Edward Manley & Margaret Dixon

As I mentioned in a previous post, my search began with a scrap piece of paper where I had written down 6 names, provided to me by an Aunt. I did locate this family and my Aunt's information was partially correct. Their names were Edward Manley and Margaret Dixon and they came from County Mayo, Ireland. They were my paternal great, great grandparents and this is their story...

Edward was born on the 15th of March, 1819 in the Parish of Glencastle, County Mayo, Ireland as written in his family bible.


Edward married Margaret Dixon sometime prior to departing from Ireland. In May 1846, Edward and Margaret sailed from Killala, Co Mayo aboard the 'Elizabeth and Sarah', destined for Grosse Ile, Quebec, Canada. This ship became infamously known as a 'coffin ship' due to the deplorable conditions and the length of time the crossing took. They arrived at Grosse Ile, Quebec in August, after a full 72 days at sea. Margaret was pregnant during this entire voyage with their first child. Upon arrival they were placed in the quarantine facilities at Grosse Ile.

While still in quarantine, Margaret gave birth to a son who they named Roger. This child lived only one day and was baptized and buried at Grosse Ile. Grosse Ile is now a National Park with a memorial dedicated to the thousands of Irish famine emigre's who died there. Roger's name is listed on the memorial.

From Quebec, they entered the United States and settled in Livingston Co, NY. They appear on the 1850 census living in the town of Portage with a son named Edward (b.1849). Construction on some part of the Erie Canal is likely what drew them to Portage. By 1854 they had left New York and reentered Canada, this time settling in a shanty town for Irish canal workers near Port Dalhousie, Ontario. The Welland Canal would have been the attraction for this move. In the 1861 census they are still living in the shanty town but their son Edward is not listed and does not appear anywhere else in the future so I am presuming that he died. However, by this time they have had 3 more children, John, Hugh and Mary. By the time of the 1871 census they have added another 2 children, Edward and Francis and have relocated to the town of Thorold.

Edward is listed in the 1877 Town Directory of Thorold, living on the west side of Pine Street and again in the census listings of 1881, 1891 and 1901. Margaret died on Sep 17, 1881 at around the same time that Edward lost his eyesight which forced him to retire. He lived the remainder of his life with his daughter Mary and her family. Edward died on Nov 18, 1903. He and Margaret are buried together in Lakeview Cemetery, Thorold, Ontario.

Obituary, St. Catharines Standard, Nov 18, 1903

Again has a familiar figure been removed from our midst when at 5:30 this morning Edward Manley was called to his reward at the ripe old age of 84. Deceased was a native of County Mayo, Ireland but early in life accompanied by Mrs. Manley came to Canada and during the remainder of his life with the exception of a short time in Port Dalhousie and a few years spent in the United States, he has resided in Thorold. The late Mr. Manley was one of the best known and most highly respected residents of this town, and was a devoted member of the R.C. church. For many years he was employed by Mr. John McDonagh in his extensive lumber business at lock 23, old canal, but twenty two years ago was obliged to retire from active life owing to the loss of his sight, and so during that time has been practically an invalid. Since the death of Mrs. Manley over twenty years ago he has resided with his daughter Mrs. McKenny, Carleton Street at whose home he passed away this morning. He is survived by four sons - John, Edward, Hugh and Frank and one daughter Mrs. John McKenny to whom the sympathy of a wide circle of friends will be extended in their hour of bereavement.


Surname Note: The name Manley is not found in the area of County Mayo that Edward came from, but the name Munnelly is quite common. This is the only area where that name is common. The records from Grosse Ile show Edward and his son Roger with the surname Munnelly so I am quite certain that the name Munnelly was anglicized to Manley.

Children of Edward Manley and Margaret Dixon:
Roger (1846 - 1846)
Edward (1849 - ?)
John (1854 - 1933)
Hugh (1856- 1925)
Mary (1859 - 1918)
Edward (1861 - 1928)
Francis (1864 - 1927)

Parents of Edward Manley and Margaret Dixon:
Unknown (This is my brick wall)

© 2009 Kindred Footprints

2 comments:

  1. A lovely post. And a wonderful tribute to your ancestors' courage and fortitude.
    Glencastle is located on the main road between Bangor Erris and Belmullet. It's a small village comprising a pub, "The Full Shilling", an RC church and a primary school.
    I hope you don't mind that I have put a link to this blog on www.twitter.com/errisnews. I am sure many people in Glencastle and throughout Mayo would like to read about your ancestors' story- so typical of many Irish people of the 19th century.

    ReplyDelete
  2. my name is edward manley

    ReplyDelete