Maloney Family Tree

A friend recently asked me about my Maloney ancestry so here is a summary of The Genealogy of John Maloney and Deborah Moriarty which was compiled by Bill and Clara Maloney, Regina Saskatchewan, Canada.


The MALONEY clan belongs to that group of Celtic families classified in Irish genealogy as Dalcassians whose territory, comprising the Counties Clare and Limerick, was known as Thomond.

The most noted Clan of Dal Cas was the O'BRIEN family. As liege men of the O'Brien chieftains, the MALONEYS had their lands in County Clare and were chiefs of Tulla. The fortunes of the family followed the "ups and downs' of the O'Briens.

In Gaelic, the name is O'Maoldhomhnaigh. " Domhnach , translates the word "Sunday", and by association, "the Church". 'Maol' means "devotee". Thus, O'Maloney means "the descendants of the devotee of the Church". In modern times the prefix "0" is comparatively rare, notwithstanding the fact that the name is purely Celtic in origin and designation. The most common anglicizations of the name are MALONEY and MOLONEY.

Note: In our Canadian lineage, the name has had five spellings:



As the great potato famine of the mid-1800's swept the country, thousands left Ireland. The population of 8.8 million in 1845 dwindled to 2 million during the next few years, due to deaths by starvation and related diseases, and to mass emigration to North America.

It is during this period of history that the story of the Maloney brothers begins. The exact date of their arrival in Canada is not known; nor is it known if they came over as "Lace Curtain" Irish or the more lowly "Shanty" Irish. Was it the lure of a better future in America or were they driven out by poverty and famine? We do not know. But, the fact that they sailed together seems to suggest that they were able to pay their own transportation and perhaps even have a few pounds left over with which to re-establish themselves.

Cecil Woodham-Smith in his book "The Great Hunger" tells that the ship Lord Sydenham in 1846 brought 700 emigrants from Limerick. All were well-clad and very respectable-looking, and all going west. These were the poor but comfortable Irish. Were the Maloneys among these passengers? (To date, we have been unable to obtain this passenger list.)

Then there were the tenants emigrated by their landlords -- some were well provided for, others were absolutely destitute -- also headed west to America or if refused entry there, up the St. Lawrence to Quebec and Ontario. Were the Maloneys among these dispossessed Irish?

Lastly, there were the desperate who sailed in any kind of boat available. They were herded into cargo boats (provided they had the 7 pounds passage money) that were ill-fitted, over-crowded, did not provide the legal amounts of food and water, had no sanitary facilities, and where the passengers were treated simply as cargo, not humans. These were the infamous "floating coffins". Thousands of these people perished and were buried in mass graves along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. 1 Perhaps the Maloney brothers arrived in Canada in this type of ship.

Happily, our John, by the Grace of God, was one of the lucky ones to survive -- and so are we lucky, to have had him as our common progenitor.


According to family sources, five Maloney brothers emigrated from County Clare, Ireland, in the nineteenth century -- likely in the 1840's. 2

"They docked at Quebec where they separated. Two of the brothers (John and Michael) went on to Mount St. Patrick, Ontario, while the other three continued on to the United States. Patrick was one of these. He apparently settled in New Jersey but eventually returned to Mount St. Patrick where John and Michael had land for him. " Deborah (Pashak) Crandell

Another version claims:

"Four brothers settled in Ontario, one had to be taken off the ship and put ashore in Quebec (likely at the quarantine station at Gross Ile, 30 miles up river). He was never heard from or of again."

.... Deborah (Maloney) Phelan

Deborah Crandell remembers that her Aunt Gertie wife of Tom Maloney saying that Grandma (Deborah) had told them that two other brothers came with them and died of diptheria. (It is known that typhus and relapsing fever were very prevalent in the emigrant ships -possibly diptheria was as well.

Still another account states:

"There was a Father Maloney present at an Eganville celebration who said he was a descendant of one of the two lost brothers. He promised to send me all of the names of his branch, but he forgot to do this. "Father J.E Gravelle, Otter Lake, PQ 3

Some Renfrew relatives say that four brothers and a cousin came to "the mountain". Still others say that there are Maloneys in Quebec who cannot speak English.

"Besides the three Maloney brothers, they had a cousin Maloney who farmed adjacent to them" .... Victor Maloney 4

Perhaps some day, someone will unravel the story -- meanwhile we do know about the three brothers who settled at Mount St. Patrick, since Church records confirm this. The rest of this narrative will deal with them.

When we began this research, our original intention was to attempt to complete the genealogies of all three brothers. However, it soon became apparent that the amount of data involved precluded this aim, and we decided to work only on the genealogy of John, the middle brother.

Fortunately, descendants of both Michael and Patrick are undertaking similar research, and hopefully some day there will be record (to the best of everyones knowledge) of all the known descendants of these three Maloney brothers who arrived in Canada in the 1840's.

It is interesting to note that to distinguish the three families, they were nicknamed by a color, consequently the "Red Maloneys" was used to designate John's descendants; "Black Maloneys" was applied to Michael's descendants; and "Brown Maloneys" were Patrick's family.

NOTE: For further information regarding MICHAEL MALONEY (1816-1889) who married Mary Dundin (1819-1873), please contact: Mrs. Hugh (Marge) Gunn 2030 Retallack Street Regina, Sask. S4N 3M8

For further information regarding PATRICK MALONEY (1820-1896) who married Catherine O'Brien, please contact: Mrs. Glen (Marge) Huff 175 Lakeside Drive North Bay, Ontario PIA 3El

All of Father Gravell's data is now in the National Archives in Ottawa.No living relatives seem to know of this cousin.


Mount St. Patrick, Ontario, is a little hamlet nestled in a shallow valley in the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains of the Upper Ottawa Valley, about 17 miles from Renfrew which is approximately 60 miles west of Ottawa.

Many people presume that there is a physical feature called Mount St. Patrick. However, although a large area of the immediate rugged upland is known as the 'Mount St. Patrick Mountains' and the area is colloquially known far and wide as "The Mountain", the only named single features are 'Kennel1ys Mountain' and 'Maloneys Mountain'. 'Kennel1ys Mountain is known to some as Front Mountain, to others as Near Mountain, and 'Maloneys Mountain' is called by some Back Mountain, by others Rear Mountain and by still others as Far Mountain.

T.J. Hunt, in The Story of the Mountain indicates:

"according to geologists, the rock strata in our sector of the Laurentian range are about the oldest on this planet and in this respect our 'Mountain' is famously old."

The earliest inhabitants were the Mohawk Indians, but the area was first settled by Irish immigrants, fleeing the great potato famine of the mid-1800's.

Copies of earliest church records from Mount St. Patrick begin with January 1846, but the cornerstone of the original church (still in use in 1979) reads 1869. These early records list names such as Moriarty, Lynch, Mullowney (later Maloney), Donavon, Fitzgerald, Sullivan, Murphy, Shanahan, Doran, O'Gorman, Kiely, O'Brien, Healy and others. Two cemeteries, both in very good condition, preserve many of the old tombstones with inscriptions still legible.

Mount St. Patrick was the parish church and Renfrew a mission of it, from 1846 to 1851. Then the situation was reversed until 1872. Many of the early baptisms, marriages and deaths are recorded in St. Francis Xavier Church in Renfrew, and variations in spellings of Irish surnames are probably due to names being recorded by French priests.

Since the Mount St. Patrick area is part of the pre-Cambrian shield, the terrain is rocky, mountainous (low), covered with coniferous and other hardwood forests, dotted with crystal-clear lakes. How these early pioneers eked out a living there is a feat in itself.' Many an early settler found his only source of ready cash was from the sale of ashes (also known as potash) to agents who exported them for use in textile dyes, fertilizers, and soapmaking. Acres of land were stripped of their trees for this reason alone. Tree stumps or rocks were used to mark the boundaries of the properties. The settlers were able to raise hay crops in the clearings for their livestock. Many of the men worked in the timber industry further north in Quebec during the winter months to supplement income.

"It was not a farming country, it was then and still is today a land of lumber and lakes." .... I Come From the Valley, Joan Finnegan

Now, many of the original clearings have reverted to forest. It is of great attraction to tourists, especially from the United States, who can hunt and fish on private property. Some homes are kept furnished and rented out as hunting lodges.


The original John Maloney homestead is now owned by Michael J. Maloney of Renfrew, a great-grandson. Only a shed of square-cut timber and the cornerstone of the original buildings are left, as well as the original well and some apple trees, now wild but still bearing fruit. A frame home built by Michael's father John remains and is rented out as a hunting lodge on occasion. "John and Margaret farmed the original homestead and supplemented the income with work in the bush in the winter. Unlike John's father who went to lumber camps, John cut his own logs in the winter." .... Jean (Maloney) Brady

Of the five well-stocked lakes on this property, one is called "Maloney Lake". The others -- Patrick Falls, Dominic Lake, Pat's Lake and Little Mud Lake.

Residents of the original John Maloney homestead:

--John and Deborah

--John's son Michael and his wife Johanna Kiely

--Michael's son John J and his wife Margaret McDonald

--John's son, Michael J and wife Muriel Dobson, who now live in Renfrew but are the present owners (1979). 5



Born -1819, Ennis, County Clare, Ireland

Married - May 9, 1847, Mount St. Patrick, Ontario, Canada to Deborah Moriarty, daughter of Daniel Moriarty and Julia Brennan Born- 1826 Limerick, Co. Limerick, Ireland Died- 1914 Okotoks, Alberta, Canada Buried at Roman Catholic Cemetery, Okotoks, Alta.

Died- June 14, 1905, Mount St. Patrick

John arrived in Canada with his brothers (the exact date is not known, presumably it was in the mid-1840's) and worked around Ottawa for two years. He became homesick and decided to go back to Ireland. He went to visit his brothers -- Michael and Patrick -- who had farms at Mount St. Patrick to bid them good-bye. The brothers introduced him to Deborah, who was living with a brother in the neighborhood.

"He had planned on remaining in Ottawa, as he was not interested in farming, but the others had taken farm sites in hopes he would join them, and sure enough, when he went to visit them he met Deborah Moriarty, who was visiting there (my grandmother) -- and that was the beginning of it all." ... Deborah (Maloney) Phelan

John married Deborah, got a farm of his own near his brothers, and settled there for life. One of his grand-daughters tells this of John:

"A lady who taught school in Mount St. Patrick and knew this man very well, told me he was a great man. He was Reeve of the county and settled many legal disputes for the people. She said that people went to the priest for spiritual advice but for everything else they went to John Maloney." .... Deborah (Maloney) Phelan

Deborah Moriarty's parents were dancing teachers in the United States. "Deborah came from Ireland at seven years of age, and John had come from Ireland when he was twenty." ... Rita (Lynch) Walsh

While visiting a brother in Mount St. Patrick Deborah met John Maloney, whom she married on May 9, 1847 at the age of 21 years. John was her senior by 7 years. They settled at Mount St. Patrick where twelve children were born to them. Two of these children died in infancy. After John's death in1905, Deborah moved west where she lived with her children in Calgary and Okotoks until her death in 1914. She is buried in Okotoks, Alberta.

One grand-daughter says:

"She was a dainty little thing and I met her when she came out to Calgary to live with us shortly before she died. The strange thing is this -- John, who had a fine education and was so well-known, had a wife who could neither read nor write. She was a very interesting woman as I recall her and had a fund of fairy tales to tell. She spoke of her childhood in Ireland and believed in leprechauns. She was very pious and said her rosary all day long. Of course, she was an old lady when I met her. She could also play lots of card games and taught us how to play too." .... Deborah (Maloney) Phelan

Another adds:

"I never saw my grandmother. I do know she smoked a clay pipe and danced Irish jigs when she was really old." .... Agnes (Maloney) Harland

"Strange, no-one seems to know much about Grandma Maloney, whose name was "Deborah Moriarty". There were Sullivans in the U.S. (St. Paul) related to her -- a couple of nuns." ..... Helen (Maloney) O'Leary

John and Deborah's descendants now sometimes wonder at the twist of fate which destined that they should be buried so far apart. John, in the old, well-kept cemetery beside their parish church at Mount St. Patrick, and Deborah, on the prairies 2000 miles to the west in Okotoks, Alberta.

Obituary of JOHN MALONEY
copied from original newspaper clipping

"A Pioneer of Brougham Passes Away"

"One of the pioneers of Brougham, Mr. John Maloney, died there on Wednesday morning, June 14, 1905, at the venerable age of 86 years. He was born near the town of Ennis, County of Clare, Ireland, in the year 1819. He came to Canada about 65 years ago and two years after he settled in Mount St. Patrick. In 1847 he was married to Deborah Moriarty, who survives him. Seven sons and three daughters blessed the union. The sons are James J. and Michael J. of Brougham, the latter Reeve of the township; Daniel, who died in Minnesota some years ago; John, of Okotoks, Alberta; Patrick, in North Dakota; Timothy, in Morris, Minnesota; and Thomas of Calgary. The daughters are Bridget, widow of the late John Windle of Ashdod, now in Okotoks, Alberta; Mary Ann, who was married to Thomas O'Keefe and died in Montana; and Kate, wife of Francis Pashak, of DeWinton, Alberta.

"The deceased was a man who was honored and respected in the community during his long and useful life. He came to that section when the place was an almost inpenetrable wilderness, sixty three years ago, took his axe and with brawn and muscle, which he possessed in high degree, hewed out for himself a home and reared the large family whose names are already given, in respectability. Besides he secured for himself and surviving widow a handsome competence, which placed them in a position to spend their declining years in ease and plenty.

"Only two of the family -- James and Michael -- are now in Mount St. Patrick. These are men respected in the community. Michael, has been Reeve for many year, and James has been Assessor for over twenty years.

"The late Mr. Maloney was a man who in the prime of life took an active part in municipal and political affairs. He was for many years Reeve of Brougham in the early days when this county was united municipally with Lanark and for some years after the counties became separate and Renfrew got free to legislate municipally for itself. In the early sixties, the location of the county town for this county was a bone of contention between Renfrew and Pembroke. Mr. Maloney was in the thick of the fight in behalf of the county town being located at Renfrew. His colleagues in the battle were the late John Smith (then Reeve of the Village of Renfrew) and the late William Harris (Reeve of Admaston and crown land agent for the county at that time). "These men fought a noble battle for Renfrew, and though they lost, their work still deserves to be remembered and their memory revered. Mr. Maloney retired from the Reeveship of Brougham to make way for Mr. Mortimer Kennelly, and after that served some years as Councillor when he finally retired.

"The late Mr. Maloney was a man of great physical vigor and during his long life had known very little of sickness. In fact he was going around until the day before his death. For two weeks previously, he had been complaining of not feeling well, but still kept on his feet till Tuesday about noon when he lay down. At about one o'clock on Wednesday morning he passed peacefully away. His funeral will take place on Friday."

John Maloney (1819-1905)


Deborah Moriarty ( 1826-1914)

Their Children:

Patrick (1848-1849)

James John "Red Jim" (1850-1879) married Melissa O'Gorman

Mary (1852-1852)

Michael James "Red Mick" (1854-1907) married Johanna Kiely

Daniel (1856-1894) married Honora Ringrose

John J (1858-1907) married Ellen Drohan

Patrick (1860-1924) married Margaret Barry

Bridget (1862-1930) married John C Windle

Timothy Julius "T.J" (1864-1952) Married Annie O'Keefe

Mary Ann (1866-1900) married Thomas O'Keefe

Thomas (1867-1940) married Gertrude Stoughton

Catherine Helena (1872-1938) married Francis Pashak

The Genealogy of John Maloney and Deborah Moriarty was compiled by Bill and Clara Maloney, Regina Saskatchewan, Canada.

Dedicated to all the spouses of the Maloney men and women, who, during the good times and bad, stood by as loving,loyal and hard working partners, without them there would be no family tree.

1. Should you visit St. Mary's Cemetery in Kingston, Ontario, you would find an "Angel of Mercy" statue at a graveside. The plaque reads:

"In memory of the immigrants from Ireland who died at Kingston, 1847-48, after prolonged sufferings following the great famine."

This grave contains the remains of these immigrants -- reburied in 1966. (This was recorded in The Hamilton Spectator, June 16, 1966)

2. According to Cecil Woodham-Smith in The Great Hunger, the first emigrants' ship arrived in Quebec in 1846.

3. All of Father Gravell's data is now in the National Archives in Ottawa.

4. No living relatives seem to know of this cousin.

5. Mike Maloney is the brother of Jim Maloney who is my dad. . Uncle Mike and aunt Muriel, as well as mom and dad, Jim and Elaine have since passed away.