Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter to you and yours!

In the treasure trove of old cards sent to our family from Ireland, and kept for years by my mother, is this one. Cards sent to our family at Easter time were usually deeply religious in nature, and so this silly little one stands quite apart from the others.

So..'ears' to you on this Easter day. May you enjoy it with your family and friends.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday, almost: History in Streetscapes

One of the things I love about Ireland is that everywhere you look there is something interesting to see. If you like to take photographs, as I do, then as you stroll through the streets of the metropolis Dublin,  you find yourself looking in all directions for interesting bits of history. Over your head and under your feet, or right beside you in the street, history is alive and well on the streets of Dublin.

The ubiquitous green post box still wears a reminder that England once ruled over Ireland.
The presence of the crown and the Royal Insignia ER VII dates the post box to the reign of
King Edward VII. You will also see some post boxes which bear a crown and
the insignia VR for Victoria Regina, Queen Victoria.
Way overhead and just steps away from the Dublin City Hall, an old sign reminds us that
 T. Read & Co. Ltd.,
Est. 1670
had their business for knife crafting and sharpening on these premises in the 17th century.
On Palace Street, the shortest street in Dublin,  just beyond the stone gates of Dublin castle,
 (on the left in this picture), stands the building once occupied by the oldest charity in Dublin,
'The Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society'.
Founded in 1790 by a group of 11 middle class Dublin gentlemen,
its purpose was to provide aid to the sick and very poor.
The charity now operates out of an office on Upper Leeson Street, and continues its good work,
distributing over €120, 000 to needy Dublin families in 2012.  
It is odd to think of a street being established, opened and commemorated in a
manner such as this, but that is exactly what happened in 1886 when the street was dedicated to the
memory of Lord Edward FitzGerald, an Irish aristocrat and revolutionary.
He was the commander-in-chief of the United Irishmen, and died 4 June 1798,
at the age of only 34, after being denied medical treatment for wounds received when he resisted arrest in May.
He was interred in the vaults of St. Werburgh Church Dublin, 5 June 1798.
My favourite Dublin bookstore, Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street.
Established in 1768, over their 245 year history the store has operated out of three different locations,
settling in Dawson Street in the 19th century.
James Joyce mentions the store in part one of his masterwork Ulysses,
"What she? The virgin at Hodges Figgis' window on Monday looking in for one of the alphabet books you were going to write. Keen glance you gave her."


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Famine Fact: Not every famine ship was a coffin ship: An Gorta Mór 1845-52

Did you know?

Not every Famine ship was a Coffin Ship
The Jeanie Johnston, Custom House Quay, Dublin, Ireland.
The Dunbrody, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland.
A little tiny bit of good news here.

The term 'coffin ships' is a very useful one because it expresses the real suffering and the significant number of deaths which occurred onboard most of the immigrant ships travelling to North America during the period of An Gorta Mór, The Great Famine of 1845-52. However, not every ship was a coffin ship. A few had a very low rate of mortality, and at least one had no loss of life onboard at all.

Each one of the replica ships pictured above — The Jeanie Johnston and The Dunbrody — is docked as a tourist attraction in Ireland, and each ship has a history of success during the Great Famine.

The Jeanie Johnston has the most successful history of all, since not a single passenger or crew member was ever lost onboard the ship. In fact, on her maiden voyage of April 1848, a baby boy was born. Between April 1848 and 1855, the ship completed 16 voyages to North America, landing at the Port of Quebec, as well as at Baltimore and New York. It took an average of 47 days for the Jeanie Johnston to make the voyage, and yet not a single person died onboard.

Although the record of the Dunbrody is not spotless, over the history of her travel during the Great Famine, only eight lives were lost. Between 1845 and 1851 the Dunbrody carried thousands of immigrants to North America, carrying anywhere from 160 passengers per journey to over 300. In 1847 she is recorded as carrying 313 passengers to Quebec.

When you consider that thousands of people perished at sea during the Great Famine, this stands as good news, although most certainly not for the families of those eight lost.

In the case of both the Jeanie Johnston and the Dunbrody, the excellent survival rate of their passengers is attributed to their captains. The Jeanie Johnston also carried a doctor, Dr. Richard Blennerhassett, as a member of the crew who cared for the passengers on their journey.

As noted above, both of the currently docked ships are replicas of ships which were once used to carry immigrants to North America. Neither one of these replicas has ever carried an actual famine victim onboard. The Jeanie Johnston replica was christened in May of 2000, and the Dunbrody replica was christened in February of 2001.  These ships were purpose built in order to give an idea of what it may have been like to travel onboard such a ship during the Famine period, and serve to illustrate the close quarters in which large numbers of immigrants travelled. The Dunbrody is docked in New Ross, County Wexford, and the Jeanie Johnston is docked at the Custom House Quay in Dublin City.

If you believe one of your ancestors may have travelled on a real famine ship then you may want to search The Irish Emigration database on the Dunbrody website. The database is compiled directly from original Ships' Passenger Manifests, and includes the records of Irish, English, Scottish, and Welsh immigrants arriving at the main US ports. For the port of New York, the database covers the years between 1846 and 1890. For Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, the database covers only the famine years between 1846 and 1851. Access to the database is free through this website, and printouts of the information are available for a fee.

If you believe one of your family members may have perished onboard a famine ship bound for the Port of Quebec, then visit the searchable Immigrants at Grosse-Île Database, which includes information about the 4,936 people who died on ships at sea, on the St. Lawrence River or on quarantined ships at Grosse Île from 1832 to 1922.

If you are searching for famine immigrants who landed in the United States, see the NARA (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) website search page Irish Famine Passenger Records . On this site the records of immigrants to the Americas during the Famine period is not exclusively limited to the Irish born. In the Irish Famine Passenger Records approximately 30 percent of the passengers list their native country as other than Ireland.

In addition, on the Ships' List website, there are a number of well detailed passenger lists for those who emigrated from Ireland during the period of the Great Famine, as well as many passenger lists for other periods of emigration.


Crowley, John, and William J Smyth, Mike Murphy, editors. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, New York University Press, New York, 2012.
O'Gallagher, Marianna. Grosse-Île: Gateway to Canada, Carraig Books, 1984.

Click on images to view larger versions.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Remembering Dad...

Today, on the thirteenth anniversary of his death, I fondly remember my dad, Michael.

Michael Francis Geraghty 1929 - 2000

Click on collage to view a larger version.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

'Ah go on, give us a kiss': Expressions of affection in family images

I just love this photo. Lots of affection here.
I especially like the way my mom, Mary, is smiling at her elder sister Bernadette.
From left to right: Mary Ball Geraghty, Michael Geraghty, Bernadette Ball Higgins, James Higgins, and Mary Higgins (sister of James).
The woman on the far right is not a member of their party.
The sound of that lovely and familiar Irish saying, 'Ah go on, give us a kiss' will definitely be in the air as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the end of this week, as will the phrase, 'Ah go on, give us a hug'. The person doing the asking is prompting the kiss or hug for his/herself, not for a group of people, as the pronoun implies; that's just how the phrase is spoken. Thinking about that phrase reminded me of expressions of affection in photographs down through the decades, since the time when cameras were first used to capture images of family.

Of course, photographic traditions and rules for portraiture have changed dramatically over time, with family pictures evolving from straight laced and serious portraits to images in which we find family members laughing, joking, and overtly expressing their affection for one another. Whether it's a kiss or a hug, or even a look, it's lovely to find expressions of affection revealed in old images of family members and their friends.

A family all wrapped up in Love: My mom and dad with my elder brother Michael, their first born child.
The men altogether: A rare photo with my maternal grandfather, whom I never got to meet, affectionally surrounded
by my Uncle Gerard (Jerry) on the left, and Patrick Doyle, my Aunt Kate's fiancé, on the right.
Tragically, not long after the day on which this photo was taken, young Patrick Doyle suddenly died.

All together now: A rare photo of my father with almost all of his siblings. Dad is on the left with his arms affectionately wrapped around my mother.
Left to right standing: Dad, Mom, Dad's sister Mary holding my brother Michael, Dad's brother John,
an unidentified friend, far right Dad's brother Enda.
Kneeling: Dad's sister Kathleen, and brother Declan. Missing from the photo is Dad's brother Patrick.
Click on images to view larger versions.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Incarcerated in Kilmainham Gaol: A little girl with a familiar name

Inside a cell in Kilmainham Gaol.
A photograph I shot in the bright light of mid-day.
Sometimes when conducting research for my own family history, I come across individuals with whom I am not connected, but who bear exactly the same name as an ancestor. Often, I find myself drawn to find out more about them, despite the lack of a familial connection. Such was the case when I was looking at the Kilmainham Gaol Registers. Within the index to the register for 1872, I found a record for a little girl named Margaret Toole. This particular Margaret Toole bears the same name as my paternal great-grandmother, and was born in County Dublin in 1861, just a year after my great-grandmother Margaret Toole was born in County Mayo.

When I came across her name, I was struck by the fact that the lives of these two girls each named Margaret Toole were probably very different, and I just had to find out more about the Margaret Toole listed in the index to the register.

The information about Margaret Toole is recorded in the "Kilmainham Registry of Female Juveniles At and Under Sixteen Years". The title alone might make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Given 21st century ideas about dealing with juvenile delinquency, it is difficult to imagine that children at and under the age of 16 years would have been incarcerated in Kilmainham. Unfortunately, given 19th century ideas about crime and punishment, internment at Kilmainham of young children was not as unusual as we might hope.

There are twenty-four Kilmainham Gaol registers held at the National Archives Ireland, offering details of internments from the late 18th century (1796), when the prison opened, to February 1910 when the prison was closed for the first time. Within those registers is included the history of the imprisonment of children at Kilmainham. Up until 1859, children were interned in Kilmainham to serve sentences which could range from days to months, and included such punishments as "seven days imprisonment and twenty lashes for stealing a loaf of bread". In 1859, Reform Schools were opened in Ireland, so in addition to their imprisonment in Kilmainham, children would also receive years long sentences in Reform School. In 1868, a ten year old child named Patrick Duff served two weeks in Kilmainham, and then five years in Reform School, for stealing two leather straps.

Although some female prisoners had their babies with them while their served out their sentences, the youngest child ever convicted and imprisoned in Kilmainham was five year old Catherine Lyons. In 1855 Catherine and her parents, Alan and Anne, were sentenced to seven days in Kilmainham for riding a train without tickets.

The presumed links between crime, poverty, parentage and moral degradation, which mark the 19th century, are very clear from the column headings of the register entries.  Under the following headings, which are recorded here exactly as they appear in the register, the registrant adds details about the prisoner:

"If he has been in Workhouse"
"If parents or either of them in Workhouse"
"If parents or either of them have been in gaol"
"Without parents"
"Abandoned by parents"
"Absconded from parents"
"Without Father"
"Without Mother"
"Step Child"

The entry in the gaol register for Margaret Toole offers a wealth of information.  It tells us that Margaret, aged 11 years, is a stepchild without a father. Margaret lived with her mother and stepfather in Ballsbridge, County Dublin. On 22 July 1872, Margaret was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol for a period of 14 days after she was charged with, and convicted of, "Larceny of Money", specifically the theft of £3/-6.  Further, the record states that she is Roman Catholic and illiterate.  Also, in the index to the register it is noted that this is her first time in prison.

Having been in Kilmainham Gaol on several occasions, both as a researcher and as a tourist, I can tell you that the oldest section of the gaol is a dark, damp and forbidding place.  In 1881, one of my relatives, Andrew J. Kettle, secretary of the Irish Land League, was incarcerated in Kilmainham for a period of just over six months, having been convicted of "inciting persons unlawfully to assemble". In his memoirs he noted that the dampness of the place never left him. His son Laurence believed it had contributed to the decline of his father's health. I cannot even begin to imagine what it was like for an 11 year child to spend 14 days incarcerated here in 1872. Given that Margaret Toole was a stepchild, I wonder if she did in fact steal the £3/-6, or if the accusation which led to her subsequent incarceration was a punishment meted out by her mother and stepfather over some other perceived infraction.

Main Entrance of Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
References for further reading and research:

O'Sullivan, Niamh. Every Dark Hour: A History of Kilmainham Jail, Liberties Press, Dublin, 2007.

Some of the Kilmainham Gaol Registers are available for online research through Find My Past Ireland at Searching is free, but subscription is required to view documents.

Click on photographs to view larger version.
(Originally posted 4 January 2011).

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oh, I love technology, except when I don't...

This isn't a rant. Honest! It is just an update with an apology to anyone who tried to send either a comment to this blog, or an email via gmail to me, on Thursday 7 March. My new internet provider (insert name of big conglomerate here), who bought my old smaller dependable internet provider, "inadvertently caused delay and deletion in error". They keep sending me apology emails with listings of the subject matter of what they deleted, but can offer nothing more. So far, they are up to 14 inadvertent deletions.

So... my apologies to anyone who sent a comment or a message and is wondering why I have not replied. Please send it again, if you feel so inclined. Apparently the idiots are now running the asylum, so stay tuned, I have a feeling I may see the words 'inadvertent deletion' show up again.

Also on the technology front, I have closed my Twitter account for now. Once again, for what is the umpteenth time — I love that word 'umpteenth' — my Twitter account was hacked. Twitter sends me those lovely emails telling me I am part of that segment of their population whose accounts "may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter". Despite the fact that I use very strong passwords, and change them regularly, in January I was hacked twice, and received a lot of email from annoyed Twitter followers telling me I'd been hacked. Again on Friday, the same thing happened, so for now, at least until Twitter solves their security issues, this bird is keeping her beak shut on Twitter.


Image credit: Google images, and also to Carol at Reflections From the Fence, who I know can relate to technology issues.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

News from Find My Past Ireland and a free offer is hosting an Irish Family History Centre in Dublin from Thursday 14 March until Monday 18 March, and if you have the opportunity to attend this event I hope you will take it. When I was in Dublin in January I stopped by the building in which the event is to take place, and they were then beginning the refit of the space, in preparation for this event. It is the perfect venue, an old church building, formerly outfitted solely as a tourist centre.

Not to worry, if you don't have the opportunity to attend the event, then be sure to stop by the Find My Past Ireland website, on that weekend, since they will be offering free credits to view materials on their website. It will give you the chance to see the kinds of materials to which they offer access. The site is particularly good for viewing old prison registers and county directories, and they regularly add lots of new material which you may find of value to your research. By the way, I am not a paid spokesperson for Find My Past, I have simply found the site to be useful.

This morning I received the following press release about the event from Find My Past Ireland:

FINDMYPAST.IE to host Irish Family History Centre
  • Free event offering access to millions of family history records
  • Expert genealogists on-site to help ‘find your past’
Thursday, 7th March 2013: – Family History website,, will be taking over the Discover Ireland Centre, Suffolk Street from Thursday 14th – Monday 18th March to create an ‘Irish Family History Centre,’ in association with The Gathering Ireland.  The Centre will be free all weekend and is open to the general public. is encouraging everyone curious about their family history to come along over the St Patrick’s Day Weekend, to avail of free expert advice, lectures and access to the company’s more than 65 million Irish family history records.
The Centre will be open from Thursday 14th to Monday 18th March, and those interested in enquiring about genealogy or looking for help with their family tree can visit without appointment, and speak to the team. Computers will be available throughout the Centre providing free access to the website  and its 65 million records,  including births, marriages and deaths, newspapers, criminal registers and travel and migration archives .
There are up to 80 million people around the world claiming Irish ancestry and General Manager Cliona Weldon is expecting a large interest, not just from Irish guests, but from visitors further afield: “St Patrick’s Day is always a busy time of year for us at with people from home and abroad keen to unearth their Irish connections. We are expecting huge numbers over the St Patrick’s Festival Weekend coming to visit us to help find their past, and we are really looking forward to seeing what great stories we can uncover for them..
 “What better time to trace your roots and celebrate being Irish than on St. Patrick’s Weekend? People from all over the world can reach out to our site to claim their Irish heritage. Despite our economic woes and our bad weather, it seems that everybody still wants to be Irish!  With over 22 American Presidents and a host of well known figures from Walt Disney to Britney Spears having claimed Irish ancestry, it seems being Irish is always in fashion.”
For those who cannot make it to the Irish Family History Centre next weekend, will be offering free credits on the website throughout the weekend on 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Third Blogiversary: The lessons in looking back

In a way is it hard for me to believe it has been three years since I wrote the first post for this blog on 6 March 2010. Up to that point I had already been writing for years, and even had the opportunity to teach writing when I was in graduate school. Still, I felt much trepidation over my very brief first post, because it meant a foray into an entirely different medium.

That first post, entitled 'With the help of O'Connell's Angels', was an invocation of sorts to my favourite Dublin ladies, the angels which surround the base of O'Connell's statue in Dublin. It was also an invocation to my ancestors to continue to aid me in my ongoing search for their history, and the accurate dissemination of the facts of their lives.

As I have shared in the description of this blog, my search for my family has taken me across Ireland into a history which has included both the glorious and the ignoble, the beautiful and the profane.

Although I have not always been entirely comfortable with all aspects of the information found, I am very grateful for all that I have uncovered. The course of many years of conducting family history research has taught me a number of lessons, five of which I will share here.

1. Blood is definitely thicker than water.

It seems no matter how far back in time my research takes me, I feel a sort of protectiveness about my ancestors and relatives, and their respective stories. I have suffered heartbreak over the loss of members of my family, including young children who died needlessly, and young men who fell on the fields of battle in Europe during the First World War. So too, those connections make me want to be in the places in which my ancestors and relatives once lived and died, to tread where they once did. My connection to Tom Kettle, and the two Williams, Dunne and Pell, will take me this summer to the battlefields of France on which they once fought, and where Tom is memorialized, and to the graves of the two Williams in Belgium to pay my respects.

My connection by blood leads me to continue the search for the story of my maternal fifth great-grandmother, for whom I have only a name and an approximate year of birth: Ally Howard, circa 1740. I am intrigued by Ally in part because of her forename. In a period in which the names of other family members were recorded in a more formal fashion, on the baptismal records of her children, she is simply 'Ally'.  Although her granddaughter Ally Cavenagh was christened Ally, she always wore the name Allice. It seems Ally Howard is the only Ally in the family tree. For some inexplicable reason I feel a real affinity with Ally, and hope to learn more of her story.

'INSTRUCTION' on the left, and 'PEACE' on the right.
Two of the four female figures which sit atop the complex in Dublin called Government Buildings.
2. The more you look to the past for family connections, the more you may come to understand those closest to you.

Occasionally my mother used to talk to me about her grand-aunt Alice, my great-grand-aunt. When I was a child the story of Alice frightened me because she seemed to me to be a woman of unbounded cruelty who would beat my mother and her siblings with a wooden cane. What I found to be most cruel was that the thrashing was never delivered immediately following an infraction, but instead sometime later, and usually when the child was in a happy mood. I describe one such incident in the post entitled 'Tittering Lily', and childhood tales of Ringsend.

Despite this sort of treatment from Alice, my mother always spoke of her with great love, and over the course of doing family history research I have come to understand why. Alice is remembered with love because she held together their family unit. Also, for the youngest children who had no memory of their mother, Alice, for all intents and purposes, took on that role. Without Alice, the children may have been taken away from their father following the death of their mother.

St. Patrick's Church, Ringsend, Dublin. The church in which my parents were married.
3. Family History is not always on the page; often it is right in front of you.

In the time following the death of my mother, I learned more about the connections within my mother's family, and about who shows up in such situations and who does not, who is compassionate and who is not. On a very positive note, as I shared in the post entitled 'Life lessons from my brother', I learned from my older brother as he bravely faced the loss of his closest friend. I have also learned a lot about my own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to dealing with profound loss.

Above: Bray Head in County Wicklow
Below: A thatched cottage in the Boyne Valley, County Louth.
4. Family History is not just about names and dates.

Family History is also about the places and spaces our ancestors and family members once occupied, and how those places impacted their lives. Even if the houses in which they lived no longer exist, we can still get a sense of what life was like for them.

Did they live in the shadow of a mountain, or at the edge of the sea? Were their lives bounded by the narrow spaces of a tenement life, or did they thrive in a cottage in a seaside village? Did they live and work the tenant farm nearest to the Lord's castle, or did they live in the castle itself, and bear the titles of Lord and Lady?

Elements in the natural world also connect us to our ancestors, on an unbroken chain through time. Our tenth great-grandparents rose to the same sun which awakens us each morning. They gazed at the light of the same moon which hangs in our skies at night. As the tide begins its rhythmic movement, drawing sea water out and then back into Clew Bay in Mayo or Dublin Bay in Howth, I know my ancestors might have watched the rush of the water in much the same way I am seeing it now.

5. There is always room for a little levity. 

One of the things I most love about family history is those stories which round out the history of our family. Some of my fondest childhood memories relate to stories my parents told me, both the amusing and the poignant, such as the story in one of my favourite posts: 'Cycling Apparitions' in the Castle ruins: An Irish Story.

There are many other lessons I've learned over the years while doing family history research, but for now I'll leave it at these five. Researching the past also means looking to the future, and as I celebrate this blogiversary I look forward with joyful anticipation to all that is yet to come in terms of research and writing.

Finally, I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you who continue to share this journey with me. I am truly very grateful!



Detail from a stained glass window in St. Patrick's Church, Ringsend, Dublin.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: 'Orphans' List of 1847: The Great Famine

National Famine Memorial, Murrisk, County Mayo, Ireland.
This Tuesday's Tip is not a tip as such, but a searchable document.  Today I am adding a new page to this blog. It is my listing of almost 500 children who were registered as 'orphans' during the 1847 navigation season when they emigrated from Ireland to Grosse Île Québec, and on to other parts of Canada and the United States.  I have put the word 'orphans' in quotes because not every child on the list was in fact an orphan; some were simply temporarily separated from their family members.  Their status is noted on the document.

If you have Irish ancestors who travelled to North America at the time of the Great Famine, during the year which is known as 'Black 47', you may find this to be a useful research tool.

I created this document as a spreadsheet and have arranged the information alphabetically by surname and then forename. When you are searching, peruse the entire range of names within a particular surname in order to locate siblings. To make searching easier I have posted each page of the spreadsheet in its full size.

The information included is from an 1847 register of children who stayed in the Catholic Orphanage of Québec prior to being adopted or returned to family in Ireland, or sent to family in Canada or the United States. The orphanage was under the operation of La Société des Dames Catholiques de Québec, Catholic nuns who operated both an orphanage and a school.

The following information is included in the spreadsheet:

REGISTRATION NUMBER: each landed person was assigned a number for administrative purposes.




DATE OF ENTRY (or administration): you will notice that sometimes the dates are not the same for members of the same family. The date listed is not necessarily the date on which they landed at Gross Île, but rather the date on which they were processed. Also, some children were returned to the orphanage at a later date by the person(s) who adopted them and so the date is an administrative date.

FATHER'S NAME: father's first name.

MOTHER'S NAME: mother's name. Most of the mothers named on the list appear with their maiden name.

PARISH: Under this heading you will find the Irish parish of origin, in other words where the child is from.

COUNTY: Under this heading you will find the Irish county of origin. For the most part the county names are Irish; however there are a couple of exceptions. For example, in October of 1847 the McCrae sisters landed at Gross Île. Ellen, aged 12, and her sister Anne, aged 10, are listed as coming from the County of Loughelsh. There is no county Loughelsh; however, the name of the ship on which they sailed, the Eliza, may provide us with a clue. The Eliza sailed from County Mayo in 1847, so Mayo may be their county of origin. The other possibility is that they are not Irish at all, but may be Scottish, given their surname and the fact that "Loughelsh" might be "Lochalsh" Scotland.

Also, Queens County is the county now known as Laois, and Kings County is the county now known as Offaly.

VESSEL: The name of the ship on which they sailed.

ADOPTED BY: The name of the person or persons by whom the child was adopted. You will note there are some cases in which siblings were adopted by the same person. More often than not siblings were separated and adopted by different individuals; however, in some cases the children did end up in the same town. Many of the surnames are French-Canadian, but you will notice Irish surnames in the list of adoptive parents. In some cases the only notation is 'Person in...' preceding a town name.

LOCATION: The name of the town in which the adoptive parents lived, and presumably where the child ended up living. In some cases you will notice only a street address and in these cases the town may be assumed to be Québec City. You will also notice that many of the children were adopted by persons living in locales such as Rimouski, Nicolet, and Lotbiniere. Some entries list the location as Upper Canada. Prior to the Canadian Confederation of 1867, this is the name for the area which is now known as the province of Ontario.

DECEASED: I created a distinct column for purposes of clarity about those who were deceased, because this information is not usually noted in the same place throughout the register. Included here is the date of death for children who never made it out of the orphanage. The register notes some as simply "died" and gives no date of death.

REMARKS: I created a distinct column for remarks also for purposes of clarity. Some of these remarks are noted in the register under the child's name; some appear next to their age, and so on. The remarks are very interesting, and some are quite shocking. For example 5 year old Anne Connelly is noted simply as "disappeared". Other remarks provide information about such things as the whereabouts of the birth parents, the profession of the adoptive parent, and notes about any money that the child was carrying with them at the time. In some cases the nuns kept in touch with their young charges, so for some of the children you will find information about who they married or when they died after they left the orphanage.

*Notes: The question marks which appear in my spreadsheet appeared in the register, so I have included them here. The spellings are original to the register. Anything which I have added, but which is not included in the original register, appears in square brackets.

For more information about the quarantine station and immigration to Gross Île Québec visit my blog post: The Great Famine: Did your ancestors land at Grosse-Île, and then go to the United States?

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