Peter Tom, or Arthur John Joe Hubert or Mick Charlie Tom, etc. Not only is the person's name stated, but the name of the person's father, grandfather and great-grandfather are thus given. This having been stated, I should like to end this first chapter on the history of Tignish by signing myself as Henri Urbain Agappe Urbain Sosime Joseph Joseph Augustin Pierre (l'Ainé) Denis Jean (Jehan) Godet (Gaudet) which brings me from Tignish in 1996 to my remote ancestor Jean Gaudet who was supposedly born in a tiny village in France named Martaizé in 1575 in the ancient province of Poitou. This represents a span of some 421 years.
( The following articles on the Irish, written by J. Henri Gaudet, were published in the Summerside Journal-Pioneer approximately every two weeks from May 14, 1996 to September 22, 1998. Then they stopped, but resumed again on May 2, 2000 and continued approximately every two weeks until the final installment was published in May 15, 2001. The articles are here put together without dates so that the story may flow together more smoothly)
Part Two: The Coming of the Irish
(Published in The Summerside Journal-Pioneer)
Twelve years elapsed between the foundation of Tignish by Acadians in 1799 and the first arrival of the Irish in 1811-1812. It's necessary at the outset to stress the diversity which exists between the different groups of Irish people who emigrated to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. There were Anglo-Irish, Scots-Irish, Gaelic-Irish, Huguenots, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists. It is evident from what we know of our history that by far the vast majority of Irish people who came to settle at Tignish were Roman Catholic Irish.
Let us dwell for a moment on some of the circumstances which engendered this diversity in Ireland during the 16th and 17th centuries under Henry VIII, the English King, and Cromwell.
The Penal Laws passed under British rule placed the native Irish in a state of repression which took away the rights of those who held on to their Roman Catholic beliefs. In addition, it was precisely in 1610 when the English confiscated the land from the Irish in Ulster and forced most of the inhabitants to move to the south or west of the country. Those who desisted risked death as a result. The Ulster inhabitants who were forced to leave were supplanted by English and Scottish Planters.
The English or Anglo-Irish obviously acquired privileges which permitted them to become well educated. Among the ranks of many of those who emigrated to North America were people who held high ecclesiastical, governmental or other influential positions in society as opposed to many in other ethnic Irish groups. This does not mean that there were not well educated Roman Catholic Irish who settled in America, and indeed at Tignish, as will be shown in this chapter. As Orlo Jones, a renowned and highly respected Island genealogist of Prince Edward Island, so aptly states in a published article entitled "Searching Our Family Roots in Ireland" it was in this way that "....the Irish became a minority in their own province..."
Herein lies the problem today of the conflict between Roman Catholics and Protestants, deeply rooted in history. Moreover, since Catholics were not permitted to own land, as well as to practice their religion, records were seldom if at all kept by them, thus making it difficult even today for our Irish people to trace their ancestry in Ireland. It was not until 1830 that the Penal Laws were rescinded, permitting Catholics to exercise their civil rights, including the right to vote and to hold public office.
Ireland was considered a safe haven for Roman Catholics who fled Continental Europe to escape from religious persecution originating from Martin Luther's Reformation in sixteenth century Germany. Luther was a break-away Augustinian Roman Catholic monk prior to this. With reference for example to the Kinch people who settled at Tignish, it is said that they were known as Von Kinch in Germany. They fled Germany because of religious persecution and emigrated to Ireland, dropping the prefix "Von" meaning "son of" from their name when they settled in Ireland. On the other hand, we have Huguenots-Irish who originally fled France because they embraced Protestantism as opposed to Roman Catholicism. The Huguenots were at first accepted by the nobility in the mid-sixteenth to early seventeenth century France under Queen Margaret of Navarre and her brother Francis 1st, but later they suffered persecution by the latter and his successor Henry II.
Similar events occurred in other countries, which gave rise to the emergence of Dutch-Irish for example. In other words, Ireland, a staunchly Roman Catholic nation, became a melting pot as it were, for persecuted people of that same religion, as well as for those who professed otherwise in various other European nations.
While it is believed that only a few Irish people came to Tignish initially, their numbers were to increase appreciably soon after leading to the advent of the potato famine which decimated the population in that fabled Emerald Isle in 1845. The following quotation from Orlo Jones' article listed previously illustrates all too clearly the destitution of the Irish people at that time:"When the great potato famine occurred in Ireland in 1845 there were already four million people, most of whom were Irish Catholics, living on the poverty line and depending almost entirely on the potato for food."
In addition, Brian Trainer, in a lecture entitled "The Great Famine and the Poor of Ireland" is quoted as saying, "It would be impossible adequately to describe the privations which they habitually and silently endure...."
A letter from Ireland dated 1848 sent to an emigrant brother and sister who had settled at Nail Pond will further demonstrate the depravity of the Irish people. Before writing about it, we must briefly show how our Irish settlers found their way to Tignish in the early part of the nineteenth century, especially in the years 1811-1812, and later on in various waves of emigration leading to the 1850's.
The Irish people who came to Tignish in 1811-1812 were pre-famine Irish, the great famine having occurred in 1845. Dr. Brendon O'Grady, considered by many to be the authority on the subject of the Irish on Prince Edward Island states in The Abegweit Review, Winter 1985 in his article "The Heritage of New Ireland" that, "The heaviest influx of Irish settlers occurred in two twenty-year waves between 1810 and 1850. The 1810-1830 wave brought immigrants particularly from the southeastern counties of Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny and Tipperary, and the post-1830 wave brought settlers from such northern counties as Armagh, Tyrone and especially Monaghan. These nineteenth-century Irish settlers were overwhelmingly Catholic."
From this quotation the fact is further corroborated that the Irish settlers of Tignish were Catholic and came principally from Wexford and Waterford Counties of Ireland. Furthermore it is of interest to note that two of Tignish's influential public servants were native of these counties. They were namely Nicholas Conroy, J. P., who was born in Barony Forth, Wexford, Ireland in 1816 and died in 1879, and Lieutenant Governor George William Howlan who was born in Waterford, Ireland in 1835 and died in Charlottetown, P.E.I. in 1901. Both are buried in Tignish's present Roman Catholic Cemetery. I shall write about them at greater length in a future chapter. To further illustrate this point, a sparsely populated farming and fishing region located between Skinner's Pond and Ebbsfleet bordering Northumberland Strait in Lot One bears the name of Waterford. It was and remains an area settled mainly by Fitzgerald's, Kennedy's, Kenny's and Keefe's. Among these families only the Fitzgerald's have presently settled elsewhere.
The culmination of these aforementioned events in the lives of the Irish people soon resulted in thousands upon thousands of them seeking better climes elsewhere. Oppressed and famished they looked towards prosperous America as the proverbial land of milk and honey. For them America meant settling mainly at Boston and New York. Many of them did in fact settle at either of these great American cities, witness to the large number of New York's police force of Irish origin, as well as the large number of Irish people who participate in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade on March 17th. Boston likewise became a centre of Irish culture, politically as well as ecclesiastically, leaving an indelible mark on the American way of life. Suffice it to mention the influence of the Kennedy's as a leading example.
However, such was not to be the case for thousands upon thousands of others who emigrated to North America. Suffering from disease and fatigue brought on by a long treacherous journey at sea, many of them were to find themselves scattered along the Canadian seaboard. In addition, many of them, ravaged by an outbreak of cholera, had to be quarantined on Grosse-Isle, an island on the St. Lawrence River not far distance down-river from Quebec. It was here that a goodly number of them found their final resting place in what is considered today as a well visited Irish cemetery sacred to their memory. Those who survived found their way in various settlements throughout Quebec. This explains the prevalence of Irish family names such as Johnson's and Mulroney's of political fame. Having had French Canadian mothers, some are unable to speak English but with difficulty.
There are also to be found in Newfoundland many settlers of Irish origin and some were also to settle in northern New Brunswick along the Miramichi, and it is among the latter settlers that the Irish of Tignish may trace their roots. The distance from the Miramichi area to Nail Pond, which offered good fishing, was not considered great, and it is precisely in Nail Pond area where a large contingent of them first came in 1811-1812, according to Reg Porter. The latter, who spent his early years in Tignish, makes reference to this fact in an introduction to a document which appears in the Abegweit Review, Spring 1983. The document is of unknown authorship entitled "The Irish Settlers of Tignish" and is taken from L'Impartial Ilustre, published at Tignish in 1899 commemorating the Tignish Centennial of that year. It seems logical to assume that its author was either Gilbert Buote, co-founder of L'Impartial, who was a noted genealogist, or the Rev. A. E. Burke, Alberton parish priest at the time, who contributed a brief historical sketch of Tignish in the same special issue. In any case the document remains of great historical significance for Tignish Irish history because it is a primary source of information relative to the Irish who came to our shores in 1811-1812 and shortly thereafter. It is certainly the most reliable source of local Irish genealogy, for the children of those listed in it were still living when it was first published in 1899. Moreover, Gerald Handrahan of Christopher Cross - Tignish in an article published in the Abegweit Review, Spring 1988 quotes Dr. Brendan O'Grady who states that L'Impartial accounts for 73 Irish-born individuals comprising about 34 families who settled in the general Tignish area. Although that data is not complete, O'Grady notes that it forms an excellent basis for study."The emigration period covered two full generations. At least 25 of those Irish families came between 1811 and 1840. Those were years of hardship in Ireland, it is true, but well before the years of the disastrous Great Famine itself. Only four Irish families arrived after 1850," to further quote Handrahan, referring to O'Grady's research.
Three other distinctive features concerning the immigration of the Irish to Tignish deserve mention and are the result also of O'Grady's research. He states that one-third of the total Irish people of the Tignish area have County Kerry (a county in the province of Munster in the southwestern part of Ireland) as their place of origin as compared to only five percent for the province. Secondly, he notes that the southeastern counties of Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenney and Tipperary "have a normal representation" of Irish settlers as their place of origin. Finally, O'Grady mentions that only two settlers (in 1818 and 1839) stated that they had ties with Newfoundland, "....and yet the Tignish settlement period corresponds with the period of the Newfoundland Irish exodus to the Maritimes and New England." He speculates that the Irish who landed in Chaleur or Miramichi formed part of the exodus.
Plausible reasons compel the inclusion in this chapter on Tignish history of the document known as "The Irish Settlers of Tignish". Apart from its first experience in the 1899 Centennial edition of L'Impartial Illustré, the document in question has only been published once. This was The Abegweit Review, Spring 1983, bearing an introduction to it by Reg Porter. While this particular review maintains a distinguished level of professional writing, it does not have the wide readership that a local history of a community would ordinarily receive. Moreover, very few original copies of L'Impartial Illustré in which the document is found remain extant apart from one at the Acadian Museum in Miscouche, P.E.I., as well as in the hands of the author of this work. Doubtlessly, there are copies gathering dust somewhere in attics. A history of Tignish would not be complete without including in it such a significant and highly important segment of its history. What follows, therefore, is the unexpurgated text alluded to. It is reproduced here verbatim from the 1899 special edition known as L'Impartial Illustré published in Tignish that year commemorating its centennial.
The Irish Settlers of Tignish
The Irish families who took up lands and settled in Tignish in the first half of the present century don't appear to have followed any regular system of emigration such as is now observed in most other countries that send thousands of their surplus population to America and the islands of the Pacific. Many appear to have left Ireland without any definite idea as to where they were to be landed. It was enough for them to know that the ships on which they were to take a passage were destined for North America and they were contented to land and seek their fortune anywhere from Labrador to the Gulf of Mexico.
This reminds me of a story told of a Scotch gentleman, belonging to one of the learned professions, who had made up his mind to emigrate to Australia and make his future home there. As soon as he had decided on this course he ordered his trunks to be packed and when all was ready he took one of the first trains bound for Liverpool, where he expected to find a steamer ready to start for Australia. On landing at Liverpool, someone told him that the boat he saw standing at anchor out in the stream was bound for Australia and that if he wanted passage on her he had no time to lose, as she would be put to sea in less than an hour's time. Believing his information to be correct, he hired a boat at once, got his trunks aboard and ordered the craft to be pulled out to the ship. When he got within hailing distance he sang out at the top of his voice "Where is the ship bound for?" "To Halifax, Nova Scotia" was the reply by one of the ship's officers. "Then to Halifax, Nova Scotia I shall go," answered back the gentleman on board the new boat and climbing up the side of the ship without more ado, after his baggage had been hauled aboard, he engaged a passage, crossed the Atlantic and landed in Nova Scotia about eight days afterwards.
There is no doubt that much of the emigration from Ireland began in the early part of the present century was conducted in the same haphazard way as that followed by the Scotch gentleman above referred to. When an individual, or a whole family, found it necessary, from one cause or another, to leave their native country, they repaired to the port, either in England or Ireland, where they were most likely to fall in with a ship bound for the United States or one of the British colonies. They took advantage of the first chance that offered and seemed to have no preference for one place rather than another. They bade adieu to their native land most reluctantly. They loved it most dearly and never would have thought of leaving it if only they could have entertained the faintest hope of receiving at the hands of the ruling or governing classes that measure of justice and fair treatment to which they were entitled. Endowed by nature with rich verdant soil, fruitful in memories and traditions of glorious past, Ireland has never been loved and cherished by those of her children whom adverse circumstances or misfortune forced to become citizens of other lands.
Edward Reilly and his brother Michael were the two first emigrants from Ireland who settled in the parish of Tignish. From the Bay of Chaleur, where they had first landed from the old country, they came to Nail Pond in an open boat. Their arrival here, according to the most reliable account now obtainable, occurred about 88 years ago. They settled on a farm now owned by Peter Doyle. They immediately on their landing sat to work to build themselves a log hut which they corked with moss and covered with sods to resist the breeze and keep out the wet, and began to chop down and clear away the forest. The land was of excellent quality and it yielded in abundance all kinds of crops, especially wheat.
They left their families in Ireland when they sailed for this country. Elizabeth, the only daughter Edward had before leaving the old country, came out and joined her father at Nail Pond a few years after he settled there. She afterwards married John Mansel, also a native of Kerry and of him had three children: Thomas, John and Mary. Michael also left an only daughter in Ireland, but after her marriage with John Ready, the grandfather of John, Michael, Henry, Martin and Peter Ready, she and her husband came straight from the old country to this island and settled at Nail Pond on the farm now owned by Martin Ready. John Ready, the husband of Elizabeth Reilly, was like herself a native of the county Kerry, and he and his wife landed here 82 years ago.
The next after the Reilly's to settle at Nail Pond was James Phee. He landed at Malpeque from Ireland, but soon after removed to Nail Pond where he took up the farm adjoining Rielly's on the North. He was a native of the county of Louth and came to Nail Pond 82 years ago. His wife, Catherine Woods, was from Monaghan. They were blessed with a large family. Their son Michael died only a few weeks ago at an advanced age while James, in his 77th year is still hale and hearty, and judging by present appearances is likely to live twenty years more. James Phee the elder died over forty years ago.
James McGrath came to Nail Pond and settled there 80 years ago. He was a native of the county Waterford, while his wife, Mary Kennedy, was from Kerry. He took the farm joining James Phee's on the North and the same held today by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. John McGrath. They had four children: John, Bridget, Ellen and Mary. John was the father of the Rev. John P. McGrath and his three sisters who are religious in the Congregation of Notre Dame, Montreal. James McGrath predeceased his wife by many years, but they both died at their home at Nail Pond and are buried, one in the old cemetery down by the riverside and the other in the new one opposite the present church.
John McCarthy landed at Nail Pond from Ireland in 1822. He and his wife were both natives of Kerry. Their family which consisted of Florence, Cornelius, Eugene, Charles and Margaret were all born in Ireland. They settled on the farm afterwards owned by the late Patrick Dalton. Patrick Dalton was married to Margaret, the only daughter of John McCarthy. He and his wife died many years ago and are both buried in the old cemetery. All their children, except Eugene, married and settled on farms in Tignish. They reared large families, some of whom are still here, but the greater number are away in the neighboring republic.
William Handrahan came to Nail Pond 80 years ago. Shortly before there he had married Mary Woods, the widow of Patrick McCue, a native of the county Monaghan. McCue was drowned off the North Cape about the year 1818. Mr. Handrahan was a native of Waterford, and before removing to the farm at Nail Pond, now owned by his son John, he had spent a short time at Malpeque. It was here that he met Mary Woods and married her. Mrs. Handrahan by her first husband was the mother of Patrick and James McCue who are still living. By William Handrahan she had three sons and one daughter. The sons are Cyprian, John and Donald; the daughter, who is dead now for over twenty years, was the first wife of James Phee. Donald also died some years ago. Mr. & Mrs. Handrahan died on the old homestead at Nail Pond and are buried in the new cemetery.
Patrick Nelligan, a native of Kerry, landed at Nail Pond in 1832. He was married and had three children at the time of his arrival: John, Patrick and Michael. Michael is the only one of the three that is living. Patrick Nelligan was not long at Nail Pond before his wife died. He then married Hanora Kennedy, of whom he had four children: James, Thomas, Mary and Hannah. He died about thirty years ago; his second wife died somewhat later, and they are both buried in the new cemetery.
Thomas Conroy landed in Charlottetown from Wexford, Ireland in 1835. His son James, the doctor, resided in Charlottetown and at that time was well and favourably known as a successful physician and surgeon. Thomas Conroy did not remain long in the capital, but with his son Nicholas and daughter Mary removed to Tignish and settled on the farm now owned by Frederick Conway, his grandson. Thomas Conroy had seven children. Three of them went to South America where they prospered well in business, whilst the other four came to Prince Edward Island. There were James (the doctor), Nicholas, John and Mary. Not long after their arrival here Mary married Captain Moore from Ireland. They soon returned to Ireland where they lived until separated by death a few years ago when Mrs. Moore was called away from the affections of her husband and family. Thomas was also one of the three sons in Chile, South America, that left a family. Nicholas and John had large families and they are still almost all living. Thomas Conroy died over forty years ago and is buried in the old cemetery, while his two sons Nicholas and John are buried in the new cemetery.
Michael Brennan landed here in 1818. He came from Newfoundland to this island and settled on the farm now owned by James Nelligan and Maurice McCue. He had several children: John, James, Michael, Margaret, Annie, Mary, Ellen, Eliza and Bridget. The two old people lived to a happy old age and at their death were laid side by side in the old cemetery.
John Carroll came out from Ireland and settled in Nail Pond in 1826. He was a native of the county Tipperary and was married in Ireland to Ann Horan (sic), by whom he had four daughters: Johanna, married to Thomas Noonan, Margaret to Stanislaus F. Perry, Honora to Terrance Farrel, and Mary to Martin Gavin. Mr. Carroll and his wife are both dead long ago and are buried in the old cemetery.
Thomas Noonan came from Waterford, Ireland. After the death of his first wife in Ireland he married Johanna Carroll. He died about thirty-five years ago. His widow, who is now advanced in years, spends the evening of her days with her son Richard.
Martin Doyle came to Miminegash about 60 years ago. He was from Wexford, Ireland. He married Catherine Sullivan. His three sons, Patrick, Peter and Lawrence, are successful farmers. Mr. & Mrs. Doyle removed from Miminegash to the home of their son Peter at Nail Pond where they both died at an advanced age and are buried here in the new cemetery.
Patrick Dalton came from Lot 7 about 70 years ago. He was a native of the county Kerry and was married at that time to Margaret McCarthy. They had several children: Patrick, John, Catherine, Margaret, John (sic), Thomas, Michael, Honora and Charles. Charles is the only one living in Tignish.
Maurice Nelligan, a nephew of Patrick Nelligan above referred to, came out to this province from Kerry, Ireland about 60 years ago. He married Margaret Phee, daughter of James Phee in 1842. By her he had a large family: Mary, Catherine, Margaret, Ann, Eliza, Johanna, Michael, James, Peter and Thomas. He died some years ago at the old homestead, and Margaret his wife more recently. They are both buried in the new cemetery. Mr. & Mrs. Nelligan were the grandparents on his mother's side of the Rev. J. P. McGrath.
Timothy Casey came to Tignish from Cape Traverse 55 years ago. He was married in Miramichi before coming to this island to Miss Flynn, by whom he had six children: Denis, Henry, James, John, Mary, Annie and Ellen.
Michael Ready arrived in Tignish about 55 years ago. He came here from Miramichi where he had landed on his arrival in America from the old country. He and his wife, Ellen Sullivan, were natives of Kerry. Mr. Ready is now dead over twenty years; his wife about fifteen.
Thomas Hackett was a native of Kilkenny, Ireland. He came from the old country about the year 1830. He married Ellen Condon. Shortly after their marriage they removed to Miramichi and from there to Sea Cow Pond in 1838.
Thomas Mansel was native of Kerry. He settled down at Sea Cow Pond, where he died some years ago. Mr. Mansel taught school for many years. His family were Margaret, John, Patrick, William, Ellen, Mary and Thomas.
John Dorgan, a native of Kerry, came to Sea Cow Pond about 60 years ago. Mrs. Dorgan's name was Margaret Lane. They had a large family, all of whom except Mrs. Whelan of Central Kildare, died comparatively young.
Patrick Clohossey came from Kilkenny, Ireland and settled at Nail Pond about 50 years ago. Soon after he married Johanna Foley, daughter of the late Edward Foley of Central Kildare, of whom he had four daughters and two sons.
John Broderick came from Newfoundland to Tignish about 69 years ago. He married in Newfoundland and had some of his family there.
John Kennedy landed at Nail Pond from Kerry, Ireland 69 years ago. He married Mary Phee soon afterwards and settled at Nail Pond. Mr. Kennedy had several children, two of whom - Patrick and Mary - are in Tignish.
John Gavin landed on this island from Waterford, Ireland in the year 1817. All his family, consisting of 11 children, were born in Ireland except three: James, Martin and Mary. John and Michael reside in Sea Cow Pond. Martin resides on the Peter's Road. John Gavin and his wife are interred in the old cemetery.
Richard Aylward landed at Tignish in 1818. He was a native of Waterford, Ireland, and married shortly after his arrival here to Annie Ahearn. They had several children: Michael, Mary, Bridget, Margaret, Johanna, Joseph and Peter. The old gentleman and his wife are both buried in the old cemetery of the parish.
Patrick Hogan, who settled in North Cape, was born in county Waterford, Ireland, in 1796. He married Sarah McFaden, the widow of a Mr. McIntyre and by her had a large family. Mr. & Mrs. Hogan both died at Sea Cow Pond and are buried in the old cemetery. Patrick Hogan had several children. These were Hannah, Sophia, Margaret, William, Patrick and Bridget. Patrick, who inherited the homestead, still lives in his princely residence and is the father of Rev. Patrick Hogan, P.P. at Tracadie and Sister St. Philip, a Sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame, Montreal, Quebec.
Joseph, Peter and James Ahearn landed at Charlottetown from Wexford, Ireland in the year 1813. In 1820 they came to Kildare. The only representative of the Ahearn family now in Tignish are the children and grandchildren of Nicholas, Peter and James Kinch. They are grandchildren of Joseph Ahearn.
The Christophers came to this country from Wexford, Ireland about 50 years ago.
Edward O'Brien was a native of county Loath, Ireland. It was here that he met and married his wife, Martha Doherty. He took up the farm now owned by his grandson, Daniel O'Brien. He died about 40 years ago and is buried in the old cemetery.
William Dillon and Patrick Carrigan, who were natives of the county Tipperary, Ireland, came out and landed at Tignish in 1835. Of Dillon's numerous family there are now living on the Island only Michael and Agnes on the homestead at Kildare Capes. Of Carrigan's family the only one on the Island is William who holds his property at Frog Pond.
John McCarthy came from Miscouche to Tignish 48 years ago. His wife was Miss Dalton from Lot 7, and most of the children were born to them before they removed to the farm at Sea Cow Pond now owned by their son Captain John. Mr. & Mrs. McCarthy both died on their farm at Sea Cow Pond a few years ago and are buried in the new cemetery.
James Fitzgerald landed on this Island from Kilkenny, Ireland about 70 years ago. After his marriage with Christina MacDonald he removed 66 years ago to Kildare Capes. Mr. Fitzgerald died a few years ago at the advanced age of 103.
Francis Hughes removed from Charlottetown to Tignish 42 years ago. He had previously immigrated to this Island from the north of Ireland of which he was a native. He reared a large family. Two of his sons are in Newfoundland railroading. The youngest is in the United States, while Francis, the third son, works at home with his parents on the farm. The two eldest daughters are married in this parish, whilst Annie, the youngest, is married to Dr. Allen and resides at Cardigan Bridge, King's County.
If time and space permitted, a more extended sketch could be written of the early Irish settlers of the parish of Tignish than is given. Enough, however, will be found in it to serve as a basis for future researchers by someone desirous of treating the subject in greater details. The writer had no details to guide him in his inquiries about the families herein referred to, save what he could glean from the reminiscences of some of the oldest and most reliable among the people now living in this parish. He believes that most of the information thus recorded is substantially correct, unless in some few instances where they may be an error in the dates. But with the time and facilities at his disposal no greater accuracy as to the dates could be secured. He has taken a good deal of pains to make the sketch even what it is, and whatever be its merits or its demerits from an historical point of view, he feels much pleasure in being able to have it published as a Centenary Memorial of the founding of the large and important parish of Tignish.
The above-quoted document written in 1899 reiterates all too well its importance in Tignish history. However, one may ask why other families such as the Callaghan's, Carragher's, Conway's, Downing's, Ellsworth's, Gillis's, Harper's, Keefe's, Kenny's, Keough's, Kinch's, Knox's, McPhee's, McRae's, O'Connor's, Shea's, and Waite's are not mentioned in it. That is certainly a question which begs to be answered. In order to answer it, one must be motivated to arrive at certain assumptions delving somewhat in the realm of speculation.
It must be recalled that the Irish people who came to settle in the Tignish area and indeed Lots One and Two did so, not as any organized groups of settlers as was the case with the first Acadian settlers, but rather that they came in various waves of emigration. In other words, Irish emigration here was more sporadic, making it all the more difficult to establish precisely the period in which settlement was realized by any particular family not mentioned in the 1899 document. Nevertheless, it is possible to arrive at some degree of consensus as to the approximate period of settlement of the 17 families listed above when one studies the Tignish Parish baptismal records, which begin in 1831.
From the year of Tignish's Foundation by Acadians in 1799 until 1828 the parish of Tignish was administered to by missionary priests from France. From 1828 until 1843 the parish had as its spiritual leader Reverend Sylvain-Ephrem Poirier (Perrey), who had been born in The Old Settlement at "The Green" in 1802. The latter, a son of one of the Tignish founders, also administered to the spiritual needs of the faithful at Cascumpec, Egmont Bay, Mont-Carmel and Miscouche, a distance of some 60 miles away. Thus, the period from 1799 to 1831 is a difficult one for the researcher and genealogist. Records were either lost or poorly kept. Many of the Irish people as well as Acadians of Tignish who settled here during this period have not been recorded in our history, and this is a tragic dilemma. However, all is not lost. There are other avenues open to the historian in his quest to fill in certain gaps.
There was much movement from one place to another among the Irish population in the western part of the province as people struggled to find a niche in life. Irish people tended to move elsewhere when employment and settlement did not prove advantageous for them. Acadians, by comparison, remained to a large extent where they first settled. This factor may better be explained when one studies various maps which indicate precisely where they settled in the Tignish area.
There are three maps in particular which merit careful study. These are the 1863 Lake Map, the 1880 Meacham Atlas Map and the 1925 Cummins Atlas Map. All three are of Prince Edward Island and indicate the names of settlers and the place where they settled. While Lake Map indicates merely an initial first name and family name, the latter two maps indicate a full first name and family name as well as the number of acres held by the landowner.
It must be recalled that in 1765 the Island of St. John, as Prince Edward Island was then called, was divided by Captain Samuel Holland into 67 lots or townships averaging 20,000 acres each. Two years later a great lottery was held, granting these lots to absentee landowners by the Crown as rewards for political favors or military service. Many of these landowners never set foot on their land nor were they interested in their development, but they reaped the benefits of exorbitant rents from them.
We have seen in Chapter One of this work an account of the 1844 riot which occurred in the Tignish area illustrating opposition to payment of what people then considered were unjust rents. Riots also took place in other areas of the Island.
It is of interest for us to note the problems encountered by our early Acadians and Irish settlers in attempting to settle on lands that they hoped someday to call their own. On only one day in history, namely July 23, 1767, Phillips Stevens Esq., secretary to the Lords of the Admiralty, was granted all of Lot One while James and William Hunter, merchants, were granted all of Lot Two. Over the next ten years or so, proprietors changed hands because they wished to rid themselves of land they would eventually be forced to sell to the government. Thus it was that Sir Samuel Cunard came into possession of 'something like 225,000 acres, comprising a huge area east of Charlottetown and south of the Hillsborough River, most of the lots to the west of the bays of Egmont and Cascumpec,....' The latter, of course, included Lots One and Two. Cunard could well afford opening the Cunard Steamship Lines in Halifax in 1839.
Two Palmer brothers after whom Palmer Road is named were to be proprietors in Lot One, as well as James H. Peters who owned land in the same lot, giving Peterville its name. Deblois, on the other hand, derives its name from George Wastie DeBlois who was a proprietor's agent in Lot Two. He lived in Charlottetown and was Provincial Secretary and Treasurer in the 1870s.
With the adoption of the Land Purchase Act of 1853 proprietors were gradually and eventually forced to sell their lands to the Government, who in turn sold them to the people. The settling of the land question on Prince Edward Island was one of the conditions of its entry into the Confederation of Canada in 1873. The absentee landowners in England were forced to sell their lands to the Land Commission in Charlottetown, which had received $800,000 from Ottawa, the latter having borrowed the money from England to buy them. In about the middle of the 19th century it thus became possible for all Island residents to own land.
Apart from the information which several maps of the Island give the researcher, the latter has at his or her disposal various censuses listing families and individuals. These give quite a storehouse of facts which help weave the fabric of our history.
The first census dates from 1728, eight years after the arrival of the French in 1720 who came to man the French fort at Port LaJoie across from present day Charlottetown. The population of the Island was only 297 inhabitants for this first census. The most recent census released for public scrutiny dates from 1891, showing a population of 109,078 people. The ensuing censuses after the 1728 one, especially those of 1827, 1833, 1848, 1861, 1871 and 1881 are ones deemed of greatest value showing settlement in the Tignish area. The 1841 census has been lost among the others for Lots One to Six inclusive.
According to Gerald Handrahan, a local historian, the following Irish families were among the established ones in the Tignish area by 1830: Reilly's, Mansel's, Ready's, Phee's, McGrath's, McCarthy's, Handrahan's, Brennan's, Carroll's, Dalton's, Kennedy's, Gavin's, Aylward's, Hogan's, and Fitzgerald's. Within the next 25 years he mentions that the following families were added: the Nelligan's, Conroy's, Noonan's, Doyle's, Casey's, Hackett's, Dorgan's, Broderick's, Clohossey's, Christopher's, O'Brien's, Dillon's, Corrigan's, and Hughes'.
While some family names have been repeated in Handrahan's research list for these two periods, 23 have not been listed and presumably they only became established families after 1855. This could mean that they owned land only after this time frame although they certainly were present in the area as individuals. The names of these 23 families were: Callaghan, Conway, Dawson, Downing, Ellsworth, Fennessey, Foley, Gillis, Hubbard, Keefe, Keough, Kinch, Knox, Lynch, McCue, McInnis, MacKay, McRae, Morrissey, O'Connor, Profit, Shea, and Waite.
A variety of spellings of Irish names is evident in Tignish Parish Records. One finds Aylward and Ellward, Cahill and Caill, Doyle and Doill, Gavin and Gavan, Handrahan and Hendrahan, Keough and Kehoe, McInnis and McGinnis, MacKay, McKey and McKie and the list goes on. Names having "Mc" or "Mac" do not indicate whether a family name is Irish or Scottish origin. Many are of the opinion that "Mc" indicates Irish origin and "Mac" denotes Scottish roots. This is not necessarily so. Perhaps the best example of this would be the name of the first resident priest of Tignish who, although a dyed-in-the-wool Scotsman, invariably signed himself as Peter McIntyre.
The counties of origin in Ireland of our Irish settlers and a few cursory notes about each, depending on the available research, indicate that Brennan's and Broderick's came from the counties of Waterford and Cork and came to Tignish by way of Newfoundland. Callaghan's originated in south-east Ireland. Their county of origin is not certain. When they arrived here they settled in the Miminegash-Ebbsfleet area before removing to Tignish. The Carragher's arrived late in western P.E.I. from County Monaghan. Their descendants, although not numerous, are to be found today in the Miminegash-St. Edward area.
In 1818 the ancestor of the Aylward's landed at Tignish. He was Richard Aylward from County Waterford, Ireland. He married Annie A'Hearn shortly after his arrival here. They settled at Waterford, P.E.I. in Lot One. The family name of Ellsworth seems synonymous with Aylward. According to one account the story is told that two Aylward sisters went to the Boston area seeking employment, but when they discovered that Irish people were not for hire they decided to Anglicize the Aylward name to that of Ellsworth, which is not Irish in nature.
The A'Hearn family originated from County Wexford, Ireland. Joseph, Peter and James A'Hearn landed in Charlottetown in 1813. In 1820 they came to Kildare. By 1899 the only A'Hearn's in the Tignish area were descendants of Nicholas A'Hearn. Peter and James Kinch were grandsons of Joseph A'Hearn. Today the A'Hearns are to be found in the St. Roch, Lot 2 area. At one time they were also located at St. Peter & St. Paul within the parish of Tignish.
The Clohosey family originates from the northern part of County Kilkenny. The name has only a single 's' according to an American descendant of this family, Edward Clohosey, who resides in Rumford, Maine. The 'h' in the name is mute. According to the late Roy Clohossey, a Morrissey had married a Clohosey and an 's' was added to the name because the former has a double 's'. Both in Ireland at present as well as on old tombstones in the present century a single 's' is found.
The old Clohossey homestead at Nail Pond was built by the late Roy Clohossey's grandfather Patrick who came to Nail Pond with his sister Catherine from northern Kilkenny in 1848. Having arrived at Nail Pond, they were to live for a time with their uncle and aunt, Thomas and Catherine Roberts, who had settled on a farm at Nail Pond in 1820. Patrick and his sister Catherine first landed at Port Hill before finding their way to Nail Pond. Upon their arrival here they were to discover that their uncle had died a short time previous and Patrick was forced to take over his farm. Thomas Roberts had lived in a log cabin near a brook down a few fields on the south side of the Nail Pond Road. Later, Patrick built a home on the shore side of the road, which he later moved across the road and enlarged on its present site. It is now the home of his great-grandson Barry Clohossey.
In 1968 the late Roy Clohossey, while renovating his home, discovered a letter in the kitchen wall which had lain there for over a century. It was from Patrick's and Catherine's father Edmund who had sent it to Father Peter McIntyre, priest at Tignish, for delivery to them. It is doubtlessly the most significant Irish artifact in the Tignish area and is in the possession of Mrs. Roy Clohossey (Noreen) at Nail Pond. One learns from it the oppressiveness of the Irish people at the time. It reads:
Bally Doole, December the 28th, 1848
Dear Patrick and Catherine,
We received your long expected letter on the 23rd day of December last which gave us the most consoling satisfaction in hearing of your safe arrival and good health at the destined port, thanks be to providence for goodness to us.
Dear Patrick I am likewise happy to hear of my sister's good health and prosperity and hope that she will prove a father and mother to you both whom I have [ ] she will do, and also that yu both my dear children will be a consolation and prove satisfactory to her in old days.
Dear Patrick, I am sorry to have to inform you of the death of your sister Anty which took place on the 17th day of September, 1848, and also of the death of your cousin James who died a fortnight before the death of Anty and also death of Patt Nary of Leveigh, son of James.
Dear Patrick, your brother Edmund is doing well and very much esteemed by his Master.
Dear Patrick, the crops in general proved very unsuccessful, not the least produce. Wheat not producing more than five barrels to the acre and in the whole town of Bally Doole not more than 20 barrels of potatoes, and the whole town-land of Bally Doole beyond the river with the exception of John Martin were noticed to give up their land and quit, which some of them have done presently.
Dear Patrick I am very sorry you have not requested to be remembered to your worthy clergy the Rev'd Father Hart and Rev'd Father Ryan who had great anxiety to see your letter but from that mistake of yours we were delicate in letting them see the letter, which I hope you will not forget in your next.
Dear Patrick I am sorry your uncle Thomas Roberts had been dead before your arrival, which I am well aware of would be as willing and as welcome to embrace you as your aunt. Dear Patrick I have sent a newspaper with this letter whenever it arrives, and also I will send you a paper weekly in future.
Dear Patrick I am much surprised you did not mention in your letter anything about the climate of the country or any information regarding the place which I hope you will not forget in your next. Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell are in good health and happy to hear of your safe arrival, and Miss Kate wishes to be remembered to you also.
Dear Patrick, we are much surprised that Catherine has not sent or spoke one word about herself to Father or Mother or to her nearest and dearest friend as to whether she was sorry to leave home or anything else. James Hickey of Sart and family have gone to America and in fact all Ireland if they can afford it will go in spring. All friends and well wishers are in good health and very happy to hear ye were safely landed and good health and thank God the bears has not devoured ye. Dear Patrick let us know whether your aunt received the letter you sent in the past yourself [ ] last July. So no more at present from your ever doting and affectionate parents.
Mr. Edmund and Mrs. Clohossey
Dear Patrick [ ] sends his best [love?] and respects to you both and intends very probable next spring to sail for Prince Edward Island if he thought that place is good for his business or any other situation he would be able to find. Send an account in your next letter.
This concludes the 1848 Clohossey letter from Ireland. John Cousins, a well-known historian in West Prince, wrote an epilogue to this letter which was first published in The Island Magazine, Fall/Winter 1985. In it he mentions that both Patrick and Catherine continued living in the Nail Pond area. In 1854 Catherine married Henry Casey. Patrick married Joanna Foley from Kildare. They raised a family of five children. They were Margaret, Edward, James, Elizabeth and Joseph. The latter was the late Roy Clohossey's father. Cousins states that Patrick eventually took on the Roberts farm, clearing most of the land and building the Clohossey homestead which still stands today. Its present occupant is Barry Clohossey, Patrick's great-grandson. Joseph became the first postmaster in Nail Pond. He died on December 28, 1899, 51 years to the day that his father wrote the letter quoted above.
Today the ancestral Clohossey lands in northern Kilkenny, located in the sunny South-east of Ireland, are owned by three separate farmers. Ballydool, where the Clohossey's originated, is located near Freshford, 20 miles northeast of Kilkenny City on a tributary of the River Nore.
Another quite prominent Irish family to find settlement in the Tignish area was the Conroy family. How the Conroy's came to settle here is a rather interesting one, related to the author of this work by yet another noted historian in West Prince, Dr. Allan MacRae, librarian and teacher at Westisle Composite High School, as well as curator of the Alberton Museum.
There are two terms which make up the Conroy name, namely 'Con' from the Latin word meaning 'with' and 'roy' from the archaic French meaning 'king'. Hence, its derivation denotes one who is associated with kings. According to MacRae's story, there was a young girl named Victoria, later to become Queen of England (1837-1901), and in her household there was a man named John Conroy who had been hired by Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent. He was originally from Ireland and was apparently a favor seeker. His duties in the household consisted of looking after finances.
The young Victoria disliked Mr. Conroy very much because he interfered with the lives of both Victoria and the Duchess. Moreover, he mismanaged the Duchess' finances and "made an already poor Duchess even poorer". It was even believed that Mr. Conroy embezzled the money.
Victoria, having become Queen, Mr. Conroy badgered her endlessly for favors from her for his relatives back in Ireland, as well as for himself. To appease him and no doubt to get rid of him she gave him numerous grants of land. One of Mr. Conroy's relations came to P.E.I. as a land agent. He received a gift of 500 acres through the intercession of Queen Victoria. It is quite possible that the land obtained by the Conroy's of Tignish, P.E.I. was this same land grant.
This is indeed a fascinating story by all accounts. The first Conroy's to settle in the Tignish area were Thomas, his youngest son Nicholas and daughter Mary. Thomas had landed at Charlottetown from Rathdowney on the Barony River, County Wexford, Ireland in 1835 but soon removed to Tignish. He had left a son James in Charlottetown where he became a very successful physician and surgeon. Thomas was married to Christine Le Herron. There were seven children from this union, three of whom went to South America while the other four came to Prince Edward Island. Apart from the doctor, named James Herron Conroy, there were Nicholas, John, and Mary. Not long after their arrival here Mary married a Captain Moore from Ireland where they both returned shortly after. Both Nicholas and John reared large families, of whom almost all were still living in 1899. Nicholas died October 17, 1879 at age 63. He was survived by his wife Catherine MacDonald whom he had married in 1851. She was a niece of Father Peter McIntyre who was the first resident Roman Catholic priest at Tignish and builder of the present church here. Nicholas' wife and all eight children were still living by 1899. More will be written about Nicholas Conroy in a future chapter of Tignish history. Suffice it to mention that Thomas Conroy is buried in Tignish's pioneer cemetery at "The Green", while his sons Nicholas and John are interred in the present Roman Catholic cemetery at Tignish.
Upon examining the 1880 Meacham's Atlas one sees that Nicholas Conroy is listed as owner of two parcels of land, one of 107 acres and the other comprising 30 acres. It is not unreasonable to assume that the intervening land areas in proximity to these added to the two parcels could de facto have amounted to the 500 acres mentioned above. In any case, Fred Conroy, who was the son of Nicholas, owned land from the Jude's Point area all the way to present day Church Street in Tignish. The original stately Georgian style Conroy homestead built by Nicholas Conroy in 1864 still stands today on the Conroy Road. It replaced a log cabin built by his father Thomas shortly after he came to Tignish after his arrival at Charlottetown in 1835. Its present occupants are Mr. & Mrs. Terrence Shea.
This once proud and prominent family has left us no descendants here. A cousin of the Conroy's, aforementioned, resides at Kildare Capes. She is Mrs. Margaret Isabel Conroy Hall. Her parents were Peter John Conroy, a race horse trainer, and Mary Catherine Cahill. From this marriage there were the following children: Mary Ellen, John Thomas, Wilfred, Joseph Leo, George Everett, Francis Percy, Margaret Isabel and James Clifton. The family lived on Philip Street, Tignish. Leo Conroy from this family was killed in the first motor vehicle accident in the Tignish area at the first left turn south of Tignish at St.Felix in late August 1925. He was 24 years [old] at his death.
The Conway family had its origins in County Cork, Ireland. Thomas Conway, who was married to Annie Ryan, was the first of that family to settle at Greenmount in Lot 3 on the Conway Union Road named after him. This unpaved road is located opposite the paved Rayner Road in Greenmount. Thomas emigrated here from Ireland sometime between 1840 and 1850. This was at the peak of the great potato famine in that country which occurred in 1845.
Thomas having died in 1874, his wife is listed as the owner of 50 acres of land there. A son Joseph who married Mae McPhee settled on the Western Road in Lot One. They farmed and owned 100 acres of land. Mrs. Mae (McPhee) Conway presently resides in the Seniors' Complex on Church Street, Tignish. Their original homestead where they raised sixteen children still stands and is occupied by Inez, wife of the late Hubert Handrahan. Joseph's son Gregory (Greg) is the only surviving male Conway descendant living here at the present time. He is the local manager of The Co-operator Insurance Agency.
Based on a Dawson genealogical treatise, the Dawson family has its origins steeped in European history. The founder of this family in England was Sir Marmaduke D'Ossine, a Norman nobleman who, with William the Conqueror, crossed the English Channel from Normandy (France) and fought with William against Harold the English king at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Harold was killed in this battle. Sir Marmaduke D'Ossine was rewarded by Duke William for his services by being given an estate in Yorkshire County that was possibly revoked from an Anglo-Saxon thane (warrior). Through time Sir Marmaduke's descendants intermarried with ancient and noble families and the name D'Ossine became anglicized to its present form as Dawson.
Although there existed other Dawson families which are recorded in English history from which two of their members were known to have been beheaded, one in 1564 and the other in 1569, there were two other Dawson's who captivate our interest relevant to Tignish history. A report states that shortly before the end of Queen Elizabeth 1'st reign in 1603 two members of the family went to Londonderry, Ireland. They were Thomas and his brother Robert Dawson who went there in 1633.
The first Dawson to have emigrated from Ireland to Prince Edward Island was Thomas Dawson. He was born at "Dawson's Grove", County Monaghan on September 12, 1762. He had become a colonel in the Royal Irish Artillery and had served at one time under Lord Charles Cornwallis in the American War of Independence during the reign of King George III. His father was Samuel Dawson, who was possibly a brother of Thomas and Robert mentioned above. Upon arriving on Prince Edward Island he settled on 500 acres of land he had purchased on March 19, 1800 from Lieutenant George Burns of Dublin, Ireland who was an absentee land proprietor. He later added 100 acres to it and called it all "Dawson Grove" after the family estate where he was born in Ireland. This land was located in Lot 39, King's County, P.E.I., at the Head of Hillsborough.
Thomas had wanted to emigrate not only because of famine in Ireland and disillusionment with the results of the Irish Rebellion, but he wished to secure lands for his sons, giving them the opportunity to embrace farming. He decided to emigrate in 1799. His wife was Elizabeth Frances Tate, born March 17, 1766 of French Huguenot ancestry. She bore him eight children - 4 boys and 4 girls, of whom only one settled here. He was Richard Dawson who settled at Christopher's Cross in 1857.
Colonel Thomas Dawson's last will and testament, dated December 4, 1802, two years before his death on March 4, 1804, makes for fascinating reading. He left his goods to his wife, providing she would not remarry, and to his children, providing they would have nothing to do with any form of popery. One item he left his son Richard who came here was his "Garde-reins", a military garment which protected the lower back over the kidneys. Colonel Thomas is buried in an unmarked grave in the old pioneer cemetery on University Avenue in Charlottetown, and it may be presumed that his wife who died on February 5, 1849 is likewise buried there.
Richard Dawson was the only son to have come to Tignish. He was twice married - to Elizabeth Howatt (1803-1848) and to Mary Ellen Pooley (1825-1899). They each bore him seven children. When Richard settled at Christopher's Cross in 1857 he had nine of his children with him. That same year he was licensed to open a store at Nail Pond and was appointed commissioner for small debts there. He is listed as a fish trader in Hutchinson's P.E.I. Directory for 1864. He also became a justice of the peace, and court was held in his home. The original Dawson homestead was destroyed by fire and the insurance collected built the present one inhabited by his great-great-great-granddaughter Karen (Eldershaw) and Jack Little. One of Richard's sons, Johnston, was Annie (Will) MacLeod's father. Annie and William (Will) MacLeod were the parents of Lloyd, Roy, Margaret, Edie (Eldershaw) and Chester. Another of Richard's sons married a Roman Catholic here, which explains why some Dawson's, such as Roy and Harvey, were of that faith.
Although Richard operated a farm of close to 300 acres at Christopher's Cross, Tignish, Meacham's 1880 Atlas lists him as owner of 79 acres. Richard died in 1897 and is buried in the old Methodist Woodlawn Cemetery, Alberton. No one bears the Dawson name in the Tignish area today.
The ancestors of the Dalton family, who settled in the Nail Pond area, were Patrick Dalton and his wife Margaret McCarthy. A Patrick and another Dalton named John had emigrated from the parish of Ballyheigue in County Kerry, Ireland, and settled at Lot 7, according to historian John Cousins. At Lot 7 they settled in 1829 near a cove which was called Dalton's Shore. Cousins mentions another Dalton named Jerimiah (sic) who settled there also and is listed as a ship's carpenter in the 1841 census. The first Lot 7 Irish settlers had embarked on the brig "Martin" in July 1820, leaving port in Southwest Ireland. Although Cousins does not specifically state that the Dalton's were aboard, it can be presumed in the context of his research that they were.
According to L'Impartial of 1899 Patrick Dalton came from Lot 7 to Nail Pond in about 1829. It also states that he and his wife Margaret McCarthy had several children. They were: Patrick, John, Catherine, Margaret, Thomas, Michael, Hanora and Charles. The latter was the only one living in Tignish in 1899. He was to become Lieutenant-Governor of the Province in later life. He was born at Norway, Tignish June 9, 1850, became Lieutenant-Governor of Prince Edward Island November 29, 1930 and died in office in 1933. He is buried at the present Roman Catholic cemetery in Tignish.
Patrick Dalton (Senior) was a farmer by occupation and owned 109 acres of land at Norway. The Norway Post Office was located in the Patrick Dalton homestead, based on the 1880 Meacham's Atlas. When Charles Dalton moved to Tignish in 1887 he sold the land to Thomas (Tommy) Keough. The land was then owned by his brother, Alonzo Keough, who in turn passed it on to his son Walcott. The latter's nephew John is the present owner. All the original Dalton buildings there have been destroyed and have gone into oblivion. Patrick Dalton and his wife both died at 84 years of age, the former in 1890 and the latter in 1885. Both are interred in the present Roman Catholic cemetery in Tignish. Cousins of Sir Charles Dalton were Russell and Clarence Dalton. Although both married and had children, they left us no male Dalton lineage living in our area at present.
The year 1839 witnessed the arrival of the ancestor of Dorgan's at Sea Cow Pond. He was John Dorgan, a native of County Kerry, Ireland. According to a 1899 report he had married Margaret Lane who bore him a large family, all of whom died comparatively young, except for a Mrs. Whelan of Central Kildare.
The Dorgan lands at Sea Cow Pond have been handed down from generation to generation among members of this family in direct lineage. The original John Dorgan, who died in 1874 at 77 years of age, owned 86 acres of land which bordered the Gulf of St. Lawrence at Sea Cow Pond in 1880. He is buried at the present Roman Catholic cemetery in Tignish. After his death the land passed on to his son John who married Melvina Fitzsimmons of Montrose. They were the parents of Leo Dorgan, who inherited the land after their passing. Leo's father died in 1944.
Leo Dorgan was married to Phyllis Morrissey, a daughter of Pierce Morrissey of North Cape. Seven children were born of this union, namely Claude, Joseph (Joe), Mary, Michael, Raymond, Patrick and Juanita. After Leo's passing in 1976 his wife remarried to Kenneth McCue and his (Leo's) lands passed on to two of his sons, Joseph and Raymond. Their brother Michael settled next to them on four acres of land he purchased from Peter McInnis. This land was previously owned by Charles (Charlie) Hogan. The old original Dorgan homestead, believed to have been built by the original John Dorgan a few years after his arrival here in 1839, still stands today uninhabited. Leo's son Raymond has built a new house next to it. In 1992 Raymond and Joseph opened a potato business under the name of Dorgan Farms. This operation deals with tissue culture in a laboratory, preparatory to its development in greenhouses and ultimate cultivation in the fields. The Dorgan name has thus been perpetuated here since 1839 to the present day and shows no sign of waning.
We have seen that the Dalton's had settled at Lot 7 before coming to the Tignish area. The same is true for the Doyle's. In an article written by John Cousins it is stated that Thomas Doyle and his wife Alice (Knowles) came from County Wexford, Ireland in 1825. They had remained briefly in Seven Mile Bay before removing to Lot 7. Their son Patrick, born in 1839, became the first priest born in the lot.
There were three separate families of Doyle's which settled in our area, having no close blood ties with one another. The first was the Martin Doyle family. According to L'Impartial Illustré, published in Tignish in 1899, the Martin Doyle family came to Miminegash in about 1839. It states likewise that he came from County Wexford, Ireland. His wife was Catherine Sullivan. It is also mentioned that he had three sons named Patrick, Peter and Lawrence, who were all successful farmers. Both Martin and his wife later removed to Nail Pond to live with their son Peter. It should be noted that in 1880 Peter Doyle was in ownership of 47 acres of land and Mrs. Patrick Doyle owned 151 acres of land in Norway, both next to one another. It may therefore be presumed that Martin and his wife went to Norway, not to Nail Pond. In any event they both passed away at their son Peter's at an advanced age and are buried in Tignish's present Roman Catholic cemetery.
Upon studying Meacham's 1880 Atlas one notices a heavy concentration of Doyle landowners at Skinner's Pond. Michael and Arthur Doyle were owners of 120 acres. Further south James Doyle owned 106 acres, William Doyle owned 71 acres and Michael Doyle owned 79 acres. The last three listed holdings were located next to one another and stretched on both sides of the Skinner's Pond Road bordering Northumberland Strait. Still further south Matthew Doyle was in possession of 100 acres likewise located on both sides of the road bordering the Strait. What happened to the destiny of all these Doyle's, apart from James Doyle, remains one of history's unsolved mysteries.
The second Doyle family which interests us at this point are the ancestors of Edward (Eddie) Doyle (bricklayer) married to Brenda Allain, since they live on ancestral Doyle lands at Skinner's Pond. The first of this Doyle branch was James married to Catherine MacKey, then his son James married to Margaret Kelly in 1869, followed by John wedded to Bridget Kinch, then Eddie's father James married to Esther McAllum. The Doyle lands here have passed on from one generation to the next. All these Doyle families are of the Palmer Road Parish and are interred there. Eddie's mother Esther lives today with a son in the old Doyle homestead build by Eddie's great-grandfather James. It is located opposite the road from Eddie's on the shore side of the Skinner's Pond Road. There was once a local post office located in this building, which the Doyle's operated from 1856-1861 and 1867-1914. Eddie's brother Mark (carpenter) has in his possession some of the furnishings from this post office.
Two sons of James Doyle married to Catherine MacKey settled south of the Little Tignish River along today's Lady Slipper Drive which borders the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They were Richard and Patrick who were located on the south-west side of Doyle's Bridge named after them in Lot 3.
There are three references to Doyle's Bridge in the Tignish newspaper dated 1893, 1895 and 1910. The necessity of building this bridge was apparent since it meant saving considerable time and distance for people travelling to and from Kildare to Tignish on rather poor roads. There was much discussion and politicking over the years at the time to obtain it. In 1893 the bridge was in such deplorable condition that crossing it posed a danger to human life. In 1895 Mr. James Morrissey had all necessary wood on site for its reconstruction and Thomas Martin of Lot Two was named inspector of the project with André Martin of Bloomfield being chosen as the contractor in 1910.
Richard owned a 63-acre farm bordering the river and Patrick owned a 63-acre farm next to him. Richard's wife was Mary O'Connor of Kildare. They raised the following children: Ellen, John, Rebecca, Peter, William and James. John married Gertrude Boudreault. They lived in the home now inhabited by their son John (Johnny) on Church Street, Tignish, a noted horse trader and blacksmith. The latter has raced horses in every Island circuit with much success, and he still remains a serious contender on Island raceways. Gertrude Boudreault was a daughter of Josué Boudreault, a Tignish wheelwright who once lived in Joseph T. Arsenault's house on Main Street and later removed to Church Street where he lived with his second wife, Marie Viola Lanteigne, widow of Pierre LeClerc from the Western Road. His first wife had been Eugénie Arsenault. His home is presently occupied by Gary Richard. Other Boudreault children were Augustine, Arthur and Jerome (Jerry), Alcide's father.
Patrick Doyle's wife was Hanora Casey, daughter of Henry Casey, Sr.. They raised a family of eleven children, namely Henry, Mary, Charles, William, Dugald, Elizabeth, Annie, Hanora (Nora), and two other children who died young. Nora is the last surviving member of this family. She celebrated her 100th birthday February 14, 1996 and remains in excellent health. Her husband was Joseph Buote, son of Paul Buote and Eleanore Gaudet. Her children are Patrick, Irene and Florence. Both Patrick and Florence live with her on a fox farm on the Conroy Road. Nora's brother Henry was the proprietor of a hotel in Tignish called Doyle's Hotel. In about 1930 he purchased it from its previous owner, Theadore S. Bernard, father of the Lt. Governor. Henry was married to Mary Brennan, daughter of Peter Brennan of Peterville. The latter was postmaster there in 1870. This hotel (there were five hotels in Tignish at one time) was located on the corner of Main Street and Sunset Drive where the Island Telephone Community Dial Office is presently located in the village.
The third and final branch of the Doyle tree has its roots in the Tignish area with the arrival from Rocky Point, P.E.I. of Joseph Doyle. He came here seeking work. While doing so he found his mate who was Ida Ready from Skinner's Pond. They settled there, raising a family of five children who were Marcella, Viola, Herman, Elmira and Victor. Their son Herman represents the second generation of this family there. His wife was Ethel Gallant. There were three children born from this union, namely Carl, Mary Frances and Gerarda (deceased). Carl, representing the third generation, lives at Christopher's Cross with his wife Jean Marie Arsenault of Waterford, P.E.I. They have the following children: Pamela Ann, Shelly, Cindy Ann, Michael Shannon, and Herman Joseph Doyle. Carl's family lives on two acres of land purchased from Gerald Bernard.
On the Peter Road not far from Tignish there lives a middle-aged, unwedded, quiet, affiable and unassuming man imbued with a keen propensity for remembering facts regarding his family tree. He is William (Billy) Downing, the last of the generation of Downing's who settled here. Billy speaks fluent French, a trait discerned throughout his ancestral roots.
The Downing's have had a long association with Acadians in the Atlantic region. The first to have come was David Downing, born in about 1725 in County Cork, Ireland. He was the only child of John Downing and Marguerite O'Donnell. Shortly after his birth his father died from a horse accident. A few months later his mother passed away and he was raised by his maternal grandparents, the O'Donnell's.
David's coming to l'Isle Saint Jean (later Prince Edward Island) was not without incident. His father and his paternal uncle David had operated a sugar plantation business on the Island of Martinique. His father was the salesman for the venture and when David reached legal age he joined him on the island for a brief period. His return to Ireland was interrupted on the high seas when the British merchant ship he was on was captured by the French, who were at war with the English at the time. He was made prisoner of war in a French jail. At the end of the war in 1745 he was released through a prisoner exchange, not before having to pledge a seven-year term of duty in the British army, which eventually brought him to St. John's, Newfoundland.
In 1752 David reached Port LaJoie (Charlottetown) by way of a British merchant vessel which was travelling in the Maritimes. Here two years later he married Dorothée Boudreault. He later removed to Franklin Manor, Nova Scotia, where he died in 1802.
A son, also named David, born February 22, 1766 in Nova Scotia was twice married, first to Rose McCrum from Beaubassin (Amherst, Nova Scotia), and secondly to Rose Niles. Yet another son named David, born of the later marriage, had as one of its offsprings another David Downing (Junior) who had settled at Egmont Bay, P.E.I. He was married to Marie Vautour from Shediac, N.B. They were the parents of Joseph Downing who was born at Palmer Road, P.E.I. in a log cabin in 1827. His wife was Marguerite Poirier. Joseph died in 1925 and Marguerite predeceased him in 1907. They had once owned a 50-acre farm on the Peter Road and sold it to James (Jim) Morrissey upon moving to Mont Carmel to live with their son Pierre in their old age. Both are buried there. While on the Peter Road Joseph Downing was both a farmer and a cobbler. Apart from making shoes, he made harnesses for horses as well as leather boots for local fishermen, there being no rubber in those days. After his retirement at Mont Carmel he opened a small shop where he continued cobbling well into his nineties.
The next Downing in succession was Joseph Downing (son of the above) who was born at Peter Road in 1870. His wife was Rosanne Gallant born in 1874. After his wife's death in 1907 at age 33 he went to Lawrence, Mass., where he later died and is [was] buried in 1941. His wife is interred at Palmer Road. A son William (Willie) established himself on a 60-acre farm which he had purchased form Amable (Bruno) Gaudet on the Peter Road. Willie was born in 1906 and died in 1977. His wife was Catherine Doucette (1909-1990). They were the parents of William (Billy) Downing, an only child who presently lives on the farm tending a few head of cattle. He represents the last of the Downing's in our area and is the first subject treated in this brief Downing history.
FESSESSEY: The two Great Wars of the present century popularized a rollicking martial song which kept pace with the soldiers marching. Its title is "It's a Long Way to Tipperary". Well, that is precisely where the Fennessey clan has its roots in Ireland. Moreover, there exists no other area of P.E.I. but in Tignish where Fennessey's are to be found. Today there are about five families of them living here, all descendants of Dennis Fennessey who was born in County Tipperary in 1815. It is not known exactly when he emigrated to P.E.I., but not being among the first wave of Irish emigrants, one may presume that he was a post-famine emigrant, placing him in the 1845-1850 period.
Dennis was married twice. His first wife was Bridget Tierney. Little is known about her and it is believed that she died and was buried in Ireland before Dennis emigrated here. His second wife was Mary Mansfield, born in 1827, daughter of John Mansfield (1784-1888) and Elizabeth Rilley (sic)(1771-1866). Both are buried in the present Roman Catholic cemetery at Tignish.
A son, Patrick, was born in 1855 from the first marriage. He married Johanna O'Brien in 1885. The second marriage produced the following children: William, Eulide, Dennie (Jr.), Margaret, Elizabeth and Michael, all of whom were born here between 1861 and 1871.
The family lived on a 55-acre farm on the Western Road. Most of the children settled in the United States, apart from William, the eldest, and Dennis (Jr.) who, while he died at Summerside in 1882, lived on Great George Street in Charlottetown. He was a blacksmith by trade. Dennis (Sr.) died in 1874 and his second wife died in 1891. Both are buried in the present Roman Catholic cemetery at Tignish.
William represents the second Fennessey generation to live here. He was born in 1861. His wife was Angéline Poirier (Angie Perry), daughter of Gilbert Poirier and Angie Doucette. They lived for a short while in the original homestead on the Western Road, according to one report. Another report states that he came to our area from Lot 7 to become manager of fish factories. In any case they raised a family of nine children who were Ellen, Ida, Susie, Alice, James, Johnny, Margaret, Frances and Lena. All were born in Tignish Parish. Only Margaret and Frances survive today. The Fennessey's, like the Downing's, spoke French since there was intermarriage with Acadians among them.
Shortly after William's marriage he settled at Skinner's Pond where he was hired by Jim Larkin, a fishery packer. From there he journeyed to the Black Marsh near North Cape where he was engaged by Larkin to manage his lobster factory. Through time he purchased a home at Norway to be closer to his work. The house still stands there today, occupied by Mrs. Allister McHugh and her son Al. William was involved with the fishery all his life. After working for Larkin at the Black Marsh he was engaged by a noted Tignish doctor, Dr. James A. Johnston, a native of Kinkora, who owned a lobster factory at Jude's Point. Dr. Johnston rented a home he owned in that area to William and his family. This home still stands today at the corner of the Conroy Road and at the Jude's Point Road. The late Alfred Handrahan had purchased it and moved it across the road where it now stands.
Since Dennis (Sr.) Fennessey's family got more involved with the fishery or settled in the United States, the farm on the Western Road was sold to Phillip Gaudet from Tignish Corner after whom Phillip Street in Tignish gets its name. Phillip left his land to his two sons Fred and Michael (Mick), who married two sisters, Cornelia and Louise respectively. They were the daughters of Agappe Gaudet and Judith Bernard from Ascension Tignish and were aunts of the author of this work. The land was eventually sold to Frankie Shea of St. Louis by Mrs. Michael F. Gaudet, who in turn sold it to the brother of the author of this work, Joseph Alphonse Gaudet, who dwells in it today with his wife Janet Perry. The original Fennessey homestead there has long passed into oblivion.
With regard to Phillip Gaudet's land in Tignish Village he is listed in 1880 on a map as owner of twenty-some acres of land stretching from Tignish Corner (sometimes called Kinch's or Phillip's Corner) to slightly beyond a small brook leading into Tignish where he watered his cattle. This farm bordered the south side of Phillip Street.
As we return to the story of William's life after working for Dr. Johnston we find him settling in Tignish Village where he purchased a home on Central Street. It is presently owned by Janet Richard, daughter of the late Aubin E. Richard (church sexton) and Bernadette Gaudet. She purchased it from the late Mrs. James (Jimmy) Fennessey, William's daughter-in-law. Both William and his wife passed their remaining days there, he having died in 1927 and she passing away the following year. The members of the family mutually agreed that the home would be given to their brother James (Jimmy), who had been born there October 17, 1903. He was a fisherman all his life. Indeed practically all the Fennessey's of Tignish had and have embraced that occupation. Jimmy was married to Lorette Perry, daughter of Léon Perry and Francoise Myers. They raised a family of seven children, namely Leo, Billy, Arthur, Rose Marie, Auldina, Percy and Barry. They were all born in the home just quoted. Jimmy died in 1979 and his wife in 1995. Both are buried in the Catholic cemetery at Tignish. The youngest of the male Fennessey line today is Arthur's son Jamie who is 15.
Finally the last two surviving members of the William Fennessey and Angie Perry family are Margaret, born in 1908, and Frances in Halifax, born in 1915. Margaret's husband was Joseph (Josie á Moise) Poirier (Perry). His father was a Tignish barber and member of the church choir. After living in rental housing from Henry (Jigger) Bernard and John Hogan and living at the John McNally farm where they managed the latter's farm, Josie and Margaret built a house on the Chiasson Road, bordering the Big Tignish River where the latter resides today. Josie died in 1980. Margaret was once a seamstress for Fidèle Bernard (the tailor) on Church Street in Tignish. It has been a "Long Way" from Tipperary to Tignish and it seems the Fennessey's are hear to stay.
FITZGERALD: The first record of the FitzGerald's having come to the West Prince area is to be found in Tignish's French newspaper special edition booklet commemorating its Centennial in 1899. In it there is mention of James FitzGerald who came here from Kilkenny, Ireland in 1829. After his marriage to Christine McDonald he removed to Kildare Capes where he died at 103 years of age. Meacham's 1880 Atlas shows James FitzGerald as owner of 50 acres of land at Kildare Capes, Daniel FitzGerald as owner of 50 acres and Robert FitzGerald as owner of 100 acres. All these lands were adjacent to one another, bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence and south of one another respectively. It may reasonably be presumed that all three were brothers. Nothing thus far seems to be known about their descendants, if indeed they had any.
However, much more is known regarding the FitzGerald's who settled in Waterford, P.E.I., which borders Northumberland Strait. These FitzGerald's, it appears, had no close ties to the Kildare Capes Fitzgerald's. What follows is a brief sketch of their history.
Our story begins with three brothers who departed from County Kerry, Ireland, and set sail for New York City. They were Garrett, Thomas and Edward. Later, Edward journeyed to Prince Edward Island where he discovered that land could be reasonably acquired. He sent word about this to his brother Garrett who came and eventually purchased land at Waterford, P.E.I. where the FitzGerald's took up root. Although one report states that Edward purchased land at Waterford and that Thomas went to Boston, it was only Garrett FitzGerald who was the first of the FitzGerald's to set up permanent settlement there. He and his descendants, therefore, will form the basis for this study. It has been related that when Garrett FitzGerald had acquired land at Waterford he sent for his family who, having set sail from Ireland, landed in 1857 at Port Hill, a noted ship-building center owned and operated by James Yeo and port of entry for many Irish emigrants to Prince Edward Island. The vessel they sailed on was the Malakoff. From there the family journeyed to Waterford on horseback.
Garrett FitzGerald was born in County Kerry, Ireland, near Castle Gregory in 1806, according to records found in the parish of Kilkenny and Clohane in the diocese of Kerry. He was married to Mary FitzGerald, who was born in 1809 in County Waterford, Ireland. Seven children were born from this union and they adopted a child Johanna brought here from Ireland by Mr. FitzGerald. The seven children were James (b. 1830), Maurice (1835), Ellen (1837), Mary (1839), Catherine (Kate)(1841), Anne (1844), and Patrick (1846). The family owned 149 acres of land at Waterford bordering Northumberland Strait. Like so many of their counterparts, Garrett and his family dwelled in a log cabin there. Garrett died in 1867 and is buried in the present Roman Catholic cemetery at Tignish while his wife who died in 1899 was interred for reasons unknown at Palmer Road.
Garrett's son Patrick inherited the FitzGerald estate after his parents' death. He was born in 1846 where his father had been born, in County Kerry, Ireland, near Castle Gregory. His wife was Bridget McKenna, born at Waterford, P.E.I. in 1858, a year after her father-in-law had arrived here. Patrick was known as a veritable "jack of all trades", to use a well-worn cliché. Not only did he farm the lands he inherited but he was also a blacksmith, carpenter and sail maker. His brothers Frank, James, Maurice and Fred were also carpenters. Patrick's inate talent as a carpenter served him well, for it is he who built the FitzGerald homestead which still stately stands today, albeit renovated over the years, at Waterford or as near the spot where his father had once built a log cabin.
It was here where Patrick and his wife Bridget raised a family of 14 children. They were Mary Frances (b. 1877), Alice (1878), Anastasia (1880), Maurice (1882), James (1884), Frank (1886), Gerald (1886) (twins), Edward (1889), Edna (1891), Robert (1893), Bridget (1896), Patricia (1898), Blanid (1900), and Frederick (Fred) born in 1901. Not many of their children remained in the area apart from Mary Frances (Minnie) who was Robert Kenny's wife, Alice (Sr. Rita Kinch's mother), Anastasia (Paul Kenny's mother) and Fred (married to Delima Buote). Their son Maurice, who was a carpenter, opened a sawmill at Richmond, P.E.I., and is the ancestor of the Richmond FitzGerald's. The latter's grandson, Gerald FitzGerald, is presently a provincial court judge of the province. Two of Patrick's sons, James and Frank, settled in Massachusetts. Edward, Gerald and Blanid were unmarried and lived together in the FitzGerald homestead at Waterford tending the farm. Later the three of them removed to Kensington to live with their sister Patricia. Only Gerald of the three chose to be buried at Palmer Road. The other two are interred in Indian River. Edna moved to Clermont, P.E.I. Robert settled in Ottawa, and Bridget settled in North Dakota, U.S.A.
After his two brothers Edward and Gerald and his sister Blanid removed to Kensington, the property was eventually acquired by their brother Robert. He sold it in turn to his daughter Mary Frances who was married to Robert Fraser. She died suddenly in 1970 on the property, having succumbed to a heart attack while shovelling snow. Her husband Robert, a ship's captain on the Great Lakes, opened an antique business in the FitzGerald barns there naming it "The Bargain Barn". He also established the Waterford Cottages there. Within a year of his retirement he passed away in 1992 from cancer. The property was then purchased by Earl Keefe, whose daughter Charlene and her husband John Shields live in the FitzGerald homestead today.
Patrick's youngest son Fred (b. 1901) lived in Tignish Village with his wife Delima Buote, first in Alma Buote's home on Church Street, presently occupied by Anne Marie Perry, and later in a home he built further south on the same street. They had two children, Frederick and Edward, and adopted a girl named Helen. Edward lives at Kildare Capes with his wife Ruth Reilly. He spends his teacher retirement years pursuing a keen interest in painting, the results of which attest to his growing proficiency in that medium. They have three children, namely Inga, Rebecca and Sean.
The FitzGerald home in Tignish is now abandoned. Purchased and given to the Tignish Fire Department by Cletus Harper, it was removed to a location behind the department's hall and serves as a training school for firemen. Mrs. Fred FitzGerald, presently in her 90's, resides at the Maplewood Manor in Alberton.
The story of the FitzGeralds ends as it began - with another James FitzGerald. Both his stature and place of settlement gained him the sobriquets of "Big Jim" and "Norway Jim", no doubt to distinguish him from the other James FitzGerald who lived at Kildare Capes. Although little is known about him also, he developed a certain notoriety in having built an historic landmark on his property which served not only for shelter but also served for many years as a guide for fishermen at sea. This was a palisade or picket fence. A lady from Norway recalls seeing it and stated that it had the "length of the width of two fields". Doubtlessly then it must have measured some 500 feet or more. All that remains of it today are mounds of clay which indicate where it stood."Norway Jim" owned 64 acres of land at Norway which bordered Northumberland Strait. Peter Doyle Sr., who lived next to him, purchased it later for his son Martin, who passed it on to his son Boyd Doyle. Its present owners, apart from a few acres they sold to a lady from New Jersey, U.S.A., are Gerald Hackett Sr. and his wife Geraldine McHugh.
The late Gerald Handrahan of Christopher's Cross, a local history buff, stated that there were two FitzGerald families in Norway at one time. He mentions that Catherine married Nicholas A'Hearn of Norway. According to him there were two other FitzGerald girls, sisters: one married Louis Harper Sr., and the other married his brother John. Might these have been "Norway Jim's" daughters? No one seems to know at this point, and this supposition may forever remain another of life's little unsolved mysteries.
GAVIN: We have already referred to the nomadic nature of Irish emigration to the West Prince area at the beginning of the 19th century as opposed to that of Acadian migration at the end of the 18th. Irish people tended to move from one area to another out of necessity, while Acadians moved to different areas due to periods of harassment by mainly Scottish settlers from the British Isles who encroached on their lands. This of course was historically the result of centuries of warfare between England and France, whether on the continent or in America.
For example, the Dalton's and Doyle's were at Lot 7 or at Rocky Point before settling here, the Reilly's came from the Miramichi area of northern New Brunswick, the Brennan's and Broderick's came from Newfoundland, and the list goes on and on. And well, the same situation holds true for the Gavin's who settled in the area encompassing the Parish of St. Simon and St. Jude, headquartered at Tignish.
An historical text published in Tignish in 1899 relates that John Gavin landed at New London, Prince Edward Island from County Waterford, Ireland, in 1817. This would mean that he arrived here shortly after the first wave of Irish emigration and well before the peak of the Great Potato Famine in Ireland in 1845. The text in question makes no mention of his wife's name, but that he had a family of eleven children, all of whom were born in Ireland except for three children who were James, Martin and Mary. Two other children named John and Michael lived at Sea Cow Pond, whereas Martin resided on the Peter Road. No reference is made of the wives of these men. The text ends by stating that John and his wife were interred in the Old Roman Catholic pioneer cemetery located at "The Green" which borders the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
There seems to exist some discrepancy between this source of information and another unpublished one stating that the Gavin's came from Ireland to Chatam, New Brunswick in 1812 and subsequently moved to Prince Edward Island in 1815. This latter source indicates that the first Gavin to have settled in Prince County was the only survivor of a family of 12 sons who was still living in Ireland after the Irish Rebellion against the English in 1798. It is likewise learned from this source that his name is not given but that he settled at West Point and later removed to O'Leary Corner, P.E.I. where he ran a road house (an inn on a main road in a country district).
His son James moved to Norway (Sea Cow Pond to be exact). His first wife was Bridget McGrath, and they raised a family of eight children who were Michael, Peter, John, James, Margaret, Sarah and two girls whose names are unknown and who later lived in the United States. His second wife was Catherine Moran, from which union Elizabeth, Timothy, Martin and Catherine were born.
It is an incontestable fact that West Prince remains the home of the Gavin's, with the largest concentration of them within the Parish of St. Simon and St. Jude at Tignish. While there are a goodly number of them today in the Alberton area, there are only a handful of them elsewhere on Prince Edward Island. There were only two persons with the Gavin name, both girls, ever baptised at Palmer Road and none either at New London or West Point where it is said they landed before settling here. The Gavin's settled in three distinct areas in West Prince, namely at Sea Cow Pond, the Kildare-Greenmount area where they came to be known as the Alberton Gavin's, and at Woodvale, not far south from Profit's Corner on the Western Road. We shall read about them momentarily.
Some local Gavin observers have mentioned the possibility that the name "Gavin" has French origins from the name "Gauvin". The family name "Gauvin" is quite prevalent in French Canada. If indeed this were the case it would strongly be inferred that they were French Huguenots (Protestants) cast out of France because of religious persecution and finding refuge in Ireland, converted to Roman Catholicism. This of course makes for a bit of fascinating history which historians are prone to label as a romanticized version of it, founded on a certain degree of speculation rather than fact. Another report states that the Gavin name may have come from the English word "Givens" whose meaning is unknown. It has been known that "Given" is a family name and that there were some "Givens" who once lived in the Bloomfield area.
The "Gavin" family name was spelled "Gavan" in Tignish baptismal records which began in 1831. The first to be baptized was Marie Gavan, born May 26, 1833. Her parents were Timothy Gavan and Marie Herren (sic). The latter was quite possibly Mary A'Hearn since Timothy Gavin born in Ireland and son of John Gavin (Sr.) had married a woman of that name on September 26, 1825. The officiating priest at the above baptism was Rev. Sylvain-Ephrem Perrey (Poirier), the first Acadian priest of Prince Edward Island who was born at "The Green" in 1802. He wrote the baptismal entry in French. The name changed to "Gavin" and has remained thus ever since with the baptism of Peter Gavin, July 17, 1848, whose parents were James Gavin and Bridget McGrath.
We shall now tell about the Gavin's who settled in three separate areas of West Prince, beginning with those who molded a new life at Sea Cow Pond near North Cape. Their land bordered the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They were John Gavin (Sr.), another named John Gavin, James Gavin, and Richard Gavin.
A report written long after the one published in 1899 states that he [John Gavin Sr.] came to Sea Cow Pond in 1818, a year after his arrival at New London, P.E.I. This report tells us that he married Mary (Sally) Kinole and that her children were Peter, Fergus, Catherine, Margaret, Timothy, Mary Ellen, John Jr., Michael, Mary, James, and Martin. The latter three were born on Prince Edward Island and all others in Ireland. Mary is known to have been baptized at Miscouche, P.E.I., no doubt because the family was on its way to Sea Cow Pond from New London in 1818.
By 1880 John Gavin (Sr.) owned 75 acres of land at Sea Cow Pond. Not far from him were John and James Gavin, who were owners of 65 and 146 acres of land respectively, the latter made up of two parcels - one of 100 and the other of 46 acres. While James was one of John (Sr.)'s sons, one wonders whether the John Gavin at Sea Cow Pond is the same John Gavin (Jr.) who owned 50 acres of land at Peterville in 1880 since one of John (Sr.)'s sons was named John Gavin (Jr.) Based on a written report, they are the same. In other words it seems that John Gavin (Jr.) lived at Sea Cow Pond and at the same time owned a parcel of land at Peterville.
The original John Gavin (Sr.) homestead was passed on to his son James, who left it in turn to his son John F. Gavin before it was destroyed by fire in 1928. John F's son Fred then built a new house on the original foundation. This home was inherited by Fred's son, the late Walter Gavin (brother of Inez Handrahan) and is inhabited today by his wife Marguerite Handrahan. Inez's husband, the late Hubert Handrahan, and Marguerite were brother and sister.
The second generation of Gavin family at Sea Cow Pond finds us in the presence of James Gavin, 10th child of the union of John (Sr.) and Mary (Sally) Kinole. A brief listing of his family is treated here because he too was one of the early Gavin landowners at Sea Cow Pond prior to 1880. He was born at Sea Cow Pond in about 1819. His wife was Bridget McGrath, daughter of James McGrath and Mary Kennedy. There were 11 children from this union, namely Mary (b. 1843), John Frederick (1844), Michael (1846-1931), Peter (1848), James (1850), Sarah (1852), Bridget (1853), Johanna (1856), Mary Ellen (1859-1885), Margaret (1861), and Jane (1863).
The first school at Sea Cow Pond was located on James Gavin's 100-acre parcel of land on the left side of the main highway which leads to North Cape. Edwin Doyle purchased this acreage in the 1950's from Leo Gavin who was a son of the James Gavin who was married to Ellen Doyle. Ellen was Edwin's aunt. Leo Gavin's siblings were Mary Rosetta (R.N.), Alfred Arbing, Anne Frances (R.N.), Catherine, Francis James, Elizabeth (Lizzie), Constance and Peter Raymond Gavin. The Sea Cow Pond School was eventually relocated from the James Gavin property to the Julie Anne Gavin farm which once belonged to Fred Gavin who was married to Annie Bridges. They were the parents of Walter (m. Marguerite Handrahan), Atwood (m. Helen Hackett), Wilson (m. Gertrude McInnis), Emma (m. Don Kline), Frances (religious nun), Edgar (m. Rita McInnis), and Inez (m. Hubert Handrahan). Fred Gavin farmed, fished and owned a lobster factory at Sea Cow Pond. The Julie Anne (McGrath) Gavin farm was sold to Fred Gavin who sold a parcel of it to the government for the establishment of a school. This parcel of land was purchased from the government some 20 years ago by its present owner, John (Johnny) Arsenault where the old Sea Cow Pond school renovated over the years still stands today positioned sideways, serving as a shed. The rest of the old Julie Anne Gavin farm belongs to three of Walter Gavin's four sons - Gary, Floyd, and Gordon. Julie Anne McGrath's husband was Martin Gavin and they raised three sons, who were Emmett, John and Martin. She is fondly remembered today as an elderly, pious lady with large black rosary beads in hand.
Another prominent Gavin landowner listed at Sea Cow Pond in 1880 was John Gavin (Jr.). He was the seventh child of John Gavin (Sr.) and Sarah (Sally) Kinole. He owned 65 acres of land there. It must be noted that Meacham's 1880 Atlas does not list him as "Junior", but it lists a John (Jr.) on a 50 acre parcel of land at Peterville. There is also a John Gavin listed at Central Kildare having 100 acres. All these John's pose difficulties for researchers, for we wonder which John lived where.
John Gavin (Jr.), born in 1802 married Mary Aylward (b. 1814), daughter of Richard [Aylward] and Ann A'Hearn. They had the following children: John (1835-1896), Bridget (1837), Michael (1838-1904), Ann (1840-1903), Richard (Dick)(1842-1910), Sarah (Sally)(1844), Mary (1847), Timothy (1850-1850), Peter (1852-1894), Margaret (1854-1888), and Johanna (1856).
The final Sea Cow Pond family treated here is that of Richard (Dick) Gavin. His descendants came to be called "Dick's", a term erroneously applied to all other Gavin's not descended from him. While some may view these Gavin's descended from Richard somewhat in derision, there is in fact no apparent reason for this, no more than the descendants of Prosper Gaudet are called "Prosper's".
Richard Gavin was the fifth child of John Gavin (Jr.) and Mary Aylward. His wife was Mary Ellen Farrell. From their union the following children were born: Mary Jane (1877-1897), Josephine Frances (1879), John Terrence (1880-1945), Joseph Edward (1882-1944), Cletus Joseph (1885-1947), Mary Gertrude (1887-1976), Laurette (1889-1975), Charles Boromeo (1892-1974), and Margaret Anne (Annie)(1895-1957).
Richard Gavin owned 47 acres of land at Sea Cow Pond. The house he built still stands, renovated over the years. It replaced a smaller dwelling on the same property. His son Charles was the first to be born there. Both the latter's two daughters, Mary and Kathleen (Broderick) were likewise born there, as were the first six children of Mary (m. Walter Hogan). Charles sold the home to a nephew, Lloyd Shea, who did most of the remodeling on it. Lloyd's wife Dora later sold it to Joe Shea's son Scott. Deceased in 1996 he was a great-great-grandson of Richard (Dick) Gavin.
A second territory settled by Gavin's may be found in the Central Kildare-Greenmount area, forming a group of them living today at Alberton. In 1880 both Joseph and John Gavin owned land at Central Kildare. Located next to one another Joseph owned 50 acres and John 100. A written report states that John Sr's son Timothy of Sea Cow Pond married Mary A'Hearn from Kildare and that he settled there. Their descendants, it states, can be found in the Alberton area. Since this history concerns Tignish in particular, no more will be written about them here.
However, this will not be the case with Gavin's at Woodvale, south of Profit's Corner, for they chose eventually to resettle within the Parish of St. Simon and St. Jude in the Peterville-Ascension area. It begins with Michael Gavin (1846-1931), son of James and Bridget McGrath of Sea Cow Pond. His wife was Liza Nelligan (1853-1940). Both are buried at Alberton. Their children were Wilfred (Rev. Justin's father), Peter (Anna Smythe's father), Antoinette (nun at St. Paul, Minn.), Bridget (m. Ed Profit), Augustine (buried in Tacoma, Washington), James Albert (single), Mary (Richmond, P.E.I., m. Herb O'Brien), Clara (single, bur. Alberta), Mabel (Dock Road, m. Alf O'Brien), and Ignatius (single). Michael owned 63 acres of land in Woodvale.
One of Michael's sons, Peter (1877-1955) settled at Palmer Road North. His wife was Frances (Fanny) O'Brien (1886-1970). Both buried at Tignish, they raised the following children: Gertrude, Anna (m. Jack Smythe), Frances (m. Guy Shea), Herbert (1926-1977)(m. Mary Beaton (1915-1967) from Cape Breton, and Zoe who lives in Calgary.
Peter's son Herbert settled at Ascension-Tignish on land which once belonged to Irvine Christopher (Danny's father). Three of Herbert's sons, Louis, Earl and Vernon inherited his lands, the first two living there today, while another son, Lloyd, lives nearby on land once owned by Pierre (Pascal) Poirier. Other siblings were Ethel and Sylvia. Herbert's landholdings totalled some 100 acres at Ascension-Tignish, 38 acres at Palmer Road and a 50-acre woodlot on Centre Line Road.
Behind these lands at a right angle to the Peter Road there lived a Martin Gavin who had an only daughter after whom the "Sis" Gavin Road is named. Two young Prosper Gaudet descendants have built new homes on it in recent years. Martin Gavin's brother Henry, both of whom were sons of John Gavin Sr. of Sea Cow Pond, was a blacksmith on a parcel of land where he lived opposite Lloyd Gavin's near Phil LeClair's.
There were six Gavin families which settled within the community limits of Tignish. They were Wilfred from Woodvale, son of Michael; John R. And Charlie from Sea Cow Pond, sons of Richard (Dick) Gavin; and Claude and Edward, sons of Edward Sr. and Cletus Jr. all likewise from Sea Cow Pond.
Wilfred, married to Rosetta O'Brien, was a clerk at Myrick's store in Tignish and was also a school teacher at Palmer Road at one time. They lived on Phillip Street where they raised nine children who were Elliot (one of four men killed in the infamous February 1932 Tignish train wreck at Handrahan's Crossing near Harper Station), Isabel, Mildred, Doris, Justin (ordained priest for the Diocese of Oklahoma City where he died and is interred, 1996), Priscilla (clerk at Morris and Bernard's in Tignish), Gerald, Harriett and Gregory. Stan Porter lived in their home at one time and it is presently occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Justin Gavin.
Wilfred's son Justin was a cheesemaker at the Tignish cheese factory before he entered the seminary. The factory (now destroyed) was located on the Ascension Road directly facing the Perry Rafter Company.
John R. Gavin (fisherman) was married to Emily Harper. Their home (now destroyed) was located on the lot directly across from Gaudet's Lodge on Church Street. They raised a family of thirteen children who were Pearl, Terrance, Clifton, Dulcina, Howard (drowned in N.B.), George, Romey, Lester, Arnold, Janie, Lena, Maureen (died young from polio) and Eleanor.
Charlie Gavin's wife was Genevieve (Eva) Harper. Two daughters were born from their union, Kathleen (Mrs. Everett Broderick) and Mary (Mrs. Walter Hogan). Their home on Church Street once belonged to Jérémie Richard and Laura Shea. It is presently owned by Alfred Gallant, Tignish Co-op grocery manager. In later life Charlie lived with his daughter Mary, a school teacher, at her home on Church Street, located directly across from the Tignish Post Office.
Claude Gavin was married to Mary Harper. They are the parents of Irene (m. Pat Handrahan), John, Kevin (m. Susan Maillet), Leonard (Lennie - Community Commissioner), David (deceased), Wayne, Barbara (m. David Gaudet), Patrick (m. Linda Ellsworth), Claude, Howlan and Wilbert (deceased). The family lived on Church Street in the house which once belonged to Lt. Gov. Charles Dalton, Chester McCarthy (lawyer), Clifford and Ross Bernard. It is the present home of Cyril Arsenault, Ulric's son.
Edward Gavin married Viola Hackett and raised seven children namely Donnie, Mary, Lorne, Glen (deceased from home accident), Elaine, Debbie and Lorraine (Tignish Co-op cashier). The family once inhabited the home presently occupied by Mrs. Jude (Anne Marie) Gallant on Church Street before relocating on Dalton Avenue.
The final Gavin family noted above to settle within Tignish community limits was that of Cletus Jr., who was married to Laura Harper. They had a large family of 16 children, namely Ronald (d. young), Dora, Marion, Emmett, James (Jimmy), Cletus (d. young), twin to Jimmy, Howard (deceased 1966), Roy, Lloyd (Irving Service Station proprietor), Ralph, Gloria, Hilda, Danny, Patsy, Brian (d. young), and Kimberly. The family lived in the home which once belonged to Amable Bernard (Tignish tinsmith), now the Perry's Apts. next to the former CNR railroad tracks. Cletus was one of the first managers of the Tignish Credit Union (1953-1960).
Let us end this rather lengthy treatise on the Gavin descendants by referring to a Gavin who distinguished himself in public life. He was the Honorable Peter Gavin, M.P. Born at Tignish, P.E.I., October 15, 1847, he was the son of Michael Gavin and Catherine O'Neil of County Waterford, Ireland. He married Anastasia Ryan at Charlottetown June 19, 1876. He became a member of the Executive Council of the Province and was first returned to the Parliament of Canada in the 1878 general election. A merchant at Alberton, P.E.I. at one time, he later settled at St. Paul, Minnesota (U.S.A.) where he became superintendent of the Santa Fe Railway. Six children were born to Peter and Anastasia. They were Mary, Eugenie, Nellie (died at Alberton, 1886), Francis, Michael, James, and George Frederick, their youngest son who died of membranous croup January 30, 1882 at St. Paul, Minnesota.
Thus ends the saga of the Gavin's in the western tip of Prince Edward Island, the large majority of whom were and still are fishers of the sea.
GILLIS: There seems to be no definite documentation regarding the Gillis clan which would shed some light as to their country of origin. The descendants of this family presently living in the Tignish area as well as Beatrice (Arsenault) Gillis of Bloomfield, the late Rev. Lee Gillis' mother, are of the opinion that their ancestors originated in Scotland. Nevertheless, it may readily be presumed that since so many races of people found Ireland to be a veritable melting pot for hordes of Roman Catholics fleeing religious persecution as well as other forms of oppression, the Gillis family quite probably was numbered among them.
Since so many Gillis families intermarried over the years with Irish families, not to mention with Acadian ones, it has been decided to write about them in this work. Although the exact or even approximate date of their settlement here is not known, it may readily be presumed that it was about 1853-1860, for it was in 1853 when it became possible for all Islanders to purchase lands from the Island government, which bought out the land holdings of the absentee landowners, most of whom lived in England.
It was in Montrose, an area not far south of Tignish, midway from it and Alberton, where the Gillis's settled. By 1880 the following Gillis people held land there: John Gillis, owner of 122 acres; Daniel, owner of 68 acres; Neil, owner of 144 acres; and William, owner of 95 acres. All these lands were located next to or not far distant from one another bordering the eastern confines of the Montrose River. They were likewise transversed by the McNeill Road. Apart from these lands and at a short distance from them were lands owned by Mrs. Elsie Gillis, proprietress of a 50-acre farm. Her land did not border the Montrose River nor was it crossed by the McNeill Road, but by the Kildare (sometimes called Raynor) Road.
There was also at this time a Roderick Gillis who owned 50 acres of land at St. Joseph's, an area betwixt St. Peter and St. Paul and Woodvale on the Western Road. His land comprised two separate parcels, one of 30 and the other of 20 acres. His residence was located on the 30-acre parcel of land which was bordered on the east by the Upper Little Tignish Road.
By 1909 we discover that the Gillis's had begun to move elsewhere. The Prince Edward Island Directory for that year published by the McAlpine Publishing Company Limited of Halifax, N.S., contains the following information: Alexander Gillis is a farmer at St. Louis, Mrs. Daniel Gillis farms at Montrose (her husband was now deceased), Edmund Gillis is a farmer at Tignish (this would be Gillis Corner named after him at St. Felix), James Gillis is a farmer at Montrose, James W. Gillis farms at Greenmount, John Gillis farms at Montrose, another John Gillis farms at St. Louis, Mathias Gillis is a laborer at Tignish, Paulinus and Philip Gillis are both farmers at Montrose.
Cummins' 1928 Atlas reveals the following whereabouts of the Gillis's at Montrose: Alfred Gillis (m. Annie) (122 acres); Wilbert Gillis (54 acres); James Gillis (167); and Jennie Gillis (68 acres). The Alfred Gillis farm here was owned by John Gillis (perhaps his father) in 1880. This same Alfred Gillis it seems would be the ancestor of the Gillis's who settled at Alberton. It is also stated in Cummins' Atlas that there was a John Gillis who had dealings in the potato industry at Ebbsfleet, P.E.I. Tena, Mary and Joseph are listed as his children in that year, with no mention of his wife's name.
It is necessary at this point to write about the two Gillis families having had roots at Montrose and which settled later at St. Felix, a short distance south of Tignish. St. Felix is a part of the Roman Catholic parish of St. Simon and St. Jude headquartered at Tignish. These two families were those of James (Jimmy) William Gillis and Edwin Gillis. Present day Gillis's are adamant in stating that although these families lived next to each other at Montrose and then at St. Felix, there existed no close blood relationship between them. James' farm totalled 109 acres and Edwin's was 58 acres. The latter farm was located at the junction of the Little Tignish Road named Gillis Corner (after Edwin) as it joins the main highway which leads south toward Greenmount.
James (Jimmy) William Gillis was married to Marie Rose Arsenault. Their children were Sixtus (1904-1962)(m. Beatrice Arsenault) (1929- ), Clarence (single), Herman (Hum)(single), Alfred (m. Eulalie Chaisson), John (Jack)(m. Rebecca Wedge), Ada (m. Aubin Poirier), Phillip (m. - Yeoman from New Brunswick), Annie (m. Edward Martin), Terrence (m. Ida Richard), Elmer (single), Edna (m. 1. Tommy Gallant: 2. Desmond McGonagald).
Edwin Gillis (April 4, 1868-1950) was the son of Daniel Gillis and Sarah Cameron. Daniel (b. March 6, 1852) was the son of Neil Gillis and Flora McIntyre. Edwin was married to Rebecca Harper. They raised the following children: Albert, Gertrude (Gertie), Annie and Clarence.
The latter's son, also named Clarence (1916-1995) inherited the property at Gillis Corner at St. Felix. He was married to Doris Hogan who presently resides at H. P. Holdings Apts. on the corner of Maple Avenue and School Street, Tignish. Clarence was a fisherman, farmer, blacksmith, barber and repairer of fishing nets. Their family consisted of six children namely Mary (m. Howard Ready), Nancy (m. Archie McKinnon of Charlottetown), Carol, Sylvia (m. Danny Snow now in Texas, U.S.A.), Edwin (m. Janice McKenna), and Jody (d. young).
Sixtus' son Lee was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Charlottetown. Born in 1941 he received his early schooling at Kildare Capes, St. Felix, Tignish, and at St. Dunstan's College in Charlottetown before entering Holy Heart Seminary at Halifax, N. S. He served the diocese as parish priest at St. Pius X (Charlottetown), St. Margaret's, Foxley River (including Brae and St. Bernadette's), Burton (St. Mark's, Lot Seven), and at St. Augustin's in South Rustico. Father Lee passed away in 1996 and is interred in the Catholic Cemetery at Tignish. His only sibling is Mary, who lives in the United States. Their mother Beatrice (nee Arsenault) dwells on the Bloomfield Road today.
Finally we must write a brief note about a Gillis family from Alberton which moved to Tignish during World War Two. This was the family of Alfred Gillis who was an airman at the Radar Base located adjacent to Gillis Corner at St. Felix. He was married to Annie Deighan of Summerside who taught school at Alberton, P.E.I. They raised a family of four children who were Mary, Paula, Neil and Nancy. While in Tignish they lived in the former Josué Boudreault house on Church Street which is presently occupied by Roger Richard.
We have journeyed with the Gillis's for well over one hundred years from Montrose, Greenmount, and St. Felix, and it seems rather ironic that today none of them should exist from whence they came.
HACKETT: The Hackett family name (spelled with one 't' prior to 1867) is synonymous with Sea Cow Pond. This is obviated by the fact that the western tip of Prince Edward Island has been saturated with their presence for well over a century.
Thomas Hackett, born in Kilkenny, Ireland, is their ancestral patriarch. According to one report he left Ireland in about 1830 and landed at St. Peter's, P.E.I., before removing to Chatam in the Miramichi Valley of New Brunswick. It was shortly after his marriage to Ellen Condon, who was likewise a native of Ireland (b. in 1794, she was still living in 1881) that they chose to find permanent settlement at Sea Cow Pond in 1838. From among the numerous Irish families which settled in the Sea Cow Pond area the Hackett's have been one of the very few families which have remained so firmly entrenched there over the years. At some point between their 1838 arrival and 1880 Thomas and his wife had acquired 92 acres of land which bordered the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They are the only Hackett's listed as landowners at Sea Cow Pond in 1880.
Four children are known to have been born from their union. They were Mary Ellen (1838 - Oct. 18, 1880) who married Peter Aylward July 24, 1855; Mary Ann (b. 1840 - d. 1875) who wedded Thomas Fahey Sept. 26, 1865; Augustine (b. July 20, 1845 - d. April 10, 1922), and Edward (b. July 26, 1842 - d. Dec.23, 1916).
Thomas and his wife Ellen, united in life while separated in death, were interred somewhere in unmarked graves like the vast majority of our first settlers. Thomas was buried in the old Roman Catholic cemetery at the first settlement and his wife Ellen Condon in the present one which opened in 1865 at Tignish. Further research would be necessary to determine the dates of their deaths, but it is known that Ellen was still living in 1881.
Thomas' son Augustine represents the second Hackett generation. His first wife was Alice Fitzgibbons, daughter of James from Annapolis, Nova Scotia. Augustine's brother Edward (later to become a Member of Parliament) married her sister Hannah Maria. No children seem to have been born from this first marriage. Augustine's second wife was Suzanna (Susan) Harper (Oct. 27, 1849 - March 5, 1888). She was a daughter of Louis Harper (March 11, 1823 - March 15, 1894) and Ann FitzGerald. Her grandfather, William Harper (1790 - Sept 23, 1868), who came to Tignish from Gaspé, Quebec in 1823, was the carpenter who finished the interior of Tignish's second Roman Catholic Church built in 1826 on the crest of the hill a bit inland from "The Green", on the right-hand side and near the road which leads towards North Cape. More will be written about this church in an upcoming chapter. It was said that although a "Harper", he was a Frenchman. Figure that one out!
Augustine and Susan raised a family of six children on the land inherited from his father at Sea Cow Pond. They were Lucinda (b. 1878) who married Dan Fillmore; Mary Ann (1880 - ?1966); Edward (June 14, 1881 - Feb 16, 1956) who married Mary Phyllis Doucet (1900-1966); Louis (no dates) who married Angeline Poirier; Thomas (b. July 25, 1886) and Albert (b. 1887 - d. Nov. 3, 1977) who married Margaret Boyles (1901 - 1992).
The latter were the parents of Johnny (John) A. Hackett who presently lives in the home which was built for Patrick Hogan of North Cape in 1899 and lived in by both he and his son Henry, father of Rufina McCarthy. Later it became the home of John (Jack) McInnis who owned and operated a lobster factory at Waterford, P.E.I. and later at North Cape. After his death, his daughter inherited the property and married its present owner Johnny Hackett. The stately residence is located next to the Roman Catholic cemetery at Tignish directly opposite the home of Auldine Arsenault and the late Alban Arsenault, children of the late Fidele Arsenault and Yvonne (nee Richard).
Johnny Hackett's siblings, children of Albert Hackett Sr. and Margaret Boyles, were Mary (m. Sam LaForte of Toronto), Marion (d. at 16), Alfred (m. Freda Nelligan), Melvin (m. Emily DesRoches), Roy (d. 1963, age 37 years)(m. Irene - of Toronto), Mahala (m. Mike Cull of Toronto), Ethel (m. Nick Granato of Toronto), Shirley (Sister of St. Martha at "The Mount", Charlottetown), Albert Jr. (m. Norma Gallant) and Carver (m. Joyce Gallant). The two latter sons married two sisters, daughters of the late Wesley Gallant. Albert lived on his father's land at Sea Cow Pond.
Johnny and his wife Margaret McInnis (c.1916 - 1968) raised a family of four children in Tignish who are Alvin (m. Janet Boudreault, daughter of Auldine (nee Arsenault) and the late Alcide Boudreault); Carl (single in B.C.); Bruce (single at home); Debbie (m. Ricky Birch of B.C.)
Augustine's son Edward, who had married Mary Phyllis Doucet, raised a large family at Sea Cow Pond. They were Mary, Dora (d. young), Marvin, Dorothy, Rita, Viola, Helen, Gerald Sr., Clifford, Raymond and Jordan (d. young).
A son of Thomas, the original settler and brother of Augustine, became quite prominent in political life. This was Edward Hackett (July 6, 1840 - Dec. 28, 1916) who became a member of the Canadian Parliament at Ottawa in 1878. We have seen that his wife was Hannah Marie Fitzgibbons. Together they bore a family of eight children, according to the 1881 census, who were Thomas, William, Augustine, John, Laura, Howard, Marcus, and Bertha. Thomas is not listed on the 1891 census, for he had passed away in 1883 at the age of nineteen. He had been employed as a telephone operator at the International Railway Station at Sussex, N. B. Unable to swim, he fell into a hole while wading into a river at Sussex, N. B. on July 31, 1883 and drowned. Edward was to suffer two further tragedies the following year with the mortality of two of his young children at Ottawa. They were Clara Lavinia (d. Apr. 21, 1884 at age 1 year 9 months) and Eveline Maud (d. Oct 28, 1884, age 10 mos.) One source of research lists another son named Peter.
Edward Hackett settled in the village of Tignish sometime before 1880. A map of Tignish printed that year shows him located on the lot where Cameron Hogan lives today on the corner of Church Street and Park Lane next to Anne Marie Perry. Edward operated a store from here and apart from it and his house there stood a warehouse and barn. Edward was to yet endure further tragedy, for in the great conflagration which ravaged most of the village of Tignish on Sunday afternoon, August 30, 1896, he lost all his buildings in the great fire.
One of Edward's sons named Terrance John (he went by "John") owned and operated the Bellevue Hotel in Tignish and was likewise bookkeeper for Myrick's General Store in the village. His wife was Winnifred McElroy. It is believed that the McElroy's lived on the same lot of land once owned by his father Edward, listed above. A daughter of theirs, named Marjorie, was quite an accomplished pianist. She married Senator Patrick Charles Murphy's son, Claude. Senator Murphy, a Tignish doctor, built the home which is presently Gaudet's Lodge. Claude and Marjorie lived in a home built for them directly across from her father, presently owned by Marie Gaudette, wife of the late Billy Gaudette.
The Bellevue Hotel, believed to have been built in 1894 for Stanislaus F. Poirier, M.P., as a private home, was owned by Boyd Bernard, after several previous owners, when it was destroyed by fire in April 1990.
So ends our journey in history with the Hackett's of Sea Cow Pond and Tignish. What were once the original lands owned by Thomas Hackett, their ancestor here, were purchased by John Dorgan and are farmed today by the latter's descendants.
HANDRAHAN: Some time ago and somewhere in County Waterford, Ireland, there was born to Patrick and his wife yet unknown a child named William. History destined him for greatness, for it was he who was to become the ancestor of the Handrahan clan which settled at Nail Pond, three miles north-west of Tignish, Prince Edward Island. Like hundreds of thousands of his compatriots, Patrick, along with his entire family, eagerly fled the ravages of a starving and insufferable Ireland in the early to mid-nineteenth century.
The story is told that, like so many others who crossed a treacherous Atlantic, the family could go no further than to be disembarked in Newfoundland, in this case at St. Margaret's Bay. This was due to fatigue, hunger, distress and the travails of a long journey to an uncertain new world somewhere in America.
Some children were born to Patrick and his wife at St. Margaret's Bay. They form the ancestors of the Handrahan's found there today. Eventually we find members of Patrick's family settling at Antigonish, Nova Scotia, among whom is William. Later on, William removed to the Miramichi Valley of Northern New Brunswick, which became the stepping stone for numerous Irish people who crossed the Strait from there to Nail Pond. However, before settling at Nail Pond in 1819, William had spent a short time at Malpeque, P.E.I. and it was here where he met his future wife, Mary Wood, a native of County Monaghan, Ireland. She was the widow of Patrick McCue who had drowned off North Cape in about 1818. Two of her sons, Patrick and James McCue, were still living in 1899. William and Mary were blessed with a family of four children who were Cyprian, John, Donald and Mary, who had passed away over twenty years before an 1899 report. She had been James Phee's first wife.
We know that William and his wife Mary were certainly established at Nail Pond by 1841. An indenture (a written agreement) dated September 25th of that year states that William had leased 100 acres of land from Edward Cunard, the absentee landowner, for a period of 999 years at five pounds sterling per year. This original indenture is one of Leo Handrahan's prized possessions today at Christopher's Cross. The latter is William's great-great-grandson. William's 100-acre farm which bordered the water of Nail Pond was inherited by his son John, who passed it on to his son Austin, who in turn passed it on to his son Vincent Handrahan. Its present owner is Cameron Trail.
There are no dates available with reference to William's birth and death. His wife Mary Wood, born in 1789 died in 1871. They had married each other on August 19, 1821. A report published in 1899 states that they died on the old homestead at Nail Pond and were buried in the new Roman Catholic cemetery which opened at Tignish. This cemetery opened in 1865. Four children are known to have been born to William and Mary. They were Mary, Cyprian, Donald and John. Only Cyprian and John left Handrahan descendants found in the Tignish area today. Mary became the wife of James Phee and Donald, who had married a Doyle and once lived at Palmer Road, moved to the United States with his family.
Cyprian (1821 - 1909) married Jane Harper (b.c. 1827 - d. Feb.14, 1914). She was the daughter of William Harper (1790 - Sept 23, 1868) who came to Tignish from Gaspé, Quebec in 1823. It was he who finished the interior as carpenter of Tignish's second Roman Catholic Church built at "The Green" area in 1826. Cyprian and Jane raised a family of fourteen children who were: William (m. Margaret (Maggie) Shea), John (a ship's captain in the U.S.), Charles (moved to Boston and Texas), Donald (m. Janie Shea and lived at Sea Cow Pond), Daniel (twin to Donald, d. young), Joseph (m. Adeline Leclerc, sister of Jean André Leclerc and lived in DeBlois), James (Jim)(m. Catherine (Kate) A'Hearn), Cyprian Jr. (m. Rosanna Ready), George (d. 1 mo.), Mary (m. "Big Jim" Nelligan), Charlotte (m. Peter Brennan, post master at Peterville), Margaret (m. Elijah Bernard and lived at Nail Pond), Susan (m. Tom Gallant), and Jane (m. John Paul Gallant). The latter two sisters married two brothers.
Cyprian Sr.'s farm at Christopher's Cross amounted to 75 acres and was located at the east-west angle to the 100-acre farm owned and inherited by his brother John from their parents William and Mary. This 75-acre farm was eventually passed on to his son Cyprian Jr., and is presently owned by the latter's grandson Leo Handrahan who is married to Laureen Clohossey, daughter of Noreen O'Brien and the late Roy Clohossey of Nail Pond. Cyprian Sr.'s house still stands today and is inhabited by his great-grandson Leo and Laureen at Christopher's Cross. It had been built by "Big Tom" Bernard of Nail Pond. One is able to see in it today its exquisite original beams, floors, stair casing and panelling, beautifully restored with a very keen sense of taste, worthy of entry in the pages of any country home magazine. This home replaced an earlier period log cabin. Leo and Laureen have added to their 75-acre farmland by having purchased the 50-acre Mary Handrahan and "Big Jim" Nelligan farm in 1955. In addition, Leo inherited from his father Ray the Kate Mansfield 150-acre farm. Finally they have obtained the 100-acre Richard Keough farm nearby, which brings their total farm holdings to some 375 acres for the purposes of blueberry cultivation for their business known as the West Prince Berry Co-operative.
Cyprian Jr. (1868 - 1936) married Rosanna Ready (1871 - 1932). They engendered the following children: Edgar (b. Dec 26, 1897 - d. -) Alfred (March 28, 1899 - May 24, 1899), Hilda (Feb 15, 1902 - Jan 27, 1927), and John Raymond (Ray) (May 24, 1907 - June 6, 1965). Rarely in the history of a family has tragedy fallen to the extent that it did for Cyprian Jr's family. His son Edgar, owner of a turkey farm in Florida, was struck by lightning from which he shortly died. His son Alfred died two months after birth. His daughter Hilda was killed on a Chicago street, and their last child Ray was killed suddenly in a highway accident at Christopher's Cross. All of them suffered sudden tragic deaths.
Ray was married to Georgina Doyle (May 23, 1910 - Oct 13, 1984). She was a highly respected school teacher all her life and had taught at the Tignish Regional High School at one time. Ray and Georgina were the parents of Earl, Leo, Paul, Mona and Marie (m. Bennie Gavin). We have seen that Leo lives with his wife Laureen (nee Clohossey) on Cyprian Jr's property today.
Another of William's and Mary Wood's sons settled at Christopher's Cross. He had inherited his parents' land there. He was John (b. 1823 - d. 1905). His wife was Margaret Harrington (b. 1831 - d. July 9, 1910). They were married at DeSable, P.E.I. on October 8, 1856. Together they raised the following offspring: Emily (m. George Baker of Peabody, Mass.), Mary Ann (m. John (Jack) Nelligan), Margaret (m. William (Wilban) Kinch of German descent from Kildare), Mark (m. Catherine (Kate) Ready), Fred (m. Margaret McCormack - settled in U.S.), Cornelius (m. Lucy Gillis - settled in U.S.), Austin (m. Lavinia Ready), and Caroline (d. young in 1918).
Austin Handrahan (Sept 16, 1878 - July 1965) inherited and lived on the original land once owned by his grandfather William and his father John mentioned above. His wife was Lavinia Ready (Jan 9, 1877 - Aug 12, 1971). Their children were Eileen (1908 - ) who was married to the late Roy Harper of Christopher's Cross. She was a school teacher for nine and a half years and also worked for a time at the Tignish Credit Union. She presently resides at Maplewood Manor in Alberton; Anna (1909-1989) who married John Connelly, a Charlottetown postmaster; Frederick (Freddie)(d. at 17 mos. in 1909); Emily (1911 - 1989) who married Melvin McQuaid of Souris where he still lives today at the age of 86; Alfred (1912 - 1982) who married Emily McKinnon (1911 - ), daughter of Hughie, a Tignish blacksmith; Joseph Austin (1914 - d. at 4 mos.); Viola (1915 - ) who married Wade Harper. A school teacher for over 35 years, she presently resides on what was once the Thomas Fairbairn farm later to become the William Harper property which Viola's late husband Wade purchased; Vincent (1917 - ) who married Marion McQuaid of Alberton, and Francis Bernard Handrahan who died of meningitis at age one in 1914.
Austin's brother Mark (b. c. 1868 - d. 1942) who had married Catherine (Kate) Ready (b. c. 1873 - d. 1947) were the parents of Gerald Handrahan (1907 - 1996), well-known founder in 1937 and manager for many years of the Tignish Co-operative Movement. His wife is Deleva Cahill, who lives on the homestead at Christopher's Cross. Gerald's father had purchased the 75 acres of land which had once belonged to Mr. McIntyre, then to Dan O'Brien previously.
Gerald and Deleva had the misfortune of losing a son named Mark in 1966 at 18 years of age in a highway accident at Crockett's Hill near Profit's Corner. Gerald's siblings were Margaret (m. Alfred Foley of Kildare), Kathleen (m. Max McInnis) and Sister Irma, C. N. D., who presently resides at Notre Dame Academy in Charlottetown and Summerside and is the sole survivor of the family.
Before terminating our journey with the Handrahan's over the years, let us dwell for a moment on the Handrahan's who lived at Ascension-Tignish, at DeBlois and at St. Felix. They begin with Joseph (Joe Jim) Handrahan (1891 - 1973), son of Cyprian Sr. and Janie Harper, who married Alice A'Hearn (1895 - 1980). They raised a family of 16 children, namely Edgar (single) (1916 - 1994), Mable (b. 1917) who married Lorne Smith of Bedeque; Esther (1918) the late Fred Harper's wife at Christopher's Cross; Jimmy (July 16, 1920) (m. Ida Richard - Maple Street); Ernest (1921 - d. c. 1930); Hubert (1923 - 1989) who married Inez Gavin and lived on Western Road; Leroy (d. young b. c. 1924); Levi (1926 - 1978) who was a clerk at Morris and Bernard's, Tignish and married Helen Ellsworth and lived at St. Catherine's, Ontario; Marguerite (1927) who married Walter Gavin (deceased) of Sea Cow Pond; Theresa (1929 - 1978) who married Bill Karkus and lived at Niagara Falls; Doreen (1933) who married Frank Tucker and resides at St. Catherine's, Ontario; Frances (1935) wife of Brad LeClair at Ascension-Tignish; Geraldine (1936) Sister of Congregation Notre-Dame resides in New Jersey, U.S.A.; Leonard (1937) married Doreen Doucette residing on Church Street, Tignish, and Chester (1939) married to Lena Perry.
The first Handrahan to have settled at DeBlois was Joe (b. c. 1858 - May 12, 1945), son of Cyprian. He was an uncle of Joe Jim Handrahan of Ascension. We have seen that his wife was Adeline LeClerc ( c. 1864 - May 16, 1952). Their children were George, Thomas, Henry, Jack, Margaret, Bertha, Susan, and Ninnie.
George (Aug. 14, 1845 - Jan 8, 1932) married Céline Poirier (b. c. 1900 - d. Jan 23, 1970). It was their son Alyre (Allie) Handrahan (1926 - 1988) who married Frances Perry who settled at St. Felix in 1948, one year after their marriage.
It is obvious from this work that not all descendants of William and Mary are listed. Like any other family, space and time is of the essence, and so ends our journey in history with the Handrahan clan in the Tignish area.
HARPER: What do you suppose is the derivation of the Harper family name? Yes, you have divined it. It derives, as the name implies, from the English word "harper", meaning a harp player. That indeed has connotations throughout religious art of angels strumming harps and of St. Peter stationed at the pearly gates of Heaven. This was related to the writer of these words by Dr. Brendan O'Grady who is presently doing research on the Irish of the province and proposed to publish a book about them. It seems rather ironic that although we are not certain whether the Harper's originated in England and then settled in Ireland, the national music symbol of Ireland should be a harp.
Be that as it may, there does not seem to exist thus far any degree of certainty as to the country of origin of the Harper people. It would necessitate finding somewhere an official document of birth, marriage or death linking them to either England, Ireland, Scotland, or even Belgium as some would have us believe. We are delving here in the realm of speculation, supposition and perhaps a certain element of romanticized history. To write about the Harper's is to write about the historical links with Irish, English, Scots and Acadians covered within the scope of this history.
The Harper's are not mentioned in Tignish's 1899 account of the Irish settlers of Tignish. This may further indicate that they were not Irish. All sources provided to date agree that the first known Harper to have had any connections with Tignish was named Louis. While one may speculate about his actual country of origin, we are more certain about the origin of his son William who came to Tignish in 1823.
Let us for a moment write about Louis, since it makes for rather interesting reading. His life contains substances which often make up the fabric of history. People generally like reading tall tales like those surrounding King Arthur, Robin Hood, William Tell and so on. Louis's life would qualify for tall tale reading if indeed it should be one based on what has been reported about him. Researchers have stated that Louis was born in Belgium and that it is not known whether his name at birth was indeed "Harper". His parents apparently died when he was quite young. He was subsequently adopted by a Scottish couple named Harper who brought him to Scotland where he was raised. Later it was said that he served four years as a member of the British Army in France. After, it states that he came to Quebec in 1796. Here the report mentions that he fought at Quebec City under General Wolfe at the Plains of Abraham. However, this must be incorrect, since the Battle of the Plains of Abraham which definitively decided Canada's fate, making it a British possession, took place in 1759.
Based on what seems to be known about Louis, mention is made of his having married twice. While the name of his first wife is not known, apart from the fact that she was a young English girl who died young, his second wife was Souis Boudreault. It is possible that Louis and his second wife had five sons, but there are records of only four: Charles, Edward, Louis Jr., and William. The fifth son was believed to be named James. We also learn that two sons of Louis, named Edward and Charles, became missionary priests in Quebec and that both were martyred by the Indians east of Drummondville, Quebec. The report continues by stating that Louis Jr. died in 1880 after falling from a bridge in the province of Quebec, the location not being known. Louis's son William came to Tignish in 1823 and shortly after helped build Tignish's second Roman Catholic Church in 1826 which was located at "The Green". When the church was completed William Harper returned to Gaspé, Quebec for his wife and children.
When he had initially arrived in Tignish in 1823 his intentions were to start a grist mill. Local Harper genealogy relates that the family settled the Fred Hogan farm in Anglo district but the stream was too shallow to supply the water power needed. It was consequently decided to move the family to the farm which is presently owned by Esther (nee Handrahan) who was married to the late Fred Harper (rural mailman), one of William's descendants at Christopher's Cross. After settling near a stream there, it was discovered that it also was too shallow. Once again William moved his family, this time to a large stream two and a half miles southwest of Tignish. The road here was named Harper Road after William. It was here where he built his mill and operated it for a number of years.
It is of interest to note that the Harper Road Mill was actually a combination of mills encompassing a grist mill for making flour, a saw mill for producing lumber, a shingle mill as well as an oat mill for producing feed for farmers. The mill was operated in time by William's son John and subsequently by the latter's two sons, Charles and Peter. Charles went to Souris, P.E.I. to open a mill there. It was here that he became blind. He is buried at Tignish. At one time the mill operated for a number of years by Charles Harper, and then by his son Edward (Eddy) who ran it for James H. Myrick. The latter owned a general store at Tignish and at Myrick Shore, sometimes called Tignish Shore. While Eddie operated the mill for Myrick's, wool was taken there to be cleaned and then sent out to the people for spinning. The last Harper to operate the mill was Joseph Harper, son of Peter above. Joseph (Joe) Harper began working at the mill at the age of twelve and at sixteen he operated the entire mill alone, which was now exclusively a grist and saw mill. In 1926 Joe's father Peter cut the wooden wedges at the mill which supported the railway tracks above the Ascension Road. They were placed there near midnight just in time for the train to pass over the tracks. These wedges are still standing there today.
Since the dam repeatedly burst, it was abandoned by the Harper's and sold to Chester McCarthy, a prominent Tignish-born lawyer. Mr. McCarthy repaired the dam but eventually sold the mill because the dam continued to burst. In 1880 the 100-acre Harper farm on which the mill was located is listed in Mrs. William Harper's name. William must have passed away before then. Today the William Harper farm at Harper Road has been divided up within the hands of several owners, among whom is Frederick Doucette who owns four and one half acres where the mill once stood. The pond at Harper's Mill was at one time one of the most important trout fishing areas in West Prince. Today many avid trout fishing enthusiasts are interested in having it restored.
Joseph (Joe) Harper resides today with his wife Alice on Dufferin Street in Alberton, P.E.I.
By 1880 there were two Harper families established at Christopher's Cross. They were those of Louis Harper who had taken over his father William's farm there consisting of 50 acres, and Charles Harper, also one of William's sons, who owned an 80-acre farm south and adjacent to Louis. William had had two sons named Charles. One died young as a baby. It was not uncommon to have two members of a family having the same name. One was called "the elder" and the other was called "the younger". The practice was especially prevalent among the Acadians and both could be living at the same time or if one died young, as was the case with Charles mentioned above, the name was given to a later member of the family.
William Harper (1790 - July 23, 1868), son of Louis Harper and Souis Boudreault married (1819) Mary Alexander (1795 - Nov 25, 1892). Their children were: Jane (1827 - Feb 14, 1914) who married (Feb. 26, 1846) Cyprian Handrahan (1821 - July 13, 1909), son of William Handrahan and Mary Wood; George (b. March 13, 1847 - ) who married (April 20, 1875) Rebecca O'Brien, daughter of Martin O'Brien (b.- , d. Feb. 9, 1924); Charles (April 7, 1834 - died as a baby); Louis (March 17, 1823 - March 15, 1894) who married (Feb. 15, 1847) Ann FitzGerald (no dates); John (Jack) (Sept 1831 - Nov. 1920) who married (Feb. 15, 186-)Margaret FitzGerald (d. March 3, 1915); Joseph (May 7, 1841 - March 27, 1911) who married (April 6, 1869) Zepina Richard (Sept 1848 - Feb 7, 1924). They operated Harper's Hotel and Grocery Store next to the former C.N.R. tracks now Perry's Apartments at the end of Sunset Drive; Charlotte (no dates) married (Jan 19, 1858) Isidore Gaudet (no dates); Christian (b. at Harper Road - no dates) married (Feb 7, 1853) Cyriac Poirier (Perry) - they moved to the U.S.; Susan (b. Jan 27, 1838 - d - )(single); Charles (b. Dec.8, 1836 - d. March 6, 1909) married Susan Gillis (d. young)
William's eldest son George, together with his wife Rebecca O'Brien, raised a family of five children who were Mary Eliza (b. June 21, 1875); Christie Ann (b. Oct 23, 1877), Rebecca (b. Sept 14, 1878), William Martin (b. Feb 7, 1882) and Francis (b. Sept 2, 1883). It is presumed that the first three children listed died young since no one has any knowledge of them having lived in the Tignish area. Their baptisms are included in the Tignish Roman Catholic Baptismal Records and their names may also be found in the 1881 Census of the province. It is known that their father George removed to the United States and doubtlessly the three children mentioned accompanied him there.
William's son Louis who had wedded Ann FitzGerald fathered twelve children as far as is known. They were Mary (b. Feb 1, 1848) who married (Oct 8, 1867) Patsy Christopher; Suzahhan (b. Oct 27, 1849) who married (Jan 15, 1878) Augustine Hackett, son of Thomas and Ellen Condon; William (b. Aug 20, 1851) who married (Feb 12, 1915) Mary Ann Doyle (1857 0 Aug 30, 1925) widow of Patrick Morrison; James (b. June 22, 1853 - 1942) (single); Charlotte (b. June 19, 1855) who married a Riley in Moncton, N. B. She died young; Edward (b. April 13, 1857 - d. Jan 6, 1934) who married Clara Gillis, daughter of Donald Gillis and - MacDonald; Margaret Ann (b. April 25, 1859) who married Edmund P. Gallant, son of Peter Gallant and Adele Deagle (sic). They lived in Clarence Morrissey's house on Church Street (now destroyed); Helen (Ellen)(b. April 27, 1862) moved to the U.S.; Ann (b. Sept 17, 1865); George (b. July 9, 1867). He never married and moved to the U.S.; Charles Peter (b. June 16, 1869 - died young) and Melinda (b. Sept 4, 1871). It is possible that there existed a child named John in this family, but there exists no information about him.
The original Harper homestead, which was built by William, son of Louis Harper and Souis Boudreault, still stands today at Christopher's Cross and is about 180 years old. One may still see in it original hand hewn beams and casings. When William relocated, as we have seen, to the Harper Road, it was left to his son Louis who married Ann FitzGerald and then to the latter's son Edward (Ned Louis) who had married Clara Gillis. In turn, Ned Louis passed the property on to his son Fred Harper (1914-1994), a rural route mailman and farmer. The late Fred Harper's wife is Esther Handrahan (b. 1918). They raised the following children: David (m. Lois Aylward), owners of Grampy's Ice Cream Parlour on Church Street, Tignish; Ruth (m. John Kenny); Wendall (m. Josie Ioka) St. Catherine's, Ontario; Alice (m. Richard Ellsworth); Phillip (m. Murial Hogan); Freda (m. Doug Hardy); Robert (m. Penny - ), St. Catherine's, Ontario; Nancy (m. Shane Rochford); Molly (m. Derryl Buote); Edward (Ned Louis) (m. Darlene Buote); They reside in Clyde River, P.E.I.; Joseph (m. Patsy Buote) and Rosemary (m. George Terry), Ontario. Two brothers and a sister married three children of Melvin Buote and Bertha Arsenault.
Another of William Harper's and Mary Alexander's son, prominent in local history lore, was John (Jack) Harper (Sept 1831- Nov 1920). His wife was Margaret FitzGerald who died March 3, 1915. Here were their children, all born in the mill homestead at Harper Road: William (b. 1860), Charles (1861), Mary (1863), Edward (Ned, 1866), Patrick (1867), Margaret (1869), Louis (1873), Joseph Henry (1875), Rebecca (1877), Peter John (1880), James (1883).
William married Sophie Arsenault. Charles married Virginia Arsenault. Mary married Peter U. Gaudet. His second wife was Marie Doucette (1870 - 1972). Edward married Eliza Profit. Patrick was thrice married [ 1. Winnifred Profit. 2. Madeleine DesRoches. 3. Margaret (Riley)(Fitzpatrick)(Harper)]. Margaret married John Nelligan. Louis never married. Joseph Henry never married. Rebecca married Edmund Gillis. Peter John (1880 - 1927) married Margaret Ryan (1886 - 1946). They were the parents of Joseph who, with his father, operated the Harper Road Mill. James married Laura Handrahan.
One of Edward's sons listed above was Howard Harper who married Bernetta McIntyre. Fifteen children were born to them, the first three at the Harper Road Mill homestead where their father worked for a time before moving to Tignish. The family consisted of Mary, Annie, Helen, Frankie, Rita, Kevin, Ray, John, Charlie, Catherine, Irene, Clifton, Frances Ann, and two died at a young age. Howard's wife Bernetta, and after her her daughter Rita (married to Phil Callaghan) operated a lunch counter in the former Larry S. Perry home which became Callaghan's Grocery and is now Grampy's Ice Cream Parlour on Church Street, Tignish, P.E.I.
Louis Harper (July 8, 1897 - 1984) was one of Howard's brothers. He was a noted bricklayer who worked on various occasions repairing the brick work on the Catholic Church tower at Tignish. Some of his sons have taken on that trade with much success today. Louis was married to Rose Handrahan (Feb 25, 1896 - Jan 23, 1981). They raised the following children: Reginald (b. 1917), Janie (b. 1919), Rosetta and Melitha, twins (died 1920, the day of their birth), Rachel (1922), Donald (1924), Louis Jr. (1925), Romey (1927), Venie (1930), Noreen (1933), Irma (1936), and a chosen son Leonard (b. 1947). Their home (now destroyed) was located on the right hand side of the turn at Tignish Corner heading south on the main highway.
John (Jack) Harper's son named Peter John raised quite a large family at the Harper Road mill site. The family consisted of Peter (b. 1907 - d. 1910) - he was killed by a horse; Ella (1908) Joseph (1909) married Alice DesVries. They live on Dufferin Street in Alberton; Ethel (1910), Melvina (1911), Vinnie (1911- died young), Harold (1912), Bernice (1914), Albert (1916), Roland (1917), Arthur (1918), Edna (1919), Gerald (1921 - died young), Emmett (1922), and Gilbert (1925).
At one time Peter John Harper went working as a lumberjack in the Bangor area of Maine. Upon his return, wishing to work at the Harper Road Mill, he proffered his brother Charles $1,400.00 to take ownership of the mill. It was at this time that Charles became persuaded to go to Souris to open a mill there. While attempting to sharpen mill blades he was struck in the eye and blinded.
There is a rather interesting anecdote (a little amusing story) which tells of an incident which took place on the pond at Harper's Mill. Peter's son Joseph served as a fishing guide for the local Catholic vicar, Father "Mac" who, along with his two nieces, were on board a boat being steered by Joseph. The water level on the pond suddenly lowered because the mill was in full operation at the time. Joseph as a result found himself tightly wedged between two stumps under water and Father "Mac", surmising this to be a trick on Joseph's part, was heard to utter a few choice words to the consternation of all those in hearing distance. Thinking the good priest was going to hit him with an oar, Joseph called for his father to extricate them from the mishap.
While it is well nigh impossible to include all the Harper's within the scope of this history, suffice it to refer briefly to two other families. One was Bernard (Bernie) Harper's and the other James Harper's. Bernard, the son of Patrick (John Jack's son) and Winnifred Profit, married Delilah Arsenault. They raised three children, namely Everett, Doreen and Eileen. James Harper, son of John Jack, married Laura Handrahan. They raised the following children: Mary, Claude, Amy, Grace, Dorothy, Freda, Florence, Laura, Daniel, Dora and Albert.
The author of these words trusts that the genealogical appetite of future researchers has been whetted. As has been alluded to at the beginning of this Harper treatise, such researchers may some day discover a Harper harpist.
HOGAN: Seaside islands are evocative of cool, restful, leisurely moments in our lives. Imagine then owning a triangular tip of one such as Prince Edward Island! When land on our island became individually owned by the mid-1850's, Patrick Hogan soon became the owner of 219 acres of this tip of land. Today this prime piece of real estate is the locale of a magestic lighthouse, built in 1865-66, the Atlantic Wind Test Site jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the New England States, as well as the location of the Wind and Reef Restaurant, and Interpretive Centre for the area and a gift shop. Moreover, it prides itself in having one of the longest reefs in North America viewed panoramically from the restaurant.
Patrick Hogan, the first Irish settler listed on Meacham's 1880 Atlas at North Point, now commonly referred to as North Cape, would indeed stand in awe of all this today. A report states that he settled at North Cape in about 1820. Based on information contained in Tignish's French weekly special 1899 Centennial Edition, Patrick was born in County Waterford, Ireland in 1796. This date must be incorrect since the date on his tombstone, which still stands today in the old pioneer cemetery at "The Green" states that he died August 23, 1862 at 77 years of age. He was, therefore, born not in 1796 but in 1785. Meacham's lists Patrick's son Patrick as owner of the homestead in 1880. There was a government well listed on the property in 1880. Patrick Sr's wife was Sarah McFadden (1797 - April 20, 1860) who was likewise buried in the old pioneer cemetery at "The Green". Another source indicates that Patrick emigrated from Wexford County, Ireland, not from County Waterford, and that before coming to Tignish he settled in the Miramichi Valley of Northern New Brunswick. Sarah was the widow of Michael McIntyre from whom she bore a daughter, Mary (1819 - March 2, 1893) born in N. B. It is believed that Patrick and Sarah married there before coming to Prince Edward Island. Mary married John Nelligan on January 21, 1845.
The following children were born to Patrick and Sarah: Rebecca, who married John Connors (O'Connor) on Feb. 12, 1843; Hannah who married Patrick Kelly of Lot 7; Margaret, who married Michael Nelligan; Patrick Jr., who married Mary Cahill on Feb. 16, 1859; Bridget, who married Patrick Connick on Feb. 9, 1858; William, who married Ellen Whelan on Sept. 25, 1855; and Dennis, who married Julia Donahoe on April 21 1846 (?). Bridget died in Indian River, P.E.I. and Dennis died in Richmond. We presume that they are buried in Indian River R. C. Cemetery. All others are presumably interred in Tignish.
Patrick's son having the same name (Feb. 27, 1834 - Aug. 3, 1908) along with his wife Mary Cahill (Nov. 19, 1837 - Dec. 30, 1910) of Kildare, P.E. I. raised the following offspring: Mary ann (1860 - 1930) m. James Phee; John (1861 - 1949) m. Margaret Christopher; Patrick (1863 - 1943) parish priest at Tracadie, P.E.I.; Sarah (1866 - ) m. Thomas Nelligan; Catherine Matilda (1868 - 1951) m. Peter Callaghan; Gertrude (1870 - 1952) m. Peter Phee; Hannah (1871 - 1940) who became Sister St. Phillip, C.N.D.; Clara Ellen (1873 - 1931) m. William Handrahan; Joseph Francis (1875 - 1943) m. Sarah A'Hearn; Henry (1877 - 1965) m. Laura Christopher; and Joseph Frederick (Fred) (1882 - 1959) who became a medical doctor (McGill University Medical School, Montreal, class of 1904). He served in the Canadian Medical Corps W.W. I and died in Vancouver, B. C. after practicing at St. Joseph's Hospital there. Rev. J. Patrick Hogan is interred in the present R. C. Cemetery at Tignish. He died in 1943 at 80 years of age.
None of William's (m. Ellen Whalen) children have left descendants in the Tignish area, nor on Prince Edward Island. The last two Hogan males of this line were Charlie and Fred Hogan of North Cape, neither of whom ever married. Matilda (Shea) Ready (Mrs. Wallace) is a grandchild of William, as were Walcott and Wilbert Keough. William Hogan's and Ellen Whelan's children were Patrick (b. Dec. 13, 1856) m. Sarah Dalton; James (b. Jan 1, 1859) m. Sarah McInnis; Ann (b. Feb. 27, 1861); William Jr. (b. July 8, 1863); Sarah Ann (b. July 7, 1864); Mary Ellen (b. July 14, 1866) m. Peter Gavin; Elizabeth (b. Oct. 18, 1868); Margaret (b. 1870); Joseph Henry (b. April 5, 1871); Anna Matilda (b. May 21, 1873) m. John Shea (son of Joseph Shea and Betsy Baines); and Rosanne (b. Jan 11, 1876) m. Alonzo Keough.
Two Hogan families removed from North Cape around the turn of the present century and settled in an area along what is referred to today as the Hogan Road, named after them. These families were those of John Hogan and of his son Patrick. According to Cummins' Atlas published in c. 1928, John Hogan owned 116 acres there mainly on the north side of the road. His son, Patrick Hogan, was owner of 78 acres further to the west of him. Previous to this time these lands had initially belonged to Edward Christopher in the case of Patrick Hogan and to Samuel Fowler and others in the case of John Hogan. Today Mrs. Edna (nee Hogan), Patrick's granddaughter whose husband was the late Phil Bernard, lives in the original homestead. Clayton Shea purchased the John Hogan lands on which there once stood two old homes, one of which was abandoned by John for a later one he built. The later home was destroyed by fire in 1989. The barn was destroyed by fire in 1992. The Shea's were living in a trailer nearby at the time. Between the Hogan lands there lived Frank Ready and Jimmy O'Brien.
There was another Hogan family from North Cape who settled initially during the winter months within Tignish village. This was Henry Hogan's family. The latter was Rufina McCarthy's father. Her husband was the late Leslie McCarthy. They raised two children namely Gerald and Eric.
KEEFE: Apart from three younger generation Keefe families, one at Waterford, one at Ascension-Tignish and one at Anglo-Tignish, Skinner's Pond (named after Captain Skinner who drowned in the pond there according to legend) was and is the home of the Keefe's, as well as of many of our early settlers.
Between it and Christopher's Cross further to the north-east were principally Acadian settlers, both at Frog Pond and Nail Pond. A few Irish settlers found settlement at the latter place, among whom were the Clohossey's and Ready's, along with sparse pockets of others of English-speaking origin long since gone today. It is of interest to note in passing that a large area of Frog Pond has disappeared over the years having been subjected to erosion due to its rather low lying topography. It was and is in fact a meadow between two higher levels which are Nail Pond and the Waterford-Skinner's Pond areas. People wonder whether the meadow had a super abundance of frogs or whether the area got its name from the Acadians who settled there and were dubbed with a rather unique label of "Frogs."
Enough of that! We must return to our story about the Keefe's. They were not among the first Irish settlers to inhabit our shores. In fact, we may term them as post-famine Irish, meaning that they came after the peak potato famine years in Ireland in the mid-1840's. The year 1859 marked pretty well the final wave of Irish emigration here.
The Keefe's do not seem to figure among them. Therefore, as far as can presently be determined, we may reasonably assume that the Keefe's settled at Skinner's Pond shortly after 1860 and certainly before 1880, since in that year we find them on Meacham's Atlas either as land tenants or owners of their land.
The first Keefe to arrive was John Keefe, who in all likelihood originated from County Cork in Ireland. Whether he set foot elsewhere like so many of our early Island setters, in Newfoundland or in the Miramichi Valley of Northern New Brunswick before coming here, is not certain and may never be known. It is reported in the 1841 Census that there was a John Keefe living in Prince County on Lot 27. There is of course a possibility that this could have been the same John Keefe who came to settle later at Skinner's Pond. Further research in parochial records in Ireland or a study of ships boarding lists would be necessary to corroborate facts rather than relying on hypothetical assumptions on the matter.
When John came to Skinner's Pond he became supposedly tenant and eventual proprietor of 50 acres of land which were situated between the John Knox and Patrick Aylward farms. He built his home (now destroyed) and raised his family there. These lands today are located on the east side of Knox Lane, which is the dividing line between the Parish of St. Simon and St. Jude at Tignish and the Parish of the Immaculate Conception at Palmer Road, which initially had been a mission parish of Tignish. No one today lives on John Keefe's lands, but they have remained throughout the years among the Keefe's. John left them to his son John Jr., who, remaining celibate, passed them on to his nephew Anthony Keefe, who in turn left them to his son Clarence, who presently resides at Ascension-Tignish with his wife Marie (nee) Griffin.
John Keefe Sr.'s wife was Johannah Keough. Unfortunately we do not know when they were born or died, but it is highly likely that both are interred in the present Roman Catholic cemetery at Tignish since they lived within its boundaries. John and Johannah raised a family of six children, who were Mary (m. Maurice Aylward); James (1873 - 1959) m. 1902 Hannah Ready (b. - d. 1969); John Jr., (b. - d. 1941); Elizabeth (b.- d. 1941); Catherine (Kate) (b. - d. 1944) m. to James A'Hearn (parents of Timothy). They lived at St. Roche. John and Johannah also had a daughter named Sarah who was killed instantly by a bolt of lightning in her father's home as she sat with her fiancé Martin McCue next to her near a window. She was about 20 years old at the time.
Both John Jr. and Elizabeth were celibate and are said to have died within two weeks of one another of pneumonia in 1941. John Sr.'s property was inherited by his son John Jr. Meanwhile, his other son James was to establish himself further to the west in Palmer Road Parish on lands presently owned by his son Bernard. It was here where John Sr.'s son James eventually acquired 100 acres of land from his father, made up of two separate but adjacent parcels of 50 acres each. On one 50-acre parcel James built his home which still stands today and is used as a workshop next to Bernard's present home. The latter has in his possession the land deed for the other 50 acres which once belonged to John Sr., dated November 9, 1887. He had purchased it from the government of Prince Edward Island for $89.22. The government of the Island had borrowed the money necessary from Ottawa to buy out the absentee landowners who were forced to sell their lands to it. This in fact was one of the conditions for Prince Edward Island's entry into the Confederation of Canada in 1873.
James and his wife Hannah Ready raised a family of five sons at Skinner's Pond in their home referred to above. They were Joseph (1906 - 1978) who was celibate, Clarence (1908 - 1982) who moved from Skinner's Pond to Northern Quebec where he was to find employment in the iron ore mines. It was there at Noranda where he met his future wife Marie (1901 - 1997) in 1956. She was a Belgian lady who had come to Canada in 1946 with her war bride daughter Simmone who had wedded Henry McKenna of Montreal in Belgium in 1945. Both Clarence and Henry laboured in the Noranda mines. Clarence and Marie did not have any children of their own. A third son, Francis William, espoused a religious vocation, taking the name of Brother Bernard in the Congregation of the Brothers of the Christian School. He was born in 1911 and was a teacher of English for his order principally in Quebec province high schools. He presently resides in well merited retirement among his religious associates at Scarborough, Ontario, and is a yearly and, on occasion, twice-yearly visitor at the old homestead where he was born at Skinner's Pond.
James Keefe's fourth son was named Anthony (1913 - 1992). His wife is Alfreda Donahue (b. 1914) from Lot Seven. In 1934 they purchased 79 acres of land from Alfred MacDonald at Skinner's Pond where they built a home and raised a family of six children, the last of whom was adopted. The first was Bennett (1935 - 1986) who married Hilda Keough. The latter raised five children, namely Pauline (m. Robert Arsenault, son of Henri Arsenault and Evelyn Gaudet of Church Street, Tignish); Beverly (m. Brian Hogan); Brian (m. Roberta Arsenault); Francine (m. James Knox); and Helen Marie (m. Dean Gaudet). Their second child was named Mary Margaret (1936 - 1937) who died at three months, followed by Earl Anthony (1938) who married Joan McKinnon. They reside in Mississauga, Ontario and are planning to relocate at Wilmot, P.E.I. this October. The next child is Phyllis (1941) married to Ralph Keefe (no close relationship). They reside in Ottawa, Ontario. The next offspring is Clarence (1942) married to Marie Griffin (1943), daughter of Tom Griffin of Brocton, P.E.I. and Mary O'Connor from Cape Wolfe, P.E.I. They live on a 137-acre farm located at Ascension-Tignish. This farm belonged to Gonzales Ready and then to Russell Perry, a Tignish member of the P.E.I. Legislative Assembly and one-time Speaker of the House. When Clarence acquired it he set up a mixed cattle farm business there, raising mainly Herefords. They have about 50 head of cattle today. The home they live in was built by his brother Earl before the latter moved to Toronto. Clarence and Marie have raised a family of five children who are Ellen (married to Kevin Moerike of Calgary, Alberta. They live in Charlottetown). Others are Cheryl, Joan Ann (married to Allan Gavin who reside on the Haywood Road, Tignish); John (married to Tashia Platts of O'Leary), and Robert, an employee of Nor Tel in St. John, N. B. Finally, Anthony and Alfreda Keefe's adopted daughter Debbie (1948) married Jimmy Nelligan. They presently dwell in Toronto, Ontario.
The last of James Keefe's children is Bernard (1916) who married Viola O'Meara (b. 1912) of Alberton in 1938. They had met in Skinner's Pond during the six weeks she served as a substitute teacher. Indeed she taught school in West Prince for about 18 years and was the last school teacher at Skinner's Pond, teaching in an adjacent mobile before the Skinner's Pond School District was consolidated under the jurisdiction of the St. Louis school system. The Skinner's Pond School is now a museum housing some Stompin' Tom Connors' memorabilia since he had been a student there.
The following children were born to Bernard and Viola on his father's property: Ralph (1940), Bernadine (1942) (married to Gerald Taylor from Chatham, N. B., now living in Pickering, Ontario); Anne Marie (1943, married Gerald DesRoches, son of Arthur, Church St., Tignish, living in Stratford, P.E.I.); Frankie (1945 - married to Dorothy Jones Butler and living in Skinner's Pond); Joanne (1950 - teacher at Tignish Consolidated Elementary School); Leo (1951 - married to Marlene Arsenault, living in Summerside, P.E.I.); Bernard (1953 - married Leona DesRoches, living in Cherry Valley, P.E.I.); and Floyd (1956 - married Karen Brennan). The latter live at Waterford, P.E.I. on the first lands separating it from Skinner's Pond.
Since Bernard Sr. is in failing health he resides at Maplewood Manor in Alberton while Viola lives at the homestead with her daughter Joanne. She remains quite active for her age, participating in chores of the farm, including the sorting of Irish moss. She is the epitome of Irish charm, welcoming visitors who seek her advice and wise counsel over a cup of tea brewed to perfection, not to mention delicious Irish stew and sweets, shared even by the writer of these words. This brings us nicely into the following episode.
No history of the Keefe family would be complete without writing about the anecdote surrounding the Skinner's Pond Teapot made famous by the renowned Stompin' Tom Connors, who was raised as a young boy at Skinner's Pond by the late Russell Aylward of that place and his late wife Cora Floyd from Sussex, New Brunswick. The incident evolves around the wedding of Anthony Keefe, son of James and Hannah Ready, and his wife Alfreda Donahue, which took place on July 9, 1934. They were given a teapot as a wedding gift by their neighbours Joe and Ida Doyle (now deceased). The week after their wedding, friends of theirs, Ray Handrahan and Georgina Doyle, were married and money being rather scarce, Anthony and his wife decided to give them their teapot as a wedding gift. Now, for the ensuing 50 years the teapot had rested in Georgina's kitchen, first for 32 years at Christopher's Cross on top of a window, and then for 18 years on top of a window at Tignish where Georgina had moved, as she taught school there. Well, when Anthony and Alfreda (Freda) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Georgina decided to return the teapot to them as a gift for the occasion and placed a note inside in the form of a monologue similar to an apostrophe, whereby the teapot itself speaks in its own words lamenting the fact that it had been cast out of the house by its first owners and had to be adopted by foster parents. It longed for fifty years to return to Skinner's Pond and finally it did return and rests today in the home of its first parents, the late Anthony Keefe and Freda, who lives there today.
We must now leave our journey with the Keefe's as they read about their good fortunes etched in tea leaves of their finest china.
KENNY: The proverbial betenoire faced by historians involved in genealogical research lies quite frequently in the fact that they invariably find themselves at an impasse of lost records destroyed by fire. This is precisely the case why it has been thus far impossible to determine the exact county origin of the Kenny's of Ireland who eventually settled in Waterford, Prince Edward Island. Would it not, however, be logical to assume that because of their family name they would have originated from County Kilkenny? Many Irish settlers who found settlement on our Northumberland Strait shores came from the counties of Waterford and Wexford, and it so happened that Kilkenny is wedged slightly north between both. It must be noted that the origins of practically all the Irish settlers who came to West Prince may be found in the Irish counties along the entire south of Ireland bordering the sea.
We are not certain of the place of Kenny's origins because the first Kenny to emigrate here was Daniel, who was born on Fraser's Island which came under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chatham in the Miramichi Valley of Northern New Brunswick, and some parochial records there were destroyed by fire. Apart from giving us the names of Daniel's parents, such records quite possibly would have indicated from whence they came in Ireland. However, we must not despair entirely. We do know that Daniel was born in 1817 and later died at Waterford, P.E.I. in 1913 at 96 years of age where he had settled. He is interred in the Palmer Road Roman Catholic cemetery.
When Daniel settled at Waterford the area was named Horse Head because of the horse head contour of the local cliffs jutting into the sea. It also had the name of St. Andres. Legend has it that when the Shea's settled here they changed the name of the area to Waterford to denote the county they came from in Ireland.
Daniel was twice married. His first wife was Leticia Shea who died in about 1860 and is buried in the old Roman Catholic cemetery at "The Green" where Tignish was founded in October 1799. As far as is known there were four boys and two girls born to them. They were John, Richard, Daniel-Norman, Martin, Ann (Mrs. Green), and a Mrs. May. Daniel-Norman and Martin were twins. His (Daniel's) second wife was Ann McInnis ( c. 1838 - c. 1922). Both Daniel and Ann are buried at Palmer Road. At Waterford they raised nine children who were Maurice (m. Bridget Murphy); Robert (m. Mary FitzGerald); Patrick (m. Mary Clare); James (m. Anastasia FitzGerald, daughter of Patrick FitzGerald and Bridget McKenna - James and Anastasia were parents of Paul U. Kenny who resides at Waterford today); George (m. Mary Shea); Isaac, who died as an infant; Elizabeth (m. George Brett - they lived in Maine); Leticia (m. 1. - Chaisson from Portland, Maine and m. 2. - Perry (Poirier) from P.E.I.); and lastly, Mary (m. George Bagley from Portland, Maine.)
When Daniel Kenny came to settle at Waterford, P.E.I. in about 1850 he lived in a log cabin he built, like most of the first settlers. He later constructed a house on the 150 acres of land he had acquired there before this period. Part of this old homestead still survives today on the same spot bordering Northumberland Strait. His grandson, Paul Kenny, lives in it today with his wife. Daniel's brother-in-law Tom (?) MacKay was to share the payment of quit rent on 75 acres of the 150-acreage and eventually owned that share of it. Quit rent involved a system of land rental payment whereby the amount of money paid was gradually diminished in exchange for public service. In a sense it was similar to renting land with an option to purchase. Today Daniel's 75-acre parcel of land remains in the hands of Paul Kenny, his grandson, where the latter raised a family of his own. The 75-acre MacKay portion has passed on into the hands of other proprietors, namely Gallant's from Piusville, P.E.I. and German emigrants.
Daniel led a rather quiet, sedentary life on his farm at Waterford, but there is something about the nature of this man which makes him rather noteworthy. While the present Roman Catholic Church at Tignish was being built in 1857 under the direction of its first resident pastor, the Rev. Peter McIntyre, who had come to Tignish in 1843, he walked every day from his home in Waterford, some six miles west of Tignish, to help build it.
Daniel Kenny's estate passed on to his son James after his death in 1913. James, as we have already stated, had married Anastasia FitzGerald, daughter of Patrick FitzGerald and Bridget McKenna. The family they raised at Waterford, P.E.I. was rather unique, since nine boys and not a single girl was born to them.
Their sons certainly merit the admiration of Canadians when we consider that all of them were to serve their country with pride and distinction during the Second World War (1939 - 1945) either in Europe or on the North American Continent.
First there was Leavitt (1907 - 1970) who served in the United States Navy. His wife was Alice Doyle of Skinner's Pond. They lived in the Boston area where they passed away and are buried.
Next there was Elliott (June 29, 1909 - 1995) who served Canada in the R. C.A. F. (Royal Canadian Air Force). His wife was Thelma Freeman from Woburn, Mass., where they are interred.
The third son was Edward (July 6, 1910 - April 7, 1965). He served in the R. C. N. (Royal Canadian Navy). His wife, Dorothy (Dora) Maillet (Myers) was from Palmer Road. She resides today with her son Patrick Kenny in the Boyd Bernard Apartments in Tignish.
Patrick was the next son. Born in 1912 he married Jean Leslie of Ottawa, Ontario. A daughter named Margaret was born to them. Patrick served in the R. C. N. and has become a reputable artist. One of his artistic endeavors may be seen in the dining room of the Parochial House at Tignish. It is a large 1971 oil painting of the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude of Tignish which he gave to Tignish in August, 1973 commemorating the Island's Centennial of its entry into the Canadian Confederation. Patrick resides in Florida but spends his summers near Victoria-By-The-Sea, P.E.I., a cherished haunt for artists.
There then followed a son named Daniel-Norman (1914 - 1985). His wife was Dorothy Knox of Skinner's Pond. Daniel had served in the R. C. N. They had three children who were Norman, Joan and Pauline. The family lived in Vancouver, B. C. where Daniel and Dorothy died and are buried.
The sixth son who saw service in the R. C. N. and the RCMP was Sidney (1916 - 1997). His wife was Penelope McGrath who still lives in Vancouver, B. C. Her parents were Jack McGrath and Sadie. They raised two daughters namely Maureen and Alayne who dwell in Vancouver, B. C.
Stephen (1917 - 1967) was the following son who served in the R. C. N. He remained single in Boston where he died. His remains were transferred to his native parish where they are interred in Palmer Road.
Paul U. (Urban) Kenny (b. Oct 5, 1918) who dwells with his wife Rosella O'Brien, was the next son to be born to James Kenny and Anastasia FitzGerald. Rosella is the daughter of the late Roch O'Brien and Winnifred Donahue of Roseville, P.E.I. She had been previously married to Roy Kennedy of Waterford, P.E.I. (1919 - 1950) who succumbed to cancer. Two children were born to them, namely Helen (1945) and Robert (1948). The latter is retired from the RCMP and is a navigator with Pacific Sky Cruise Ships. He lives on Vancouver Island, B. C. Paul, as we have seen, lives in the original Kenny homestead at Waterford. During the Second World War he served in the R. C. N. And was a Petty Officer Stoker on board the HMCS Rimouski, which was engaged in the infamous invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Paul and Rosella engendered four children who are Janet (b. 1954) married and resides in Calgary, Alberta; Paula (1956) whose husband is Harvey Mazerolle (teacher); and Patricia (1958) who married Larry Tonita. They reside in Yarmouth, N. S.
James Kenny and Anastasia FitzGerald's youngest son is Leonard (b. 1925). He is married to Rita Kennedy from Almer, Quebec. They have three children who are Eileen, Mary Jo, and Michael. The family once lived in Ottawa, Ontario where Leonard was a carpenter. The family then moved to Boston where Leonard continued his trade. All are living in Boston at present. While on Prince Edward Island Leonard served in the Reserve Army Militia.
Among all of these nine sons there were only two who, after going elsewhere, returned to settle and raise families at Waterford, P.E.I. One was Paul Kenny, living on the original Daniel Kenny property, and the other was his brother Edward, who lived on about 50 acres of land which were once owned by Jim FitzGerald, then by John M. Doucette, who operated a lobster factory there, and then by Hudson McKenna. Ernest (Ernie) Watterson, who is married to one of Edward's daughters named June, lives there today. The house they live in was built by John M. Doucette well over 100 years ago, before Edward Kenny lived in it. One of Edward's sons, Terrance, lives on part of this same land at present. The 50-acre land site borders the Strait and extends across the Skinner's Pond Road.
The following are Edward Kenny's children: Richard (died in an accident in Nova Scotia in 1965); Clare married and settled in Thunder Bay, Ontario; Patrick who lives with his mother in Boyd's Apartments, Tignish; Terrance married to Gladys Ellsworth. They have three children who are Leah Ann, Edward (Tignish Co-op employee) and Shauna. Others are June, married to Ernie Watterson; John (Island Tel employee) married 1. Joyce Gaudet (deceased) 2. Ruth Harper; Joseph married to Shirley Keough (Bobby Keough and Lottie Jones); Phillip married to Whilimina Skerry (Alberton); Barbara married to Stewart McRae, living in Point Prim, P.E.I.; and Jean married to Dave Wilcock, residing in Palmer Road.
Daniel Kenny, the first settler, had had a son named Robert from his second marriage to Ann McInnis. His wife was Mary (Minnie), daughter of Patrick FitzGerald and Bridget McKenna. They had five children named Robert, Fred, Margaret, Francis, and Imelda. All are deceased except Imelda who lives in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and Margaret who lives in the United States. Robert Sr's family lived on 105 acres of land adjacent to his brother James. There remain no descendants of this family at Waterford today.
So ends our sojourn with the Kenny's rooted in Waterford, Prince Edward Island.
KENNEDY: A published 1899 Tignish report informs us that the first Kennedy to settle here was John Kennedy who, it states, landed at Nail Pond in 1830 from County Kerry, Ireland. It would have been more correct to state that he actually landed at Norway nearer to North Cape according to Herman Kennedy, John's great-grandson, and then settled permanently from there to Waterford, P.E.I. in 1853. Nail Pond had apparently not yet been named as such when John Kennedy arrived. This same report mentions at the time that his wife was Mary Phee, whom he married in Tignish in 1832, soon after his arrival and that he had several children, two of whom, Patrick and Mary, were in Tignish. This would mean that they were not living in the village itself but within the Tignish Parish of St. Simon and St. Jude.
Kerry is the western most county in southern Ireland bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by County Cork. County Cork gets part of its musical fame from its celebrated "Kerry Dance". According to Dr. Brendan O'Grady, whom we have already quoted in this work, Irish immigrants to Tignish from County Kerry make up a third of the total of this community but less than five percent of the province. To refer again to O'Grady, he guesses that Kerrymen are more likely to have come here via Newfoundland because for generations they had fished on its Grand Banks. However, he cautions that further study on the matter is required.
At least 25 Irish families came here between 1811 and 1840, among whom were the Kennedy's (1830). While those were years of hardship in Ireland, it is true, they were well before the disastrous Great Potato Famine of the mid-1840's. Only four Irish families arrived here after 1850.
The date of John Kennedy's birth in Ireland is not yet known here, thus we do not know the names of his parents. Nevertheless, there is a report in the hands of local Kennedy families which states that he had two brothers who emigrated to America and settled at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Local Kennedy's tell us that they were related to the famous Kennedy's there, among whom was the assassinated President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The names of these two brothers remain unknown and nothing is known about their descendants, if indeed they had any. Moreover, we learn from this same report that he also had at least two sisters who figure in local Kennedy history. One was Mary (1793 - 1868) who married James McGrath in Ireland. They emigrated from Ireland and settled in Norway, P.E.I. The other was named Hanorah, who emigrated here at about the same time as her brother John. She married a widower named Patrick Nelligan who was formerly from County Kerry. They too settled in Norway.
When John Kennedy relocated at Waterford from Norway he was in possession of three separate parcels of land, one of 50 acres, 81 acres and 57 acres as listed on Meacham's 1880 Atlas. These lands did not border Northumberland Strait but were located on both sides of the Skinner's Pond Road. A brook, being a tributary of the Black Pond and later named the "Yankee Brook" flowed through the 81 and 57-acre parcels of land. This brook is not named on the 1928 Cummins Atlas, but it is named on a James Kennedy land deed dated July 2, 1878. According to legend the "Yankee Brook" was said to be located at Nail Pond, whereas according to official documents such as land deeds, it is in fact located much further west at Waterford. It is of interest to note that about a half mile inland there exists an excellent spring of fresh water in the "Yankee Brook" which American fishermen used to replenish their supply. They thus gave the brook its name. There were indeed numerous American fishermen along our shores, many of whom were lost at sea, especially in the 1851 (Oct. 3 - 5) Yankee Gale along the North Shore.
In 1994 while Nellie McCarthy's grave was being dug at the Christ Church Anglican Cemetery at Kildare, a gravedigger accidentally fell upon a mass grave containing the bodies of 12 - 15 sailors wrapped in sails. A new monument was placed on the grave that same year and a suitable cairn was placed in the church yard the following year (1995) in commemoration of the 1851 Yankee Gale which claimed the lives of numerous sailors and fishing vessels. There were also other gales to follow, notably the one in August 1873.
John Kennedy and Mary Phee raised the following children: Thomas (May 19, 1811 - 1923) married Ann Wade. Both are buried at Palmer Road; John Jr. (b. 1833 - d. 1906) married Ann Noonan of Palmer Road, both are buried in Palmer Road Roman Catholic cemetery; James (1837 - 1915) married Elizabeth Knox, who was born in Ireland. She came here with her mother at 12 years of age from England. Her father drowned either in Ireland or in England. James and Elizabeth are interred at Palmer Road; Patrick (1839 - 1906) married Elizabeth Wade. Both are buried in the present Roman Catholic cemetery at Tignish. Two brothers married two Wade sisters. Mary (July 26, 1844 - d. ?) married Jim Morrissey from Peter Road. They are buried in Tignish. John Kennedy and Mary Phee had four other children who went to the United States and little is known about them at present. They were Catherine (b. Aug. 11, 1846 - d. ?) who married _ Bartell; Cornelius (Sept. 1, 1848 - d. ?) marriage unknown; Bridget (June 1, 1852 - ?) married John Bigot; and Michael (no information).
Thomas Kennedy, the eldest of the second generation of Kennedy's to establish himself here, raised a family of eight children. They were Laura, who married John Harper of Christopher's Cross, and that's where they resided. Then there was Eva, who married George Knox. They lived and are interred at Palmer Road. Next there was Betha, who married Al Watters. The latter moved to the United States after the death of his wife. She is buried at Palmer Road. Their fourth child was named Annie. She married Herb Crocker. It is believed that they settled somewhere in the United States; another child, Carrie, married Pat Hughs. It is likewise thought that they too moved to the United States. Other children in the family were Bernadette, who remained single and died young; Catherine (Kate) who married ??, and Olive (Olie) who passed away at an early age.
Thomas owned two separate parcels of land at Waterford measuring 50 acres and 32 acres. These lands were located on both sides of the Skinner's Pond Road and did not border the adjacent strait. By 1928, based on Cummins' Atlas, his farm had been taken over by his son-in-law George Knox, who owned a 100-acre farm, having added slightly to the acreage he inherited through his wife Eva Kennedy. Thomas's lands today are in the hands of his granddaughter, Mary Profit, daughter of Eva Kennedy and George Knox. Her husband was the late Gerald Profit Sr. and they lived across from the LeClair Garage at Profit's Corner. Thomas's original home, which he built, still stands on his land and has been renovated over the years. Mary Profit lives in it today and her son Gerald Jr. Profit lives in his own home nearby on the same land where he operates an auto body shop. Present day acreage there numbers about 132 acres on both sides of the Palmer Road.
John Jr. Kennedy followed Thomas. He had a family of five children who were Patrick, Alonzo, Fannie, Marcella and Michael. Patrick married Winnie Gallant (Bob Maurice's sister). They lived and are buried at Palmer Road. No information is known at present about Alonzo. Fannie married ----McMullins. It is believed they settled out of our region somewhere. Marcella became a nun and nothing is known about her at present. Michael did not marry.
James was the third eldest of the second generation. Among all the Kennedy's it was he who became the most well positioned settler at Waterford, judging from the extensive acreage he acquired bordering Northumberland Strait. No other Kennedy before him had land directly accessible to the sea with an excellent fresh water brook flowing into it, which we have seen was highly prized by American fishermen seeking replenishment from the spring it contained. For this reason it received its name as Yankee Brook.
James, who married Elizabeth Knox, raised a family of five children who were Mary Ann (d. June 19, 1933) who remained single; Patrick (March 2, 1866 - Aug 31, 1942) who remained celibate; Albert (Herman's father)(March 20, 1881 - Aug 17, 1970) who married Maud O'Halloran (1883 - 1931) of Dock Road; Elizabeth (1871 - Apr 11, 1881) who died of diphtheria at age 10, and Ida Celina (1874 - Apr 20, 1881), who likewise passed away from diphtheria within nine days of her sister.
When it became possible to purchase one's land from the government of P.E.I. rather than paying rent for it, James purchased two parcels at Waterford - one measuring 75 acres on July 2, 1878 for $97.33 and the other measuring 60 acres which he purchased on Dec. 24, 1883 for $68.13. The land deeds for these acquisitions are carefully preserved today by his grandson, Herman Kennedy, who dwells on his lands.
Before writing briefly about his children, we must note that it was James Kennedy who cut the four massive corner posts which support the main spire of the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception at Palmer Road, which overlooks the adjacent burial grounds where he lies interred with his wife.
John Sr.'s son Patrick, the third born, married to Eliza Ward, raised no family.
We must now write about Albert Kennedy and his family. Albert and his wife Maud O'Halloran raised a family of ten children.
The first was Alvin who married Lucille Tomilson of Sault St. Marie, Ontario. The family lived in the United States and both are buried in Indiana. Eleven children namely Patrick, Marilyn, James, Hanora, Joseph, Paul, Catherine, Dolores, Ralph, Elaine, and Dorothy who were born to them, dwell in the Chicago area.
A second child named Regina (Jan 19, 1908 - Feb 2, 1990) remained single and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery at Washington, D. C., having served in the American Army Nursing Corps during the Second World War.
Austin Kennedy (May 31, 1909 - Jan 19, 1992) married Gladys Maillet (Myers), daughter of Tim. She resides today in the Perry Holdings Apts. in Tignish. Eight children named Lillian, Leigh, Joan, Angela, Patsy (killed in a car accident in Halifax in 1965), Leonard, Earl and Rita were their offsprings. Austin was a truck driver in the Irish Moss industry.
A daughter named Lillian (March 14, 1911 - April 17, 1981) became a Sister in the Congregation of the Precious Blood, a cloistered order at Charlottetown, where she is interred in the nun's plot.
The next member of the family was Patrick (Pat)(April 20, 1912 - Dec. 20, 1995) His wife was Kay Walker (d. Sept. 1955) of Halifax, N. S., where they are both buried. They raised two children, who were Stephanie and Neil.
Russell was born after Patrick on March 4, 1914. He was married to Coletta Ellsworth, who still lives in Charlottetown. Russell served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War, then in National Defense. He died on July 29, 1983 and is buried in Charlottetown. This marriage produced no children.
The next offspring was Rita (June 8, 1916 - June 16, 1996). Remaining single she lived and died in Massachusetts but is interred in her native parish at Palmer Road.
Leo (b. May 13, 1918) was the next child. He still lives in Ottawa, Ontario with his wife Eleanor O'Brien from the Center Line Road. Their three children, who are Peggy, Lloyd and Glenn, also live there.
Roy Kennedy (Dec. 8, 1920 - July 14, 1950) was the ninth member of the family. His wife was Rosella O'Brien from St. Lawrence, P.E.I. who lives at Waterford with her second husband, Paul U. Kenny. Roy and Rosella raised two children named Helen and Robert. During his lifetime Roy served in the Canadian Army during World War Two, worked for the C. N. Railway in Halifax, then operated a saw mill on the Center Line Road until his death. He is buried at Palmer Road.
Finally we find ourselves at Herman Kennedy's abode. He represents the tenth and final offspring of Albert Kennedy's family. Born on May 25, 1921 he lives with his wife Evelyn Kinch (b. Jan 17, 1921) of Alma, P.E.I. They both reside at Waterford on the original John Kennedy Sr. acreage consisting of 85 acres. John, as we have seen, was the first Kennedy settler. The house which he had built there was torn down about twenty years ago after serving as a shed. It had been moved aside for a newer one he built some 128 years ago.
Herman and Evelyn engendered the following children: Florence (b. Jan 3, 1947) who married Lloyd Gavin of Ascension-Tignish; Ronald (b. July 14, 1948) married Wendy Powers from Scarborough, Ontario; Gerard (b. Oct 8, 1950) married Gloria Profit (Janie's daughter). They live at Profit's Corner and have three children namely Jason, Beverly and David; Beverly (June 9, 1952 - Nov 5, 1970) was single and succumbed to cancer; Mary Catherine (b. May 16, 1955) married John Ramsay of Summerside where they live with children Michael, Leslie and Mark; their next child Eileen (b. Sept 16, 1958) married Donald Bernard from St. Edward's, P.E.I. where they live, having had Tammy, Holly, Derek, and twins Mitchell and Matthew as children; their last child is Carl (b. Aug 16, 1968) who is married to Catherine Poirier of Palmer Road where they have two children Stacy and Vanessa.
We have once again been on a long journey tracing for posterity the local Kennedy clan. May our journey not be in vain.
KEOUGH: The ancestor of the clan Keough, who emigrated to Prince Edward Island in 1821 was Martin Keough. He emigrated from County Monaghan, a county bordering the largely non-Catholic territory we know as Northern Ireland. Within this territory is the County of Armagh which faces the Catholic county of Monaghan. The place of origin of the Keough's represents the first instance in our history where Irish people settling here have originated not from the southernmost counties of Ireland, but this time from the far regions of the north-east of the Irish Republic.
It may be of interest to note that the proximity of Catholic Monaghan to non-Catholic Armagh in itself may be the reason for explaining Keough emigration to Prince Edward Island. In other words, religious intolerance and not starvation due to the terrible Irish potato famine at that time, may have prompted the Keough's to come to America. We know all too well even today the results of religious turmoil which devastates this part of Ireland, often termed the land of saints.
County Monaghan from whence the Keough's came was likewise the home of the Irish Martin family, and our first Keough bore the name of that family. One wonders whether the Martin's and the Keough's were not somehow connected in some kind of relationship. While the family name Martin is to be found likewise in France, it is distinctly possible that the Irish Martin's originated there and sought religious freedom later in Ireland. However, we shall relegate that part of our history to another time.
The name "Keough" is today's spelling version of what formerly was "Keho" and "Kehoe" on early maps and in Tignish Parish Records, which began in 1831. An indenture (land transaction) between Frederick B. Holland and Martin Keho is dated 1821. The Keough family was one of the first families to settle in Lot 28 (Kinkora). The 1841 census lists Martin Keough, b. Ireland, his wife, b. Ireland, and five children, four born on P.E.I. The Keough's were members of the Catholic Church and held a 99-year lease on their land.
Martin Keough, who was born in the 1700's, died May 3, 1849 and is buried in Kinkora Cemetery. His wife was Mary Quirk. They raised a family of nine children in all, whose names were Mary (m. James MacKay of Kildare, P.E.I.); Judith (m. James Keiff of Tignish); Elizabeth "Betsy"(b. 1831, m. Henry James Dawson, b. 1836, d. June 3, 1916, bur. Tignish Catholic Cemetery, son of Richard Dawson and Elizabeth Howatt); Catherine (m. Abraham Noonan of Tignish); John (b. 1841); and Martin (b. 1844)
Martin's son Richard Keough was the first ancestor of the Keough's to settle in the Tignish Parish of St. Simon and St. Jude. Married to Mary H. Dawson, they moved to Christopher's Cross in mid-winter in about 1860 according to one report. Meacham's 1880 Atlas lists Richard more precisely at Norway, which district borders Christopher's Cross on its eastern flank.
Richard owned three parcels of land at Norway. Two measured 52 and 42 acres respectively. The former was bordered on the northwest by Nail Pond Brook, the Norway Road running through it, and on the south of the Sea Cow Pond Road and adjacent to the larger parcel just mentioned. He also owned a third parcel measuring 100 acres further to the southeast between properties in possession of Richard B. Reid and Peter Broderick. Between 1880 and as stated on Cummin's 1928 Atlas, the 52-acre parcel of land had been equally divided between a Mrs. B. (possibly "R" for Richard) Keough and Alonzo Keough. Richard's 100-acre farm was likewise equally divided by his son Alonzo and Mrs. B. ("R") Keough. Meanwhile, it is reported further west at Christopher's Cross, Richard Keough had purchased what is believed to have been 100 acres of land from Charles Dalton, founder of the silver fox industry. This land he passed on to his son Alonzo, who in turn passed it onto his son Walcott, now deceased. John Keough bought the property in 1984. He is a son of Wilbert Keough and Irene Harper.
The only owners of the initial Keough lands at Norway today are Winston Keough (Tignish Elementary School Teacher) and his eldest brother Arnold. The acreage they own was the original 42-acre parcel of land. Winston has built a new home on 35 acres he purchased in 1984 from his brother Arnold, who bought it from his father Wilbert in 1960. Arnold owns 10 acres next to him on the south side of the Norway Road and also about 12 acres or so on the other side of that road.
Richard Keough (1838 - 1912) had wedded a Dawson (see Dawson) whose religious roots had been strongly embedded in Methodism. His wife (d. June 3, 1916), daughter of Richard Dawson, magistrate at Christopher's Cross, from his marriage to Elizabeth Howatt, converted to Roman Catholicism and all of their children were raised in that faith. Both parents are interred in the present Roman Catholic Cemetery at Tignish.
Richard and Mary, who were supposedly married at Tignish, raised a family of 13 children. They were Elizabeth Ann (1859 - Nov. 1939) m. Moses McCue, son of James McCue and Mary Foley; Sarah Jane (b. 1859); (Richard) Martin (b. 1861) m. 1. - O'Connor, m. 2. Bridget White on Feb. 17, 1890; John (Aug 17, 1862 - Oct 31, 1908) m. Carolyn Shea on Sept 11, 1883, daughter of Joseph Shea and Bessie Baines; Mary Ellen (b. 1864) m. Thomas McInnis Jan. 19, 1886; Thomas Henry (b. 1867) m. Margaret Kenny; Margaret Johanna (b. 1869); Catherine Lucy (b. 1871) m. Peter Shea (Aug. 6, 1894); James Herbert (b. 1874); Alfred E. (b. 1876) worked at moving buildings; William Patrick (1878 -1960)also worked at moving buildings in about 1914. He married Mary MacDonald (1890? - 1935); Alonzo (1882 - Sept 1, 1953) m. Rose Hogan (Jan 11, 1876 - July 6, 1926) m. 2. Lauretta (Lottie), daughter of Thomas Nelligan and Angelina Doyle. There also seems to have been a daughter named Martha born in this family, but thus far no information is available concerning her.
It is said that Richard Keough Sr. was a proverbial jack of all trades. The late Gerald Handrahan, whom we have already quoted in this history, writes the following about him: "Keough (Richard) was a legend in his own time. A tireless worker, he would do any difficult job that came along; building roads and breakwaters, hauling buildings and threshing the neighbours' crops with the earlier horse-powered threshing machine." Another source relates that if one came to visit him he would invariably be found in his fields with his head leaning in a somnolent state against the handle of his shovel. He seldom slept two nights in succession.
Five of Richard's sons are known to have left us Keough descendants. They were (Richard) Martin Keough, John, Thomas Henry Keough, William Patrick Keough and Alonzo. James Herbert and Alfred E. Keough may have died at an early age, which would partially explain why we know little about them.
Richard Martin Keough is said to have been a village constable at Tignish at one time. A Keough genealogy states that he was married twice. His first wife was an O'Connor and from this union Eddie, Ralph, Annie and Irene were born. His second marriage to Bridget White in 1890 gave birth to Anne in 1892 and Raphael in 1898. The family lived at Norway before settling somewhere in the United States, passing on into genealogical oblivion like so many of our settlers who chose to go there over the years.
John Keough married to Carolyn Shea raised the following offspring: Joseph (b. 1844 - d. age 17), Lillian (b. 1885 - d. at age 17); Mae (Mamie) (b. 1888); Whitmore (Charles) (1889 - 1963); Hilda (1891 - 1967) (Boyd Bernard's mother); Fred (b. 1893 - d. at age 12); Emma (b. 1895 - d. at age 22); Mable (b. 1898). There are no dates at present for the following children: Gerald and Myrtle. After John's death, his wife Carolyn married Frank Gaudet, a noted Tignish carpenter whose stately homes he built still stand today in Tignish. They lived on the land where Cecil Maillet (son of Leo Maillet and Eva Gaudet) and his wife Gloria have built a new home at Norway.
Thomas Henry Keough, who was wedded to Margaret Kenny, raised a family of five children, who were Marion, Harold, Russell, Eva and Ruth. This family, likewise, moved to the United States. While the children often visited Tignish they were frequently well received at the home of their second cousin, Mrs. Annie (Dawson) MacLeod (Edie Eldershaw's mother), Church Street, Tignish.
William Patrick Keough, who was married to Mary MacDonald, is said to have engendered Albert, Mary, William Alexander, and Richard as children. Having lived we believe in the Skinner's Pond area, the family is likewise thought to have settled in the United States.
We know much more about Richard Sr. Keough's youngest son Alonzo because he chose to remain here to raise his family. Alonzo, who had married Rose (Roseanne) Hogan, engendered a family of five children, namely Arnold, who was killed while cutting timber in New Brunswick; Lloyd, who joined the U. S. Military; Rose, who died of diphtheria; Walcott, who remained celibate and died in 1988, and Wilbert (1912 - 1974).
We shall now confine ourselves to two principal Keough families whose descendants here today are legion. One of these is the family of Wilbert Keough (1912 - 1974), son of Alonzo. He lived on the old Keough homestead at Norway, P.E.I. and their family consisted of ten children who are Arnold, who lives on part of the Keough homestead at Norway (m. Helen Arthur); Hilda (m. Bennett Keefe, living at Skinner's Pond); Ethel, who lived in Montreal, now retired on part of the Dalton homestead; Ralph, who lives celibate in Calgary, Alberta; Ray, who lived in Toronto, now retired on the old Keough homestead; Rose Marie, who died of diphtheria at age 3; Winston, teacher at Tignish Elementary School (m. Elaine Myers, daughter of Guy Myers. They live at Norway in a new home on part of the old Keough lands. The last three siblings are John, who lived in Ontario (m. Carol Aylward and live on Dalton homestead lands); Clare, Westisle Composite High School secretary (m. Phillip Shea); and Karen (m. Bob Souther. They live in Elmsdale, Nova Scotia).
Another Keough family we must treat here is the Whitmore (Charles) Keough family. Whitmore (1889 - 1963), son of John, was a farmer at Norway, P.E.I. He was married first to Evangelina "Vimmy" Jones (died 1919) of Sea Cow Pond. His second marriage was to Susan Rielly. Milton (b. 1913), Keith (b. 1914), Carrie (b. 1917), and Robert "Bobby" (1918 - 1973) were born from the first marriage and James (b. 1923), Patricia (b. 1930), Lloyd (no dates), John (b. 1935), and Betty (b. 1940) were born from the second marriage. After Evangelina's early death the children were adopted. Milton was adopted by Mr. & Mrs. John Handrahan at Ascension-Tignish. Robert was adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Carter and later by their daughter Velda at their home (now destroyed), where Robert and his wife Lottie Jones built a new home on Church Street, Tignish. Robert, as a result, apart from being a Keough, was also called Bobby "Carter". It was this same Velda Carter who so graciously sold nine acres of her land there at a very modest price as the site for the Tignish Centennial Arena and the baseball and tennis grounds. Keith was adopted by his grandmother, Carolyn Shea, who had married her second husband Frank Gaudet. They lived at Norway where Cecile Maillet lives today. Finally, Carrie was adopted by her aunt and uncle, Mr. & Mrs. Jim Gallant at Miminegash.
We are now left with two Keough families which we should like to present in this history. They are those of two brothers names Milton and Robert who raised families in Tignish village. Milton (b. 1913) married Zita (b. 1912) daughter of Cletus Gavin Sr. & Carolyn Handrahan. Milton and Zita, who reside on Phillip Street, Tignish, raised a family of 13 children. They were Myrtle (b. 1935) (m. Ferdinand A. Wedge); Gerald (b. 1936) (m. Mary O'Meara); Marion (1937 - 1973) (m. 1. Ray Gaudette (d. 1966); m. 2. Billy Shea); Doris (b. 1939)(m. Reg. Martin, Salisbury, New Brunswick); Carolyn (Carrie b. 1940); Jamie (b. 1941, m. Clarence (Junior) Wedge); Billy (b. 1944, m. Donna Pitre); Betty (b. 1945, m. Alphie Perry); Joan (b. 1946, m. Clarence Perry); Cletus (b. 1948, m. Deborah Bernard); Nancy (b. 1949, m. Jim Hunter); Tish (b. 1950, m. Dave FitzGibbons); and Brenda (1952, m. Lennie Gavin). Apart from raising their thirteen children listed above, Milton and Zita raised two of their grandchildren, who are Rodney and Michael Gaudette, sons of their daughter Marion who had married Ray Gaudette, son of Eddy Gaudette and Eva Rogers (both deceased) of Phillip Street, Tignish. Both Marion and Ray passed away at a relatively early age, the former from spinal meningitis in 1973 and the latter from a tragic drowning at sea in 1966. They also raised for a time Patricia (Girly) Keough, daughter of Whitmore Keough and his second wife Susan Rielly. Patricia was, therefore, Milton's half-sister.
This brief Keough history would indeed be remiss if it were not to include a few characteristics about the patriarchal Keough of the day. This is of course Milton Keough. This affable octogenarian would best be described as a true "jack of all trades" like his grandfather Richard Keough, whom we know was the first of the Keough's to settle here. During his lifetime Milton was a farmer, fished, dug wells, and forged (blacksmithing). In his eighties today he still does all these things apart from fishing. He also spends his time making axe handles and conversing with his numerous acquaintances at the entrance to the Tignish Co-operative, reminiscing about what Tignish was, as well as discussing its present state and what it should aspire to become, as we prepare to embark on the threshold of our third century. Needless to state, Milton has always been a staunch supporter of community endeavors over the years, having served as a member of the board of directors of the Tignish Co-operative Association, the Tignish Co-operative Health Center, the Tignish Credit Union, the Tignish Fisheries Co-operative Association, and he also served on the board of directors of Tignish schools prior to their consolidation.
Finally, we are left to write about the Robert (Bobby) Keough (1918 - 1973), sometimes called "Carter" family. Robert married Mary Charlotte (Lottie) Jones (1917 - 1997). Four children were born from their marriage. They were Clayton (b. 1944, m. Dorothy Bernard. They reside in Nail Pond); Raymond (b. 1946); Shirley (b. 1952, m. Joseph Kenny. They live in their late mother's home on Church Street, Tignish); and Jean (Jeannie, b. 1955). Robert was a deep sea fisherman, but it must be noted that he was likewise an avid sports fisherman. Having made his own trout flies, his reputation for catching monstrous-sized trout in local streams and tributaries became widespread.
Once again we have journeyed far afield tracing yet another Irish family, this time from the distant reaches of the northern sector of Ireland to the various areas which make up the fabric of Tignish and its outlying districts.
KINCH: At the beginning of this chapter on Tignish history and in general terms relative to the Irish settlers who came here, we indicated that the Kinch family was German in origin. We mentioned as well that the German word "Von", meaning "son of", preceded it. Hence, it was known as Von Kinch in Germany. This fact is further corroborated as one peruses Kinch genealogical records.
During the Protestant Reformation, under Martin Luther (1483 - 1546), principally in Northern Germany where the Kinch's are thought to have originated, we believe that since they were Roman Catholic they left Germany because of religious persecution. Although Catholics were likewise subjected to periods of religious persecution in Ireland under Henry VIII and Oliver Cromwell, people like the Kinch's eventually found a more tolerable religious existence. It is said that the prefix "Von" was done away with after the Kinch's settled in Ireland.
Quite often history records different versions of one's origins. Some are based on speculative or romanticized writings or oral history, while others are more factual in nature. There exists a report which states the existence of several versions about the origins of Kinch's on Prince Edward Island. All seem to corroborate the German origin of this family since the name "Kinch" does not sound very Irish. Thomas P. O'Connor's mother Catherine (nee) MacKie, tells a story based on family tradition that a German soldier named Von Kinch had deserted from the German Army and fled to Ireland. She further tells that he married there and that he or his descendants migrated to Prince Edward Island early in the eighteenth century.
There was a Father Edwin Kinch, O.S.M. stationed at Emanuel Cathedral in South Africe in 1980 who, however, reported evidence which seems to contradict the German origin story. During a visit to Ireland he found that "Kinch" is the Isle of Man version of MacAonghouis or MacGuiness and is found mostly in the counties of Wicklow and Wexford. He also discovered that the Kinch coat of arms indicates they were military, which might be part of the basis of the deserter story. Sr. Rita Kinch quoted below had a grand-uncle named John born in Minnesota, and it appears that Father Edwin was a grandson of his.
Sister Rita Kinch, C. S. M. (Congregation of St. Martha), born in Alma, P.E.I., daughter of Peter Kinch, postmaster at St. Louis, P.E.I., now retired in her nineties at the Mother House of Mount St. Mary's in Charlottetown, describes a certain Lawrence Kinch living in Northern Ireland with five or six of his sons who witnessed the murder of a saintly priest in Belfast. The experience, she states, bothered them so much that they became Catholic and were consequently forced to emigrate. Three of them came to America, one to Bermuda and two to Canada to work on the Rideau Canal. One of these, named Lawrence, she continues, later came to Alma, P.E.I.
There was another story told to Sister Rita years ago by Mary McNally, R. N., daughter of James Kinch of Kinch's Corner (also known as Tignish Corner). Her story claims that there were two different Kinch families. The Alma, P.E.I. branch of Kinch's, it states, was established when an Island woman went to work for a family in Ontario, later marrying the widowed father. His name was Kinch and they moved to the Alma area as the first of that line on Prince Edward Island. Meanwhile, the Kildare, P.E.I. Kinch's were supposedly not closely related. While it is supposed that these stories all contain some element of truth, one cannot vouch for their infallible accuracy.
Based on Kinch genealogical records covering our area, the 1826 census of the province lists a Lawrence Kinch at Cascumpec, P.E.I. near Alberton. He is listed as being 40 years of age while his wife is 30 years old. The census also lists a William Kinch, 20 years old, who was probably Lawrence's brother or son from a previous marriage. Kinch children listed were Anne 8, Ellen 6, and Lawrence 5 years old.
Tignish church records indicate that Catherine, daughter of Lawrence and Julia, had married George Coughlin on May 14, 1849. She must have been born before the 1826 census.
Early Kinch settlers in West Prince settled at three principal locations. These were at Horse Head (Waterford, P.E.I.), at Central Kildare and at Alma, P.E.I., halfway between Tignish and Elmsdale. At the apparent risk of being contradictory, since nothing seems certain at this time point, a report from a Kinch descendant states that five Kinch brothers landed at Cascumpec in the early nineteenth century and that three of them chose to settle in West Prince, while two moved on to the United States, remaining anonymous to us to this day. The three Kinch brothers who remained were Lawrence who settled at Alma, and James and Peter who, for opportunistic reasons, settled at Tignish, P.E.I. While James settled at Tignish Corner, which was also named Kinch's Corner after him having opened and operated a general store there, his brother Peter settled in the heart of the village where he became a carriage builder and undertaker. Tignish Corner is situated about a mile west of Tignish where the Haywood Road meets Highway Number Two.
Although much more will be written about it in a future chapter, it was in Peter Kinch's carriage shed where a devastating fire occurred on August 30, 1896, destroying much of the Village of Tignish.
This then represents the Alma-Tignish line of Kinch's, since we are again faced with different branches having the same name yet not bearing close relationship with one another. The story of the five brothers doubtlessly has a connection with the five sons referred to previously in Ireland.
We are told that the line of Kinch's presently settled at Northport, P.E.I., near Alberton make up a different line, while the William Kinch line originating at Horse Head (Waterford, P.E.I.) represents yet another distinct and separate Kinch line. We shall treat here the story of the Lawrence, James, Peter and William Kinch lines, since their descendants figure significantly within the scope of this history.
Lawrence Kinch Sr., born in Ireland in 1820, died September 24, 1872. His wife was Catherine A'Hearn, who had been born on Prince Edward Island in 1826. She passed away on April 30, 1900. Having settled at Alma, P.E.I. they raised the following children: Julia (b. 1844); Lawrence (Nov. 25, 1845 - Oct. 9, 1915); Joseph (Feb. 28, 1848 - 1905); Peter R. (1850 - Nov. 19, 1919); John (Aug. 27, 1853 - d. ??); William (April 2, 1856 - d.??); James W. (Nov. 22, 1857 - Oct 9, 1926); Mary Ellen (Sept. 19, 1860 - Jan 17, 1898); Catherine Teresa (1863 - probably died as an infant); and Catherine Teresa (Sept 15, 1866 - d. ??)
When Lawrence Kinch Sr. settled at Alma with his wife he had about 50 acres of land and like so many early settlers lived in a log cabin there. He later built a home to replace it, which still stands today after his son Lawrence and his grandson Francis (Frank) dwelled in it. Today the latter's daughter Margaret lives in this same home, renovated over the years on about 115 acres of land. Lawrence's son, also named Lawrence, inherited the property. He was married to Elizabeth A'Hearn (May 15, 1853 - June 13, 1909). The following children were their offspring: Peter (Joseph) (b. Jan. 7, 1873); Michael (b. Dec. 15, 1874); Bernard (James) (b. Feb. 14, 1877); Augustine (b. Feb. 12, 1879); Lawrence (b. July 3, 1881 ??); (John) Daniel (b. July 18, 1883); (Benjamin) Fred (b. March 3, 1886); Francis (Xavier) (b. Dec 3, 1888); Mary (Beatrice) (b. Dec. 25, 1889); (Mary) Loretta (b. May 26, 1892); Benedict (b. July 7, 1894). The children went by the names which do not appear in brackets.
Lawrence Kinch Jr's son Francis (Frank)(Dec. 3, 1888 - Aug. 19, 1980) then became property owner of the original Kinch land at Alma. Frank was married to Lucy Callaghan (Aug. 11, 1893 - Aug. 1957). They raised a family of ten children, namely Elmer (Nov 1, 1915 - 1960) who married Mary Harper, daughter of Howard Harper and Bernetta McIntyre. They had five children: Billy, Helen, Brian, Frank, and Cathy; Frances (b. Dec. 3, 1916) m. Alvin Rayner (Greenmount); Irene (b. July 28, 1918) m. George Obee (from England), Royal Canadian Navy, Halifax, N. S.; Michael Gregory (Feb. 17, 1920 - Sept. 1989) m. Edna Burns. Gregory and Edna's family consisted of Lorraine, James, Maureen, George, John, Leo and Rita. Having settled near Palmer Road Roman Catholic Church they had purchased the old Richard Noonan farm from Albert MacDonald, which consists of 91 acres where Edna lives today in a new home replacing the old Richard Noonan home destroyed by fire in 1995. Richard Noonan had donated land from his farm for the location of the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Palmer Road, as well as for the graveyard and location of the school at Palmer Road.
Frank Kinch's and Lucy Callaghan's fifth child was named Evelyn (b. Jan 17, 1921). She married Herman Kennedy of Waterford, P.E.I. (see Kennedy). Their next child was Rita (Dec. 28, 1922 - 1955) who was celibate and died at Alma, P.E.I. Alice Patricia (b. March 17, 1926 - d. young) was then born to them, followed by Maurice (??) (Aug. 12, 1931 - 1996) who married Everett Kelly (July 14, 1927 - Nov. 14, 1984), who lives in her parents' home at Alma, P.E.I. on a 115-acre farm. Finally, there is Joyce Kinch (b. Dec. 11, 1937) who married Ronald McKeigan. They live in Charlottetown and raised three daughters.
We have digressed somewhat from listing Lawrence Sr.'s children and must now write about three more of them, who were Mary Beatrice (b. Dec 25, 1889), Mary Loretta (b. May 26, 1892) and Benedict (b. July 7, 1894).
Lawrence Kinch Sr. and Catherine A'Hearn's third offspring was Joseph, as we have seen. His first wife was Ann A'Hearn (1853 - Feb 8, 1889). On July 29, 1890 he married Ellen Ready (1853 - 1936). The following children were born from the first union: William James (b. Oct 3, 1876); Nicholas (b. May 23, 1878); Catherine (b. March 17, 1880); Lawrence (b. May 1882); Peter Joseph (b. Aug 6, 1884). Peter Joe Kinch, postmaster at St. Louis, P.E.I. was married to Alice FitzGerald. They had four children, namely John, Bernard, Agnes and Rita (Muriel), Sisters of St. Martha. Bernadette Teresa (b. Oct 15, 1891) was the only child born from the second marriage.
We shall now learn about Peter R. Kinch, Lawrence Kinch Sr.'s fourth offspring. Peter was born in 1850 and died Nov. 19, 1919. He and his family lived in the center of Tignish Village where he became a carriage builder and undertaker. His renowned "Kinch Sleigh" became for many a prized possession. He was twice married, first to Bridget Kavanaugh (b. 1853 - d. Jan 25, 1883) and then on July 29, 1884 to Mary Ellen Murphy (1864 - 1952) of Lot Seven. Four children were born from the first marriage, namely Lawrence (b. Aug 22, 1877); Ellen (b. Dec. 2, 1878); Bridget Catherine (b. April 23, 1881), and Charles (b. Jan 15, 1883). From the second marriage there were Charles Wilfred (b. March 19, 1888); Bertha Mary (b. March 18, 1889), Gertrude (b. Aug 6, 1890); Lucinda (b. Dec. 11, 1891); Charles (b. Oct 14, ??), Peter Leo (b. Dec 31, 1894); Elizabeth Lea (b. Jan 30, 1896); John Henry (b. March 7, 1897); Mary Ethel (b. July 11, 1898) and Margaret (b. Oct 14, 1899).
Meacham's 1880 Atlas indicates that Peter Kinch had purchased Lot Number 37 when Tignish Village was laid out in l ots. It was situated at the corner of Phillip's Cross (Phillip Street today) and Railway Street. It is presently the lot where James Boyles resides. Peter Kinch's house is long gone. His undertaking business here was carried on by his wife after his death in 1919. As has been mentioned, it was here where the Great Tignish Fire of August 30, 1896 began.
All of the land at Tignish had once been owned by the Cunard absentee landowners. Having been forced to sell their lands by the government, much of at Tignish was bought by the Parish of St. Simon and St. Jude, which in turn sold it to the people. Based on maps, it was thus that Peter Kinch seems quite likely to have obtained his lot. It must be noted that Peter Kinch was likewise in possession of ten acres of land south and bordering Phillips Street once owned by J. (Jerry) E. Richard. It extended from Church Street where John Chaisson lives in a westerly direction to a brook separating Ben Peter's property and that of the writer of these words.
After Peter R. Kinch, there came his brother named John (b. August 27, 1853 - d. ??) On April 6, 1875 he married Elizabeth O'Brien (b. 1853 - d. ??). Their children were Martin (b. July 27, 1875); Mary Ann (b. Dec. 4, 1876); Lawrence (b. Feb. 1879); Mary Ann (b. Feb. 1881, the second of that name. The first must have died young; George (b. Feb. 1883); John Herman (b. June 25, 1885); William Bennett (b. Aug. 22, 1887); James Leo (b. Oct 11, 1889), and Mary Honora (b. Aug. 23, 1892).
John was followed by William (b. April 2, 1856). Since nothing else is known about him at present, we must presume that he died at an early age without issue.
James W. Kinch (Nov 22, 1857 - Oct 9, 1926) is the next child born to Lawrence Kinch Sr. and Catherine A'Hearn. On October 9, 1883 he married Anastasia Ready (1855 - 1949). They bore the following children: Etta Ann (b. July 3, 1884); Catherine Zita (b. Feb. 14, 1886) who m. Clarence F. Morrissey, MLA; Charles Boromeo (Romey) (b. April 21, 1888); Mary (b. Oct. 1890) m. John McNally of Summerside, P.E.I.; James Guy (b. Oct 8, 1892) and Claude Morris (b. July 3, 1895) m. Anne Morrissey, sister of Clarence above.
Shortly after their marriage James and Anastasia had purchased a home at Tignish Corner named Kinch's Corner after them, where they operated a general store carrying on a thriving business. Their youngest son Claude, who had served in the North Shore New Brunswick Army Corps as a signalman during World War I (1914 - 1918) took over his father's business after working in Maine for a Canadian Railway. His father was in failing health at the time. The business folded during the time of the Great Depression of the late 1920's.
On Nov. 9, 1920 Claude (1895 - Oct 17, 1960) married Anne Morrissey (1898 - 1992), daughter of Patrick Morrissey and Mary Anne Doyle. They raised the following children, including two sets of twins: Robert (Bobby) (1921 - 1944), killed in action in Second World War as signalman for the Royal Canadian Army New Brunswick North Shore Regiment, buried in the Bayeux, Normandy, France Commonwealth Cemetery; Jeanette (1923 - 1968), Sister of Service W.W.II; Paul (b. 1925) m. Thelma Gaudet, daughter of Peter (the Barber), Benny and Betty (twins, b. 1930); Barbara (b. 1931); Jimmy (b. 1933); David and Danny (twins, b. 1936); Mary (b. 1937 - d. six months); and Eugene (1940 - 1991).
Three brothers married three Glace Bay, Cape Breton sisters. Benny married Winnie McInnis, Jimmy married Frances McInnis and David married Isabel McInnis. Betty is married to Albert Walsh and lives in Cardigan, P.E.I., Barbara married and lives in Durham, Ontario. Danny is celibate and works as a Roman Catholic Archdiocesan religious education consultant in Toronto. Eugene had married twice, first to Ernestine McDonald, daughter of Joe McDonald, Tignish C. N. R. station agent and Lottie Rossiter. His second wife was a niece of the three McInnis sisters listed, Sandra McInnis.
After the Kinch general store closed at Kinch's Corner, Claude Kinch's family moved from there to the second floor of the present Tignish Post Office where Claude became caretaker of the building. The five youngest children were born here. The others were born at the Corner. Claude and his wife Anne were noted for their commitment to community affairs. Claude spearheaded the establishment of the Tignish Royal Canadian Legion and the construction of the War Memorial on land donated to the Legion by the nuns at Tignish Convent. He was also a noted Boy Scout Master at Tignish and worked towards establishing a first aid post for the village as well as organizing swimming lessons for the area. In 1953 he and his wife moved to Toronto. Their children had preceded them there and soon moved in with them. Both he and his wife died and are interred there.
Claude's youngest sister Mary, who had once been a teacher at the Tignish Grammar School, then became a registered nurse for many years in Boston. Eventually she returned to the Island and married John McNally of Summerside, P.E.I. The moved to Kinch's Corner in 1940, living in the home of her birth, which she later largely altered and restored. They came with Lawrence, John's son from his first marriage. Lawrence became a Tignish Village milkman, since the McNally's operated a farm there. He delivered milk daily by horse-drawn wagon and sleigh. Mary taught school again, this time at Harper Road, and continued nursing for a while in Boston. At present her home is owned by her nephew David and is the summer home of all the Kinch's, children of Claude and Anne and their children.
Lawrence Kinch Sr.'s next child, Claude's aunt, was Mary Ellen (b. Sept. 19, 1860 - d. Jan. 17, 1898). She married Peter McKenna (b. 1852) on August 26, 1879. They raised a family of ten children: Julia, Mark, Lawrence, James, Catherine, Joseph, Bridget, Peter, Mary Colette, and John Stanislaus. Lawrence's last two children who had the same name were Catherine Teresa. The first was born March 12, 1863 and presumably died as an infant. The second was born Sept. 15, 1866. She married Andrew McLean. They had two children, Mary Viola (b. Dec. 13, 1889) and Mary Ethel (b. June 20, 1892).
Before leaving Tignish Kinch's for the moment we shall relate that there was a Mrs. William Kinch from Kildare who lived on Main Street in Tignish with her daughter Carrie, who was bedridden most of her life with tuberculosis from which she succumbed like so many young girls at the time. Carrie made and sold greeting cards, one of which was given to this writer. Her mother was Margaret Handrahan, a sister of Mark, the late Gerald Handrahan's father. Carrie and her mother lived in a house which was once the kitchen part of the Austin MacDonald property, where his daughter Kay MacDonald and Clare O'Shea reside today. Carrie's home is presently an apartment building.
Our Kinch history takes us now to our final Kinch lineage emanating from Horse Head (Waterford, P.E.I.). In 1880 William Kinch is listed as owner of 60 acres of land at Waterford, P.E.I. The land bordered Northumberland Strait and on its opposite flank bordered Black Pond. T. B. Hall operated a saw mill on the opposite side of the pond. By 1928 or sometime before then the Kinch lands had been augmented to one hundred acres in total, under the name of Mrs. William Kinch. The elder Mrs. William Kinch had passed away in 1910 and this Mrs. Kinch was no doubt the daughter-in-law of the elder William Kinch, as we shall see. These lands today are owned and farmed by Alvin and his brother Norbert Shea.
It is believed that William Kinch had been married at least three times. His obituary states that he died March 9, 1916 in his 79th year. He was a blacksmith by trade and it was he who forged the wrought iron cross which graces the steeple of the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Palmer Road, P.E.I. William was born at Kildare, P.E.I. and moved to Waterford in about 1871. At the time of his death the following children survived him: Mrs. John Doyle of Skinner's Pond, three sons - Thomas of Boston, Alphonsus (Faun) of Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, and William at home. Also five step-daughters: Hanora Shea (Mrs. Joseph Aylward) of Pleasant View, Mary Ann Shea (Mrs. Allan MacDonald) of Waterford, Eva Shea (Mrs. J. N. Robertson) of New York; Margaret Shea (Mrs. W. Cormier) of Boston; and Georgina MacDonald (unmarried in 1916) of Boston. The Shea's were daughters of Michael Shea, whose widow William Kinch Sr. had married. Georgina was likely an offspring of one of his wives who was a MacDonald. Cormier is listed as Creamer, and J. N. Robertson as Frederick Robinson in another obituary relative to the family.
William Sr.'s wife was Mary Nelligan who passed away at Waterford, P.E.I. on November 20, 1910 in her 72nd year. She had been married to William for 50 years. William's son of the same name inherited the property of his parents. He was married to Alice Aylward (April 25, 1884 - Dec. 15, 1959), daughter of Patrick Aylward and Margaret Kelly. She had been Albert Kennedy's second wife. His first wife was Maud O'Halloran from the Dock Road. They bore a family of four children who were Mary Margaret (b. 1907), (Joseph) Howard (b. June 21, 1909), Mary Hanora (b. 1913), and Joseph Albert (b. 1914). Little is known about the last two who presumably died young. Since William Jr.'s mother had predeceased her husband, he was caring for his father in the old homestead at Waterford at the time of the latter's death in 1916 and his four children were born before then.
Their son Joseph Howard, born June 21, 1909 at Waterford, P.E.I., took over the inheritance of the property where he farmed and fished. During the winter months he was a stevedore on the docks at Halifax, N. S. His wife was Viola Doyle, born Nov. 20, 1912 at Skinner's Pond, daughter of Joseph Doyle from Rocky Point, P.E.i. (See Doyle) and Ida Ready, also from Skinner's Pond. Two children were born to them: Adrien (Dec. 19, 1935) and Mary (b. March 19, 1951). Mary is unmarried and resides in Toronto, while Adrien lives on Phillip Street with his wife Freda Hogan, daughter of Walter Hogan and Mary Gavin (See Hogan and Gavin). Adrien and Freda raised the following children: Blair (b. 1958) m. Eileen Gallant; Vera (b. 1959) m. Kenneth Richard; William (Billy) (b. 1960) m. Raeanne Handrahan; Bernice (b 1963) m. David Landry; Kenneth (Kenny, b. 1966) m. Karen Perry, and Stephanie (b. 1974) m. David Adams.
Our Kinch treatise has carried us far afield as we have attempted to assemble the various branches making up their genealogical tree. Their history has taken us from the far reaches of northern Germany to Ireland, Cascumpec, Kildare, Alma, St. Louis, Palmer Road, Waterford, and Tignish, Prince Edward Island. Their name will doubtlessly be perpetuated at Tignish as the youngest of them here, Perry (b. 1993) and Matthew Kinch (b. 1995), both sons of Kenny Kinch and Karen Perry on Church Street, are on the threshold of their life's journey.
KNOX: When John Knox (b. England 1830 - d. Skinner's Pond 1917), the first of the Knox male line, settled at Skinner's Pond he acquired 112 acres of land. The land still remains in the Knox family. John who undoubtedly inherited it from his stepfather Peter McKenna had passed it onto his son James (see below), who in turn had passed it on to his son the late Leslie Knox (1921 - 1979). Leslie's wife Amelia Bernard lives in the original homestead on about two acres of land, while her son James owns over a hundred of the original acreage apart from three lots.
The road leading to Skinner's Pond harbour today was once called the McKenna Road and is now the Knox Road at the end of which as it reached Northumberland Strait there once stood fish stages owned by J. Morrissey, Peter Aylward and Stanislaus F. Poirier.
John's wife was Bridget McHugh (McCue) (Jan. 29, 1848 - 1939). It is recorded that they raised a family of eleven children who were Mary Ann (b. 1869) m. John Kelly; Jane (b. 1870) m. Daniel Kenny (see Kenny); James (b. Dec 7, 1871 - d. April 9, 1956); John (b. Sept. 19, 1873) - nothing is presently known about him; Peter (1876 - 1926) m. Sadie Shea; George (b. March 17, 1879) m. Eva Kennedy (June 21, 1881 - Jan 27, 1975) (see Kennedy); Theresa (b. Jan 18, 1880) m. John Murphy; Sabrina (b. Jan 18, 1882) m. Jimmy Donovan; Catherine Winifred (b. Nov 7, 1883) m. John Ellsworth; Rosella Claire (b. Sept 9, 1885) m. Thomas Ready; Bridget Maria (b. June 18, 1887) m. Thomas Murphy; and Joseph Wilbert (b. April 15, 1892) m. 1, Henrietta Handrahan, and m. 2. Agnes Coyne from Chicago, Illinois. Henrietta having died while giving birth, Joseph Wilbert moved to Chicago where he raised six or seven children with his second wife. He passed away Dec. 10, 1976 and is buried there. Theresa and Bridget married two brothers.
John's son James (1871 - 1956) listed above, married Anne Loretta Aylward (1891 -July 31, 1931). They raised a family of nine children who were born at Skinner's Pond. They were Mary Doris (b. 1916) who died the same year; Mary Doris (Dolly)(b. Sept. 16, 1917 - 1947) m. 1. Leo Gallant m. 2. Dan Kenny (See Kenny); Elizabeth Ellen Lucy (Lucine)(b. Jan 7, 1919 - 1996) m. Henry Friel; John Melvin (b. May 1, 1920 - Jan 11, 1971) unmarried; James Leslie (Nov. 26, 1921 - July 8, 1979) m. Amelia Bernard, daughter of Michael Bernard and Rosalie Arsenault; Joseph Lorne (April 1, 1923 - Jan 2, 1977) m. Velma Bernard, Amelia's sister; Wilbert Justin (b. Sept. 7, 1924) died shortly after; Mary Margaret (Oct 19, 1927 - Jan 5, 1978). She had a son named Joseph Melvin Knox (b. 1944) who presently resides in New Hampshire, and finally Rita Anne (July 1931 - June 5, 1974.
John was born next (Sept. 19, 1873). Nothing is known about him apart from the fact that he married and settled in the United States and had children.
Much more is known about John and Bridget's next child, Peter, since he left Knox descendants here. Married to Sadie Shea (1882 - 1960), they bore the following children: Geraldine (1906 - 1929) single; Mary Margaret (Pearl)(1908 - 1988) m. Charles Allen. They lived in Ohio and California; Ann (1910 - 1992) m. Thomas McCormack. They also lived in Ohio and California; Albert (1912 - 1985) m. Yvonne Poirier (Perry)(b. 1921); Louis (1913 - 1987) m. Emily Marion. They lived in Toronto and had four children, Linda, Patricia, Joe, and Gail; Stella (1914 - 1937) unmarried; Elmer (b. 1916) m. Mary MacAllister; Richard (1917 - 1980) m. Mary Madeleine Arsenault, daughter of Alphie Arsenault and Dorothy (Dolly) Arsenault. Richard and Mary raised six children, namely Linda (Montreal), Glen (Western Canada), Charles, Stella, Paul and Brian who live in Charlottetown. John and Bridget's ninth child was called Raymond (b. 1919) m. Bernice Kennific. They live in Halifax and bore three daughters, Sharon, Marlene and Brenda. Their 10th and 11th children died at an early age. Their names were Gertrude and Claude. The youngest offspring of the family is Patricia (b. 1924) who is married to Wilson Shea at Anglo-Tignish.
Peter Knox and his family lived in Peterville-Tignish where he had purchased about 52 acres of land from Fidele Poirier (Perry). He was a farmer by occupation.
George, son of John and Bridget, married to Eva Kennedy, raised the following children on 132 acres of land in Palmer Road South: Lester (b. June 12, 1908 - d. Dec. 28, 1981) unmarried; Sister Bertha, C. N. D. (b. Sept 16, 1910 - d. Oct 6, 1995). Sister Bertha entered the Congregation of Notre-Dame in Montreal in October 1933 and was professed as Sister St. Aloysius of the Sacred Heart in 1935. She celebrated her Golden and Diamond Jubilees as a nun in 1985 and 1995 respectively. She is buried at Palmer Road after a lifetime of teaching, principally at St. Joseph's Convent, Charlottetown until it closed, and at Tignish for a while. Her other siblings were Clifford (Sept 7, 1913 - Aug. 22, 1993) unmarried; Rita (b. June 27, 1918) and presently in Maplewood Manor in Alberton; Mary (b. Oct 17, 1920) m. William Gerald Profit (May 21, 1910 - Dec 6, 1957) and Dorothy (1923 - 1925) died at 18 months.
The Knox's have been quite prolific by the number of their offspring today. Four families in particular would fall in this category. First, let us refer to the Albert Knox family. Married to Yvonne Poirier (Perry), daughter of Alphie Perry and Mathilde Chiasson, they bore a family of thirteen children, including two sets of twins, namely Ronald (1942 - 1996) m. Evelyn Malcolm; Stella (b. 1942) m. Albert Gaudet of Leoville, P.E.I.; Leonard (b. 1947) m. Margaret Tomilson; Irma and Derma (twins, b. 1949) - Irma m. Charles Chase and Derma m. Michael LeBlanc; Elizabeth (b. 1950) m. David Foggoa; Bertha (b. 1951); Catherine (b. 1953) m. David Yorke; James (b. 1955) m. Christine Darshun; Claude and Claudia (twins, b. 1957) - Claude m. Cindy Stranne and Claudia m. Allan LaPierre; Floyd (b. 1960) m. Darlene Donor. The final offspring is Raymond (b. 1962)
Albert and Yvonne's family lived at three locations. First at the end of the DeBlois Road as it meets the Palmer Road, then in Tignish and finally in Dartmouth, N. S. While at DeBlois they farmed on about 50 acres of land purchased from Joe Gallant. In Tignish they lived on Phillip Street in a home relocated on the opposite side of the same street. It was once owned by Kate McInnis and later by Boyd Doyle and was located where the Tignish Legion parking lot is presently located. Mrs. Helena LeFave lives in it at present. While in Tignish Albert worked for the Fuller Brush Company and while in Dartmouth he worked as a ship's mate on a survey vessel. His wife Yvonne has since remarried in 1995 to Claude McAllister, and they presently reside at Kildare, P.E.I.
Our next two Knox families are those of Leslie and Lorne, both sons of James Knox and Anne Loretta Aylward. Leslie (Nov. 26, 1921 - July 8, 1979) lived at Skinner's Pond with his wife Amelia Bernard (b. 1923) in the old homestead built by John Knox, Leslie's grandfather. It replaced a log cabin and then a house which still stands there today, being used as a barn. They raised the following children there: Joseph (b. Feb. 16, 1946 - d. at birth); Gerard (b. Jan 6, 1950) m. Janet Kenny; Connie (b. Sept 29, 1951) m. Gary Rennie; Owen (b. Dec 20, 1952) m. Linda Vaughn; Gary (b. June 22, 1955) m. Heather MacLean; James (b. April 16, 1957) m. Francine Keefe; Justina (b. April 14, 1959) m. Clifford Doucette; Anne (b. Aug 3, 1961) m. Henry Doucette; Lee (b. April 12, 1963) m. Kimberly (Kim) Christopher; Barbara (b. Aug. 9, 1964) m. Michael Myers, and Bruce (June 22, 1966 - Aug 31, 1986) killed in a car accident at St. Felix. Justina and Anne married brothers.
The Lorne Knox family was raised in Halifax, N.S. Lorne (1923 - 1977) and his wife Velma Bernard (b. Aug 22, 1927) engendered a family of six children who are Pauline (b. 1950) m. 1, Gerry Power, m. 2. Karl Hansen (St. John, N. B.); Norma (b. 1952) m. Leo Henneburry (Prospect, N. S.); Michael (b. 1955) m. Brenda Hillcox (Alberta); Ronald (b. 1958) unmarried in Alberta; Kevin (b. 1961) m. Sheila Proctor (Antigonish, N. S.); and Allen (b. 1966) m. Kelly Dacey (Halifax). Lorne worked in the Halifax Grain Elevators and he is interred in Halifax. His wife still resides there.
The final Knox family we should like to treat in this part of our history is the Elmer Knox family and its descendants here today. Elmer (b. 1916 - d. 1985) married to Mary MacAllister (1921 - 1995) had inherited his father's farm at Peterville consisting of some fifty or so acres. The farm is presently owned by his son Donald of Halifax. Their children were Peter (b. 1943) m. Doreen McCarthy of St. Theresa's, P.E.I. They have two children, Kimberly and Cindy; Reggie (b. 1945) m. Elizabeth Doyle (b. 1946). They have two children, Ross (b. 1971) and Rose (b. 1973). Reggie's family lives on Phillip Street in Tignish. Other siblings are Donald (b. 1946) m. Patsy Shea, daughter of Albert Shea of Sea Cow Pond. They have four children: Donna, Darlene, Debbie and Darrel and live in Halifax; Della (b. 1948) m. Milton McKenna. They dwell in Charlottetown; Carmen (b. 1949) m. Albert Shea of Sea Cow Pond; Hazel (b. 1950) m. 1. Ray Webster of Pleasant Grove, P.E.I. m.2. Allen Clow; Myra (b. 1952) m. Joe Shea of Sea Cow Pond; Patricia (b. 1953) unmarried; Ann (b. 1957) m. Bruce Pitre of Peterville and Dorothy(Dot)(b. 1958) m. Nelson Blanchard of Morell, P.E.I.
This brings us to the end of our saga with the Knox's from far and wide. We have journeyed with them from Scotland, England, Ireland, Skinner's Pond, Leoville, Peterville, Halifax and Tignish, among some areas.
MCCARTHY: L'Impartial Illustré, the special edition of Tignish's French weekly newspaper of 1899, which commemorated our centennial year, gives us the following information regarding the McCarthy's who settled here. Although it states that they came from Nail Pond, they did not in fact settle there, but rather at Sea Cow Pond near North Cape.
John McCarthy and his wife were both natives of County Kerry in Ireland and came here in 1822. Their family consisted of Florence, Cornelius, Eugene, Charles, and Margaret who were all born in Ireland. The family settled on a farm which was afterwards owned by Patrick Dalton who married Margaret, John McCarthy's only daughter. Both John and his wife are buried in the old pioneer cemetery at "The Green". The article mentions also that at the time (1899) all the children were married except Eugene and had settled on farms in the Tignish area. They raised large families, some of whom were still here then, but a greater number of them moved to the United States.
There is a source of McCarthy genealogy indicating that John McCarthy, born in Ireland in about 1780, was married to Elizabeth Dalton. We also learn from it that he was about 40 years old when he left Ireland and that his children ranged in age from four to eighteen when they came.
Before enumerating members of the McCarthy clan, we shall begin by stating that there were three John McCarthy's who settled here initially. This again adds to the dilemma encountered by genealogists as they attempt to sift through their descendants and at the same time trying to avoid the pitfalls of inaccuracies.
There was a John C. McCarthy and a John B. McCarthy, both at Sea Cow Pond, and a John McCarthy at Waterford, P.E.I. Once again we discover that there seems not to exist any known relationship between these three John McCarthy's, as has occurred with several other Irish families whom we have studied. We shall leave the matter for future genealogists to clarify once and for all as the cliché so aptly states, "Time is of the essence".
John McCarthy's and Elizabeth Dalton's eldest son Florence, born in Ireland in 1804, died April 27, 1885 at 81 years of age. He was married to Frances ----, born in 1846 and died Dec. 27, 1882 at 68 years of age. Both are buried in the present cemetery at Tignish. Their children were Ann (b. 1839); Helen (b. 1840); Charles (b. 1842); Jane (b. 1844); Ellen (b.c. 1846 - died Nov. 20, 1898). She was married to Patrick Kerwin; Agnes (bl 1848); James Phillip (b. 1849); Lucy (b. 1851); Felix (b. 1854); and Juliana (b. 1859).
John's and Elizabeth's second offspring, Cornelius (1806 - 1897) m. Joanna Morrissey. Their children were Margaret (b. 1834); John C. (1838 - 1914), Chester the lawyer's father; Charles (b. 1841); Cornelius (b. 1843); Jane (b. 1844??); Regina (b. 1849); Mary (b. 1850); Florence (b. 1853) and Daniel.
John's and Elizabeth's next son, John Eugene, (1810 - 1892) married Bridget O'Halloran (1810 - 1901). They settled at Campbellton, P.E.I. where they raised several children and are the ancestors of the McCarthy's of that region.
John's and Elizabeth's daughter Margaret (bl 1812) married Patrick Dalton. They were the parents of Sir Charles Dalton, Lt. Governor of P.E.I. (See Dalton)
Cornelius McCarthy (b. 1806) had an eldest son named John, like his father. He was commonly known locally as "Johnny Cornie" McCarthy (b.c. 1838 - d. 1914). His wife was Alice Morrissey (1849 - 1924). They were the so-called Sea Cow Pond McCarthy's, since the family settled there on an 80-acre farm. There was a local post office set up in their home. In those days post offices were just being established in outlying districts of Tignish. These were rather rudimentary in nature and served not only to distribute mail but were a place to come and socialize and catch up on the local gossip. It was here where John and his wife were to raise a family of ten children who became quite erudite as well as prominent in public life. Three of them became nuns in the Congregation de Notre-Dame of Montreal, one being a distinguished lawyer, and the youngest of them, Gerald, gained the reputation of being the youngest student ever to graduate at age 20 from St. Dunstan's College in Charlottetown, which is presently amalgamated with Prince of Wales College to form the University of Prince Edward Island.
Here then are the family members: Mary Olive (b. April 8, 1875 - d. 1968) known as Sister St. Gerald, C. N. D. who became Assistant Mother General of her Order in Montreal; Elizabeth Mary (b. May 6, 1876). Little is known about her and we presume that she died young; Regina (b. 1877); Francis (Frank) Augustine (b. July 10, 1879). He was unmarried and moved to Western Canada where he passed away; Peter Chester (sometimes listed as Chester P., b. Oct 4, 1882 - d. 1948) m. Florence Keaveney from Earnscliffe, P.E.I. (died Feb. 26, 1938 at 41 years of age); Catherine Georgina (April 9, 1884 - 1965) known as Sister St. Mary Justin, C. N. D., who became Mother Provincial of her Order in the Ottawa region; Justin (July 24, 1886 - 1969). He was unmarried and worked as a freight handler for the railway at Tignish, living in the house presently owned by Carmen Hogan on Church Street. He presumably bought it from Edward Hackett, MP, who once lived there (see Hackett). Then there was Alice Beatrice (Feb. 20, 1889 - 1959) and then (Joseph) Leslie (Oct. 10, 1890 - 1980) m. Rufina Hogan, daughter of Henry Hogan and Laura Christopher (see Hogan). John C. McCarthy's and Alice Morrissey's final offspring was Gerald (1892 - 1925). He was unmarried and went to Western Canada where he became inspector of schools.
Chester P. McCarthy was a graduate of St. Dunstan's College in Charlottetown. He became a distinguished lawyer and formed the first Fishermen's Union in Canada in 1924 organizing local fisherman for that purpose. He and his wife had purchased the home of his relative Sir Charles Dalton, a Tignish-born Lt-Gov. of the province, on Church Street in Tignish. Chester and his wife had no children, but adopted a girl, Colleen, who is married to Ralph Gaudet, son of Howard of St. Louis, P.E.I.
Chester's law office was located in what was once Charles Dalton's Drug Store. This building is presently the Tignish Auto Parts establishment and was the home of Theresa Wasnidge for a time. Dalton's and later Chester's home next to it is now owned by Cyril Arsenault, Ulric's son, and his wife Connie McRae.
Chester's brother Leslie was a manager of the cannery for Tignish Fisheries at Jude's Point and later clerk for Morris and Bernard's General Store (now destroyed) located where the Tignish Co-operative parking lot is situated. Leslie and his wife Rufina, after living with his brother Justin for a short time, purchased the John (Joe) MacDonald house on Sunset Drive in Tignish where Rufina presently lives with her son Eric (b. 1943) who remains celibate. John (Joe) MacDonald had operated a small grocery store he had acquired from Albert Brennan. It stood where the Tignish Co-op garage stands today. Alas, this is the end of the male descendancy of this McCarthy line, since their only offspring, Gerald, (b. 1940) m. Helen Barrett of Alberton has a family of five daughters who are Connie, Kelly, Geraldine, Corinne, and Erin. The family lives in Wilmot, P.E.I. There exists no McCarthy descendants from this genealogical line at Sea Cow Pond today. The John C. McCarthy 80-acre or so farm is now owned by Wilson Gavin who purchased it from the former's children, Leslie, Justin, and Beatrice.
Another McCarthy family which settled at Sea Cow Pond was the Charles McCarthy one. Charles born in Ireland in about 1815 died Nov. 22, 1881 at age 66. His wife was Bridget Doyle (b. c. 1823 - d. Sept 2, 1897) at age 74. He was one of John McCarthy's and Elizabeth Dalton's children. He owned a farm of some 90 acres at Sea Cow Pond, which he no doubt had inherited from his father, where he raised a family of 12 children who were Eugene (b. Feb. 1844); Charles (b. Oct 5, 1845); Thomas (b. May 5, 1847); James (b. July 13, 1849 - died Sept 12, 1897 at age 47); Bridget (b. May 28, 1851); Mary and Jane (twins, born Nov. 7, 1853); Ann (b. Jan 19, 1856); Margaret (b. Mar 2, 1860); Helen (b. March 9, 1962 - died July 28, 1956 in Providence, Rhode Island at age 95); Patrick Douglas (b. Nov 8, 1864 - d. 1941), and Cornelius (b. May 10, 1872 - died April 1, 1890 at age 18).
The Patrick Douglas just listed was always known here as Dugald P. McCarthy. His wife was Eunice O'Connor (1867 - 1935) of Kildare, P.E.I. Dugald was both a farmer at Sea Cow Pond as well as a lighthouse keeper at North Cape. They raised a family of thirteen children who were Mary (b. March 14, 1891) m. Charles Kelly of Kelly's Cross, P.E.I.; Ann Mabel (b. June 18, 1893 - d. June 8, 1898 at 4 years, 6 months); Guindilina (Guen) (b. Aug 18, 1895) m. Dan Herley of the U. S. (They lived in Western Canada); Florence Anthony (b. Nov 17, 1897 - d. 1976) unmarried; Charles Victor (b. Nov 3, 1899 - d. Aug 30, 1995). He served his country as a soldier and taught school in Regina, Sask., m. 1, Ceoana Tessier, m. 2. Laura Dupuis (d. 1984); Edward Clifford (b. July 1901 - died young); Regina (Jean) Camilla (b. Dec. 18, 1902) who became Sister St. Francis of the Passion, C. N. D., a teacher mainly in Montreal; Francis Cecil (b. April 17, 1904) m. Bella Perry (Poirier) who lives in Tignish. He died and is buried in Toronto where he worked; Vernon (1905 - 1977) unmarried; Edith Adele (b. May 28, 1907) who lives in California, the list survivor of the family. On May 11, 1938 she married Phillip F. Lavery at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Fall River, Mass.; Ann Isabel (Feb. 6, 1909 - Oct 6, 1991) m. Patrick (Pat) Callaghan (March 29, 1909 - Jan 7, 1977) of Ebbsfleet, P.E.I. They are buried in Palmer Road Cemetery and are the parents of Phil Callaghan who lives on Dalton Ave. in Tignish; Helen Roselle (b. March 22, 1910) m. _Otoya; and finally Emily Stella (Sept 20, 1911 - Aug. 26, 1925). She drowned at Sea Cow Pond near her home at age 14.
Once again we have an example of a family leaving no male descendancy in our area. Dugald McCarthy's lands at Sea Cow Pond are presently owned by Wilson Gavin's three sons Stafford, Billy and Leigh, measuring about 56 acres for the former two brothers and about 30 acres for the latter. We may also add that none of McCarthy's buildings remain there today.
There remains another McCarthy family we should like to write about. This is the family of Captain John B. (Bernard) McCarthy. The Tignish newspaper dated 1899 relates that his father, John McCarthy, came to Tignish from Miscouche, P.E.I. 48 years prior to this date. Based on at least two genealogical publications, we learn that Captain John's grandfather was born in Ireland (date unknown) and married Susan Nalles on March 16, 1814 at Tracadie, N. S. Susan's name, as well as her family name, vary widely in spelling in several documents about her. It is said that Susan's father, George, had arrived in Nova Scotia as a member of the British Army and may have been of Dutch descendancy, whereas her mother was Madeleine Doiron, daughter of Pierre Doiron and Anne Forest. John and Susan moved to Miscouche, P.E.I. a few short years after their marriage. Baptismal records for the Church of St. John the Baptist at Miscouche record that four of their children were christened there. Other children were born in Nova Scotia, or perhaps elsewhere. Susan was born August 11, 1787 at Franklin Manor, Nova Scotia and died at Miscouche August 2, 1861 where she is buried.
John's and Susan's firstborn was named John. He was born in Nova Scotia but exactly when is not known. He married Margaret Dalton at Miscouche on January 27, 1839 and died November 8, 1888 with burial in the present Roman Catholic cemetery at Tignish. His wife was a daughter of Thomas Dalton and Joanna Carson of Lot Seven, P.E.I. She died in 1895 at Sea Cow Pond, as her husband had before her on their farm and is likewise interred at Tignish. John and his family had moved to Miscouche at an early age and it was shortly after his marriage to Margaret that they had settled at Sea Cow Pond in about 1850 along with their seven children. Three of their children: Mary, William and Joanna, were born in Miscouche sometime between late 1842 and early 1845. They moved to Douglastown, Gaspé, Quebec, where the births of Thomas, John and Ann are recorded. The baptismal records of St. Patrick's in Douglastown show that John's (Captain John's father) occupation was that of a fisherman.
After their arrival at Sea Cow Pond, four more children were born to them as are recorded in Tignish Parish Records. They were Margaret, Michael, Susanna and Caroline. No records have been located for their daughter Laura. Their son John, later known as Captain John B. (Bernard) McCarthy inherited the farm at Sea Cow Pond, whereas William moved to Mass., U.S.A. Caroline to Colorado, U.S.A. and Michael to Australia. Here then are the dates relative to their offspring in more specific terms.
First there was Mary, born Nov. 20, 1839 at Miscouche, P.E.I., who married John McPherson on October 8, 1867 at Tignish, son of Dugale McPherson and Sarah Anderson of Lot Seven, P.E.I., followed by William born January 30, 1841 at Miscouche who married Ann (Annie) Griffin on July 28, 1875 at Tignish, daughter of Patrick Griffin and Margaret Butler of Cascumpec, P.E.I. She died March 5, 1941 at age 92. Their children were Thomas, Margaret, John Melvin, Mary Helena, James Stephen, Catherine Ann, Susanna Gertrude and Patrick William. Following Mary and William there was Joanna born April 27, 1842 at Miscouche, then there was Laura who died November 11, 1935 at the old homestead at Sea Cow Pond. She was wedded to a Wilson. John McCarthy's and Margaret Dalton's next offspring was named Thomas, born May 13, 1845 at Douglastown, Gaspé, Quebec. He died Dec. 29, 1872 on board the schooner Alice Myrick in Cuba. Next we come to John B. (Bernard) McCarthy who, as we mentioned, inherited the farm at Sea Cow Pond. He was born Sept. 18, 1847 at Douglastown. On Jan. 12, 1880 he married Mary Glaphira (Levinia) Kilbride, daughter of Cornelius Kilbride and Clara Callaghan of Lot Eleven. He died Jan. 15, 1927 at Sea Cow Pond and is buried in Tignish.
Anne was born after John B. on April 7, 1850. Like her brother before her she too was born in Douglastown. Following Anne there was Margaret who was born at Sea Cow Pond on Oct 22, 1852. She was followed by Michael James born at Sea Cow Pond on Sept 20, 1854. On July 8, 1886 he married Margaret Theresa Brosnin in Queensland, Australia. She had been born in Ireland. Michael died July 6, 1934 in Cairns, Australia and is interred there. Their children were Justin James, Arthur Harold, William, Francis, Kathleen and James. John's and Margaret's next offspring was Susanna Gertrude, born Jan 30, 1857 at Sea Cow Pond, to be followed by their final child named Bridget Caroline (Caro)born Jan 14, 1859, likewise at Sea Cow Pond. She died Feb. 18, 1897 in Colorado, U.S.A.
Since Captain John B. McCarthy was the inheritor of the lands of this McCarthy line at Sea Cow Pond and raised a family there, we shall present a brief genealogical sketch of its members. Captain John B. McCarthy (Sept 18, 1847 - Jan 15, 1927) born at Douglastown, Gaspé, Quebec m. mary Glaphira (Levinia) Kilbride (Dec. 27, 1858 - March 22, 1942) and moved with his family in about 1850-51, as we have seen, to the farm at Sea Cow Pond.
During the time of the building of the interior of the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude at Tignish, Captain John was the owner and captain of a schooner used to transport timber from Foxley River/Cascumpec area to Tignish. It was at this time that he met his future wife Levinia who was from Foxley River, Lot 11. They married Jan 12, 1880, and through the years raised a family of eleven children: Georgie, Alfred, Margaret, Germaine, Laura, Bertha, Wilson, Harold, Roland, Emmet and Cora. Georgie, Laura, Bertha and Harold all married and lived in the United States. Wilson resided in Ottawa, Ontario. Margaret lived in the United States but returned to the homestead at Sea Cow Pond where she remained until her death in 1944. The youngest child, Cora, died at the age of eight in Lewiston, Maine on Dec. 6, 1910. She was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Lewiston. In May the following year her father and brothers sailed to Maine and brought her remains home for burial in Tignish.
What follows are genealogical statistics with reference to Captain John's and Levinia's children. Mary Georgina (Georgie) b. Nov. 30, 1880 died in California. (She) married Pius Shea (three children: Miah, Francis and Irma); Albert Patrick (Alfred) b. Mar. 17, 1882 d. June 27, 1966 single; Margaret Anna b. Oct 7, 1883 - d. Sept 8, 1944 single; Clara (Germaine) b. Aug 28, 1888 d. Sept 30, 1936 single; (Laura) Frances b. June 23, 1891 d. ? in Maine. She married Joseph Arsenault from Howlan, P.E.I. (three children: Harold, Norbert and Helen); Mary Bertha b. Jan 15, 1893 d. Mar 9, 1962, Portland, Maine m. George T. Boyd born in New Brunswick (four children: Edward Jeanette, Bernard and Frances); William (Wilson) b. Oct 16, 1894 d. Mar 19, 1988 at Ottawa, Ontario m. Kathleen St. James (five children: Alfred, Kenneth, Isabel, Peggy and Patricia); Harold Anthony b. June 5, 1896 d. 1966 at Boston, Mass. m. Nellie O'Rourke (one child, Robert A.); Roland Augustine b. Nov 25, 1897 - d. May 18, 1938 single; Joseph Emmet b. Oct 1, 1899 d. Mar 5, 1964 m. Margaret Mary Broderick, seven children (listed later) and finally, Agnes Cora b. Sept 22, 1902 d. Dec 6, 1910 in Lewiston, Maine with burial in Tignish May 16, 1911.
Emmet (1899 - 1964) inherited his father Captain John B. McCarthy's property which consisted of some 106 acres of land. Meacham's Atlas of 1880 indicates a farm of 55 acres, but by 1928 the Cummins Atlas shows 106 acres in possession of Mrs. John B. McCarthy. Lands originally owned by Sylvain Poirier at Sea Cow Pond had been acquired, which brought the land holdings to 106 acres. While other McCarthy lands at Sea Cow Pond have passed on to other families, this McCarthy line still retains its foothold there. John B's farm was rectangular in shape and was transversed by both Sea Cow Pond Roads, bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence on its eastern flank.
On October 11, 1939 Emmet married Margaret (Mary) Broderick, daughter of (John) Willard Broderick of Christopher's Cross and Margaret Jane (Janie) Nelligan. She was a sister of the late Everett Broderick who lived on Church Street in Tignish. Emmet and Margaret raised a family of eight children, namely Cora (b. 1940) m. Edward Malone of Unionvale, P.E.I. They live in Mississauga, Ontario; Janette (b. 1942) m. Alfred Fraser. They reside in Sudbury, Ontario; Robert (b. 1946) m. Betty Hackett. They live in Sea Cow Pond and have two children, Christopher and Neven; Ralph (b. 1948) m. Marie Smith. They make their home in Richmond, B. C., raising three children: Tanya, Carrie, and Krista, who was unfortunately killed by a car hitting her at the age of 12. Then there was Frances (b. 1951) who lives unmarried in Mahone Bay, N. S.; followed by Harold (b. 1953) m. Peggy Harper. They live on his father's land at Sea Cow Pond. Jeremy and Joan are their children. Emmet's and Margaret's youngest offspring is Rosemary (b. 1959). She is married to John Gallanger. They live in Bedford, N. S. And have three sons: Jerad, Brodie and Matthew.
Captain John B. McCarthy's land is presently owned by his grandson Harold, and the stately old homestead he built, which is now in disrepair, was sold to an Americal by him. Emmet's wife Margaret lives on the opposite side of the road on part of their original lands not far from the old homestead where she raised her family. Margaret, apart from raising a comparatively large family by today's standards, was a school teacher for 27 years, principally in Tignish Elementary School and in outlying districts.
We shall presently journey in a westerly direction to Palmer Road South where we meet up with yet another John McCarthy. This one settled on one of two 50-acre parcels of land where he built a home and raised a family. His one hundred total acres were situated between William Ready's property to the north of him and John Ready's to his south as is indicated on Meacham's 1880 Atlas.
By 1928 the Cummins Atlas shows 50 acres owned by Ernest McCarthy, his son and to the north of him is Mrs. Daniel Kenny with 50 acres and Mrs. M. Ready with 25 acres on his south. This would indicate that John McCarthy had disposed of half of his original land. The lands in question were located inland and did not border the Northumberland Strait.
None of John McCarthy's descendants may be found at Palmer Road today since all of them moved to the United States, where so many of our settlers both of Acadian and English-speaking extraction have gone to seek their utopias. Mention has already been made regarding which John McCarthy is related to whom.
Well, one source at least states that the John McCarthy who settled at Palmer Road was John C. McCarthy and his wife was Liza Dalton. Did we not already state that there was a John C. McCarthy at Sea Cow Pond? Future researchers will have to sort fact from hypothesis. In any case, presuming the latter parentage to be correct, this much seems exact, that John who settled at Palmer Road South had a son named Joseph Francis McCarthy (b. May 3, 1899 - d. May 12, 1983) who married Margaret McNeill (b. Feb 2, 1900 - d. April 14, 1976). They moved to New York where Joseph worked for the railway and where they raised a family of four children, all born there, namely Joseph (b. July 2, 1930 - d. April 1, 1989; Evelyn (b. July 10, 1932). She is unmarried and lives in Suffield, Connecticut. She worked in the business world on Wall Street in New York; Richard (b. July 5, 1937) and Francis (b. Dec 2, 1942) who died the same day.
Joseph, who went to the United States with his parents and siblings at the age of 14, was an airline mechanic and the only one of the family to marry. His wife was Mildred Soller, a native of New York City (b.c. 1931 - d. c. 1970). They had five children: Joseph Raymond (b. Sept 7, 1954); Steven Richard (b. Nov 23, 1955); Kathleen Margaret (b. March 18, 1959); Lorraine Ellen (b. Sept 25, 1961) and Kenneth George (b. May 7, 1966).
The McCarthy property at Palmer Road South was left to (Patrick) Ernest McCarthy (b. 1888). He died celibate and had been living with a Shea family from the area for a number of years as he grew elderly. He was a brother of Joseph Francis mentioned above, who was the youngest of the family. Other family siblings were Mary Camidia (b. 1878); Anne Lucinda (b. 1879); Margaret May (b. 1880); Charles Arthur (b. 1881); Mary Margaret (b. 1883); Bridget Ellen (b. 1885); Mary Jane (b. 1886); Eliza Gertrude (b. 1890); and Mary winifred (Bennett) (b. 1892). There were also Bernetta and Charles Benedict, about whom the family has thus far been unable to gain any information.
There are no McCarthy descendants at Palmer Road at present. William (Willie) Shea had purchased John McCarthy's 100-acre farm and the old homestead was torn down in about 1966. It was being used as a barn for lobster trap building. Eventually the entire land, apart from two acres where Frederick (Freddie) Shea lives, was sold to Johnny Wallace of Elmsdale, P.E.I. for his potato farming business.
So much for the McCarthy's of our area. May what has been written about them serve as an incentive for future generations to delve further into their rich and colorful history.
MCGRATH: Our 1899 records concerning the McGrath's inform us that the first of that name to come here was James McGrath. It mentions also that he settled at Nail Pond, like practically all the other Irish we have treated thus far. It seems that other nearby districts had not yet been named, such as Christopher's Cross, Sea Cow Pond, Anglo and Norway. The McGrath's settled more precisely at Norway, P.E.I., not far distant from North Cape. The Tignish newspaper special Centennial edition of 1899 states that he was from County Waterford, Ireland. He died at Tignish January 8, 1850 at 68 years of age, as is stated on his fine tombstone located in the pioneer cemetery at "The Green", Tignish's first settlement. His monument shows that he emigrated here from Cowen Worth, Ireland. This would be the place from within County Waterford from where he originated. There exists a source which states that he was born in Cavan, Co. Worth, Ireland in 1782. According to Dr. Brendan O'Grady, retired professor of English at the University of P.E.I. and eminent Irish genealogist, there is no county in Ireland named "Worth". Meanwhile it is worth noting that there is a Cowen Worth in both Scotland and Wales. Since Tignish's special 1899 Centennial publication states that James McGrath originated from County Waterford, which is not stated on his tombstone, we may presume that the Irish Cowen Worth exists or did exist at one time in that county.
As for his wife, he was married to Mary Kennedy who was born in 1793 in County Kerry, Ireland. She came here in about 1819 and died January 20, 1868 at Norway at 74 years of age. While her husband was interred in the old pioneer cemetery Mary was buried in the present graveyard at Tignish, which had just been opened in 1865, three years before her death.
The Tignish paper goes on to state that when James and Mary came here they settled at Norway on lands which joined James Phee's on the north and were still held by their daughter-in-law Mrs. John McGrath (in 1899). We also learn from this report that James and Mary had four children who were John, Bridget, Ellen, and Mary. Furthermore, we are informed that John was the father of Rev. John P. McGrath and his three sisters who became nuns in the Congregation de Notre-Dame of Montreal.
By 1899 James had predeceased his wife by a good number of years. Both had died at their home at Norway. We do not know at this point anything regarding their three daughters Bridget, Ellen and Mary, who came here with them from Ireland. However, we know quite a bit about their son John, since he left a large family of descendants. One would have to seek far and wide to discover a family which has left such a diverse and quite frankly, distinguished array of educated offspring as we are about to see.
John was born in Ireland in ???. His wife was Catherine Nelligan (1843 - 1929). They raised a family of 12 children among whom were a sea captain, two medical doctors, a priest, three nuns, a nurse and two college teachers. In other words, ten of them devoted their lives to some form of public service. Here are their names, together with a short biographical sketches about them.
First there was James (Jim) McGrath (b. April 8, 1862 - d. 1937). He was a sea captain sailing out of the Miramichi area of New Brunswick. His wife was Mary Ellen McTague, a sister of Ernest (Ernie) McTague who was a C. N. Railway Station Master at Tignish. Ernie lived on Main Street, Tignish, in a home between Leo Maillet and Vangie Gallant (Paturel), telephone operator for many years. Jim and Mary Ellen also lived there. The home is presently owned by Emily Gallant. James and Mary Ellen had no children.
Second, there was Maurice (b. Dec.8, 1864 - d. 1941) who went away at an early age and worked as a laborer in Butte, Montana. He is buried in Tignish.
Thirdly, there was John (b. March 10, 1867) who became a priest. After attending school at Norway, which was located on the McGrath property, he studied at the Tignish Grammar School under Gilbert Buote, co-founder of L'Impartial, the Tignish French newspaper. From there he entered Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown where he obtained a first class teacher's license "Summa cum Laude" (with highest distinction). After teaching for a while he entered Laval University in Quebec City where he completed his classical studies. He was ordained priest on May 28, 1891 in Charlottetown by Bishop Charles MacDonald. He became parish priest at Mont-Carmel, P.E.I. (1893 - 1894). From there he entered the College of the Sulpician Fathers of Montreal where he became a teacher for six years, followed by a period of teaching in New York City's Grand Seminary. He later became parish priest at Miscouche, P.E.I. in 1904, but due to failing health he was forced to retire in his native home at Norway, P.E.I. He said daily Mass there, where he later succumbed, it is said, of kidney failure in 1905, only 38 years of age. He is buried in the McGrath family plot, along with his parents, as is inscribed on an elegant high columnal rose-colored marble monument.
Mary Waltrude was born next on Feb. 5, 1869. She entered the Congregation de Notre-Dame in Montreal, the same congregation of sisters who opened the convent at Tignish in 1868. Her name as a sister was Sister St. John of Gata, C. N. D. She was a classroom teacher. Her sister born next on October 18, 1870, was Margaret Ellen. She too became a nun and teacher in the same congregation. Her name as a religious sister was Sister St. Euphredie, C. N. D.
Gustavus McGrath, of whom we shal refer at greater length later, was born next on January 28, 1873. He was followed by Francis (Frank) (b. Feb. 20, 1875) who became a medical doctor with a practice in Newcastle, N. B. He was married to Josephine (Josie) Gallant, the daughter of a doctor. They had a single offspring named Raymond.
Ellen Victoria (Nellie) was born next on December 21, 1877. She also entered the sisterhood like her two previous sisters in the same congregation, taking the name in religious profession of Sister of the Resurrection, C. N. D. She was a teacher likewise in the schools established by her order.
The next child born to John and Catherine was Catherine Antoinette (Nettie) (June 18, 1879 - August 22, 1960) who remained unmarried and worked as a nurse in Lake Placid, New York.
Annie Laurie was born next on June 11, 1881. She too taught at Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown and it was here where she met her husband, Dr. Samuel Robertson, a professor at the same institution, after whom the Samuel Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island is named.
Peter Joseph, born May 25, 1883, was the next offspring. He became a medical doctor in Charlottetown. His wife was Laura O'Brien. They had two daughters, Margaret and Gwenevere, both of whom went to the United States and are deceased.
The last child in the family of John and Catherine was Rosella May (Ella May), born May 17, 1886. She died in November 1966. Rosella became a teacher in the School of Business at Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown before its amalgamation with St. Dunstan's College to form the University of P.E.I.
All of John's and Catherine's children are interred at Tignish apart from Dr. Frank who is buried in Newcastle, N. B.; the three nuns who are buried in the nuns' cemetery in Montreal, and Annie Laurie, who is interred with her husband, Dr. Robertson, in Charlottetown. Maurice, born in 1864 died in 1941 in his native home at Norway. His sisters, Antoinette (1878 - 1960) and Ella May (1877 - 1966) are buried along with him in a plot separate from the family plot where their parents, their brother John, (the priest) and their grandmother Mary Kennedy, wife of James McGrath, are interred, as we stated earlier.
All of this brings us to the realization that of 12 children, only one left McGrath descendants at Norway. He is of course Gustavus McGrath (b. Jan 28, 1873 - d. 1921). His wife was Mary Evelyn (Eva) Cahill of Kildare, P.E.I. (B. Aug 20, 1883 - d. Oct 6, 1968). They bore a family of four children, namely Mary Catherine E. McGrath (May 23, 1907 - Oct 5, 1968) who married Reginald Joseph Michael McHugh (Dec 31, 1901 - Aug 31, 1972) (see McHugh); John (Johnny)(b. 1911) whose wife is Teresa A'Hearn (b. 1920); Evelyn (b. April 7, 1915) who married Thomas Conway from England. They had a family of seven children who live in Dartmouth, N. S.; and lastly, there was Joseph Walter (July 23, 1919 - May 30, 1990) who married Mary Dearden of Lancashire, England. They had two children, Carol and Maureen, who are twins. Mary and her two daughters live in England, while Walter is buried in Tignish cemetery.
Gustavus and Evelyn (Eva) raised their family in the home of his parents, very likely built by the latter, which still stands today on about 140 acres of land passed on from James, the first settler, and which the old Norway school stands in muted silence near the entrance to the property. Like numerous other homes of the period, it was built of hand-hewn lumber, mainly pine, with tongue and grove boards covered with birch bark, there being no tar paper in those days. The pioneer homestead is presently owned by John (Johnny) McGrath and his wife Teresa A'Hearn. He is the only remaining male heir, apart from his son and descendant of James, the first settler, living on the same location. John (b. 1911) and Teresa (b. 1920) raised a family of five children in the old original homestead. They are Noreen (b. 1941) m. Jim Millman of Summerside; Elaine (b. 1943) m. James Mokler. She is a nurse at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax. They have a daughter, Mary Jo; Anne (b. 1947) m. Jack Perry (deceased) of DeBlois. They had one son, Chad; Mary (b. 1951) m. Frank Martin; and lastly, Earl (b. 1953) m. Mary Dorgan. They have one child, Leah, and live next to his parents on the McGrath lands at Norway, P.E.I. Once again we are faced with another male line in the process of virtual extinction, like a few other Irish families we have studied.
We shall presently take leave of the Norway, P.E.I. McGrath's and make our way to the Waterford-Palmer Road area to meet up with another James McGrath. He likewise bears no affinity with the McGrath's we have thus treated, as we have been told. However, before doing so, we shall stop for a while in Tignish where we shall meet up with Edward (Ned) McGrath who was a Tignish blacksmith by trade. He was born in Tignish in July 1861, the eldest offspring of Thomas McGrath, born in P.E.I. in 1836 and Helen (Ellen) McGrath, born in 1832, whom he married November 22, 1859. Helen (Ellen) died at Alberton, P.E.I. January 23, 1903 at 70 years of age. Thomas was a farmer by occupation, and it appears quite likely that he was a brother of James McGrath, of whom we shall write shortly.
On the Cummins 1928 Atlas it is shown that Thomas McGrath holds 79 acres of land. This same acreage was held by James McGrath Sr. on the 1880 Meacham's Atlas. Edward (Ned) McGrath's blacksmith shop was located in the village of Tignish at some distance from his home. In fact, if one were to journey south along Railway Street today one would see it at the very end of this street, halfway between Olive's Grocery and the Old Fire Hall which is attached to the Municipal Office, all of which are on Phillip Street, including the long-since gone blacksmith shop. It has been stated by several people who knew that whenever he worked in the forge he would allow no one to remain in the shop while he was at his trade, whether he was shoeing a horse or forging an anchor for some local fisherman.
Ned's wife was Joanna MacKay, born in 1866, daughter of James MacKay and Mary Keough. They had no children and their home was located on the north side of Main Street in Tignish, next to Clare O'Shea's home. Ned McGrath's home was eventually purchased by the late Terence Gavin Sr., where he raised a large family. Irene (nee Burke) and her husband Jack Cameron, bookkeeper for Morris and Bernard's General Store in Tignish, had lived in it for a time before him. It is presently owned by David Harper, who is renting it.
Both Edward (Ned) and his wife are interred in the Tignish Roman Catholic Cemetery.
Well, our horse and buggy are ready as we are about to embark across a few soft undulating hills, not unlike many found in Ireland, a few miles from Tignish. The time is a bit anterior to Ned McGrath's settlement in Tignish. The year is 1891 and we are about to enter on James McGrath Sr. and his family. Locally he is known as Master McGrath precisely because he has the title of schoolmaster, such being the term designating a teacher in those days. He settled on a 79-acre farm which borders the Northumberland Strait between Patrick Dalton Jr.'s 25 acres and Henry Casey's 51 acres east of him, and John Keefe's 100 acres to the west of him.
James McGrath Sr. was born in County Waterford, Ireland in 1818, the son of William McGrath and Helen Coleman. He married Margaret Murphy in P.E.I. on February 19, 1855. She was born on P.E.I. on August 5, 1838, the daughter of James Murphy and Theresa Gelbert. The 1861 census lists James McGrath Sr. as a teacher in Lot 27 with a family of seven children, five of which were born on P.E.I. and two in Ireland. The same census reveals that he held 20 of a 999 year lease on lands from Samuel Cunard (Cunard Steamship Lines). This fact would place him supposedly on P.E.I. in 1841. Meanwhile, the 1878 Palmer Road Roman Catholic Census, as listed in the parish register, lists the family as James 58, his wife 45, Mary Ellen 22, James 20, William 18, Julia Ann 16, Thomas 15, John 5, and Thomas 63. The latter was a brother of his. The 1881 P.E.I. Census shows a brother Thomas living with the family. James lived at Skinner's Pond, P.E.I. in 1881, having moved from Lot 27, P.E.I. in 1864. He was a teacher in Lot 27 in 1861 and taught at Rosebury School from 1876 to 1878 and 1880-81. He taught at Palmer Road from 1878 to 1880.
Here then are James McGrath Sr.'s and Margaret Murphy's children: Mary Helen born at Seven Mile Bay Sept. 24, 1856, m. Thomas A'Hearn on August 25,1885 at Palmer Road. He was the son of Nicholas A'Hearn. His previous wife was Catherine Yeo; James Jr. was next born, also at Seven Mile Bay, P.E.I., on April 18, 1858. He married twice. His first wife was Joanna Kerwin, born Jan. 17, 1841 in P.E.I. She died Feb. 4, 1907 at Seven Mile Bay at 66 years of age. Her mother, Mrs. Patrick Kerwin, age 92, born in Ireland, was living with them based on the 1891 census. James Jr.'s second wife was Mary Ellen McGaugney, whom he married at Kelly's Cross, P.E.I. on June 25, 1907. She was born Nov. 30, 1869 at Bonshaw, P.E.I. and died at Seven Mile Bay, P.E.I. in 1969 at 100 years of age. The 1901 census for Lot 27 also lists an Ann Mary, born March 23, 1837, as a sister to James McGrath Jr., who is listed as a farmer. James McGrath Jr. and Joanna Kerwin had an adopted child, Ella, born on P.E.I. Feb. 18, 1890. From his second marriage Arnold McGrath was born at Seven Mile Bay, P.E.I. in about 1910. He died in the same place in about 1997. James McGrath Sr.'s and Margaret Murphy's other children were: William, born at Seven Mile Bay August 18, 1860; Juliana, born May 28, 1863 m. Michael Gavin on August 9, 1896 at Palmer Road (see Gavin). He was born Jan 15, 1850, a farmer and son of John Gavin and Mary Aylward. Thomas was next born in Tignish on March 13, 1866. Then there was Margaret born in Tignish on July 26, 1869 and John born in Tignish on November 27, 1873. He died at Palmer Road March 10, 1894 at twenty years of age. In 1891 he had been living with his brother James in Lot 27, P.E.I.
Before bidding adieu to the McGrath clan, we have another McGrath family to visit. It is the family of Thomas, brother of Master McGrath, the teacher. He was born on P.E.I. in 1836 and married Helen (Ellen) McGrath who was born in Tignish in 1832 and died on January 23, 1903 at Alberton, P.E.I. at 78 years of age. They had been married at Tignish on November 22, 1859. They were blessed with the following children, all born in Tignish parish: Edward (Ned), the Tignish blacksmith, born July 1861 and died 1934 who married Joanna MacKay (b. Jan 7, 1865 - d. 1940) daughter of James MacKay and Mary Keough; then there was James William, born April 28, 1863 who married Virginia Lamb in about 1890. She was born August 10, 1866 on P.E.I. They had three children: John born Jan 3, 1891 at St. Louis, P.E.I.; Ellie born August 13, 1893 at St. Louis, and Margaret born Sept 15, 1897, likewise at St. Louis, P.E.I. The third offspring, John Maurice, was born on Sept. 6, 1865. He was followed by Patrick Maurice born in October 1869 who married Adeline _, born Dec. 19, 1876 on P.E.I. In 1901 they were living with his parents. Two of their children are listed, namely Thomas H., born in Lot Two May 24, 1899 and Alfred born also in Lot Two, October 31, 1900. Thomas McGrath's and Ellen McGrath's three final children were Michael Thomas, born Sept 29, 1872; Margaret born in 1873, and Mary born in 1878.
This brings us to the end of our saga with the McGrath's on the western tip of Prince Edward Island. Alas, they have all but dwindled over the years into oblivion, but the contributions they made in the public sector of our Island since their settlement here have greatly served to lessen in great measure the impact of their loss in male descendancy.
MCHUGH ( MCCUE): We have our first instance of an Irish family which settled here having had its origins in County Monaghan, Ireland. According to Dr. Brendan O'Grady, retired English professor from the University of Prince Edward Island, now residing in Charlottetown, this is out of the ordinary since he states that the Monaghan Irish as a rule did not settle further west than Kinkora, P.E.I. There is a great abundance of them in the Fort Augustus-Johnston's River areas of the province.
County Monaghan, which is largely Catholic, is situated in the extreme north-east of the Irish Republic facing County Armagh, a largely Protestant County of Northern Ireland. It is therefore unusual for Tignish Irish people to have originated anywhere near this area since the vast majority of all others have has their place of origin the southern counties of Ireland such as Waterford, Wexford, Kerry and so on, which either border the sea or are quite close to it.
As a seemingly hard and fast rule, the family name has two spellings. Since we are concerned here with two founding members of one family who were brothers, Patrick and James, the descendants of the former have spelled it as "McCue", whereas the descendants of the latter have spelled it as "McHugh". Patrick and James were the sons of Patrick McHugh Sr. and Mary Wood, whose progeny is the subject of our present writings.
Patrick McHugh Sr., born in County Monaghan, Ireland, was the first of the family to settle here. He emigrated from Ireland in 1818 and landed first at Cascumpec, P.E.I. He apparently was not too fond of this place and sought greener pastures among many of his compatriots in the vicinity of North Cape. It was for this reason that he took his wife Mary Wood and his two sons Patrick and James in a small boat around North Cape and landed them at Norway. He returned alone in the small boat to Cascumpec for the remainder of his belongings. On the second trip around the reef at the Cape his boat overturned and he was drowned. His body washed ashore near the Black Marsh, the shore nearest North Cape bordering Northumberland Strait. Patrick's tragic end signalled, no doubt, the first recorded drowning along our shores in Tignish recorded history. His body was interred in the old pioneer cemetery at "The Green".
Patrick Sr.'s wife, Mary Wood, who was born in 1789, came quite likely from England, although Wood's may be found in Scotland. The name obviously suggests strong English derivatives. She passed away in 1871 and is buried at the present Roman Catholic Cemetery at Tignish. The fact that she married her second husband, William Handrahan, before a Justice of the Peace (John Large) in Tignish according to the Book of Common Prayer would certainly lend credence to the supposition that she was born in England, since the Book embodies the religious rites of the Church of England. She likely converted to Roman Catholicism upon marrying William, since in that day those of other faiths had to present a written statement to the Bishop of the diocese, firmly stating that all children born of such a marriage were to be raised as Catholics. Mary was unable to sign her name on her marriage certificate, and so signed with an "X".
Two sons were born to Patrick and Mary. They were Patrick Jr. who was born in 1813 and James who was born in 1816. One source states that both were born in Ireland. Yet, in an obituary written for James, he is listed as having been born in 1818 in Newcastle, N. B. This would lead us to conclude that his brother Patrick was also born there. Is this not again a prime example of shoddy genealogical research? In some instances, dates of baptisms have been given as dates of actual births of individuals. For such reasons, the writer, in order not to perpetuate further errors, has limited himself to listing the year of the birth only unless there exists a certain degree of certitude such as on tombstones, census records or actual entries in parish registers.
Patrick Jr. settled on a 78-acre farm at Norway which bordered the Northumberland Strait and stretched across both sides of the Norway Road. The Nail Pond Brook flowed through it at one of its extremities. Thomas Nelligan's farm was located north of him and Patrick Phee was located south of him. His brother James meanwhile had located on a 64-acre farm at Nail Pond West between the farms of Patrick Clohossey and Patrick Corrigan to his north and south respectively.
Patrick McHugh (McCue) Jr. married Bridget Griffin (no dates). They had the following children: Joseph (no dates) m. Josie Phee (no dates); Peter (b._ d. 1930) m. Melinda Phee (b. 1862 - d. Feb. 28, 1942); Ellen (b. May 20, 1844) m. Mark MacFadden; Maurice (b. March 13, 1846 - d. Feb.5, 1914) m. 1. Mary Ann Doyle (1851 - 1889) daughter of Patrick Doyle, m.2. Agnes Ready (1848 - 1944); James (b. Jan 24, 1848 - d. April 11, 1918 at St. Stephen, N. B.) m. Bessie Patterson (b. 1872 at Salmon River, N. B. - died Dec.13, 1944); Thomas (b. Feb. 5, 1850) unmarried; David (b. Feb. 24, 1854 at Tignish - died Feb.17, 1944 at St. Martin's, N. B.) M. Harried Charlton in 1900 who was born at Greer Settlement in 1872; Patrick (b. Sept 22, 1855). Patrick died Nov. 10, 1901 and is buried in Tignish Roman Catholic Cemetery. There was also a son named William (no dates) who remained celibate.
Meanwhile, Patrick McCue Jr.'s only other known sibling, James, took as his wife Mary Foley (no dates). They were blessed with a family of 14 children on his farm at Nail Pond West, as we have seen. They were Mary (b. 1843 - d. 1884) m. Peter McInnis; Patrick (b. 1844 - d. 1917) m. Mary Ellen Costain (1848 - 1921) who died at Tignish, daughter of Michael Costain (farmer) and Ellen Mansfield (born in Ireland in 1821). Nine children issued from their union and are listed as Mary Ellen (Molly) (b. 1871) m. Captain Pennington; Jane (b. 1873); Clara (b. 1875) m. Thomas Meed; Dr. Joseph Douglas (b. 1881); Michael Patrick (b. 1883) m. Mary Aylward; William Henry (Harry) (b. 1886 -d. 1932); Ada (b. 1889); Emma Pearl (b. 1892 - d. 1943) m. Emmett Shea. They had eight children. (See Shea); and Charles Edward McCue (b. 1894 - d. 1895).
James McCue's and Mary Foley's third child was Ann, born in 1845 (??) who married Maurice Gallant. Next there was Bridgit born in 1848 who married John Knox (see Knox). She was followed by Catherine, born in 1849, whose husband was John Gavin. Then there was Moses, born in 1851. He married Elizabeth Ann Keough. James, born in 1852, followed Moses. He had previously been wedded to Catherine (Kate) Phee before he drowned on the 24th of May, 1905. Margaret was born next in 1854. She married Jim Aims. She was followed by Elizabeth born in 1857 who married John Stewart. John was born next in 1861. His wife was Bridget Howard. Martin was the next offspring. He was born in 1865 and died in 1936 and had taken Clara Morrissey as his wife. There were three other girls born in the family: Victoria, Jane and Matilda, for whom no information is forthcoming at present, apart from the supposition that Victoria had possibly married a Foster and that Matilda was married to Edward Penorr.
Based on an obituary for James McCue, son of Patrick McCue Sr. and Mary Wood, we note that he died at age 84, having been born at Newcastle, N. B., in 1818. He had removed to Nail Pond it states at an early age where he remained until his death in 1902. The entry states that he had been a farmer and died of old age, leaving seven daughters and five sons to mourn him. Since no mention is made of his wife in the obituary, we presume that she had predeceased him.
It is important to note that the Norway McHugh's descended from Patrick McHugh and that the Nail Pond West McCue's descended from his brother James. Writing first about the inheritor of lands initially occupied by Patrick McHugh Jr., we discover that it was his son Peter who fell into the inheritance of the 78-acre farm at Norway. Peter (b._ d. 1930), son of Patrick McHugh Jr. and Bridget Griffin m. Melinda Phee (1862 - d. Feb 28, 1942). They had three children: Allister (b. June 28, 1897 - d. June 29, 1979) m. Annie Poirier (Perry) (b. Oct 20, 1914), daughter of Agape Poirier and Regina Arsenault; Nettie (b. Sept. 1903) m. Gus MacNab of Charlottetown; and finally Grace (b. _ d. Oct. 1939). She remained single.
Peter McHugh's land was passed on to his son Allister who died in 1979. Today it is inhabited by the latter's son, Allister Jr. The acreage has diminished somewhat over the years due to sea erosion and numbers about 75 acres. Peter has a brother named Joseph who married Josephine daughter of Michael (Mick) Phee and a Wade woman. While Peter lived on the original McHugh property, his brother Joseph moved into the home of his wife Josephine (Josie) Phee, the original property of her parents where the land totaled about 33 acres, then and now.
Allister McHugh Sr. (June 28, 1897 - June 28, 1979) and Annie Perry (Poirier) (b. Oct. 20, 1914), who has since remarried to Peter Boudreault and dwells in Montague, P.E.I., at 83 years of age, raised the following children who were born at Norway: Edward (b. July 24, 1938) m. Ethel Gavin (b. Nov 8, 1946). They have six offspring, Darryl (b. May 17, 1967) m. Cathy Hardy; Penney (b. May 24, 1969) m. Gary McRae; Trudy (b. May 12, 1970) m. Joey Morrissey; Crista (b. April 17, 1974) m. Thomas (Tommy) Arsenault; Wendy (b. July 14, 1975) and Gina (b. Sept 4, 1978); Secondly there was Frederick (Fred) (b. Aug 17, 1939) who married Carmella Harper (b. Nov. 14, 1944). They have four offspring: Suesanne (b. July 20, 1966), Shannon (b. May 25, 1971), Derrick (b. Jan 3, 1975) and Lily Marie (b. June 21, 1979).
Thirdly at Christopher's Cross there was Audrey (b. Sept 8, 1940) who married Fred Gallant (b. Feb 26, 1934). They have six offspring: Melvin (b. Feb. 25, 1965) m. Juanita Perry; Dougie (b. Dec. 15, 1967); Tammy (b. Dec 31, 1969); Barry (b. May 21, 1972); Shawn (b. March 24, 1975); and Robert (b. Feb 18, 1977).
Fourthly at Harper Road there was Joe (spelled as "McCue")(b. June 11, 1943) m. Dianne Doucette (b. Oct 1, 1950). They raised two children: Sheila (b. May 7, 1970) m. Rodney Gaudette, residing on Phillip Street, Tignish, and Shawn (b. Feb. 7, 1975).
Fifthly at Norway there was Allister Jr. (b. May 20, 1946) who married Joanne McHugh (b. June 24, 1957). They raised three offspring: Allen (b. Aug 13, 1975); Jamie Lee (b. April 10, 1979) and Samantha (b. Aug 26, 1997). Allister Jr. and his family have inherited the lands of the first McHugh, namely Patrick who settled at Norway.
Since it is well nigh impossible to list all members of the McHugh clan within the confines of this history, we must content ourselves by listing two more McHugh descendant families at Norway. These were the families of Gratten and Reginald McHugh, brothers, and sons of Joseph McHugh and Josephine (Josie) Phee.
Reginald McHugh, fisherman, farmer, stevedore in Halifax, lumberjack and sealer (b. Dec. 31, 1901 - d. Aug 31, 1972) married Mary Catherine E. McGrath (may 23, 1907 - Oct 5, 1968) (see McGrath). They lived on a 67-acre farm at Norway bordering the Northumberland Strait between Bert Phee's to the north and Martin A. Doyle's to the south. Reginald had obtained his lands from Nelligan's, Michael (Mick) and Thomas having an equal number of acres from each. Their offspring consisted of eight children, two of whom died in infancy and one at the age of three. They were Kenneth (b. July 28, 1929) who married Phyllis Morrissey, daughter of Percy Morrissey (see Morrissey) and Patricia Cahill. Phyllis was Leo Dorgan's widow. She and her present husband live in the original McHugh homestead and have no children. After Kenneth, there was Raymond (b. Oct 22, 1931) who married Margaret Morrissey (b. July 10, 1925, one source has 1926). She was likewise a daughter of Percy Morrissey and Patricia Cahill and was the widow of Joseph Ready.
Raymond and Margaret have six children who are Robert, John, Joanne, Debbie, Joey and Wayne. Aelred was born after Raymond on March 3, 1931. He has four children - Gail from his first marriage to Jean MacDonald from Souris, P.E.I., Gordon, an adopted child, then Brian and Glen from his second marriage to Sylvia Crocker. Aelred lives in Toronto.
Geraldine McHugh was born next, on February 27, 1936. She married Gerald Hackett.
Wilma was born after Geraldine on March 25, 1937. She is wedded to Clarence Griffin (b. Nov. 5, 1932). They raised five children at Brocton, P.E.I. (Near Elmsdale). There were two children born after Wilma: John Elmore who died young and Robert (June 30, 1945 - Aug. 17, 1948) who died at the age of three. An infant born before Kenneth also died young. Kenneth is the present owner of his father's lands at Norway.
Reginald's brother Gratten (b. Jan 15, 1906 - d. Nov. 19, 1984) had purchased about twelve acres of land at Norway, P.E.I. from a Kelly lady in the United States. This land was located next to Allister McHugh Sr.'s farm and had once been in possession of Thomas Nelligan. Gratten's wife was Celina Leonard (b. March 11, 1910 - d. March 3, 1992), daughter of William (Bill) Leonard, a Tignish blacksmith. Gratten and Celina lived at Norway for about fourteen years after which they moved in 1946 to a one-acre parcel of land located at the "Green" on the corner of Highway 14 leading to North Cape and the unpaved road which leads to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This parcel of land had originally been owned by Urbain Gaudet (son of Sosime) who had sold it to Claude Leonard who sold it then to Gratten. Claude was a brother of Celina's and Leigh was a brother of Gratten's.
All of Gratten's and Celina's children had been born at Norway except Catherine, who was born at Charlottetown Hospital. When the family settled at "The Green" area in 1946 they had a house built there by Melvin Hackett, Harold Cormier, Izaire DesRoches and Gratten himself. In 1951 the decision was made to move this house to Tignish where the family relocated on land owned by William (Bill) Leonard, Celina's father, on the east side of Church Street. Bill Leonard, as we stated, was a Tignish blacksmith. By now the blacksmith shop had ceased operating and was used as a barn after being moved behind Gratten's house. Bill Leonard's home was situated on the opposite side of the street between Alcide Boudreault's, formerly John Gaudet the tailor's, and Aubin Gallant's, formerly Agno Gaudet's, Corbett's and Urbain A. Gaudet's.
The blacksmith shop and Gratten's home had once stood where Gratten's daughter Catherine (b. Feb. 17, 1944) built a new house for her mother and herself after Gratten's death in 1984. Meanwhile, the home of her parents was moved a second time further south on Church Street on the opposite side of the road next to Henri Arsenault's, being the second house next to the Club Ti-Pa. After some renovations it serves today as the home of Gratten's son Billy (b. Jan 27, 1936) who married Lucy Chiasson (b. Nov 11, 1937), daughter of Orville Chiasson and Margaret Martin, both of St. Roch.
Billy and Lucy raised five children: Tammy (b. Aug 2, 1962); Sally (b. June 13, 1963); Grant (b. Sept 25, 1966), who was tragically killed Dec. 13, 1974 near his home on Church Street, having been struck by a motor vehicle; Jennifer (b. Nov 25, 1972) and Michael (b. June 9, 1974).
Apart from William (Billy), Gratten and Celina had three other children: Leonard, the eldest (b. Nov 7, 1931) who lives unwedded in California; Frances (b. May 18, 1940 - d. Jan. 1992) whose husband was Norman Doucette; and Catherine (b. Feb. 17, 1944) who lives unmarried in California. Catherine's home she had built a few years ago for herself and her mother, as is stated above, is presently being rented by her.
Gratten's other siblings - apart from Reginald, who we have referred to above - were Gladys (b. 1900 - d. 1977). She married Dr. Leon Howard, a dentist who practiced in Miami Beach, Florida. They had four daughters: Lorraine, Suzanne, Janet and Mary Lou. Then there was Glen (b. 1903 - d. Aug 1, 1991). He married Aldona Gallant on March 17, 1966 in Boston. She was a native of Alberton, P.E.I. They had no children and lived in Miami, Florida where Glen was a taxi driver. Glen was followed by Lillian (b. 1904 - d. Feb. 10, 1991). Her husband was Edward Garvey. They had a son named Glen born in 1936 who lived in Maryland, U.S.A. He is now deceased. Lorne was born next on May 6, 1911. He married Margaret Martin (b. Feb. 26, 1917) who lives today on the Gaudet Road in Tignish. Lorne passed away August 27, 1973. They had a son named Freddie (b. April 8, 1955) in Arlington, Mass., who married Dianne Meeham. Finally, there was James Leigh McHugh (b. Dec. 16, 1917), the longest serving taxi driver in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. He married Isabell Cameron. They have a daughter named Heather born Nov 6, 1959. Leigh is the only remaining survivor of the family.
There were two McHugh's (McCue's) who were brothers; one living at Palmer Road North and the other living at Palmer Road South. One, Charles from Palmer Road North moved to Tignish Corner on a temporary basis at first where he presumably lived in a house once owned by Leo (Frank Jude) Arsenault, bookkeeper at the Tignish Co-operative and sometime before then worker at Myrick's General Store at Tignish (Myrick) Shore. The home in question is now gone and was located on the Haywood Road at Tignish Corner next to David Kinch's, formerly James Kinch's. It was directly opposite the Normalization apartments there.
Charles (Charlie) was born at Palmer Road on Sept 11, 1889 and was married to Henrietta Doucette (b. April 23, 1897). They married in Waltham, Mass. Three children were born to them, namely: Anne (b. July 10, 1934) m. Joseph Schilling; David (b. March 24, 1938) m. Dale Sharpe; and Ruth (b. Aug 9, 1939) m. Patrick LeBlanc. David is a highly qualified mechanic who lives on Maple Street in Tignish, while his sister Anne lives in Calgary and his sister Ruth dwells in Halifax, N. S. Their father Charlie owned 61 acres of land at Palmer Road North which he inherited from his mother Elizabeth Ann Keough who had become the wife of Moses McCue (b. Sept 1, 1851). Elizabeth (b. 1858 - d. 1939) was the daughter of Richard Keough and Mary Dawson (see Dawson). This parcel of land was in turn inherited by Charlie's son David who has passed it on to his son Barry today. It is being rented as a farm.
Charlie passed away Aug 25, 1981 and his wife Henrietta, who was a native of Cape Breton, passed away Jan 5, 1985. Both are interred in Immaculate Conception Cemetery at Palmer Road. Their three children were born at Palmer Road North.
(Between Sept 22, 1998 and April, 2000 no entries. The following appeared May 2, 2000)
The Journal-Pioneer welcomes J. Henri Gaudet back as a regular feature columnist. "Tignish Tellings" was first published in January of 1996, chronicling the arrival of the first Acadian families who landed on the shores of Tignish in 1799. Gaudet continued to document the rich history of his community by writing about the coming of the Irish who also settled here, helping build Tignish into the strong co-operative community it is today. His final entry appeared in August of 1998 with the genealogy of the McGrath family. (Error: final entry appeared Sept. 22, 1998 with the genealogy of the McCue family). At that time Gaudet decided to take a break from his column to concentrate his efforts on the publication of his first book Photo Historica, which was subsequently launched in December of 1999. "Tignish Tellings" resumes with this first part of the story on the Morrissey's. The column will appear every second Tuesday.
MORRISSEY: The Morrissey's (spelled as "Morrisy" and "Morrisey" in the 1890's) originated from County Kerry in Ireland. No mention is made of them in our early history until the 1880's. Moreover, they do not figure on a list of Irish families appearing in Gerald Handrahan's article published in The Abegweit Review, Spring 1988. His lists are for Irish families who settled here by 1830 and for 25 years thereafter. Although he states that three Irish Morrissey brothers, Patrick, William and James, were all teachers who settled in Tignish communities from Lot 50, P.E.I., no date is given regarding their arrival.
Since no Morrissey's may be found as landowners on Meacham's 1880 Atlas, and since at least one genealogical chart lists a William Morrissey, one of the three brothers listed above, no doubt as having come to Tignish Parish in 1883, we may therefore reasonably conclude that the first of the Morrissey's settled here then.
The parents of Patrick, William and James were Patrick Morrissey (b. on P.E.I. in 1801 - d. Oct 10, 1872 at China Point) and Mary Callaghan (b. in Ireland 1802 - d. Jan 31, 1870 at China Point). Their grandparents were William Morrisee (sic)(d.circa 1835 (?), who leased land at China Point on January 1, 1808. It is of interest to note that China Point, the first point of origin of the Tignish Morrissey's in Lot 50, is named after a French settler, Jean Chesnay, who is listed in the De la Roque 1752 census of l'Isle Saint-Jean (later known as P.E.I.). When English settlers arrived at this point of land they began omitting the use of "y" in the name. Through time the place became known as China Point, P.E.I.
The known siblings of the three Morrissey teacher brothers are listed on a genealogical chart as: Edward (b. 1829 - d. - ) who married Catherine Murphy (b. - d. Mar 1897); John C. (b. 1833 - d. April 15, 1920) married Nov. 26, 1858 to Bridget Murphy (b. 1834 - d. 1873); Ellen (b. 1842? - d. Oct 28, 1920) married Captain Joseph Landry (b. 1836 - d. 1921); Walter (b. 1846 - d. - )m. Catherine McInnis (no dates); Alice (b. 1849 - d. 1924) married in 1874 to John C. McCarthy (see McCarthy) and Joseph (b. 1851 - d. celibate).
We must now enumerate in rather more detailed terms the progeny of the three Morrissey teacher brothers.
First Patrick Henry Morrissey (b. 1840 - d. Nov 29, 1904) was married twice. His first wife was Mary Ann Gavin (no dates) from whom one child was born and who died in infancy. His second wife was Mary Ann Doyle (no dates), daughter of Peter Doyle. There issued from the second marriage the following children: Clarence (Ferdinand)(b. Aug 27, 1876 - d. Dec 25, 1960) m. Zita Kinch (b. Feb 24, 1886 - d. Jan 20, 1968), sister of Claude Kinch (see Kinch); Peter (b. 1880 - d. 1953) m. W. Amy. They had two children, Beverly and Austin (?) and were buried in New York; Amanda (Maude)(b. 1893 - d. 1961) m. 1. Harry Steeves. They had three children. She m. 2. Alex Aitken. They lived in Seattle, Washington; Montague (b. 1885 - 1970); Percival (Percy)(b. 1888 - d. 1972) m. Patricia Cahill; Austin (b. 1889 - d - ); Elizabeth (b. 1890 - d. 1955) m. Harry Foley. They lived in the U.S.; Mary (b. 1892 - d - ) m. Samuel Braybrook. They lived in the U.S. An infant died in infancy (1895); Anne (Annie) (b. 1898 - d. 1992) m. Claude (Avitus) Kinch (see Kinch).
Secondly, William Morrissey, likewise a teacher, was born on Feb. 2, 1837 at China Point, P.E.I., as we have stated. He died at Tignish May 31, 1919 and is interred there. He married in 1873 to Mary Minna Fairclough (b. May 1, 1855 at China Point, d. May 24, 1897 at Tignish where she is buried). They are said to have come to Tignish from China Point in 1883. William and Mary raised the following offspring: Mary Ellen (b. Jan 2, 1875 - d. Dec. 1944) m. Albert Kinch (b. - d. August 1944); Minna Alice (b. Aug. 25, 1877 - d. Sept 30, 1941) m. Peter J. Cahill (b. Feb 2, 1881 - d. May 30, 1956); Patrick Henry (b. April 1, 1879 - d. May 4, 1950) m. Minnie Rooney (b - d. 1962?); Mary Catherine (b. 1881 - d. 1967) m. A. J. Steeves; John James (b. Jan 24, 1883 - d. 1952) m. Mary Kearny; William Walter (b. Dec. 18, 1884 - d - )m. Frances Steeves; Joseph Bernard (b. Nov 24, 1886 - d. April 30, 1955) at Tignish m. Sept 1916 to Susan May Hackett (b. May 3, 1888 - d. June 3, 1921); Arthur (Ambrose)(b. Tignish April 15, ?? - d. in Port Arthur, Ontario, March 27, 1959) m. 1. Rose Theriault (d. June 27, 1922) m.2. Lillian Rooney (one source has "MacKinnon") (b. June 28, 1908 - d - ); Edward Leo (b. Tignish 1890 - d. in B.C. 1983) m. Edith Irving (d. 1970's) and finally, Anne Alberta (b. Oct 29, 1893 - d - ) m. W. F. Hallinan.
The third brother, James, likewise was referred to as a teacher who came here with his two other brother teachers from China Point in the early 1800's, was born in 1842 and died April 20, 1928. On Nov 30, 1866 he married Mary Kennedy (born 1849(sic) - d. Jan 4, 1900), granddaughter of John Kennedy (see Kennedy). Their children were: Mary Catherine (1868 - 1934) who married Joseph Clohossey; Joseph Patrick (1873 - 1886) killed by a threshing machine; Clara (1876 - 1944) m. Martin McCue; Alice Mary (1877 - 1879); John James (1881 - 1949) who married Lena McArthur. They had one child named James Edmund Morrissey who lived in Boston; William Edward (1883 - 1949) married Elizabeth Cochrane. They lived on Vancouver Island and had five children: James Joseph (1911 - 1980) m. Margaret Underwood; Margaret (b. 1913) m. Edwin Tilley; Mary Eleanor (1916 - 1983) m. Warrick McGlennan. They lived on Vancouver Island and had two children; Muriel (b. 1918) m. Adam Nimmo; and William Edward (Ed)(b. 1920) m. Hazel Wrenko. They had two children, Carol Ann (b. 1952) and Bradley George (b. 1957).
These are the descendants of the three Morrissey brothers who settled here as we stated at the beginning of our Morrissey treatise covering the western tip of the Island.
Patrick Morrissey was from Lot 50. The 1841 census lists him as a farmer having five children, four males under 16: Patrick Jr., James, William, Edward, and one female, Alice, under 16. His wife was a Callaghan. According to the census either Patrick or his wife was born in Ireland. The other and all the children were born on P.E.I. They were all Roman Catholic. Patrick had 50 acres of land on leasehold on the north side of Orwell River, but there was no road leading there.
Patrick Morrissey Jr. and his brothers were among the graduates of the first year at Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown. Patrick, James and William, who were teachers along with the sister Alice, moved to Sea Cow Pond around 1863 or 1864. The names of Patrick and James appear in the school's Visitors' Report of the 1860's as teachers in Lot One in 1864. Patrick was a Justice of the Peace and a fierce, stern man. Clarence Morrissey, who later became MLA, his eldest son, had to take care of the family in 1904 when Patrick died.
On February 10, 1874, Alice married John McCarthy (see McCarthy). Their witnesses were Charles Dalton, later Lt. Gov. of P.E.I. (see Dalton) and Ann Gavin who married later that year on June 30, 1874. On May 22, 1872 Patrick Morrissey Jr. married Mary Gavin, who died in childbirth on April 25, 1873. Two years later on July 28, 1875 Patrick Morrissey married Mary Ann Doyle, daughter of Peter Doyle (see Doyle).
In the 1890 Roman Catholic Census for the Parish of St. Simon and St. Jude, centered at Tignish, P.E.I., we find the establishment of four Morrissey families in the parish and none whatsoever in the neighboring parish of the Immaculate Conception at Palmer Road, which was once a mission parish of Tignish. Indeed, no Morrissey ever settled at Palmer Road from the very start of our history. The four families are listed here without altering spellings of the family name: First family: Michael Morrisy 65, Farmer, good; Joseph 34; Martha 28; Augustine 1 (one); Ann 9. Second family: William Morrisy 53, Farmer, good; Minna 35; Mary E. 15; Caroline 14; Minna 12; Patrick 10; Catherine 8; John 7; William 5; Joseph 3; Arthur 2. Third family: James Morrisey (note the "e") 48, Farmer, good: Mary 48; Mary c. 21(absent); Clara 20 (absent); Joseph 8; William 6; Winnifred 5. Fourth family: Patrick H. Morisey 51, Farmer, good; Mary Ann 32; Clarence 12; Amanda 9, Montigue 3; Lizzie 2.
In the early part of the twentieth century we find the Morrissey's settled principally at North Cape with one family each settling within the confines of Tignish proper and at Ascension-Tignish.
Clarence F. (Ferdinand) Morrissey (b. 1877), son of Patrick Henry Morrissey (1841 - 1904) and Mary Ann Gavin (Doyle on one genealogical table) is listed on Cummin's 1928 Atlas as owner of 250 acres of land known as the Black Marsh, a rather swampy uninhabitable area at North Cape bordering Northumberland Strait. The land is located between that of Henry Hogan, who owns the western tip of P.E.I., known as North Cape, and Morris McGrath, who is located east of the Marsh. Clarence also owns another parcel of land measuring 50 acres between lands in possession of Fred Gavin on both sides of him which border the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Moreover, he owned a 32-acre parcel of land within Tignish limits with frontage on present day Church Street. This land was located between lands owned by Alexander J. McFadyen who was a bookkeeper for Myrick's Store in Tignish. The land had previously been owned by Captain Francis (Frank) Gallant (b. 1841 - d. 1905 in Tignish), Member of the Legislative Assembly of P.E.I. and post master of Tignish from December 8, 1894 until his death in October 1905. His wife was Kathleen McKenna of Charlottetown. They had seven children (see Photo Historica, pg. 106). It seems very likely that Clarence purchased all of Capt. Gallant's property, which included a large home and a store, the latter abutting the street.
Clarence's brother Percival (Percy) Morrissey, meanwhile, was the owner of 133 acres of land located at North Cape. James Riley and John Dalton owned lands north and south of him respectively. Two other Morrissey landowners in the 1920's were Joseph B. Morrissey and Patrick Morrissey. Joseph held 100 acres at Ascension-Tignish between farms owned by John Gallant north of him and parcels of land owned by James Aylward and J. Doucette south of him respectively. Patrick Morrissey, on the other hand, owned a 36-acre farm at Nail Pond. It was situated between Joseph Gaudet's farm north of him and Wilfred Ready's property south of him.
Clarence F. Morrissey (b. Aug 27, 1876 - d. Dec. 25, 1960) who had married Zita Kinch (b. Feb. 24, 1886 - d. June 20, 1968) raised a family of six children. They were Annette (b. Nov. 1913 - d. June 20, 1968) who married Gilbert Judge from the United States; Frances (b. Nov.22, 1915 - d. April 13, 1963) m. Kenneth Fraser (b. 1909 - d. Feb. 12, 1953). He was from Souris area, P.E.I. Both are buried in Tignish. They had two children, Catherine (Cathy) who is in Ontario and Clarence (Clarry) who married Linda Handrahan. They adopted a child named Crystal and live in St. Felix; Claude (b. Nov. 28, 1911 - d. May 24, 1978) unmarried; Chester (b. 1912 - d. 1935) unmarried; and Melvin (b. 1913? - d. Dec. 4, 1915 at two years of age). They also had a child named Kathleen who died in infancy. All members of the family are buried in the U.S.
Both Annette and Frances were members of the CWAC (Canada Women's Army Corps) during the Second World War (1939 - 1945). Frances became quite a reputable jazz and modern music pianist in her day. She often performed in well known army bands during the war and at local dances in Tignish after the war. St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Tignish in the old St. Mary's Hall brought out the best of Irish melodies from this very talented lady. There was no one to surpass her anywhere known by this writer.
Clarence Morrissey and his wife Zita Kinch established their home within the village of Tignish on Church Street. He presumably had purchased his property here from Captain Francis Gallant, including the latter's home which had been such a large structure that part of it was moved further south on Church Street and served as O'Brien's Hotel, operated by Mary O'Brien who married Jack A'Hearn, a noted boxer and Tignish's first policeman. They also operated an ice cream parlour and meat market which stood where the Tignish Co-op is presently located. The O'Brien Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1952 when the C.N.B.A. Hall next to it caught fire and was likewise consumed in the blaze. The hotel stood where M. J.'s Bakery stands today.
Clarence was a lobster packer at the Black Marsh (North Cape). His factories there employed a great number of local people. His reputation as a witty Irishman and a political figure were well known. Re-elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of P.E.I. from 1945-47 for the Progressive Conservative Party, he held his listeners spellbound by his down-to-earth bombastic humorous oratory.
Almost all of the Morrissey's living today within the scope of this history are descendants of Clarence's brother Percival (Percy) Morrissey (b. 1888 (one source has 1890) - d. 1972). His wife was Patricia Ann Cahill (b. 1893 - d. 1988), daughter of John Cahill and Bridget Ready. They raised a family of nine children at Sea Cow Pond who were: Dorothea (b. 1915 - d. May 18, 2000) m. Dr. Wilbur Shea (Alberton), four children: Marion (b. 1917) m. Walter Harper, three children; Lillian (b. 1918 - d. 1985) m. Basil Whelan, six children: Everett F. (b. 1920 - d. 1994) single; Carmen (b. 1921) m. Howard John Hogan, three children; Bernard (Clarence) (1924 - 1990) m. J. Marie O'Connor; Margaret Mary (b. 1926) m. 1. Joseph Ready m. 2. Raymond Joseph McHugh, six children from the second marriage; Elizabeth (b. 1927) m. Alonzo Hogan, six children; John (Jackie) (b. 1929) m. Aldona Perry, ten children; Phyllis (b. 1935) m. Leo Dorgan, seven children (see Dorgan).
Percival (Percy) Morrissey had inherited his father Patrick Henry's property at Sea Cow Pond which bordered the pond itself on the north side. Patrick Henry's home had been built on the beach, but after the first winter there it was moved further inland for obvious reasons of weather to an area closer to the road leading to North Cape. The water pump casing of this home can still be seen there today. Later the house was moved once again across the road where it stands today, greatly enlarged and modified, where Percy and his wife Patricia raised their family. The house remains vacant today.
We must journey yet further inland to write about a Morrissey family that settled at Ascension-Tignish. This was the family of William Morrissey, one of the three Morrissey brothers who were teachers. Born at China Point, P.E.I. Feb. 2, 1837, he passed away at Tignish May 31, 1919, and was married to Mary Minna Fairclough. She was born on May 1, 1855, likewise at China Point and died at Tignish May 24, 1897. Their children were Mary Ellen (b. Jan 2, 1875 - d. Sept 17, 1959) unmarried; Carolyn Gertrude (b. March 30, 1876 - d. Dec. 1944) m. Albert Kinch (d. Aug. 1944); Minnie Alice (b. Aug 25, 1877 - d. Sept 30, 1941) m. Peter Cahill (b. Feb 2, 1881 - d. May 30, 1956); Patrick Henry (b. April 1, 1879 - d. May 4, 1950) m. Minna Rooney (d. 1962). They had twelve children, one of whom died in infancy. They have no descendants here today. Mary Catherine was born after Patrick Henry. She was born in 1881 and died in 1967. Her husband was A. J. Steves. Virginia was the only descendant of theirs here. John James was born next on Jan 4, 1883 and died in 1952. He was married to Mary Kearney (no dates). Mary, John, Nelson and Anna were their children. William Walter (b. Dec. 18, 1884 - d - ) m. Frances Steves (no dates) was the next offspring, one child named Virginia. Joseph B. Morrissey was born next on Nov. 24, 1886. He passed away April 30, 1955. His wife was Susan May Hackett (b. May 5, 1888 - d. June 3, 1921). Arthur Ambrose Morrissey was born after Joseph B. (Bernard). Born April 15, 1888 he died March 27, 1959. He married Rose Theriault from whom six children (listed below) were born. She had had a child from a previous marriage. Alton (b. 1911) who is unmarried and lives today at David Lodge near Tignish, is a son of Arthur. Apart from Alton, there were Godfry (1914 - 1977); Isabel (1917 - 1993) of Hamilton, Ontario; Justin (b. 1919) of Thunder Bay, Ontario; Elaine (b. 1921) and Clayton (b. 1926). Another son of William Morrissey and Mary Minna Fairclough was Edward Leo. He was born Oct. 7, 1890 and died in 1983. His wife was Edith Irving. The family lived in Merritt, B. C. and consisted of Gloria (b. 1917) m. Allan Collett; Jack (1920 - 1964); Percy (1924 - 1993) m. Anne Fraser and Lenore (b. 1928) m. Harold Pooley. William's and Mary Minna's last two offspring were Anne Isolana Morrissey (b. 1891 - d. 1893?) and Anne Alberta Morrissey (b. 1893) m. W. F. Hallinan.
Patrick Henry (1841 - 1904), teacher and farmer and brother of William above was married twice, first to Mary Ann Gavin and then to Mary Ann Doyle. In 1890 Tignish Roman Catholic Census (see above) he is 51 years old, his wife Mary Ann 32 and four children are listed from the first marriage, Clarence 12, Amanda 9, Montigue 3, and Lizzie 2.
Joseph B. Morrissey who lived at Ascension-Tignish and his wife Susan May Hackett raised the following children: Mary Minna Bernardine (b. 1917) m. Ralph MacKay; Helen Susan (b. June 3, 1919 - d. Dec 2, 1994 in a tragic car accident at Alma, P.E.I.) M. Ralph O'Brien. They had seven children. Sylvia Catherine was born in 1920, after Helen. She was married to Frank Carter. Then there was Susan May (b. 1922) who married Roy Bagnall.
Joseph B. Morrissey's uncle James J. Morrissey, listed as a teacher like his brothers Patrick and William, lived at Peterville near Tignish. One of his children named Winnifred (Winnie) (b. Jan 28, 1885 - d. July 7, 1957) is listed on the Roman Catholic Tignish Census as being the youngest of the family at 5 years of age. She was married to Austin J. (James) MacDonald (b. March 30, 1885 - d. July 20, 1944). He was a C. N. R. brakeman and was killed while working on the railway at Borden, P.E.I. Austin and Winnifred were the parents of Clare O'Shea and Kathleen (Kay). Clare lives today in the family home on Main Street, Tignish. The family members were Kathleen (Kay) (b. March 30, 1921 d. May 13, 1999) Louis (d. Sept 28, 1922) m. Agnes (Dolly) Corbett from Havre Boucher, N.S. They had four children - Jim, Robert, Margaret, and Janette. They live in Edmonton, Alberta. Then there was Clare (b. Feb. 25, 1925) m. Howard O'Shea (b. Oct 11, 1913 - d. Jan 30, 1973); a child born next named Austin died in infancy. Doreen (b. Aug 19, 1927 - d. May 30, 1987) was the last offspring born to Austin and Winnifred.
Although the Morrissey's arrived a number of years later than many of the Irish families we have thus far written about, their presence here in years to come seems assured, based on the prolific progeny which have emanated from two families in particular, namely those of Bernie's and his brother Jack's families.
NELLIGAN: Our first recorded history, although rather meager in content, informs us that the Nelligan's originated in County Kerry, Ireland. Thus far, we have not met many of our Irish people who came from there. Nevertheless, we have seen that the vast majority of Irish people who settled in the Tignish area came from the southern counties which bordered the sea. Kerry is not an exception since it is located in the south-west area of the Irish Republic bordering the Atlantic Ocean in the province of Munster. O'Grady, who has been quoted several times already in this work, speculates that Kerry men are likely to have come to Prince Edward Island via Newfoundland because for generations they had fished on the Grand Banks there. It seems, therefore, reasonable for us to assume that the Nelligan's who settled here had done likewise.
The first Nelligan Tignish area settler was Patrick, a native of Kerry, who landed at Nail Pond, or more precisely at Norway near North Cape in 1832. This is before the great Potato Famine of the 1840's which caused starvation and so many deaths in Ireland and was the main cause of Irish emigration to North America.
Patrick was born about 1788 and died November 2, 1872 at 84 years of age, as it is inscribed on his tombstone. Patrick Sr. was married twice. His first wife was Mary Hierlahay who died at Nail Pond about 1832. They had married in Ireland and had three children at the time of their arrival here in 1832. They were John (b. circa. 1824, Co. Kerry) m. Jan 21, 1845 to Mary Anne McIntyre, daughter of Michael McIntyre and Sarah McFayden of Tignish; then there was Patrick (b. Co. Kerry) who married Ann Lanahan (Lennahan) and Michael (b. Oct 20, 1828, Co. Kerry - d. Dec. 9, 1902). His wife was Margaret Hogan. Michael was the only one of Patrick Sr.'s three sons still living in 1899.
Patrick Sr. then married Hanora Kennedy, of whom he had four children who were James, Thomas, Mary and Hannah.
Tignish Parish records, which begin in 1831, are written in French by Rev. Sylvain Ephrem Perrey (Poirier). The only time he signed himself "Poirier" was when he recorded his father's funeral service at which (he) was the principal celebrant on September 26, 1842. He was born at "The Green" near present-day Tignish in 1802 and was the first Acadian priest as well as the first Roman Catholic priest to be ordained on Prince Edward Island. He was missionary for all of Prince Edward Island at the time. There was no resident priest at Tignish until 1843.
Now not being familiar with the spelling of Irish names, Patrick Nelligan Sr.'s and Mary Kennedy's (his second wife) children are listed as follows (note spelling as they appear in Tignish Parish Records): parents are Patrick Naligan and Honore Canady. Children are Jacques (b. Sept 1, (sic) 1834; Thomas (b. Nov 19, 1836); Marie (b. April 8, 1839) and Joanna (b. Sept 18, 1842). All are listed by Reverend Perrey except Thomas, which is listed in a Nelligan genealogical chart. Patrick Sr. died Nov. 2, 1872 and his second wife somewhat later, both of whom are buried in the present Roman Catholic Cemetery at Tignish.
Patrick Sr.'s son Michael (dates unknown), who was born in Ireland, had married Mary Gehal from County Kerry, the same country as his. It is believed that he is the Michael Nelligan who held 77 acres of land at Norway, P.E.I. The land was located between farms owned by Michael Phee on the north side and Peter Doyle on the southern flank.
Michael and Mary had a son named Maurice who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in the 1820's. In about 1839 he came to Prince Edward Island and on January 7, 1841 he married Margaret Phee at the Roman Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist at Miscouche, P.E.I. (there being no resident priest at Tignish yet). She had been born at Norway, P.E.I., in about 1818, the daughter of James Phee, born in County Louth, Ireland, and Catherine Woods, born in County Monaghan, Ireland. Maurice died March 15, 1890 at Norway and his wife March 22, 1893. Both are buried in the present Roman Catholic Cemetery at Tignish.
The following children had been their offspring: Mary (b. Oct 30, 1841) m. August 14, 1866 to John Dorgan, son of John Dorgan (see Dorgan) and Margaret Lane of Tignish; Catherine (b. Oct. 29, 1843 - d. Oct 17, 1929) m. Feb. 25, 1862 to John McGrath (see McGrath), son of James McGrath and Mary Kennedy of Tignish; Ann was born next July 24, 1845 and died Oct 1, 1931. She married Henry Ready, son of Michael Ready and Ellen Rielly. Michael (b. Jan. 7, 1847 - d. April 19, 1935) followed Ann. His wife was Annice Gifford, daughter of George L. Gifford and Clarinda Quigley (b. June 24, 1862 at Little Port, Iowa). His second wife was Pearl McCoy. Next, Jacques (James) married Alice Ready on Feb. 3, 1861. She was the daughter of Thomas Ready and Juline Powers of Tignish. They had four children who were Patrick (b. Jan. 19, (sic) 1862) and Julian (b. April 19, 1862). This seems to be an error in parish records. Were they in actual fact twins? After them, there were Nicholas (b. Jan 9, 1867) and Hanora (b. Nov 1, 1868).
Patrick Sr. Nelligan's and Mary Kennedy's son Thomas (b. 1836) married twice. His first wife was Mary Anne Ready, daughter of Michael Ready and Helena Sulaven of Tignish, whom he married on August 21, 1861. They had two children; Homora (b. Aug. 27, 1862) and another child (illegible in parish records) born June 17, 1864. After his wife's death Thomas married Jane O'Donahue on Jan. 7, 1869, daughter of John O'Donahue and Catherine Ryan of Tignish. Jane was born July 27, 1847 and died in Brighton, Mass. June 18, 1937.
Thomas and Jane had the following offspring who were third generation Nelligan's: John (b. Jan 10, 1870), William (b. Dec. 15, 1870), Catherine Ida (b. July 16, 1872), Mary Teresa (b. May 16, 1874), Thomas (b. March 15, 1876), Catherine Ida (b. June 17, 1878), Mary Loretta (b. Dec. 3, 1880), Joseph Albert (b. Feb. 23, 1882), Ann (b. Feb. 16, 1884), Mary Christina (b. March 25, 1885 - d. Aug. 1955). She became a nun named Sister of the Resurrection, C. N. D., and is buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery in Charlottetown on St. Peter's Road. Ada Jane was born after her (on) June 27, 1888, then Thomas Patrick (b. Sept 2, 1890), and finally, Bertha Matilda (b. Feb 4, 1894).
Whereas there were seven Nelligan families here in 1890, it seems rather ironic that a little over a century later there should be no Nelligan families left in the Tignish and Norway areas today.
It should be noted that Richard Nelligan, who lives in Tignish North, was actually Richard Whitty from Souris, P.E.I., who was adopted by Leo Nelligan, the son of John Nelligan. All of Richard's six children, although adopting the Nelligan family name, are in fact not Nelligan's, but Whitty's, including Paul, Richard's son, who lives at Sea Cow Pond.
There were no Nelligan families in Palmer Road Parish in 1890, but there was a Catherine Nelligan, age 19, who was living apparently in a Ready family (homestead) there. While there is no Nelligan family listed in 1890 at Palmer Road, there was a Michael Nelligan listed on Meacham's 1880 Atlas owning 75 acres of land at Pleasant View, located between lands owned by a MacLellan northeast of him and James McMicken southwest of him. Pleasant View came under the Catholic jurisdiction of Palmer Road Parish. In 1928 Michael's land is listed under John Nelligan, measuring 145 acres under the latter's name at Pleasant View between Ebbsfleet and Waterford, located between lands owned by William Gaudet northeast and Albert McMicken southeast. The Nelligan's mentioned here originated from Norway, near North Cape where the Nelligan's had originally settled.
Michael Nelligan (b. Oct 20, 1828, Co. Kerry, Ireland - d. Dec. 9, 1902, age 76 at Tignish) who moved to Pleasant View from Norway, was, as we have seen, a son of Patrick Nelligan Sr. and his first wife Mary Hierlahay. His property, which consisted of 75 acres in 1880, was located between a McLellan on the northeast side and James McMicken on the southwest side. At one time the Felix McCarthy family (see McCarthy) was next to the Nelligan's there. He was married to Margaret Hogan (b. April 28, 1823 - d. May 20, 1905, age 75). Their children were: Patrick (b. Aug 21, 1851) and Michael (b. April 4, 1853). His first wife was Mary Phee and his second wife was Ellen Howard. Mary Josephine (b. April 21, 1880) issued from the first marriage. From the second union the following children were born: Michael James (b. Nov 15, 1885); Mary Julia (b. Aug 22, 1887 ?); Thomas Ambrose (b. Dec 21, 1887); and Patrick Lawrence (b. Sept 14, 1896). The latter became a prominent doctor in Montreal and a politican.
After Michael of Pleasant View (near Waterford, P.E.I.), William was born (Oct. 7, 1855) to be followed by Thomas (b. Dec 21, 1856 - d. May 14, 1919). Thomas was married to Elizabeth A. Hogan who died December 28, 1919 at 73 years of age. She is interred in St. Paul's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Summerside, P.E.I. John M. was born after Thomas (Oct 8, 1859). He was Bishop Leo Nelligan's father. We shall list his family in a following column. After John there was Mary (b. Dec. 22, 1860) and finally there was Sarah (b. May 28, 1862 (sic).
John M. Nelligan (b. Oct 8, 1859) just listed, married Margaret (Maggie) Harper on October 4, 1887. She was born February 18, 1869, the daughter of John (Jack) Baptiste Harper, son of William Harper and Mary Alexander, and Margaret FitzGerald, daughter of Edward FitzGerald and Margaret O'Brien.
John M. Nelligan and his wife Margaret raised twelve children, one of whom became a Roman Catholic Bishop. They were: Mary Jane (b. Nov. 3, 1888); Joseph Wenceslaus (b. Jan. 22, 1890), Michael John (b. Feb. 18, 1893), Charles Leo (b. Aug. 19, 1894), Joseph William Louis (b. Nov. 24, 1896), Mary Marguerite (b. May 10, 1898). She was married to John Carroll McMasters on September 1, 1929; Patrick William (b. May 1, 1900); Mary Josephine (b. Sept 19, 1902); Mary Alma (b. Oct 13, 1904); Francis Bennett (b. July 21, 1907); Mary Viola (b. Nov. 10, 1909); Mary Patricia (nicknamed Tootsie)(b. April 28, 1913).
John M. Nelligan was a shoemaker by trade and the family lived at Tignish Corner on Ascension Road directly opposite Perry Rafter Company. Their home has long gone but the late Reggie Harper lived on the same location there, which was next to the Tignish Cheese Factory which opened next to it in 1898. Today Stephanie and Rick Breen live there in a recently constructed dwelling.
John's and Margaret's fourth offspring became a bishop, thus aspiring to the highest Roman Catholic ecclesiastical office of any Tignish native in our history. He was consecrated as Bishop of Pembroke, Ontario at St. Joseph's Cathedral, Edmonton, Alberta on October 28, 1937, by Cardinal James Charles McGuigan of Toronto (native of Hunter River, P.E.I.), assisted by the Archbishop of Edmonton, the Bishop of Calgary and the Vicar Apostolic of MacKenzie.
Bishop Nelligan held a B.A. degree from Laval University in Quebec City, as well as a Doctorate of Divinity from Grand Seminary in that city. Before being ordained priest he taught school in the Tignish Grammar School, where he also trained Army Cadets. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was named Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces by Pope Pius XII, resigning from that position in 1944 because of illness. The following year he resigned as Bishop of Pembroke, Ontario, transferring to the Titular See of Fenice. He joined the staff of the University of Windsor, Ontario in 1947 where he lectured in religion, French literature and history for fifteen years. He relinquished his professional duties in June 1962 to attend sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome. Before his death in 1973 at age 79 he resided with the Basilian Fathers at Assumption University. He is buried in the Basilian plot at Heavenly Rest Cemetery, Windsor, Ontario. He was greatly honoured by Tignish residents who presented him with addresses in French and English, and was a frequent visitor to his beloved native parish where he frequently officiated and spoke on numerous celebratory occasions.
As we have oftentimes stated in this work, space makes no allowance to go any further in listing greater details about families. We must content ourselves in tracing family genealogical outlines, leaving it to family descendants or other researchers to fill in the missing links.
MCINNIS: Variously spelled as "MacInnis", "McInnes", "Guinness", "MacGuenness", etc...the name is spelled as "McInnis" in the area covered by this history. The name "McInnis" is a common one found throughout Ireland, as was related to the writer of this work by Edward Keogh, a frequent summer visitor to Tignish from Derry, Northern Ireland. The city is known as Londonderry by those espousing British rule in Northern Ireland. Londonderry has gained some of its fame in music from the tune "Londonderry Air", which is also the tune for "O Danny Boy".
This not withstanding, views and opinions abound and we are again faced with the inevitable question as to whether the McInnis family is of Irish or Scottish descent. As we have learned, the prefix "Mac" or "Mc" is not a criteria to settle the matter. Some have stated that "Mac" denotes that one is Scottish and that "Mc" denotes that one is Irish. There is simply no truth in this, since both are intermingled and used indiscriminately in genealogical records, not to mention within the same members of one family.
The interpretive centre set up by a reputable heritage consultant at North Cape, not far distant from Tignish, lists the McInnis family name among Irish families who settled here beginning in 1811.
There appeared in 1998 a rather well researched genealogical history of the Jeffery family compiled by Betty M. and Carter W. Jeffery of West Prince, P.E.I. In this history we learned that there was a Sarah Jeffery who married Angus McInnis. The latter had a son named Peter, who having married twice, raised a family of twenty-three children in all, thirteen from his first marriage to Mary McHugh, and ten from his second marriage to Kate White. The Jeffery book goes on to relate that the McInnis family which settled here had its origins with Isaac (Angus) McInnis who was born in 1751 on the Isle of Skye, the largest and most northerly island of the inner Hebrides nearest to the coast of northwestern Scotland.
According to another report, reference is made that the McInnis clan had its origins in Argyleshire, a county in northwestern Scotland. The county includes a number of islands, one of which is Iona where St. Columba founded a Celtic monastery in the sixth century. This would indeed corroborate the report that the McInnis ancestors had come from the Isle of Skye since both are islands found in Argyleshire County.
It may be noted in passing that there exists Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye, which is the home of the MacLeod's, the chief clan of Skye. The castle was built in the 9th century and has been occupied longer than any other house in Scotland.
There invariably seems to exist certain elements of romanticism entwined in every genealogical family tree. The McInnis family is no exception. History records that a McInnis chieftain was in command of a massive castle that fell and was destroyed by fire in 1645 when the clan supported the Campbell's of Argyle in their struggle against Charles the First.
McInnis migration to Canada seems to have coincided pretty well with that of numerous Irish waves of migration even in West Prince, P.E.I. One need only recall that the government of the British Isles was to see an influx of its settlers take up roots even on l'Ile Saint-Jean (P.E.I.) After it fell to the British in 1758. Just a few short years previous to this, the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 returned Nova Scotia to Britain and France returned l'Ile Royale (Cape Breton) and l'Ile Saint-Jean (later named Prince Edward Island in 1799) to Britain as well.
Whether they be considered Scottish or Irish, since we have indications that the family name is quite prevalent in both countries, the McInnis family has been strongly allied here with other Irish families. The spelling we have used of this family is the one used everywhere in the Tignish parish. Elsewhere, such spellings as MacGuiness, Guenness, etc...have been used. These things being stated, we shall now return where we began - to write a summary history of the McInnis family as it relates to Tignish.
The patriarchal ancestor of the McInnis family here was Isaac (Angus) McInnis, said to have been born in 1751 on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. His wife was Marie Louise Arbour (1763 - 1849), daughter of Joseph Arbour (1728 - 1805) and Louise Charlotte Fortin. Isaac (Angus) McInnis is recorded as having emigrated from Scotland to Perce, Province of Quebec, before 1780. He was a fisherman by occupation.
In the Jeffery book again, and also in a book on the McInnis family published by David McInnis in 1999, we note that Joseph Arbour was a descendant of Michael (Harbour) Arbour, who was born in 1647 at Rouen, France in the province of Normandy. He goes on to state that Michael married Marie Coutancineau in 1671 and died in 1690 in Quebec. This Joseph Arbour served, apparently, as a guide for Gen. Wolfe, made famous in Canadian history for his defeat of Montcalm in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City. In this capacity Joseph was a member of the British military establishment in 1759.
The following is a list of children born to Ignace (Angus) McInnis and his wife Marie-Louise Arbour (Courtesy: Jeffery and McInnis Books): Julian (b. 1783 - d. 1830) m. Marthe Fournier. Their children were Julien, Marie, Frederic, Clovis (b. 1818), Patric, Modeste (b. 1819), Julie (1830 - 1831). Ignace and Marie-Louise then engendered Louise (b. 1787) who married Charles Picot from the Isle of Jersey, the largest and most southerly of the Channel Islands. The island is situated 175 kilometers south of England and 25 kilometers from France and is noted for its light brown and white Jersey cattle, not to mention its Jersey sweaters.
After Louise, there was Isaac (Angus)(1790-1865) who married Sarah Jeffery. They had seven recorded offspring, namely Louise, Peter, a daughter (name unknown), Thomas (b. 1840), Augustine (b. 1843 - d. 1930), Arthur (b. 1845) and James (1846 - 1874).
Following Isaac there was Alexis (b. 1792) who married Margaret Lawrence, native of Ireland. They had six children: Jean-Baptiste (1833 - 1837), Louise (b. 1834), Joseph (b. 1836), Alexis (b. 1838), Elisa (b. 1841), and Bridget (b. 1845).
After Alexis, there was John (1793 - 1841) who married Ann Rogers. Five children of theirs are recorded: Elizabeth (b. 1822), Anne (b. 1831), George (b. 1834), Margaret (b. 1836) and Elizabeth (b. 1839).
Four other children after John were Joseph (b. 1795), Charlemagne (b. 1796), Pierre (b. 1799 - d. 1848)(not married), and Cecile (b. 1804).
Based on the two sources quoted above, the McInnis family patriarch Isaac (Angus) and his wife Marie-Louise Arbour had nine children who were born between 1783 and 1804. They resided in the Gaspé, Quebec area except one, namely Isaac (Angus), who supposedly worked on boats on Prince Edward Island in 1829 where he married Sarah Jeffery in 1830. It was apparently at Port Daniel, not too distant from Perce in Gaspé, where the family settled. At this place there is a cove, a route as well as a lake which bears the McInnis name.
We are reminded at this point that there were other settlers of the Tignish area who had set foot at Gaspé before coming here, namely the Harper's and McCarthy's (See Harper and McCarthy). Some of the latter had been at Douglastown, Gaspé in the Parish of St. Patrick.
Sarah Jeffery (b. 1806) was an emigrant from the Isle of Wight, a tiny island lying off the south coast of England in the English Channel. In 1810 she had come to Prince Edward Island with her father Jim Jeffery and three older siblings, George, Hanna, and Stephen. They settled at St. Eleanor's (Lot 17), P.E.I. Jim Jeffery returned to England a few years later where he died in 1815. The four children, however, remained on Prince Edward Island. Sarah was reared by her sister Hannah who had married Thomas C. Compton. In 1824 Sarah eloped from the Compton house to marry Patrick Lamb, a native of Ireland, from which union there were two children, John and Jim. Patrick Lamb was murdered in 1829. One may read with great interest the complete court proceedings of the murder trial in the Jeffery and McInnis books.
We are quite aware in Acadian history as it relates to Tignish that there was a Colonel Compton at St. Eleanor's, P.E.I. who was a prominent landowner. He rented lands there to Acadian settlers, some of whom were to found Tignish in October 1799. After welcoming Acadians to rent lands from him, his eventual rate of land rental increases became in large measure the most significant contributing factor in forcing the Acadian founders of Tignish to relocate from the Malpeque area to "The Green". This area is situated about two miles directly east of present-day Tignish. It is interesting to note that Colonel Compton remarried, this time to a French lady who would have been able to communicate well with Acadians.
We continue our story by stating that along with the rearing of Sarah's children from her first marriage Angus and Sarah had seven children from their union. Two of their girls, Louise and another daughter, were brought up by Sarah's sister, Hannah Compton. Peter (August 22, 1834 - 1903), eldest son of Angus and Sarah, was born at Miscouche, P.E.I. and later removed to Kildare Cape in Lot Two where his father had leased one hundred acres of land from Samuel Cunard. The latter was a steamship magnate of Cunard Steamship Lines who once owned all of Lots One and Two, as well as thousands of acres elsewhere on Prince Edward Island, making him one of the most affluent absentee landowners of the province.
Angus and Sarah's four other children, Thomas, Augustine, Arthur, and James, were also born at Miscouche. Sarah died in 1846, the same year James was born. She is interred in the old pioneer cemetery at "The Green".
Due to the excellence of the Jeffery and McInnis sources of information, we have succumbed to a certain degree of plagiarism by stating that Angus then married Margaret Gavin in 1848. She was the daughter of John Gavin, a native of Ireland (see Gavin). Margaret had previously been married to James A'Hearn of Ireland, and then to Nicholas Dixon of Tignish. From their union, Angus and Margaret had two children: Bernard born in 1858 and Abraham born in 1862. What happened to Margaret and her two sons remains unknown. Angus died in 1865 and is buried at the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Tignish, the year the present graveyard was opened.
Of Angus's seven children with Sarah Jeffery: Louise (1831 - 1901) married her first cousin Isaac James Jeffery who was a farmer in Lot 17. Five children were born to the latter. Their eldest son Peter (1834 - 1903) settled in Lot One, farmed and had twenty children. There exists no records regarding their son Thomas (b. 1840), while Augustine (1843 - 1930) settled in Greenmount, south of Tignish-St. Felix, where he farmed and raised four children. Meanwhile, their son Arthur (b. 1845) lived in the home of Donald McNeil in Lot Nine, working as a farm labourer. He was 38 years old at the time and no further records are available concerning him. Their youngest son, James, born in 1846, had died in 1874 at 28 years of age and is buried in the present Roman Catholic Cemetery in Tignish. There are no further records about him also.
Readers will no doubt readily agree with the impossibility of including in this history all of the McInnis descendants of Isaac (Angus) McInnis and his wife Marie-Louise Arbour. For that reason, we shall content ourselves to write about three of the descendants who have left us a significant number of McInnis members descending from them where traces may yet be found today. All three were grandsons of the above, as well as sons of Peter McInnis (1834 - 1903).
Peter had twelve children from his first marriage to Mary McHugh (1842 - 1884), daughter of James McHugh and Mary Foley; from his second wife, Catherine "Kate" White (1862 - 1956), daughter of John and Mary White, he had seven children. Two of these were sons from Peter's first marriage: Thomas (1861 - 1947) who married Mary Ellen Keough (1864 - 1943) and Joseph "Joe" (1878 - 1967) who married Florence MacEachern. The third one was Augustine "Gussie" McInnis (1889 - 1969).
Peter McInnis (b. 1834) was owner of 47 acres of land located at Sea Cow Pond at that time, in recent years is in the Anglo-Tignish area. The Sylvain Poirier farm was situated north of him and on the south there was the Richard "Dick" Gain farm. (See Gavin) The land bordered the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Immediately south of Richard Gavin's, Peter owned another 115 acres, and south of that was Joseph Shea who owned a 120-acre farm. All these lands are listed on the Meacham's 1880 Atlas and according to it were transversed by the Sea Cow Pond Road.
Based on the 1901 census, Peter was born August 22, 1834 and baptized at St. John the Baptist Church, Miscouche, P.E.I., there being no resident priest yet in Tignish. He was a farmer by occupation. On January 16, 1860 he married Mary McHugh (b.c. 1842). Their twelve children were: Thomas (b. 1861); James (b. 1862); Peter (b. 1864); Sarah Anne (b. 1866); Wilbert (b. 1868); Mary Catherine (bapt. 1868); John (b. 1870); Charles (b. 1872); Winnifred (b. 1876 or 1877 according to 1901 census); Joseph "Joe" (bl 1878); Mary Angelina (b. 1880); and Honora (b. 1881).
After Mary McHugh's death May 21, 1884 as well as her burial in Tignish Roman Catholic Cemetery, Peter McInnis took Catherine "Kate" White as his second wife on June we, 1885 in the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude at Tignish. Kate, the daughter of John and Mary White, was born Oct. 5, 1863 and died in 1956. She and Peter had two sons who were older than Kate.
Peter and Kate had the following eleven children: Mary Adeline (b. 1886), Edward "Eddie" (b. 1887), Angus Augustine "Gussie" (b. 1889), William "Willie" (b. 1891), Emiline (b. pt. 1894), Lessie (no dates), Mary Ann "Annie" (b. 1892). She married Jacob "Jake" Segal, a motion-picture executive. She died in Feb. 1941 at Glen Rock, New Jersey in an automobile accident. The Segal's lived in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Then there was Mary Caroline (b. 1896), followed by Louisa Teresa (b. 1900), then Teresa (bapt. 1899), and finally Abigail McInnis (no dates).
Peter died on his farm at Sea Cow Pond, which is presently located in the rearranged Anglo-Tignish district. His wife Kate later married Joseph Poirier (Perry) on Jan. 24, 1905 at St. Simon and St. Jude Church, Tignish. They had a daughter named Helen in the United States and a daughter Nora on the Island. The latter was married to a Scholefield: they had an adopted son Robert who married Kate's great-granddaughter Peggy.
Peter's original homestead at Sea Cow Pond (now Anglo-Tignish) has long since gone. The home on the property today was built by Jude Bernard, purchased and hauled from the lot next to and south of the late Srafford McInnis property in Tignish on Church Street North by Gregory McInnis, Peter's grandson. Gregory's son Eugene and his family live in the home at present, since the latter is the inheritor of the first McInnis lands in our history.
Kate's daughter, Annie Segal, mentioned above, had purchased the kitchen of the Theodore Bernard Hotel (later the Henry Doyle Hotel) which once stood where the Island Tel telephone circuit building now stands on the north side corner of Main Street (now blocked off by the Tignish Co-op Store Link) and Sunset Drive in Tignish. The kitchen in question was hauled to a spot near the edge of Phillip Street, close to the right of the driveway entrance to the Tignish Legion. This then became the home of Kate and her new husband, Joseph Poirier. Various families lived in it in later years, including Preston Aylward, Willie McInnis (Kate's son) mentioned above, who lived in one half while his mother lived in the other half of the house, Alphonse "Avit" Richard who later moved into Tim LeClair's (Brad's father) home on Church Street directly opposite Lloyd MacLeod's home after Tom moved to Ascension-Tignish to live with his mother-in-law, Mary Jane Bernard and her brother "Joe" who never married. This was after Tom's retirement as clerk at Myrick's Shore in Tignish. (See Photo Historica by the author). There was also Albert Knox and his family who lived in the Kate McInnis house.
The building still stands today, having been relocated some years ago to a location on the north side of Phillip Street opposite the Willard Murphy property. It is owned by Reggie Knox and his sister-in-law Helena Lefevre dwells in it presently.
The first of the three McInnis people having left descendants still extant here was Thomas "Tom" McInnis, born Feb. 16, 1861 with baptism Feb. 19, 1861 at St. Simon and St. Jude Church, Tignish. He was the eldest son from Peter's first marriage to Mary McHugh. He was both a farmer and a fisherman. The way he acquired his 70-acre farm which was separated from his brother Jim's 152-acre farm by a dirt road called Lamb's Lane, is a rather interesting one. Both farms lead to the shore (Gulf of St. Lawrence). The land got its name from John Lamb, who was Peter McInnis's half-brother. At some point John Lamb had decided to leave the Anglo-Tignish area, leaving an unpaid mortgage on his land. Peter McInnis then decided to purchase the land by paying off Lamb's mortgage. He did this by rounding up some of his cattle, transporting them by scow across the Northumberland Strait to the Miramichi in northern New Brunswick and selling them. Having paid off the mortgage owed, on his return he gave the property to his eldest son Tom. To this day the land is known as the Lamb property. Lamb's Lane may still be seen today in its unpaved state.
There was no bridge at Shea's Pond then; people travelled along Lamb's Lane to Baine's grist mill at the shore spill way, and Shea's farm was located next to Tom's bordering the pond, known even today as Shea's Pond. On Meacham's 1880 Atlas as well as the 1928 Cummins Atlas this pond is listed as Baine's Creek. Tom's house still stands there today and was lived in by Earl Brennan, his grandson, who having moved to Tignish at the Harper Apartments on Dalton Avenue, sold it to John Gaudet (the electrician), son of the late Frank J. Gaudet.
On January 19, 1886 Tom married Mary Ellen Keough (b. Feb. 22, 1868), daughter of Richard Keough and Mary H. Dawson (See Dawson and Keough). They raised a family of seven children who were: Margaret A. (b. 1888); Annie S. (b. 1896 - the year of the Great Tignish Fire); Peter Richard (b. 1896 - d. 1917). He drowned fishing lobsters; Lottie (b. 1893 - d. 1967) who married Tom Brennan. They raised a family of seven children namely: Walter, Helen, Earl, Ida, Thelma, Berly and John. Then there was Mary Ida (b. 1898) who lived in the United States and was married to Joe Shea. They had no children. Then there was Patrick "Earl" (b. 1901 - d. 1973). He never married and lived on the homestead. And finally, Alonzo McInnis (b. 1903 - d. 1970). Another child, Anne Squarebriggs (b. 1906) was adopted and married Joe Gallant.
Alonzo McInnis (above) married Viola Gallant (b. 1919 - d. 1996), daughter of Joe Gallant. They had two children, Richard (b. 1941) and Margaret. Alonzo, Adrien Richard, Harold Cormier and Arthur Arsenault (Maple Street) Tignish painted the interior of the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude in the early 1950's. At that time the original gold stars, which had been painted on a light blue background covering the nave ceiling (centre aisle) of the Church executed in 1888 by Meloche of Montreal, P.Q., engravers, was covered albeit in plain coloured paint to match the ceiling of the side aisles.
May we digress a bit more by inserting a couple of amusing anecdotes about Tom's brother James "Jim" McInnis who lived opposite him on Lamb's Lane. Jim was an inveterate beachcomber. Seldom was he seen journeying along the nearby beach or Lamb's Lane without his horse and cart.
The story is told that while driving along the beach below his farm, exhausted from a burning sun, he decided to soothe his spirits by taking a dip in the Gulf. There being no one in sight, he bared all, placed his clothes in the cart and waded in the water. Suddenly, to his utter dismay, the horse bolted for home, cart and all. Poor Jim was seen stealthily wending his way home festooned with a bit of greenery covering his bare essentials. One story states that a group of local nuns from Tignish Convent had been witness to the proceeding as they engaged in their customary annual picnic nearby.
The other rather amusing story surrounding Jim's life, or should we say death, refers precisely to his passing. The story is told that on the day of his funeral, when his casket had been placed in the horse-drawn hearse for its journey to the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude at Tignish for the obsequies, the coffin suddenly unhooked as the horse was pulling it over a hill in his yard and it slid through the door and had to be rescued by pallbearers. Everyone knew that Jim had been an avid trout fisherman at Shea's Pond just below his property in his day, and so another version would have it that his casket had indeed slid down the hill on the road and had to be retrieved from Shea's Pond itself.
Jim (b. 1862 - d. 1952) had married Elizabeth Doyle (b. 1867 - d. 1953) of Skinner's Pond (See Doyle genealogy by the author of this work). Both are buried in Tignish Roman Catholic Cemetery. They raised a family of six children, two of whom were to become nuns in the Congregation de Notre-Dame, the same order of nuns which had founded Tignish Convent in 1868. They were Mary Olive, C. N. D. (b. 1900 - d. 1988) who is buried in Charlottetown and was known as Sister Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, C. N. D.; the other was Clara (b. 1909) who assumed the name of Sister Mary Clare, C. N. D., who resides today with her community of nuns at Notre-Dame Academy in Charlottetown. Both these nuns were teachers before they had entered the sisterhood.
Our second McInnis who left us a goodly number of descendants was Joseph "Joe" McInnis (b. Oct. 22, 1878 - d. Jan. 1967). He was both a farmer and a fisherman. In 1900 he married Florence "Florrie" MacEachern (b. 1883 - d. 1943), a native of Earnscliffe, P.E.I.
The following information may be gleaned from "The Jeffery Family History". In it we read that "Joe" was involved in rum running like so many others in his day during the days of prohibition in Prince Edward Island. During the days of the closing of rum running, he moved to New York until things settled down on Prince Edward Island. He and a few friends of his went out West on the harvest excursion trains looking for work. However, after travelling for three weeks, they discovered that all the wheat had been harvested. They then returned to P.E.I.
Joe and Florence lived at his father's homestead at Sea Cow Pond, now called Anglo-Tignish. Their grandson, Eugene McInnis and his family live there today. Their home at some point was destroyed by fire. Five children survived and others died in early infancy. Those who survived were Mary "Ruth" (bapt. 1904) who was twice married. 1. Maurice Dentart 2. Roy Becker. She moved to the U.S. as a young girl but later lived in Mount Stewart, P.E.I. where she is buried. After her there was Edna (b. 1905 - d. 1985). She lived in New York City and was married to Frank Conroy, a brother of Margaret Conroy Hall who lives at Kildare Capes today. Both Margaret and Frank, along with their brother Clifton, were children of Peter Conroy, a noted Tignish horse racer and trainer of some reputation throughout the Maritimes (See Photo Historica, p. 186 by the author).
Joseph Gregory (b. April 3, 1908 - d. Jan. 15, 1986) was born after Edna. James Reginald (Reggie) was the next offspring (b. 1909 - d. 1969). He moved to New York City and had a family of four children, all buried in that city. His wife was Josephine Dorrigan (b. 1903 - d. 1986). Maxwell (Max) was the next to be born (b. June 29, 1912 - d. Sept. 2, 1987). The two other children born to Joe McInnis and Florence MacEachern were Leona (b. 1913) and Doris (b. 1918). Leona is the last survivor of this family and lives presently in Toronto, Ontario.
Joe McInnis, as we have seen , was a son of Peter McInnis from his first marriage to Mary McHugh. He was the 10th of their children. Both Joe and wife Florence are buried in Tignish Roman Catholic cemetery (See Photo Historica, page 188 by the author for a photo of Joe, Florence and three of their young children).
Gregory McInnis (b. 1908), son of Joe and Florence, was married to Helen MacAulay (b. abt. 1911 - d. July 6, 1987 at Western Hospital, Alberton, P.E.I.). She was a daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Stephen MacAulay of Souris, P.E.I. They lived on the original McInnis homestead which he had inherited from his father at Sea Cow Pond (now called Anglo-Tignish). They had one son, Eugene (b. July 22, 1950) who married Elaine Harris (b. July 12, 1961). They have a family of five children: Linzy (b. Dec. 8, 1982), Adam (b. Aug. 28, 1984), Chelsea (b. July 20, 1988), Kaitlin (b. Apr. 27, 1992), and Jordon (b. May 30, 1995). The family likewise lives on the original homestead which Eugene inherited from his father. Gregory and his son Eugene were principally farmers by occupation.
Maxwell (Max) McInnis (b. 1912 - d. 1987), fifth offspring born to Joe McInnis and Florence MacEachern married Kathleen Handrahan (b. Sept. 16, 1912 - d. 1995) in 1933 at Tignish. She was the daughter of Mark Handrahan of Christopher's Cross and a sister of the late Gerald Handrahan who lived in his father's home at the same place. Gerald was well-known as manager of the Tignish Co-operative as well as the founder of the co-operative movement in Tignish. (See Photo Historica, page 237 by the author, for his photo and biography).
Max and Kathleen raised a family of eleven children whom we shall list later. The family lived on a parcel of land of some 50 acres which Max had acquired from his father-in-law Mark Handrahan. Their home consisted of an old house which once stood on a location close to the old Joe Buote (Patrick's father) place. It was moved to its present location, altered and renovated to suit the needs of a growing family. Max's son Michael lives in the home today. The homestead and its 50 acres are situated on the west side of Route 12 which leads to North Cape and is next to Patrick Buote's place. It is separated from the latter by a scenic old dirt pathway believed to have been the route on which Tignish's second Roman Catholic Church (See Photo Historica, page 5 by the author) was hauled to Tignish in 1868 by 66 spans of horses to serve first as the Tignish Grammar School and later as St. Mary's Parish Hall.
Later on, Max was to acquire another parcel of land of some 30 or so acres located directly across the road on Route 12. This land in our early history had initially belonged to Edward Cunard, the absentee landowner. Eleven and one-half acres were later purchased from Edward Cunard on May 7, 1859 by Rt. Rev. Bishop D. MacDonald, second Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Charlottetown, on which Tignish's second Roman Catholic Church had been built in 1826, along with its accompanying presbytery and barns. The other half of the property was owned by Dominique Chiasson and contained the old pioneer Roman Catholic cemetery at what we today call "The Green". At some later date the 30-acre land area became the property of Captain John Villard, who lived in the presbytery after the church had been hauled to Tignish. The property was then purchased by Jack Perry, father of the late Johnny Perry of Perry's Construction. Some of the members of Jack's family were born in the old priest house, which is described by one of his daughters as being an exquisite home with hardwood floors and moldings. (See Photo Historica, page 3 by the author).
Jack Perry farmed there, and after he moved to Tignish he became noted as a local milkman, delivering milk daily to various households.
Coming back to Max McInnis's family, it was Max who purchased the entire property from Jack Perry. He too farmed and used the basement of the house to store huge blocks of ice cut from nearby rivers and bays embedded in sawdust for summer use, there being no other means of refrigeration at the time. At some point in its rather tragic history, the priest house was used to store hay and machinery. The buildings listed above have long since gone, the priest house having been destroyed by vandals at Hallowe'en in the 1970's.
Both the 1826 Church, as well as the priest house and barn, were situated on the crest of the hill bordering Route 12. The house was south of the church nearby, and south of the house there was a lane which ran through two fields, the full expanse of the thirty acres. It led to the pioneer cemetery dating from the foundation of Tignish by the Acadians in October, 1799. This lane may still be seen today and provides access to the old pioneer cemetery, apart from another recently restored accessible pathway through the woods with its entrance on the north east side, bordering the inlet where it is believed Acadian settlers entered to found Tignish. The thirty acres of land today is owned by Charles Stock of Falmouth, Nova Scotia, who married Max's daughter Lorraine.
Max and Kathleen raised a family of eleven children who were:
(1) Malcolm (1933 - 1982) married Lois Scissors (bl. 1935). They had three children: Allen, Kelly and Tammy (adopted). Malcolm joined the RCMP in 1953. In September 1973 he assumed the duties of Officer-in-Command of the Musical Ride at "N" Division in Ottawa. The Musical Ride, under his command, performed in his native Tignish in 1975, the first such ride on Prince Edward Island. Malcolm's last posting in August 1978 was Assistand Officer-in-Command of the Criminal Investigations Branch in "H" Division, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Both his funeral and burial took place in Tignish.
(2) Rodney (b. 1934) married Yolande Brunel (b. 1934 - d. 1994) whom he met while working at the Bank of Montreal as assistant broker in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. He is a graduate of St. Dunstan's University Class of 1956, which is now UPEI in Charlottetown. After working for about twenty years at the bank he returned to Tignish in 1975, built a modern Cape Cod style home at Anglo-Tignish on Route 12 and was engaged in lobster fishing, fox ranching and blueberry cultivation, the latter of which he carries on at present. His blueberry operation operates on two separate parcels of land, the Lamb Farm plus 72 acres which once belonged to Donald Handrahan, totalling 100 acres. His wife Yolande is buried in Tignish. They had a family of four children: Nancy, Susan, Patricia and Janet.
(3) Louis McInnis (b. 1935) married 1, Jean Wells. They had three children: Colleen, Robert and Ivan. m.2. Marjory A'Hearn (MacKay). They live on the Conway Road. Louis is a fisherman.
(4) Lorna (b. 1936) married Charles Stock of Falmouth, Nova Scotia. They raised three children: Carol Ann, Marjorie and Michael.
(5) Edward (Feb. 28, 1938). He served in the Canadian Air Force and is presently retired and living in Trenton, Ontario. He married Madelaine Dupont from Northern Quebec. They have five offspring: Kerwin, Jacqueline, Kathleen, Patrick and Kerena.
(6) Mary (b. 1939) m. George Camp. They had five children: Jeffery, Steve, Stewart, Brenda and Pam. They live in Edmonton, Alberta.
(7) John (b. 1940) married 1. Marlene Senick, m. 2. Cathy Unger. John has two children: Mark and Christen. As a career he worked as a railway engineer for Canadian Pacific Railways in Montreal and is now retired and living in Hebron, P.E.I., near O'Leary.
(8) Clare (b. 1943) married Roger Gevers. One child, Michael, was born to them. Clare lives in Beaconsfield, Quebec.
(9) Catherine (b. 1943) is a twin with Clare. She married 1. George Russell, m.2. Gerry Cameron. Two children, Jennifer and Andrew, were born from the first marriage. Catherine lives in Whitby, Ontario.
(10) Michael (b. 1945) married 1. Mary Murphy from Miminegash, P.E.I. They had five children; Joseph, Brian, Janice, Christopher and Paula. M. 2, Stella Gallant. Michel lives in his father's home on Route 12, and
(11) Irma (b. 1955) married Dentz Bourmanis. They have no children.
Max McInnis, the father of all these eleven children, farmed and fished for 53 years. He had worked in New York and also in Halifax for many years during the winter as a stevedore. Both he and his wife Kathleen are buried in Tignish Roman Catholic Cemetery.
The third and final family we should like to present in this specific genealogical line is that of Angus Augustine (Gussie) McInnis, most commonly referred to as "Gussie" McInnis.
We refresh our memories by stating that we set out to write about three McInnis families which left us a large progeny in the Tignish area and that all three were offsprings of Peter McInnis. The first two, Thomas and Joe, were from his first marriage to Mary McHugh; the third, Gussie McInnis, was from Peter's second marriage to Kate White as has already been stated.
Gussie McInnis (b. April 13, 1888 - d. Aug 12, 1969) married Jan 22, 1918 Annie Emelina Buote (b. May 25, 1896 - d. Jan. 10, 1988), daughter of Polycarpe named as "Paul" Buote and Eleanor Gaudet who lived at the right-hand corner of Dalton Avenue and the Conroy Road where Marion Buote (nee Getson) lives at present. Gussie and Annie lived on a 60-acre farm at Sea Cow Pond (now called Anglo-Tignish). They raised a family of eleven children who were:
(1) Mary Catherine "Helena" (b. Oct 15, 1918 - d. Dec. 1, 2000) m. Otto Cherno. They lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey and had a son name Eugene.
(2) Joseph Sutherland (Suddy) (b. Sept 20, 1919 - d. April 10, 1981). He was married to Eileen ____. They had a daughter named Darlene. Suddy lived in New Westminster, B. C., where he worked as a fire fighter. He is buried there.
(3) Mary (Hattie)(b. Sept. 30, 1920) m. William Stimpson. They dwell in Union, near Elizabeth, New Jersey and raised a family of six children: Gail Ann, Paul, Linda, Tom, Susan, and Bruce.
(4) James Charles (Charlie) (b. Jan. 9, 1922) m. Jean MacKley of Sydney, Cape Breton. They have three offspring: Charles, Jeanis, and Paul. Before his marriage Charlie operated a small grocery store in tignish which had once belonged to J. Albert Brennan, Tignish's first post master in the present post office (his daughter Kathleen was later to become assistant postmistress in the same post office) who lived with his family on the second floor. Later this store was operated by Joe MacDonald who lived in the home now owned by Mrs. Leslie McCarthy (nee Rufina Hogan) on Sunset Drive. Charlie thus became its operator, after which it was to serve as the Co-operators Insurance Office before its destruction in about 1969. The store in question was located on Main Street, which is now blocked off by the Co-op Link, leading to the Tignish Credit Union. (See Photo Historica cover photo and p. 69 by the author). When Charlie later moved to Ontario he became employed eventually as the superintendent of the Scepter Dredging Company there. He and his wife Jean presently live in Burlington, Ontario.
(5) Mary Eleanor (b. July 15, 1923 - d. Aug. 3, 1997). She was married to Julius Swirz. They lived in Roselle Park near Elizabeth, New Jersey. Here they raised three children: Michael, Allen, and Cindy.
(6) Mary Florence (b. April 8, 1926) m. Nicholas "Nick" Kamins. Florence embraced the nursing profession, living with her family in Westfield near Elizabeth, New Jersey where she and Nick raised a family of five children: Michael, Spencer, Cathy, Peter, and Teddy.
(7) John Hector (b. Dec. 21, 1927) m. Mary Rita Gaudet (b. July 19, 1928), daughter of Urbain A. Gaudet and Catherine "Kate" LeClair. Hector and Rita raised a family of four children: Lorraine (b. oct 6, 1946) m. Don Kerwin, O.P.P. of St. John's, Nfld. They have two children, Leslee and Ryan, and live in Summerside, P.E.I.; John Ronald "Ronnie" (b. Dec. 16, 1947) m. Mary Meagher from Cape Breton. They have two offspring: Jennifer and Jamie. Ronnie works for GM while Mary is a school teacher. The family lives in Grimsby, Ontario; Mary Ruby (b. July 11, 1950) m. Edward "Eddy" Bozick. They raised two boys, Edward Joseph "EJ" and Jonathan Andrew "AJ". They reside near Hamilton, Ontario at Stoney Creek; June "Elaine" (b. June 1, 1957) m. Louis "Louie" Chiarelli. They have two children, Jordan and Emily and they live in Grimsby, Ontario. Elaine is a registered nurse working in the Intensive Care Unit of St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, while her husband Louie works as a computer programmer for the John Deere Company.
Hector's and Rita's three eldest children were born at Western Hospital, Alberton, while their youngest was born in Brockville, Ontario. Before moving to Ontario in 1956 where the family remained at Prescott for seventeen years, Hector found employment with the J. P. Porter Dredging Company, which was engaged in doing dredging work at Tignish Run. He remained with the company, receiving certification for working on heavy machinery and was further engaged to do dredging work in Nova Scotia. Before his retirement in 1990 he and his wife Rita lived in Hamilton, Ontario for eighteen years where he operated heavy machinery for the Usarco Company.
Shortly before and after his retirement Hector acquired land holdings and some real estate. These included a 22-acre farm from Leo Frank Jude Arsenault, a property stretching from the Haywood Road to the central core of the Community of Tignish. This farm is located behind all the property owners south of Phillip Street. Apart from the farm he purchased a large barn and its adjacent land which had once belonged to Phillip Gaudet, after whom Phillip Street got its name. Moreover, there is a parcel of land he acquired near the CNR Bridge on the Ascension-Tignish Road, not to mention the home and barn once the property of Rita's Aunt Louise (Mrs. Michael F. Gaudet). These two buildings were sold to the P.E.I. Department of Public Works to make room for better traffic circulation at a blind turn at Tignish Corner. While the home was sold by the department to a party at Nail Pond, where it was moved and served as a shed, the barn was moved by Hector to the back of his modern bungalow on the west side of the Haywood Road where the couple resides at present.
Cornelia, Louise's sister, lived next to her at Tignish Corner. She was married to Fred Gaudet, son of Phillip Gaudet and Eulalie Gallant, the latter a native of Nail Pond. Both Louise and Cornelia, who were daughters of Agappe U. Gaudet and Judith Bernard of Ascension - Tignish (see Photo Historica, p. 243 by the author) had married two brothers who passed away within the space of a month in the fall of 1970, one of whom, Fred, died from complications resulting from a kick in the chest from his horse.
The old Fred Philip residence was sold to Cornelia's niece, "Midge" in Providence, Rhode Island when Cornelia and her sister took up residence in group homes at the Senior's Residence on Church Street, Tignish, and later at Davis Lodge before their deaths. The ancestral home was shortly after destroyed by a controlled burn, since it had fallen in disrepair.
Since retiring, both Hector and his wife have become involved in volunteer activities affecting the community. Hector served two terms as a Tignish Community councillor and has been actively involved in the Tignish Drama Club, the Church Choir, as well as in the planning of the annual church picnic at St. Simon and St. Jude's. In addition, he served for a number of years on the organization and upkeep of low rental housing in the community. His wife Rita has been no less active, with her involvement in the Tignish Drama Club, the Tignish Co-operative Health Centre and the Church Choir.
(8) Now that we have sufficiently digressed, it is time to state that Gussie's and Annie's eighth offspring was Theresa "Jewel" (b. April 29, 1930). She m. Leonard Schley. They raised three children: Mary Beth, Robert, and Paula, and lived at Roselle Park, not far removed from Elizabeth, New Jersey.
(9) Mary Shirley (b. May 21, 1933) m. Jack McBride. They raised two children, John and Kimberley "Kim" in Orange, New Jersey, not far from her parents who lived in Elizabeth, N. J.
(10) James Paul (b. March 31, 1936) m. Carol McKenzie. Two children were born to them, Teresa and Holly who married Freddie Harper, son of Phillip Harper of Christopher's Cross-Tignish. Paul and his wife Carol are from Livingston, New Jersey and are presently planning their retirement here in Anglo-Tignish where they are building a spacious residence bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
(11) James "Otto" (b. April 18, 1939) is celibate and lives in Ontario.
The first five children born to Gussie and Annie were born at Anglo-Tignish on the land where Wilson Shea dwells today and where Gussie had purchased a home from Jim Shea.
Jim Shea was the first Shea to settle at Sea Cow Pond (Anglo-Tignish). He had come from Waterford, P.E.I. He was a brother to Alexander "Sandy' Shea, who was Wilson's father. Joe Shea was the father of these two brothers. He had married James Baines' only daughter, Elizabeth, and had lived at Baines' Creek, which was later named Shea's Pond after him, located on Route 12.
William "Bill" Shea, who was from Palmer Road, lived in the house for only one night before purchasing the property from Gussie when the latter, together with his family, relocated in Tignish in about 1923 on present day Sunset Drive. Wilson Shea lives on the property today, but when he had purchased it from Bill Shea the house was no longer there. Having been unoccupied for some time it was supposedly accidently set on fire by people making moonshine in it at the time.
While the family lived at Sea Cow Pond (Anglo-Tignish) Gussie occupied himself at farming and fox ranching, occupations he continued for a time even after moving to Tignish. In an American newspaper interview some years later he stated that he had once sold a fox pelt for six hundred dollars, quite a lucrative sum in the 1930's when the industry all over North America was beginning to wane.
Since all his children, daughters all, except Suddy, Charlie and Hector, had moved to New Jersey and found work there, Gussie and his wife Annie, along with their two youngest children Paul and Otto left Tignish in 1951 and settled in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Here his daughters had found employment for their father as a superintendent of a large apartment building.
While bringing up his family in Tignish, Gussie proved himself to be a community-spirited individual, partaking in various community endeavors such as being a school trustee, church usher and sitting on various sports committees. At one point the author of these words recalls Gussie working with him towards the establishment of an outdoor rink which was set up where the Tignish Centennial Arena and community offices are now located.
Gussie McInnis had purchased a home in Tignish from a certain Harper on present day Sunset Drive. The home has long since gone. Earl O'Rourke and his wife Theresa (nee Conway) have built a modern home on the same location.
Gussie was quite interested in boxing and built a makeshift boxing ring in his backyard where he arduously trained his sons, especially two youngest, Paul and Otto. Paul and Otto were to gain a great deal of renown as boxers, both in Charlottetown and in New Jersey. In the early 1950's Otto fought at the Charlottetown Forum, defeating his opponent at the beginning of the second round. Many of his fans from Tignish attended the bout. He took on the name of Jimmy McInnis, his famous boxer cousin who was born at Tignish December 5, 1914, the son of Charles McInnis, from Peter McInnis's first marriage to Mary McHugh. Jimmy McInnis had been trained at Tignish by Jack A'Hearn, Tignish's first policeman. (See Photo Historica, pp. 66 and 83 by the author). He was also trained by Gus Longaphie of Charlottetown. A more detailed biography of Jimmy's career may be found in the author's files.
While in New Jersey both Paul and Otto gained fame by winning the coveted Golden Gloves Crown. They gradually gave up boxing and, Paul expecially, became involved in the establishment of hockey school and skating programs for youth, working as general manager of Ice Arenas for the Essex County Park Commission from his office above the rink at South Mountain arena in West Orange, N. J.
Paul created quite a sensation for Tignish hockey enthusiasts when he appeared on television screens as he filled the position of the most experienced referee for Game Four of the May 8, 1988 NHL Boston-New Jersey Wales Conference final. The regular NHL referees were on strike at the time. Paul had gained extensive experience previously as a referee for high school and college hockey games throughout the state of New Jersey. His autograph was highly sought by young Tignish hockey players upon his return to his native community.
Both Gussie and wife Annie (nee Buote) passed away in New Jersey and are interred in St. Gertrude's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Colonia, New Jersey.
A Tribute to A Historian, Teacher, Musician
A Tribute to the late J. Henri Gaudet (1932 - 2001)
By the Comité Historique Acadian Prince-Ouest Ltée
Published in the Summerside Journal-Pioneer, January 10, 2002
Beneath the towering ceiling of stars of St. Simon and St. Jude in Tignins, December 31, 2001, clergy, family, relatives, friends and acquaintances assembled to celebrate the funeral liturgies for the well-known educator, genealogist, historian, and organist J. Henri Gaudet who passed away December 27th at the Western Hospital in Alberton in his 70th year.
Gaudet was born in Tignish August 19, 1932, the son of Urbain Agappe Gaudet and Catherine LeClair. He was the third child born in a family of eight. He received his primary and secondary education primarily in Tignish. A two-year period was spent attending Collège Saint-Laurent near Montreal, Quebec, with a bursary granted him through the auspices of Société Saint-Thomas d'Aquin. He completed his Grade 12 studies at St. Dunstan's in Charlottetown.
Thinking he may have a religious vocation, he enrolled in the noviciate with the Holy Cross Fathers in Bennington, Vermont. He did a year of study in the seminary at LeMans, France. He earned a B. A. degree from St. Dunstan's University in 1957 and a M. A. degree from the Jesuit Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington in 1966. He also studied at Grenoble and Poitiers in France. He gained a diploma at London's Royal College of Organists of England. From the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, Gaudet held a Grade Nine Pipe Organ Diploma.
While a member of the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, he attained the rank of Sub-Lieutenant.
Gaudet had a distinguished career in the teaching profession, which spanned three decades. He taught in Maillardville, just outside Vancouver, B. C., for four years. Back on the Island he joined the staffs of O'Leary Regional High School and later Westisle Composite High School.
Active in his native community of Tignish, Gaudet toiled long hours to preserve and promote the history and culture of the region. In order to accomplish this, he devoted tireless hours, energy, enthusiasm and talents in a host of groups and projects. He published many articles in newspapers, and in particular The Journal-Pioneer. He spent years working on genealogies of the Tignish families, both of Acadian and Irish extraction. He contributed a series of columns entitled Tignish Tellings. He has written two books: Photo Historica, a bilingual pictorial account of the Tignish region on the occasion of the Tignish Bicentennial 1799-1999, and Tignish Pipe Organ in Musical Retrospect 1882 - 1982. This work was later translated into French.
Gaudet was a true man of the renaissance. His greatest passions resided in music, in the pipe organ, music of the classics, and the fascinating history of Tignish. Throughout his formative years he was exposed to and influenced by music, at his home, his parish church of St. Simon and St. Jude, Tignish Convent, and his several instructors and teachers. He had the opportunity to receive private lessons by masters of the pipe organ. Music became his greatest passion; it was for him a great source of gratification. He particularly liked the music of Bach.
He became enthralled and held spellbound when he witnessed the awesome resonances of the pedal-board, which he often would hear as a young lad echoing reverberantly throughout the spacious church. His cultivated passion for church organ music resulted in Gaudet becoming the titular organist at St. Simon and St. Jude Church. With great pride he presided over the great Louis Mitchell, opus 129 tracker-action organ built in this church in 1882. From 1947 - 1952 and again from 1963 - 2000 Gaudet acted as choir director and was the church's titular organist. In order to have the general public and in particular the tourists who come to Tignish to appreciate the value of the instrument, Gaudet coordinated, with Dr. Allan Reesor of Charlottetown, a summer series of organ recitals for ten years. For the information of the public, he prepared a bilingual pamphlet as a promotion of this historic marvel. Gaudet also spearheaded a campaign for the restoration of the 1882 Louis Mitchell organ in 1970.
Other activities in which he was interested were numerous and of a varied nature. He was founder of the Tignish Museum and served as its curator from 1986 - 1998, co-founder of the Tignish Irish Moss Festival, and from 1989 - 2000 president of the Comité historique acadien Prince-Ouest ltée. He served as president of Dalton Centre Inc., Tignish Historical Society, Tignish Parish Council, St. Simon and St. Jude liturgical committee and secretary of the Irish Moss Festival. He used his home as a depot for collecting and preserving the history of Tignish and its region. He very recently donated his Alma Buote collection of this Tignish writer and artist extended over the years 1894 - 1966.
For all of his many endeavours he was the recipient of numerous awards: a bursary from NATO to visit the city of Brussels in Belgium in 1970; P.E.I. Heritage Awareness Award 1982; Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Royal Canadian Legion 1983; P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation Award of Honour in 1986; Tignish Citizen of the Year 1988; le Prix Marc Lescarbot for Volunteerism, 1991 (the first on P.E.I.); P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation Writing Award 1999; The John Hunter-Duvar Award 1999 from the West Prince Arts Council; and The Order of P.E.I. in 2000.
Gaudet did not enjoy good health during recent years. He passed away due to heart failure and complications as a result of his diabetes. He did have one last pleasure of playing his beloved pipe organ at Midnight Mass, Christmas Eve in St. Simon and St. Jude Church in 2001. One work, however, never was realized. He had planned to publish in book form all of the history and genealogy he contributed to The Journal-Pioneer, but this was left undone.
As a final tribute to this great man, Canada bestowed on him posthumously its highest decoration, The Order of Canada in the spring of 2002. He was inducted into the Order of Prince Edward Island two years earlier, in 2000.