Daly Family // Ottawa, Ontario

Contributed by Bryan Daly

Bryan’s paternal side came to Canada from Cadamstown, County Offaly in 1838 to Quebec City. Their ship was diverted from New York due to disease in New York City.

His great-grandparents were Joseph Daly and Elizabeth Dempsey. They stayed in Quebec City for two years, then moved on to Plantagent, Ontario, and subsequently to Brennan’s Hill in Gatineau County, Quebec. They later settled on 100 acres on the edge of Green Lake, (now called Lac Daly after the family). Joseph was a weaver by trade at a time when the weaving industry was becoming mechanized. They raised nine children on the farm.

Bryan’s maternal side came from Coolturk and Dooleeg in County Mayo during the famine and arrived in Quebec City at Grosse Isle in 1847. His great-grandfather was William Holmes and great-grandmother was Catherine (Timlin O’Boyle) Holmes. She was a widow and buried her first husband and two children in Crossmolina. Catherine came out to Canada on her own at age 19. She and William married in 1848 and settled on a farm in Wilson’s Corners, Quebec. They had seven children. Bryan still has Timlin relatives in Dooleeg.

Bryan’s parents were Joseph Francis (Frank) Daly (1915–1983) and Mary Agatha Holmes (1920–2018). His father was born on the farm on Lac Daly, near Brennan’s Hill, Quebec and his mother on a farm in Wilson’s Corners, Quebec, now Cantley, Quebec.

The first of nine children, Bryan was born in Ottawa and raised on the family farm. Cows were milked and the cream was sold to the local creamery. This was the main source of farm income. Trees were also cut and sold as pulp wood for the mills nearby. In the early part of Bryan’s life horses were still used to work the farm.

When he left school, Bryan secured a position with the Federal Public Service in Ottawa. It was with National Revenue, Customs and Excise, and he was a lifer with 35 years of service. Bryan spent most of his time in Ottawa, except for 13 years in Nova Scotia (Halifax and Yarmouth) and a four-month assignment to the Canadian Forces Base in Lahr, Germany, repatriating Canadian troops with customs pre-clearances.

Bryan retired in 2001 and now volunteers with church administration, the Irish Society of National Capital Region, the Irish Seniors Social Group of Ottawa and the Regional Association of West Quebecers. Bryan has made several trips to Ireland himself in the past. He likes all sports, especially hockey, as well as theatre and music.