The beauty of blogging about your family history is that social media connects you with folks you have never known who then generously share information about the family you are researching.
This was the case yesterday with the Morkin family. Thanks to another genealogist on ancestry.ca, I learned that the Morkins were hotel keepers in London, Ontario and that the London Morkins had a connection to the infamous Donnellys of the day!
This post is a continuation of the Morkin family history back to Tipperary, Ireland, the two London, Ontario hotels owned by brothers Ed and Thomas, and that connection to the infamous Donnellys
A 2011 newspaper article was sent to me, "London history mystery: Quaffing at Morkin’s" with an amazing photograph of the Morkin Hotel and James Reaney wrote, " identified by a family member as Edward Morkin and Edward Morkin Jr."
I knew that Mabel's husband Martin Patrick Morkin was born May 5, 1895, the son of hotel keeper Thomas Morkin and Catherine Toohey (source: Births Ontario 1869-1910; Family Search) so I wondered, how was Martin Patrick related to these two men in the photo?
It helped me to understand that the two Morkin hotels were owned by brothers. One was at 89-91 King St (the Morkin House) and the other was at 587 Richmond Road.
|My handwritten notes on the Morkin Family tree|
- John: born 1859
- Tom ("Thomas J."): born 1860; married Catherine Toohey (9 Mar 1886)
- Ned: born 1863
- Martin: born 1865
- Will: born 1872
- Joe: born 1873
|Source: "The Morkin House 1892-1921" by Len Buth|
|1890-95: Ivey Family London Room, London Public Library, PG B-25, Cairncross, ca. 1890-1894|
In 1893, there were forty hotels in London, Ontario including the Morkin House at 89 King and Thomas Morkin's hotel at 587 Richmond.
“Old Tom”, as he became known, drove cab and was known for his ability to swear.’ If I remember, Mrs. Worrall said that Tom and a number of other Liberals were captured and held in a barn in London Township by the Conservatives so until after one the federals. I believe it was in the 1890s. I also seem to recall she mentioning that Tom was one of the survivors of the City Hall disaster (Jan. 3, 1898). He managed to grab onto a window sill and hung on as the floor collapsed under him
|Source: .Year: 1901; Census Place: London (City/Cité) Ward/Quartier No 2,|
London (city/cité), Ontario; Page: 20; Family No: 199
|Source: Ontario, Canada Deaths, 1869-1934,|
Archives of Ontario; Series: MS935; Reel: 137
|Source: Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1857-1924|
Archives of Ontario; Series: MS932; Reel: 54
On the 1891 census, Thomas J. Morkin is a hotel keeper living with his wife Catherine and daughters Stella, Kathleen and Josephine.
|Source: 1891; Census Place: London, Middlesex East, Ontario; Roll: T-6352; Family No: 29|
The 1901 census shows that two sons have been added to the family. Thomas J is shown as a "teacher"?
|Source Citation Year: 1901; Census Place: London (City/Cité) Ward/Quartier No 2, London (city/cité), Ontario;|
Page: 20; Family No: 155
|1910 postcard: Richmond St. North, London, Ont|
In 1911, the family is living at 66 Palace, London, Ontario:
- Thomas J. (b: Dec 1860) is employed as an insurance agent
- Catherine (b: Nov 1860) No occupation
- Stella (b: Sep 1888) working in a print shop
- Edna (b: Feb 1890) working as a teller
- Josephine (b: Aug 1890) working as a saleslady
- William (b: Feb 1893) working as a shipping clerk
- Martin (b: May 1895) working as a messenger
|Source: Year: 1911; Census Place: 35, London City, Ontario; Page: 22; Family No: 253|
In 1921, the family is living at 66 Palace, London, Ontario: All of the children are shown at home except William
- Thomas J. (60 years old) is working as a collector
- Catherine: (60 years old) No occupation
- Stella: working in a print shop (33 years old)
- Edna: working as a teller (32 years old)
- Josephine: working as a saleslady (31 years old)
- Martin: working as a bookkeeper (26 years old)
|Source: Year: Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 71; Census Place: Ward 4, London, Ontario; Page Number: 4|
In 1929, Martin P. Morkin married Mabel Moynahan and they had three sons. There are pictures and details of this family to be found on my previous blog post "My Grand Aunt Mabel (Moynahan) Morkin - 1902 -1945"
It appears that by 1921, this branch of the Morkin family disengaged from the hotel business and for good reason.
London in 1870 had some 80 licenced hotels or taverns; 40 in 1893 (see above) and only 35 in 1900. Add to that the temperance movements and the Ontario Temperance Act of 1916, it's no wonder the family decided to find other ways to make a living. It appears they moved to insurance, banking and bookkeeping activities
|"The Donnellys Album" by Ray Fazakas,|
This story is far from complete. Through ancestry.ca I have connected with unrelated distant cousins to the Morkins who promise to send more information in the New Year. I will keep you posted!
|The Morkin House hotel in London, Ontario (c 1915)|
- Newspaper: London Free Press; London history mystery: Quaffing at Morkin’s; by James Reaney; 2011; http://blogs.canoe.com/brandnewblog/entertainment/london-history-mystery-quaffing-at-morkins/
- History of the County of Middlesex, Canada: "Thomas Morkin" pp 940-941 https://archive.org/stream/historyofcountyo00torouoft#page/940/mode/2up
- The Ontario Numismatist: "The Morkin House 1892-1921" pp 107-111; 2008; http://the-ona.ca/ON/V47.09-10.Sep-Oct.2008.pdf
- Barb King Beattie is the great great granddaughter of Edward Morkin Sr.Her mother Velda Morkin is 92. She posted in a Facebook group called "Vintage London" https://www.facebook.com/256233541169617/photos/a.274542956005342.65146.256233541169617/606167832842851/?type=3&theater
- The O'Meara Genealogy Site http://www.oocities.org/sueomeara/