Peter Montague 1612

The first known Montague to immigrate to the US was Peter Montague with a Land Grant from the King of England to Jamestown, Virginia in 1621. He had a typical political career in early Colonial Virginia.

He was the son of Peter Montague and Ellenor Allen of Boveney from the Parish of Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England.

Arrived on the ship the “Charles” and is listed with Captain Samuel Matthew’s men. He was to have three wives.

Peter and many of his descendents are buried on MontagueIsland in Middlesex County, Virginia. USA. His descendants are spread from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States and to the Canadian and Mexican borders of the United States.

A point of interest:  One of Peter Montague’s descendants was Wallis Simpson. Who married the then to be future King of England, King Edward VIII, he abdicated the throne because he wished to marry the divorced woman, Wallis Simpson. They lived out their lives in France, before WW2 and through to their deaths.

To find the right branch of the Montague Family was the difficult thing. As of this date, we have not been able to find the resting place of Paul Montague, our (my) gggrandfather, he and his wife Prudence lived in BaltimoreMarylandUSA  between 1835 and 1855. We can trace them during these years in Baltimore. It is believed that Paul may have died in Baltimore but it is not yet proven. May never be. Prudence and her siblings with her parents were from CountyDown in Ireland. Maybe Paul and the McLevie’s knew each other. It is believed that Paul may have come from County Tyrone in Ireland, born Feb. 5, 1816.

In doing the Montague genealogy I have come to learn some history of Ireland, the New England States, our Province of Ontario primarily Haldimand County, and Walpole Township. I have read some very interesting history for these parts of Ontario,

Maryland, and Ireland.

When Paul Montague and Prudence McLevie’s families left Ireland to go to North America, the Great Famine was only a few years away. Ireland was also a country that many political errors and blunders were made by the British aristocrats of the time. Religion was another problem. England was trying to force the Protestant ideas on a society (The Irish) that had embraced the Catholic faith. Those that did not conform to the English ideas would lose everything. Causing a rift between neighbours, friends and families.  A political and religious unrest was brought over to North America, with the millions of immigrants from Ireland. Baltimore had thousands of Irish arrive at this port. Baltimore was to feel this upheaval between 1850 –1855. Baltimore was made a Catholic diocese at this time in history.   The Sisters of Charity were invited to Baltimore at this time from Ireland and are there to this day.

Between 1845 to 1859 and for 60 years after the famine over 5,000,000 people left Ireland and came to North America and brought with them their political and religious conflicts.

We do not know why our forefathers left Ireland.  We find a man named Paul Montague arriving in August 1836 on a Brig named the Margaret Balfour at the port of Baltimore. This ship had left Belfast in Northern Ireland, CountyDown which is in the north of Ireland. This person, on the passenger list was 19 years old making him the right age for our Paul. Everything points in the right direction for him to be our Paul Montague. Paul may have been a Fenien who had to flee the country, which could explain why Paul was vague in some of the documents that we found. If you were not an aristocrat, Life in Ireland was not easy for the poorer Irish citizen.

Perhaps it was the problems of the then Irish society that Paul and the McLevie’s decided to try for a better life in North America. In the middle 1800’s many professional and trades people and upper class were the first to leave Ireland. The people that came from Ireland after the 1860’s were the destitute.

If Paul had a trade of some sort it is not known, but we do know he supported his family in Baltimore by being a cart driver. I believe a cart driver would be what a truck driver is in the 20th and 21st century, he could have been delivering products from the Baltimore ship docks that arrived from Europe to the customers who had ordered them.