Older Completed Projects

Older Completed Projects

Anglican to Roman Catholic, and back to Anglican, in Kingston in the 1840s

The facts as presented: A woman who was married in the village of Kirkfield, Eldon Township, Victoria County, Ontario, Canada, in 1876, later said that she had been born in the City of Kingston in 1855. The civil marriage record created in 1876 recorded both of her parents’ names. The woman and man who were married in Kirkfield informed the minister who performed the marriage ceremony that they were both ‘Church of England’, or Anglican, in their religious beliefs, and this preference was shown by the woman and her family in all records pertaining to them which were created after 1876. A potential father candidate had been identified, but was of the Roman Catholic faith, and he was living in South Crosby Township, Leeds County, Ontario, in early 1852, when the 1851 Census of Canada West was taken – some distance from the City of Kingston.

The challenge: to discover information pertaining to this woman’s birth or baptism in Kingston, and reveal who her parents were.

Sources consulted: Roman Catholic registers of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials, St. Mary's Parish, Kingston, Ont.; Census of Canada West schedules from the City of Kingston, Loughborough Township and Portland Township (all in Frontenac County), and South Crosby Township in Leeds; 1851 and 1861; Census of Canada schedules from the same places, 1871, 1881 and 1891; Ontario provincial civil marriage and death registry records; Anglican Diocese of Ontario registers. And more.

The conclusion: the father-candidate of Roman Catholic faith was proven to be the father. He had converted to Roman Catholicism in Kingston in 1842, as did his bride immediately before their 1854 marriage in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic church in the City of Kingston. An 1855 baptismal record for the woman who married in 1876 was found, as was one for a previously unknown sister, 1857. Discouragingly, a burial record for the father was also found, 1859. These records combined provided the names for both sets of grandparents of the woman who married in 1876. With the information provided through my investigation, we were subsequently able to break through her ‘brick wall’, and the widow of the deceased man – the mother of the 1876 bride, was identified as living with a second family of Anglicans. This was accomplished through records associated with Loughborough and Portland Townships in rural Frontenac County, north of the City of Kingston, dating from 1861.

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Contact Bruce D. Murduck   concerning any matter at all.