On October 27, 1880, Bishop John Ireland paid a visit to Clontarf to officiate over the first Confirmation class of St. Malachy’s.
Settlers had begun coming to the area in earnest only a year or two prior to Confirmation day, but already there were forty-two young people ready to be confirmed. It is likely everyone in the Clontarf area was excited for this visit from Bishop Ireland, and I bet they had a full house for the service.
There were twenty-one girls and twenty-one boys. I wonder how that worked out? Do you think Father Oster told William Bedard to bring along his little brother Albert so they would have equal numbers of boys and girls? I picture them processing into St. Malachy’s in boy-girl pairs.
Most of the family names that appear on the list are of the French and Irish settlers in Clontarf and Tara townships. A few of the young people came from surrounding areas that did not yet have a Catholic church. For instance, there is James and Mary Boisvin.
I recalled reading the story of a French-Canadian family who, shortly after settling in Marysland Township (south of Clontarf and Tara), changed their name to reflect the English translation of their French name. The translation was Drinkwine. Boisvin would translate to Drinkwine – the family from Marysland. Maybe the family had not yet changed the name, or Father Oster wrote the correct name since he was French.
From the families that we have already mentioned here, Jane Kenna and Mary Ann Purcell were confirmed on October 27, 1880. Also confirmed th day were William Shinnick, Matthew Ledwidge, Zelina and Albert Coti, and Theresa Fisher (among others).
Care to guess the most common confirmation name chosen by the young ladies of St. Malachy’s? Add a comment with your answer.
I am starting a new contest (and this time I will actually declare a winner and send that winner a very special Clontarf prize!) For the remainder of the month of July, for every comment you make on the blog you will be entered in a drawing for a Clontarf Prairie Pub t-shirt. It does have to be an actual comment, but it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate…simply I grew up in Clontarf! or I like this post! or Where’s Clontarf? will be enough to get your name in the drawing. I will announce the winner by August 2nd.
Build your entries, leave a comment! Just click the Leave a Comment link at the bottom right of each post.
By the way, if you are curious as to whether or not an ancestor of yours was confirmed on October 27, 1880, just ask me and I will be happy to check!