Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wallace Family Origin Found!

Posted by Craig Kanalley on 8/25/2012
Today, after many years of searching, I finally learned the origin of my Wallace family prior to Canada: Parish of Feakle, County Clare, Ireland.

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.
Now I know for sure they did.

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.

11 comments on "Wallace Family Origin Found!"

Melissa Carroll said...

Very interesting find, Craig! Can't wait to see more.

Craig Kanalley on August 27, 2012 at 7:07 PM said...

Glad you found it interesting, Melissa.. more to come later for sure.

genealogy in ireland on April 18, 2013 at 12:32 PM said...

I love this...thank you for the fascinating post...

Anonymous said...

It's more than possible that your ancestors didn't come from Northern Ireland or Scotland. In a 17th century map of the distribution of family names in Ireland there is a cluster of "De Waleis" around East Limerick, North Tipperary and SouthEast Clare. De Waleis morphed into De Bhailis in Gaelic and Wallace, Walsh, Welch etc., in English. My paternal family have been traced back to late 1700's - all listed as being Fishermen or Mariners. I spent 18 years in the navy myself.

If you've already done your Irish trip, I hope you found it profitable and enjoyable; if it's still to come - best of luck with it.

Jim Wallace

Misty Wood on June 27, 2015 at 11:24 PM said...

I'm wanting to find out more about the Wallace family. I married in to it and my husband wants to know.

Misty Wood on June 27, 2015 at 11:24 PM said...

I'm wanting to find out more about the Wallace family. I married in to it and my husband wants to know.

Cheryl Harding on February 17, 2016 at 4:49 PM said...

Looking for my Wallace family in Canada.

Cheryl Harding on February 17, 2016 at 4:49 PM said...

Looking for my Wallace family in Canada.

Melissa Allen on August 21, 2016 at 1:45 AM said...

My great grandmother Gertrude Irene Wallace was born in 1922 in Canada . Her records here state her maiden last name was wallcer which they think was typo for walker, but I'm thinking it was a typo for Wallace. Have you run across this name at all? Thanks ;)

Anonymous said...

my great great grandmother is Catherine (Wallace) Clancy. She is the widow of John Clancy and then married John Kanary (multiple spellings found for this name). Catherine's parents were John Wallace and Catherine Wallace. This is very interesting. I knew about them settling in Cobourg, Ontario. How do I find out more about John and Catherine Wallace?

Craig Kanalley on December 5, 2016 at 11:04 PM said...

Hi anonymous, yes, this is Catherine, sister of Daniel and Martin, how did you know her parents' names ? They settled in Canada in the 1840s ..and she married Kanary. Feel free to contact me for more info ckanalley@gmail.com

 

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