St. Columban-Irish Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
 on: August 27, 2017, 11:17:44 AM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by Fergus Keyes
Once again the Irish descendants of the settlers of Saint Colomban have to take a moment to thank Mayor, Jean Dumais Maire his staff; Claude Bourguignon and everyone else that was involved in organizing the 3rd Irish Heritage Day in Saint Colomban.

Lots of stuff for kids to do; great photo exhibition; Irish dancers and music etc.

On hand were Scott Phelan, current President of the SPS and his brother Chris Phelan (both St. Colomban descendants; Victor Boyle, President of the Canadian AOH and others….

Also had a chance to meet many members of the Hall family who were holding a family reunion in honour of native son of St. Colomban – Emmett Hall. (These Hall family members, and many others, mentioned how welcome they felt by the great effort by the Mayor and residents of St. Colomban).

And for me, there was an added bonus – as usual Claude displayed a number of photos of old St. Columban families and included, was one of my own father, Victor Keyes, that I had not seen before. Really cool in his fur coat, and just likely hanging out in St. Columban in the mid 1930’s.
A very nice day overall….

 on: August 25, 2016, 02:38:25 PM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by Fergus Keyes
Here is a document that Claude Bourguignon sent me.
It dates from 1835 and includes all (or at least most) of the Catholic households in St. Columban at the time. It also includes a total of 8 pages.

It is the list of individuals who have pledged, before the notary, funds to build a residence for the priest.
The amounts are likely in British pounds etc.

 on: July 05, 2016, 04:55:15 PM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by kecarm

I have information for you about Michael’s sister Anne Elliott who did come to the U.S. She married Michael Dwyer, also of St. Columban, in 1856. They married while still in Canada. Anne was my great, great grandmother. She and Michael Dwyer had 11 children: John Elliott (1857), Mary Agnes (1858; my great grandmother), Thomas (1860), Delia “Bridget” (1862), Margaret Jane (1865), Joseph James (1866), Catherine “Kate” Ellen (1868), Anna “Annie” Matilda (1872) , Michael Francis “Frank” (1874), Malvina Alice (1876), and William Edward “Ed” (1878). Joseph James, born in 1866, was the first child born in the U.S. (Chicago), so they must have come to this country between 1856 and 1866.

My great grandmother married John Dwyer Wallace in Chicago in 1877. John died at age 38, leaving Mary Agnes with seven children to raise: Henry Arnold, Gertrude Anne (my grandmother), John Dwyer Jr., Evelyn Mary, Elsie Mae, Elliot Michael, and James Woolverton.

Anne and Michael Dwyer both died in Hobart, IN which is where is where Malvina lived. Michael died in 22 Nov 1909 and Anne Elliott Dwyer died 7 Mar 1916. (I have attached pictures of Michael and Anne circa 1890).

I remember visiting “Aunt Malvina” in Hobart when I was a very little girl. She and her husband Frank Belkow lived on a farm and they had a water pump in the yard, which fascinated a city kid like me.

This St. Columban site is so fascinating! I knew my Irish relatives came to the U.S. from Canada, but I had no idea there was an entire Irish community there pre-potato famine.

Kate Carmichael

 on: April 15, 2016, 10:44:12 AM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by Fergus Keyes
My name is Madeleine Wallace Milan ( and I was just recently helping my son research his family background for a school project.  In doing so, we traced my great grandmother to St. Columban.  Her name was Mary Agnes Dwyer.  She at some point moved to Illinois and married my great grandfather, John Wallace.  They then moved to Chicago sometime before 1880.  We were so excited to find your website, particularly because I believe the picture of one of the "discarded" tombstones in the Irish cemetery - Mary Dwyer - is Mary Agnes' aunt or great aunt.  Anyway, I thought you would like some information about where some of the Irish settlers descendants ended up. 

Madeleine Wallace Milan
120 S. Lombard
Oak Park, IL

Here is some of the information I have about Mary Agnes:
Born July 8, 1858 in ST Columban Quebec
Daughter of Michael Cullerton Dwyer and Anne Elizabeth Elliott
Sister of John Elliott Dwyer, Thomas Dwyer, Bridget Dwyer, Margeret Jane Dwyer, Joseph James Dwyer,Catherine Ellen (Kate) Dwyer, Anna Matilda Dwyer, Micheal Francis Dwyer, Malvina Alice Dwyer and Edward (Ed) Dwyer
Wife of John Wallace — married April 1877 [location unknown]
Mother of Henry Arnold Wallace, Gertrude Ann Wallace, John Dwyer Wallace, Evelyn Mary Wallace, Elsie May Wallace, Elliott Michael Wallace and James Wolverton Wallace

James Wolverton Wallace is my grandfather and apparently a direct descendant of Patrick "Staker" Wallace:

 on: April 02, 2016, 08:39:57 PM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by cmclewin
Hi Fergus,
Revision to my letter to you from much earlier today.
Mary Ann Keyes married to George Casey.
The Basillique Notre Dame is in Ottawa, Ont.where George was baptized (not Montreal as I wrote.)
It would be great to find out when his parents arrived at Montreal, then Ottawa...but the Census I went to thru this site for 1841/1851/61 (I think) had no results anywhere.  I know they were here pre 1846 as their oldest son John was born about then in Ontario (1871 census copy I have.)
Maybe it's time for me to head up to North York Civic Centre here in Toronto to begin reading passender lists !
Thanks again for all of your efforts.
Cathy McLewin

 on: April 02, 2016, 12:50:58 AM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by cmclewin
Hi Fergus,
So enjoy this site.  I've learned a few things about the Keyes branch of my own family tree here.  My great grandmother was Mary Ann Keyes. Julie was a witness at her baptism (Ann Keyes) in 1854 as you posted, but Mary Ann was actually born Dec 19/1850; Andrew and Catherine O'Connor had married Feb 5/1850. Then Catherine died Aug 31/1857 at age 27. 
Mary Ann Keyes (Kees) married George Patrick Casey on Apr. 17/1872 at St. Joseph's Parish Church in Ottawa, Ont.  His parents were Patrick Casey and Mary Ann Cassidy (born in Ireland.) Georges' other sibs were John and Mary.
George Casey and Mary (Ann) Keyes' children were:  Patrick or Uncle Pete as we called this great uncle who looked just like Winston Churchill !!; Catherine, Mary E., John M. my grandfather, Annie, Georgina, and Maggie.
John M. or Jack Casey married Emma McEvoy (her 2 bros founded McEvoy Bros. Funeral Home on Kent St. in Ottawa.) Their children were Leo, Jack, Jimmy, Charlie, Georgina, Mary and Anna who is my mother.
Anna Casey married Reginald Ernest McLewin on Oct. 5/1940.
Someone did a family tree on the McEvoy arm; I have much info on them. And here on your site there is a great document which traces the McEvoys to St. Colombe & back to Freshford, Ireland; it also includes many great photos.
Presently, I'm working on finding out where the Caseys came from. I think George (married to Mary Ann Keyes) was baptized at Basillique Notre Dame in Montreal around 1850. His parents Patrick Casey and Mary Ann Cassidy were born in Ireland, but I have no idea where. ??? Nor do I know when they emigrated to Canada; but there they are in the Ottawa City census of 1871.
So, here I sit, late at night, trying to connect the dots and loving it :)
Posting this in case someone out there can make a connection !
PS:  John (Jack) Michael Casey, my grandfather, was well known in Ottawa. He founded the St. Colomban Choir at St. Joseph's Parish Church, taught mathematics and music at the University of Ottawa, AND he owned a baseball team !!! I found a newspaper article in a book of his which was all about applying new 'turf' on baseball fields :-)

 on: March 19, 2016, 11:15:39 AM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by Fergus Keyes
A recent e-mail received....

My apology for not finding the correct email address for sharing this with the whole forum. . .

First, I want to thank everyone involved in sharing, researching and archiving so much wonderful work pertaining to St. Columban. . .  I am so appreciative of your heart-felt efforts to make sure that the lives of so many are remembered and cherished for the future generations!
I came across your wonderfully researched website quite a while back when researching my mother's extended family of the Elliott's.
Mr. Michael Elliott,(b. 1864 at St Columban) son of Edward Elliott and Mary Blanchfield, came to the small town of Mount Hope, in Grant County, Wisconsin between 1872 to 1875, and settled in an area (still) called "Irish Ridge", that dates back to the establishment of a large following of Irish Catholic families attending St. Lawrence O'Toole Catholic church.  According to Michael's obituary, he was the youngest of 16 children, and it is believed that only he and his sister, Ann, came to the USA.

Michael Elliott married a good Irish Catholic girl, Mary Ann Mulrooney in 1881 at St. Lawrence O'Toole Church and they had 11 children. . . Mary Ann Mulrooney was the daughter of Darby Jeremiah Mulrooney, b. 1833 in Riverstown, Sligo, Ireland and wife, Catherine Dunn, born in Kilkenny, Ireland. 

I would be most appreciative and interested in sharing any information about the Elliot/Elliott family members from St Columban with whomever has an interest!  I would like to know of extended Elliott family in the area and where the rest of the family spread out to. . .
And, I would most definitely share any information and assist in others' research as well!

Please view my updated profile for listing of my research so far, (since abt 1986 when my grandmother passed away), and feel free to view my tree on and email me directly at

I have SO enjoyed the photos, the memories, the research shared about the St Columban Irish at your website!
Here's wishing you all many 4-leaf clovers in your future endeavors!

Warmest regards,
Lisa J. Jones

 on: January 29, 2016, 01:22:46 PM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by Fergus Keyes
New price for Claude’s Book….

As many of you know, Claude Bourguignon wrote an excellent book on the history of St. Columban. Although the majority of it is in French, it includes some excellent photos, and also some smaller sections in English.
Now Claude is able to offer this book for only $ 28.00 (Canadian $) which includes postage and handling - as well as a small additional gift.

If you have any questions you can e-mail directly to Claude at:

Or if you wish to order a copy of his book, simply send your check and proper mailing address to:
Claude Bourguignon
317 rue Séguin
Saint-Colomban (Qc)
J5K 1W1

 on: January 24, 2016, 02:46:59 PM 
Started by Fergus Keyes - Last post by Fergus Keyes
A recent e-mail question and my reply - FYI...


Ellen Haley sent a message

Hello,  I have an ancestor named Julia Ryan also lived in St. Columban area,   
She eventually came to Dubuque County, Iowa and is buried here.  Her death 
date (1887) and burial place are listed on for Judith Keyes???   
I am looking for more information on Julia Ryan.  She was bon in Ireland in 
1813 and made her way to Canada where she had 7 children.  Looking for her 

My reply.....

Hi Ellen;

Judith (aka Julie) Keyes was married to Patrick Ryan in Ste. Scholastique, Quebec, Canada on November 25th 1830. (Ste. Scolastique is nearby & was the Parish for the Irish of St. Columban until they built their own Church and became their own Parish a few years later).

Julie was the daughter of Patrick Keyes (in some records spelled as Keys or Keays) and Honora (aka Eleanora) Phelan.

She had two sisters – Mary & Elizabeth and one brother – Andrew. All were born in Ireland and my best guess is in or around the town of Balleyraggat, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Her sister Mary married James Madden, also in Ste. Scholastique on June 1st 1835; and her sister Elizabeth married Matthew Power(s) in St. Columban on August 3rd 1840.

I think it was in 1848 that Julie & Patrick Ryan; Mary & James Madden; Elizabeth & Matthew Power – all three (3) sisters and their husbands left St. Columban and moved to Iowa.

(Their brother Andrew, stayed in Canada, took over the farm, and was my g-grandfather)

Some other notes:


1.    From my file:


Judith Keyes was the daughter of Patrick and Honora Keyes, On October 24 1854, Judith is listed as a witness to the baptism of Anne Keyes who was the daughter of Andrew Keyes I (probably her brother) and Catherine O'Connor (his first wife). On June 28 1858, there is a marriage record in the Parish of St. Columban concerning John Ryan, listed as the son of Patrick Ryan and Judith Keyes.


A marriage record for Ste. Scholastique shows that Judith Keay (Keyes) daughter of Patrick Keyes & Eleonor Phelan married Patrick Ryan, son of Jean (John) and Elizabeth Rindell on November 25 1830. It indicates that Judith was a "minor" of age at the time of her marriage. Not sure if minor was younger than 16; 18 or 21 ?? - Patrick Ryan was of "Major" age at the time.


2.    We have a website at WWW.STCOLUMBAN-IRISH.COM with lots of information. As well we have a facebook page at:


3.    Finally I had the following message from another researcher for our family who you might like to contact directly…..:


My name is Rachael Rogers.  My g-g-great grandparents were James and Mary (Keyes) Madden.  Until recently I knew they had been born in Ireland, went to Canada and ended up in Iowa but I did not know where in Canada they had come from.  I found on that they were from St. Columban.  I was pretty excited to find where in Canada they had come from!  I found their marriage record there and the baptismal records for their children.  I found your website which is wonderful.  James' parents were Patrick and Ellen Madden who died at St. Columban.   I found their death records on ancestry.  Mary's parents were Patrick and Honora Keyes.  Your website was very helpful when it came to them.  I saw that you wanted any information on families from St. Columban.  I don't know a lot about James and Mary but I'll give you what I do know.  According to the cemetery records from St. Joseph's Prairie Catholic Cemetery in Dubuque county Iowa James was born in 1807.  Mary was born in 1817.  According to his declaration of intent paper they came to Iowa in June of 1848.  They settled at Table Mound Township in Dubuque county Iowa.  There they farmed.  Mary died August 16, 1880 from acute peritonitis.  James died in 1894.  I don't know if this is the kind of information you are looking for.  If you have any questions please let me know.  Look forward to hearing from you.






Hope that this helps. Please send me whatever information you can on your family that I can add to my records.




Fergus Keyes


 on: December 07, 2015, 10:39:20 AM 
Started by Charles.Phelan - Last post by Charles.Phelan
I feel as if Ive shown up late for the party.  I began my search this summer on, armed with many family stories, and places lived.  Genealogy seems  like a never ending series of connect the dots. 

I went to the St-Columban cemetery this weekend and found my Great Great Great Grandparents Ellen Molloy and Richard Murphy. Two of Ellen and Richard's Children, Catherine and Bridget married two Phelan Brothers,  my Great, Great Grandfather James Phelan and his brother Thomas.  I found the marriage records for James and Catherine in Coteau-du-lac as well as baptismal records for their children, as well taking notes of the Godparents.  I came across Ann Blanchfield, and a Martin Brennan but I'm having difficulty placing how they fit into the family tree.  I had also heard through family history that James and Catherine settled in Coteau-du-Lac, and worked building canals,  but was listed a farmer in the Canadian Census of 1861.   

I went to Gross-Isle a year ago and wondered if any of the Phelan's that perished there belonged to our family.  My own father, also a Daniel Phelan, always mentioned that our branch of the Phelan's came after the Famine of 1847 though still no luck in tracking down that information.

Knowing the Phelan's were an important family in St-Columban was an interesting revelation but its difficult to track down anything before 1850,  as well as when they came to  Canada.  The microfiche records seem like they were scanned in the 50's and are not always clearly visible, there are misspellings, and this leads to a certain interpretation of the records.  I'd love to see the original registers.  Its interesting though,  I work at McGill University in IT and the libraries have invested a lot of equipment for digitizing books.  Re-scanning these old registers seems like a monumental task but the technology for scanning has improved so much since the 50's.

I'd appreciate any help with leads.  Was Daniel Phelan related to Joseph Phelan and Catherine Brennan, and Father Patrick Phelan?

Charles Phelan

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10