Westport, Ontario, Canada -- Early History and Genealogy
also Portland and Newboro in the Rideau Lakes
Westport Weather Forecast
Patrick Donnelly and Margaret Byrnes / Burns of County Armagh, Parish Forkhill.
Be my guest, post away. St Edwards Church is on Bedford St, Westport,
I received the e-mail below from the Burns Mailing List. There were quite a
few Byrnes and Donnellys in the Ottawa area, which is not too far from
I have a web site where I'm trying to track down some of these people.
Do you mind if I post your message below to the web site?
I'm not sure if your folks are related or not, but it's a possibility.
By the way, where is St. Edward's Church?
Thanks for your time.
... Al Lewis
From: Jim Donnelly
Sent: Sunday, December 17, 2000 11:55 AM
Subject: RE: [BURNS] BURNS, CANADA
My gggrandfather came from County Armagh, Parish Forkhill. About 1826
he married Margaret Byrne(s)and about 1840 they emigrated to Westport,
Ontario, Canada, with six children-Ellen,(Nellie),Mary, John Owen (my
ggrandfather), Patrick, Arthur, & James. They subsequently had Thomas,
Elizabeth, & John. About 1873 they moved to Wisconsin, USA, leaving several
children behind in Canada. John Owen married Margaret Byrne(s) yes, not a
mistake. A Jane Byrne signed their marriage certificate. It took place in
St Edwards Catholic Church 1852. Margaret is listed as the daughter of
Brian Byrnes and Bridget Trainor of County Louth, Parish Dundalk. John
is listed as son of Patrick Donnelly and Margaret Byrnes of County Armagh,
Don't know if this ties in with your line?? Jim Donnelly
Westport is one of the most picturesque villages in Ontario. Located on the
Upper Rideau Lake, it's a port of call in the Rideau Canal system. It's main
geographic feature is Foley Mountain which overlooks the lake.
There must have been a pioneer Foley family here.
Some records for this area may be at St. John's in Perth, Ontario.
See also our Armagh to Canada web page which gives background about conditions in County Armagh
just before the Donnelly and Byrnes families came to Canada.
Hi, Sorry for the delay in my response. I was on a trip to the West Coast visiting
family & friends. Had 140 e-mail messages awaiting my attention plus the normal jobs
after an absence form home. Don't think I can be of much help. No Hagens in my data.
Mary Donnelly, a daughter of my gggrandparents, Patrick and Margaret Byrne(s), and sister
of John Owen Donnelly, my ggrandfather, married Andrew McCann probably in The Westport
area of Ontario, Canada. Andrew died in 1896. They had ten children. I have all their
names and birth dates. Of the children, I have marriage info on only Rose, m. Edward
Kelly; Pete , m. Mary Kane; Andrew Joseph, m.1) Flora McDonald & 2) Elizabeth Sullivan;
Thomas, m. Catharine Kelly; and James Edward, m. Edith Amelia Deming.
I'd be happy to share more details from my date base and would appreciate any info related
to my tree. I have no record of Jane (Betty) Donnelly and her marriage to Michael McCann.
And no information about a connection between Jane and Patrick, my gggrandfather.
Patrick D and his wife Margaret came from Armagh. Interestingly(to me), their son, John
Owen also married a Margaret Byrne(s) from County Louth, Parish Dundalk), so father and
son both married a Margaret Byrne(s). The parents of the wife of John Owen were Brian Byrne(s)
and Bridget Trainnor.
I also have a number of Lewis' in my data. Belle Donnelly, daughter of John Owen Donnelly,
married an Everett Lewis and I have a couple of generations of the Lewis family. If I can
be of any help, come back to me. Stay in touch. JimD
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2001 8:37 PM
Hi Jim,Your names rang a bell with me as I have worked indirectly on these names in Westport.
My Hagan family were of the Dundalk area in Louth, Ireland. They came to the Westport area
(Perth/North Crosby) sometime after 1841. Michael Hagan and Bridget Boyle had a daughter,
Alice who marries Terrence McCann. His parents were Michael McCann and Jane (Betty)
Donnelly of Armagh. I believe Mary sister to your gg grandfather marries a McCann.
The Trainer (Traynor / Trainor) names are also found in these families.
Do you have any Hagan's mentioned in your data? I think they may have also been from
Armagh but unfortunately the parish records do not begin until 1845 for Forkhill. Just a
chance I thought I would ask.
December 31, 2001
Some time ago I wrote you about my Hagan / Boyle name connection with your Donnelly names.
I see where at St. Edwards, 20 Apr 1852...John Owen Donnelly and Margaret Byrnes are
married and Pat Hagan and Jane Byrnes are witnesses. Do you have any idea how these
families might be related?
January 4, 2002
Hi, I'm tad puzzled. I have a copy of the Certificate of Marriage from St Edwards Church
for the marriage of John Donnelly (no Owen Mentioned although I have Owen as part of his
name from other sources) and Margret Byrns. The witnesses who signed are Pat Morgan and
Jane Byrns. The priest is listed as Rev. Foley; The copy was signed by Fr. E. Keyes.
But I have no connection with a Pat Morgan, Pat Hagen or Boyle. Wish I could help.
I'm sending this to Snoop Young another researcher into this name in case he has any additional
April 25, 2002:
Al Lewis wrote:
> Hi John:
> All of your surnames look familiar. Have we corresponded before?
I don't think we have but I visited your site a couple of times about 6-12
months ago. I may have sent you a note but if I did it's somewhere in my long
term storage files if I even kept it. I don't think I had anything add at the
time. I just notices that there is a note there about Foley Mountain. Declan
Foley was a prosperous merchant in Westport and his home and store on Main St.
still exists. Until last fall it was the Foley Arms Pub and was owned by a
decendant. He was from Ireland and is buried in the St. Edward's (Westport)
Cemetary. His headstone gives his county and Barony of orgin in Ireland but I
don't have it recorded.
> This may be a co-incidence, but Kean, Michael, son of Kean, William and
> O'Neil, Ellen was born on 2/4/1850
I also found what appears to be a fair number of Kains around Beckwith and
Lanark many seeming to be the family of Anthony Kain and Alice O'Brian. One
son Thomas Kane baptised 12 Jan.1840 had Thomas McCaffrey and Mary O'Brian / O'Brien as
sponsors. McCaffry is also a Westport name.
> The witnesses were Donnelly, John & Ryan, Mary. This baptism took place at
> St. Michael's RC Church at Corkery, near Almonte and Carleton Place.
> I just mention it because there are many connections between the folks at
> St. John's in Perth and the folks at St. Mikes in Corkery and the witness is
> a Donnelly. Some of the Donnelly's ended up in the Westport area. see
Yes the Donnellys' did. Jim Donnelly's family are also mine. His John Owen is
the brother of my ggrandmother, Mary Donnelly who married Andrew McCann of
Westport (actually North Crosby Twp) I'll have to ask him if he has a John
Donnelly that we could locate around Almonte. Ryan is also a Westport name.
The Westport Donnelly name is from Forkhill Parish in South Armagh.
After reading a reply on soc.genealogy.Ireland I went through some old email
whose significance I had not realised re the possibility that Mary Garvin had
lived in Townland of Kincon , Barony Tirawley, the Civil Parish of Kilfian, County
Mayo. I did a quick google and found no Garvins or Kains but did find Egans
and Judges again Westport names. Hopeful maybe.
> At the web site there are many variations of spellings for Kane / Cain / Keane,
> etc. Garvin may be Gavin / Gavan. Lavelle may be the Lavallee family from
> Carleton Place/ Beckwith, etc. There are also a lot of Lavel / Lavelle folks
who settled in the Gatineau Valley, Quebec area.
I definetly am going to have to go back to the site and have a better look. I
was just casually surfing the first time. Since then a Murphy cousin has been
beavering away at the Murphy family and his wife who is a Cawley, decended
from the Garvins is working on the Garvin / Kane connection so what little I can
do is helping to fed into the overall search. I am now getting to the point I
can sometimes realise the significance of some of the information.
Re: Garvin - Gavin this may be a link but I have cousins related to the Gavins
and I don't think the Garvins and Gavins felt they were related. I' ll have to
follow up on this. The Lavallee link is interesting but I wonder about the
spelling. (Yes I know, given the number of ways one can spell Kane I should
(Actually I have since discovered that there are lots of Irish Lavelles -- including
many in the Buckingham, Quebec area ... Al)
> With your permission, I'd like to add your posting to soc.genealogy.ireland
> to the Westport page on my site, or to a new seperate page.
Certainly. Thanks very much for the reply. It may supply some good leads.
> Thanks for your time!
> ... Al Lewis
> (was up at Murphy's Point last week - nice time of year)
Black fly season the last couple of days
... John Kane
May 25, 2002:
It has been a while since I last contacted you but I am still struggling with some of
these names and trying to sort them out. You mention that there was an Arthur
born in the family of Patrick Donnelly and Margaret Byrnes. Do you have any
information on their son Arthur? I am finding confusion here that it might be only
a son Thomas. He married first Mary Grant and then in 1852 Catherine Callaghan. I
have the children of Patrick Donnelly and Margaret Byrnes as:
1. Mary abt 1826 m. 1844, Andrew McCANN
2. Ellen abt 1828 m. 27 Aug 1848, George TREANOR / TRAYNOR
3. John O. abt 1830 m. 20 Apr 1852, Mgt BYRNES
4. Patrick abt 1832 m. abt 1853, Ann McPARLAND / McPARTLIN?
5. Thomas (Arthur) abt 1834 m.#1, Mary GRANT, then m #2- 25 Jan 1859, Mary MURPHY
6. Sera 5 Jun 1836 ( - Jane McDonnell)
7. Bridget 7 Jan 1843 ( - Mary Donnelly)
8. Elizabeth 10 Nov 1845 (Bernard Smith - Cath....?) Burgess
I would appreciate some help with identifying Arthur.
Please note my change of address.
Reply from From Jim Donnelly: May 25, 2002:
Well, confusion is part and parcel of genealogy, right?
I'll start with what I have as the nine (9) children of Patrick and Margaret
1. Ellen (Nellie) b. 1827 County Armagh, Ire,d. Oct 17, 1899 Rock Elm Tsp, Pierce Co.
Wisconsin, USA. m. Geo Traynor Aug 1, 1848, at St Edwards, Wesport, Ont., Canada. They had ten
children: Ann, Patrick W., Margaret Teresa, John, George, Maria, Thomas, James, Sarah, & Elizabeth.
2. Mary b. 1828, Parish Forkhill, County Armagh, Ire, d. Oct 17, 1908, Westport, Ont.,
Canada. m Andrew McCann and they had ten (10) children: Rose, Peter, Margaret, Andrew
Joseph, Mary, Thomas, Ellen, Ann, James Edward, & Mary Jane (note, Mary Jane born after
6th child, Mary, died in 1859).
3. John Owen (or Owen John) b. 1829-1832, prob Armagh Co., Ire, d.July 1920, Suburb of
Portland, Oregon, USA. m. Margaret Byrne(s) April 20, 1852 in St Edwards Church, Westport, Ont.
Canada. & they had eleven (11) children: Patrick, Maria, Margret, James, Belle, John,
Jane, Annie, Tom, & twins, Mary Minnie & Nellie .
4. Patrick b. 1834 Parish Forkhill, County Armagh, Ire, d. ?, m. Ann McParland abt 1853
in Canada. I have record of three (3) children: Patrick, Margaret, & Elizabeth.
5. Arthur b. 1836 Parish Forkhill, County Armagh, Ire, d. June 4, 1920 in Westport, Ont.,
Canada. m. Mary Murphy Jan 23, 1859 in St Edwards, Westport, daughter of John Murphy & Anne
Dunne. Ann Dunne b. 1843 in North Crosby Tsp, Ont., d. August 23, 1885 in Westport, Ont.
They had fourteen (14) children: Patrick, John, Mary, Margaret, Rose, Ellen, Elizabeth,
James, Michael Thomas, Arthur, Michael Patrick, Francis Joseph, William Edmond, & William.
6. James b. Sept 19, 1839 Parish Forkhill, County Armagh, Ire, d. Dec 28, 1924 in Gilman
Tsp, Pierce Co, Wisconsin, m. Mary Murphy March 27, 1883 in Pirece County Wisconsin, USA, daughter of
Joseph M & Ann Woods b. Oct 5, 1851 in Gilman Tsp, Pierce Co., Wis., d. Oct 16, 1923.
Children four (4): Margret, Minnie, Agnes Gertrude & Thomas J.
7. Thomas b. abt 1845 in Westport, Canada, d. March 19, 1883 in Westport. I have no
record of marriage or children. No date of death but family memory says he died a young
8. Elizabeth b. Oct 31, 1845 in Westport, Canada, d. Feb 14, 1932 in St Paul, Minnesota. m.
George Young Aug 4, 1874 in Red Wing, Wisconsin I have record of a son b. abt 1875 , and
Katie b. abt 1877
9. John b. Westport 1863 (note his mother Margret would have been abt 62 years old
but I have census records of the youngest child, Johnny so he actually existed. The
question may be was he really the child of Patrick and Margaret.
I have no info in my data of a Mary Grant or a Catherine Callaghan and note the date
of death of Arthur's wife Mary Dunne. Also Arthur would have been 16 in 1852 if my
date of birth is right and you have this as his 2nd marriage. I have considerable
information on Arthur mostly from his descendants. Be happy to share more if you want.
I hope I correctly copied the above dates, etc. from my data.
Jim Donnelly (descended from John Owen)
July 17, 2002:
Hi! This note is primarily for Mary, but all are welcome to comment, etc.
Saw your reference to Thomas Donnelly married to Mary Grant (1st), then to Catherine
Callaghan(2nd). Chances are good this Thomas would be related as follows:
Son of Owen Donnelly and Margaret McCracken;
Brother of Arthur and Bridget (and perhaps others)
Father of Margaret, Ann, John, Peter, Thomas (Jr.?), Francis.
Thomas(Jr.?) is my greatgrandfather.
This family lived in/near St. John's Parish in Perth. They most likely came
from Armagh about 1840. Thomas(Jr.?) and Francis moved to Barron County, Wisconsin
in 1870s. They and their children then moved on to Herbert, Saskatchewan in the 1908-12 time
period. Descendants of these two families are numerous and live in many places in
Canada and the US.
Another large Donnelly "clan" apparently in Pierce County, Wisconsin may be related
at some distant point to the Perth Donnellys, but I have yet to discover the
connection. Many of the given names of these various groups are the same. Also,
the same given names are found in several generations. So it is very easy to mix
up which Thomas, Arthur, etc. really is related to whom.
In any case, if you get this and want to "talk", you can contact me at .
So long for now.
Dennis Donnelly, Ft. Collins, CO
July 18, 2002:
Hi Al. Thanks for your reply. I really enjoyed your website and the links it has.
Turns out that the copy of my note meant for Mary was returned. Either I messed up
her address, or it has changed, so I hope she looks at your website to catch what
you've posted. Thanks for that also. I'd be remiss if I didn't give lots of credit
to Emerson McCallum (who live somewhere in the Ottawa-Montreal area I think) for the
information relating to the oldest Donnelly references in my note. Confidence in
information can be spotty in family history work, so let me say that info I have
from my g-grandfather (Thomas, Jr.?) is probably about 95% accurate because various
documents exist to show the way (Census reports, etc.). These sources coupled with
well-told family stories have furnished lots of info. However, relative to the other
Donnelly branches, and to the people older than Thomas, Jr.?, I'm less certain of
their accuracy, but since lots of circumstantial evidence all falls together, it's
probably safe to go with unless hard evidence emerges to show otherwise.
But, for now, thanks again for your very useful website.
Best wishes to you and yours!! Dennis Donnelly
October 21, 2002:
Hi I am in Vernon, B.C. Canada and we are trying to locate some infor on some relatives
from Westport Ontario by the name of GARVEN / GARVIN. Her first name was" Bertie" being
short for something else. They were living there after the 1st. World War as my father,
James Vincent Mc.Allister and his english bride stayed there with them on their return to
Canada from England. I myself visited with them during the 1940's while I was stationed
in Kingston Ontario and we eventually lost contact. Their eldest daugther named Agnes
would be in her seventies and I cant recall names of other children. Could you enlighten
us on this at all. I sent an earlier message but wasnt sure if it went through. My name
is Beryl Nerling , and my E-Mail address is email@example.com. I would appreciate
anything you can tell me on this. i saw the name Garven mentioned on your website so it
got my interest up./ Thank you.
March 3, 2003:
I just read your post about Westport. My husband's wife grew up there
and attended St. Edwards. Her last name was Kelly. I noticed some
Kelly's in your post. If my husband could help you with any
information, we would be glad to help.
April 14, 2003:
Recently came upon your site..I have not found my family, but enjoy your site so much
I keep coming back as it gives me much hope in my quest. I did notice the name McCaffery...
do you have or have you came across the name Carroll / Carrol from county Louth? Settled in
Oxford township? My gggf came to Ogdensburg in 1900s, but a James Carrol stayed in
Smiths Falls area. Mygggf married a Ellen McCafferty / McCaffrey in Oxford abt. 1856. If you have
any links I would appreciate hearing from you. Again thanks for the site and the HOPE.
Here's one who may be yours:
A Patrick Carroll came from Ardee, County Louth. He was probably working on the Rideau Canal.
He was in the Ottawa area in 1829. His father, named James was still back in County Louth and
had a large family there.
There were a few Carrolls in the Bytown / Ottawa area fairly early, but this is the only one
from County Louth, as far as I know.
April 28, 2003:
Thanks for having the Web site on Westport.
I too am interested in finding McCanns.
I am looking for Edward McCann, his wife Mary Lynnett or Langon and their daughter Honorah or
Honor. Honorah married Charles Cutting in St. Edwards Church in Westport in 1855.
I would like to find when and where all three were born and if Edward had any other family.
Hope you can help me and thanks for your interest.
July 23, 2003:
I came across your site this morning, while searching for my
McCann / Fitzpatrick / Donnelly surnames, etc. I noticed a question that was
submitted by a gentleman named Norman, who was looking for information on
Edward McCann, wife Mary Lynnett or Langon and their daughter, Honorah or
Honor, who married Charles Cutting in 1855.
I think I may have found them buried at St. Edward's in Westport, but I don't
know how to post the information on your site or how to get hold of Norman.
Could you help me with this?
Kathy Flynn Simons
Norman's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
July 12, 2004:
Edward Jackman has written an article regarding St. Edwards RC Church in Westport.
The article is called "The Irish Holylands of Ontario" and it's published in
The Untold Story: The Irish in Canada edited by Robert O'Driscoll and Lorna Reynolds, pages 738-732.
November 25, 2004:
Found your Westport Website--yes, it's a beautiful place indeed.
And, after looking through the correspondence posted, I suspect that we're
somehow related. My ggf was Peter Donnelly, of Westport...he worked in
the blacksmith shop that is now the town museum, or so I'm told.
I believe that he married Margaret Dermandy, probably at St Edwards.
My GF was John Joseph, a cabinet maker & later wheat farmer/homesteader in
Saskatchewan. His brothers were Alphonsus, Frank? and Thomas? Given the time &
distance, I met only Alphonsus, my great uncle, who married Annie Whelan...also
of Westport, I believe. Anyhow, I probably have a few more names & places,
but little direct knowledge...but would like to have more. Regards.
July 3, 2005:
I'm researching my GARVIN - SIMPKINS family and am trying to differentiate between
the different Garvin families of the Westport area (timeframe: 1830-1890).
Anyone out there interested in comparing notes?
Thanks for your e-mail.
Hopefully you will hear from some of the other researchers in the Westport area.
Did your ancestors go to Michigan in the late 1800's? We are finding that there
was a large migration to that area from the Ottawa valley.
Do you mind if I add your e-mail and e-mail address to our Westport web page
as a contact for other researchers? Please let me know.
I hope to get to Westport again some day this summer.
Thanks again for this.
... Al Lewis
Yes, please add me to the list. Appreciate it!
My Garvin family married into the Simpkins family. There were Stanard and St Pierre,
too. I don't know if The Garvin who married a St. Pierre moved, though.
My Simpkins (and, I believe, some Garvins) moved to Bay County, Michigan, USA, as
well as Saginaw (Genessee County) and Midland area (Isabella County).
My great grandmother, a Simpkins, said that her father worked for one of the big
lumbering companies in that part of the state.
I've collected some land records from Ontario, hoping to connect some of the
Garvins. My direct line Garvin lived in N/S Elmsley and N/S Crosby. I have some
documentation for that.
Detroit was a start-off point for the Ottawa Valley folks who migrated to Michigan.
The coming of the railroad made Michigan an easy destination to reach.
Beginning in the 1860's the lumber industry in Northern Michigan drew thousands of Ottawa
area people as our local lumbering industry became less productive. Later, jobs drew
more local Ottawa area people to the increasing industrialization of the Detroit area.
Finally, by the 1920's Henry Ford's automotive plants were a destination of many
September 16, 2005:
I am doing some research on the Donnelly line as Belle (above) Donnelly would be my
gggrandmother. She is a daughter of John Owen Donnelly. Belle actually married
Frank Lewis and Everett is her son. My mother is Everett's daughter.
Jim D. said he might have some info on the Lewis line. I am also interested in the
stories related to John Owen and his family. My mom has always wondered if our Donnellys
are related to the well-known Black Donnellys of Lucan, Ontario.
Thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your e-mail regarding the Donnelly family in the Westport area.
Do you mind if I add it to our page at www.bytown.net/westport.htm as a contact
for others researching this surname?
I notice that the family of Belle Donnelly probably came from County Armagh in
Ireland. The famous Donnelly family of Lucan came from County Tipperary in the 1840's,
so I can't say if they are connected or not. Maybe someone can tell us.
... Al Lewis
February 27, 2006:
My name is Susan O'Meara and I live in Michigan. I am the neice of Margaret Rose
Garvin who married my Uncle Jack O'Meara. I'm the resident genealogist in the
family and since I'm already searcing for O'Meara's in London, Ontario I thought
I would expand my search to help out with my cousins mother's side of the family
and help fill in their tree.
Margaret Rose Garvin is the daughter of William Garvin b. 1885 in Westport.
William Garvin is the son of Thomas Garvin & Mary Ellen McCann.
Thomas Garvin b. 1857 in Westport was the son of John Garvin & Mary Sweeney of
Co. Mayo, Ireland. John Garvin had two sisters, Mrs. Robert Kane and Mrs.
Patrick O'Hara, and 2 brothers that settled in Kitley Twp.
I'm interested in sharing information and learning anything new on the Garvin's
Yes, please do add me to the list. That is where I found you and everyone
else I sent the message to! :-)
The O'Mearas from Ottawa Valley have actually been very well documented (I
have a document around here somewhere that someone wrote on the family). So
far we can not find a direct connection to the O'Mearas of London. The
O'Mearas from the Ottawa Valley were Tipperary Irish like the London ones,
however the Ottawa Valley O'Mearas came to Canada much earlier than the
London folks. So if the known connection exits, it goes back much further
than the documentation will allow for in Ireland.
The Garvin's were definetely from Westport & Toledo. The information I have
comes from the granddaughters of John Garvin & Mary Sweeney and they are one
of the groups of Garvins that stayed in Westport and kept the family farm
well into the 1950's I believe.
Thanks again for adding me to the list Al.
March 1, 2006:
Great to hear from you! Yes, there are a few Garvins in the Wesport, Ontario
area that I couldn't connect to one another. I've collected data on all of them,
in order to see (eventually) a possible relationship. Other locations are
North and South Crosby, Lanark & Leeds & Frontenac Counties.
My direct line is through the sister of Eliza Garvin, listed below in this
Microfilm, Salt Lake City, Utah - LDS
Ledger reads from left to right:
Bridegroom Name: William Stannard
Residence: North Crosby
Place of Birth: Elizabethtown
Name of Parents: Robert Stannard & Serah Boyce
Bride Name: Eliza Garven
Residence: North Crosby
Place of Birth: Elmsley
Name of Parents: James Garven & Mary Gordon
Witness: Sarah Garven of North Crosby
Witness: ? Bernard Melady ? of (blank)
Date of Marriage: November 28, 1863
Note: Header of Page says 1864; Rev J. V. Fley (?), Pastor. Westport
St Edward's Church, Westport~~ Perth Region, Lanark Co, Ontario, Canada
Sometimes James Garven is listed as William Garvin, depending on the record.
Looking forward to comparing notes with you!
August 24, 2006:
Hi, ran across (not literally) your web site on Westport.
Looking for information on Ellen Donnelly, married Thomas Martin. They
were from Forkhill, County Armagh. Came to Canada about 1835 with their
sons, Owen and Patrick. Patrick is my g-grandfather. He married Margaret
Callahan in St. Edward’s on 23 Nov 1858. Their daughter, Bridget,
married Joseph Sweeney, they had 3 sons, youngest was John Joseph. A number
of their children moved on to Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana, USA
Looking for any information on Ellen. I thought her parents were
Thomas Donnelly and Mary Grant, but haven’t confirmed that. Have also
been given Owen Donnelly and Margaret McMahon.
Would appreciate any help – hope we’re related.
... Audrey Leonard
March 1, 2007:
Thomas & Ellen Egan
Hello, just came across the e-mail from many folks regarding relative of
Westport, Ont. My gggparent and their descendents are buried in the Catholic
cemetary of St. Edwards RC Church in Westports. I have been working on my
family history off and on for the past 10 years or so and have accumulated
about 250 names and details. Would love to hear from anyone that has some links
with the Egan name of Westport. My gggrandparents: Thomas & Ellen Egan
emigrated from Ireland in the 1840 or 50's. Thomas died in Oct. 1863 and is
buried in the graveyard outside of Westport. Any info would be appreciated.
Greg V. Egan
August 6, 2007:
Kathryn McKee is researching her ancestors, John Moran and Ann Baldwin who
settled in the Westport / Newboro area in 1849.
March 8, 2008:
James Kehoe, Schoolteacher in Westport
As you know, I've had no luck finding Fitzwilliam bodies in Westport, but last week
I came upon this death of a James Kehoe, retired school teacher, b. Wicklow, c1800.
I haven't been able to find anything else on him, or a family for him. I wonder if he
was an ex-priest and never married.
... Anne Burgess
(two other Westport surnames included on this death record: John Egan / Eagan and
March 30, 2008:
Map of Westport, Ontario in 1879
Source: McGill University Digital Maps
On the map, Foley Mountain is located on the upper right. The Upper
Rideau Lake is the large body of water partially shown at the right of
the map. I believe that the Upper Rideau Lake is the high point on the Rideau Canal
system between Ottawa and Kingston. The waters flow down to Ottawa in the north and to Kingston in the south.
April 2, 2008:
Map of Portland on the Big Rideau Lake, Ontario in 1879
Source: McGill University Digital Maps
Map of Newboro, Ontario in 1879
Source: McGill University Digital Maps
September 21, 2010:
Dave is searching for the origin of the name Lewis Island in Newboro Lake.
October 22, 2008:
Hello, my great, great grandfather was John Donnelly, and family lore has it that his
parents were Thomas Donnelly and Margaret Mary Grant.
In perusing your website, I saw a reference to Thomas and Mary and a possible indication
that Thomas' parents might have been Owen Donnelly and Mary McCracken of County Armagh.
Is it possible that someone might be able to confirm this? I do know that "my" John
Donnelly came from County Armagh and settled in Burgess Twp, Ontario. His son John
eventually fathered nine children with Ann White, including my great grandmother, Catherine
Ellen Donnelly. Catherine also had a brother, Phillip Donnelly, that married into the
Byrne family. In fact the Donnellys, the Byrnes and the Adams lived very near to one
another and intermarried.
Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated as I have hit a dead end!
Good afternoon, Brad:
Thanks for your e-mail regarding your Donnelly, Byrnes, Adams and Grant ancestors in the
Westport / North Burgess area.
I was just looking at an 1879 map of part of North Burgess -- the part which fronts onto
the North Shore of the Big Rideau Lake. It's close to where Murphy's Point Provincial Park
is today and some of the names in the area are Byrne (4 farms), Adams Lake and Grant's Creek.
However, there are no Donnelly's in this specific area. The area is probably about seven or
eight miles from the village of Westport, so this may be just coincidental.
Hopefully we will hear from others who are researching the families in the Westport area.
With your permission, I'd like to add your e-mail to our web site as a contact for other
researchers. Please let me know if this is OK with you.
I'll also add the section of the 1879 map which includes the Byrnes, Grant's Creek, etc.
Someone may recognize the names in that area and may be able to help us out.
Thanks again for this.
Thanks Al for your quick response....feel free to add my Email to your site.
Incidentally, Adam lake was named after my Adam line...specifically, Peter Adam who settled
there and thereafter raised his family. He also had a son, James Adam, who married Agnes
Byrne, daughter of Patrick Byrne and Rose O'Neil of County Armagh, Ireland.
Now here's the map from 1879.
Names for Search Engine: Murphy's Point Provincial Park, Otty Lake, Tay River, Big Rideau Lake,
Westport Road, Old Kingston Road.
March 16, 2009:
Just stumbled on your website(s) today.
My sister and I have been jointly researching our family line for three years now and
have been constantly stymied with our lack progress on finding a couple of families who
were resident in Westport in the early to mid 1800's. The 1852 census has our Roseanne
Montrand (14) living in the Declan Foley household, listed above the name of John Foley
(priest), and at the same time, living next door with the La Fontaine family were her
three sisters, also listed as Montrand. We believe that the three girls were living with
their mother, Louisa LaFontaine (maiden name LaRoi?), who had married (for a second time?)
Angus LaFontaine. Roseanne's marriage cert from St. Edwards Church lists her mother as
LaRoi and her father as Edward Montra.
Our problem is we don't know, for sure, whether we have: 1. the correct family (Montrand,
Montra, LaRoi), 2. a first marriage for Louisa (LaRoi) to Edward Montra, 3. a second
marriage to Angus LaFontaine, or 4. access to the necessary records at St. Edwards Church.
All the births and marriages of the girls would probably be there as might be the marriages
of the parents. On the two documents we have seen from the church for the family, the
priest has several different spellings of each last name (presumably, no could read or
write from the parties) which is very frustrating when it comes to genealogical searches
(we have tried every possible combination we could think of, so far).
I guess I'm hoping that someone up there might have access to the church records for
multiple lookups which could help us unravel our dilemma. Thanks for listening.
February 4, 2010:
Greetings from Lakefield Ont. (near Peterborough, Ontario),
I discovered Al’s web page and would like to share some information about another resident of Foley Mountain in the 19th century.
My great-great grandfather was James McCardle (sometimes written as “McCarl”), who was born in County Armagh (1803),
emigrated to Canada and settled on Con. 4., Lot 21 North Crosby (“Little Crosby Lake Road” off County Rd. 10 about
4 miles from Foley Mtn. Park overlooking Westport. He and his family are listed in the 1861 census:
James McCardle (1803-1878) married Margaret McCoy (1821-?
Their children were: Bridget Ellen (1852-1927) who married John Forrester (1842-1930)
Elizabeth (1845-1923) who married Owen Martin (1831-1896) – child Mary Ellen “Nell” Martin (1862-1956) married a McCann.
Patrick (1844-?) who married Maria McCann (1845-1921)
Mary who married John McCoy
Betsey (1846-?) possibly twins
Attached is an 1861 map showing where the McCardle family settled (probably pronounced “McCarl” with a silent ‘D”, as the name “J. McCarl” is in the
upper right hand corner on Lot 21, Con IV) -- posted below, on this page.
There were other “McCardle/McArdle” families living on the Mtn in the 1840 to 1880 period, but I’m not sure of how they are related.
As with many of the Mtn. families I suspect that some members did the “Michigan migration” and that their descendants now live in the USA.
From the discussion on Al’s list I was not sure if everyone is aware of the book “A Famine Link: The ‘Hannah’: South Armagh to Ontario"
which was published 3 years ago by Kevin Murphy & Una Walsh. There is a list in the book of all the families who settled on the Mountain.
Any information on this family or related Foley Mountain families would be appreciated. (Note: in the year 2010, the CBC made a
documentary film of the expedition of the Hannah to Canada).
Lakefield, Ontario K0L 2H0
More from James Forrester:
Thanks for the prompt reply.
Yes, that would be fine to post my message on your Westport page with the map (Public Archives of Canada NMC 17384 document).
I’ve also scanned the cover of the Hannah book (above), which I purchased in Westport at Lower Mtn. Mercantile story
(across from The Cove), when it was published in 2006 (ISBN 0-9546163-8-3). It tells an amazing story of survival and
the families who settled on Foley Mtn.
I checked online and couldn’t find a source for the book, just this news item about the launch of the book in Ireland:
(Possibly Steve Scanlon at Stillwater Books might have a copy, although the store on Church Street in Westport might be closed this time of year. )
There is the Rideau District Museum on Bedford Street (open May-Sept), but I don’t believe that there is an active historical society.
The Westport Public Library has an archives for the village.
See painting of the ship Hannah, posted under date of November 2, 2011, on this web page ... Al
Thanks to Mr. Forrester for the following map and the source (Public Archives of Canada NMC 17384 document).
February 19, 2010:
There might be links to the Ottawa area and the family names you mention intersect with Westport as James McCardle’s wife was Margaret McCoy.
I’m still trying to determine when the family arrived in North Crosby. The family legend is that my other gr-gr grandfather Gabriel Forrester
(who was a lumber merchant) met the McCardles in Montreal or possibly Quebec City at a hotel. He offered to give them a place
to stay and invited them to accompany him to Westport. I’ve grown to distrust family legends though.
Our cousin Jackalyn Brady in Westport (who is also related to the McCardles) came across an exchange between Margaret Brennan
and Philip Jones on GenForum (from 2001) about the Westport McCardles. I tried to contact Philip but his e-mail addresses listed
was a work e-mail and it no longer works. Today I sent a message to Margaret Brennan, who I also notice posting on Bytown.net
Jackalyn also posted a follow up e-mail on GenForum but it’s unlikely that the thread would be picked up after almost 10 years.
I also sent an e-mail to Steve Scanlon at Stillwater books to see if he has any copies of the “Hannah” book.
April 1, 2010:
Father Francis Kearney born in Westport in 1892, went to Griffintown, St. Ann's, Montreal, Quebec in 1938
Photo Source An Irish Heart, by Sharon Doyle Driedger, page 305
June 7, 2010:
Kathy Flynn Simons and I were wondering if anyone would have information on the burial site of our
great-great-great grandfather, Owen Donnelly who was born about 1768 in County Armagh, Ireland.
Any information would be appreciated.
August 16, 2010:
I am tracking my elusive great grandfather, John C. Cavanaugh (obituary attached) born in Westport Canada in 1844.
He, his brother and his sister immigrated to Decatur, Illinois in 1860's: They were:
John C. Cavanaugh b. 1844
Michael Cavanaugh b. 1846
and Lida Cavanaugh (married a Beard) b. ?
Note: I have set up a new web page for this Cavanaugh family -- there is more information and a copy of the obituary
on the John C. Cavanaugh web page. ... Al
March 17, 2011:
The CBC is airing a documentary about the emigration of the Irish from County Mayo, Ireland, to Westport, Ontario, tonight at 9:00 Eastern DST.
April 5, 2011:
I came across your page after I did a web search regarding the Kanes of Westport. "Kane House", is south of Westport, just off Concession 8
where some of the Kanes from the North Shore Road moved to in the 1920's. The location of the home, built in the 1850's, is
shown on the North Crosby map on your site listed under the name "Preston" at Lot 4, Concession VII.
There was mention of the McCardle family on a post from February of 2010 which mentioned Nell (married name Nell McCann).
I just wanted to let the poster know, as well as those that may be searching that family lineage, that The Rideau District Museum
in Westport does have a small book titled "The Diary of Nell McCann". The actual diary is in a glass case, however, the
transcribed version is available for reading while in the Museum. It was written by Nell in the early part of the 1900s and
talks about events in the village (births, celebrations, deaths, etc.) and I'm sure that it would be of interest to anyone
visiting the Westport area that is researching their family history.
The Kane family didn't build the house, but they moved here in the 1920s. I was told that they loaded up their family
and belongings from their old home on North Shore Road and headed off across the frozen Rideau Lake in Westport with
their wagons and horses to move here. They lost 2 children in this house in that same decade. Somewhere I have a file
with copies of the children's death certificates that I got off of ancestry.ca.
One of the boys died from a flu epidemic and the other one fell from the upper floor of the barn onto the floor below
and was brought into the house where he died a few days later from head injuries. The original Kane owner was listed
as James V. Kane and when I find the file that I have on the house I will let you know the year that James purchased
The last Kane to own the house was Bob Kane who died in the 1990s and he was a wonderful man who loved to talk about the
house. He removed the porch in the 1980s and his sister Carmel has told me that she has no idea why:) Apparently, in
the house in 1996 the front door that you see in the photo below had been sealed up on the inside and the outside.
We uncovered it when we were doing some remodeling inside and a nail that I drove through the wall made the sound of shattering
glass, so we tore out the wall and found the old door and side light windows completely intact in the wall. Needless to
say we uncovered it as it used to look very strange without a front door. Bob said his wife was tired of people coming
into the house and directly into her clean living room, so they just sealed up the door. The house was reputedly haunted
in the 1950s, and rumour has it that a priest came and exorcised the home.
Kane House at Westport
The Museum operates in June from Thursday through Sunday, and July through Labour Day Monday Daily from 10:00 to 4:30.
On Sundays, the hours are shorter, so it is open from 1:00 to 4:30 and here is the site:
Thanks for your time,
Curator, Rideau District Museum, e-mail
September 2, 2011:
Here are a couple of related videos which you might want to post on your Westport page:
50th Anniversary of the Rideau District Museum: http://www.youtube.com/user/BMWriderCanada#p/u/9/FJf9ucNqNys
Brian McKenna introducing the Hannah documentary in Westport: http://www.youtube.com/user/BMWriderCanada#p/u/8/Rovha33coSM
... James Forrester
November 2, 2011:
Here is a remarkable painting of the two-masted ship, the Hannah. I believe that this ship
was only 59 feet long and 19 feet wide! Now, boats this long routinely visit Westport, Ontario, Canada.
The Hannah, Photo Source: The Famine Ships, 1846-51, by Edward Laxton, page 186.
April 26, 2012:
I have lately gotten into the genealogy of my maternal grandfather, Robert T. Kane. What I have pieced together is that my
great great grandfather was Robert Kane (b. 1814; d. 1889) He was born in County Mayo Ireland and married Mary Garvin there in 1838.
They had child in Ireland (Michael b. 1839) and then came to Westport Ontario where they had the remainder of their 8 children
(Catherine 1841), John G. (1843), Margaret (1845), James (1846), Mary (1846 - twin of James??), Robert (1851, Thomas (1853, and Celia (1857).
John G. was my great grandfather. He married Ellen Scanlon in Westport and they moved to Isabella County Michigan where my grandfather,
Robert Terence Kane was born in 1877. My husband and I are going to drive to Westport this summer and poke around the area,
including St. Edwards Cemetary where Robert and Mary (Garvin) Kane are buried. I came upon this website (www.bytown.net) and
found all of your messages and comments and am wondering if any of you have any information on this chain/branch of the Kane
(Keanes) of County Mayo. Any information will be appreciated. Thank you.
... MARJORY BASILE
February 13, 2015:
Here is a CD containing Catholic marriages from 1847 to 1910 in Westport, Ontario.
This CD is available at the Library of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.
Send an e-mail to
Jim Donnelly, Dennis Donnelly, Beryl Nerling, Sandra, Norman, Kathy Flynn Simons, Raymond Donnelly, Liana, Sandra, Greg Egan, Anne Burgess, Tom King, James Forrester, Ann Martin, Christine, Marjory Basile and Al Lewis
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