In my efforts to understand more about my Roscommon ancestors, I have looked at Parish records. There are many gaps. It is not possible to track people from birth to marriage to death. Kilbride Parish Church, at Four Mile House, features in my family’s records. I have found another family with the Stanley name on these records. I cannot connect them to my line. Perhaps DNA will help at some point in the future.
Michael Stanley was born in 1804. (All these dates must be treated with some caution.) He married Elizabeth Egan. She was born in 1816. The marriage probably took place 1833/34. They had five children.
- Molly (difficult to read) born 1834 (from the immigration record)
- Mary, born 1840 from Church records. She died 21 January 1890
- Catherine, born 1842 from Church records
- Anne, born 1844, from Church records
- Sarah, born 1846, from Church records.
They landed in New York on 8 December 1846, on the ‘Sea of New York’ from Liverpool. Their destination was stated to be Upper Canada.
On the 1851 census, for Biddulph, Huron County, Ontario there is the following entry:
- Elizabeth Stanley, age 51
- Mary, age 16
- Ann, age 6
- Sarah, age 5
There is no sign of Michael or Catherine. There is a record of the death of a Michael Stanley in New York on 15th April 1846.
Biddulph is also known as Lucan Biddulph. It is west of Toronto, about 30 miles from the US border.
On 9th January 1865, in Middlesex, Ontario (the adjoining county to Huron) a marriage was recorded. Robert Fox, who was born in Lucan in 1840, married Catherine Ryan from Ireland. Her parents are John Ryan and Alice Fox. Why is this of relevance? The names of his parents were given as Michael and Elizabeth Stanley. This is strange. Was he an adopted son? He shares his surname with that of the bride’s mother. Were they disguising the fact that he was marrying a cousin?
The lack of a provable link to my family has meant that I have not pursued this particular story further. Perhaps someone with links to Stanleys with Irish antecedents in Canada would like to research further. Please let me know what you find.