Quick Links

Banner Photo Info



The Rooney Family in Canada

After Michael Rooney died in 1857 in Wakefield, Quebec, his wife, Catherine Caulfield Rooney, immigrated to the United States. In 1865 or thereabouts she and eight of her nine children came to Minnesota. Before the 1860's were history they had put down roots in "Rooney's Settlement," present-day Padua.

The Rooney who stayed behind in Quebec was the eldest, Mickey. Wondering about this branch of the Rooney family, I an my wife, Pat, in the summer of 1992 spent a week exploring the Gatineau River region north of Ottawa in Quebec. Should any readers of "The Rooney Reporter" be interested in searching out this Canadian connection, I have gathered here some information which may be of use in that endeavor.

    1. The Rooney Family settled in the Township of Wakefield, Town of Farrellton (prsent-day La Peche) in the 1840's. Michael Rooney ("Daddy Mick") and Catherine Caulfield Rooney ("Mommy Kitty") had traveled from Galway, Ireland with their nine children. La Peche is about 30 miles north of Hull, Quebec (across from Ottawa, Ontario). It is reached by Interprovince #5 and Provincial #105.

    2. The families were farming families but they also did some lumbering. There is indication that two of the boys, Michael and Patrick, were, moreover, innkeepers.

    3. Church records from 1850-1889 are located at the parish house next to St. Camillus Catholic Church in La Peche. Family members who died in the 1800's are buried in the church cemetery next to the church and facing the highway.

    4. The pastor at the time of our visit was Fr. Godbout, a Holy Cross Father. His address is: Reverend Bruno Godbout, St. Camillus Church, La Peche, Quebec JOX 1T0, Canada. He is the church's only priest. Besides this church he serves the church of St. Martin in Martindale and Our Lady of Sorrows in Venosta.

    5. Church records pertaining to the Rooney Family from 1889-1942 belong to the church of St. Martin of Martindale. Martindale is in the Township of Low; the church itself is in the Town of Low (on highway #105), 5 miles north of La Peche. The cemetery for St. Martin and Our Lady of Sorrows is in the Town of Martindale on the "chemin Martindale," about 3 miles West of Low. At the time of our visit church records were in the keeping of Ms. Ann Morris of Low.

    6. All burials of the Rooney family in the 20th Century are in martindale cemetery. All those buried do not, however, have tombstones.

    7. Church records pertaining to the Rooney Family from 1942 to the present are in Venosta. They are kept at "Henry's," a general store, which is located across the street from the church. Venosta is also on highway #105, about 5 miles north of Low. Aside from Fr. Godbout, the person in charge of the records during our trip was Venosta's mayor, Jacques Dussault. Venosta, by the bye, is in the Township of Wright.

    8. Directly across from "Henry's," a dirt driveway leads to Charlie Rooney's place. A former section chief for the Canadian Pacific Railway, he lives here with his son Vincent in the former railway station. He is 73; Vincent is 40.

    9. Another dirt road angles to the right at the head of the road to Charlie's home. It goes about 1/2 block to another road. Turn left on this road. You will cross the old railway rightaway. After that the first house on the left is where Charlie's sister Mary was living with her daughter and son-in-law. In 1992 she was 74 and in quite poor health. Across this road and down about 1/2 block on the right is where George Rooney, Charlie's and Mary's Dad, farmed. The land itself appears to have belonged originally to his wife's family, the Coyle family.

    10. Here is the information we were able to obtain about Charlie Rooney's direct ancestors and descendants:

      First Generation: Michael Rooney and Catherine Caulfield;
      Second Generation: Michael Rooney (1809-5/6/1878) and Maria Tracy (1818-2/14/1860);
      Third Generation: Michael Rooney (7/25/1851-6/13/185) and Mary Ann Mullin;
      Fourth Generation: George Charles Rooney (1/5/188208/11/1958) and Helen "Nelie" Coyle (9/25/1887-7/18/1945); William Joseph Rooney (11/9/1884-10/11/1949);
      Fifth generation: Michael Rooney (6/18/1909-1947); Catherine Dorothy Rooney (10/4/1910-+); Thomas George Arcadies Rooney (1916-10/26/1983) and Mary Margaret Eloise Leone; *Mary Ann Anastasia Rooney (6/22/1918-) and John Peter Kelley; William Benedict Harold Rooney (9/13/1928-7/16/1982) and Anna Mary Fitzpatrick; *Charles Vincent Rooney (4/3/1921-) and Christina Ryan (1919-6/30/1991); Kathleed Gertrude Theresa Rooney (1/27/1927-6/23/1985) and Joseph Lambert Brunke; Joseph Willard Rooney (9/13/1928-2/28/1976);
      Sixth Generation: Fr. Lomar Rooney (1943-); Charles Kevin Rooney (7/24/1947-) and Barbara Good; Mary Elizabeth Dwyla Rooney (11/7/1948-) and Guy LaBelle; Caroline Ann Roney (3/4/1951-) and Otto Epp; Gerald Rooney; Rhea Rooney and Brian Peck; Jane Rooney; Sheila Marie Rooney (7/21/1960-11/17/1970); Patricia Ann Theresa Rooney (6/2/1965-); *Vincent Rooney (1954).

    11. The original farm properties owned by Michael's and Catherine's sons are located in La Peche. Take the bridge there over te Gatineau River. At the end of the bridge turn left on a dirt road. It winds over hilly land. When you come to a line of power lines on your right, they mark this side of the land owned by Michael and John Rooney. A bit farther along Patrick Rooneys land is on your left.

    12. If anyone is interested in learning more about this Gatineau River region, the Historical Society of the Gatineau (P.O. Box 485, Chelsea, Quebec JOX 1N0, Canada -- phone number is 819-827-4432) has a fine historical pamphlet, Up the Gatineau. Its 18th volume came out in 1992.

Robert John Willis, III
135 Garvin Road
Hamden, Connecticut 06518