Lochnans and the Ottawa valley

Linking Lochnans and The Ottawa Valley at The Irish Embassy

The current issue of The Horaceville Herald (No. 62) contains an article by Bruce Elliott on the Lochnans who settled within the Ottawa Valley from 1834, with the arrival of Simon Loughnane and his later descendants.

This is an adaptation of Bruce Elliotts’s article from The Horaceville Herald.

Descendants of early March Township settler, Simon Loughnane, the subject of a biographical article by his descendant, Katharine Lochnan in Horaceville Herald 61 (December 2013), were the guests of a generous reception hosted by The Irish Embassy in Ottawa August 20 2014 to celebrate the publication of A Stitch in Time: the Lochnans of The Ottawa Valley. This event followed close on the first North American international Ó Lochlainn Clan reunion, held August 14-17 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

During the American event, Edward OLoghlen delivered a ‘Window to Irish Social and Family Contexts During Medieval Times’.  Another Clan publication was launched at Milwaukee, Windows To Our Past, compiled by Ben Bares, which focused on those OLoghlins who settled at Fond Du Lac County, Wisconsin from 1849 onwards.

At the Milwaukee reunion, Katharine Lochnan presented on the provenance of the 1838 individual family crest and a window on the state of progress towards securing a new Coat of Arms for the entire Clan, as well as projecting on future plans. Katharine also joined with Ben Bares, Madison, Wisconsin to provide a Clan calendar for 2015, featuring landscape photographs by Katharine from the environs of Galway Bay and the Burren which was the tribal home of the Ó Lochlainn Clan.

Bruce had met with Katharine and Edward for lunch in Carp earlier on the 20th, and he obliged with a quick tour of Horaceville, before heading downtown to the Clan event at The Irish Embassy. Here, the assembled group were hosted by Gurpreet Bajwa, acting on behalf of The Irish Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. John Raymond Bassett, who hoped to attend in person. Dr. Elliott was invited to introduce and mark the launch of the history of the Ottawa Valley Lochnans, and Horaceville Herald readers may recall from our last issue, they arrived at March Township in 1834, renting the Burke and Bradley farms near South March, until they moved across the Ottawa River to Eardley during the late 1850’s, and later to Aylmer.

Among those attending at The Irish Embassy were four guests who had prior associations with Pinhey’s Point.

  • Sheila Rorke worked for a time at Pinhey’s Point Historic Site, when it was owned by the city of Kanata.
  • Robert Dawson was employed there as a summer-student by the City of Ottawa several years ago, but at that time was not aware that his Lochnan ancestors had lived in March Township, and we were not aware that he was a Lochnan descendant.
  • Bruce Elliott has long been the Foundation’s historian, and
  • Katharine made use of the Pinhey’s Point Collections several years ago, while researching Hamnett Pinhey’s eccentric godson, Henry Wentworth Monk towards an Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition on artist William Holman Hunt.

During the course of that visit we learned that Katharine herself had March Township connections. The Embassy received a copy of Horaceville Herald (No. 61), A Stitch in Time as well as a copy of the Clan calendar for 2015.

While thanking Gurpreet Bajwa and the Irish Embassy for kindly hosting the Lochnan reception, Edward OLoghlen observed

“We hope these meetings and gatherings will continue to support our reconnection with the treasures which we share through our links to the rich roots associated with Irish cultural traditions and in particular, our Clan narrative legacies.”

Bruce Elliott, Carleton University, Ottawa

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