Moynahan Surnames

Saturday, April 25, 2015

52 Ancestors No.17: The Broderick "Crayon Portraits"

Most of what I have come to know about the Broderick family is in large part due to the generosity of Patrick Broderick's (1871-1943) son Francis "Bernard" Broderick (1916 – 1992).

An oral history was recorded in Scarborough, Ontario in 1988 and Bernard's photographs were passed on to me by the Christian brothers at Lasalle manor: Brother Francis and Brother Walter Farrell, FSC Archivist.

The only images that I have ever seen of  Martin and Mary (Hussey) Broderick were found in the package that I received from Brother Farrell. These images were more like sketches than photographs.

Later I would learn that these images were referred to as "crayon print" photographs or "crayon portraits". Crayon portraits were popular from the 1860s to 1900.

Martin Broderick (1831-1915)

Mary Hussey (1842-1913)

I wondered about how these "crayon portrait" images were made? In researching this subject I found RootsWeb Joe Scarborough's summary in 2009 to be one of the best that I read: It follows:

"These apparently photographic quality charcoal portraits were made of your ancestors during the mid to late 19th century. They are what appears to be a charcoal portrait of such quality that you may have commented on the abilities of the artist. Tales abound of their origin. Earlier versions are of lesser quality than the example, later versions can have an eerie lifelike quality."

But How Were They Produced?

"Typically, unless your ancestor lived in, what was to them, a metropolitan area, these were mail order items. An ancestor would send in a daguerreotype, possibly a tintype, and the firm would make a negative from the original print. In the later years nearing the end of the 19th century, and the early years of the 20th century, photographic technique improved and so did the crayon portrait.

Occasionally, traveling Crayon Portrait artists would travel around, setting up a temporary shop in a community store, the owner using the presence of the artist as a promotional gimmick. Regardless of how the service was promoted, the process was the same.

In the early days of photography, think after 1843, prints were the size of the original negative. Imagine the man with his head under a black cloth, behind a large box like camera, with a flash bar of what is perceived as being gunpowder, in the Hollywood version of Wyatt Earp.

The photographs produced were of a handy size that could be carried in a purse or vest pocket. But the public wanted larger items that could be displayed in the home without the expense of hiring a portrait artist. "

Enter the Solar Enlarger

"By utilizing the solar enlarger, somewhat akin to a camera obsura dating back to the days of Leonardo DaVinci, the artist would use the sun to project an image onto the "canvas" where he would sketch the image thus produced. We can tell these earlier works by the lack of detail.

Later, papers were coated with salt and then silver or potassium chlorides wherein they became responsive to light. Because of the nature of the chemical reaction, this would produce a faint image on the paper. The artist would then fill in the details with conte crayon, hence the name crayon portrait, and send the finished product back to the client.

As the process progressed, artist would enlarge the smaller image using longer exposure times and thus impart more detail onto the paper. Still, he "enhanced" the image using the conte crayon. A simple description of a conte crayon is a mixture of wax and charcoal, and they are still available today.

Because of the chemical properties of silver chloride and salts on paper, it wasn't necessary to have a completely dark room to produce the product. In fact, if you were so inclined, you could replicate the process using a yellow bug light, or simply a dimly lit room, and a projector of the appropriate configuration.

Thus, in a time when original photographs were small in size, your ancestors could have a nearly life size portrait produced, at a reasonable cost, and of, for the time, astounding quality. So... those portraits of ancestors that appear to be charcoal drawings of incredible detail are indeed a hybrid of techniques. 

The caution is - when having the portrait dated, you are having the original dated, not the Crayon Portrait. The Crayon Portrait could have been produced from a photograph taken years before. Also, it is not advisable that these Crayon Portraits be exposed to strong light. Deterioration of detail, and continued chemical reactions can eventually destroy these precious items of our heritage."

Source: Joe Scarborough 

Martin and Mary Broderick's Family

Source: The Art of Making Portraits in Crayon on Solar Enlargements

Monday, April 20, 2015

Margaret Mary Gallow Crichton (August 21, 1934 - April 7, 2015)

Margaret died peacefully in April 2015 surrounded by her family after a short, brave battle with cancer.

Margaret was the daughter of John J. ("Jack") and Bernadette (Donivan) Plaus.

The Plaus family
Seated left to right: Michael, Ann-Marie, Bernadette, John J., Betty-Ann and Doreen
Standing left to right: Jack, Dick, Margaret and Patricia.

Margaret was the embodiment of unconditional love and kindness. Her devotion to her family was all encompassing love, support, and mentoring.

This sense of love and devotion spread out to embrace and enrich the community around her. Her passion for improving the lives and advocating on behalf of all of individuals and families with special needs, was truly a lifetime cause.

Marg started her career in day program supports in Sudbury, ON, in the mid 70’s.  Over time Margaret has taken on roles with increased responsibility within MCSS, Justice and the Ministry of Health.

Her career from the front lines of service delivery through her work with the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services exemplified those values of giving and devotion to duty. Her work as a Public Servant included supporting the not-for-profit community agencies. As well her work at Huronia Regional Centre supported her belief in non-congregant living for those with special needs.

At the time of her death she was Executive Director of Catulpa Community Support Services where for the past fifteen years she continued with her equally dedicated colleagues to pursue her passion for supporting individuals and families.

Her wise, practical counsel and her infectious sense of Irish humour delighted everyone.

A Funeral Mass was held on Thursday April 16 in St. Mary's Catholic Church, 65 Amelia St. in Barrie

The Gallow family

The Gallow family

The Plaus family
Bernadette (Donivan) Plaus (1913-1994) seated

Gallow-Crichton grandchildren

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

52 Ancestors No.16 - The Lennon Sisters

This is the sixteenth of 52 blog posts for the 2015 edition of the 52 Ancestors challenge. I have been blogging my family history for the #52Ancestors challenge since it began in 2014.

#52Ancestors asks bloggers to "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.

This week's blog post is about the Lennon sisters to whom I owe a great deal. In the 1980's they shared a large amount of Moynahan-Lennon-Finn family history with me for which I am truly grateful.

The theme for week 16 is "Live Long". Both Sister Clarisse and Sister Marie lived ninety four years. Sister Clarisse lived sixty-nine years in her Ursuline community and Sister Marie lived sixty-four of them in her Grey Sisters community. 

They were sisters in life and sisters in calling.

The Lennon sisters were grandaughters of Jeremiah and Mary (Brennan) Moynahan and cousins to my grandfather Ernest Moynahan Sr.

Catherine ("Kate") Moynahan married Edward Lennon on the 23rd of January 1900. From this union, four girls were born in Maidstone, Ontario and a boy, Edward (born in 1911) who died in infancy eleven hours after being born.

(Top Row) Edward Lennon (b. 1865), Catherine (Moynahan) Lennon (b. 1875), John Lennon (Edward's older brother b. 1843); (Bottom row) Marguerite (b. 1903), Clarice (b. 1904), and Marie Lennon (b. 1901).
(circa 1914) (Photo: Courtesy of Caitlin Clyne)
In a 1999 reflection by Sr. Patty Boedenstel she said, "Clarice spoke of being from a loving family, and she loved in return. The Lennon family lived on Moy Ave., two houses from Riverside Dr." Prior to moving to Moy Ave the Lennons lived in Maidstone, Ontario.

Edward and Catherine "Kate" (Moynahan) Lennon

The Maidstone Lennons

The Maidstone Lennons were well known in the county. When Edward Lennon passed away in 1960, he was the last of his large family. Edward Lennon was born in Maidstone in 1864 and farmed on the Ed Sexton farm until he took his retirement in 1920.

Essex Free Press
15 April 1960

Catherine (Kate Moynahan) Lennon passed away in 1945 at the age of 70 years.

Essex Free Press, May 4, 1945
St. Mary's Cemetery, Maidstone, Ontario

Clarice Lennon ~ Mother M. Sylvia

"Clara Mary Lennon was born November 12, 1904 the third in a family of five. She was educated at Maidstone Seperate school, Essex High School and, after the family moved to Windsor in 1920, at St Mary's academy in that city. The following year she was employed as a secretary in an office in Detroit where she worked for five years. During this period she also studied piano and voice at the Ursuline School of Music in Windsor."

In 1921, the family is found on the census living at 15 Moy Avenue, Windsor Ontario. Three of the four eldest daughters were employed as stenographers.

"On June 28, 1925, Clarice entered the Chatham noviate and at her Reception the following December 28 was given the name of Sister Mary Sylvia. She took her vows two years later and made her final profession on December 27, 1930."

After attending Stratford Teacher's College in 1930-31 she began her teaching career in Chatham, Dublin, and Mt. Carmel. In 1959-60 she studied at Brescia College in London where she was the Assistant Superior; she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario in 1962. She returned to Wallaceburg in 1960 and remained there until 1965 when she was sent to Tecumseh where she taught in St. Anne's High School....She retired from teaching in 1981 and moved to Glengarda in Windsor where she was a valued member of that community for the next ten years. During this time, in addition to her duties as librarian and analyst, she spent many hours visiting residents of Central Park Lodge, bringing encouragement, understanding and love to the seniors who resided there. Her health began to fail and in December 1991 she was admitted to the infirmary community at The Pines where she remained until her death."

"Clarice didn't ask for much, and would say, "I am an old lady; I don't need all that". She was grateful for the care she received, for the love of family, friends and community. In return we were hugged, loved and thanked."

Sr. Patty Bodendistel said that Clarice was " a woman of integrity, loyalty and truth. Here was a woman of deep faith"........"I often heard Clarice use, "God knows, I've tried." Yes Clarice you tried and remained faithful, and followed your call." 

Sister Clarice Lennon and Caitlin Clyne
(circa 1983) (Photo: Courtesy of Caitlin Clyne)

Marie Lennon ~ Sr. St. Catherine

Marie Lennon
Marie Gertrude Lennon's
1927 Passport
Marie was working at the Michigan Central Railway in Detroit (1927)

In Sister Bernice McCoy's eulogy she said, ".....from what I have heard about her family life, as well as what I have observed in her relationship with her sisters and her nieces and nephews, I believe that Marie's appreciation of that great gift of love must have been nurtured in her by her parents, Catherine Moynahan and Edward Lennon, from the beginning of her life which took place in Maidstone, Ontario on April 21, 1901."

"And I know this gift of love is one that she shared deeply with her sister, Evelyn....and whose daughter Cathie....Michael, and their children Caitlin and Sean......"

"It really is somewhat of a mystery that she ever found us here in Pembroke, so far removed from her home in Windsor and her workplace in Detroit."

Sister Marie Lennon
(Photo Source: GSIC Archives)

"Marie entered the Grey Sisters on January 31, 1931, pronounced her first vows on July 31, 1931 and her final vows on August 16, 1935."

Marie "lived much of her life as an educator. She was twenty-four years at Immaculate Conception School in Windsor, then at Holy Family School in Timmims, at Holy Rosary School in Ottawa, and at Assumption School in Vanier, and for half of this time her standards were high as a teacher and as a principal."

"This commitment in love that Marie lived in the field of education for thirty-three years was directed somewhat differently but nonetheless wholeheartedly, when she was asked to assume the responsibility of General Secretary for the Grey Sister's community in 1970."

Sr. Marie Lennon's 60th Jubilee

Marie died June 2, 1995, living ninety-four years, sixty-four of them in the Grey Sisters community

The Four Lennon Sisters

For this week's post, I am indebted to Sister Clarice and Joe Finn for sharing their Lennon family history and family photos with me when I started my research back in the 1980s. I am also indebted to Caitlin Clyne who has recently connected with me and graciously shared the following photos in addition to others on this page:

Marie Lennon, Evelyn (Lennon) Janice, Caitlin Clyne, and Clarice Lennon
(circa 1983) (Photo: Courtesy of Caitlin Clyne)
Special Thanks

Special thanks to the Ursuline Sister's archivist,  Sr. Rose Marie Blonde, for sharing Sister Clarice's "Tree of Life" and photographs and to the Grey Sister's archivist Sr. Mary Ruddy for sharing Sister Marie's information (eulogy, letters and photos).


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

1899: James Moynahan Remained True To Lincoln

This is the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination on April 14th, 1865. I have no record of any of my ancestor's reactions to his death in 1865 but I did locate an article written in 1899 about James Moynahan's loyalty to Lincoln.

Akron Weekly Pioneer Press
James Moynahan, who fought for four years in the Civil War as a member of "the army of the North" "remained true to the party of Lincoln and Hanna".

"Over a third of a century" after the Civil War ended and Lincoln's assassination, James opined that the state of Colorado and its statesmen had degenerated and that the "first state legislature was the best one the state ever had".

Park County Bulletin
(Alma, Colorado)
3 Nov 1899

Monday, April 13, 2015

52 Ancestors No. 15: Sister Madeline Demarse (G.S.I.C) (1928-2010)

This is the fifteenth of 52 blog posts for the 2015 edition of the 52 Ancestors challenge. I have been blogging my family history for the #52Ancestors challenge since it began in 2014.  

#52Ancestors asks genealogy bloggers to "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.”

No. 15 is about my 1st cousin 1x removed Sister Madeline Demarse who was a Grey Sister of the Immaculate Conception (G.S.I.C.), Pembroke, Ontario.

Sister Madeline Demarse

Sister Madeline was born on October 18th, 1927, in Windsor Ontario. Her mother, Mary Madeleine (Coughlin) Demarse, died suddenly in 1929  from cerebrospinal meningitis.

Following her mother's death, Madeline's Godparents Napoleon and Leda Demarse raised her from the age of two.

Her father Joseph Demarse died the 6th of February 1981.

She entered the religious Community on July 12th, 1950 at twenty-two years of age, pronouncing her final vows on August 24th, 1954.

A music teacher by profession, she taught in Ottawa, Timmins, Eganville and Midland for many years. Other assignments involved bookkeeping and leadership positions as well as her primary ministry - teaching piano. Many former students will remember her competency, dedication and kindness.

Standing left to right: Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan and Viola (Coughlin) LeFaive
Sitting: Sister St. Paul of the Cross (Madeline Demarse)
(Taken in the living room of Viola (Coughlin) Lefaive)

 Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan and Viola (Coughlin) LeFaive, Sr. St. Paul of the Cross and Marguerite (Coughlin) Schofield.
(Taken in Viola (Coughlin) Lefaive's backyard)
Marguerite (Coughlin) Schofield, Viola  (Coughlin )Lefaive, Sr. St. Paul, Bessie  (Coughlin) Harrison and Rhea  (Coughlin) Moynahan
(Taken in front of Gretta Langlois' apartment in Brockville, Ontario 1958)


In August 2007, a family reunion was organized in Pembroke to celebrate the life of Madeline Demarse.

Sister Madeline Demarse


Sister Paul of the Cross died in Shalom Residence on Sunday 16th day of May 2010 at 82 years of age. She was in her 60th year of her Religious Life.

Murphy Funeral Home

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Cousin Connections: John Lennon Auto Victim (1843 - 1933)

It is wonderful to connect with distant cousins who share a love of genealogy and share their photos of common ancestors. Such is the case with Caitlin Clyne who is related through our shared Moynahan-Lennon branch of the family tree (Maidstone, Ontario).

Caitlin shared this terrific photo of the Lennon family (circa 1914) with me:

(Top Row) Edward Lennon (b. 1865), Catherine Moynahan Lennon (b. 1875), John Lennon (Edward's older brother b. 1843); (Bottom row) Marguerite (b. 1903), Clarisse (b. 1904), and Marie Lennon (b. 1901).
This photo will be featured in a future blog post about sisters Clarice and Marie Lennon who both became nuns.

In today's blog post, I want to honour and remember their uncle John Lennon (1843-1933) who was a bachelor (see my page dedicated to bachelors). This is the first time (with thanks to Caitlin) that I have seen a picture of him.

I had read in the newspaper archives that John died tragically at 90 years of age after being struck by an automobile on Talbot Road near Oldcastle.

He resided in Sandwich South, Essex County, Ontario all of his life. The obituary states that he had retired from farming in 1908 and "had lived at John Sexton's on Talbot Road about a mile east of Oldcastle, for eighteen years past".

I found him listed as a boarder with the Lennon-Moynahan family in the 1911 census (below).

1911 Census: Essex North: Sub District 15: Sandwich South (Source:

Little is known about his life other than the fact (mentioned in his obituary) that "Mr Lennon was for many years a county constable".

John Lennon
(1843 - 1933)
Although not directly related to me, bachelor John Lennon was an uncle to my 1st cousins (2x removed) Clarisse and Marie Lennon and he is therefore remembered and honoured here.