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Author Topic: Irish in Montreal  (Read 2073 times)


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Irish in Montreal
« on: October 14, 2008, 09:35:03 AM »

Thanks to all who posted about the Kilkenny connections of St. Columban settlers. I have checked some LDS sources and did find baptisms for the younger children of Richard Blanchfield and Ann Phelan. So their origins are settled.
I'm still looking for the Walsh-Griffin origins. Since the name is so common, the older tombstone doesn't really help. Clues may lie in early Montreal settlement. The Chicago family asked for death notices in Montreal newspapers in 1881.
What ward did the Irish immigrants settle in? Where was Griffintown? Can anyone help?

Fergus Keyes

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Re: Irish in Montreal
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 12:03:26 PM »

Hi Kathy;

First, I guess you know that there were Walsh’s (sometimes spelled as Welsh’s) in St. Columban. For example, I have in my records, a

Bridget Welsh that married a Michael Farrell on January 19th 1935 in Ste. Scholastique (which was the Parish for St. Columban before the Church was actually built in St. Columban). Bridget’s parents are noted as James Welsh & Mary Griffiths (but could be Griffins since the spelling on names, particularly by the French priests in Ste. Scholastique, was always a little haphazard).

In answer to your actual question, you are right - most of the Irish that moved from St. Columban did settle in a Montreal neighborhood called “Griffintown” which is just south of the main Downtown area of Montreal. In some cases, they also settled in adjoining neighborhoods like Point St. Charles or St. Henri. You can find a fair amount about the history of Griffintown etc. on most internet search engines.



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Re: Irish in Montreal
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 02:11:27 PM »

Thanks, Fergus. While at Salt Lake City last week I found Michael Farrell's remarriage in N. D. of Montreal after Bridget Walsh's death. It was on one of their data CDs.

I checked a part of the 1825 census of Montreal for my Walsh family but, as expected, didn't find them. The next census (1834, I think) was too late as they were already in St. Columban.  My g-grandfather James was born there in about Nov. 1836 (although the records were burned.) His parents' marriage that Feb. was re-constructed after the loss of the records.

Thanks for your help!

Kathy Lund