It's not just any find. This one has special significance to me because my great-grandpa's name was Wallace Kanalley - his first name was named after the family. (Here's a picture of him with his mother Mary Wallace and sisters about 1917.)
I also personally inherited the Wallace "family blanket," which used to be in the possession of Wallace's sister, my great-grandaunt, Marlene. It's a Scottish blanket made of wool, decorated in the Wallace clan's colors (they were Scotch-Irish).
On top of all this, I'm working on a novel right now, inspired by a true story - that of Wallace Kanalley's parents, Jim Kanalley & Mary Wallace. More to come later on that.
|My ancestor Andrew Martin Wallace, born in 1856|
in Canada, whose father Daniel was born in Ireland.
I just learned his grandparents John & Catherine
Wallace also came to Canada, dying in the 1850s.
So learning of the Wallace's origin is really exciting. How did I make this discovery?
I've been going through the early Cobourg, Ontario, Roman Catholic church records (digitized here), literally page-by-page for clues on the Wallace family.
I found this burial record today listed under Nov. 26, 1857: John Wallace interred, from the Parish of Feakle, County Clare, age 78 years.
It was what I needed after finding just days earlier this burial record under July 16, 1854: Catherine Wallace, wife of John Wallace, age 72 years.
They were who I was looking for after finding the death certificate of Martin Wallace years ago (he was my 4th great-grandpa Daniel Wallace's brother). It lists the parents as John Wallace and Catherine Cain.
So I knew their names were John and Catherine. I did NOT know if they made the trip to Cobourg with their kids (and 1851 census for Cobourg was destroyed in a fire), but I assumed so since there was at least Daniel, Martin and their sisters Catherine and Mary who made the voyage in the early 1840s.
|Martin Wallace, born in Ireland, son of|
John Wallace and Catherine Keane, and uncle
of my ancestor Andrew Martin Wallace.
Further research of the Cobourg records shows Wallaces witnessing "Kane" and "Keane" births, marriages, etc., so I am confident Catherine's maiden name was actually KEANE as it is spelled in Ireland.
Solidifying the connection, I found a John Wallace in the 1827 Tithe Applotment Books in County Clare listed in Parish of Feakle here. He's the only Wallace in the parish, but there are several Keane's.
Conveniently, Feakle parish in Co. Clare is located between Co. Galway and Co. Limerick, both counties I will be visiting when I go to Ireland this fall. I can surely drive through it.
Prior to this discovery, I didn't even know what part of Ireland the Wallace's were from - not a clue! Not only did this give a county but a parish. And the Tithe Books list a townland for John Wallace too, within Parish Feakle: Kilanena. There's also an Edward Keane and William Keane in the same townland.
It's worth noting that since Wallace is such an uncommon name in Co. Clare, it's reasonable to assume John Wallace came to Co. Clare from elsewhere. And since I know the family was Scotch-Irish in origin, he surely had roots in Northern Ireland, where the Wallace name is prevalent, and further back in Scotland.
Related: I just went to Cobourg, Ontario, where John Wallace and Catherine Keane died in the 1850s, last weekend. It was my first stay there. Photos here and here.