Sunday, February 23, 2014

52 Ancestors #6 : The Voyage "From The Old Sod"

November 1900 Timothy Moynahan told his life story to theDetroit Free Press. The article is a gift loaded with genealogical information. I am dividing the newspaper article into several smaller pieces for #52Ancestors. Here Timothy describes his passage from Kerry, Ireland to Windsor, Ontario.

"To begin at the beginning, I was born in Count Kerry eighty seven years ago"

The Detroit Free Press newspaper article was written in November 1900 and therefore this would mean that Timothy was born around 1813 in Ireland. There are several discrepancies with respect to Timothy's birthdate when compared to the census records
  • 1851 census: Timothy is recorded as 30 years at his next birthday and therefore born circa 1821
  • 1861 census: Timothy is recorded as 41 years at his next birthday and therefore born circa 1820
  • 1871 census: Timothy is recorded as 53 years old therefore born circa 1818
  • 1881 census: Timothy is recorded as 63 years old therefore born circa 1818
  • 1891 census: Timothy is recorded as 73 years old therefore born circa 1818
  • 1901 census: Timothy is recorded as 82 years, born 1819 and arrived/ immigrated to Canada 1828

"and came over when I was nine years of age, my folks settling in Pennsylvania where we lived three years before coming to Windsor."

Based on the 1901 census, if Timothy arrived in Canada 1828 then the family lived in Pennsylvania around 1825. If Timothy was 9 years of age then he was born circa 1816.

The following detailed information on the ship and the Captain were found in the Detroit Free Press article. 

To date, I have failed to locate the passenger lists.

"The Thomas of Cork, Captain Bamfield , master, was the ship upon which we sailed. She was an old war remnant, as slow as molasses in January and the trip occupied six weeks and three days."

The following excerpt provides details on who else was on board. If the ship's purpose was to deliver the wives to the soldiers in America then perhaps I should be looking in other places for the detailed passenger lists.

"A lonely voyage it would have been too if it had not been for the fact that there were sixty-two women, a flute player and a piper aboard. The women were wives of soldiers that were serving the crown in this country, and they were coming over to join their husbands."

Another entertaining detail about the "six week and three days" passage across the Atlantic:

"Between the women and the musicians, the time passed pleasantly. The piper was an untiring Highlander, and he succeeded in driving all the rats from the old schooner. The music of the Scotch bagpipes will do that same you know.”

Next week: 1829 - The Day Of The Horse Boat

·        #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?

The images above illustrate the ships that would carry Irish emigrants over two decades after Timothy set sail. 
I have included them for visual interest not historic accuaracy.
Illustrated London News, May 10, 1851
Harpers Weekly, June 26, 1851

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