Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I am not much of a list-maker. For me, drawing up a “to do” list borders on the anathema. I’ve always had a self-organizing type of mind, I guess.

Until lately. Looking at this unyielding set of Flannery family members, I am struggling to convince them to give up their secrets. They have finally driven me to drawing up lists.

Let’s look at the first list of family members we have available to us: the 1852 Canadian Census for the village of Paris in Brant County, Canada West. We have
Ed-blot, age 45
Mrs., age 35
Patrick, age 19
Cornelious, age 17
Michael, age 15
John, age 4

Where Ed-blot and his family ended up for the subsequent census in 1861, I’m not sure—mainly because I couldn’t really be sure of the actual name of this household’s head. I’m not sure the census enumerator for the small town of Paris, Ontario, was sure, either. For his duties in 1861, the enumerator listed the head of household for the only Flannery family in town as Edward.

Could Edward be our Flannery man? Let’s see who was in this household in 1861:
Edward, age 55
Marg’t, age 52
Mat, age 19
Ellen, age 18

That, incidentally, comprised the household under the spelling, “Flanery.” Oddly enough, since the “Flanery” household was at the bottom of that census page, John, age 12, was added, not at the top of the subsequent page, but the page afterward—not matching up with any contiguous entries whatsoever.

The 1871 census for Edward and Margaret include precisely those two, only: Edward at age 62, his wife at age 60. None of their children remained in the household. By the next year, Edward himself had left—passed away on June 30, 1872. I could not locate Margaret in the next census—I had hoped that would reveal where some of her children had moved—so have to presume that she had died, also.

The only other Flannery household I could find in Paris was that of Ed and Margaret’s son, Patrick. Gone were Cornelius and Michael without a trace. Though I still couldn’t find baby brother John, I did discover one hint of his availability in a transcribed mention as the reporting party for his brother Patrick’s death record in 1895.

Trying to cross-check that with the burials at the local Catholic cemetery was fruitless. My only accessible record is that offered by a volunteer’s entries at—for the most part, as we’ll explore tomorrow, representing the descendants of son Patrick’s family.

Sometimes, the only option when faced with Internet-only researching options is to set the whole project aside. Newly-placed digitized records are coming online at such a rapid pace that chances are excellent that what can’t be found today will be staring us in our faces in the not-too-distant future.

Meanwhile, just because I have it, and just because I can, tomorrow I’ll share what I’ve found on son Patrick’s family, the only ones—apparently—left in Paris in the next generation.


  1. I think using Ed-blot is "catchy" - Imagine having a relative named that (for real)? :)

    1. Glad you find it catchy, Iggy. I was brainstorming with my daughter over this Flannery roadblock a while back, and it just sorta came out. It will always be Ed-blot for us, from now on :)

  2. I make lists all the time...keeps me on track:)


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