|Sept. 2017 Statistics Canada Speakers Series entitled,|
"A glimpse into the past:
Using historical censuses to research Canadian families".
|My 2nd great-grandparents Jeremiah and Mary (Brennan) Moynahan|
Inspired by the speakers, I decided to revisit the historic censuses of some of my Essex County, Ontario ancestors and I started with the family of Jeremiah and Mary (Brennan) Moynahan who were my great great grandparents.
One of the most exciting discoveries that I made following my census review was learning that my 2nd great-grandmother had managed to learn how to read!
This would have been something for Mary! She fled the famine in Kerry Ireland when she was twelve years old with her parents. They emigrated to Canada in 1853 and the ability to attend school was not available to her.
|My 2nd great-grandmother Mary (Brennan) Moynahan and her daughter Nellie|
Mary (Brennan) and Jeremiah Moynahan's daughter (Nellie) and son (John) were well-known teachers in Essex county for many years (Nellie taught for thirty-five years and John taught for twelve years before pursuing a municipal career)
It's conceivable that Mary learned reading and writing from her children Nellie and/or John in the evenings or in the summer when school was closed and this is something about our 2nd great-grandmother Mary (Brennan) Moynahan that we would have never known if it weren't for the census records!
As I said in the comment section below, "Pioneer life being what it was (with so much work to do from dawn until dusk) I picture Mary with her handmade slate chalkboard practicing the alphabet by candlelight. That image in my mind makes me smile."
Teacher: John Moynahan (1866-1933)
|Essex Free Press: 25 April, 1975|
|Source: St Mary's Church, Maidstone Ontario Centennial Book 1874-1974|