Friday, December 14, 2018

William and Martha Foreman's Family

Source: Private Collection of Paul (Greg) Keffer
William H. Foreman (far left) next to daughter Beatrice
and wife Martha (Moore) Foreman in the middle with dark hair.
At the end of October, I accidentally discovered my husband’s 2nd great uncle (Oscar Harold Foreman 1893-1921) was a lieutenant and veterinary surgeon in the First World War.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Dec. 5: Happy Birthday Margot Wheeler Wherever You Are

I honour my ancestors with my daily practice of reviewing their birth, deaths and marriages using my "On This Day" (OTD) calendar.

According to my Family Tree Maker (FTM) calendar, my second cousin (1R) Margot Wheeler should be celebrating her 82nd birthday today but the only concrete information that I have about Margot was the photograph pictured below of Margot with her sister Patti and her uncle Bernard Broderick taken in 1943.

1943 photograph of Marg and Patti Wheeler with their Uncle Bernard of Ontario (Source: Bernard Broderick photograph archive)

Friday, October 12, 2018

John Moreland's Sister Jemima Hind: Was She Sent To Canada?

Between 1870 and 1933, over 100,000 juvenile migrants from the British Isles went to Canada, with around 7,000 children coming from The Orphan Homes of Scotland. (It is estimated that there are around 250,000 descendants of these emigrants living in Canada today.)

I have never felt a direct connection to the British Home Children except that I supported the movement to lobby the government of Canada to have them Declare a National British Home Child Day
On February 7, House of Commons motion M-133, sponsored by Conservative MP Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry), passed unanimously 294–0 in Parliament. The motion declares September 28 national British Home Child Day.
I have never felt a DIRECT connection until this morning when I got curious about my great grandfather's sister Jemima Gray Hind.

Undated/Unsourced photo of British Home Children found online at

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

On This Day: October 10: John Miller Moreland Died

I developed a daily practice that I call "On This Day" (or OTD for short) as a means to:
  • honour the life events of my ancestors
  • revisit my previous research, 
  • check for new information online (i.e. on ancestry and Family Search)
  • update any of my previous blog posts if new information was found
  • share these #OTD memes on social media like my Facebook page (to share with family) and on twitter (to share with other genealogists)
  • In some cases, I create new blog posts. (See:
Today, October 10, my great grandfather John Miller Moreland died in 1940 in Kingston, Ontario.

My Great Grandfather John Miller Moreland 

My great grandfather John Miller Moreland (1882-1940)
with his daughter (my grandmother)
Dorothy (1909-2000)

Monday, September 3, 2018

September 4, 1944 - Evelyn Pucino & Her Coughlin Cousins

On September 4, 1944, Evelyn (Pucino) Shea (1925-2016) visited her Coughlin cousins in Ontario and Michigan and created a photo journal of her travels.

I am so grateful that I have been entrusted with these precious photos so that I can share them with the many Coughlin descendants still living in Michigan and Ontario.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Moynahan/Minahan Family of St. Thomas, Ontario

Have you ever heard of the "Genealogist Rabbit Hole". It's a phrase used to describe what happens when a genealogist get curious and one thing leads to another until you realize that hours have passed, you haven't eaten, the laundry did NOT get done but you made incredible progress filling in more blanks on your family tree! This is how my morning started today.

I saw a name in my "Ancestor Calendar" and I become curious about "Margaret C. Moynahan" who died on September 2. I then looked at her details on my tree.

The only thing that I knew about Margaret C. Moynahan is that she died on September 2nd, 1917 at two years of age in St. Thomas, Ontario and her parents were John M.(1889-1954) and Annie (Fielding) Minahan (1891-1981).

I looked more closely at her death certificate.

Source: Archives of Ontario; Toronto, Ontario, Canada;
Series: MS935; Reel: 230
Margaret died of  "Enterocolitis" and "Exhaustion Anemia" at such a young age. Her grieving parents (John Matthew and Annie) were descendants of the our Tilbury Moynahans (Ontario) in our family tree.

Margaret's father, John Matthew Moynahan/Minahan (1889-1954), was the nephew of my great-great grandfather Jeremiah Moynahan (1837-1922)

Source: Moynahan AncestryFamily Tree
Margaret's father, John Matthew Moynahan/Minahan (1889-1954), was the first cousin to my great grandfather John Moynahan.

So Where Did This Rabbit Hole Take Me?

Because I knew Margaret's death date, I found her headstone at Elmdale Memorial Park Cemetery in St Thomas, Ontario and from her headstone, I was able to fill in more details about the entire Minahan family including a son that I had not located previously.

Kathleen Minahan Headstone; Elmdale Memorial Park Cemetery; St Thomas, Ont.
Photograph taken by CanGenWeb volunteer Kate Ford
and gratefully used with permission
CanadaGenWeb Cemetery Project: Minahan search

 The Last of the St. Thomas Minahans/Moynahans

I am driven to tell the stories of my ancestors and this story is important to me because this particular branch of our family tree ends in St. Thomas, Ontario.

There are no descendants left to tell their stories because two of the children died young and the surviving child died in 1986 unmarried.

 The St Thomas Minahans/Moynahans

The Tilbury branch of our family tree often appear in historical records with variant "Moynahan" surnames spellings. I am not entirely sure why that is. It could be an education issue or a record-keeper issue. This has happened many times in my research.

For the purpose of this post, I will tell this part of their story using the "Moynahan" spelling.

John Matthew Moynahan (1889-1954) was born in Tilbury, Ontario the 9th child and LAST born son of  Matthew Moynahan (1835-1910) and Catherine Carr (1845-1927) on the 26th of September 1889.

Family Group Sheet for Matthew Moynahan and Catherine Carr, Tilbury, Ontario
 John Matthew (1889-1954) married Annie Alice Fielding in Tilbury, Ontario on December 6, 1910 (by license). John's father Matthew Moynahan (1835-1910) passed away the following spring.

On the 1911 census, John Matthew Minahan is living with his new bride next to the Fielding family on Yonge St., in Tilbury, Ontario.

When we find the family living in St. Thomas, Ontario (census 1921, Voters List 1935, Voters List 1940) John Matthew is working as a fireman and lineman on the railroad (M.C.R.R.) in St. Thomas, Ontario.

When John Matthew died on the 15th of March 1954 he was the last living of all of his siblings and his obituary appeared in the St. Thomas Times-Journal on Page 7 (C5) on the 16th of March with his photograph.

St. Thomas Times-Journal on Page 7 (C5) on the 16th of March; Source: with thanks to the Elgin Branch: Ontario Genealogical Society

Matthew and Annie had three (four?) children
  • Kathleeen (the subject of this post): died on the 2nd of September 1917
  • Arthur: died on the 7th of December 1923
  • Sarah Catherine: was born in 1911 and died in 1986. 
  • Betty mentioned in obituaries (no records located)
Arthur Minahan Headstone; Elmdale Memorial Park Cemetery; St Thomas, Ont.
Photograph taken by CanGenWeb volunteer Kate Ford
and gratefully used with permission

Anna (Fielding) Moynahan died in 1981. She was the daughter of Edward Fielding (1854-1896) and Sarah Catherine Lickman (b 1863). She died in 1981 and I am trying to locate her obituary and will share here if found.

Source: St Thomas JOurnal; with thanks to the Elgin Branch: Ontario Genealogical Society

Minahan Family Headstone; Elmdale Memorial Park Cemetery; St Thomas, Ont.
Photograph taken by CanGenWeb volunteer Kate Ford
and gratefully used with permission

I feel privileged and grateful to have fallen down this rabbit hole today because it enabled me to tell the story of our kin who once lived in St. Thomas, Ontario and were laid to rest in the Elmdale Memorial Park Cemetery.

I also feel thankful for volunteers like Kate Ford at CanGenWeb's Cemetery Project who donate their time to provide photographs that unlock many doors for family historians like me.

Obituary Margaret C. Minahan who died on September 2nd, 1917 at two years of age in St. Thomas, Ontario; Source: with thanks to the Elgin Branch: Ontario Genealogical Society

 St. Thomas Links
    Source: Elgin County Archives; Catherine Minihan pictured lower left
Source: Elgin County Archives; Catherine Minihan pictured lower left

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Gratitude for My Connecticut Cousins

These precious Coughlin photographs arrived in the mail from my Connecticut cousins
2018 will be forever known as the year that I broke through my Coughlin ancestry brick wall and I continue to learn more and more about this branch of our family tree.

I am truly grateful for the generosity of my Connecticut cousins who have shared so much information and precious photographs with me so that I can share them with the rest of our Coughlin kin in Ontario and Michigan.

Monday, July 23, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 30: Colourful

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was created by Amy Johnson Crow and is a series of weekly prompts to inspire genealogists and family historians to think and write about an ancestor and then share it online.

I have been participating in Amy's 52 Ancestors challenge since 2014 and I must confess that I have completely lapsed on posting to this challenge in 2018.

This is due to many factors (an exciting breakthrough in my Coughlin research as well as my focus on DNA, family history writing and planning a genealogy trip to Ireland, etc). I have always told my children, "I can do ANYTHING, I just cant do EVERYTHING")

I found the Week 30 topic quite enticing though. Maybe it's the artist in me that was drawn to to the word "colourful" (Canadian/English spelling) or perhaps it was Amy's description (below). Either way, I took the bait!

Monday, June 18, 2018

The First Sandwich South Council - Jan 1893

One of the very first things that I learned as a young girl about my great grandfather John MOYNAHAN (1866-1933) was that he was the township clerk of the First Sandwich South Council in 1893 and that there was a street in Windsor, Ontario named after him.

Source: The John MOYNAHAN Archives
Over the years, I have researched those early years in Essex, Ontario and my great grandfather's career and I am in the process of writing a short family history of John MOYNAHAN'S life for his descendants.

It occurred to me though, that as many times as I had stared at this familiar photo of my great grandfather and all of the other men who served with him on the First Sandwich South Council, that I knew nothing about those other men at all. My curiosity got the best of me and I researched every one of them (and constructed their public family trees on ) and I am delighted to share my findings with you here.

First Sandwich South Council - January 1893

In 1861 (five years before my great grandfather was born) the Township of Sandwich was divided into SANDWICH EAST and SANDWICH WEST. 

In 1893, SANDWICH EAST was further subdivided and SANDWICH SOUTH was created and a first council was elected. When my great grandfather MOYNAHAN became the first clerk, he was 27 years old and also teaching in one-room schoolhouses in Essex county as well as studying to qualify for his Civil Service Exam. My great grandfather MOYNAHAN taught school in MAIDSTONE at 18 years of age from 1884 until 1896 when he was 30 years old.

The very first meeting on January 16, 1893 went like this...

Source: The Windsor Evening Record; January 18, 1893, Page 2 of 4

The Seven Men of the First Sandwich South Council 
The seven men are written about individually in some detail below but I thought I would start by briefly providing some highlights of what I have learned of them here:

The first Reeve was Abraham COLE. He was of limited education, schooled on the old Cole homestead "and taught lessons of industry, economy and thrift". He took care of his parents in their declining years and retired to private life in 1907.

The first Clerk was John MOYNAHAN. He was my great grandfather and the first of his family to abandon farming and pursue a life of teaching and civil service. I marvel at how many jobs he held concurrently while also starting his family with his wife Mary BRODERICK.

The first Treasurer was James McAULIFFE. When he died at 62 years of age in 1929, he was the only Treasurer that Sandwich South ever had, filling that post for 35 years. Prior to establishing himself on Talbot road, in 1889 McAULIFFE was elected Councillor of Sandwich East but disclaimed the seat on account of his youth.

The first Councillors were:
  • Edward MOONEY While on his way to the Maidstone fair, a train struck Councillor Mooney's two seated Democrat carriage killing his two young sons and hired hand Denis BURKE. Young Addie JONES of Comber, Ontario narrowly escaped death along with Councillor Mooney.    
  • Charles McGUIGAN His parents Peter and Margaret McGuigan came from County Down Ireland, his father Peter served as a sergeant in the British Army. The family originally settled in Niagara then shortly after moved to Sandwich, Ontario.
  • John GREAVES  He received his education in England and New York and went on to become one of the largest landowners in Essex County. His wife Ellen (COLLINS) Greaves was an invalid for many years and it was always believed that she would predecease her husband. In 1908, when he died suddenly on the 7th of March, her death followed on the 17th of April 1908.
  • Edward J. O'NEIL He had a long and dedicated record of service to the county (Councillor, Reeve, county roads supervisor, Warden and member of county council) and died due to a nervous breakdown and kidney trouble.
The first council meetings for the township of Sandwich South were held in, of all places, the bar of a hotel that owned and resided in by Mr. Michael McCARTHY of Oldcastle, and was located directly across from the site of the old township hall on Talbot Road (Highway #3).

Newspaper clipping; John Moynahan archives


In 1896 a new township hall was built on land donated by Mr and Mrs Robert SYLVESTER and Mr. John WROTLEY was awarded the contract to build it for $640.00 

The 1896 township hall was used until 1927 when it was replaced by the brick structure pictured below which was built by MORAND and RUSSETTE for $3,038.28, in the spring of 1927 opening officially on August 5th, 1927.

Michael McCARTHY of Lot 302 agreed to construct a ditch in the 1896 document below. The document bears the signatures of the witnesses that includes my great grandfather John Moynahan and Reeve Abraham Cole.

Source: County of Essex Laserfiche document

Source: County of Essex; Laserfiche

1893-1993 Centennial

Re-enactment of First Sandwich South Council Meeting Source:
Tecumseh Tribune; January 22, 1993

On the occasion of the Sandwich South centennial in 1993,  David WEEDMARK wrote about a time capsule that was buried at the Sandwich South Public Works Department (Hwy 3; the site of the old town hall that was torn down in 1980) and a re-enactment of the first Sandwich South Council meeting of 1893 where descendants of these early men took part (such as Abraham COLE'S descendant Mike TURTON)

Sandwich South Centennial Time Capsule (1893-1993)
Source: "Sandwich South 100 Years" by David Weedmark
There is great comfort in the knowledge that the original chairs that were used by my great grandfather and the other men of the First Sandwich South Council (and pictured in the photograph on the men on Michael McCarthy's porch in 1893) still exist and have been preserved thanks to Sandwich South past Mayor Allan PARR.

The 1893 Chairs
Source: The Tecumseh Tribune; July 31, 1998; Page 6 of 12.
The Men of the
First Sandwich South Council

First Reeve
Abraham Cole 1845-1928

Abraham Cole 1845-1928

The first reeve of Sandwich South was Abraham COLE:
  • He was born the 11th of April 1845 in the Cole Homestead at Lot 12 Concession 7, Sandwich South. He was the 8th of 9 children.
  • He lived on Lot 12 Concession 7, Sandwich South
  • His parents are Charles and Ellen (DRISCOLL) Cole of Ireland
  • His siblings are
    • Thomas, 
    • Richard, 
    • Charles, 
    • Frank, 
    • Frances, 
    • John, 
    • James and 
    • William
  • He married Maggie McGUIGAN (b 1849) on 11th of February 1879.
  • His four children are
    • Charles, 
    • Mary, 
    • Fannie and 
    • Gertrude
  • He died at 83 years-of-age on the 21st of January 1928 at the home of his son-in-law Thomas HARRINGTON in Fordson, Michigan
  • He is buried at St. Mary's cemetery, Maidstone, Ontario

Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of The County of Essex, Ontario by J.H. Beers & Co
Source: Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan) 23 Jan 1928, Mon • Page 11

Source: The Amherstburg Echo Newspaper; 28 Jan 1928

First Clerk
John Moynahan 1866-1933

John Moynahan 1866-1933

After John's death in 1933, County Clerk Percy Coyle, a good friend of Johns for over 35 years said, "John was a stickler of the truth. He was strictly honest in his business dealings and I often thought, as I heard him debate, that it would be too bad if John caught anyone in a lie"

Another of John's fine characteristics Mr Coyle related was his stern application of live and let live. "He would never speak an unkind word about any person," Coyle said, "If he didn't fancy any particular person, you would never hear him say anything detrimental to that person. He was well liked by all his associates"
  • He was born the 10th of May 1866 on the family farm at 298 South Talbot Road, Maidstone, Ontario
  • He lived on 298 South Talbot Road in Maidstone, Ontario (Township of Sandwich East in 1867) 
  • His parents are Jeremiah Moynahan (born 6 South Middle Rd., Maidstone) and Mary Brennan from Kerry, Ireland
  • His siblings are
    • Nellie
    • May, 
    • Mary, 
    • Kate, 
    • Ann, 
    • James, 
    • Clara and 
    • Maud
  • He married Mary BRODERICK on the 10th of May 1898
  • His children are
    • Eileen, (1899-1994)
    • Ernest, (1900-1974)
    • Mabel, (1902-1945)
    • Raymond, (1904-1980)
    • Gerald (1908-1961)
    • Bernard (1909-1974)
  • He died at 67 years of age on the 26th of June 1933 at his home 251 Campbell Ave., Windsor
  • He is buried at Heavenly Rest cemetery, Windsor, Ontario

Source: The Border Cities Star; June 27, 1933

Source: Essex Free Presss; 30 June 1933
1974: Windsor Street named after John Moynahan 
First Clerk of Sandwich South
Source: Essex Free Press; July 5, 1974

First Treasurer
James Walter McAuliffe 1863 - 1929

  • He was born on the 2nd of January 1863 in Sandwich East, Ontario on Tecumseh Rd. near Little River
  • He lived on Talbot Rd. moving there in 1889 (40 years before his death in 1929)
  • His parents are Patrick McAULIFFE and Ellen HOUGH
  • His siblings are
    • Margaret, 
    • John, 
    • Leonard, 
    • Thomas and 
    • Frank
  • He married Ada HALFORD on the 4th of July 1898
  • His five children are
    • Patrick, (b 1903)
    • Paul, (b 1905)
    • James, (b1907)
    • Gertrude (b 1912)
    • Thelma (b 1913)
  • He died on the 31st of July 1929 at 62 years of age at Hotel Dieu hospital after a brief illness
  • He is buried at St. Mary's cemetery in Maidstone, Ontario

Source: The Border Cities Star, August 1, 1929

Edward J. O'Neil 1855-1919

  • He was born on the 11th of August 1855 in Sandwich South on a 200-acre farm on the fifth concession
  • He lived on this 200-acre farm on the fifth concession from the day he was born until the day he died
  • His parents are James O'NEIL and Elizabeth SHUELL
  • His siblings are unknown
  • He married Alice Ann Holden on the 26th of February 1884
  • His seven children are
    • Justice, (b 1886)
    • Nettie, (b 1888)
    • Roy Valentine, (b 1890)
    • Valetta, (b 1892)
    • Rhoda, (b 1893)
    • Wilfred, (b 1895)
    • Della
  • He died on the 10th of October 1919, Sandwich South after being ill for some time and his death was due to a nervous breakdown and kidney troubles.
  • He is buried at Saint Stephen's Anglican Church Cemetery, Windsor, Ontario
Edward J O'Neil
Source: Township of Sandwich Past and Present (Page 95)

John Greaves 1843-1908

  • He was born on the 29th of June 1843 in Lancashire, England
  • He lived at 291 South Talbot Road, Essex, Ontario
  • His parents are John and Jane Greaves
  • His siblings re
    • Jane E.
    • Betsey E.
    • Mary
    • Jos
    • Sarah
    • James
  • He married Ellen Louis Collins (1851-1908)
  • His children are
    • Charles W (b 1868)
    • John T (b 1868)
    • George S. (b 1872)
    • Albert (1875-1899)
    • Ada (b 1881)
    • Lily. (b 1889)
  • He died the 7th of March 1908 in Essex, Ontario
  • He is buried at North Ridge Cemetery, Essex County, Ontario, Canada
Below is a family portrait of the Greaves family about 1905. Julia Chupik originally shared this to Shuttleworth/Greaves/Heath/Hurst/O'Conner/Green Family Tree on 06 May 2015

Back row standing (L to R) Charles William Greaves, Catherine Dorothea (Smith) Greaves, Albert Arthur Greaves, Ada (Greaves) Burton, William Burton, Martha Ann (Farough) Greaves, George Sidney Greaves, Mary Eliza (Farough) Greaves Front Row Seated (L to R) Harriet (Hattie) (Smith) Greaves, Lily Hannah Louise Greaves, John Greaves Jr., Ellen Louise (Collins) Greaves, John Thomas Greaves

John Greaves & Louisa Collins; Photo belongs to Julia Chupik
Obituary John Greaves; Amherstburg Echo with thanks to the Marsh Historical Collection for clear copies

Obituary Louisa (Collins) Greaves; Amherstburg Echo with thanks to the Marsh Historical Collection for clear copies

Charles McGuigan 1843-1923

  • He was born September 8, 1842 in Amherstburg, Ontario
  • He lived in Sandwich South
  • His parents are Peter McGuigan and Margaret RAVEY
  • His siblings are
    • Margaret
    • Peter
    • James 
    • Alexander
  • He married Ellen SEXTON
  • His children are
    • Peter (b 1875)
    • Catherine (b 1877)
    • James (b 1879)
    • William (b 1880)
    • Charles (b 1882)
    • Thomas (b 1884)
    • Leo (b 1886)
    • Theresa (b 1888)
    • Ann (b 1890)
    • Mabel (b 1892)
    • Samuel (b 1894)
  • He died on the 12 September 1923 in Detroit, Michigan
  • He is buried in Windsor, Ontario

Edward Mooney 1846-1907

  • He was born in 1845 in Sandwich, Essex, Ontario
  • He lived in Maidstone, Ontario
  • His parents are Michael Mooney and Catherine SWEENEY
  • His siblings are
    • John 
    • Richard 
    • Elizabeth
    • Rose 
    • Catherine 
    • Mary 
    • Ellen 
    • Michael 
    • Phillip
  • He married Margaret Dixon (1854-1933)
  • His children are
    • William (b 1877)
    • Thomas  (b 1880)
    • Bernard (b 1885)
    • Marguerite (b 1887)
    • Loretta 
    • Frank
  • He died February 19, 1907 in Windsor, Ontario
  • He is buried in St. Mary's cemetery, Maidstone, Ontario

A Horrible Railway Accident 
Essex, Ontario 1895

While on their way to the fair, a train struck the two seated Democrat carriage carrying Councillor Edward Mooney, his two young sons, hired hand Denis Burke and a young girl Addie Jones of Comber, Ontario.

The Windsor Evening Record: 2 October 1895

October 4, 1895, page 5. Horrible Railway Accident – the most horrible in it results of the numerous railway accidents that have happened at the M.C.R. crossing in this town occurred on Wednesday afternoon last at about 2:30 o’clock.  

Councillor Edward Mooney, of Sandwich South, accompanied by his sons, William and Thomas, aged 10 and 17 respectively, his hired man Denis Burke, aged 26; and Miss Addie Jones, aged 17; were on their way to the fair, driving in a two seated democrat drawn by one horse.

The rig was struck about the front wheels and the young men were hurled into the air in various directions. Mr. Mooney and Miss Jones threw themselves from the rig in time to escape death, but Miss Jones fell almost under the wheels.

The bodies of the unfortunate Mooney boys were found a few feet to the north of the railway, while that of Burke was carried on the cow catcher several hundred yards before the train stopped and brought it back.

When the young men saw the danger they tried to urge on the horse but the frightened animal almost stood still and the time was too short for escape. The scene of the accident presented a terrible spectacle to the horrified bystanders ....the rig was smashed to atoms and the horse badly cit but will recover.

The bereavement to the families of the victims is a terrible one. The two brothers were the eldest sons of Mr. Mooney. The family consisted of four sons and one daughter, all of whom have been at home.

Denis Burke was a son of Denis Burke, Sr. who lives a few miles from Mr. Mooney’s. He had one sister and one brother. All were unmarried.

Miss Jones was a daughter of Dow Jones, near Cottam, and was conveyed to her home on Wednesday evening.

The funeral of the victims was held at Maidstone church on Friday morning at 10 o’clock, and was probably the largest ever held at that place. There were 140 rigs in the drive from Mr. Mooney’s home to the church where 100 more were met from the home of Mr. Burke. The bodies of the brothers were interred side by side, with the impressive ceremony of the church, while that of Burke was interred in the family plot but a short distance away.