Montague Family, Canada 1800’s

Upon arriving in Ontario Prudence’s family the McLevie’s farmed in the Jarvis area, what they did in Ireland to earn a living or what they did in Maryland is not known.

Prudence with her sons arrived in Walpole Township in Ontario in 1855 and bought a 50 acre lot to farm. This is  were we lose Paul. There are thoughts that Paul died of consumption and is buried in Baltimore. Records were not well kept.

After 1860 the destitute families or single Irish people were helped over the Atlantic by people with money who were trying to help the Irish destitute. The American and Canadian Governments, made getting to Canada and America easy by offering land and helping with the cost of passage. The cost of passage was, One pound 10 shillings and an extra complete change of clothes was needed, for the 10 week ocean crossing which could have been longer depending on the weather. A clean bill of health was needed when the passengers landed. Hundreds were sent back or put into hospitals when they landed until they were better. The trip across the ocean to North America was gruelling and many Irish were buried at sea. All ages suffered. To make it across the Atlantic healthy was a feat in itself.

Paul and Prudence were married in Baltimore on May 14, 1848.  They may have been married at the parish of St. Peter the Apostle. This is  were the church records show the baptismal of their 3 sons.  We know that their first newborn son who lived for ½ hour is probably buried in the Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore.  No record has been found for this child.

A daughter Marie Ann who lived for one day her records can be found at Cathedra lCemetery in Baltimore. I have not found if there was a church there.  We know the old Cathedral Cemetery was later moved to another location.  In those days records were not properly kept unless you were a person of money or notoriety. Some of the old churches had fires and records were destroyed.

History records from about 1850 to 1855 shows that religious upheaval were starting to happen in Baltimore.

Baltimore became a town of Irish Catholics against the Irish Protestants. Baltimore had a very strong Irish Catholic settlement.  The Catholic Irish and the Protestant Irish had brought with them the same old grievances. It was to the point that many Irish would not own up to being Irish, they would say that they were from England. Imagine trying to trace that genealogy.  Not only that, but the American Civil War was at the doorstep.

It must have been a scary time in Baltimore. Is this why Prudence left with her sons and members of her family?

From everything I have read and heard I am proud of my Montague ancestors. I really like the name ‘Montague’. It has a good sound to it and we should be proud to carry this name. All through the history of the European States, the British Isles and North America even in Australia the Montague name can be found.

I know one thing, we can lay no blame for anything that our ancestors did. We must not forget it was a different and hard world back then. I think in to-days terms, life must have been hard on people.

I question,’ what would I have done if it had been me in their situation at the time?’ I am sure they all did the best they could with what God handed to them.  I just hope that future generations will look at me and say the same thing.  At any time for anyone, in a history period, I am sure the same problems exist. I am sure that we (they) all can say the following – “I am doing my best with what I’ve got!”

Our ancestors, males and females were courageous beyond a doubt. They were and are hard working people. Earning a living and raising their families to the best of their ability. They had strength and endurance, which allowed them to do the things that needed to be done regardless of the hardship. They seemed to live life to the fullest and there is nothing the matter with that.

Another thing that I find in the material that I have and the material that I have found in centuries past is the religious faith that follows them.  Centuries before King Henry VII, the Roman Catholic Faith keeps showing up. Right up to present day.  In the days of the Crusades, the Montague name can be linked with Rome.

After Henry V11 the Anglican Church shows up in some of the Montague Branches. In our branch, so far the Catholic Faith shows up over and over again, we find this by church and cemetery records.  I believe, that, religion was the thread that kept them going, they believed in God, through the hardships that they endured.

Even if their day to day life did not indicate that religion was part of them, it was, were it mattered, in their hearts and they have past it on to their children. In the 20th and the now 21st centuries, many different religions show up in the branches of the Montague ancestry.

One day I will meet them all, what a reunion that will be.

God Bless them all.