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Looking for any information on James Dunfee, born 1842 in Kilkenny. He married Catherine Conestain (or a variation of this name), born 11 Feb 1840 (based on 1901 & 1911 Canada Census) in Ireland- though death notice says 1834. He was Catholic. He moved to Port Hope, Ontario around 1881 where he was a Labourer. It appears Catherine may have moved to Ontario earlier but this is not clear as one census says 1845 & another 1860. Her father's name was Misshel; mother Mary White. I have no information on either of her parents. His parents were Luke Dunphy/Dunfee & Mary Walsh.

What I have on James:

Bn Co. Kilkenny '42; em '52. H/o Catherine Coanstain. F/o Jas. & Mrs. Jas. Cashen. Also 4/4(obit).

A notice in the 06 Mar 1896 Port Hope Weekly Guide states:

James Dunfee, the subject of this notice, was born in the County of Kilkenny, Ireland, 25 Dec 1842. He came to Canada as a boy at the age of 10, with his parents, and has been in Port Hope for 44 years and in the employment of Mr Beamish for over 40 years. He worked in the plaster mill (where he was milling grain addition MM) until 12 o’clock Tuesday night and went to bed after partaking of a cup of coffee, and before 1 o’clock next morning he fell into that sleep which knows no waking. He was of a most retiring disposition, and everyone had a good word to say about Mr. Dunfee.. All of the farmers in this part of the country knew and respected him. In addition to his aged widow, he leaves one son, Mr James Dunfee, grocer, and one daughter, Mrs James Cashen, of Coburg, who is now with her mother. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon, to St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Any leads on his birth or parents would be much appreciated, as would any info on Catherine.


Friday 10th July 2020, 01:58PM

Message Board Replies

  • Marcia:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    I searched the subscription site Roots Ireland and found two James Dunphy baptismal records with parents Luke Dunphy and Mary Walsh. Very likely the 1842 James dies young and the next son was given the same name. There were three sisters also.  Judith 1838 Catherine 1840 Bridget 1846 I did not locate a marriage record.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Roger McDonnell

    Name:James DunphyDate of Birth:
    Date of Baptism:05-Feb-1842Address:ListerinParish/District:ROSBERCONGender:MaleCountyCo. Kilkenny
    Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Father:Luke DunphyMother:Mary WalshOccupation:
    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Patrick BarronSponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Catherine Byrn

    Name:James DunphyDate of Birth:
    Date of Baptism:07-Feb-1844Address:ListerlinParish/District:ROSBERCONGender:MaleCountyCo. Kilkenny
    Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Father:Luke DunphyMother:Mary WalshOccupation:
    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Michael BarronSponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Judith Walsh

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 10th July 2020, 02:56PM
  • Your lucky you got a reply. No one answers sligo


    Saturday 11th July 2020, 04:48PM
  • Sorry no one answers county Sligo.


    Saturday 11th July 2020, 04:49PM

    Hi Roger: thanks for your assistance. Are you thinking my James was born later because of the baptismal date? I have many family members who were baptisized together on a later date. I know that my James had an older brother John, I do not know of any sisters though I do know that there are many Dunfee/Dunphys who settled in Ontario but haven't established a link with them. I see that I made an error above, James came to Canada when he was 10 years old. He married Catherine here, in Canada.

    Cheers, Marcia


    Saturday 11th July 2020, 06:04PM
  • PS James was supposedly born 25 Dec 1842 so the first baptism could not be his. Is it not possible that there are 2 Luke Dunphy's? Thanks again. Marcia


    Saturday 11th July 2020, 06:16PM
  • I'm wondering if this might be a connection??  My 3rd great grandfather, Michael McDonnell married Mary White.  They had two children:

    Catherine McDonnell, born 1813 in Urlingford Parish, County Kilkenny

    Martin McDonnell (my 2nd great grandfather) born 1815.

    Martin emigrated to Ontario, Canada about 1845 and married Hanora Carroll (born 27 May 1821, Kilkenny).  On the 1861 Canada census, Martin is listed as a journalist.  The following children, all born Lower Canada, are listed:

    Brigid, 1845

    Michael, 1848 (my 2nd great grandfather)

    James, 1849

    Catherine, 1853

    Martin, 1855

    Margaret, 1857

    Thomas S, 1859

    I'd be most grateful for any information you might be able to provide.


    Ann Coffey

    Saturday 11th July 2020, 07:13PM
  • Hi Ann: I am sorry but I don't have any connection in my database. Where in Ontario did they emigrate to? I looked at the Port Hope BDM data I have and cannot find any of them.

     Why did you think that there may be a connection? If I knew it may give me an idea of where to look. Marcia


    Sunday 12th July 2020, 01:29PM
  • Marcia:

    Frequently, you see immigrants who say that their birthday was Christmas or St. Patrick's Day when very likely their birthday was a different day.

    Based on the two baptismal records, I am thinking that the James for this family was born in 1844. Maybe this is a different family but Luke is not a common given name so I think it is unlikely that there was a second couple Luke Dunphy and Mary Walsh in Kilkenny during this time period.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 12th July 2020, 02:15PM
  • My 2x ggm was Bridget Dunphy (abt 1831-1875) who came to Rome NY in 1852 with husband John Grogan(1815-1897) from Kilkenny. My research shows her father was Patrick Dunphy (1799) and mother Anne Sinnott. She had 6 siblings...Catherine, John, Mary, Margaret, William and Anastasia all born before1838. I found Caherlesk and Loughtbrak as places they might have lived. I don't know how helpful this info would be to you but I would like to see if there is a connection so I could learn more, Sadly, Bridget died in a kitchen fire in 1875 and I cannot find an obituary that would tell more about her roots.

    Sunday 12th July 2020, 03:35PM



     Thanks Roger, wish I could find any of the other children. I will keep digging.

    Not sure who wrote about their 2xggm but I know for sure that Luke & Mary Walsh are James' parents based on his marriage certificate to Catherine. Now her parents were Jno (which I took for Jonathon) Consedene & Mary White while her Death Certificate has Miashel Consestain & Mary White.

    the only children of Luke that I can verify in Canada are James & John. John & wife Ellen had 6 children Margaret, Catherine, Luke, John, Ellen & Frederick. James & Catherine had three children, James, Mary Ellen & Annie. none of the children continued the naming patterns of old. Not sure I can help, I wonder if Dunfee is as popular as Smith?


    Monday 13th July 2020, 06:48PM
  • Sorry if my name did not appear. I was the one who posted about Bridget Dunphy. If anyone has information about her line,  f would appreciate it. There could be connection further back.

    Thanks,   Cheryl

    Tuesday 14th July 2020, 11:30AM