The Morin Trek

Travelling back in time 348 years, from 2010 to 1661 with Morin descendants.


Thanks to Maureen for reading the first draft which had errors in it. If you printed the last draft, replace it with this one.


January 12, 2010

One of the many interesting and enjoyable aspects of genealogical research is that it introduces one to all kinds of interesting people, some of them distant relatives, that otherwise would go unknown.

Maureen Morin is the daughter of my great grandfather’s brother. My great grandfather was George Morin who married Bella Cameron. Maureen’s father was his brother Wilfred, who married Viola Brennan from French Hill, just south of Cumberland Village. Maureen was born the same year as my mother, Therese McNeely, even though Therese’s mother, Sarah Morin, was Maureen’s first cousin.

Maureen’s grandfather was Philip Morin, born in 1854. He had married Sarah Summers in 1875 in the church in Clarence Creek ( there was no Catholic church in Cumberland at that time ). She was the daughter of William Summers, who passed away at the age of 50.

Maureen was born on the Morin homestead in Beckett’s Creek, just east of Cumberland (Lot 4, Conc. 1, old survey) and lived there for six months. Three of Philip Morin’s sons lived there with their families at one time or another: Treffley, James and Wilfred. Treffley, James and George continued living in Cumberland afterwards.. Morin Crescent, just east of the village of Cumberland, is named after the Morin family. Four of the sons earned their living in carpentry: James, George, Richard and Andrew.

Treffley Morin eventually sold the farm to a Mr. Winters and the farm grounds are now owned by the Ottawa Carleton Public School Board – McSkimming Outdoor Education Centre. After our visit, I phoned the school board offices to learn that they have no plans for the homestead at this time. They have boarded up the house for the winter.

Maureen remembers that the house had a big dining room and a small parlour. It was surrounded by a veranda that the children played on extensively. There was lots of sand in the yard where the children also played. The farm buildings were separate from the house. She says that they were laid out the French way. After her father left the homestead in 1926, she remembers that the Morins often visited with each other. There were frequent picnics to this homestead, to Uncle Jimmy’s and to the farm that her uncle George ( my great-grandfather) had bought, closer to Cumberland. She also remembers that her great aunt Helene, who married Magloire Damour, was always dressed in black.

In the late 20’s, times were tough. Maureen’s father joined the RCMP in Ottawa and later worked for the federal government until his retirement. The family moved to Ottawa and lived on Booth St. until 1943. From 1943 until 1962, Maureen lived on James St. Then they moved to Cardinal Heights. Almost every week-end they would visit the Brennan farm in Cumberland. Maureen’s mother was one of seven sisters. Her three uncles developed the Brennan farm from a 200 acre to an almost 600 acre enterprise.

Martin Brennan Senior worked as a foreman for Dibblee Construction on “the road from Montreal to Ottawa” from the early 1920’s until 1950. His final summer of work was at Uplands Airport; he turned 70 then. He died at the age of 96. George Morin (my great-grandfather) framed the Brennan homestead. It remained unfinished during the depression. All five Brennan sisters left home for work as nurses in New York and marriage.

The Morins were a musical, dance-loving family. Wilfred could sing and play the mouth organ. His favourites were “The Old Rusty Cottage”, “Boston Burglar” and “New York Town”. Uncle Jimmy was often the heart of the party.

With regards to Philippe Morin’s five daughters,

  • Margaret married Willie Fahey who came from Ottawa.
  • Emma Morin married Jack Nicholson who was in the furnace business. They lived next door to her sister Susie, who married Angus Macdonald. Angus came from Apple Hill.
  • Maria married Jack McBain who also came from Apple Hill.
  • Christina married Thomas Ryan.

Written by Gérard Boyer

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