Sunday, February 23, 2014

52 Ancestors #5 - Timothy Moynahan

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year's Challenge: "Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

"When Windsor Was A Wilderness"

Timothy Moynahan (1813-1902)
Detroit Free Press November 25, 1900

I suspect that it is fairly rare that folks searching for their family history would ever have the good fortune of locating a newspaper article loaded with as much genealogical information and source material as I did when I acquired "When Windsor Was A Wilderness" about Timothy Moynahan.

This newspaper article appeared in the Detroit Free PressNovember 25, 1900. I originally learned of it when researching the PalmerScrapbooks (219) of the Burton Historical Collections found at the DetroitPublic Library in the 1980s (in the earliest days of my genealogical research). This was such a gift and decades later many of the details and clues contained within this article continue to inspire additional research to this day.

Timothy Moynahan the Kerryman


"Should you ask anyone in Windsor – that is any person that is at all acquainted with the town and its inhabitants, for the address of Hon. Timothy Moynahan, you will be directed to a modest little home out on a quiet by-street that has the environment and atmosphere suited to old age and reminiscence. There, seated on a glowing hearthstone, you will find a hale, cheerful old man, with a broad honest face and a wealth of snow-white hair. He has a bit of the brogue – just enough of the rippling dialect of the Kerryman to make the most commonplace expressions entertaining – and his memory is as fertile as the green fields of his native soil. Ripe in the remembrance of the early days in the borderland, intelligent and quaint in conversation, Mr. Moynahan is a most engaging character. He is one of those rare old fellows whose graphic style carries the listener easily back to the period of early disturbances in the dominion, when Windsor was a wilderness, the hunting ground of the red rover of the forest and the pioneer settler that blazed the way for civilization. Touch upon these points and Mr. Moynahan’s expressive face grows bright with enthusiasm. It is as one of the two survivors in his immediate vicinity of the Papineau and Mackenzie rebellion of 1837 that the old gentleman is especially interesting."
(Source: Detroit Free Press: Nov 25, 1900)

For the purpose of the #52Ancestors challenge, this newspaper article will be divided into five smaller segments:

·        #52Ancestors #5: Timothy Moynahan the Kerryman
·        #52Ancestors #6: From The Old Sod
·        #52Ancestors #7: 1829 - The Day Of The HorseBoats
·        #52Ancestors #8: The "Shillelagh Guards" in action
·        #52Ancestors #9: Timothy's kin?

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