To a New Land

In 1898, my great-grandfather, George Holmes Phillips, died in Moneygall of typhus. His wife had preceded him in 1896. At this point, their children were orphaned and parcelled out. The 1901 census for Ireland shows the girls, Sophie and Evelyn at Lisheenamalausa (Tipperary) with Alice McDowell. The two boys however, are in boarding school. My great-uncle George Holmes Phillips II, at Oxmantown School Lodge and my grandfather, Richard Walker Phillips at Morgans Endowed School.

I was amused to find that George’s school was part of the Kings Hospital School, also known as the “Blue Coat” school. A Blue Coat school was originally a charity school, but that changed as time went by. A few years ago, I was contacted by a former student of that school to ask if my great-uncle had a military history as he was doing a paper on that. I had to say no because George emigrated, but he did tell me that George’s father was on the registration form as “clerk in a Land Agents office”. This was a great help to me because it provided another piece of evidence that connected George to a family of land agents in Newport, Tipperary.

As soon as they got out, however, the boys were off to Canada, whether by choice or by circumstance. Walter Bates’ son William had emigrated there, so one would guess that there was a general consensus about that in the family. At that time,there was a huge campaign on to settle Western Canada  (1896-1914) .  The ” Dominion Lands Act” came into effect in 1872 allowing a settler to purchase for 10$ and under certain conditions, title to 160 acres of land. Of course, you would first need the money to build and work the land. With that in mind, they came ahead.

The Last Best West

The Last Best West

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