From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — The Series –Part 1

From Dublin to Drummond- Mahon Family Reunion — The Series –Part 1






The Welcoming Committee



About a year ago Cheryl Moss asked me if I would attend the Mahon Family Reunion in Perth. Seeing my family consists of just a right hand of folks, I was quite excited to attend this function and document one of Perth’s noted families for posterity.

They call our language the mother tongue because the father seldom gets to speak– so welcome to the Mahon Family Reunion series of blogs from a mother related to no one in this family line. There is no way I could do just one.

I write and document history for my WordPress site and the following Facebook pages: Lanark County Genealogical Society, Tales of Carleton Place and the Tales of Almonte. I don’t write about the politicians and the once leaders of the towns, I write about the community, the little people that made our towns and villages prosper.

Time spent with family– even family you barely know is worth every second. It doesn’t matter what story you are telling today you are telling the story of one family- the Mahon family. Enjoy the little conversations you had with everyone because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your family on Saturday. I will never ever forget it. Ever!

Family Basics — The Name


Wanda (Mahon) Mara and Paul Gordon talk about the Mahon Family History, its significance in the area, and a special family reunion that is coming up soon. You can listen to the radio interview here on Lake 88 to buck up on your Mahon history.

Now when I first saw the last name I  pronounced it MAYHAWN.  Apparently, when some of the Mahon family moved to Toronto  folks changed it and pronounced it MAHAWN. But there are several forms of saying it, and you had better not mess with any of them- trust me. 🙂

James and Ellen Mahon and their eight children boarded the Ajax ship that sailed out of Dublin, Ireland in May 1819.  Just about 44 days later the Ajax under the sail of Captain George Watson arrived in Canada on July 7, 1819. The Mahons’ were among 248 settlers on the Ajax destined to make Canada their new home.


The Voyage


Historian Ron Shaw

Historian Ron Shaw was at the Mahon Family Reunion explaining all about early Perth history and what the early Mahon family would have experienced. The elder Mahon was a mason in Ireland and he would have had to make a total of 22 shillings to bring his family of five to Canada. Since he made 2 shillings a day and had to spend some money for food and rent etc, you can easily access how long it took for him to gather the money needed. Plus everyone had to bring food to survive



Immigrating to Canada in the late 1800s or 1900s? Even though the average cost of a ticket was only $25, larger ships could hold from 1,500 to 2,000 immigrants, netting a profit of $45,000 to $60,000 for a single, one-way voyage. The cost to feed a single immigrant was only about 60 cents a day!

After you left the boat and immigration you had a landing card pinned on your clothes and then moved to the Money Exchange. Here six cashiers exchanged gold, silver and paper money, from countries all over Europe, for American or Canadian dollars, based on the day’s official rates, which were posted on a blackboard. For immigrants  the next stop was the railroad ticket office, where a dozen agents collectively sold as many as 25 tickets per minute on the busiest days.

All that remained was to make arrangements for their trunks, which were stored in the Baggage Room, to be sent on to their final destinations.  At times, corrupt currency exchange officials shortchanged immigrants, concession operators served meals without utensils, and others operated schemes to deprive the newly landed immigrant of their money. Other examples included a clerk failing to deliver money orders to immigrants, resulting in their deportation, and baggage handlers charging twice the going rate. Railroad ticket agents were not immune and often routed immigrants, not by the most direct route to their destination, but by one that required a layover. Some were forced to buy a fifty-cent or dollar bag of food from the restaurant concession for their train trip.



Stay tuned for more as:

All are welcome, all are welcome,

All are welcome in this place.







The Originals


Thank you very much to Wanda for sharing this wonderful family moment.


Here we have a stunning family photograph of John and Bridget (Loughney) Mahon and their seven children; Edward, Mary, Evelyn, Leo, Joseph, Thomas and Earl. The photograph was probably taken in the 1910’s. This John was a grandson of James and Ellen (Troy) Mahon also known as the Originals.

In 1819 James Mahon, his wife Ellen Troy and their eight children left County Offaly and sailed from Dublin, Ireland across the Atlantic Ocean to their new home in Canada.

The voyage lasted 45 days under the guidance of Captain George Watson and his ship Ajax.

They eventually arrived in Drummond Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada where they received a land grant of 100 acres after completing their settlement duties to the Crown.

James and Ellen raised their family of four daughters and four sons a few miles from the town of Perth.

Over the years the children moved north into Renfrew County when it opened; south to Leeds County and New York state as well as south-west Ontario.

The second generation migrated north across Ontario and Quebec; into western Canada and into the U.S. mainly Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and the Dakota’s.

In honour of the 200 years since their arrival, Mahons from across Canada, the United States and points beyond will gather to celebrate our kinship.





Stories of Immigration

Lanark County 101 — It Began with Rocks, Trees, and Swamps

Rock the Boat! Lanark County or Bust! Part 1

It Wasn’t the Sloop John B — Do’s and Don’t in an Immigrant Ship -Part 2

Riders on the Storm– Journey to Lanark County — Part 3

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

Rolling down the Rapids –Journey to Lanark Part 5


About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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