Wednesday, 30 May 2012

MEEHAN & COMPANY - Men's Clothing Store

In my last post I mentioned that my grandfather George Meehan (1882-1960) worked in the haberdashery trade.  He is listed in various census and directories as: salesman, merchant, owner, of "men's furnishings".

In the 1913 Toronto Directory he is listed twice, once at 257-259 Yonge Street and 415 1/2 Yonge Street.  I'm not sure which address is his business.

I also found an Edward J. Meehan in the directory, living at 191 Avenue Road.  He is listed as a salesman for the Meehan & Co. men's clothing store.  At this point I thought I had found a match  to  my Meehan family starting with great-great grandfather Patrick Meehan (1806-1886), born in Donegal Ireland.

The directory also listed several other Meehans living at 191 Avenue Road:  Mary ( widow of Francis), Mary and Frank J.  This information started me on a search for this family, hoping that there was a relationship. 

 Here's what I found from the 1901 Census, Toronto City, Ward 3:

  • Francis Meehan, born Ontario abt 1855, occupation Motorman
  • Mary Elizabeth McGuiness, wife,  born Ontario abt 1858
  • Edward John Meehan, son, born Ontario abt 1889
  • Ann Mary Meehan, daughter, born Ontario abt 1891
  • Frank Joseph Meehan, son, born Ontario abt 1893
  • Mary Meehan, daughter, born Ontario abt 1895
  • Teresa Meehan, daughter, born Ontario abt 1897
  • Helen Meehan, daughter, born Ontario abt 1901
Further research on this family led me back another generation to Francis Meehan's parents, Dennis and Mary Harvey/Garvey, both born Ireland.  According to the IGI on Family Search, Francis' parents were married in Newmarket, Ontario on 23 April 1853.  I eagerly searched for other Meehans and to try and find a connection. 

Alas, I didn't find any connection.  However, Edward and Frank are about the same age as my grandfather George.  Could he have hired family members to work at his store?  I know that my father worked in his father's store in the late 1930's.  Perhaps Edward and Frank are cousins.  It seems too much of a coincidence that they would have the same surname and not be related. 

My research came to a stand-still at Dennis Meehan.  For now they will remain the "other" Meehan family.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


George Meehan was my grandfather but I don't remember meeting him, even though he died after I was born.  He was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1882 and died in Toronto in 1960.  He married Isabel Faulkner in Toronto in 1907 in Toronto.  Isabel Faulkner was born  in 1885 in Galt, Ontario and died in Toronto in 1959.

They seemed to have married twice.  They married in Toronto in November 1907, but on two of the birth registrations of their children Isobel and George, Buffalo is listed as their place of marriage.  On Isobel's registration the date of May 1907 is listed.

George and Isabel had  6 children:
  • Mary "Belvie"  1908 - 1926
  • Dorothy  1909 -1910
  • Isobel Theresa  1910 - 1973
  • George Faulkner 1912 - 1985
  • James Arthur  1914  1969
  • Lenore Patricia  1923 - 2007
George Meehan had moved to Toronto sometime after 1896 with his family.   On the 1911 Census George and Isabel and 2 children were living together with Isabel's mother, Sarah Ann; father, Ford; and brother Carlyle.  They lived at 34 Caroline Street, in Toronto East.  

George Meehan was a merchant, salesman and  store owner in men's clothing.  The 1911 Toronto directory shows George Meehan as the owner of Meehan & Co. a haberdashery store located at 34 Caroline Avenue.  By 1913 the store is listed as George Meehan & Co., with 257-259 Yonge Street as the address.  Other directories list him as a salesman for men's clothing.

I don't think it was a happy marriage and the couple lived separately for many years, but did not divorce. My grandmother Isabel is listed several times in the Toronto City directory as: Mrs G. Meehan, widow. I think this was very common when divorce was not an every day occurrence.  George and Isabel are buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Thornhill, Ontario.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


 Ford Faulkner was my great grandfather he was born about 1847 in Ontario.  According to his death certificate he was born in Toronto, Ontario.  There is a written notation in the family bible that suggests he may have been born in 1849.  The family were Methodists but to date I have only found one Methodist baptism record.  Unfortunately not for Ford, but for his brother William Joseph who was born 01 July 1850 in Tecumseth, Simcoe County and baptised in Bradford, Ontario.

Ford married Sarah Ann Newton in Fordwich, Huron County in 1879.  Sarah Ann's parents were Robert Newton and Isabella McKnight.  Sarah was born in 1860 in Wallace, Perth Ontario.

By 1851 Ford Faulkner's family were living in Simcoe County.  At some point before 1879, he and some of his family moved to Huron County.   The 1881 Census shows the family living in Howick, Huron County along with Sarah's brother Edward Newton.  At this time some of the other Newton family had moved to Manitoba, where Edward was to join them.  

The 1891 census shows the now growing family had moved to Toronto, St. Thomas Ward.  They are listed as lodgers with a Joseph and Ellen Kearney.  In 1901 they are living at 50 Blair Avenue in Toronto.

Ford and Sarah Ann had at least 8 children:

    • William Robert  1880-1938
    • Ford Crosby  1882 - 1920
    • Bella May "Isabel"  1885 - 1959
    • Stewart Clement  1887 -
    • Edna (Twin)  1893 - 1893
    • Gilbert (Twin)  1893 - 1893
    • Herbert Russell  1894 - 1895
    • Clifford Carlyle  1900 - 1942
Now back to the Family bible, the book that really got me interested in genealogy.  My paternal grandmother Isabel Faulkner Meehan gave the bible to my mother in the 1950's.  Isabel Faulkner had been raised in a strict Methodist family.  When she married George Meehan she became a Roman Catholic.  The bible had belonged to Isabel's mother Sarah Ann Newton.  It was presented to Sarah Ann by her father Robert Newton in 1884.   My mother didn't know at the time why she was given the bible and it remains a mystery to this day.  Perhaps, because it was a Protestant bible and my mother was a Protestant?

There are many names and dates in the bible, which have been very helpful in my research. I'm not sure whose hand writing appears in the book or if the dates were written as they occurred or after the fact.  Never the less, it's a wonderful artifact.

Ford Faulkner died in 1929  and Sara Ann died in 1933.  They are buried in St. John's Norway Cemetery in Toronto.