Wednesday, February 24, 2016

New 'US & Canadian Border' Category on Cyndi's List

While exploring "Cyndi's List" new category 'US & Canadian Border' (45 links), I found this Border Crossing Card dated 28 June 1927 for my grandfather Ernest Joseph Moynahan. This shows a photograph of him taken a couple of years before he married my grandmother Rhea Fern Coughlin in 1929.

Source: Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954
Family Search:
From this card, I learned that:

  • My Grandfather started commuting to Detroit in January 1925
  • My Grandfather was employeed as an "Express clerk" at the American RR Express Huron Depot
  • My Grandfather was 5'9", medium complexion, light brown hair and blue eyes
  • My Grandfather was carrying $50 on June 28, 1927
Some of the links that "Cyndi's List" listed require a subscription ($) and some are free. Definiely worth visiting if you are researching ancestors who lived near the border like my ancestors from Detroit and Windsor!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

52 Ancestors No. 50: Martin Broderick's Fenian Medal

Source: Township of Sandwich (Past and Present); Neal
From a photograph taken about the year 1867
I learned that my 2nd great-grandfather Martin Broderick was the recipient of a Fenian Raid medal for his service in 1866.

In the Detroit Free Press newspaper excerpt below, " For his services in the raid Mr Broderick was given a grant of land and a medal. The latter was, he considered, his most valuable possession, and until three days before his death he was seen on the streets with the trophy pinned to his breast."

Detroit Free PressPage 11 Tuesday, October 11, 1915

1866 Fenian medal for sale on ebay

The location of Martin Broderick's medal is unknown.

I searched the Library and Archives Canada website for Martin Broderick and found him (File 4-261):

The link 15914 took me to a  digitized image of the original Fenian Raid medals registers (available in PDF format).
From this register, I learned that, despite announcing the Fenian Raid medals in 1899 (33 years after the Fenian Raid), Martin did not actually receive his medal from the government until 1914, one year before he died.

Update 22 Feb 2016

I had written to the Library and Archives of Canada to see if there was any additional information in their holdings on Fenian Veterans such as Marti Broderick.

I received a very helpful reply :
Thank you for your recent inquiry concerning Martin Broderick.  In reply, I wish to advise you that there are no surviving application forms for the Canada General Service Medal. 
There are applications for the Volunteer Bounty Claim (RG9 II A 4).  There is an old index on microfilm to those names.  B names are on reel C-15721.  The index provides a “List” number.  Those lists are not on microfilm.
Some of our microfilm reels with the prefixes C, H and T are being digitized on our partner website Héritage:  Digitized reels can be viewed free on that website.  Enter the reel number in the search box, e.g. C-5219.  If the reel is digitized, click on the reel title to see the images.  (Note that some reel titles may be incorrect.)  You can browse through the page images; the content (text) is not searchable.  Also note that an image/page number is not the same as the archival document page number.
Reel C-15721 has been digitized on Héritage:
Image 2895 shows the card for Martin Broderick.  The reference is List 279.  To pre-order that archival record, please cite: 
RG9 II A 4, volume 82, List 279
Online form to pre-order material:

With regard to the land grants for Ontario Fenian Raids veterans held at the Archives of Ontario, Library and Archives Canada does not hold copies of those records.  However, in the Genealogy room we do have a microfiche copy of the index to Ontario land grants, which would give you the Archives of Ontario reference number for any land grant records they hold for Martin Broderick.
Source: Department of Militia and Defence: Fenian raids pension records, 1867-1915 : C-15721
Image 2895

History of the Fenian Raid

There is a great deal of nformation on the Fenian troubles in Sandwich that can be found in the online book "Township of Sandwich (Past and Present)"; Neal (Sandwich, 1909)

Source: Township of Sandwich (Past and Present)"; Neal (Sandwich, 1909)

"Fenians received their name from John O’Mahony, who labelled them after the Fianna Eirionn, the ancient Irish warriors. Chief among the Fenians' goals was Irish independence, but they were divided on how this could be achieved." (Source:
Source: Township of Sandwich (Past and Present)"; Neal (Sandwich, 1909)
Source: Township of Sandwich (Past and Present)"; Neal (Sandwich, 1909)

History of the Fenian Raid Medal
and Land Grants

"In 1895 the Veterans of ’66 Association had organized a national petition for the recognition of all the volunteers who served during the Fenian Raids. In January 1899, in response to the petition, Britain authorized a Canadian General Service Medal for veterans of the 1866 and 1870 Fenian Raids and the 1870 Red River Rebellion. Anybody who was on active service in the field, had served as a guard at any point when an attack from the enemy was expected, or had been detailed for some specific service or duty was eligible for the medal upon applying for it—it was not issued automatically. There were 15,300 of these medals issued to Canadians with their individual names and units engraved on the rim. (Another 1,368 were claimed by British veterans.) In.....1901 the province of Ontario undertook to grant its Fenian Raid veterans 160 acres of provincial land if they applied for it".(Source: Canada Decoration Day)
1870 Fenian medal for sale on ebay

Source: The Canadian Statesman, February, 1899

List of Essex County Fenian Medals Presented 
in 1900

Source: Amherstburg Echo Jan 26, 1900

Ontario Announces Free Land 
to Fenian Veterans

In 1901, "An Act to provide for the appropriation of certain lands for the Volunteers who served in South Africa and the Volunteer Militia who served on the frontier in 1866" (1 Edward VII, C. 6) was passed. 
Under the Act, the following individuals were eligible for a grant of land: those persons, who while resident or domiciled in Ontario, had enrolled or enlisted for active military service in the South African war in the years 1899 and 1900 [standard grants] and, if deceased, their next of kin; residents of Ontario who had served as a chaplain or nurse or Red Cross Commissioner or had acted as a newspaper correspondent; persons who had been members of the Volunteer Militia of Canada in Ontario and had been engaged in active service against the Fenians in 1865, 1866 and 1870 [standard grants] and, if deceased, their next of kin; persons resident in Ontario who had been members of the company known as the Chicago Volunteers and who had come to Ontario in 1866 to assist in the defence of the province; and persons resident in Ontario who had been engaged in Imperial service in defence of the frontier of the province in 1866.
Upon furnishing satisfactory evidence to the Commissioner of Crown Lands that he/she was a member of one of these classes, the applicant was entitled to a certificate of location for 160 acres of land.
Lands in the following townships were set aside by proclamation for the grants: Aubin, Beck, Carnegie, Crawford, Dargavel, Gowan, Holmes, Hoyle, Kidd, Kingsmill, Lennox, Lucas, Murphy, Nesbitt, Prosser and Wark in the Temiskaming District; Lyon in the Thunder Bay District; Borden, Chewett, Cochrane, D'Arcy, Gamey, and McGee in the Sudbury Districts; and Burk, Hartman, Pettypiece and Revell in the Kenora District.(Source: Archives of Ontario)

Source: St. John Daily 1900

Sub series at the Archives of Ontario

Check to see if your Ancestor 
Received a Medal for Service in the Fenian Raids
(Library and Archives Canada)

Search: Military Medals, Honours and Awards, 1812-1969

 SEARCH: Department of Militia and Defence: Fenian raids pension records, 1867-1915 : C-15721 Department of Militia and Defence: Fenian raids pension records, 1867-1915 : C-15721

Check to see if your Ancestor 
Received Land for Service in the Fenian Raids
(Archives of Ontario)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

52 Ancestors No. 49: Last Will and Testament of Martin Broderick (1831-1915)

I found this interesting newspaper reference to my 2nd great-grandfather Martin Broderick in the 1919 Border Cities Star.

It mentions my great grandfather John Moynahan (1866-1933) and my 2nd great-uncle Detective Leo William Broderick (1879-1920).

John and Leo were executors to my 2nd great-grandfather Martin Broderick's will and had applied to the Ontario Supreme Court for the title to a piece of land in Sandwich West under the "Quieting Titles Act".

Actions under the Quieting Title Act are "to finally resolve competing claims over the same parcel of land." and "offers the most definitive resolution of title problems." (Source: Adverse Possession: Pulling Out All the Stops; N.S. Barristers' Society)

Sandwich West, Essex County, Otario 

The map below shows the location of Martin's 100 acres in Sandwich West township (Essex County, Ontario) in 1877. Note also a J. Broderick and a  P. Broderick in the bottom right of the map photo. This particular triangular area is the present day location of a "ghost road" or a "disputed road" as it has historically been known.

Source: Ontario Historical County Maps Project; Essex County Map (1877)

Ghost Road ~ Disputed Road
The so-called "Disputed Road runs north south from a point just south of Normandy Street until it reaches the Middle Side Road boundary with Amherstburg. The road is one side of a triangle of land, with the other side being Huron Church Road."
Sandwich West, Essex County, Ontario
"Today carved up by the Expressway and shopping plazas, the road terminates at Dougall and picks up again behind the roundhouse centre for a short distance. The line in red shows the original path of the road, overlaid on a current aerial view." (Source:
Sandwich West, Essex County, OntarioSource:

I came across an interesting blog post on the International Metropolis website about an old Ghost Road in the vicinity.

In the comment section, Alice wrote, 
"I was told that two brothers were fighting over the land a long time ago hense the name of the street “disputed”. Is that the real story? who knows? maybe the Broderick family would know since they were the owners at the time. As far as I know they are still around."
Could this be related? I am not at all certain. In fact I doubt that this story has anything to do with Martin Broderick (but possibly J. and/or P. Broderick?). I do find it interesting that property in this small section of Sandwich West is the source of so many historical title challenges.

And when we see abandoned places such as this old ghost road, well, you just never know what story it secrets it holds.

Martin Broderick 

Source: Detroit Free Press, Page 11
Tuesday, October 11, 1915
Trivia: The 4th Line in Sandwich West was known as the Broderick Road

Source: Amherstburg Echo 1952

Saturday, February 6, 2016

52 Ancestors No. 48: The Moynahan-Bondy Family of Detroit


James Joseph Moynahan was born on the 6th of February 1879 in Maidstone, Essex, Ontario, Canada, the son of Jeremiah and Mary (Brennan) Moynahan. He was the seventh of nine children and the second of the two boys living at 298 North Talbot Rd., Maidstone, Ontario


Acording to the "Canada Census, 1881," database, FamilySearch (, James Moynahan (2 years of age) was living in the household of John Brennan (his grandfather) in Sandwich East, Essex, Ontario, Canada(citing p. 24; Library and Archives Canada film number C-13281, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 1,375,917.) with his sisters Catherine (6y) and Ann (4y).


April 1903 he married Miriam Ann ("May") Bondy (1880-1933) who was the daughter of Albert E. and Eliabeth (Botsford) Bondy of Belle River, Ontario.

Source: Ontario French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967; retrieved at

In 1909, a great deal is learned from the U.S. Border Crossing manifest. 
  • James is employed as a carriage painter
  • He has three sons
    • Albert (5 years old)
    • Lawrence (4 years old)
    • Norman (1 year old)
  • James and May own their home at 960 Tromblay Ave., Michigan
  • James is 5'11 3/4" tall; of fair complexion; has light brown hair and blue eyes
  • Miriam is 5'4'' tall; of dark complexion; has brown hair nd brown eyes
  • In 1909, Miriam's father Albert was living in Ojibway, Ontario.

Source: U.S. Border Crossings 1895-1956


In the 1910 census, James is listed as a "painter" in an auto factory.

Below is a picture of Jame's and May's first born son Albert Joseph Moynahan. He was born Feb 17, 1904 (Essex, Ontario) and died 2 Apr 1980 (Detroit Michigan). He married Elizabeth Noble.

The other two sons eventually moved to California - Lawrence James Moynahan (1905-1991) and Norman Anthony Moynahan (1907-1969)

Albert James Moynahan (1904-1980)

On the 1930 census, James and May have only one son living at home (9306 Yosemite), 24-year-old Lawrence, who is working as a driver on a milk route.


Death certificate: Miriam Ann (Bondy) Moynahan 1933
Source: Seeking Michigan: Death Records 1921-1947

Source: The Windsor Daily Star - Aug 15, 1940

Death certificate: James Joseph Moynahan 1940
Source: Seeking Michigan: Death Records 1921-1947

Both May and James Moynahan are buried at Holy Sepulchre cemetery in Detroit Michigan but I was unable to find a headstone for them at There were  17,621 interments and only 51% of them are currently photographed.


"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 February 2016), Lawerence J Moynahan in household of James J Moynahan, Detroit Ward 13, Wayne, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 202, sheet 32B, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,699.

"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 February 2016), Lawrence Monahan in household of James Monahan, Detroit Ward 12, Wayne, Michigan, United States; citing sheet 1B, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,811.

"United States Census, 1930", database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 February 2016), Lawrence Moynahan in entry for James Moynahan, 1930.