The Dease connection, part 2

I’m continuing the story of our Dease ancestors.

In Loyalists and the Fur Trade: the Impact of the American Revolution on Western Canadian History,  Michael Payne says:

“The Dease family probably represents the most distinguished group of Loyalist brothers who served in the fur trade. John Warren, Francis Michael, Peter Warren and Charles Johnson Watt Dease together amassed about 70 years of service with different fur trade companies. All were sons of Dr. John Dease, who in addition to being related to Sir William Johnson acted as his personal physician. Dease was a Loyalist of course, and like most other family retainers he resettled in Upper Canada (initially it seems near Niagara and later Fort Mackinac) after the American Revolution.”

Our direct ancestor is John Warren Dease, Sr., son of Dr. John Dease and Jane French, who was born 9 Jun 1783 in Niagara, New York. He joined the North West Company in 1801 and by 1816 he was in charge of the post at Rainy Lake (near Fort Frances). This was a crucial post that supplied the canoe brigades on their way to Fort William.

Here’s a picture of the plaque where the fort used to be.

Photo courtesy Sharlene Gilbert

Photo courtesy Sharlene Gilbert

When the NWC and Hudson’s Bay Company amalgamated in 1821, John became a Chief Trader at the same time as his brother Peter Warren Dease did. Peter Warren was also an Arctic explorer (see here ).

In 1822 John Warren Dease, Sr. was transferred to the Columbia district and put in charge of Fort Walla Walla in what is now Washington state. In 1825 he was transferred to Spokane House. In 1826 that post was abandoned and Dease was put in charge of the Fort Colvile district, which also included the Flathead and Kootenay posts. He spent most of his time at the Flathead post in Montana.

His second country wife was Genevieve “Jenny” Beignoit. She was born around 1796 in what is now Green Lake, Saskatchewan. John and Genevieve had 5 children, and John provided for Genevieve, their children, his children by another country wife, Mary Cadotte, and Genevieve’s son by a previous union in his will. There was a stipulation however:

“Let it be clearly understood that if the said Jenny Beignoit Mother of my adopted children…marry or cohabit with any man during my lifetime, she then forfeits the provision made for her in the foregoing will” (HBC Archives)

Tragically John became ill in 1829 and died January 11, 1830 at the Dalles, Columbia River. His death left Genevieve with 5 children ages three to 12, the oldest being our direct ancestor Margaret Dease. Genevieve did not marry again and relocated to the Red River Settlement with her children. Looking at the Red River Settlement Censuses for 1831 to 1843, I have a theory that her brother-in-law Francis Dease, who never married, helped her raise the children.

The Red River Settlement Censuses only identify the male head of household by name, and then list the other members by age bracket and marital status, i.e. sons over 16, sons under 16, etc. In the case of Genevieve, although she is the household head, BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN, she is only identified as the “widow Dease”. Grrrr!

Census returns for Red River Settlement and Grantown Digital Image Number: HB13-002681.JPG  Location Code: E.5/5

Census returns for Red River Settlement and Grantown
Digital Image Number: HB13-002681.JPG Location Code: E.5/5

However Francis M. Dease is in the household of the “widow Dease” in 1832.  Genevieve died at St. Boniface, Manitoba on 18 November 1860. Francis died in either 1864 or 1865.

Those of us who trace our ancestors back to the early days of the Red River Settlement (such an interesting time from a historical viewpoint) invariably find that our ancestors have very strong, and sometimes very confusing, interconnecting ties.

Genevieve had previously been the country wife of a Jacques Goulet, who was a voyageur for both NWC and HBC. They had one son, Alexis Goulet. That means Alexis was a half-brother to  Margaret Dease. Genevieve’s grandchildren from this line had many interesting connections.

Roger Goulet was  a member of the Council of Assiniboia. Lionel Dorge in his article The Métis and Canadien Councillors of Assiniboia (The Beaver, Winter 1974) says:

“He was the grandson of a Métisse and a Canadien (whose ancestors had come from Lorraine in 1645) and the son of a hunter and Josephte Severet (daughter of Chief Factor John Siveright of Edinburg). Bishop Provencher, as his godfather, had overseen his education at the Collège de St-Boniface – a training which stood warranty to Goulet’s word and honesty. Finally his service to the public as Surveyor since 1856 and as Collector of Customs since 1861 gave promise of someone in Council whose contacts with the people had been, and were likely to be, frequent and on a familiar basis.”

Elzear Goulet was a member of the court martial which condemned Thomas Scott during the Riel resistance in 1870. Soldiers from the Wolseley regiment, who had been sent to Red River by the Canadian government, recognized him on the street one day and pursued him, until he dove into the Red River to escape. The soldiers threw rocks at him. He was hit and drowned. Just recently the City of Winnipeg has designated a park in his honour.

Source: Heritage Resource Image from City of Winnipeg

Source: Heritage Resource Image from City of Winnipeg

Maxime Goulet was the St. Vital member of the Manitoba Legislature in 1878, and the provincial Minister of Agriculture in 1880. Goulet Street in St. Boniface is named after him. Maxime also took part in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris! He was one of a group of men who portrayed French Canadian settlers “saved” by Buffalo Bill. When he died in 1932, the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press had this headline:

Goulet Maxime obit1932
Guillemine Goulet married Miles McDermot, son of Andrew McDermot, an important name in Manitoba history.

Sara Goulet married Elzear Lagimodiere, a cousin of Louis Riel, and their son William Lagimodiere was a MLA.

Leonide Goulet was a member of the 49th Rangers, the Metis Scouts of the 1873-74 Boundary Commission who helped survey the Canada-U.S. border.

“One of the best known families” indeed!

Louis Riel Day

Louis Riel

Louis Riel Image courtesy Duffin and Co. / Library and Archives Canada / C-052177

In honour of Louis Riel Day (the 3rd Monday of February here in Manitoba), I thought I’d post a tribute to my Metis ancestors in the Hogue line. I know so little about the Metis women in my heritage. The first one, of course, is Marguerite Taylor, whom I’ve written about here. Country wife of Sir George Simpson of Hudson Bay Company, mother to two of his children, then married off to Amable Hogue.

Scrip application for Marguerite Hogue Library Archives Canada LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Scrip application for Marguerite Hogue
Library Archives Canada
LAC RG 15 v. 1321

Next is Genevieve or “Jenny” Beignet. Country wife of John Warren Dease, Sr. I haven’t written about them yet. Genevieve was born about 1796 in what is now Green Lake, Saskatchewan and died 10 Nov 1860 in St. Boniface. When John died in 1830 she was left with very young children which she raised in the Red River Settlement, possibly with the help of her brother-in-law Francis Dease.

Lastly, is Josephte Belisle, country wife of James McMillan. I’ll be getting to their story soon. Josephte was born around 1785. She was still alive in 1875, but I don’t know exactly when she died.

Scrip application for Josephte McMillan Library Archives Canada LAC RG 15 v. 1322

Scrip application for Josephte McMillan
Library Archives Canada
LAC RG 15 v. 1322

The only Metis artifact I have is the beautiful beadwork which I wrote about here.

My Dad used to make “jiggers”. Wish I had one of them now, but I have to be content with one I bought last year at Festival du Voyageur.

To this day I get tears in my eyes when I hear the “Red River Jig” being played on a fiddle. Reminds me of my Dad.

Happy Louis Riel Day!

The Dease connection, part 1

Back from vacation and ready to continue the story of Philomene McMillan’s ancestors. Philomene is Pépère’s mother. Previously, I wrote about Christopher Johnson and Ann Warren here. Their daughter, our direct ancestor Anne Johnson, was married to Richard Dease.

I haven’t discovered much about Richard Dease. One assumes that the Dease family was also landed gentry, since Richard married into the well-connected Johnson family. I do know that Richard had a brother who was a doctor, Dr. Francis Dease. According to The Report and Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for the years 1880, 1881 and 1882:

“…Richard Dease’s brother, Francis Dease, an eminent physician, engaged in the employ of Catharine II, of Russia, and dying unmarried, about 1739, left his fortune to his brother Richard, whose match with Miss Johnson he had been instrumental in forming. But through the dishonesty of an agent in St. Petersburg, Richard Dease never received one penny of the large estate devised him by his brother.”

I’m not certain that the above information is completely accurate, since I’ve found other sources that say Dr. Francis Dease died in Russia in 1741. One source is a 1997 book called ‘By the Banks of the Neva': Chapters from the Lives and Careers of the British in Eighteenth-Century Russia by Anthony Glenn Cross found on Google Books:

“Of the two Irish doctors Francis Dease was with the army during the Russo-Turkish war from 1738 until his death in 1741.”

Another source is the book Ireland and Medicine in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, which has a chapter entitled Medicine, Religion and Social Mobility in Eighteenth-and Early Nineteenth-Century Ireland, by Laurence Brockliss , in which he notes:

“Francis Dease from county Westmeath, who graduated at Reims in 1735, joined the Russian military after studying philosophy at Leuven and medicine at Leiden, only to die six years later at the young age of 32.”

Anne and Richard had at least two sons, both of whom became doctors like their uncle. The youngest son was Dr. William Dease, a noted Irish physician who was one of the founders of the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. The Dictionary of Ulster Biography notes that:

William Dease was one of the leading surgeons in Dublin (and therefore Ireland) in the last two decades of the eighteenth century, whose principal contribution to Irish medicine was probably the establishment of the profession of surgery as an independent entity, properly regulated by a professional body, and to reform and improve medical education in Ireland.”

William’s death by suicide, was the subject of controversy. He may have killed himself because he blamed himself for a patient’s death, or because he was warned that he was about to be arrested for being a member of The Society of United Irishmen. This was an organization working for Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform. You can read about it here.

You can also see a statue of William here .

As interesting a person as William is, he is not our direct ancestor. That would be his brother, Dr. John Dease, born in County Cavan, Ireland around 1744. The Warren, Johnson, and Dease families appear to have had very strong family ties, evidenced by the fact that, just as Peter Warren had taken William Johnson “under his wing” and brought him to New York to manage his affairs, so Sir William Johnson brought Dr. John Dease to New York in 1771 to serve as his personal physician. Upon Sir William’s death in 1774, he received some money and land.

By 1775 Dr. John Dease became Deputy Agent of Indian Affairs for the Cataraqui District. In the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, it says:

“Late in the summer of 1783 Dease accompanied Joseph Brant [Thayendanegea] and other Six Nations deputies when they left for Detroit to talk about unity with the western Indians, Creeks, and Cherokees. In September Dease made his first trip to Michilimackinac, bearing the official word of the cessation of hostilities between the British and the Americans. Following his return to Niagara he was involved in sensitive conferences with the Six Nations, whose lands had in effect been turned over to the Americans by the British in the Treaty of Paris (1783). Meanwhile, beyond the upper Great Lakes, intertribal Indian wars were seriously disrupting the western fur trade.”

In 1786 Dr. John Dease was appointed the deputy agent at Michilimackinac to try and settle the troubles. Unfortunately, Dease encountered problems with the merchants and the commandant at the fort, and by October of 1789 found himself recalled back to Montreal.

On a vacation a few years ago I was able to visit the fort on Mackinac Island.

Fort Mackinac

Dr. Dease married Jane French, a Caughnawaga Mohawk and they had 8 children. Dr. Dease died in 1801 and Jane in 1802.
I’ll continue the story in my next post.

George Taylor

I am very pleased to present a guest post from a fellow Hogue researcher and distant cousin, Maurice Hogue.  I mentioned Maurice here.  He has extensive information about George Taylor, whom I wrote about here.

George Taylor’s roots

Tracking a Taylor in England or Scotland is no picnic. A genealogist dug up this information.

George was listed as age 28 on his fist contract with HBC, signed May 17, 1787, so that would put his birth date as either 1758 or 59. His residence was listed as Berwick (Berwick-Upon-Tweed) in Northumberland, England.

That led the genealogist to search the Berwick records, but nothing turned up so he move to nearby towns and villages. Records from Bamburgh (or Balmbrough probably), a half hour drive south of Berwick on the North Sea Coast showed a baptism of a George Taylor there on Aug. 19, 1759, with the father, George Taylor of “Balmbrough”.

Next step was to check marriage records and what turned up in Berwick was the marriage banns issued between George Taylor of Balmbrough and Margaret Grieve. The marriage took place on June, 21 1757. They were both shown as 30 years of age. The marriage license showed George Taylor’s residence of Fleetham, Bamburgh.

Then things get a bit hazy. The burial of George Taylor of Fleatham was recorded as Nov. 11, 1758. So it would lead one to conclude that if he was baptised in August 1759, and taking the usual nine-months pregnancy period, it seems unlikely he was baptised as a new born. The most likely scenario would be that he was born in 1758 before his father died. Perhaps that date of baptism marked his first birthday.

And an aside re Berwick-Upon-Tweed: it lies on the Tweed River, the boundary between England and Scotland. It was once neither part of England or Scotland. It often had to be mentioned specifically in various Acts of Parliament right until the 1740s. There’s also speculation that it was not specifically noted on the treaty document to end the Crimean War with Russia in 1854-56, so was technically still at war with Russia.

George Taylor would seem to be English, but a wee bit of brogue might have been understandable. Whatever, he definitely was not part of the Orkney Taylors who came here. The Taylor name seems well-entrenched in the area of Bamburgh, which by all accounts, is a beautiful seaside village.

A Sea-going man
An episode in George Taylor’s seagoing life was particularly interesting, noted in HBC records as the Brig Beaver, Voyage of Discovery 1791-92. George was the ship’s master and as such kept the Beaver’s log. The detail in this document is fascinating.

The captain was one Charles Duncan. The Beaver arrived late in the sailing “year”, encountering early ice in Hudson Strait, and as such were unable to proceed to Rankin Inlet until August, and not allowing any exploration. Why were they going to Rankin Inlet? The esteemed Captain Duncan believed that north of Rankin and westward from there, was the entrance to the fabled and long-sought northwest passage. He had read this in a journal kept by someone named William Norton and became convinced that was the route.

Because they were late, they only explored Marble Island, and because it was so late (ships normally sailed back to England in late June), they sailed back to Churchill and wintered there. In July of 1792 they headed back to the area.

They sailed into the Chesterfield River (Chesterfield Inlet) about ten miles, then Duncan decided to leave the brig there and he and George and four crew took the long boat up the river. Eight days later (August 12) they were in Baker Lake but could not find deep water that would accommodate a larger ship. Plus there was still ice. No passage there.

They rowed back to the Beaver and returned to Churchill on August 30th. A few days later, Captain Duncan returned to the ship, “a little indisposed” according to George. They set sail for England (really quite late in the season) accompanied by another brig, the Nimble.

Soon Duncan became somewhat delirious, then he gave command of the ship to George, and attempted suicide. Officers from the Nimble came on board. “The Capt. appears to be insane”, wrote George. Duncan wanted a razor. George refused to give him one and then put him under watch. Soon he had to resort to putting Duncan in irons, as he was now raving about the devil.

George was concerned about keeping his captain under restraints, the typical way of dealing with the insane back then. Another suicide attempt followed that. Remember too that George was also trying to keep the ship on course, and it appears, a crew that was disturbed by all of this.

George seemed to be a compassionate man; he did not like using restraints on Duncan and even writes that if it was against the law to keep a man from killing himself “I’d rather be an Indian or an Esquamault”.

On September 28, the Nimble left the Beaver behind, around Cape Resolution at the entrance to Hudson Straits. About a week later, the Sea Horse came into the picture, and Duncan was transferred to that ship, leaving George to sail the Beaver back to England, arriving in London October 22.

I was unable to find anything further regarding Captain Duncan. We are left to presume his frustration and disappointment at not finding the magic “passage” contributed to his condition. George Taylor was up to the task. Obviously a competent sailor – who knows how much sailing he had done before he joined HBC – and a man with a heart. And a love for the Beaver as well. It returned to Severn district and York Factory in 1793, reconverted to a single-masted sloop, and became George Taylor’s baby for several years.


Comings and Goings

Jane, the woman with whom George created nine children, was apparently the daughter of a chief. She was Cree, and most likely Swampy Cree, or Lowland or Homeguard Cree. George appears to have learned the way of the land, and I found a reference somewhere that he was considered a fine hunter. When at York Factory, it appears that he lived along Ten Shilling Creek which is south of the Hayes River and sort of parallels the Hayes, joining where all those islands are located at the mouth of the Hayes.

It should also be stated that George spent much of his time here in Fort Severn as well. It is now Severn, Ontario. It was an extremely destitute and hard-luck location for HBC and the residents there. In looking through those logs I found mention of the death of John Taylor, son of George Taylor, September 5, 1809. George was not there at the time as he was off on one of his trips with the Beaver. That was the first reference I had ever seen to a son named John, so though I was a little sad that someone had died, I was also pretty excited to find that information. Sometimes you do find nuggets if you look hard enough.

The reference to the Britannia is another of great George’s sailing adventures. I think he had at last decided to leave his family at York Factory when he sailed away in September of 1815 on the Prince of Wales. He was listed as a passenger, arriving in Yarmouth in November. I searched other journals and ships logs for the ensuing years but found no record of him returning until…

The Britannia episode

With great avariciousness, the HBC decided to commission a ship designed to carry only one commodity: furs. They dispatched the Britannia to York Factory in 1817. The ship’s pilot was none other than George Taylor, a man who knew much about the area and the movement of goods. At that point he was almost 60 years of age, pretty old by working standards then.
Unfortunately, George could not steer the Britannia clear of bad weather. The ship left York Factory for England on October 1, 1817 in the midst of an early storm. Gale winds and early ice prevented any headway, and on the 19th they changed course to Churchill, but without success. The ship was in trouble. Then they tried to head to the Charlton Islands (in James Bay, talk about optimism). But ice stopped their progress, and in danger of sinking or breaking up, turned to the west to make it to shore. This proved unsuccessful as well and the ship and its valuable cargo ran aground on ice on November 12, .75 of a mile off shore at a point somewhere between York and Fort Severn, likely close to the small East and West Pen Islands.

George Taylor would certainly have great knowledge of that area. How many times had he sailed the Beaver from Severn to York Factory? The crew left the ship and trudged inland to make a camp, a prospect that was not too promising, given the weather. Some men were sent to Severn for supplies and tents, others trekked to York Factory. Then ensued a few months of scurvy, ill health and near-starvation for Captain John Edman and his crew.

Edman was considered a hero by the HBC brass at York Factory. They continued to send him communications with survival tips and instructions by runners from York and on one of those communications one of the signees was George Taylor (and his signature is the same as on his contract or journals.) There was no mention of George Taylor being at that camp.

Unfortunately Edman turned from hero to near-criminal. At some point in April, he was advised to send his crews to remove the furs from the Britannia which was doomed to destruction when the ice began to break up. Two weeks after the first attempt at bringing out furs, the next crew found the ship (and mostly all of its valuable cargo) totally destroyed by fire, attributed to some fire lanterns that had been left on. You might wonder if someone not exactly keen on walking five or some miles on ice with a load of fur pelts, might have decided to tip one of those lanterns deliberately.

Thus it was that Captain Edman returned in September 18, 1818 on the Prince of Wales to England. George Taylor was also listed in the passenger list and when he reached London a month later, he must have said “enough”.


The mystery continues

So where did he go? When and where did he die? I had little luck in determining anything official. In one of the HBC documents I found a reference to the baptism of Anne Taylor Cox, in February 1838, daughter of Captain Taylor deceased. Aha. But then who was Anne? Was this perhaps Nancy, George’s daughter, who married John Cox, and had to get baptised for the marriage? That would make sense, more so than assuming this was a daughter of George Taylor Jr. who, at that time, was very much alive.

(Any such news of George’s passing would have been received at the earliest, on the yearly ship from England in 1837.)

Also, George Jr. requested that he be granted passage for Europe in a letter to the chief factor at York dated August 5, 1833. Why? Had he received word that his father was ill, deceased? I found no reply from the Chief Factor, nor could I find George Jr listed as a passenger on any ship leaving that year or the next.

Then in another reference to Fur Trade Servants (Discharged or Deceased) Ledger I found reference to a George Taylor “A”, Sept 3 1839 payment paid to him, but the note below was indecipherable. Then a payment to George Taylor “B”, for travel expenses, which I would think was a payment to George Jr. So perhaps that first payment was to George Sr’s estate?

The reference to Robert, the son in England, is the last mystery. All of George Sr.’s sons seem to have had some schooling in England or Scotland, except likely the deceased John. I saw some place a comment that Robert was working on a “coaler” out of Newcastle. That’s in Northumberland. So is Bamburgh. So is Berwick. It would seem logical that George would have returned to the area where he grew up. His son was there. Perhaps that genealogist in Berwick should have been checking deaths in the 1830’s for our George Taylor, but we didn’t have the little snippets of information that we do now.

What an adventurous life!  I have not read George Taylor’s logs at the Hudson Bay Archives, but must put that on my “to do” list.

Thanks to Maurice for this informative post.  For some interesting reading about Berwick-upon-Tweed, look here.

Christmas 1967?

multigenerationalpicIn honour of the Christmas season I’m posting this picture from Christmas past.  I think it’s from 1967.

Back row, my Mom and my brother’s mother-in-law

Seated, Mémère and my other grandmother (Grandma Vaillancourt)

The three gorgeous, well-dressed children are two nieces and a nephew!

Merry Christmas to all my “cousins” and blog readers!

The Johnson Connection

I have been writing about the ancestors of Pépère’s mother, Philomene McMillan. I have already written about Anne Warren’s family including her brother Sir Peter Warren, and also the Aylmer and Plunkett families of Ireland.

Anne Warren was married to Christopher Johnson, who was, as my husband says,  “real” Irish not the Anglo-Irish variety! Christopher and Anne had a daughter, Ann Johnson, from whom we descend. Ann never crossed the pond to North America, but it turns out she is a “gateway ancestor”, i.e. one whose ancestry has already been thoroughly documented. In Ann’s case the gateway ancestor is her brother, Sir William Johnson.


Sir William Johnson Library and Archives Canada MIKAN no. 2837207

Sir William Johnson
Library and Archives Canada MIKAN no. 2837207


Sir William came to America in 1738, in charge of families from County Meath that were going to settle on his uncle’s estate in the Mohawk Valley of New York. His uncle was Sir Peter Warren.  (How nice to have family connections!) Sir William’s business career, which included buying properties and trading in goods imported from England, would make him a very large fortune. From this beginning, Sir William went on to become a very wealthy and influential leader in colonial America. He was, I have to acknowledge, a slave owner. However he also developed an exceptional bond with native Americans. He learned a bit of the Mohawk language, was made a sachem, and often wore native dress and warpaint. From 1745 to 1751 he was colonel of the Six Nations Indians and in 1748 he became colonel of the 14 militia companies on the New York frontier.

The Seven Year’s War saw France and Britain battle for dominance in North America . In 1755 Sir William Johnson was part of the victory over the French at the Battle of Lake George. In 1756 he was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs north of the Ohio River. In 1759 he was the commander of the British force that, with the help of their Iroquois allies, took Fort Niagara from the French.

Once the British had defeated the French, Sir William continued to have a very influential position regarding the Indians. He lived with Molly Brant, an influential Mohawk clan matron, and sister of Joseph Brant, a Mohawk war chief.  Though they were never legally married, they had several children together, and Molly served as mistress of Sir William’s homes. Sir William built a magnificent home called Johnson Hall in Johnstown, New York, where he lived from 1763 ‘til his death.


It was the site of many Six Nations conferences and is now a New York State Historic Site. Sir William fell ill in the middle of a conference with the Six Nations at his home in July 1774, and died, two years before the American Revolution.

So who exactly are the ancestors of Ann and William Johnson? In the book White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America by Fintan O’Toole, we read:

“Their name sounds English, but Christopher Johnson seems to have been the first to style himself exclusively in this fashion. His father, William, seems originally to have called himself MacShane—a Gaelic name that translates simply as John’s son—hence ‘Johnson’. His father in turn was Thomas MacShane, whose father was Sean or John O’Neill (hence ‘son of John’) from Dungannon in County Tyrone-heartland of the greatest of all the Gaelic aristocratic families of Ireland.

Johnson’s ancestors were not from the main line of the O’Neill family, but from an intriguing branch. The O’Neills of the Fews, from whom he was directly descended, were, as far back as the sixteenth century, a frontier tribe.”

“The Fews” refers to the area of southern Armagh in Ulster. In Shadow soldiers of the American Revolution: loyalist tales from New York to Canada, Mark Jodoin writes that the Johnsons trace back to:

‘”Sir Turlough mac Henry O Neill,” an Irish chieftain who tried but failed to straddle both sides of the Irish rebellion at the end of the 16th century and was forced to seek pardons for his family from Elizabeth I.’

A series of articles from 1973/74/77 published by noted Irish historian Tomás Ó Fiaich in Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, gives the following descent:

Henry O’Neill who was chieftain of the Fews in the 1560s married Sioban Maguire (her second marriage)
They had Turlough MacHenry who married Sara Luineach. He died in 1640.
They had Sir Henry O’Neill who married Mary O’Reilly
who had Shane/Sean O’Neill who married Letitia Blayney
they had Thomas McShane who married Frances Fay
they had William Johnson who married Anna Fitzsimmons
they had Christopher Johnson who married Anne Warren

And the line from Christopher Johnson to Pépère is as follows:

1-Christopher JOHNSON (1687-1764)
+Richard DEASE
3-Dr. John DEASE (1745-1801)
+Jane FRENCH (ca 1754-1802)
4-John Warren DEASE Sr. (1783-1830)
+Genevieve BEIGNET (1796-1860)
5-Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
+William MCMILLAN (1806-1903)
6-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
7-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)

The O’Neill line is of particular interest to me, as my husband’s Mother was an O’Neill! Plus there is a Fay connection with a dear friend!

The Aylmer Connection

Confession: As a fan of the Philippa Gregory novels, C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake series, and the Hilary Mantel series about Thomas Cromwell,  I am particularly intrigued with some of the ancestors who lived during the War of the Roses, and the Tudor years.

Anne Warren’s mother was Catherine Aylmer. The Aylmer family came from landed gentry. They had made many advantageous marriages, creating ties with many other important families including the Plunketts, Barnewells, Flemings and Welles, acquiring both lands and titles in the process.

I am most definitely NOT a medieval historian. Obviously I have not personally investigated birth, marriage and death records for the following ancestors, but have relied on secondary sources. I have, however, researched with a skeptical mind, aware that many of the old pedigrees out there are lacking in credibility. Although it is exciting to discover so-called “important” ancestors, the real thrill is making a connection to history, to feel events from the past come alive.

My research is based on recent research by people who are much more qualified than I am. Therefore I am confident that the following ancestors really are mine.

Sir Christopher Plunkett was Sheriff of Meath, and later became Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1432. By his marriage to Joan Cusack he acquired Killeen Castle. It now boasts a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course (look here) so I suppose it’s too late to try and claim it.

Christopher Fleming 8th Baron of Slane in 1512 established a Franciscan friary on the Hill of Slane. The Hill has a deep mythological history you can read about  here. Unfortunately only ruins remain.

Picture “hill of slane” by Holly Hayes on flickr, posted under Creative Commons License

Picture “hill of slane” by Holly Hayes on flickr, posted under Creative Commons License

Sir Gerald Aylmer was Lord Chief Justice of Ireland from 1535 to 1559. He was complicit in carrying out Henry VIII’s and Thomas Cromwell’s policy of “dissolution of the monasteries.” This was a policy that served to impose the Protestant Reformation on Britain, as well as enrich the coffers of the crown, and reward those who supported Henry with valuable land holdings.

Oliver Plunkett, was created 1st Baron Louth in 1541 by Henry VIII. Unfortunately this castle is beyond repair.

But the most interesting ancestor is none other than Edward I.


Edward I, also known as “Longshanks” lived from 1239 to 1307. In popular culture he may be most widely (but perhaps inaccurately) known from the movie Braveheart which portrays the Scottish hero William Wallace’s fight against English rule.  He is also known for being the monarch who expelled Jews from England in 1290.

From a King of England and Crusader to a farmer in La Salle, Manitoba, here’s our descent:

1-Edward I PLANTAGENET King of England (1239-1307)
+Marguerite of France (abt 1275-1317)
2-Thomas of Brotherton PLANTAGENET Earl of Norfolk (1300- 1338)
+Alice HALYS (?-?)
3-Margaret PLANTAGENET Duchess of Norfolk (abt 1320-abt 1399)
+John SEGRAVE 4th Lord Segrave (abt 1315- 1353)
4-Baroness Elizabeth SEGRAVE (1338-bef 1368)
+John DE MOWBRAY 4th Lord Mowbray (1340- 1368)
5-Eleanor DE MOWBRAY (abt1364-?)
+Sir John DE WELLES 5th Baron Welles (1352-1421)
6-Eudo DE WELLES (?-bef 26 Aug 1421)
+Maud DE GREYSTOKE (?-?)
7-Sir William DE WELLES (?-?)
+Anne BARNEWALL (?-?)
8-Eleanor DE WELLES (?-?)
+Walter CHEVERS (?-?)
9-Margaret CHEVERS (?-1514)
+Bartholomew AYLMER (?-1501)
10-Sir Gerald AYLMER Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (abt 1470-1560)
+Alison FITZGERALD (?-/)
11-Bartholomew AYLMER (bef 1528-1553)
+Elinor WARREN (?-?)
12-Nicholas AYLMER (abt 1544-1608)
+Margaret PLUNKETT (?-?)
13-Christopher AYLMER (?-?)
14-Gerald AYLMER (?-1662)
15-Sir Christopher AYLMER 1st Baronet of Balrath (?-1671)
+Margaret PLUNKETT (?-4 Dec 1683)
16-Catherine AYLMER (?-1726)
+Michael WARREN (?-1712)
17-Anne WARREN (?-?)
+Christopher JOHNSON (1687-1764)
18-Ann JOHNSON (?-?)
+Richard DEASE (?-?)
19-Dr. John DEASE (1745-1801)
+Jane FRENCH (ca 1754-1802)
20-John Warren DEASE Sr. (1783-1830)
+Genevieve BEIGNET (1796-1860)
21-Margaret DEASE (1818-1905)
+William MCMILLAN (1806-1903)
22-Philomene MCMILLAN (1848-1923)
+Thomas HOGUE (1840-1924)
23-Thomas Joseph HOGUE (1879-1955)