Canadian woman’s search for family roots in the Roe Valley

Sue's grandparents, William and Jennie Hynds. (2809SJ300
Sue's grandparents, William and Jennie Hynds. (2809SJ300

A Canadian woman has made a heartfelt appeal for help in tracing her ancestors, who she has discovered have strong roots in the Roe Valley.

Sue Brown from Nova Scotia is desperate to know about her father’s family who she says came from the Largy outside Limavady, in the ‘Moyse’ area.

“It was early this year that my youngest son went to Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and looked up the ship’s records of when my father Alex Cassidy came to Canada from Limavady with his parents, Jennie and William Cassidy, along with his six other siblings,” she told the ‘Journal’.

“My dad was the oldest of the seven children, 16 years-old. They boarded the ship called the ‘ Cameronia’, which set sail from Derry on March 24, 1928, and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on March 31, 1928. From Halifax they boarded a train and came to Chipman, New Brunswick, Canada, where they purchased a farm on the outskirts of Chipman.”

The 60-year-old Canadian says on St. Patrick’s Day her eight-year-old grandson asked about his “Irish family”.

“I told him I was half Irish so that made his Dad one quarter Irish. He told me he must be one-eighth Irish, so I decided I would start doing some research so I would learn more about my family overseas,” explained Sue. “I am hoping to find some distant relatives still living in Ireland today.”

Research

After dozens of emails, and exhaustive research online, Sue has managed to collate a considerable amount of information.

“Alexander Cassidy, my father’s grandfather, married a Nancy Quigg from Wales. From what I can find out, they had six children: Robert Cassidy, James Cassidy, William Cassidy (my grandfather), Eliza Cassidy, Ann Cassidy, and Jane Cassidy.

“My grandfather William Cassidy married Jennie Hynds and they had nine children: Alexander Cassidy (my father), William (Bill) Cassidy, Reta Cassidy, Betty Cassidy, Mary (Mae) Cassidy, John Cassidy, Rose (Jane) Cassidy, Sadie (Sarah) Cassidy, and Francis Cassidy.

“William and his wife Jennie immigrated to Canada with their children on March 24, 1928, on that ship the Cameronia. They sailed into Halifax and landed at Pier 21 on March 31, 1928. I obtained this information from the ships records in Halifax. On the records is a name, John Flynn from Moyse, who sponsored them, and I am trying to find out who John Flynn was and how he fits into the picture.

“William’s wife Jennie was a Hynds and her parents were John and Rachel (Frizzell) Hynds. John Hynds died in Ireland in June 1934 and he is buried in the Largy Presbyterian Church Cemetery. His wife, Rachel, immigrated to Canada after his death. John and Rachel had five children: William James (Jim) Hynds, Mary Hynds, John Hynds, Samuel Hynds, and Jennie (Hynds) Cassidy, my grandmother. I have discovered that Rachel (Frizzell) Hynds had at least two siblings: Margaret Frizzell and William Frizzell. I have no information on these two siblings and also I have no information on any siblings that John Hynds may have had. I would like to find out if there are any of my relatives still living in Ireland.

“John Hynds was born June 23, 1853, and died June 15, 1934, in Moyse, Ireland. His parents names were John and Mary Hynds. He had a sister Martha Jane Hynds born May 11, 1851, a brother Samuel Hynds born July 10, 1855, and another brother Thomas Hynds born October 17, 1858. I think they were all buried in the Largy Presbyterian Cemetery.

“John Hynds married Rachel Frizzell on June 20, 1887. Rachel had two sisters: Margaret Ann who married a Hill and Mary who married a McNeil. Rachel also had a brother named William Frizzell (Billy).”

Sue said there is a “fairly new grave marker in the Largy Presbyterian Cemetery simply saying ‘Hynds’. I am trying to find out who put this grave marker there because I feel I would get a lot of questions answered.”

Journey of discovery

Sue explained a lot of visits to her only surviving aunt, who was born in Ireland, have brought her so far on on her journey of discovery.

“And I have sent many, many emails. These emails are to my distant relatives living in Canada, from the east coast all the way to the west coast and some living in the United States,” she said. “These relatives I have never met (on the most part), but through the computers we are getting to know each other quite good. I also have received information from the Largy Presbyterian minister, which has been very helpful.”

Sue has never been to Ireland, but hopes some day she’ll be “lucky enough” to visit.

“It’s my hope there is someone living there that is a distant relative of mine and can give me more information about my Irish background,” she said.

Anyone with information they think would help Sue email her at nbbrowns@gmail.com