The Difference Between Genealogy Success and Failure…

…The difference between success and failure comes down to either accepting resource constraints and giving up, or seeing possibilities others didn’t see… “Only the Bulldogs Survive,” Business 2.0 (September, 2006)

Working on the Catholic Irish files of the Hollingsworth Collection in our Genealogy Library Center, reminded me of an article sent to me by a genealogy friend sometime in the early 1970’s–without a title Page so I am unsure of the exact citation. I believe that it reprinted a lecture delivered at the Annual Concert and Ball of St. Patrick’s Society, Montreal Canada, 15 Jan 1872 (from my notes on the copy). Eire-Ireland reprinted it after 1967. The article is entitled Irish Families in Ancient Quebec Records.

Deeply hidden in the French records of Montreal and Paris, is the proof that many French are really Irish and if you dig hard enough into the records, the actual evidence will appear before your eyes.

Since I can’t site the article correctly, let me summarize the important genealogy evidenced for you:

Characteristics of Irish in Foreign (French) Lands–

  1. They intermarry more frequently with each other than they do with the French.
  2. They assist as groomsmen and bridesmaids at weddings of their Irish kin; they act as sponsors at christenings; they witness property documents; they reside in clusters.
  3. They are usually described as a colony apart.

The influx of Irish into French culture begins long before they come to Quebec: Some 400,000 Irish served in the armies of France as mercenaries and as regular recruits from 1645 on. Their military records are in the War Office in Paris. The descendants of these soldiers were granted bounty lands for their service in Lower Canada–where they sought to preserve at least some of their Irish culture.

Through direct emigration to Canada, and settlement in Canada as French subjects, large Irish populations clustered in Canada, intermarried with the French, and became absorbed into the French population.

Irish names were modified, translated, substituted, and corrupted with French spellings and pronounciations. Before long the children lost the knowledge that they were really Irish.

French Army Name Changes:

Jereme deGanne (Jeremiah Duggan)

Guilliaume Cotowne (William Curtain)

Tomas De la Haye (Thomas Leahy)

Dalaise (Daly)

Chale (Shallow)

Haimond (Edmonds)

This article lists pages of examples from the Irish Brigade which served with the French Army, 1755-1760, a number of whom were killed or wounded at the Battle of Carillon (or Ticonderoga–in New York–as we know it).

Canadien French Name Changes–

Thimote Sylvain (Timothy O’Sullivan)

Tec Corneille Aubry (Teague Cornelius O’Brennan)

Jean Houssye dit Bellerose (Jack Hussey, the son of Matthew Hussey and Elizabeth Hogan)

Jean Baptiste Riel, nicknamed Sansouci (John Reilly, nicknamed De’il may care)

Marie Hirouin, l’Eccossais, Soeur Marie de la Conception (Mary Kirwan, of Scotch descent)
Halles (Healeys)

Guerins (Gearans, Warrens)

Moreans (McMorrogh)

Add to your Winter reading list:

John J. Mannion, Irish Settlements in Eastern Canada: A Study of Cultural Transfer and Adaptation, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980. Study based on cultural evidence left behind on the ground–homes and farm buildings, farming patterns, fences, patterns of settlement, crops and animals, and naming patterns for local families and places. A very helpful 24-page bibliography:  European Ethnic Group Settlement in Rural North America, includes the United States as well as Canada.

Maurice N. Hennessey, The Wild Geese: The Irish Soldier in Exile, Old Greenwich CT: The Devin-Adair Company, 1973. Catholic Irish were proscribed and illegal in Ireland. The British did allow the freedom to travel beyond the seas to serve in the armies of Europe per their agreements with European powers.  And the Irish did it for the freedom and the money, mostly for the money.  Penal laws, sporadically enforced, barred Irishmen from all money-making schemes, land and property ownership,  and from government positions of every kind that might enable them to expand their influence.

These two older works are extremely significant references for Irish who settled in Canada and later came into the U.S. as Frenchmen with their families–in Michigan, In Minnesota, in the Northwest, into New York and New Jersey, into Rhode Island.

Hollingsworth Collection Update:

Harry Hollingsworth, was of Catholic Irish descent, from County Wicklow and County Wexford.  We have discovered that his collection includes all the documents he requested from archives and libraries.  He did not send the documents to his clients nor family members.   They are in his files at the Genealogy Library Center.

We are compiling a preliminary surname list which we will post very shortly on this Home Page.  Our initial processing of this large collection is almost done. Hooray!  Our volunteers and I have aired and dried the files, contained the acid and mildew, recopied fading photocopies made years ago, removed all the original photographs from the files and placed them in acidfree plastic photo sleeves–they are identified on the backs of the pictures, removed tape and staples and paper clips–most of which were rusty.

Watch this Home Page for the surname list.  I will also post search fees and copy fees–you can request copies, or (in the case of multiple files) estimates for genealogy pages by email, postal mail, FAX, or telephone.  All photocopies will be sent by postal mail.

Eventually, we will index all the names in each and every file–so you will have access to all the hidden evidence Harry Hollingsworth amassed for us.  I have already spoken to my computer tech about installing a wireless computer at the Center.  And I will keep you posted.  So WATCH.  Your genealogy expert of choice–when you have a question or a lineage you cannot trace–contact me.  I am a legend in my own mind! (And I hope in yours too.)  Arlene Eakle

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