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  • Photo du rédacteurGary O'Brien

The Tipperary Settlement, part 4

Dernière mise à jour : 27 févr.

The descendants of John Keough and Catherine Blake

We've mentioned the Keough family before, as they are closely related to the Dawsons and other local families in Ireland. It is not clear if this couple emigrated to Canada, but the register for Notre-Dame de Québec, from July 18, 1832, mentions the death of a 'John Kiogh', of unknown age, and there is no mention of a family member present at burial. As for his wife, we found no mention of her. The first confirmed presence of one of their children is at the baptism of Mary Dawson, daughter of Sarah Keough and William Dawson, in Beauport on May 8, 1833. We can therefore assume that the Keough siblings would have arrived in 1832, because it is unlikely that the couple left from Ireland in early 1833. Which could confirm that our John Kiogh could indeed be the father of the 4 Keough siblings who settled in Laval, and died shortly after arrival.

Before we go on, we should note that the Keough surname appears in various forms: Kehoe, McKeough, Hough, Howe, etc.. According to John Grenham, they are mostly found in counties Tipperary and Clare ( We know for a fact they were from Co. Tipperary according to marriage registers of their children in Canada. At Patrick’s wedding in 1844, we know the father is deceased, but it seems the mother is still alive, but we have found no evidence of her presence in Ste-Brigitte, nor of her burial. Here are the four children of John Keough and Catherine Blake:

1- John Keough

Was born about 1806, and at his wedding with Margaret Dawson (daughter of William Dawson and Catherine Broderick: we learn that he hails from Ballynahinch (Baile na hInse), Tipperary, and that they are third cousins. There are two Ballynahinch in Co. Tipperary, one between Nenagh and Limerick, and one just west of Cashel, the site of a ruined castle. The probable location is the first one, as it is closer to other locations mentioned in baptism and weddings of the Keough and Dawson families, in the western part of Tipperary close to Limerick.

The first mention of John is in 1840, when he buys a land from John Richardson, on the first range of Laval.

We then find the couple in the 1852 census, with their children Catherine, William, Margaret, Mary, Martin and the twins Ann and Bridget. They are neighbours of the Welchs and John O’Brien. The last name is written Hough. Like most of the other inhabitants, he has a land of 100 acres, of which 17 is cultivated and of which 8 produced a harvest in the year, for 50 bushels of oats, 100 of potatoes and 5 of turnips. 8 acres are pastured, for its 3 cows, 1 calf (or heifer), 1 horse and 1 pig. The rest, 83 acres, is standing timber, again like most occupied land. He also produced 100 pounds of butter and 200 barrels of bacon. His title to the property is confirmed by a notarial deed (Titre nouvel ) dated July 14, 1858, on the 1st row of Laval.

In 1861 his name was shortened to How. Becoming a widower in 1870, he remained active in the community as he was appointed to the general peace commission in the district of Quebec, along with Joseph Gagnon, both being “squires of Laval, Montmorency”.

The date of his death has not been found, but he is no longer listed in the 1881 census. In 1880, he sold his land to son-in-law, Télesphore Chevalier. We will examine the couple's offsprings, but before, let’s go back to Ireland, as we found the baptism record of their first child, Catherine, in Bealaclave (Béal Átha Chléibh), Tipperary, located near present-day Route 503, in west of Co. Tipperary. This once again confirms that our first Irish immigrants were undoubtedly agricultural workers, who moved according to the supply of work, as Bealaclave is not a village, but a the probable location of a number of farms, where locals were employed seasonally. It is located near Knockfune, a name that we also find among the marriages and baptisms of the Dawson families. Note that Catherine's godfather and godmother are Patrick and Catherine Dawson. Their second child was baptized in Newport, again in the same region in 1831. It was William, who died shortly after his marriage to Mary Barden, by drowning, in July 1857 in Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval. The first child born in Quebec was Margaret, baptized in Laval in December 1835. Here is the table of their known children:

Catherine 1828-?

Fate unknown after 1851

One Catherine Hough is in Montréal in 1861 as servant…

William 1831-1858

Married Mary Barden Sept 1856, St.Patrick

Drowned in Montmorency river, July 1857

Margaret 1835-1916

Marries Bernard McKinley in June 1852, St.Patrick, also a family from Ste-Brigitte

They have 4 children in SBDL between 1863 and 1870, 2 of whom have many descendants in the area (see below)

Mary 1838-?

Fate unknown after 1851

Martin 1840-1911

Marries Bridget Emily Nicholson, also of Laval, in 1870

Only 2 children, one of whom survives, George. He has many descendants in the area following his marriage to Leda Bellerive

Ann 1842-1926

Marries Moses Foley, a Dorchester Irish, in 1864 (SBDL)

The family moved to Ottawa, where they have many descendants

Bridget 1842-1921

Marries Télesphore Chevalier, 1874 in St-Roch

7 children born in Laval, a few descendants in Montreal and Québec area.

Descendants of Margaret and Bernard McKinley

Their first born, James (1863-1932) married a French-speaking woman, Sara Asselin from St-Tite-des-Caps. They lived in Beauport and St-Grégoire-de-Montmorency, where there was an important Dominion Textile factory. A few McKinleys still live in the region in Quebec and Loretteville. Mary (1867-1940) married Laval resident Alfred Clavet in 1898 in SBDL, and they had a child, Bernard, who died unmarried in Ste-Brigitte in 1998. Bridget also married in Ste-Brigitte, with Joseph Guévin, but it does not seem they have any descendants among the couple's 3 children, who can still be found in Ste-Brigitte in the 1965 electoral census, on rue Labranche (Willie, Wilfrid and Anna).

The descendants of Martin and Bridget Nicholson, the Howes of Beauport!

Joseph George was born in 1880 in Ste-Brigitte, and married Leda Bellerive in Lauzon, whom he probably met following the marriage of Leda's father with Arzélie Guay, in Ste-Brigitte in 1895. This large family left us descendants still called Howe, including the children of Martin Roland (1920-1984) and Jeannette Hinse. These 5 children all married in Beauport in the years 1960-1980. John Rogers (1922-1987) had 2 daughters following his marriage in Beauport to Olivette Latouche.

As for the daughters, some of the descendants bear the name Brindamour following the marriage of Leda Mary to Raymond Brindamour in 1928 in Ste-Brigitte, where the couple had 5 children. Emma (1909-2012), became Sister Solange, Oblate, died at the age of 103! Her sister Martha Elsie (1914-2012) married Arsène Simoneau in 1934, and lived to be 98 years old, leaving descendants in Limoilou. Solange Anne (1917-2008), lived to the age of 91, following her marriage to Alfred Chamberland in 1937. Marguerite Rita (1923-2013), married Elzear Giguère in 1943, and left several children of that name in Charlesbourg and Beauport . Jeannette Beatrice (1924-) married Patrick Begley in 1947. Madge Annette (1925-1995) did not marry nor Thérèse, born in 1929.

The Chevalier/Howe family in Ste-Brigitte

Bridget married Télesphore in 1874 (originally from St-Joachim), in St-Roch, but the family subsequently remained in Ste-Brigitte, at least until 1901, where he was a farmer on his father-in-law’s former land.  Among the 7 children, Margaret (1879-1944) married Barthelemy Savoie in 1901 in Laval, but the family then moved to Montreal. Bridget (1882) married Joseph Telfer Bald in 1904 in Shawinigan, this family then found itself in Joliette and Montreal. Louis (1877) married Marie Gagnon in 1900, but has no known descendants, nor Télesphore fils, who drowned in Québec in 1940. Anna (1886) married Georges Morissette from Québec in 1912, and finally Marie Thérèse married another Irishman, John Fitzpatrick, in Québec in 1913, but then they moved to  Montreal. The only trace left at Ste-Brigitte is the burial of Bridget (and her husband) in the cemetery.

2- Matthew Keough

born around 1809, married Mary Dawson, whose name we mentioned previously. They had 9 children born in Ste-Brigitte between 1837 and 1855. We do not find Matthew's name in the 1852 census, but the notarial deed of July 1858 confirms his presence on range 4 of L'Ange-Gardien (which will be part of SBDL), and also on the 3rd range. In 1870, he was a municipal councillor, and the same year, he became will executor of Thomas Dawson, his brother-in-law, promising to educate his grandson, William, born out of wedlock. He died at age 91, preceded by 10 years by his wife, having left his mark on the community. Here are the couple's offsprings:

John 1837-1898

Married Mary Kenny, also from Laval, 1865. 8 children between 1866 and 1881.

In 1882, he sold his land to Charles Thomassin and emigrated to North Dakota, where he was one of the first settlers to settle in Ellendale, with his sister Anne. Their 8 children born in Ste-Brigitte spread throughout the USA, but one of them returned to Canada, settling in Manitoba.

Catherine 1839-1925

Married FX Lessard in 1869, St-Roch. One daughter Clémentine who marries Isidore Giroux in 1895.

Patrick 1841-

Fate unknown after 1871

William 1843-

Fate unknown after 1871

Michael 1845-1921

Was lumberman in 1871, a job which led him to lumber sites in the USA, where he settled eventually in 1895 in Minnesota

Mary Ann 1847-1931

After marrying local Patrick Whelan in 1870, she went along with brother John to settle in North Dakota. They had 7 children born in Laval and Lac Beauport, and two in Ellendale. Husband Patrick had travelled with John, and came back to gather his family in 1882.

Sarah 1849-1925

She married local William Brown in 1871. After his death, she left SBDL to settle in Lambton, Ontario with her sons Patrick and John. We will see their son Matthew’s fate below. Daughter Mary Ellen married William J Lawson in Beauport in 1908, where they lived for a while until settling in London, Ontario

Matthew 1852-

Emigrated to USA sometime after 1871, we find him Stillwater, Minnesota in 1904 as teamster, fate unknown

Thomas Peter 1855-1942

He marries local Mary Ann Ryan in 1883, also a Tipperary descendant. They have 11 children in Laval, see below for their destiny…

Another Nun from Ste-Brigitte in Minnesota

The daughter of Sarah Keough and William Brown, born in 1882 in Ste-Brigitte, Sarah Anne found herself in Minnesota, in Sauk Rapids, in 1923, where she entered the service of the Sisters of "Poor Clare Monastery". She lived there until her death in 1960 under the name Sister Mary Ursula. She was not far from Sister Marie-Ursule Sanchagrin who was at the time in St-Cloud, Minnesota.

Matthew Brown and Mary Atkinson, of Beauport


The only Brown child left in the area is Matthew. The ancestors of the Brown family, originally from Kilkenny, had not settled  in Ste-Brigitte, but rather in St-Dunstan (Lac Beauport). Matthew, however, was born in Ste-Brigitte in 1873 and died in Beauport in 1944, after marrying Mary Atkinson, an Anglican from Lévis. Strangely, Matthew's professions went from driver, engineer, plumber and steamfitter, in 1931. Their first child was born in Ste-Brigitte, then the other in Lac Beauport. The first, Lillian, died at age 39. Alfred left descendants in Abitibi under the name of Brown.

3- Patrick Keough

born around 1811, married Esther Essy Donahan (or Donohue), daughter of John and Rose Berry, in 1844 in Beauport. They will stay in Beauport, where they had 7 children. Essy died around 1866 and Patrick in 1884, and was buried in the cemetery of Ste-Brigitte. There seems to be no descendants of this family, the trace of the children being lost after 1871, and the last mention is that of the death of Catherine, born in 1844, in 1905 in Beauport, where we notice that there is no family members present.

4- Sarah Sally Keough

would have been born around 1814, she married William Dawson in Newport, Tipperary in March 1832. This is another William Dawson, whose parents we do not know, but who is certainly related to the others who also came in Ste-Brigitte. The marriage is celebrated at Knockfune (An Cnoc Fionn) near Kilcommon and Bealaclave, locations already mentioned. The couple undoubtedly crossed the Atlantic during the summer of 1832, because a first birth is recorded at L’Ange-Gardien (Mary Jane) in April 1833. William is a farmer there, therefore probably on one of the rows of the L’Ange-Gardien that will be attached to Laval, as the birth of their 2nd child (Catherine) took place there in 1835. He died in 1847. In the 1861 census, Sarah's last name is written Kew, and it is the sons Philip and John who look after the farm, where we also find the sisters Mary, Margaret, Ann, Helen and their younger brother William. Philip, who is described as an agent in 1871, can no longer be found after, probably having emigrated to the USA. It is interesting to note that following her marriage in Sherbrooke to Frank Fontaine in 1866, Mary Jane appears in the 1871 census as having been 'abandoned by her husband'. However, she and her sister Anna ended up in Cato, Michigan, where her husband was a farmer. Anna had not married before she moved to Michigan. As for Ellen, she too was 'abandoned by her husband' in 1871, Patrick Walsh, whom she had married in 1868. They too were in Michigan shortly after, in Montcalm County. Finally, their sister Margaret, after two marriages in Sherbrooke, remained in that region where she died in 1903.

The last born of the Keough/Dawson couple, William born in 1848, joined the branch of Willam Dawson and Catherine Broderick by marrying their granddaughter, Margaret, in 1884 in Ste-Brigitte. William had inherited the family farm in 1871, on which he harvested oats, potatoes, a few carrots, and hay for his cow and pig. In 1931, he was still on his dairy farm with his son Michael, he died shortly after in 1936. The descendants of this couple were described previously in the article devoted to the Dawson/Broderick couple.

Keough descendants in the region

We have seen that it is Thomas Peter (son of Matthew) and Mary Ann Ryan who will mostly leave their traces in the region.

Here are their children:

  1. Mary Ann (1883-1974), married Louis Lamonde and lived in Sillery;

  2. Catherine (1884-) married Emeri Maheu, and lived in Quebec;

  3. Sarah (1886-1978) married a man named Keough from Ontario, around 1922. They have at least one known son, Matthew William (1888-1963) who remains single and lived at Moulin Vallière;

  4. Joseph Timothy (1890-1964), remained single, died in Ste-Brigitte in 1939.

  5. Francis Michael (1891-1964) married Florence Dawson. He participated in the war of 14-18 as evidenced by a monument in the town cemetery. They had 3 sons born in Ste-Brigitte: Gerard Francis (1931-2010), George Kenneth (1933-1996) and Norman Louis (1936-1983), the first two having left some descendants still bearing the surname of Keough in the Quebec region. The last, Norman, did not marry but spent his life in Ste-Brigitte;

  6. Annie Johanna (1892-1970), was in Ottawa where she married Daniel Ross in 1921, and the couple subsequently emigrated to the Detroit area;

  7. Thomas Peter (1894-1964), did not marry, lived in Ste-Brigitte where he was a day labourer and died there in 1984;

  8. Margaret Julia (1897-1975), also remained single, lived for a time in Ottawa, but died in Ste-Brigitte in 1975;

  9. John James (1899-1972) also lived in Ste-Brigitte, Moulin Vallière sector, where he was a day labourer, at 160 Avenue Laval. Did not marry;

  10. Alyne (1904-1992), played an important role because following her marriage to Alphonse Romeo Giroux in 1922, they had 6 children born in Ste-Brigitte, some of whose descendants are still in Ste-Brigitte. The 6 children are: Thomas Romeo Malvin (1923), Romeo Albert (1924), Helen Geraldine (1931), Noël Raymond (1934), Laurent (1940) and Georges Aimé (1941). She remarried in 1961 in Ste-Brigitte to Roger Bédard.

We have therefore recorded here the traces left by the couple of Matthew and Catherine, who were some of first Irish to come into this Tipperary Settllement...a story to follow.

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Descendance Catherine Blake-English
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