George Fitzpatrick                    -- Mini Bio       

George Fitzpatrick

George Fitzpatrick was born on 2 April 1815 near Enniskillen, Ireland and was baptized into the protestant church as an infant in Knockroe, Tubrid Parish, in County Fermanagh, Ireland.  He was the youngest of five known children born to William and Margaret Fitzpatrick.  We believe his mother passed away when he was only a very young boy, sometime within the first seven years of his life.  His father subsequently married a second time.  George’s stepmother was named Ann Morris (or Morrison).  She was a good woman and raised William’s first family, as well as adding another six children to the tiny home they all shared.  It is doubtful that George had many memories of his mother and seemed to accept Ann as his stepmother, taking good care of her in her later years. 

George had only one full brother, Johnson Fitzpatrick, who was about five years older than him.  In his early twenties, Johnson emigrated to Canada (some time prior to 1834).  He seemed to go ahead of the rest of the family to establish himself and to write back to the remaining family members.  It was in this year that we have the first record of any of them in Canada when Johnson Fitzpatrick was married to Elizabeth Sproule in Hawksbury, Ontario, Canada.  He and Elizabeth settled on a farm near Vankleek Hill, Prescott, Ontario, and then sent a letter inviting the rest of the family to come join them. 

Family tradition states that their father, William, gathered up the rest of the family and sailed to Canada in 1836.  While on board the ship crossing the ocean, William became ill and died.  He was buried at sea. 

This left our ancestor, George, as the oldest male in the family and he brought them the rest of the way to Ontario.  George soon had a farm of his own where he cared for his widowed stepmother and younger half-brothers and sisters. 

Vankleek Hill is in the eastern end of Ontario and about half way between Ottawa and Montreal.  It contains lush green fields on rolling hills with plenty of rain.  The winters are cold and summers humid.  Still, In Canada they were happy to be able to own their own land, free of the aristocracy of Ireland. 

About ten years after their arrival in this new land George met and fell in love with Elizabeth Kenny.  She was born on 9 Dec. 1828 just across the Ottawa River in Quebec to Irish immigrants William and Isabella Kenny, making her about thirteen years younger than her husband.  They were married in about 1845-46, but no document of their wedding has been found.  She was not yet eighteen at the time of their marriage, which left many childbearing years ahead of her.

They settled on a little farm about a mile northeast of Vankleek Hill and called their home the Happy Hollow Farm where they had cows to milk, and grain and hay to plant and harvest. 

To this home came at least sixteen children that we know of.  All but one of these, #12, little Emma, who died before age three, lived to at least young adulthood.  They had nine sons and seven daughters.

The eighth child (4th son) was named James J. Fitzpatrick (future father of Pearl Bell Fitzpatrick McDonald, who was the paternal Grandmother of Bette McDonald Nebeker). 

George and Elizabeth raised a loving and kind family on their farm and were active in their small community.  Being from Northern Ireland they were Protestants.  Since there was no Church of Ireland in their town, they attended St. John’s Anglican Church in Vankleek Hill.  Here their children were baptized, with one coming along at least every two years in most cases. 

In 1869 tragedy struck the growing family, when their fourth child, Mary Ann, age 17 became ill with some unknown disease and passed away.  Just two months later, Elizabeth gave birth to another baby girl, and to help ease the loss of their lovely daughter, this new baby was again given the name of Mary Ann, but throughout her life she was known as “Minnie” that being the equivalent of “Little Mary Ann”. 

George enjoyed working on his farm and raising his family with Elizabeth.  Having his brothers and some of his sisters living close by helped to make this a wonderful home.  However, there was not enough room here for all of his children to create new homes of their own.  Several of his sons had a yearning to get out, see the world and try their hand at something other than farming.  Some of the older ones married locally and tried to stay there for a while, but their hearts seemed to be called to distant places.  As a gift to their mother, the boys sent her photos of themselves, which she had placed into a large picture and hung on her wall so she could still see the faces of her nine grown boys who lived far from her home. 

In 1880, at the age of 65, George’s health began to fail.  He passed away at his home on 11 August 1880 and was buried in the local Greenwood Cemetery in Vankleek Hill.   

Elizabeth Kenny Fitzpatrick

Wife of George Fitzpatrick

St. John’s Anglican Parish

Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada

James J. Fitzpatrick

Son of George and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick;

Father of Pearl Bell Fitzpatrick McDonald;

Grandfather of Donald T. McDonald;

Great Grandfather of Bette McDonald Nebeker

Photograph of the nine sons of George & Elizabeth Kenny Fitzpatrick which their mother had hanging on her wall after most of them left her home.  James is in the upper left.

In order of age: William, George, John, James, Gilbert, Frederick, Henry, Edward & Charles.

Headstone of George & Elizabeth (Kenny) Fitzpatrick

and some of their children

Greenwood Cemetery, Vankleek Hill, Prescott, Ontario, Canada