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May 1, 2015 How did we get here? Whether you remember or not, you once asked me how our Todd family came to be in Canada. This was about the time ‘Roots’ was being aired as one of the earliest TV mini-series. I responded that your grandfather was out looking for a hollow tree to make a drum, when the Tubob came. I can still remember your look of disdain, when you realized this was another of your old dad’s many bad jokes. However, as you are the last male in this line of our family, it is an appropriate time to share with you what we know from researching the beginnings of the Todds, and our many connections with other families along the way. For one reason or another, the trail in Ireland does not begin to become clear until the mid 1800’s. Everything before that time is based on general recorded history and conjecture. In contrast, most of your New England Planter ancestors are very well documented from and before their arrival in Nova Scotia about 1760. Some of these families can be traced to England in the 1500’s and to the ‘Mayflower’ immigrants to North America in 1620. All of the known contributors to your bloodline came to this continent by way of the British Isles, and are of Anglo-Saxon or Scottish-Irish descent. On the Todd side we find families named Hay, McConnell, Robinson, Dodge, Jackson, Smith and Rice and in the Lyons’ line, Woolaver, Newcomb, Graves, Kenney and Freeman. In addition to the ethnic homogeneity of you forebears, there is a common theme determining the direction of their travels and the nature of their travails. Threading throughout these stories are themes of political and religious conflict in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Frequently your antecedents were attracted to relocation by the availability of land in another country, and religious freedom. TODD This family name is traced to the border area between present day England and Scotland. About 1000 AD the clan structure of family allegiance and association became a recognizable social element in the northern part of Britain. Todds were attached to two prominent Scottish clans, the MacTavishes, and the Gordons. It is most likely that the first Todds who came to Ulster, in Northern Ireland, were part of a planned resettlement with political and religious motives. In 1603 the crowns of England and Scotland were unified under James VI of Scotland who found it expedient to disperse unruly border clans. During the early part of the seventeenth century and until about 1621, many clansmen were persuaded or forced to remove to England, Northern Scotland and to Ireland. Our Scottish ancestor most likely came from the area near Loch Lomand, perhaps Dumbarton or West Lothian. In Ireland the Ulster settlers took up land from which native Catholic Irish tenants had been displaced. As a condition, they were required to sign an undertaking to remain Protestant and faithful to the British Crown. Others voluntarily crossed the ocean to North America, to the Carolinas, and moved inland to Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Mary Todd was a descendant of this group and the wife of Abraham Lincoln. 2. The plantation of Ulster was initiated in 1609 and continued until 1633. It encompassed the counties of Armagh, Derry, Tyrone, Donegal and Fermanagh, as well as most of County Cavan which is now part of the Irish Republic. The eastern counties of Antrim and Down were outside the official scheme, but many Scots settled there, acquiring land from native Irish holders. By 1630, there were about 800 Scots living in Antrim. Emigration from the west of Scotland to Antrim continued through the seventeenth century. The Antrim coast was an attractive destination, only twenty miles away from Scotland by sea. Records from this time are scarce. One informal census was the compilation of Hearth Money Rolls. The Hearth Tax, also known as the ’chimney’ tax was introduced to Ireland in 1662. Lists were made containing the names of householders who were liable to pay the tax at the rate of two shillings on every hearth or fireplace they had. Some persons, those living on charity, those not able to work, or those who inhabited a house on lands worth less than eight pounds annual rental, with other property valued at less than four pounds were exempted from the assessment. The Hearth Money Rolls of North and Mid Antrim for 1669 contain the names of eleven Todds; of these, one, John, resided in the Parish of Doagh Grange, Townland of Cogry, and two, Archable and Hugh, in the Parish of Kilbride, Townland of Ballywee. The only physical record of our lineage is contained in a handwritten chart made by Thomas Hay Todd, and discovered among the possessions of his only daughter, Ellen Hay Todd, after her death in 1966. . 3. It seems that the earliest identified person in this chart was James, an only male ancestor, who went to America by way of Charleston, in the Carolinas, and left behind two sons, James and John. John, who died in October, 1846, would be your great-great- great grandfather. He was the father of another James, as well as Jenney, John, and Eliza. This latest James died in February, 1886. An unconfirmed record from the Ballyeaston Presbyterian Church record of baptisms suggests he had ten children, including the eight recorded above, and two daughters, Margaret and Jennett. The records from Ballyeaston name his wife as Elizabeth Gormal. Hugh Todd, your great-great grandfather was baptized at Ballyeaston on February 29, 1836 (a leap year day), and died on February 23rd, 1896. He married Ellen Hay of Bellahill, a rural area east of Carrickfergus, on January 19th, 1863. They were married in a Presbyterian church in Raloo. Hugh worked as a carpenter/joiner. At least until 1865, when your great grandfather, Thomas Hay, was born, the couple resided in Cogry, near Doagh. His birth certificate says Thomas Hay was born at his mother’s home, Beechview, on a farm in the Ballycarry District of County Larne, near Bellahill and Kilroot. The family of Ellen Hay had been at Beechview farm for many years; legend has it that the first of that name had come to Ireland from Scotland with John Dalway, an officer in the army of the Earl of Essex, in 1578. He was a groom in charge of Dalway’s horses between 1578 and 1606, and was able to lease this farm property from Dalway. At some later time it came into permanent possession of the Hay family. 4. This photo of the Beechview farmhouse probably dates from the early 1900’s Some time after 1865, and before the birth of their second child, Eliza Jane in 1868, Hugh, Ellen, and infant son, Thomas Hay moved to the town of Carrickfergus. Eliza’s birth record has their residence on Taylor’s Row, not far from the linen factory known as Barn Mills, which was owned by James Taylor. This Carrickfergus address was also the birthplace of their later children, Isabella Jemima, (1872), and William Hugh, (1878). Hugh was a supporter of the Congregational Church in Carrickfergus. The Congregationalists, known at that time as ‘Independents’, were a sect of the Presbyterians. He was a Deacon, and Treasurer of this congregation, and a memorial to his service to the church was inscribed on a new pulpit, placed there after his death in 1896: It reads: “In loving memory of William Vint, John Jack, James Herdman, Hugh Todd for many years associated with this church deacons. Erected by representatives of their families 20 December 1896” 5. Hugh was buried in a cemetery in Doagh; this is the transcribed inscription, and a photo of his gravestone: Record of burial in Doagh: http://doaghancestry.co.uk/doagh-graveyard-inscriptions 6. This formal photo of Hugh is most likely from the late 1880’s or early 1890’s. A copy was located in the archives of the Congregational church in Carrickfergus in 2010. Thomas Hay Todd had the picture framed in Belfast, and sent to him in Birkenhead, when he relocated his family to England in 1907. Subsequently he transported it to Canada, where it remains in the possession of your uncle, Thomas Everett Todd. 7. This is Ellen Hay Todd, your great-great grandmother. The image appears to be either a painting, or a retouched photo. This framed portrait was also transported to Canada in 1913, and is still in Uncle Tom’s possession. 8. According to the census of 1901, the first official census of Ireland, Hugh’s widow, Ellen, daughters Eliza Jane, and Isabella Jemima, and son, William Hugh were residing in Belfast, at 14 Maymount Street, although Ellen also owned a house at 12 Albert Road in Carrickfergus. William Hugh died at the early age of 27, in 1905, at Maymount Street. He died of complications from a stomach ulcer. Ellen passed away there in 1906. Eliza Jane and Isabella spent the rest of their lives in Belfast, never married, and continued to work as seamstresses. They corresponded frequently with their surviving brother, Thomas Hay, and often went on vacation to the Beechview farm in Bellahill, and occasionally travelled to Doagh to visit their parents’ gravesite. We have copies of correspondence between both sisters and Thomas over many years. Isabella died in December, 1930, in Belfast; Eliza Jane died in 1942. Both signed the ‘Ulster Declaration’ in 1812 opposing ‘Home Rule’. The ‘Home Rule’ movement for Irish independence from Britain was the major source of the “Troubles”, and the rise of various independence-minded factions, including the militant Irish Republican Army. Thomas Hay Todd Thomas Hay Todd, the eldest son of Hugh and Ellen Todd, was your great grandfather, and an intelligent, bold, and morally upright individual. The record of his life has been preserved in an extensive collection of his letters, those received, and copies of his correspondence with others. A letter of reference from the Headmaster of the Model School in Carrickfergus attests to Thomas Todd’s attendance there from 1874, when he would have been nine years old, until 1879. “His attainments in English and Mathematics were very respectable.…….. His character and conduct always was, and continues to be unimpeachable.” From 1879, at age fourteen, to 1887, he worked for James Taylor and Sons, a firm engaged in the spinning of flax for the linen industry, located at Barn Mills, in Carrickfergus. It is likely that he also worked in the mill, when not attending school, from 1878 to 1879, since he was also identified as a Monitor at the Model School during the same period. In November of 1887 he left James Taylor and Sons ‘of his own accord having been in the office department for nearly eight years’. In 1888 he went to Manchester in England and worked at Broughton Flax Mills for less than a year as Reeling Master. After returning to the Belfast area, Thomas worked for seven months with Workman Clark & Company in the Belfast Shipyard, while completing a course in double entry book-keeping. He then spent seventeen months in the employ of John K. Scott, as a book-keeper. The line of business of his employer is not recorded, but he proved to be ‘conscientiously sober, honest and industrious’, and left at his own request. He returned to Workman and Clark and remained there for seventeen years, in increasingly responsible office positions. From 1902, until leaving in 1907, he was in charge of Costing and Estimating. As executor of his mother’s will, his occupation is described as ‘mercantile clerk, When he left the firm to take a position in England, he was presented with a silver tea set as a parting gift. 9. This photograph of your great grandfather probably dates from the 1890’s. On December 26 (Boxing Day) 1893, Thomas Hay Todd was married to Sara McConnell; Sara was a schoolteacher, and the daughter of James McConnell and Sarah (Elliot) McConnell; James McConnell was a dedicated supervisor of the linen spinning operation of James Taylor & Sons in Barn Mills, in Carrickfergus. They were both 28 years of age. Sara had a brother, Robert McConnell, whose name was passed to your paternal grandfather, and to your father. She also had a sister, Agnes, who married John Anderson, went to Canada, and settled in Ottawa. After their marriage, Thomas and Sara lived in Belfast, first residing at 121 Alexandra Park Avenue, and later at 32 Indiana Avenue. They attended Donegall Road Congregational Church, where both were active participants in church activities. Thomas and Sara had four children; Ellen (1894), James Carson (1896), Hugh Gorman (1899 ), and Robert McConnell (1901). 10. The census of Ireland made in 1901 records the family, and a domestic servant living at 121 Alexandra Park Avenue in Belfast. From correspondence we know that Thomas owned this property. In 1907, after the death of his mother, Thomas and his family moved to Prenton, in Cheshire, England. This location, outside Birkenhead, was near the shipbuilding city of Liverpool. Thomas moved there about the middle of May, 1907, with a job in hand, and joined the firm of Cammell Laird & Co. This employment lasted until the end of 1912. He was variously in charge of the Counting House and Commercial Office at the Tranmere Shipyard. Subsequently, with the amalgamation of this office with one in Birkenhead, he was Local Secretary, and then Chief Buyer in the Shipbuilding Department. He also became a Freemason, joining the Royal Victoria Lodge in Liverpool. In 1912 there was a ‘corporate reorganization’, and Thomas was shuffled out of his job at Cammell Laird, upon the appointment of a new Managing Director. The decision to cross the Atlantic and immigrate to Canada must have been a fairly courageous one for a person with a wife and young family, particularly coming within a year from the loss of the Titanic. According to information from cousin Ruth’s husband, Ted Beal, they sailed on the Arabic out of Liverpool on March 29th, 1913. Arabic, like Titanic, was a part of the White Star fleet, with regular sailings on the Liverpool to Boston transatlantic route. They landed in Portland Maine. 11. Before he left England, Thomas solicited firms in England and Scotland to act as a manufacturer’s agent for their products in Canada; we do not believe this effort met with any success. 16 Rocky Bank Rd Birkenhead 6/3/13 M ssrs Luke Turner & Co √ Moore Eady & Mercot Good Ltd √ A E Adams & Co Dear Sirs, As I intend leaving for Ottawa on the 29th inst I should be glad by You informing me per return if You could offer me a small case of Your goods (assorted) suitable for the Canadian trade and in season so as to command a ready sale. This for shipment with me on the 29th inst and to be delivered to White Star people (Liverpool) addressed to me not later than the morning of the 26th inst. Amt abt £30/40 worth. Payment cash before dispatch If You can do so would You please detail the articles suggested, send samples (I presume) and quote Your lowest wholesale prices delivered Liverpool carriage paid In explanation I may state that I am a clerk out of employment proceeding to Canada to find something to do and these goods are solely for resale as I do not wish to be idle even for the few weeks preparing travelling and settling Yours very truly Thos H Todd Bankers London City Midland Bank Ltd Tranmere Branch Birkenhead 12. By April 9th, 1913, at least one member of the family, Robert McConnell, had been cleared by the health authorities. Correspondence from friends in Ireland expressed sympathy for the severe sea sickness suffered by Sara and Ellie during the crossing. Many descendents suffer from a tendency to the same malady. The family made their way to Ottawa, and settled there, where Thomas initially worked as a book-keeper for a firm of wholesale grocers, E. M. Lerner and Son. He had a close relationship with the husband of his wife’s sister Agnes, John Anderson, who worked as salesman with Charles Ogilvy, a large department store in Ottawa. Thomas was employed by the Charles Ogilvy firm in 1915 and 1916. During that period his son James found employment with the Bank of Ottawa, and Hugh also worked with Charles Ogilvy as a salesman. Thomas purchased two dwellings at 156-158 Russell Avenue in Ottawa in joint ownership with his brother-in-law, John Anderson. About 1916 both James and Hugh Todd joined the Canadian Army, and both saw military service in France as members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. James attained the rank of Seargent. Sometime in 1916, Thomas took up an office position with The Collingwood Shipbuilding Company on Lake Simcoe. He resigned from that firm at the end of 1918, citing as reasons, work-related stress, and difficult relations with other staff members. Most likely James and Hugh were still in the Canadian Army at that time and Ellie was studying ‘Housekeeping’ at MacDonald College in Guelph. Robert (Connell) was employed by the Royal Bank in Collingwood. 13. In the first part of 1918, Thomas made enquiries for new employment, and attempted to pay a visit to Passaic, New Jersey, to visit two aunts, his father’s sisters. One of the aunts (Eliza) had married John Cannon who owned and operated “the only shoe store in the city not run by Jews”. The other aunt, Sarah, (Sally) was unmarried and lived in the Cannon household. Wartime travel restrictions caused him to cancel this trip and he enrolled in short courses in Horticulture at the Agricultural College in Guelph, and then went to work as a farm hand in Craigleith, north of Collingwood, on a farm owned by two brothers, Henry and Dave Fleming, Although he planned that this would be a permanent job, it was terminated after two months, and through a contact in the shipbuilding industry, he became aware of an opening for a purchasing agent at Halifax Shipbuilders Limited in Halifax. He applied for and was hired for the position. He travelled alone to Halifax by train in early September. He rented a ‘bedsitter’ at the south end of Hollis Street, walked the mile or so to work, and took his meals at restaurants and cafeterias. Still in wartime, and in the aftermath of the explosion of 1917, he describes Halifax as thronged with servicemen, and with not a house left standing north of the Shipyard. Before Christmas, 1918, Sara and Connell arrived in Halifax from Collingwood, while Ellie remained at MacDonald College in Guelph to complete her studies. At some subsequent date they all moved to 37 Veith Street in Halifax, and Thomas attended Park Street Presbyterian Church. Apparently the position at the Halifax Shipyard worked out well and he retired in 1922. His retirement gift was a metal smoking stand, with an inscription commemorating the occasion. He also achieved what had been a long held ambition, to become a poultry and fruit farmer, with the purchase of property in South Farmington, Annapolis County, from Jessie, widow of Abner Parker. Jim and Hugh remained in Ontario, Connell was employed by the Royal Bank in Halifax, and Ellie became a dietician at the Nova Scotia (Tuberculosis) Sanitarium in Kentville. Nine months after moving to the Valley, Thomas had a stroke, and became paralyzed on the right side. During his recovery, he continued to correspond with many contacts, by learning to write with his left hand. With his father’s illness, Connell left the Royal Bank in Halifax, and took over operation of the farm. Thomas died on September 25th, 1941. He is buried on September 28th in the Wiswell Cemetery in Wilmot. (of absolutely no significance, on the same date Ted Williams finished his Red Sox baseball season with a batting average of .406) Sara lived until 1948, although she developed dementia in her later years. In the background of her photo, from the 1940’s, is the silver tea service presented to Thomas when he left his employment with Workman Clark & Company in 1907. 14. 15. ROBERT McCONNELL TODD (Sr) We know much more about your great-grandfather, than about your grandfather, my father. He was born in Belfast on January 9th, 1901. He was the namesake of Robert McConnell, Sara’s brother. He was twelve when the family moved to Canada. He was working in the Bank of Ottawa, and had been promoted to Accountant in 1916, while his brothers James and Hugh were in the Canadian Army, and Ellie was studying in Guelph. In July of 1918 he had an appendectomy, and in the late fall of the same year, accompanied Sara to join Thomas in Halifax, where he again worked in the Royal Bank. This photo is undated, but is probably from 1916 or 1917. When Thomas retired from the Halifax Shipyard, and moved to South Farmington, Connell remained at the bank in Halifax. Thomas suffered his stroke sometime in 1922. Connell came to South Farmington to help out for a month or two, and ended up, at 23, a full time farmer, instead of a banker. We have no record of his life during the period from then, until 1934, when he married Florence Robinson, the youngest of the five children of Charles Everett Robinson, and Lillian (Smith) Robinson, the Todds’ nearest neighbor on an adjoining farm. Florence was born in 1909, and would have been about fourteen when Robert McConnell arrived on the scene. 16. While your grandfather learned farming, literally ‘from the ground up’, Florence furthered her education with a course in secretarial arts, including the ability to record ‘Pittman Shorthand’. At some time before 1930, she went to Halifax, and worked as a secretary at an automobile dealership, Citadel Motors, and lived at the YWCA. By the time of her marriage, in 1934, she had returned to South Farmington, and had taken a position as Assistant Postmistress in the railway hamlet of Wilmot Station. 17. 18. This is a ‘honeymoon’ photo taken in the park in front of the Novascotian Hotel in Halifax, beside the base of the statue of Edward Cornwallis. The hotel, the statue, and the park exist today. Contrary to appearances, your grandfather was of the white race, deeply tanned from a working life of exposure to the sun. These two collies were Connell’s constant and much loved companions on the farm. To his great regret, he was forced to euthanize them, after complaints from his neighbors (they chased horses). 19. Your grandmother Todd was very much a farmer’s daughter, and comfortable with a team of horses. Their first child, your father, was born on October 29th, 1936. Predictably he became Robert McConnell Todd Junior. In this photo, he is about five months old. 20. I have few memories of my father, other than that he was a small man (5’6” and 135 pounds), smoked hand rolled cigarettes, and bought me a baseball catcher’s mitt when I was about eight. After supper on Saturday we all walked to the local grocery store, a distance of about a mile, to get our week’s ‘boughten’ supplies including a 5 cent chocolate bar for each of the boys. The total grocery bill would be about three dollars, and we would carry our purchases home in a bushel apple basket. We used government issued coupons to buy sugar, because of wartime rationing. He had some musical ability, and played the banjo-mandolin in a band at local dances. We always had a team of horses, and this photograph is with Tommie and I on the back of a dapple grey workhorse. We would have been about four and six respectively at the time. Note our charming little military uniforms. We got a new team of ‘western’ horses, Dick and Dan, in about 1943. The first summer we had them, they were still a bit wild, and one day when Dad was taking a load of empty apple barrels to the United Fruit Company warehouse, they shied from a passing car, and ran away with the hay wagon, shedding barrels, and Dad along the way. He was bruised, but not seriously hurt, and the team was captured by some neighbours before they got on the main highway, the ‘Post Road’. He was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in 1947. He underwent surgery, and had most of his stomach removed. However, the cancer was metastatic and he died in Middleton Hospital on August 10, 1948, at the age of 47. 21. There is a family burial plot in Wilmot Station, in a graveyard called the Wiswall Cemetery. The church was known as the Wilmot Union Church because it was shared for Sunday worship by the United Church, Baptists, and Anglicans on a rotating basis. It was across the ‘Post Road’ from the school I attended from 1942 to 1949. This headstone was erected by Uncle Tommie and I, after our mother’s death at 93, in 2002. 22. ELLEN HAY TODD Aunt Ellie, the eldest child of Thomas and Ellen, was born in Belfast on September 24th, 1894. She came to Canada with her family, and began attending MacDonald Hall (now the Guelph Agricultural College) about 1916. She was educated as an ‘Housekeeper’, graduated in June of 1920, and moved to Halifax. She found employment in Halifax, probably with one of the hospitals, as a dietician. By 1922, she had moved to the Nova Scotia Sanitarium (for tuberculosis patients) in Kentville. She left that job over a matter of principle, and subsequently trained and worked at the Toronto General Hospital until 1926, when she returned to Halifax, and was hired by the Victoria General Hospital. She became Head Dietician at the VG, and took an early retirement on May 19th, 1944, because of advancing and crippling rheumatoid arthritis. She lived for several years at our home in South Farmington, and then moved to her own apartment in Middleton after her mother’s death in 1946. She died in Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in Middleton, on October 7th, 1966, at the age of 73. She is buried in Wiswall Cemetery in South Farmington. 23. JAMES CARSON TODD Uncle Jim was born in Carrickfergus on July 31, 1896. He was named for James Carson, who was a friend and fellow worker of Thomas Hay Todd at the Belfast shipyard, Workman Clark and Company. Mr. Carson frequently corresponded with Thomas over many years. Immediately the Todd family was settled in Ottawa, in 1913, Jim was employed with the Bank of Ottawa, and remained there until 1915, when he joined the Canadian Army, and was shipped off to France. He served in an artillery corps, and returned to Ottawa in 1919. This is a copy of his Certificate of Accession upon joining the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force: 24. He married in 1923, raised a family (two girls and an adopted boy), and died at 91, in 1987. In 1937, Uncle Jim contracted throat cancer, and had his larynx surgically removed, and became incapable of speech. In the 1980’s he received an artificial voice box, and was able to speak again. He talked to my mother by telephone, and was able to deliver the message at his church in Ottawa. His second eldest daughter, my cousin Ruth, has visited us here twice, and has been the source of much information on the ‘Ontario Todds’ . HUGH GORMAN TODD Uncle Hugh was born on January 26, 1899, in Belfast. In Ottawa, he worked with the Charles Ogilvy department store as clerk and salesman until entering the Canadian Army in 1916. He also served in France during the First World War, as an ambulance driver, and on leave, visited the family remaining in Ireland. This is a copy of his enlistment certificate:: 25. When Hugh got out of the Army, he found employment with the Canadian General Electric Company; first in Peterborough, and then in Toronto. He married in October of 1924, and had three children, all girls. Although he wrote irregularly to Thomas in Nova Scotia, he never returned to the family home, and we know very little of his later life. He was always believed to be a bit of a rogue (“Hugh drank, you know”), and the ‘black sheep’ of the family. He died in Peterborough in 1973, at the age of 74. MCCONNELL It is quite likely that all McConnells, whether they come from Scotland or Ireland and whether they are Catholic or Protestant are descended from Alexander Konnel, Laird of Dunnyveg (Scotland) and the Glens of Antrim (Northern Ireland). The name McConnell is another spelling of the surname MacDonnell or MacDonald. There is no such name as MacDonnell or MacDonald in Gaelic. In that language the name is spelled “MacDhomhnuill” and pronounced as “MacHonnell” The use of the surname McConnell was peculiar to the respective families of the Chiefs of Clan Iain Mhoir, or Clan Donald south of of the Scottish Highlands. The clansmen of Clan Donald South were surnamed MacDonalds, and it was only a Chief or descendants of a Chief that signed his surname McConnell. Clan Iain Mhoir, or Clan Donald South was a branch of Clan Donald. The Chiefs of this clan were said to trace their ancestry in the “Poems of Ossian”, published in 1750, and in other ancient annals back to Constantine Centimachus, who lived about A.D. 125. From Constantine, there are thirty seven chiefs of Clan Donald before we come to the name of John, father of John Mhoir Tanistear, who was the first chief of Clan Donald South. The last chief of Clan Donald South was Sir James McConnell who was embroiled in the religious and territorial upheavals of end of the seventeenth century. Sir James was tried and convicted of treason, and condemned to be beheaded. On the fall of their chief some of his clansmen were put to death, some were transported, and others fled to Ireland. Sir James escaped from prison and avoided several attempts at recapture. Eventually he made his way to Spain and lived there for five years. Subsequently his death sentence was revoked, and he was granted a pension by King James. He died without heirs in 1626. McCONNELL FAMILY There is very little information on the family of your Irish great-grandmother. It can only be presumed that the early McConnells followed the path of the Todds, from Scotland to Ulster, sometime in the mid seventeenth century. By the nature of their arrival in Northern Ireland they would have been Protestant, and most likely tenant farmers on the holdings of one of the absentee English landowners. 26. JAMES McCONNELL The only clues to the life of the McConnells come from correspondence between Robert McConnell, Sara’s brother, and Thomas, beginning when Thomas left Belfast for Birkenhead, and continuing through their later emigration and several moves in Canada. James McConnell married Sarah Elliott, sometime before 1865. As far as I am able to determine, they had nine children. Sara was born in 1865, and Robert in 1882. Agnes was born in 1878, married John Anderson, and emigrated to Canada, settling in Ottawa. The family resided in Carrickfergus at the location known as Barn Mills, the site of one of several flax spinning factories in the town. It appears that James was thoroughly dedicated to the mill where he worked. The subject of several of Robert’s letters is his attempts to persuade his father to retire. We can also presume that he maintained contact with his rural beginnings, and always kept a cow or two in the ‘byre’ at his home. After his retirement from James Taylor and Sons in Barn Mills, he and Sarah relocated to the Carnmoney Road to a home called ‘Sunnydene’. He died sometime in the first half of 1927. ROBERT McCONNELL Robert McConnell was born in 1882. He married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Melville, and lived in Carrickfergus with his parents. He worked as a Customs Officer, for the British Government. He wrote exams for advancement in the Customs service, and was posted to Clones, in Northern Ireland. He was listed as a surviving relative in the obituary of Sara Todd in 1946. ldren, all girls. Although he wrote irregularly to Thomas in Nova Scotia, he never returned to the family home, and we know very little of his later life. He was always believed to be a bit of a rogue (“Hugh drank, you know”), and the ‘black sheep’ of the family. He died in Peterborough in 1973, at the age of 74. MCCONNELL It is quite likely that all McConnells, whether they come from Scotland or Ireland and whether they are Catholic or Protestant are descended from Alexander Konnel, Laird of Dunnyveg (Scotland) and the Glens of Antrim (Northern Ireland). The name McConnell is another spelling of the surname MacDonnell or MacDonald. There is no such name as MacDonnell or MacDonald in Gaelic. In that language the name is spelled “MacDhomhnuill” and pronounced as “MacHonnell” The use of the surname McConnell was peculiar to the respective families of the Chiefs of Clan Iain Mhoir, or Clan Donald south of of the Scottish Highlands. The clansmen of Clan Donald South were surnamed MacDonalds, and it was only a Chief or descendants of a Chief that signed his surname McConnell. Clan Iain Mhoir