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)

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