Fred & Lizzie Fountain, Mille Roches, ON, Canada, 1920’s.
Elizabeth Currens immigrated from Ireland to Canada about the age of 15 around 1881, and perhaps on her own. Family stories suggest that she came to Canada to work in the household of a cousin in Eastern Ontario where she remained for some time before migrating to the village Mille Roches, Ontario. Mille Roches village no longer exists because it was one of the Lost Villages of the St.Lawrence Seaway Project.
She was born 29 May 1866. According to her birth certificate, the family resided at 6 Furnace Row in New Mains, Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Her father Joseph worked as a “Blast Engine Fire man”, likely a position with the coal mines of Cambusnethan parish. There is a photograph of Furnace Row viewable online (original photo from North Lanarkshire Heritage). Historical maps of Scotland can be accessed at the National Library of Scotland Website. Elizabeth was the only one of her siblings to have been born in Scotland, everyone else before and after were all born near the village of Cookstown, Tyrone County, Northern Ireland. She was the 3rd of 8 children born to Joseph Knox Currens and Elizabeth Holland, who married in 1859 Cookstown, Derryloran Parish, Tyrone Co, Ireland. A more complete version of Elizabeth’s birth registration is available at ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk. And the Irish vital registrations for many of her family members are available at IrishGenealogy.ie .
Elizabeth’s siblings were: Henry Charles b.1862, Margaret Jane b. 1864, Joseph Knox 1868-1901, David George Allen 1870-1909, Martha b.1872 , Samuel James 1875-1894, and Mary b.1877. Irish Townlands the family lived in were: Killycurragh, Tullycall, Drumglasseragh and Unagh, all in Tyrone County. These townlands mostly exist as ‘roads’ now. But they can be seen on AskAboutIreland.ie website, using the Place search. The historic map has a modern overlay.
At this time, Elizabeth is the only child known to have immigrated to Canada. Her brother Joseph and his family were in Glasgow, Scotland at the time of his death during the Boer War. However, not all of the children have been tracked down the generations as yet either.
By September of 1890, when Elizabeth married Frederick Fountain, they were both listed as residents of Mille Roches Ontario. Fred is the son of Robert Fountain and Marilla Sweatland. The marriage occurred in the town of Cornwall Ontario, by License 8 September 1890. A copy of their Marriage registration is viewable on the FamilySearch.org website. The witnesses, Charles Fountain and Aggie Denneny are Frederick’s siblings.
All of their 9 children were born in Mille Roches where Lizzie and Fred lived out their lives. Even though the couple had many children, they also had many tragedies, having lost several of their children at very young ages. Four daughters and one son lived well into adulthood.
The family appears in all of the Canadian Census records 1891-1921. This one is from the 1901 Census for Cornwall and Stormont, pg.11:
There are a few photographs of Elizabeth in her later years. Most known photographs were taken during her daughter Maggie’s visits with her family from Guelph Ontario. Maggie’s husband Jim Mahaffey was usually taking the photos.
1923 Mille Roches, Ontario, Canada. Adults: Lizzie, Fred, Maggie and Unknown. Children: Margaret, Robert, baby James Mahaffey.
Jim Mahaffey (also a native of Northern Ireland), Lizzie & Fred. Children: Robert, James & Margaret. ca. 1927
“Lizzie” Elizabeth (Currens) Fountain, 1930, Mille Roches Ontario Canada.
Struggling with breast cancer the last two years of her life, Lizzie died 2nd of September 1931 at the home she shared with her husband Fred in Mille Roches and was buried in the village cemetery. Fred joined her in 1942. A copy of her Death Certificate is available on FamilySearch.org.
Obituary posted in Cornwall newspaper, September 1931.
About 30 years after Lizzie’s death, her surviving children are seen in this photograph from July 1961.
Margaret Mahaffey and Joseph Fountain along with Elizabeth Walker, Winifred Ray and Matilda Smith. (order of 3 women on the right unknown).