Bartholomew Sullivan – 52 Ancestors – Colorful

This week’s 52 Ancestors challenge from Amy Johnson Crow is Colorful.
I decided to write about my 4x great grandfather. Not much is know about Bartholomew Sullivan during his years in Ireland. He was born around 1782 and I’m not certain where in Ireland he was born or who his parents are. He married a woman named Mary and I have seen a surname of Robinson for her but other sources list no surname. No siblings have been identified for certain either. So, what do I know about Bartholomew Sullivan? He was a farmer in Ireland and he had 5 children there: John B 1804, Thomas 1809, Cornelius 1812, Jeremiah 1818, and Ellen 1822 (my 3x great grandmother). Note, Mary’s age is estimated to be only 13 years older than John so I am not sure how many of the children she is the mother to.

Ireland was hard hit with the depression secondary to the Napoleonic war and to a poor potato crop. This led to a lot of poverty in the area. The British government had taken a small group of farmers from Ireland and relocated them to Canada in 1823. By 1825, they decided to take a larger group over in an assisted emigration aimed at Irish paupers and peasants. An advertisement was distributed throughout the southern counties of Ireland asking them to apply for this emigration. The requirements were that they had to be poor and they had to be younger than 45 years. They received 50,000 applications. Peter Robinson was the man in charge of organizing this. He had 8 landowners choose 239 families and 37 landowners choose 68 families for a total of 2024 people to relocate to Canada. They were being taken to Ontario in what is known as the Peterborough area to set up communities. Each man that was older than 18 years would receive 70 acres of land along with supplies: salt pork, flour, seed corn, seed potatoes, 1 cow, 1 saw, 100 nails, 3 hoes, 2 gimlets, 1 auger, 1 kettle, 1 pot, 1 frying pan, and a log cabin. They had to pay back a quit rent to the crown every 6 months of 2 pence per acre.


Bartholomew and his family were chosen by William Wrixon Beecher, Esq to relocate. The families left on 9 ships in May 1825 and arrived 1 month later. The ship the Sullivan family was on was the Amity. The passenger list shows that they are from Churchtown, Cork, Ireland.  The ship carried 147 passengers, left on May 16, 1825 and arrived in Quebec on June 21, 1825. The families then traveled on board the steam boat New Swifture to Montreal and then on to the final destination. For the Sullivan family, they ended up in Ennismore.  There were notes written about the families on the journey. There were some very nice notes such as: an honest well disposed industrious creature, a quiet industrious man, he and his family highly deserving and well conducted and it went on and on about how wonderful these people are. Then there was the note about Bartholomew:

An insolent turbulent fellow

Well, well, well Bartholomew Sullivan they used colorful words to describe you! I wish I knew what was going on that caused that description. Do you suppose his wife and kids were mortified? His sons were older, were they like that also? Two of his sons, John and Thomas received land. Thomas was only 16 and the supposed cutoff was 18 years to receive land. I wonder if Bartholomew had something to do with this. The land they got was all together in Ennismore. They received:

Location N lot 7, con 4; N lot 8, con 4 and N lot 9, con 4.


Can you make out what is written in response to the first question?

A few things happened that I have read about. First, one child died in the first year. I believe Jeremiah is the one as I have not seen his name anywhere else. Second, they had one child in 1826 in Canada, Bartholomew Jr who according to his death certificate in 1878, was the first white child born in the township of Ennismore. Third, there was a follow-up questionaire they gave the farmers in 1828. The very first question was: from whence did you emigrate to Upper-Canada and when? Bartholomew’s answer wasn’t Churchtown as the passenger list indicates. I can’t quite make out what was written. Maybe it is County Kerry? If anyone can help me out please comment.

In Canada, they had 3 plots of land to farm and Bart Sr owned his farm by 1833. It appears that they moved around on the farms with Cornelius buying Bart Sr’s farm and Thomas left for the United States so John bought his farm then Bart Jr bought that same farm…it’s very dizzying. After the sons died the farms were eventually divided up among Bart Sr’s grandchildren. Let’s not forget his daughter Ellen. She married another farmer who also came over from Ireland at the same time. They eventually moved to Wisconsin and I will write about them in the future since they are my 3x great grandparents.

I do not know when Bartholomew or Mary died. They are not in the Canadian census but all of the kids are. Perhaps they died before 1851.

Line of Descendency:

Bartholomew Sullivan Sr (1782-… ) m Mary Robinson? (c1790-…)

their daughter Ellen Sullivan (1822-1882) m Patrick Carew (1816-1888)

their daughter Catherine Carew (1844-1934) m Charles Rice (1846-1921)

their son Frank Rice (1869-1912) m Hattie Raymond (1876-1946)

my grandfather

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