Lying on western shores of Lough Ree, near Knockcroghery, Co. Roscommon, the ruins of Galey castle are just across the road from Galey Caravan Park. But bring your wellies if you want to see the actual ruins. In this picture it is the dense green just left of center. Galey Castle "...was once the stronghold of the O'Kelly clan and was instrumental in the naming of the nearby village of Knockcroghery. The name change of the village occurred in Cromwellian times (17th century) when Sir Charles Coote laid siege to Galey Castle. The garrison resisted and for their defiance were taken to Creggan (The old name for Knockcroghery) and hanged on the hill just north of the village, now commonly known as Hangman's Hill. To mark this, the name of the village was changed to "Cnoc na Crocaire," the Hill of the Hangings, or in english - "Knockcroghery"." Galey Bay Camping
According to historical resources, Galey Castle was built in 1348 by our 17th/18th g.grandpa, William McDonagh Moynach O'Kelly (William Bui O'Kelly / Uilliam Bui Ó Ceallaigh). In 1351 he held a great feast at the castle, inviting all the poets, brehons, bards, harpers, gamesters or common kearógs, and jesters and other of their kind of Ireland. A month long party resulted in verses extolling William for his bounty. This is the translation of the O'Kelly Welcome purported to have been written at the feast.
A blessed, long living, great, courteous welcome, An affectionate, charitable, just, proper, true hearted welcome, A welcome and twenty, and I add, hundreds to them, Like the surge of the stream is, my welcome to you.
The website Ó Ceallaigh - The Noble Clan of Ui Maine gives the translation of Filid Erin Go h-Aoin Teach(The Poets of Ireland to One House Are Coming) a product of the party. The view from the castle must have been spectacular, it certainly is today!
An Trian Meánach/Middlethird
The last family townland we visited in Sept 2017 was Mocklershill. Well, kind of sort of. We found no signs for the townland, but the GPS brought us here. The weather cooperated, giving a sense of the true beauty of the area. Mocklershill sits near the eastern end of the Golden Valley just a few kilometers from the Rock of Cashel and the town below it.
The Rock of Cashel is the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster, in use from at least the 5th century AD. The oldest building on the site dates to about 1100 AD.
View of Hore Abbey
Sitting so close, it seems likely the Dunn family would have visited the ruins of Cashel through the years.
Mocklershill was in the parish of Killenaule, the town of Killenaule today is further from Mocklershill than Cashel, but as the crow flies, and as man was likely to travel in the 1830s Killenaule was closer.
Looking towards Mocklershill from Rock of Cashel
The church in Killenaule today was built about 1860, so it was not in place when the Dune family was baptised. According to the parish website a church located there in 1754 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary was T shaped with a thatched roof. The website doesn't indicate whether the church was on the same grounds. The burials in the cemetery all seemed to be after the new church was built.
One of the wonders of Ireland is that there are ancient ruins everywhere you look.
Clonmacnoise was perhaps a little out of the way in our travels to family townlands, but then it has a bit of a Kelly connection and was in fact the center of religion, learning, craftsmanship and trade by the 8th century. Travelers from throughout Western Europe visited.
Founded in the mid-6th century by St. Ciarán, the site has ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (dating 10th to 13th centuries, two round towers, three high croses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs found anywhere in Western Europe. The crosses and some of the graveslabs have been moved inside for preservation purposes.
Located on the eastern bank of the Shannon, Clonmacnoise experienced the liberality of the chiefs of Hy-maine (our Kelly ancestors) and the kings of Connaught through the 9th century.
Among the burials are High Kings as well as Kings of Connaught. In later times the monestary aligned with the Kings of Meath.
The monestary which survived plague in the 7th century and many attacks during the next four centuries by English, Irish, Vikings, and Normans, was in decline by the 12th century. The end came in 1552 when the English garrison at Athlone looted it one more time, leaving it in ruins.
In telling the stories of Mom and Dad, one area never got fully covered. The pictures were placed in a special folder in anticipation of further stories. Somehow, we never got there....so here are a few notes and some links to the pictures.
Jim and Jean met at a Eucharistic Congress in 1941.
They hit it off right away because neither one was into the silliness that
often accompanied meetings of teenagers.
That first meeting was on the banks of the Mississippi. Four years later, on 27 Oct 1945, they were
engaged again on the banks of the Mississippi.
The engagement was announced on November 8. At the time the Maddens had moved from Duluth
to St. Paul and were living on Cretin Street. There were a number of luncheons
and a shower was hosted by Jim's Aunt Helen. The Bridal Dinner was held at the Minneapolis Auto Club.The reception after the wedding which was officiated by Rev. Joseph A Corrigan at St. Mark's Church was held at the Dehn's house. Jim and Jean honeymooned at Phil DeGraph's Lodges at Trout Lake MI.The owner of the lodge was Phil DeGraph. None of the guests at the lodge knew, or at least they never let on if they guessed, that Mom and Dad were on their honeymoon. While there the guests made a model of the lodge for Phil, whom both Dad and Mom remember fondly. After the wedding they returned to Notre Dame, where Jim was pursuing his Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. There first residence was 2340 Dixie Way but that story has been told!
In June 1992 the descendants of Francis Martin Madden & Isabel Louis Haffey gathered in Redwood City, California. Well, most of us. Efforts to contact the family of son Thomas were unfruitful, as always. It remains my great hope that one day I will meet one or more of his sons (Jeff, Mike & Stu).
Anyway, I think nearly everyone else made it including newly adopted Mariah...just a few days old and the size of her new Daddy's hand. Joining us also was second cousin, Mike Madden and his wife, who were living in California at the time. Missing was Pat who was unable to make it from Pittsburg, PA where he was clerking for the appellate court. He might have made it BUT he needed a vacation for a much more important gathering later in the summer!
Reunion planning is not among my great skills, but we had a great time in Edgewood Park none the less.
Although, I got together with some Marquelings and Thorntons after this gathering, I believe it is the last time most of the family saw these cousins.
This is one more as yet unrelated Madden family. It is given here in the hope that a connection might yet be found. Among the mysteries of the Madden family is the entry in the 1880 census for Thomas Madden, stating he is from Canada. We know that is not true, however, we do not know where he was in the few years before that census. Might he have been with relatives in Canada. Why did he go to Bay City? It seems important to explore Madden connections in an effort to find more on the family of his father James. This family was in Canada and also involved in shipping on the Great Lakes. Mary bn 1795 Ireland - Although it is not stated that Mary is John’s mother, she was living with the family in Canada in 1861. The relationship of Jeremiah is also unknown at this point. He is in the same area as Mary and John, so it seems likely that they are related if not brothers. We know that James is the son of Mary. She is living with him in 1871 and the relationship is stated. There is a James Madden living in Ellice, Perth, Ontario in 1848 In 1850 There is also a Jeremiah. I believe these are the sons and not a possible father. James is already 30 in 1848 and Jeremiah would be 26 and has three children by 1850.
James Madden bn abt 1818 Ireland m. 1847 Elleanor bn abt 1818 Ireland – Living with James and Elleanor in 1861 is John McDermott age 18. He is listed as family so perhaps a son of Elleanor by a previous marriage or a nephew? In 1871 his mother Mary and wife Ellen are in the household.
Jeremiah Madden bn abt 1824 Ireland d. before 1870 m. 1842 Mary Dunn (15 Aug 1824 Ireland- 9 Feb 1890 MI). Except for Agnes all the children were born in Canada. Since Agnes was born by 1866 we know that the family had moved to Port Huron by that date. 
Catherine 23 Dec 1845 (not with family in 1870) – 30 Aug 1907 Perth, Ont
Joanna abt 1846
Margaret (18 Jan 1849 Canada – 17 Mar 1926 MI) m. Leonard White (LeBlanc) (Aug 1833 Can -1911 MI) a sailor before 1870. In 1900 Leonard is listed as a Captain on the Lakes and his brother William LeBlanc a boat builder is living with the family.
Joseph Leon (12 Mar 1869 – 24 Jun 1943 ) Joseph may not be Margaret’s child. He is not living with them in 1870.
William (15 Nov 1873 MI – 20 Oct 1939)
Jeremiah (1875- ) Is not living with family in 1900
Eugenia M (f) (Sep 1879 MI - )
Emily Victoria (Aug 1881 MI - )
John Michael (Aug 1885 MI - )
Jeremiah (9 Jan 1851 Canada-15 Feb 1900 MI) Jerry was working in a saw mill in 1870. He married Rosa Hobin on 26 Apr 1880 in Port Huron. Jerry’s occupation was Railroad engineer at the time of his death.
Cecile (12 Oct 1887 MI – 5 Feb 1963 CA ) m. William Bowen 25 Jun 1912 in Port Huron.
Elizabeth Patricia (1912- )
Mary Jane (1920- )
Michael James abt 1852 Ship Captain in Port Huron see blog for more information.
John J (22 Jun 1855 Canada-8 Mar 1933 MI) John married Lizzie Campbell on 27 Jun 1888 in Adams Corners, MI. They had two children ........ John married Julia Ball on 17 Jun 1903 in Chicago. In 1910 Margaret is living with her father and there are two children with Julia. In 1930 John is living with his daughter Margaret, John C is also in the household.
Margaret Ann (18 Feb 1890 - ) Margaret married Fead and was living in Port Huron in 1930.
Mary (1918 –
John (1924 –
Margaret (1927 –
Mary Agnes (18 Feb 1890-22 Dec 1909).
Esther P (1906 MI – 3 Feb 1995 MI) Esther married Elmer Dietrich (1915-1995)
Helen June (1907-1911MI)
John C. (11 Dec 1911 MI - 20 May 1981 MI ) John is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Port Huron. John married Leona Jones (1911-1993)
Mary Ann (27 Oct 1857 Canada – 9 Apr 1929 MI)
Eunice abt 1859
Margret E abt 1861
Agnes abt 1865 Michigan
John Madden - bn Mar 1826 Ireland d 15 Jan 1914 Celedonia MN  According to his obituary, John was born in County Cork and emigrated to Canada about 1840 with his parents. About 1847 he married Louisa deVilliers (1825 Quebec – May 1897 WI) They lived in Ellice until at least 1861 and probably until 1865/7. This is in disagreement with the obituary which says he lived in Kingston County, but the family found in Ellice, Perth County in 1861 is definitely his. Louisa his second to last child was born in Canada in 1863 while Eugene the youngest was born in Wisconsin. John had a farm in Claybanks, Door, Wisconsin, were he was active in the activities of the town, serving as a town supervisor for at least two years. In 1910 John is living with his son Eugene who is a Catholic Priest. Louise is working as his housekeeper. John is listed as a lumberman living on his own income. John and Louise had eight children:
Ellenor was born abt 1847 in Canada. When the family moved to Wisconsin she went to live in the …. Family as a servant….. Ellen married CP Frye…..
James (May 1850 Can - 1939 WI) m Ellen Donlan (1858 Masewaipee. Door, WI - ) James and Ellen (Ella) stayed on the family farm where they raised eleven children. James was active in the politics of the county serving as Supervisor of Assessments in 1910.
Francis 7 May 1881 Weekly Expositor v8i31 5/10/81
Jerry T 1884
George A 25 Jan 1887 The Independent v14 issue 20 2/11/87
Nora L 2 Apr 1890
Daughter 6 Jun 1892
Bernard E 17 Jun 1893. Bernard was appointed Superintendent of Education for Door County Schools in June 1914.
Mary 5 Jun 1895
Ellen Mary 1898 m. Forest Wodsedalek 3 Aug 1917
William 10 Jul 1900
Mary abt 1851 not home in 1880 m Geo Nelson???
Jeremiah (Jerry) Madden 30 Aug 1854 emigrated 1867 naturalized m 22 Jun 1885. Jerry was living in Menominee, Michigan at least through 1921 when he is listed as president of Commercial Bank, and most likely was still a resident until close to the time of his death on 29 Jul 1923 Chicago, IL . He is buried 2 Aug 1923 Riverside Cemetery Menominee Menominee County Michigan, USA Plot: Section E-2, Lot Number 6 Grave Unk Find A Grave Memorial# 86061346 Jeremiah had moved to Menominee, Michigan before 1900. m Margaret L. McDermott bn abt 1866 died 16 Jun 1923 bur 20 Jun 1923 Find A Grave Memorial# 86061365
Eugena b. 1886 d. 2 Apr 1908 b. 2 Apr 1908 Plot: Section E-2, Lot Number 6 Grave Unk (note buried day died) Find A Grave Memorial# 8606134
Arthur P 1891 In 1920 Arthur is living at home.
Margaret H 1895 In 1920 Margaret, a teacher is living at home
Joseph bn 1899 d 26 Nov 1945 In 1920 Joseph is a salesman with Wilson-Henes Co. and is living at home.
Louise bn 1901 In 1920 Louise a teacher is living at home.
John bn 1855 Physician to Mankota MN
Honora (Norah) M (1857 Can – 1986) Nora married William F Shea (Apr 1855 - 1928) on 6 April 1880 in Door Co. Nora and William moved to Ashland, Wisconsin where William had a law practice. Nora and William are buried in St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland, Wisconsin.
William Apr 1881
Eugenie Dec 1882-31 Jan 1922 Antigo, Langlade, WI). Eugenia married Michael Andrew Flatley (1876-1950) on 9 Oct 1906 in Ashland. The family continued to live in Antigo after Eugenie’s death.
Maria (1 Apr 1908 Wi – 1 Jan 1991 CA) Maria married Murphy after 1953. She is on the passenger list for a cruise that year with the name Flatley. Marie is buried in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Roseburg, OR.
William John (20 Nov 1910 – 6 Jul 1989 Springfield, IL) William, a lawyer, was living in Appleton, WI in 1940.
Robert (26 Oct 1913 Antigo, WI - 20 Jun 2003 Rock Island, IL). Robert married Eleanor. Dr. Robert E. Flatley, 89, of Rock Island died Friday, June 20, 2003, at his residence. Survivors: wife, Eleanor; four daughters, Marie (husband, Dr. Len) Deftos of Del Mar, Calif., and Rosemary Lenaghan, Jane (husband, Paul) Adam) and Joan Flatley, all of Springfield; a son, James Flatley of Seminole, Fla.; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Services: 9:30 a.m. Monday, DeRoo-Funeral Home, Moline. Additional services: 10 a.m. Monday, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Moline. Burial: National Cemetery, Rock Island. 
Louise Aug (1886-1979) Louise married Eugene R Stone (1883-1967) about 1916. They were living in Washington DC for many years, where Eugene was a dentist.
Catherine Mary (Aug 1889-1972)
Edmund B Mar 1892
Edith Mar 1896
Isabell F (Jan 1900-1919)
Louisa bn (30 Jun 1863 CAN - 9 Apr 1921 WI) Among the attendees at Louisa’s funeral was James Fitzsimmons of Milwaukee.
Josph Eugene (1867 WI- 3 Aug 1946) Eugene was a Catholic Priest. In 1910 Eugene was in Fairmont, MN, his father and sister Louisa were living with him. He was in Lewiston in 1920, Louisa still with him, and in 1930 back in Fairmont. In 1940, now a Msgr he was back in Winona County in St. Charles. Living in the household was Eugene Schommer age 13 born in Oregon.
 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Perth County, 1879, Mika Silk Screening Limited, Belleville, 1972. Pg 65  Extracts from the 1850 Census of the United Counties of Bruce, Huron, and Perth, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Pg 5  Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll: C-1064-1065 pg 28 Ellice, perth Canada West.  Find A Grave Memorial# 83799689  Year: 1870; Census Place: Port Huron Ward 1, St Clair,Michigan; Roll: M593_699; Page: 320B; Year: 1880; Census Place: Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan, Roll: 605 Page: 397D Enumeration District: 388  Find A Grave Memorial# 22558721  Find A Grave Memorial# 22558674  Year: 1880; Census Place: Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan; Roll: 605; Family History Film: 1254605; Page: 400B; Enumeration District: 388; Image: 0693. Year: 1900; Census Place: Port Huron Ward 1, Saint Clair, Michigan; Roll: 741; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0094; FHL microfilm: 1240741.  The Library of Michigan; Michigan Death Records, 1897-1920; Rolls: 1-302; Archive Barcode/Item Number: 30000008346300; Roll Number: 31.  Year: 1880; Census Place: Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan; Roll: 605; Family History Film: 1254605; Page: 341C; Enumeration District: 384; Image: 0570. Year: Year: 1900; Census Place: Port Huron Ward 5, Saint Clair, Michigan; Roll: 741; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 1240741. (note Rosa head in 1910); Census Place: Port Huron Ward 1, Saint Clair, Michigan; Roll: T624_673; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 0111; FHL microfilm: 1374686.  State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. Los Angeles SS 385015550  1920; Census Place: Port Huron Precinct 5, St Clair, Michigan; Roll: T625_795; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 119; Image: 807. 930; Census Place: Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan; Roll: 1025; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 33; Image: 261.0; FHL microfilm: 2340760.  Find A Grave Memorial# 83799693  Year: 1930; Census Place: Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan; Roll: 1025; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 33; Image: 289.0; FHL microfilm: 2340760.  Find A Grave Memorial# 83799687  Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871–1920.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health records. "Marriage Records, 1871–present." Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.  Year: 1910; Census Place: Port Huron Ward 1, Saint Clair, Michigan; Roll: T624_673; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0111; FHL microfilm: 1374686; Year: 1920; Census Place: Port Huron Precinct 5, St Clair, Michigan; Roll: T625_795; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 119; Image: 816.  Find A Grave Memorial# 83799690  Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records. Michigan, Deaths, 1971-1996[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1998.Original data: Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records. Michigan Death Index. Lansing, MI, USA.  Find A Grave Memorial# 83799692  Door County Democrat Volume: 22 Issue: 5 Publication date: 1914-01-23  The Advocate 1897-05-15 Volume: 36 Issue: 6 Publication date: 1897-05-15  1861 Census Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll: C-1064-1065. Upper Canada pg 23  1870; Census Place: Claybanks, Door, Wisconsin; Roll: M593_1712; Page: 14A; Image: 31; Family History Library Film: 553211Year: Year: 1880; Census Place: Clay Banks, Door, Wisconsin; Roll: 1424; Family History Film: 1255424; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 037.1900; Census Place: Claybanks, Door, Wisconsin; Roll: 1785; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 1241785. widower  The Expositor v1 issue 25 4/10/74; Expositor v2 issue 25 4/9/75  Year: 1910; Census Place: Fairmont Ward 1, Martin, Minnesota; Roll: T624_710; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0114; FHL microfilm: 1374723.  Door County Advocate 1868-01-23Volume: 6 Issue: 36 Publication date: 1868-01-23  1900 - Claybanks, Door, Wisconsin; Roll: 1785; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0039; 1910 - Claybanks, Door, Wisconsin; Roll: T624_1705; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0043 - 11 children 7 living (either John or Louisa deceased by 1910; 1920 - Claybanks, Door, Wisconsin; Roll: T625_1983; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 56; Image: 593; 1930 - Claybanks, Door, Wisconsin; Roll: 2569; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 3; Image: 606.0; FHL microfilm: 2342303; Documentation for births of the last nine children. "Wisconsin Births and Christenings, 1826–1926." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records. 1302863  Reelected Supervisor of Assessmets Door Co Democrat v18 issue 48 11/25/10  Sturgeon Bay Advocate v56 is12 6/14/14  Door Co News 8/30/1917 v4is9  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.1920: Menominee, Michigan, City Directory, 1920 and 1821 - President Commercial Bank, res. 219 Broadway  Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Year: 1900; Census Place: Menominee Ward 4, Menominee, Michigan; Roll: 731; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0140; FHL microfilm: 1240731. Cedar Jobber; Year: 1910; Census Place: Menominee Ward 4, Menominee, Michigan; Roll: T624_664; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0216; FHL microfilm: 1374677. (5 children - 4 living) Owner of a lumber mill  Find A Grave Memorial# 11037426  Find A Grave Memorial# 11037429  Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. Wisconsin Vital Record Index, pre-1907. Madison, WI, USA: Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services Vital Records Division Vol 1 pg 142  Year: 1900; Census Place: Ashland Ward 3, Ashland, Wisconsin; Roll: 1777; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0002; FHL microfilm: 1241777  Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916–1947." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original records  Year: 1920; Census Place: Antigo Ward 6, Langlade, Wisconsin; Roll: T625_1993; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 113; Image: 444.  Year: 1930; Census Place: Antigo, Langlade,Wisconsin; Roll: 2580; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 8; Image: 181.0; FHL microfilm: 2342314.  State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. Place: Alameda; Date: 1 Jan 1991; Social Security: 389162192.  Find A Grave Memorial# 10539635  Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration. Number: 361-12-0130; Issue State: Illinois; Issue Date: Before 1951.  1940; Census Place: Appleton, Outagamie, Wisconsin; Roll: T627_4508; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 44-15.  Find A Grave Memorial# 7629880  Find A Grave Memorial# 11037433  Year: 1920; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia;Roll: T625_206; Page:5B; Enumeration District: 64; Image: 733.Year: 1930; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 297; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 191; Image: 382.0; FHL microfilm: 2340032. Year: 1940; Census Place: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Roll: T627_571; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 1-532.  Find A Grave Memorial# 11037423  Find A Grave Memorial# 11037448  Door County Advocate 1921-04-15 Vol: 60 Iss: 4; Door County News v7 issue 42 4/14/21  State of Minnesota. Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Department of Health. 017422  Year: 1910; Census Place: Fairmont Ward 1, Martin, Minnesota; Roll: T624_710; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0114; FHL microfilm: 1374723. Year: 1920; Census Place: Lewiston, Winona, Minnesota; Roll: T625_865; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 187; Image: 526.Year: 1930; Census Place: Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota; Roll: 1107; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 7; Image: 75.0; FHL microfilm: 2340842. Year: 1940; Census Place: St Charles, Winona, Minnesota; Roll: T627_1969; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 85-18.
When John Keenan died in Aug 1863 the parish priest wrote the following in the St. James Colgan parish register......"Burial 28 August, 1866 of old John Keenan aged one of the oldest settlers in Adjala, died after a long illness, strengthened with the consolation of his holy faith. Aged ninety-three full of age and merits before God and man." John had out lived his wife by over 35 years and at least two of this ten children.
Nearly forty years earlier John and his family joined the swelling ranks of North Ireland Catholics and Presbyterians that were escaping increasing religious persecution into a new country.
Upon their arrival in Upper Canada John was granted land, but his own illness and that of his family prevented them from moving to the land and working it. They were forced to ask the York Benevolent Society for support.
So after a period of time in York, twenty-five years before that city was incorporated as Toronto, they settled in the area near Adjala in Simcoe County, where other Keenans had settled. John nearly lost his homestead as he and his eldest son were too ill to clear it. Read more in Keenans to Adjala.
Life in the frontier was not easy and in 1829 Elenor (possibly Montague) died. John, health improved, established his farm on Concession 3 Lot 16 in Adjala and raised his children.
Andrew Hunter's, A History of Simcoe County gives a glimpse of the neighborhood which includes many of John's relatives "...As in the other parts of this county, settlement in what people formerly called the wilds of Adjala began at the south end of the township. The first to arrive in the south east came by way of Albion and King Townships in the twenties......In the southwest, in the vicinity of Mono Mills, a few settlers arrived about the year 1820 and within the next few years the following took up lots in the adjacent parts of Adjala.......James McKenna. con 3 lot 7......The last named person on the above list, James McKenna, died May 12th 1885, aged 89 years. As early as 1828, some settlers had begun to take up lots in the good lands just north of Baily's Creek. Among these were the families of Connors, Kelly and Keenan. It was from the last family that the village of Keenansville had its name. Robert Keenan was District Councillor (1846-9) and reeve of Adjala, (1857), for twelve years altogether. He died January 10th, aged 83 years. Michael Haffey settled upon the west half lot 14, con. 5, at this early period. On the opposite lot in con. 6 where John Haffey lived at a later time, Henry J Pect of Stanley NY, found in 1887 parts of the skeleton of a mammoth. This is the only instance known of mammoth bones having been found in Simcoe County. On of the molars is in Elmira Collete, NY. The other bones are in tech Geological Museum of Lafayette College, Eason, PA.....On the lot south of Haffey, George Kidd Settled during this first arrival of settlers, and here arose the village of Athlone......."
Nine of John's ten children have been identified. All married and their descendants are spread throughout Canada and the United States. The Kelly Genealogy written in 1950 mentions over 500 with thirteen priests and eighteen religious sisters. Unfortunately they did not name those that they had found.
One of the early family gatherings occurred in 1986. William had convinced the Greg to do another bike ride, and Sean and Andi tagged along. The ride was in Ashland, Oregon...so the rest of the family decided to tag along as well. Not everyone made it, no Tim, no Pat. But it was a pretty good turn out for those in those years of growing children and new jobs.
Somehow, Mom & Dad don't appear in the pictures I have, but they were there. All five cousins made it, and they had a grand time playing..
I did mention Andi tagged along on the bike ride, what I didn't mention is that she completed all 50 miles of that ride. At the end, her encouraging Uncles and her Dad urged her to the finish line. And there she was...at TWELVE .. the youngest individual to EVER complete the ride... quite an achievement!!