Monday, January 4, 2010

Lenehan Family History

Welcome to the Lenehan Family History blog.

1. Dennis LENEHAN (c.1806 - Oct 29, 1887)
m. Catherine ? (c.1814 - 1874)
Both born in Ireland. Children included:

• Margaret (1845-?) b. Ireland.  She disappears from the family home after the 1861 census.

• Dennis (1849 - ?) b. Ireland.  He disappears from the family home after the 1871 census.

• James Joseph (1851-1922) b. Ontario m. Mary Ann CAROLAN on November 22, 1877 at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Toronto. Joseph was listed as a labourer aged 24 and Mary Ann was listed as being 21. Witnesses were James LYNCH, Polly KENNA, James and Deborah CAROLAN, all of Toronto.

• John (1854-?) b. Ontario.  John is living with his father Dennis and last appears in the 1881 census.  I cannot find him in the census records after that date.  There is a John Lenehan listed in the 1888 Toronto city directory listed as a labourer living in rooms at 58 Humbert Avenue.  In 1893 a John Lenehan appears living at 99 Cumberland as a groom with the Toronto Railway.  In 1894 there is a John Linehan living at 29 Queen's Park as a coachman. 
William Christie of Christie Bakery lived at 29 Queen's Park.  In 1895 there are two John Lenehans - one living at 29 Queen's Park as a coachman; and one living at 6 Clinton as a printer.   I traced the John who was the coachman for the Christie family and it is not the correct John (the parents on his marriage registration are wrong).  There is also a John living in Weston married to Sarah Goulding - again the parents on the marriage registration are wrong.  The John who is a printer living at 6 Clinton appears to be the correct one as he is living there with his brother James in 1895.  He does not appear there in 1897 or 1898 or 1900.  I cannot find him in the 1901 census.

Margaret and Dennis were born in Ireland and James and John were born in Ontario so they must have emigrated to Toronto about 1850. Dennis was the owner of a property on the north end of Bishop's Street in St. Patrick's Ward in 1853 according to the city tax assessment records. The 1861 census indicates that they were all living in a frame house. In the 1871 census Dennis' occupation is listed as pensioner. Their son Dennis' occupation is listed as a fireman and James and John are listed as varnishers. The burial register for St. Michael's Cemetery indicates that on June 9, 1874 Mrs. Lenihan, aged 60 years, b. Ireland died at 58 Muter Street. This must be Catherine wife of Dennis Lenehan. In the 1881 census John is living with his widowed father. John's occupation is listed as labourer. In the 1881 Toronto city directory Dennis is living at 27 1/2 Arthur Street. There is a death registration for a Dennis Lenehan in Toronto who died at the age of 93 on October 29, 1887.  The record indicates that he was born in Ireland and was a "soldier".  I tried to find an obituary in the Toronto Globe but was not successful.

2. James Joseph LENEHAN (1851- April 12, 1922)
m. Mary Ann CAROLAN (c1852 - July 23,1886) – on November 22, 1877 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Toronto.

Mary Ann was the daughter of John CAROLAN and Jane ROSSITER. Jane Rossiter was born in Newfoundland and Mary Ann may also have been born there. I am still trying to determine when the Carolans came to Toronto as the birth place information in the census records does not make sense. The Lenehans and Carolans lived near each other on Muter Street (present day Palmerston Avenue) as early as 1874 according to the Toronto City directory. The Lenehans were at #58 and the Carolans were at #78. That must have been how the two families met though they would have worshipped at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church nearby on Bathurst Street. Mary Ann died on July 23, 1886 when she was just 27 years and 9 months of age, and was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery. James never remaried.  In the 1881 census James is listed as a Cabinet Maker living in St. Stephen's Ward in Toronto. According to the Toronto City Directory he was living at 220 Bathurst Street. His occupation is listed as a varnisher. In the 1891 census he is listed as widowed with children Kate (Catherine), Joseph and Jennie. His occupation is listed as piano polisher. There is also a domestic Winnifred WELSH. In the 1900 Toronto city directory James is living at 66 Robinson with his daughter Catherine. James' occupation is listed as polisher with Mason and Risch, piano makers (established in Toronto in 1871). In the 1901 census James' occupation is still listed as piano polisher with an annual salary of $600. His daughters Kathleen (Catherine) and Jennie are listed as living with him. Jennie's occupation is listed as furrier with an annual salary of $250. In the 1909 city directory James and his daughter Jane (Jennie?) are living at 139 Bathurst Street. James' occupation is listed as varnisher at Mason and Risch piano makers and Jane's occupation is listed as a finisher with the T. Eaton Company.

According to James Lenehan's obituary on the front page of the Toronto Star on April 13, 1922 he was an employee of the Mason and Risch firm for 40 years, and the finisher of the first piano turned out by the company.  He died at the home of his daughter Mrs. Jennie Thornley, 58 Vermont Avenue.  He was 68 years old.  According to his death registration the cause of death was arterial sclerosis and cerebral haemorrhage.

They had the following known children:

• John Joseph (December 16, 1880 - ?)  At the time of his birth they were living at 220 Bathurst Street, Toronto.
• Catherine (1880 - April 24, 1938) m. George Stephen SHIPMAN.  According to her obituary she died at her home at 793 Dufferin Street, Toronto (on the corner of Dufferin Street and Sylvan Avenue across the street from Dufferin Grove Park) and is buried in the family plot at Mount Hope Cemetery.  Her son George J. Shipman (1914-1987) and his wife Catherine M. (Cae) German (1913-2002) are buried in the family plot with her.
James Lenehan with his granddaughter Kathleen Shipman, daughter of Catherine Lenehan and George Shipman,  circa 1909  
© Michael Harrison 2010

• Jennie (1884 - November 18, 1958) m. Fred THORNLEY (September 1, 1878 - July 30, 1964).  They were married on September 26, 1910 in Toronto.  Frederick is listed as a piano worker so perhaps he worked with Jennie's father?  Fred was the son of William Thornley and Mary Carney.  He was 35 and she was 23.  According to her obituary Jennie was living at 58 Vermont Avenue, Toronto but died at St. Joseph's Hospital.  She is buried with her husband at Mount Hope Cemetery.  Their daughter Lorraine M. THORNLEY (1919-1993) is also buried with them. 

Closeup of Lenehan Family Plot in which are buried James Lenehan and his daughters Catherine Shipman, and her son George J. Shipman and his wife Catherine M. (Cae) German; and Jennie Lenehan and her husband Fred Thornley, and their daughter Lorraine Thornley

I would be interested in hearing from anyone researching my family. Please contact me at kikoamoki at

All information and photographs on this site are copyrighted and may not be used without my permission. No use for commercial purposes is permitted.  © Copyright Michael Harrison 2010.  All rights reserved.