The Cullens of Templeton Township
Generation - The Builders
This chapter covers the lives of
John and Elizabeth Cullen's children. Except for Elizabeth, who married and
moved to Plantagenet in Upper Canada, they and their spouses were all builders
and key players in the economic development of Templeton Township. Their
collective record of success in farming, timbering and politics was unmatched
by any other family in the Township.
Gatineau area showing Cullen land locations
St. Francois de Sales Church
Cullen & Ursula Macdonell
about 1806, Anthony (likely known as Tony) became the entrepreneur and business
success of the Cullen family. He initially worked with his father in the 1830s
to develop a thriving timber business, then expanded it over the next 30 years.
He was one of three leading businessmen and employers in Templeton in the mid
1850s. He was also active in church and community affairs and the local
known of his early life in Ireland. As the eldest, he would have worked to
support John's large family and assisted in the arduous task of emigration. It
is also likely that Anthony worked alongside his father in the Rideau Canal
project, for it seems inconceivable that a 21 year old would be granted a
scarce 100 acre lot in nearby Templeton Township so soon after coming to
Bytown. The family connection must have been the reason. As to Anthony's lot, although
the location ticket was issued in 1827, the grant was not official until 1852.
How he could have retained the lot and not complete the required upgrading for
25 years, is a mystery. The only answer would seem to be that by the late
1830s, the Cullens had become important residents of Templeton and Anthony was
developing into a noted businessman in the community, likely with a lot of
influence. In any event, on February 6, 1852 his deed on his property was
did no work on his own lot for many years but would have helped his father and
hired workers build a home and complete the settlement duties on John's land.
He may have used his own lot as a source of timber.
November 27, 1839 Anthony married Ursula Macdonell, the 17 year old daughter of
John Macdonell and Magdelaine Poitras of Pointe-Fortune, about 60 miles down
the Ottawa River from Bytown. Macdonell, a Scot and fur trader with the
North West Company, married Magdeleine, a native while in the west. On
retirement, he built a large manor house and settled in Pointe-Fortune, just
east of the Carillon rapids and a natural stopping point for Bytown-Montreal
trade. He fought in the War of 1812, was Colonel of the Prescott Militia, a
judge in the Ottawa District and had been an elected member of the Upper Canada
Parliament. He operated a freight and passenger forwarding business along the Ottawa from Pointe-Fortune to Montreal and also ran a general store from his home.
As mentioned earlier, John Cullen had some prior dealings with Macdonell.
Anthony would have become acquainted with him through John, from his growing
timber business and from travels to Montreal and Quebec.
marriage took place in St. Andrews East across the Ottawa from Pointe-Fortune. It would have been a social highlight that year. Judge Macdonell and his friend
Colonel de Hertel signed the register as witnesses. De Hertel was a leading
citizen and officer of the militia of Argenteuil County.
are taken from their marriage certificate. Note Ursula's spelling of 'Cullen'.
would be additional Cullen marital ties to Pointe-Fortune in later years.
1842 census lists selected information about the heads of families. Anthony's
occupation is shown as "Lumberer", one of the few in Templeton at the time. He
had been a resident of Lower Canada for 15 years and was living with Ursula and
daughter Mary Elizabeth on 200 acres, of which 12 were improved. One female
domestic was also in the household. Unfortunately, the location of the acreage
is not given and we are left somewhat confused by the size of his lot, given
the above-mentioned Cullen land base.
many of his neighbours, Anthony was a farmer in the summer months. In 1841, he
had produced 130 bu. of oats and 100 bu. of potatoes. He had 1 cow and 6
horses. But as winter approached, he would turn to lumbering and his growing
logging business. In this respect, his horses, when combined with his father's
6 horses, provided the necessary motive power to drag newly felled and squared
timber from the bush in preparation for the spring log drives down nearby
streams and rivers. No doubt his younger brothers Michael, Barney and John Jr.
would have worked alongside as well as hired workers.
was probably in the 1840s that Anthony's business became large enough to
support a shanty operation throughout the winter. He was not by any means a
"baron" as in the Wright family and the later J.R. Booth mode, but he was
becoming a significant player in the area. Through Archives data, though
scanty, we are able to piece together some appreciation of the size of his
1842         Timber duties collected on the Ottawa .....................................................  4 pounds on 2,000 ft of
1843 -            "
"        "        "     "
"    .................................................... 81
"       "   unspecified footage
1845         Duties on crown timber .......................................................................... 75    "       " 36,470
ft white pine
1845-6      Timber Licences on the Gatineau River (two for 33 sq miles) and Templeton(1)  59     "
1846         Duties collected on the Ottawa ............................................................... 57     "
1847-52    Annual renewal of the Gatineau licences ....................................................       unspecified fees
1852         Duties on crown timber .......................................................................... 91 pounds on 44,000 ft
1856         Duties on crown timber .......................................................................... 64 pounds on 31,150 ft pine
1856         Duties on 4,510 white pine saw logs ......................................................... 93 pounds
also acquired vast acreage in Templeton, from which he most likely cut timber
for his operations. The following table shows some of his acquisitions and the
dates of letters patent.
Lot      Range     Acres          Price              Date
E1/2 12       8         100        L25. 4s.2p         Sept 25, 1847
2        8         100             L20               Dec 4, 1854
1        8          73        L14.12s               Oct 9, 1857
S1/2  8        7         100            $80               June 4, 1860
S1/2  9        7         100           $100              June 4, 1860
S1/2  4        6         100           $100              Oct 18, 1860
N1/2 13       7         100           $120               Oct 18, 1860
S1/2  6        6         100           $100               Sept 3, 1863
S1/2 10       6         100           $100               Sept 3, 1863
S1/2 22       7         100             $80              April 19, 1864
N1/2  8        5         100           Grant             May 13, 1864
N1/2  6        8         100             $41               July 6, 1864
9        6         200            $150               July 9, 1864
operation was large enough to sustain rafting but it is unknown whether he
organized his own rafts for delivery of squared timber to Quebec or whether he
merely delivered the product to the Ottawa River for larger operators to
combine timber for forwarding to Quebec.
the 1850s, Anthony was well established as one of Templeton's two principal
lumber merchants, his friend Thomas McGoey being the other and larger of the
two. In the 1851 census, he is listed as a Lumber Merchant. He's also similarly
listed in The Canada Directory 1851 for Templeton Township and in the Ontario
Directory for 1851 as one of the "principal lumber merchants on the River
Ottawa and its tributaries".
the 1851 census, he was farming 100 acres in Range 2. This is likely half of
John's original grant. He lived in a 11/2 storey log home of "piece-sur-piece"
construction with his family, which now included two sons, John Godfrey and
Anthony Jr. He also operated a store and blacksmith shop. Twenty acres had
crops and the balance was wooded. In 1850, he had produced oats, potatoes,
carrots and hay, as well as two barrels of potash. His livestock included 14
steers, 7 cattle, 4 calves, 1 pig and, importantly, 16 horses to support his
timber business. Listed under his household were 2 domestics and 16 of his 50
was a pillar of the Catholic Church. He was involved in the building of the
"Chapelle sur La Blanche" on the site of the present St. Anthony of Padua church at Perkins Mills. In March 1857, Anthony was present at the dedication and
blessing of the chapel by Bishop Guigues of Bytown. He also witnessed the
official record of the event. He may also have donated the land for the Church.
and Ursula were the donors of a 252 pound bell for St. Francois de Sales Church in Gatineau Pointe, the parish for most of the Cullen families. On November 4,
1858, after Sunday mass, Bishop Guigues blessed and dedicated the bell at a
ceremony and both Ursula and Anthony witnessed the official record. The Bishop named it "Ursula-Antoinette" in her honour. Perhaps Antoinette was her second
from the official record
The "Ursule-Antoinette Bell"
the bell ceremony 1858
position in the community was recognized. On April 17, 1856, Anthony was
appointed Lieutenant in one of the Templeton militia companies, Ottawa County Regiment.
On August 10, 1857, he was appointed Captain. Largely ceremonial,
militia duties consisted of all males between the ages of 18 and 60 gathering
to muster (train) on June 29th each year. Officer positions went to
former regular army veterans or local leading citizens. Thomas McGoey, brother
John Cullen Jr. and brother-in-law James O'Hagan were all officers in the
some point in the 1840s or 1850s (our earliest record is 1852) Anthony was
appointed as one of the Justices of the Peace in Templeton. He may have been
the first such appointment. This is the lowest level of the
judiciary, but at that time, away from the city, the JP's services would have
been called upon regularly to settle disputes and minor legal issues. He held
this position until at least the mid 1860s.
was also an investor in infrastructure. In 1853 he and his brother Michael
invested 150 pounds in shares in the planned Montreal and Bytown Railway
Company. The route was to follow the Quebec side from Montreal to Hull, then cross the Ottawa to Bytown. The venture was ill
advised, poorly managed and went into bankruptcy. In the 1860s, Anthony built a
toll bridge on Lot 7 Range 2 that crossed the Blanche River and another on Lot
9 Range 6 that crossed a smaller waterway. The bridges caused angst with local
citizens who objected to paying the wealthy entrepreneur a fee for what they
deemed should be a free municipal conveyance. In 1868, the township came to an
accommodation with Anthony which permitted citizens to use his bridges free
pending completion of the "Bernard Cullen By Road" (see "Bernard Cullen" below).
This is the
likely site of Anthony Cullen's toll bridge. It is on Rue Cheval
the Blanche River south of Boul. St. Rene in Gatineau
was also a significant investor in land. Between 1847 and 1864, he owned 1,373
acres in Templeton Township. It is likely that logging operations took place on
these private lands
of Anthony's memorable activities was his foray into provincial politics in 1857.
In November of that year, urged by citizens of Templeton and surrounding
townships, he agreed to stand for election to the Legislative Assembly as
representative for Ottawa County. (This was largely in Lower Canada.) He did so
because the two other candidates, Henry J. Friel of Ottawa City (later its mayor) and D.E. Papineau of Montreal, were not residents of the County, and the
incumbent, also a non-resident, was thought not to have looked after the best
interests of the voters.
his campaign material and in the Ottawa Tribune press coverage of the campaign,
we have our only insight into the personality and makeup of one of our early
Cullen ancestors. He was obviously a practical man. Under an Independent
Liberal platform, he emphasized lumber trade, canals, roads, bridges, postal
arrangements, education, civil, political and religious rights for all and a
focus on County issues. Following is his electoral handbill which he
distributed to voters.
December 28 he was nominated by Alonzo Wright, who in his speech, complimented
Anthony as "a man of the people" - possessed of plain practical common sense,
and an advocate of equal rights to all men, no matter what their creed,
country, or color might be". Thomas McGoey, the unsuccessful candidate in the
previous election, was his seconder and stated that Anthony was well known as a
"practical, honest, upright and independent gentleman, and although not gifted
in the eloquence of his opponents, he is in every way qualified to look after
their best interests".
Messrs. Friel and Papineau made their nomination speeches, Anthony stated that
he had been "induced" to run by a large number of voters in several townships
in the County. But he was late into the race and Friel had a big headstart. In
the end, his practical side dominated and he withdrew from the election. He
probably did not want to split the vote and let Papineau win in a landslide
with French-Canadian voter backing.
that week, the election was held and , despite Anthony's withdrawal, Papineau
won handily. Selected campaign press coverage is
included in Appendix 1. This was Anthony's only venture with provincial
politics. He later turned to municipal politics in 1868-69 as a councillor of West Templeton.
August 1858, John Cullen died at age 82 of unknown cause. With all they had
been through together, this must have been a heavy loss to Anthony. He thus
became de facto patriarch of the Cullen family.
the 1861 census, Anthony is listed as "lumberer" and living with Ursula and his
two sons on the original John Cullen 200 acre grant. The whereabouts of 20 year
old daughter Mary Elizabeth is unknown. Also listed are five of his 50 workers.
He reported having $16,000 invested in his lumber business, which in 1860 had
produced 20,000 feet of squared timber valued at $20,000. Interestingly, the
census lists monthly pay scales of the day. The men were paid $13 and his two
maids received $3.
farming also thrived. He had 24 acres under crops and 15 in pasture with the
balance wooded. As well, he had a large garden/orchard. He had 17 horses, 6
bulls, 2 steers, 4 cows, 51 sheep and 7 pigs at an estimated value of $1,800.
The farm, valued at $400, produced spring wheat, peas, oats, potatoes and hay,
and in 1860, 100lbs of maple syrup or sugar and 60 yards of fulled cloth. Also
produced were 1,200 lbs of beef and 800 lbs of pork, most of which would likely
have been for market or used to feed his shanty workers. When he had time, he
must have enjoyed riding in his pleasure carriages, for he owned three valued
and Ursula met with tragic loss in the deaths of their sons. Anthony Jr. died
at home of illness in June 1862 at age 16 and John, a medical
student, died in St. Augustine, Florida, in December 1866 at age 23.
On a brighter note, daughter Mary Elizabeth married Patrick Ryan in August 1864
and moved to Ottawa. Patrick's father, John, owned a dry goods store on William Street in the Byward Market in Ottawa.
died in July 1870 and was followed four months later by Anthony. No obituaries
have been found and the cause of their deaths is unknown. Their deaths are
memorialized on the Ryan family headstone in Notre Dame Cemetery in Ottawa, but there is no record of their burial there.
of Anthony’s business is also unknown. Brother Michael had predeceased Anthony;
brother John Jr. had moved to Michigan and brother Barney was by that time
concentrating on running his large farm. One possible beneficiary of Anthony's
business is brother Michael's son John. The 1891 Census lists him as a farmer
with 30 employees. There are numerous land transactions in
this period by John and his brother Michael Thomas.
Anthony's death, Templeton lost one of its important pioneers and ended much of
the Cullen entrepreneurial spirit. I know of no later Cullen descendant who
developed a business of the same relative size or importance.
E. Cullen & Thomas Kennedy
born in Cavan c1807, was John and Elizabeth’s eldest daughter. Her full name
was probably Mary Elizabeth given her mother’s name and the common thread of
these given names throughout the next generation. Little is known about Mary.
This is not surprising since early census records concentrated on family heads
(males except for widows) and wives stayed at home.
Anthony, she would have played a significant supportive role in assisting the
family household. She was likely a flax spinner helping her mother contribute
to the family income. Likewise, she would have been a big help in the
resettling to Bytown. She may have worked as a domestic prior to her marriage.
1830 she married Thomas Kennedy. To-date we have not found a marriage record.
They had one child, Mary, born c1834. Mary was likely the favorite older aunt
of the Cullen nieces and nephews and the first person her siblings turned to in
time of need. In 1851, she was caring for 4 year old Catherine Ryan, her sister
Elizabeth's daughter. Elizabeth had recently given birth to her son Bernard. In
1861, Mary was caring for her 5 year old nephew, Hugh O'Hagan. Her sister
Catherine, Hugh's mother, had died four years previously and Hugh's stepmother,
Elizabeth Crosby O'Hagan, had just given birth to her first child.
are fairly certain Thomas (born c1804) came from Wexford. He emigrated in 1827
and likely worked on the Rideau Canal construction. In the McCabe List, the
only authoritative record of some of the Irish canal workers, there are two
Thomas Kennedys listed, both single and both from Wexford. One of them came
from Kilmashel near NewTown Barry. Mary's sister Elizabeth married into the
Ryan family of Plantagenet. The Ryans were from NewTown Barry. This Thomas Kennedy
may be our Thomas. There is also a Thomas Kennedy listed among the 1st
Carleton Militia which included Bytown and Rideau Canal area and was assembled
on June 4, 1829.
prior to 1836, he purchased 100 acres on Range 3, Lot 7. This land has as its
southern border present day Chemin Industrielle, north of the Autoroute, and
the lot occupied the western half of today's Gatineau Airport. A creek ran
through the property. Thomas' name is shown on the 1836 map of Templeton. By
the time of the 1842 census, for which he acted as enumerator in Templeton, he
had cleared 20 acres and was producing 150 bu. of oats and 120 bu. of potatoes.
He had 3 cows, 3 hogs and 5 horses.
was also in the timber business, initially perhaps with John and Anthony, but
later on his own. From census data and other colonial references, it is evident
that he developed a medium-sized business and his stature in the Templeton
community, while not at the level attained by Anthony, was still significant.
1851, he was a Justice of the Peace. The enumerators for the census for
Templeton certified their work before him. He had acquired the other 100
acres of Lot 7 and he was now one of the largest farmers in the township with
100 acres cultivated, including 30 with crops, 70 of pasture and a half acre
garden/orchard. He was producing peas, oats, potatoes and hay and his livestock
had increased greatly. He now had 11 steers, 6 cows, 5 calves, 1 pig and 6
horses. In 1850, he had produced 1200 lbs of butter, 1200 lbs of beef and 800
lbs of pork, likely used in a shanty operation.
Thomas Kennedy JP
signed the certificate for the 1851 census for Templeton
had 2 houses built on his property, a 1 1/2 storey piece-a-piece house and a
wooden shanty occupied by James Kennedy (assumed brother) and his family. He
also had a substantial forest business in the winter, probably in squared
timber. In 1851, he had 22 employees including two domestics. There are a few
references found in colonial papers but not enough to substantiate the size of
1843    Duties collected on the Ottawa ................................. 12 pounds
1845    Duties collected below Bytown .................................. 17 pounds
1852    Licence granted for 1000 ft white pine ........................  2 pounds
with 22 employees, he would have had a sizeable operation.
also must have been highly connected to the political scene of the area. In the
area of road construction, Thomas Kennedy was the surveyor of one such project,
latterly known as The John Cullen Road. See "The John Cullen Road"
1861, he was still operating his large farm, now valued at $4000, but it
appears he was no longer in the timber business. No employees are noted in the
1861 census. But, by this time, he did have a large farm. He had 80 acres in
crops and 20 as pasture and was producing 400 bu of spring wheat, 100 bu peas,
230 bu potatoes, 70 tons of hay and 12 lbs of wool. His livestock was valued at
$1,050. He now had 1 bull, 12 steers, 9 cattle, 5 horses, 3 colts or fillies, 5
sheep and 22 pigs. He was also producing 800 lbs butter and 1400 lbs of pork
died in Ottawa on January 2, 1862 as the result of an accident. The three Ottawa newspapers reported his death. The Ottawa Citizen, on the front page of its January
4th issue, reported:
"RUNAWAY: FATAL ACCIDENT - On
Saturday evening as Thomas Kennedy, farmer, of Templeton, was returning home
from the city, his horse took flight near McKay's Bay, and he was thrown with
considerable force against a log, which happened to be laying on the road,
fracturing all the ribs on the left side and seriously injuring the right
breast. He was conveyed from the scene of the accident to Mr. Golden's Hotel on
Sussex Street where he was attended by Drs. Grant and Sewell, who rendered
him all the assistance in their power, but the injuries were of so severe
character that he gradually sank, and he expired yesterday afternoon at four
The Tribune January 4, 1862
Ottawa Citizen, January 4, 1862
was one of the first to be buried in the cemetery at St. Anthony's Church,
Perkins. In 1998, Thomas broken headstone was lying on the ground at the eastern
edge of St. Anthonys cemetery. During the cemetery caper described under "The
Great Cemetery Caper" below, Thomas' headstone went
missing. His remains are presumed to be still buried in the cemetery.
at Perkins 1998.
1881 Mary was living with her brother Bernard and his family.
My father's research indicates she died on November 28, 1897 at age 90, but I have been unable to locate a death record.
Cullen & Mary Barrett
second son, Michael, who was likely known as “Mick”, was born c1812. We have
little knowledge about Michael. We know he farmed and was also in the timber
business. We are not sure where he lived, but suspect he stayed with John and
helped him in farming the original family land. In the 1851 Census, he is
farming 200 acres with Mary Barrett, his wife and baby Mary
Elizabeth. Mary was the eldest daughter of Peter
Barrett, Templeton's principal shoemaker. Michael may have been married
previously to a Mary Davidson, although no marriage record has been found. He
had the smallest farming operation of the Cullens.
census notes that there were two families living in one dwelling. The other
were his parents, John and Elizabeth, both in their 70s. Two domestics were
are no employees listed and there are few references in the colonial and
legislative records. But we do know that Michael was involved in the timber
industry. In 1845, he paid at least 17 pounds in duties for timber and in 1852
he had a licence covering 4000 feet of white pine. In the late 1840s and early
1850s, he and brother Bernard had licences for timber cutting in 27 square
miles in the Dumoine River area up the Ottawa River across from Deep River.
This would have involved a substantial undertaking, but there is no available
record of timber cut or duties paid.
only other reference to Michael found is that he had joined Anthony in
investing in the ill-fated Montreal and Bytown Railway Company. His investment
was 50 pounds. See endnote 13.
died on July 11, 1857, cause unknown and his eldest child, mary Elizabeth died in December of the same year. In the 1861 census, Mary is listed as living
with her two sons in Templeton and farming on 50 acres with livestock including
1 horse, 2 cows and 1 pig. There is a note to the census that she "lives in
village _____? small farm out of village", which despite the ambiguity,
suggests that she was not living on the farm at that time.
remarried in 1863 to Thomas Tully, a farmer in Templeton, with whom she had
three more children.
Bernard Cullen & Mary Ann
("Barney"), my great great grandfather, was born about 1816. He became a farmer
and timber logger of some substance. He was also the local politician of the
family. In 1847, he married Mary Ann Kennedy, daughter of Michael Kennedy and
the late Margaret Shields of Templeton. Mary Ann may have been Thomas Kennedy's
niece. Bernard and Mary Ann would have a family of 13 children, the largest
family of all Canadian Cullen descendants to-date.
1851, Bernard was living on a 200 acre farm at Range 5, Lot 5 with Mary Ann and
3 year old Mary Elizabeth. The letters patent weren't issued for this land
until 1866, but Bernard had probably made the purchase around the time of his
marriage. His son Bernard had died at birth that year. Twenty-five acres were
cleared including eight in crops and 17 as pasture. He was producing peas,
oats, potatoes, hay and butter and he had 3 milk cows, 2 calves, 2 pigs and 7
horses. He also had a maid and 20 employees, enough to run a small shanty operation
in winter. Not much is known about the size of his
timber operation, but as indicated under Michael Cullen's biographical sketch
above, Bernard and Michael may have been in business together.
1860, Bernard's 3 year old son Thomas died of croup. By the 1861 Census, he had
greatly expanded his farm in size and output. He now had 50 acres cleared with
27 in crops and 23 in pasture. His farm was valued at $800 and he produced
spring wheat, peas, oats, potatoes and hay. Also butter and pork. His livestock
included 2 bulls, 6 steers, 3 milk cows, 3 horses, 1 colt and 7 pigs. He also
had a maid to help with the family. There is no census indication that Bernard
had employees at this time. What happened to his business is unknown. However,
the ups and downs of the timber business were well founded and it is possible
that he had a setback or period of unprofitability. Also, Michael had died and,
if they were partners, he may have decided to discontinue the business.
was also well known in the community. He was involved in local politics as
councillor of Templeton for an unknown period until May 1861. It
is likely he had become bilingual. In 1862, he was appointed as a road overseer
in the township. In 1868, a group including Bernard
presented a petition to the township that they build a road "between Lots 5 and
6 from the Queen’s Highway to the front of the 6th concession". In
1869, approval was given to lay out this road, known as "Bernard Cullen's By
Road". Even today, on the west lot line of his property, there is evidence of
this road. It was likely not completed, however, as today the only similar road
nearby is McLaren Road which is several lots to the west, and it has been in existence
since at least 1878. Bisecting Lots 4 and 3 is Montee
Beauchamp which starts at Range 4 and proceeds several ranges to the north.
in 1868, he was retained by the township for 16 days at $1.05 per day to act as
an assessor. 
1871, he owned a total of 300 acres and operated a large farm. He had 1
dwelling, 4 barns, 6 carts/wagons, 3 ploughs, 1 thrashing machine and 1 fanning
mill. From his 50 acres of improved land, he produced 20 bu. wheat, 180 bu.
oats, 40 bu. peas, 300 bu. of potatoes and 25 tons of hay. He owned 4 horses, 7
milk cows, 5 other cattle, 17 sheep and 8 pigs. In 1870, he had slaughtered 7
cattle, 11 sheep and 6 pigs, had produced 750 lbs. butter, 60 lbs. wool and 60
yds. of cloth/flannel. He had also harvested 120 pine logs from his property.
the 1881 census, Bernard was living with his family on the same farm. It is unknown how large his acreage was at this time.
Son John and daughter Mary Elizabeth had married. All of the other
children were at home. 
November 1883, Bernard became ill. On November 12, he gave 75 acres ("a portion
of Lots 4a and 4b of range 4") to his son John, and prepared his will,
by which he left all his assets to his wife, with instructions to care for his
widowed sister Mary. He died on December 9 and is buried in the cemetery at St
Anthony’s Parish in Perkins. See "The Great Cemetery Caper" for a modern day
chapter to Bernard's life.
signature on his will 1883
Kennedy witnessed the document
donating 75 acres
to her son John
1891, son Bernard had taken over as head of the family, living with his mother
and 7 siblings.
have toured Bernard's properties several times. The location of his original 200
acre farm (Lot 5 Range 5) is the north side of Chemin Leo Leblanc, the second
lot west of Chemin Proulx). The property runs from Leo Leblanc north about 1
mile. The northern half of the property is somewhat elevated and entirely
wooded. The southern half is under cultivation, perhaps on lease to others.
None of the original buildings remain. Bernard's farm house and barns, which
were set back from the road, have been replaced with the house and greenhouses
of Les Enterprises Horticoles.
Les Enterprises Horticoles on the
Bernard's farm looking west 2007
east side of Bernard's farm property 2007
also owned 200 acres at Lot 4 Range 4. Chemin Proulx bisects this property
today. The north half of this lot is located in the north-west corner where
Chemin Proulx turns north. He later transferred the property to his sons
Michael Patrick and John. His properties remained in the hands of descendants and
were sold over the period 1906 to 1927.
Great Cemetery Caper
Quebec, canon law prevents ownership of cemetery plots, thus the ability for
parishes to charge cemetery land rents. In 1991, the Parish Council of St
Anthony of Padua, Val des Monts, placed a small notice in the Ottawa Citizen advising
that unless maintenance charges for the previous five years were paid on 48
cemetery plots, the headstones would be removed and the plots used for new
burials. These plots involved burials in the 1800s and included several Cullen
family ancestors. No Cullen descendants, or for that matter, descendants of
other ancestors of the area, took notice. My father and I were unaware of this
turn of events when we visited the cemetery in 1998. We found both Bernard
Cullen's and Thomas Kennedy's headstones broken and in the bush to the east of
years later it was discovered by Dad's cousin Martin Cullen, that the twin
tombstones of Bernard's sons, Bernard and Patrick, had been re-inscribed with the
names Meilleur and Martin. Presumably, new burials had taken place in these
plots. Martin took the story to the Ottawa Citizen
and CBC-TV National news. Dad and I retained a lawyer in Gatineau to seek legal
redress from the Parish. After two years of negotiations, we succeeded in
having Bernard's stone repaired and his sons' two stones returned to their
original inscriptions. As well, the Parish agreed that there would be no
maintenance charges on these plots in perpetuity. A downside to the affair was
that the Kennedy stone went missing in this period.
Bernard & Patrick Cullen
Bernard and Patrick Cullen's re-inscribed headstones with Father Bernard's
headstone in the middle - 2005
Cullen & Michael Ryan
("Betsy") was born c1816 and may have been the twin sister of Bernard. She
married Michael Ryan of Plantagenet, Ontario in the chapel of Notre Dame in
Bytown in October 1835. In the church marriage record no parents
are listed. As a result, we did not initially include Elizabeth in John
Cullen's family. However, there were a number of circumstantial clues to the
relationship. The age and timing were about right. At the time of the 1851
Census, Mary Cullen Kennedy, was caring for a child Catherine Ryan in Templeton,
and two of Elizabeth’s sons married into Michael Kennedy's family in Templeton.
Also, Catherine Dwyer McFaul in her book "Come My Beloved" had linked her great
grandmother, Elizabeth Ryan, with our Cullens. We finally accepted that Elizabeth was probably "family" due to
Elizabeth Carolan being godmother to two of Elizabeth's children. It was felt unlikely that the godmother relationship would have
occurred for any other relationship.
was the son of John Ryan originally of NewTown Barry, Wexford, and one of the
Plantagenet area's early settlers. Michael and his brothers George, Dennis
and Patrick were privates in the 1st Regiment Prescott Militia, 10th
Company in 1828 &1829. Michael operated a tavern and hotel in
Plantagenet Mills from the mid 1830s until 1860s. It would have been on the
road from Bytown to Hawkesbury. It's still in operation today as the Commercial
Hotel. It's possible that Michael first met Anthony or John Cullen through the
hotel. Another possibility is that the Ryans were friends of the Templeton
Kennedys and met through Thomas Kennedy. Michael later became a farmer south of
hotel at Plantangenet Mills, Ontario 1998
McFaul paints a picture of Betsy passed down through generations of her family.
Her mother, Virginia "Jenny" Ryan, remembers stories of her grandmother Betsy as being a vivacious red head with a beautiful singing voice. McFaul tells of her mother recalling her father,
Patrick Ryan, (Betsy's son) who "often told his children of the twinkling, soulful eyes of his holy Irish mother. 'Me mither's eyes were the mirror of her soul'"[45a]
and Elizabeth had 13 children, one of whom died as a baby. Two of their
children, Patrick and John, married Kennedy sisters from Templeton who were
step sisters-in-law of Bernard Cullen and possibly nieces of Thomas Kennedy.
first records of Michael Ryan are the tax assessment rolls of Plantagenet and
Alfred from 1830 to 1850. In the 1830 to 1833 period, Michael is listed as the
owner of 200 acres, 100 being the east 1/2 of Lot 26, Range 2 and 100 the east 1/2
of Lot 11, Range 4 in Plantagenet Township. The latter is officially village
lot #3 and was purchased in 1833 and is located in Plantagenet (then known as
Chesserville). It is probably only 1 acre in size. This
is where he built his inn and tavern. He must have sold Lot 26, for in 1834 he
owned 100 acres on the north 1/2 of Lot 20 Range 9. By 1837, he had sold this
land to Moses Shane and had a 1 storey house of hewn timber with an additional
fireplace and was living with Elizabeth and one female under the age of 16. (We
don’t have a record of this child; perhaps she died.) The location of this
house is not identified, but it is likely the Lot 4 property and the house is
most likely the Commercial House/Tavern. In 1837 his assessed value was 27
pounds. He likely lived on this property until the early 1850s; he had 1 horse
and 1 milk cow throughout and had 1/2 acre cultivated. His assessed value over
the 1837-1850 period varied and by 1850 was 76 pounds. By 1848, Plantagenet was
divided into the North and South Plantagenet Townships. Michael’s hotel was
located in North Plantagenet.
interesting sidelight is the nature of the taxes paid during this timeframe. In
1839, Michael's assessed valuation was 27 pounds. His total taxes amounted to 3
shillings 10 pence including a base amount plus 3 1/2 pence in support of the
provincial lunatic asylum and 1 shilling 4 1/2 pence toward the wages of the
Member of the Provincial Parliament. In those days the currency system was 12
pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound.
1851 census data for North and South Plantagenet Townships in Prescott County are missing and so we are unable to find full details of the family in this decade.
In 1852 Michael purchased 100 acres, the west 1/2 of Lot 9 Range 9 in North
Plantagenet and in 1854 he acquired the east 1/2 of the Lot. The
property is about 1 mile south of Curran. He built a house on the west side of
Map of North Plantagenet Township
first complete data on Michael and Elizabeth is from the 1861 Census. They were
living with children Patrick, John, Michael and Barney and Elizabeth, Margaret
and Catherine. Barney and his three sisters were attending school. The family
lived in a 1 storey log house on their farm and Michael operated a tavern in
Plantagenet Mills sited on 1 acre. In the Agricultural Census, Michael
valued his 200 acre farm at $3,000. He had 50 acres in crops and 20 in pasture.
In 1860, he had produced 80 bu. of spring wheat, 50 of peas, 800 oats, 700
potatoes and 30 turnips as well as 10 tons of hay, 12 lbs of wool, 50 yards of
flannel (no doubt produced by Elizabeth and her daughters), 100 lbs of butter,
1,000 lbs of beef and 400 lbs of pork. His livestock included 2 milk cows, 3
horses, 2 colts or fillies, 4 sheep, and 3 pigs and was valued at $340. He
had a large operation.
is no record of employees at the tavern or the farm. Michael probably ran the
tavern with help and his two eldest sons, Patrick and John, the farm.
died on November 28, 1864 in Curran, Ontario and was buried on November 30th
in the cemetery of the mill which was the original burying ground of
Plantagenet and was located beside the Plantagenet Mill.
Michael’s remains may have been relocated later to St. Luke's Parish cemetery
in Curran. It is believed that Elizabeth died in 1870 and is buried at St.
headstone St. Luke's Parish, Curran, Ontario
Cullen & James O'Hagan
Catherine was born
about 1821, arriving in Canada as a small child. Nothing is
known about her life until her marriage to James O’Hagan in November 1846. They
were to have 5 children in the next 9 years, two of whom died before the age of
5. Catherine, the first of the Cullens to die in Canada, passed away at age 35
on December 29, 1856 and is buried at St. Francois de Sales Parish in
Templeton. Her death was reported in the January 2, 1857 issue of the Ottawa
Tribune: "At Gatineau Point, in the Township of Hull, on the 29th
ultimo, Catherine Cullen, the beloved wife of Jas. Hagan, Esq., aged 35 years."
O'Hagan (sometimes referred to as Hagan) became one of the important
early settlers in Templeton. He was born about 1815 in Ballynascreen Parish, Co. Derry,
the son of Hugh O'Hagan. Hugh was a school teacher in Ireland for 13 years, before
emigrating to Lower Canada c1820. He settled first in Montreal, then moved to Ste. Marie
de Monnoir, where he opened and taught at a school. In 1833, he moved to Bytown
opening a school close to the corners of Sussex and Murray Streets. In 1847,
Hugh was one of 12 teachers employed by the Common School Trustees of Bytown,
where he taught until his retirement in the mid 1850s. By 1861, he was living as
a "gentleman" with his wife Ann in Templeton.
was an entrepreneur and businessman. He was a merchant and innkeeper. He was a
farmer and for a time, in the timber business; he was active in local politics.
He was a Justice of the Peace. He was the Town Clerk of Templeton in the 1840s.
He was an enumerator of the 1851 and 1861 Censuses in Templeton. He was mayor
of Templeton Township in 1861-67, 1880-81 and 1882-83 and the first mayor of
Pointe-Gatineau in 1876-77 and councilor in 1881-82. He
was the first Postmaster of Templeton. He was also a large landowner in the
signature affixed to the first minutes
of the Pointe-Gatineau
Council, February 19, 1876
the 1842 census, O'Hagan, in his late 20s, is listed as a storekeeper. His
location is not indicated, but he was renting property.
By the 1851 census, for which he acted as enumerator, he was an innkeeper and
occupied 40 acres on an island (perhaps Kettle Island). Catherine is listed in
this census, but, surprisingly, none of their children is listed. James had
four houses of which three were unoccupied. These could have been unoccupied
auberge units on the day of the census. At that time he had a small farming
operation on 7 acres producing wheat, oats and potatoes.
He was also Town Clerk of Templeton.
then, he also operated a horse-powered ferry (commencing in 1843 until 1870)
between Pointe-Gatineau and McKay Bay at New Edinburgh, the terminus for the
horse-drawn tramway service into Ottawa. The horse walked on a circular table
which propelled a paddle providing motive power for the boat. A second horse was
added later. From the 1850s to 1880s he had a contract to deliver mail three
times weekly from Pointe-Gatineau to Ottawa either by vehicle or by ferry. This
provided $60 of revenue annually for his ferry service. This service provided
the most convenient route from Templeton to Ottawa for freight, passengers and
vehicles, since, at that time, the only bridge across the Ottawa was the Union Bridge at the Chaudiere Falls.
the 1850s, O'Hagan became more involved in the community and business. He was appointed
a Justice of the Peace. He was appointed Lieutenant in the Templeton Militia on
April 17, 1856, and Captain in the reserve militia on February 19, 1869.
1859, he married Elizabeth Crosby of Pointe-Fortune, the sister of his
sister-in-law Ann Jane Crosby Cullen. Together they had six children.
1861, James' primary occupation was “Lumber trader”. He had $12,000 invested,
25 male and 1 female employees and produced annual product valued at $5,000. He
was living with Elizabeth and their first child James and also son Hugh from
his first marriage. Elizabeth's sister Maria Louisa was also living with them. James
may have been a partner with John Cullen Jr. James' two daughters, Mary Ann and
Catherine, were living at the time with their grandparents, Hugh and Ann
O'Hagan in Templeton. An oddity is that his 6 year old son Hugh, is also shown
as living with his aunt and uncle Thomas and Mary Kennedy. It sounds like the
older children did not fit in with their step mother.
1871, James O'Hagan was a wealthy man. He was listed as a trader. He owned
1,562 acres of land, 29 building lots in the town, 39 dwellings, 9 barns or
stables, 4 carriages and sleighs, 6 carts, wagons and sleds, 3 pleasure boats
and 5 ploughs and cultivators. He produced oats, potatoes and hay and his
livestock included 3 horses, 2 colts, 3 milk cows, 2 cattle, 3 sheep and 2
Elizabeth died in 1879, James married again to Bridget Theresa FitzMaurice.
died in Pointe-Gatineau on November 24, 1893 and is buried in St. Francis de Sales Cemetery in Gatineau. Theresa died in 1905 and is buried with James.
is an O'Hagan Street in Gatineau.
Cullen Jr. & Ann Jane Crosby
John Cullen, Jr., the
youngest of the family, was born in June 1824. Nothing is known of John’s
early life except for one incident with the law. On July 31, 1847, the Bytown
Packet reported that John had been fined 15 shillings in Ottawa Court for
assault. In September 1848, he married Ann Jane Crosby of Pointe-Fortune. She
was the daughter of John Crosby, an early Pointe-Fortune settler, a shoemaker
by trade, a sometime hotelier, stagecoach operator between Pointe Fortune and
L’Orignal, and latterly, a farmer. Our John may have met the Crosbys through
Anthony, assuming he worked for him, or through Ursula Cullen who was a
sister-in-law of Ann Jane's sister Sarah. Ann Jane was Church of England and to
conform to the Catholic norms of the day, she was baptized, confirmed, had her
First Communion and was married in Templeton all on the same day. It is not
known whether the Crosbys, likely staunch Protestants, attended the wedding. No
Crosby signed the church record as witness.
John may have been the
youngest, but he was no less a businessman. In the 1851 census, when he was 27,
John was a "farmer" living in a 1 1/2 storey piece-sur-piece house on 200 acres
in Range 1 (likely Lot 11). This lot fronts on The Ottawa River and includes
part of the western end of McLaurin Bay. The southern third of the lot floods
every spring and it is unlikely that it was ever under cultivation. The eastern
lot line is approximately Rue des Sables, the western lot line approximately
Rue Mitchell and Rue Leclerc approximates the north lot line. The Blanche River bisected the northwest corner of the lot.
location of John's land with McLaurin Bay in background
also in the census are 1 maid and 11 labourers. Unfortunately, the total number
of workers employed information is unintelligible. He had 10 acres of crops and
20 in pasture and was producing oats, potatoes and hay. He had 6 steers, 3
cows, 2 calves, 3 horses, 2 sheep and 2 pigs. He had produced 200 lbs butter
and 800 lbs beef the previous year.
of John’s lumber activities are sparse. There is one record for 1856 which
shows him paying 33 pounds in duties for cutting 239 pieces totaling 16,300
feet of white pine. There is also an application by a John
Collins in 1850 for 4 licences totaling 200 square miles in the Riviere Gens de
Terre area north of Maniwaki. It’s the only record found under this
name. This might refer to John Collins, a farmer living in Wakefield Township at the time. But there are no census references that would indicate that
this individual was in the timber business. If it is our John, he would have
been 26 years old, fairly young for such a large request.
John Cullen Road
the 1850s, John also became involved in local road construction. The lack of
roads was a continual complaint by settlers, both from transportation and
public works (ie. employment) perpectives. There were regular petitions made by
settlers to the authorities for grants to build roads, as a means of improving
the economy and opening up more areas to settlers. One such road in Templeton
became known as "The John Cullen Road" and was intended to link Perkins
Mills westward to the Gatineau River across from Wakefield (at Range 1, Lot 7).
In 1854 Thomas Kennedy was appointed Surveyor of the route and 150 pounds appropriated
for the survey. The road was estimated at 23 2/3 miles in length. Kennedy
reported that there would not be much difficulty in traversing the land, that
the soil was "well adapted for settlement" and that the road would be useful in
developing the north part of the Township. Almost all of the funding
appropriated was paid out to Kennedy and his work team.
the survey completed, John Cullen was appointed Overseer of the project and
commenced construction in 1855. I believe this is John Jr. since his father
would have been in his late 70s. John estimated a cost of 285 pounds, exclusive
of three bridges needed. 300 pounds were appropriated.
By 1858, 12 1/2 miles were open, mostly in Templeton Township. John reported that
"the soil was stony and rough, but good"; "there still remains much timber" in
Templeton and Wakefield, with maple prevailing; and "$1200 would be required to
complete the road".
are some records of payments to John for this project in the 1855 to early 1858
period; there is no record of further appropriations or payments and no
evidence of the road being completed. This may be an indication that John is
John Sr. who died in 1858 and if so, may have also meant the stoppage of the
project. Today, there is no complete road along the line of the original
project and we believe that the road was not completed. The most prominent
stretch of the road remaining is Montee Paiement which routes westward from Val
Val des Monts 1998
interesting postscript to this project is an uncomplimentary reference by Mr.
O'Hanley, Upper Canada Provincial Surveyor to a legislative assembly committee
on colonization. He ridiculed the method of appropriating funds and overseeing
road construction in Lower Canada. He stated that "Township appropriations ....
become an object of scramble for every village "great man"". Overseeing road
construction is "given to persons wholly unfit". He then used the John Cullen Road as an example:
"There have been appropriations for a road from the rear of
Templeton to intersect the Gatineau River near the Wakefield Church a distance of 10 or 12 miles.
Not less than $2,000 or $2,400 have been expended on that,
and yet there is no portion of it available. I think no blame can be attributed
to the individuals, the whole fault lies in the system ....."
1861, John was a "lumberer" with 25 labourers employed and invested capital of
$10,000. He was producing 6,000 feet of squared timber worth $8,000. He may
have been in business with James O'Hagan. His farming operation had also
increased. He had 25 acres each in crops and pasture.
And he had added spring wheat to his farm produce and had a larger collection
of livestock including
7 horses. At 600 bu., he was the biggest producer of oats in the Township.
some point in the 1860s, John and Ann Jane moved to Millbrook, Michigan. We have no
indication why. Did he have a business failure? Was there a timber
opportunity in Millbrook? Some other personal or family issue? There is no record.
We have found him and Ann Jane in the 1870 and 1880 Census for Millbrook, Mecosta County.
In 1870, he is listed as a "common laborer" and the value of his owned real
estate is only $150. He’s listed as a "laborer" in 1880. Ann Jane is listed as
"House Keeper". These records indicate a significant decline in their standard
of living from their days in Templeton. An oddity is that their surname is
spelled "Collins" in both censuses. . While in Quebec it would be common for
French Canadian census enumerators to transcribe "Collins" for "Cullen", it is
unlikely to have occurred in English-speaking Michigan. We are thus at a loss
for the spelling unless John was using an alias.
Also, the 1870 census indicates John as a U.S. citizen.
John died in
Millbrook on August 19, 1885. In fact, he killed himself while "temporarily
deranged". We know nothing of the circumstances that lead to his death, except
for the news clipping below. My father thinks his mental
state probably resulted over time from whatever happened in his earlier life
and/or business problems in Templeton.
Current, August 26, 1885
was buried on August 21, 1885 in Section 3 Row 14 north end in the Decker Cemetery in
Mecosta County. His surname is spelled "Collen" in the cemetery records.
May 2007, en route Vancouver - Toronto, I drove south from Sault Ste. Marie into Michigan
and detoured to Millbrook in the mid-central part of the state. Millbrook is about
20 miles west of Mt. Pleasant amidst rolling farm country. The village is
located in a pretty little valley containing a small, meandering brook, a renovated
mill building and a few houses, some of which seem to be original. Millbrook
really is a small place. Perhaps in the 1870s it was a thriving community in
farming and timbering, but today it is merely a remnant of its past. The Decker Cemetery
is located about one mile from Millbrook and is still in use today. It is in
a pretty, rural setting among mature trees and is well tended. John’s headstone
has been broken in two pieces. The inscription reads "In memory of John Collen born
June 24, 1824 died August 19, 1885".
author of the above article mentions "Uncle John Cullen" which suggests that
other Cullen or Crosby related people lived in the area. I have not been able
to find any residents with these names, but there may have been other relatives
through marriage who were residents. So far, I have not been able to identify any.
John Cullen Jr.'s broken headstone, Decker Cemetery, Millbrook Michigan 2007
Sometime after John's
death, Ann Jane moved back to the Crosby family farm in Pointe-Fortune where
she died in July 1896. She is buried in St. Andrews East, Quebec.