Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Canada Census Series: North Elmsley, Lanark County, Ontario 1851

This is the first example that I've written about concerning Irish counties of birth on census documents from Canada. You can see many other examples from the United States Federal Census by clicking here.

Drummond/North Elmsley is a rural township in Lanark County, Ontario, Canada, about 45 miles southwest of Ottawa. In 1851, North Elmsley was enumerated by itself in the Census of Canada West (Ontario). Robinson Harper[1] was the person who travelled around the area collecting information from each household for the enumeration. In total, the North Elmsley enumeration consists of 99 pages and Harper recorded the county of birth for Irish immigrants on the first 56 pages.

The largest numbers of those who had an Irish county of birth recorded came from Counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Wexford and Cork. What is most interesting to see is that we also get a breakdown of religious affiliation of those enumerated.. This gives clues as to the type of chain or group migration that occurred from Ireland to North Elmsley, such as: (i) groups of Roman Catholics from Counties Cork and Clare, (ii) a large contingent of Presbyterians from County Down, (iii) and decently-sized cohorts of Anglicans from Counties Armagh and Wexford.

Snapshots of migration patterns from some suggested (relationships are not provided) family units can also be seen by the places of birth that are provided. For example, Bartolomew Hart, a wheelwright, was born in County Down about 1809.[2] His likely wife, Sarah (both are recorded as married), was born in County Laois about 1805. Their likely daughter, Catherine, age 22, and possible daughter-in-law, Sarah Hart (listed as married), age 24, were born in New York State. Three year old Daniel Hart also resides with the family and he was born in Smith Falls, which is about 15 miles from North Elmsley. He may have been a son of Sarah Hart.

It would be unusual for two people from Counties Down and Laois to meet in Ireland and marry. We can therefore offer the hypothesis that Daniel and Sarah met and married in New York State. They had at least two children there, one daughter, Catherine, and one son. Their son possibly married Sarah (Unknown) Hart and the group them moved to Lanark County where Sarah may have given birth to a son named Daniel.

You can access a transcribed list from the 1851 Census of Canada West (Ontario) on Familysearch.

Below you will find a breakdown of Irish places of origin and the religious denomination for 319 immigrants from Ireland that resided in North Elmsley in 1851.

Place
of Birth
Church of England
Church of Scotland[3]
Roman 
Catholic
Methodist
Other
TOTAL
Ireland
19
12
20[4]
6[5]
1[6]
58
Antrim
5
22
1


28
Armagh
16
8
2


26
Down
1
20
3

1[7]
25
Wexford
13

3
2[8]

18
Cork
8[9]

10


18
Mayo
11

4

17
Clare
1

15


16
Kilkenny
10


13
Tyrone
2
9
1


12
Cavan
4

4

9
Derry
1
6


9
Dublin
8




8
Leitrim
3

1

7
Monaghan
4
2
1


7
Carlow
3

3


6
Louth
1
3
1


5
Roscommon
5




5
Westmeath
3

1


4
Laois (Queens)


4


4
Wicklow
2

2


4
Limerick




3
Donegal
2




2
Longford


2


2
Meath


2


2
Sligo
2




2
Illegible


1

2
Wicklow
2




2
Fermanagh
1




1
Offaly


1


1
TOTAL
130

82
82
19
3
316



[1] 1851 Census of Canada West, Lanark County, North Elmsley, Enumeration District, 1, Schedule A, p. 2b; digital image, 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com), accessed 25 February 2017.
[2] 1851 Census of Canada West, Lanark County, North Elmsley, Enumeration District, 1, Schedule A, p. 9, line 36 Bartholomew Hart; digital image, 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com), accessed 25 February 2017.
[3] Includes Presbyterian, United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Presbyterian Church of Scotland
[4] Includes Suppressed (3)
[5] Includes Wesleyan (3) , New Church of Methodist (1) and New Con[vert?] Methodist (2)
[6] Calvinist Baptist
[7] Secession (1)
[8] Wesleyan (1) and United Methodist (1)
[9] This group resided together and it was enumerated that 4 of them were from Bandon.
[10] New Con [vert?] Methodist (2)
[11] Wesleyan (1) and New Con[vert?] Methodist (1)
[12] Baptist
[13] Canadian Methodist
[14] Wesleyan (1) and New Con[vert?] Methodist (1)
[15] Canadian Methodist (1) and Wesleyan (2)
[16] Including 2 from Limerick City
[17] Wesleyan

19 comments:

  1. This is very useful info. Another example from the 1851 Census of Canada: for the enumeration of Fitzroy township (Carleton County, Canada West/Ontario), William D. Pigott recorded counties for those born in Ireland, along with place names for those born in England or Scotland.

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