Documented History of William Moloney

The first of our Maloney ancestors to settle in Canada was William Moloney (his spelling).

William Moloney was admitted to the Hôpital de l'Hôtel Dieu, in Québec City, on July 25, 1810, and died there, the next day, July 26, 1810.

His burial on July 27, 1810, in the cemetery of the poor, was witnessed by Joseph Gabouri and Stanislaus Nicolas, who signed the burial record.1

The burial record in the register includes the information that William Moloney, spouse of Johanna Becker, had been a fisherman at Percé in the Bay of Chaleur and that he was about 50 years of age.

Combining his death date and his estimated age suggests that he was born about 1760.

Because parish records of baptisms, marriages, and burials in Ireland do not exist prior to the early 1800s, it has not been possible to trace William's connections to the Maloneys in Ireland.

There are documents to verify the following:

William Moloney had been in the British army.

Appearing before the Gaspé Land Claims Commission, at Percé, August 4, 1819, William, the son of William Moloney, testified that his father had been granted 300 acres at Cloridorme because he had served with the 44th Regiment of Foot.2

[In May, 1775, the 44th regiment embarked for Boston, and arrived there just after the battle of Bunker's Hill. It made the campaigns of 1776-8, and fought at Long Island (1776), Brandywine (September 11, 1777) and in other engagements, after which it was at New York, whence, in 1780, it proceeded to Canada, and was stationed chiefly at Québec and Montréal until 1786.]

William Moloney seems to have left the army at, or just before, the Militia muster in Douglastown. His name appears on Muster Roll No. 20, Douglastown, 1785.3

On August 21, 1787, at Percé, William Moloney, "an Irishman", married Johanna Becker-dit-Blondin in the presence of her father, Johann Becker, who was the only one of the four witnesses who signed his own name. The other witnesses signed with an "X". William Moloney signed "William Molony" and Johanna signed with an "X".4

On September 8, 1791, when he petitioned George Lord Dorchester for 400 acres at Anse à Beaufils, he stated that he had resided on the Gaspé coast for seven years, working as a fisherman, and he signed the petition "Willm Moloney".5

On October 9, 1803, as a witness to the baptism of his daughter, Elizabeth, he signed "William Molony".6

Including Elizabeth, William and Johanna had ten children.

Records of the Provincial Court, Inferior District of Gaspé, Term at Percé, presided over by Judge William Crawford, give us some additional information about William.

Between August 1806 and September 1809, William Moloney was involved in five court cases.

Three of these cases were suits to settle business disputes over money owed. Moloney won his suit in Cases 38 and 53, but lost his suit in Case 1617

The other two cases were suits to settle personal disputes.

In Case 80, because of the laws at that time, William was a defendant, along with his wife, in a defamation suit.8

He appealed to the Court to preserve his reputation, writing:

"the hardest task ever [I] had is to govern a woman's tongue, and [have] taken all the law that lies in [my] power to prevent slander, I am a resident in Piercee these 23 years and never was brought to Court for Defamation or Battery and if your Honour would require it I could produce my Caractor [character] before my coming to Piercee, its very hard that I should sufer for womans gosiping and slandering togeder, I am at present a poor fisherman striving to suport a family of nine children and I hoape your Honour will take it into consideration as I had nider act nor part in the mater [matter] as aforesaid".

However, Johanna and William Moloney were found "guilty of defaming the character and reputation" of Isabella, wife of John Whitney, and had to pay costs and damages.

In Case 89, William and his wife, Johanna, and their son, William, were joint defendants in a suit charging them with assault and battery. William and Johanna were found to be not guilty, but their son, William, was found to be guilty and had to pay costs and damages to John Hays.9


1The admission record is in Le registre jounalier des malades de l'Hôtel-Dieu-de-Québec [1689-1876], and the burial act is in Le registre des mortuaires de l'Hôtel-Dieu-de-Québec [1723-1857]. Both registers are in the archives of the Augustines-de-la-miséricorde-de-Jesus du Monastère-de-l'Hôtel-Dieu-de-Québec. Microfilmed copies are also available at the Archives Nationales du Québec (ANQ).
2Claim to the Gaspé Land Claims Commission. However, the author's search of the 1770-1786 Muster Records of the 44th Regiment of Foot, at the Public Records Office (PRO), Kew, England, showed no record of William Maloney having been in the 44th Regiment of Foot.
3National Archives of Canada, RG 1, A-IV, Vol. 80; Archives of Ontario MS 400, Reel 16.
4Registre de St-Joseph de Carleton: 1773-1862; 1773-1862; Image 87 of 123; [p.] 167 (Ancestry.com. Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008. Original data: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.).
5Details of the petition process can be found in the Lower Canada Land Papers, RG 1 L 3L: Reel C-2493, Vol. 1, pp. 11-26, 263; Reel C-2494, Vol. 5, p.1678; Vol. 7, pp. 2352-59; Reel C-2496, Vol. 12, p. 3802; Reel C-2551, Vol. 151, pp. 74131-74136.
6[Registre de Saint-Michel-de] Percé: 1801-1941 (Longueuil, Québec: Diffusion généalogique Pepin [RN-CD45], 2003): Image 30490414 (septième (verso) et huitième feuillets).
7Records of the Provincial Court, Inferior District of Gaspé, Term at Percé. Archives Nationales du Québec (ANQ), Gaspé, QC:
August 1806, Case 38: TL26, S19, SS1 (1 A 014 06-07-001A-01; 1993-05-002 \ 1; 5 pages); TL26, S19, SS4 (1 B 002 06-10-001B-03; 1996-07-004 \ 121; pp. 32, 35)
August 1806, Case 53: TL26, S19, SS1 (1 A 014 06-07-001A-01; 1993-05-002 \ 1; 2 pages); TL26, S19, SS4 (1 B 002 06-10-001B-03; 1996-07-004 \ 121; pp. 39, 48)
August 1809, Case 161: TL26, S19, SS1 (1 A 014 06-07-001A-01; 1993-05-002 \ 1; 7 pages) and National Archives and Library (NAL/ABN), Ottawa, ON: August-September, 1809 Case 161: MG8, F25, vol.3, pp. 4, 5, 6, 8
8Records of the Provincial Court, Inferior District of Gaspé, Term at Percé. Archives Nationales du Québec (ANQ), Gaspé, QC: August 1807, Case 80: TL26, S19, SS1 (1 A 014 06-07-001A-01; 1993-05-002 \ 1; 5 pages); TL26, S19 SS4 (1 B 002 06-10-001B-03; 1996-07-004 \ 121; pp. 107, 115, 117, 118, 128); TL26, S19, SS11 (1 A 015 05-02-003A-01; 1993-05-002 \ 15; pp. 65, 67, 68, 83).
9Records of the Provincial Court, Inferior District of Gaspé, Term at Percé. Archives Nationales du Québec (ANQ), Gaspé, QC: August-September 1807, Case 89: TL26, S19, SS1 (1 A 014 06-07-001A-01; 1993-05-002 \ 1; 4 pages); TL26, S19, SS4 (1 B 002 06-10-001B-03; 1996-07-004 \ 121; pp. 111, 119, 129, 138); TL26, S19, SS11 (1 A 015 05-02-003A-01; 1993-05-002 \ 15; pp. 59, 60, 71, 84).


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