“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
County Limerick, is in the Mid-West Ireland and is part of the province of Munster.
The Great Famine or the Irish Potato Famine was between 1845 and 1852. About a million people died and a million more emigrated. It was caused by a potato blight. The famine permanently changed Ireland.
In 1862 and 1863 he was a porter at Union Station. From 1864 to 1866 he was a yardman for the Grand Trunk Railroad at Union Station. From 1867 to1869 he was a railway mail clerk in the inspector’s office. The 1871 Census of Ontario, Canada listed him as the 35 year old head of household. He was working as a railway mail clerk for the Grand Trunk Railway in the inspector’s office. From 1870 to 1875, he was a mail conductor and mail clerk in the inspector’s office.
In 1876 he was an inmate at the Toronto (Queen Street) Insane Asylum. He was admitted to the Asylum on August 24, 1875. According to the Queen Street records his wife paid $4.00 for his care and his 'habits of life' were temperate. He had had no previous attacks before and the present attack had lasted six weeks. The disease was not hereditary. Business troubles brought on the attack. He belived that he heard and saw people, angels, and devils.
He died at age 41 on December 4, 1876 in the asylum for the insane in Toronto, Canada of general paresis (syphilis). He is buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery at 1408A Yonge Street. (St. Michael’s Burial Register).
Askeaton is in southwest Ireland in County Limerick on the river Deel. It is about two miles upstream from the Shannon Estuary.
The peak period of Irish immigration to Canada was during the Great Famine between 1845-1849. Most immigrants went to Canada because the fares were lower. Ships that reached Canada lost many passengers and even more died while in quarantine. From the reception station at Grosse-Ile, most survivors were sent to Montréal. The typhus outbreak of 1847 and 1848 killed many of the new immigrants. An economic boom following their arrival allowed many men to work in on the expanding railroad, in construction, in the logging industry, or on farms.
The city of York was incorporated as Toronto on March 6, 1834. The city grew and developed significantly during the the 19th century. The Irish famine brought a large number of Irish immigrants to the city and they became the largest ethnic group.
The first European settlements in Ontario were after the American Revolution when 5,000 loyalists left the new United States.
Inscription from the title page of The Ballads of Ireland
by Edward Hayes, published in 1856