Young Timothy Moynahan (born May 5th, 1861), who was twelve years old when he suffered an attack of meningitis in 1873 (that resulted in admission to the London Lunatic Asylum in February 11, 1878) is one of my ongoing obsessions.
|Source: Essex Record; 14 Feb 1878; page 1 of 4|
On my recent trip to the Archives of Ontario (September 2017) my obsession with Timothy was renewed following the help I received from the amazing reference staff there. I believe that I am even closer to locating his final resting place.
I also found a reference to a patient ("Tom M.") with some details identical to Timothy Moynahan in a book by Geoffrey Reaume "Remembrance of Patients Past: Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane".
|"Remembrance of Patients Past: Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane" by Geoffrey Reaume|
Geoffrey Reaume's book, "Remembrance of Patients Past: Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane" brings to light the stories of the people, like Timothy, who were confined to the Toronto Hospital for the Insane. Geoffrey writes,
"Psychiatric patients as individual human beings, rather than a collection of labels and anonymous numbers, is what this book is all about.The 70-year time frame, 1870-1940, also covers much of the lifespan of many of the people who will be discussed in these pages, as was the case for Tom M., mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. It is the lives of people like him and his contemporaries to which the book is devoted, this remembrance of patients past."
Timothy Moynahan (1861-?)
Timothy was the son of Timothy Moynahan (Sr) (1813-1902) and Archange Parent (1824-1903). This was Timothy Sr.'s second marriage following the death of his first wife Margaret (Cronin) Moynahan (1811-1859).
I believe that when Timothy's father Timothy Sr. died in London, Ontario in 1902, that he was visiting with his son Timothy Jr in the London asylum and died there. I have no proof of this but I also have no idea what other business would cause Timothy to travel from Windsor to London, Ontario at 89 years of age?
1878 to 1906
- Oct 17, 1878: Labourer, Roman Catholic, Single, Canadian: About five years ago he had an attack of xxxx-spinal meningitis amid which time he has exhibited symptoms of loss of reason - dangerous and violent -not hereditary - xxxx and temperate habits - inclined to be filthy in his habits - admitted by warrant - February xxxx 1878.
- Condition Feb, 15, 1878: Mania. Across xxxx xxxx fellow. Strong and healthy. Walks up and down halls constantly; pulling at his clothes; makes his water in floors xxx; very little can be got from him because he will hardly talk at all;
- Mar 1, 1878: Unchanged
- Mar 2, 1878: Put into canvas as he wont keep his clothes on
- Apr 2, 1878: Unchanged
- May 2, 1878: No change
- Jun 5, 1878: Unchanged
- Jul 2, 1878: No change
- Aug 1, 1878: No change
- Sep 2, 1878: No change
- Oct 3, 1878: No mental or physical change
- Nov 2, 1878: Unchanged
- Dec 2, 1878: Unchanged
- Jan 1, 1879: Remains unchanged mentally and physically; walks up and down hall; still wears canvas suit;
- Feb 3, 1879: Remains unchanged
- Mar 3, 1879: Out of canvas; wearing his own clothes
- May 2, 1879: Got quarreling with patient Silverthorne; received a slight bruise and cut on nose
- Jan 1, 1880: In good bodily health; unchanged mentally
- Sep 13, 1880: In the last few days has not been eating; Is failing; Handles knives as if he is inclined to commit suicide; Made a slight cut on wrist; Gave him a dose of calormal? to be followed by salts; Also feed him on a milk diet;
- Jan 1, 1881: In good bodily health; unchanged mentally; Eats well; Diet (extra) struck off;
- Apr 2, 1881: Has not been eating in the last 2 or 3 days; Is in fair bodily health;
- Jan 1, 1882: In fair bodily health; unchanged mentally; xxxx and untidy; does not work; is quiet
- Jan 1, 1883: No change in his condition in the past year
- Jan 1, 1884: In fair bodily health; unchanged mentally; xxxx untidy; but quiet & stupid; also a little xxxx picking
- Feb 23, 1884: Left cheek swollen; possibly the result of decayed teeth
- Jan 1, 1885: In fair bodily health; unchanged mentally; works with xxxx pickers & with wagon party
- Feb 22, 1885: Broke a pane of glass lst night and cut the fleshy part of hands; applying xxxx dressing;
- Jan 1, 1886: Hand quite well; is in fair bodily health; works almost the same as a xxxx xxxx; no mental change xxxx
- Jan 30, 1886: has large blister on bottom of heel produced by slipper
- Mar 15, 1886: Has right eye black; cause unknown; unchanged bodily & mentally
- Jan 1, 1888: In good bodily health and unchanged mentally
- Jan 1, 1889: Remains unchanged bodily and mentally
- Feb 23, 1889: Ditto; Fighting with C. Blatchford xxxx his face and neck scratched
On August 4 1906,
Timothy Moynahan (#1300)
Was Transferred to the Toronto Asylum
At this point in his life, forty-five year old Timothy Moynahan likely was not even aware that he was the last living of his family
His father: Timothy Moynahan died 19 Oct 1902
His mother: Archange (Parent) Moynahan died 28 Jun 1903
His brother James Moynahan died 24 Feb 1899
His brother Enos Moynahan died 8 Aug 1903
His half-sister Mary Moynahan died 8 Apr 1905
With no next of kin, he was transferred to the Toronto Asylum
Quite a coincidence! And there's a photo of the patient in Geoffrey Reaume's book! Could Tom M. be Timothy Moynahan? If so, Timothy who was the last of his kin, has been found at long last thanks to
Based on the census reports below, I know that Timothy Moynahan lived to 1921. More research is needed.
The Toronto Asylum: 999 Queen St.
The Toronto Asylum: 999 Queen St.
|1921 Census: Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 92; Census Place: Ward 6, Toronto South, Ontario; Page Number: 9|
I am so grateful for the helpful staff at the Archives of Ontario and will be mailing my request this week
Some helpful links:
- Remembrance of Patients Past: Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane ... By Geoffrey Reaume
- “If these walls could talk” - The Walls at the Provincial Asylum at 999 Queen Street West https://katywhitfield.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/if-these-walls-could-talk-final-project-ctl1799-walls-at-999-queen-street-west-katy-whitfield.pdf
- The Archives of Ontario contain records of those admitted to Toronto’s Lunatic Asylum https://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/5445149-the-archives-of-ontario-contain-records-of-those-admitted-to-toronto-s-lunatic-asylum/
- Toronto Asylum general registers (1841 to 1901) can be searched at http://www.leedickson.ca/qsmhc-v1.html
- The archives’ reference number for the overall collection is RG 10-268 through RG 10-276 and detailed descriptions of these records can be reviewed online in the archives’ descriptive database (type in "Toronto Asylum") at www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/our_collection.aspx
- The Lunatic Asylum http://fortyorkmaps.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-lunatic-asylum.html
- Memorial Wall Plaques Dedicated to Patient Labourers http://torontoplaques.com/Pages/Memorial_Wall_Plaques.html