Wednesday, 6 April, 2016
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On Wednesday 6th of April 2016, Helen Fox and Bill Ryan of Kilbarron/Terryglass Reaching Out welcomed His Excellency Mr Kevin Vickers, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, to launch the booklet of their reverse genealogy project Ottawa 2015 – Finnoe, Kilbarron, Terryglass 1815. The project investigates the emigration of people from the local area to Canada in the early to mid 1800s.

Bill Ryan and Helen Fox present His Excellency Mr Kevin Vickers Canadian Ambassador with a copy of their book: (Photo  Mike Horrigan)

Picture: Bill Ryan and Helen Fox present His Excellency Mr Kevin Vickers Canadian Ambassador with a copy of their book: (Photo  Mike Horrigan)

The event was held at Coolbawn Quay, Lakeshore Spa and Marina on the shores of Lough Derg, as it was from that very point that many emigrants would have sailed from and onto Limerick or onto Dublin by horse drawn barges via the canals.

As well as Mr Kevin Vickers, whose visit was facilitated by Ms Rita Guinan of the Local Enterprise Organisation and Tipperary Co Council, there were representatives from the local community, Kilbarron Terryglass Historical Society, Terryglass Kilbarron Local Enterprise Group, Local Enterprise Office Tipperary, Tipperary Co Council, Connect Ireland, and Ireland Reaching Out's founder Mr Mike Feerick also in attendance.

Helen Fox and Bill Ryan, (Kilbarron Terryglass 1815 Canada Project) gave a presentation about the project. Henrietta Glynn, Carol Brophy and George Harding assisted with the presentation on the day. The children from Kilbarron and Terryglass national schools performed a guard of honour and gave a warm welcome to the eighty guests in attendance. Picture on left: The team. George Harding, Henrietta Glynn, Helen fox, His Excellency Mr Kevin Vickers, Bill Ryan, and Carol Brophy. (Photo Leslie Harding)

Terryglass Kilbarron Historical Society gave a presentation about the project and children from the local national school gave a warm welcome to the ninety guests in attendance.

Council members with Kevin Vickers at the launch of Ottawa Kilbarron Terryglass 1815

Pictured above at the event in Coolbawn Quay L-R) Cllr. Michael O' Meara, Cllr. Ger Darcy, Cathaoirleach, Nenagh Municipal District, Ms. Helen Fox, Kilbarron Terryglass 1815 Project, His Excellency Mr. Kevin Michael Vickers, Canadian Ambassador, Mr. Bill Ryan, Kilbarron Terryglass 1815 Project,  Ms. Sinead Carr, Director of Services for Community and Economic Development, Mr. Mike Feerick, Founder & Chairman, Ireland Reaching Out, Ms. Joanna Murphy, Chief Executive, ConnectIreland, Mr. Marcus O' Connor, District Director for Nenagh Municipal Council (Photo: Kate Walsh)

Ireland Reaching Out volunteer Bill Ryan and Helen Fox give an overview of this project which connects Terryglass with its diaspora in Canada.

Mike Feerick Speaking at the launch of the Ottawa 1815 booklet in Coolbawn MarinaWe have been involved as volunteers with the website Ireland Reaching Out for some time; answering queries from people abroad who were seeking out their roots in Irish parishes. While doing the research we had noticed that there had been a lot of emigration in the early 19th century, in particular to Ottawa but also to the greater Ontario area which, particularly from the Irish side of the Atlantic, had remained unrecorded. This project seeks in some way to try to rectify this. Picture: Ireland Reaching Out Founder and Chairperson Mike Feerick spoke at the launch event.

Connecting with our diaspora in Canada

Through this genealogy project we seek to identify and connect with relatives of emigrants from the Finnoe/ Kilbarron/Terryglass area who immigrated to the Ottawa area and further afield in Ontario in Canada in the early nineteenth century.

We hope to reconnect with the descendants of those families abroad with a view to encourage engagement between communities separated by an ocean but whose shared heritage defines them as neighbours.

With our knowledge of the area, the town-lands, the old churches now in ruins and the local place names not to be found on any map, we want to help identify the location each family came from in the parish and encourage those abroad to return and see the part of the world of their ancestors that was once called home. For the people of this parish and ourselves we want to highlight the families who left our parish and the names that were once part of the area that no longer exits, yet their names still are very much part of the parish as they live on in the field names of the farms and countryside.

History of the area

The ancient parishes of Finnoe, Kilbarron and Terryglass are situated in the Barony of Lower Ormond in the upper north eastern tip of County Tipperary. Like all parts of Ireland it has been in the past subject to waves of emigration to foreign shores. In the early 1800s to mid 1800s whole families left the parish for Canada. Some departed in organised groups such as the Richard Talbot settlers in 1818 and the Peter Robinson settlers in 1823 and 1825 while others left individually. This planned and supported emigration was referred to at the time as ‘Bytown or Bust’ as Bytown was the name given to the area now known as Ottawa and people were encouraged to go to Canada at that time with promises of receiving land.

As an example, eleven out of a total of thirty four Protestant families in the Terryglass area emigrated in their entirety to Ottawa over a period of ten years, circa 1820, the Catholic emigration was largely "chain emigration" with families already there sending back monies to finance other family members out. In the Poor Inquiry of 1836, Rev Ambrose Bowles, parish priest of Kilbarron and Terryglass reported that “half of the fourteen families that emigrated were Protestants”. The families that left had enough funds to pay their fares and to be able to set themselves up in this new country. The census for the city of Ottawa in 1881 is startling- it shows that 35% were of Irish origin, French 34%,English18%, Scottish 11% and others 2%. This shows the significance of the Irish connection.

Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Picture: Parliament Hill in Ottawa

The Rideau Canal links Ottawa to Richmond in the south and to Lake Ontario its construction created huge employment opportunities for emigrants, later the construction of the railways right across the country from east to west created much longer term employment in a rapidly developing country.

Some stories from the project

James Manion and his two brothers-in-law, Martin Kelly and James Ryan, all from Santa Cruz, Carrigahorig, certainly worked on it, as they were named on “The McCabe List”. This list was created in answer to a question in the British parliament into organised emigration. Several Tierney brothers from Bellvue, Kilbarron left Ireland with their father Denis Tierney and his second wife Judith Quinn and entire family in 1825. Hanora O Grady widowed in 1824 left Bellvue, Kilbarron in 1826 with her eight sons, some of whom were already married. They are also believed to have worked on the canal. Charles Cambie his wife Jane Disney and three of their children Jean, Alexander J and Henry J, who were originally of French origin, left Castletown House, Kilbarron in 1852 to travel to a land in which their French counterparts were also arriving in huge numbers.

James Hodgins, born 1786, from Oldcourt, Kilbarron, who was an acting constable in Borrisokane, departed c1832, as did several other members of the Hodgins family from the area. He was later created Colonel of the Huron Militia. George Hodgins and his wife Sarah Dagg with their four Terryglass born children William, Mary, Thomas and George departed around 1832 and settled in Shawville Pontiac. William Hodgins (brother of George) and his wife Maria Stoney and their Terryglass born children George, John, Mary Ann, William, Thomas, Edward and James (who was born in Templemore) departed around 1830 and also settled in Shawville. James Hodgins (brother of George and William) and his wife Sarah Dagg and their Terryglass born children George and Jane departed around 1830 and also settled in Shawville. Margaret Bollard 1798-1875 from Terryglass, (daughter of Richard & Elizabeth-see below) married Patrick Muldoon 1790-1857 and emigrated to Nepean prior to 1831.Richard Bollard and his wife Betty White, Knockaladeen, Terryglass, left with daughters Jane, Aby and Elizabeth and son Benjamin, for Ottawa around 1832. They are recorded in the 
Census of Upper Canada 1842 Nepean Township

Luke Hogan, a stonemason from Borrisokane, married Elizabeth Bollard (See Above) of Terryglass in 1828. They departed for Nepean Township in 1832 where he worked his trade for a number of years and finally bought a farm and settled in Eardley. William Kennedy, born 1806, sold his land in Carrownaglough and Knockaladeen and travelled to the Jockvale area of Ottawa, where he married West Indian born Isabelle Watt. Frederick Henry Falkiner of Mount Falkiner, Borrisokane married Diana Jane Bell Kingsley in Terryglass Church on1st May 1829. In 1848, with their six children, they left for Canada and settled in Galt (now Cambridge) Ontario. Charlotte Ledger Mota, Kilbarron, married John Richardson of Borrisokane in 1823. They emigrated with the Peter Robinson settlers around 1825 and settled in Pontiac, Quebec. John Kennedy, his wife Margaret Hough and their seven children left Cloniniha in July 1847 to travel to Quebec, arriving c19th Sept 1847. By October out of the 9 only three children had survived. The youngest child died at sea, both parents and the other three children died at the quarantine station on Grosse Ile. James Hobbs was born in Terryglass in 1814. In the Canadian census of 1852 he is recorded as living in Clarendon Township Ottawa with his wife Mary Jane Elliot (Born 1820). They had 9 children.

Most of the above, who survived the journey to Canada, appear to have prospered in a new country with plenty of land available and work opportunities unheard of in the old country.

You can contribute to this project by posting a message onthe Kilbarron Message board here or by visiting their facebook page.