Genealogy Hedgecoe-McKenna

Lachine Quebec and then line of O’Neill

Posting Member:  Jenn while Jake goes to get precious coffee!
Topic:  A general lack of progress.
Family Name Associations:  O’Neill and Clement by association
Location:  Under the electric blanket!
Mood:  Craving coffeeeeee 🙂

Well, we’ve been working on the line of Thomas O’Neill and Catherine Mulholland.  We finally dragged ourselves away from the huge lines of American revolutionaries and wandered back into the depths of Quebec.  I wish I had more to report here, but it’s been one long, frustrating week with little to no results.

When we left this line well over a year ago, it was with the hopes that sooner or later, something would give and we’d have more answers.  Unfortunately, it’s been a whole lot of reviewing and very little ‘new’ information.

So…  Before we’d stopped, we had added an 1850 census for a Thomas O’Neill and his with Katherine, basically, it’s the best we could find as far as a match for our founding couple.  It notes Thomas is from Carlow, where Katherine if from Londonderry, which matches up with the travel documents we have for our Catherine.  The ages are about right, but they own a hotel, farm and are possibly in service as a post office and there are no listed children.  My personal excuse on that was perhaps they were in some sort of schooling… The census notes there is no school in the area.
But none of this has ever rested easy on any of us.   We’ve always had intentions of discovering more, learning more and making the puzzle pieces fit together.
Jake has 100 reasons why it ISN’T a match. However, in light of having nothing else…

Could you go from being a farmer/hotelier/postman to being a Lockman?  Which isn’t a lock smith in case anyone was as equally as confused as I was – It’s got to do with opening and closing the gates in Lachine Canal…  It’s possible, if not probable.
As well, the census takes place in Ontario, along a bank of Ottawa according to the notes along the side.   It seems odd that these people who were so obviously settled in Lachine might have lived anywhere else, but then, according to the 1861 census, Mary Ann O’Neill was born in Haut-Canada, meaning Ontario.  We’ve puzzled this out at length, and just aren’t conclusive.  We’re going to leave the record up until we find a reason to take it down.

I’ll make some additional notes and observations here in this post, in case anyone else is puzzling this out and wants to take a stab at our ever elusive O’Neill forefathers.  If by chance, someone reads this and has all the answers we’re looking for – Please don’t hesitate to write.  We’ve love to hear from you.

In the 1861 Census, Thomas is listed as Widowed, however there is a 60 year old married female living in the household with him, his daughter Mary Ann and son William.  Assuming this isn’t Thomas’s wife, it could be his sister.  She is positioned below Mary Ann on the census listing, which is odd.  Her name is almost completely illegible, but we’ve come to a consensus that it looks like Christina McCormick.

We’ve added Arthur O’Neill to our family as Thomas’s son by another woman.  My on going theory is that Thomas married and had children in Ireland, but upon the death of his wife and the looming famine, he left his children (Possibly only one child, Arthur) and came to Canada to settle.  En route to Quebec, he met and married Catherine Mulholland, to which they had at least 3 children – Catherine, Mary Ann and William.  Arthur married in Ireland (Or en route) and travelled to Quebec and settled in Lachine with his father’s family.
There is obvious connection between Arthur’s line and Catherine’s, they sign records together, are godparents for each other’s children and they share some family naming.  There is a gaping lack of records for anything before 1855 when Arthur and Rachel Taggartt’s daughter, Catherine Eleanor O’Neill was born.

There are other O’Neill families in Lachine, but we can’t seem to place them as relations to Thomas or his children.  Owen O’Neill and William O’Neill are present on census and in records from Saint Anges Gardins, but again, no proof of relation.

And finally…  The case of Elizabeth O’Neill.
Arthur O’Neill and Rachel Taggartt have at least 13 children.  In the middle of the bunch, there seemed to be some complications.  First, Mary was born about 1866, we can find no baptismal records at all for Mary, and yet she appears on two census.  No further information about her has been found.
Then there is the birth of Elizabeth Ann.
Daughter Mary Sarah is born next, who survives, marries and has descendants.
Then the birth of an unnamed stillborn child.
Followed by a birth of another daughter named Elizabeth, no further information.

At very first, we had assumed that what is written there was all…  However, having tried to enter the record information, we completely stalled.

Elizabeth Ann was born 30 Oct 1867.  She died 5 Jul 1867.
That doesn’t work.
We went back to see if you could baptise a deceased infant, however, according to Wikipedia, as of the 1840s the Catholic Church forbid the practice.  We checked the other dates on the pages for the records to make sure it wasn’t just a clerical error…  Nothing makes sense.
The next infant named Elizabeth isn’t born until 24 Jul 1872.

The only theory Mark has posed, that makes any sense, and yet we have no recorded proof of…  Is that there were actually 3 girls named Elizabeth O’Neill.  The first born some time after Mary in 1866 who died 5 Jul 1867, and then Elizabeth Ann was born 30 Oct 1867 and died some time before 1872…  And finally the birth of the third Elizabeth in 1872.
We might never know what happened here, but I think our best bet would be to search out graves, at this point.

Jake’s back with coffee, so we’re going to move on from the O’Neills tonight with hopes of actually making some progress else where.  Hope everyone out there is keeping well 🙂

Always one for making things pretty, Jenn is our resident artist. Métis, British Home Child Descendant, family historian and genealogist, she is always looking into some new branch of research and encourages historical preservation and education.

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