The Ireland Family in Kitley Township, Ontario

(photos and articles written and submitted by Cherylynn Ireland, 2020)

Isaac Ireland b.1776 d. circa 1833 and Susan Cornell b.1771 d.1826 came north to Kitley Township circa 1800 as part of a Cornell family group from near Schaghticoke, upper New York state, where their families had farms sharing a common boundary. Isaac and Susannah were married and had their first child, Elijah, before migrating to Kitley.

Isaac’s parents were Thomas Ireland b.1746 d.1811 and Sarah Seeley b. 1751 d. 1830. By the time Isaac came north, Thomas would have been approaching 60 years of age and had signed a petition 1775, to indicate his alliance with the Patriots/Rebels to avoid being “tarred & feathered” and having his farm confiscated.

Newspaper Article August 3rd, 1775 

Isaac is buried in the back portion of what is now Lehigh Cemetery beneath one of the large trees there. His headstone was a field stone, with the letters “IRE…” hand chiselled on one of the limestone field stones. There were three or four in a row, with inscriptions lost to the elements.

Darius West Ireland and his wife, Phoebe McManus are buried in Lehigh Cemetery. Darius is the grandson of Issac Ireland and Susan Cornell.

Darius’ parents were Lewis Denis Ireland b. 1800 d. 1884. married to Alice Johnson b. 1800 d. 1892

This is Darius West’s family line.


Susan Ireland

1)Gravestone of Susan (Cornell) Ireland b. 1771 near Schaghticoke, NY. married to Isaac Ireland. d. 1826. This is thought to be the oldest grave marker in Lehigh Cemetery.


Darius West Ireland

2) Darius West Ireland. b.1836 d.1917 Darius was Susan’s grandchild. This hand drawn portrait is thought to have been commissioned to commemorate his marriage to Phoebe McManus, his second wife. (His first wife, Harriet Wood, died in childbirth.)

3) The tombstone of Darius West Ireland and his wife, Phoebe McManus. Lehigh Cemetery.

4) Phoebe McManus and Darius West Ireland, in their later years.



5) Darius West Ireland, homestead, which his son with Phoebe McManus, James Bruce Ireland, inherited. (North of Concession 9. West of Lehigh’s Corners. Intersection of Highway 29 with Kitley Concession 9.)


6) James Bruce Ireland b. 1892. d. 1937 with his wife, Bessie Peer. b. 1908 d.1964. In the photo, Bessie is holding her 1st female child, Phoebe. In front are their two sons, Cleon and Clifford.


7) The family farm James inherited from his father, Darius West Ireland. Approximately, 100 acres.


8) Bessie Peer as a young woman.



9) James Bruce died of a stroke in 1937, at the age of 55. Eventually, the Ireland Family faced foreclosure. This is the new farm Bessie was able to acquire, consisting of 50 acres. (Concession 9, half a mile East of Lehigh’s Corners, intersection of Concession 9 and Highway 29.)


10) Bessie’s farmhouse. 2017.


11) Tombstone of James Bruce Ireland, Bessie Peer, and their youngest daughter, Alice Ireland, who died of cancer, at the age of 46. Lehigh Cemetery.



12) A photo of Alice as a young woman. 1958.


13) Bessie’s obituary.


14) Clifford Ireland b. 1927. d. 1998. First born of the union between Bessie Peer and James Bruce Ireland.



15) Eunice Mary Reilly b.1932. d. 2016. Wife of Clifford


16) Eunice & Clifford’s marriage in Belleville. 1956.


17) Clifford and Eunice’s tombstone. Lehigh Cemetery.


18) Cherylynn, Linda, Cathy at the Old Family Farm. Offspring of Clifford & Eunice.





10 thoughts on “The Ireland Family in Kitley Township

  1. Just wanted to point out that the concession number is noted incorrectly, Lehigh’s Corner is at the intersection of Hwy 29 and Concession 9. My grandparents owned the SuperTest gas station and garage at the intersection for many years and I grew up two lots east of the garage at lot 21/conc 9.

      • The Ontario Land Records are on line. It’s time consuming to locate and look up, by County, Township, Lot and concession number but it’s there. I don’t have the url for it so good luck.

  2. Of note: “my” Darius West Ireland family line, is not the only branch of the Ireland family emanating from Darius Ireland. Darius had four children through his first marriage with Harriet Wood. b. 1839 d. 1877. (Phoebe McManus was the second wife of Darius, with two children surviving infancy: James Bruce Ireland and his sister, Susan, who married a Fenlong.) Offspring of the first marriage:
    Nelson Fredrick b. 1864 d. 1946
    Ernest Franklin b. 1866 (or, 1869) d. 1937
    Alice Flossie b. 1870
    William Henry b. 1876
    Descendants of these children still reside in the Elizabethtown-Kitley Township area.

  3. Hi, Cherylynn.

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful images! My great-great grandmother was Darius’ sister, Lucinda Ireland (1826 – 1880) who married John Watts (1826 – 1917). I’m thrilled to see these photos of the Ireland family. Do you have any others from 19th century? I would love to see them.

    All the best,
    Your very distant cousin Leslie

  4. This was an amazing read! Thank you so much for publishing and sharing this! I’d always wondered about this branch of the Ireland family.
    Just a few things to add: Thomas Ireland (1745-1811) was a Loyalist, although he did not leave the US. He was put to taking the revolutionary pledge and signing a document in Newburg recognizing the patriot cause, but he refused. His name, along with other refusers, are published in the New York Journal in 1775 and in the published History of Newburg. He later signed but only in agreeing to abide by the prevailing continental measures of congress, not in support their actions/cause. He did not live long enough to follow the many of his Loyalist compatriots north to Canada, but Isaac — his son — did!
    Isaac (1776-1854) is not buried there in Lehigh with Susannah, though. Isaac married again to Esther Tallman and had several more children, from which I’m descended! He’s buried in the expansive Ireland family plot in Warkworth Cemetery in Percy Township, surrounded by many of his children, descendants and their progeny. I do have a photograph of his gravestone that I’d be happy to share, as well as a letter he penned to his brother Seely still living in the US regarding his new wife Esther, his lovely home in the Warkworth area, and his desire for them to strike up a correspondence so that they acquaint themselves while he and Seely settle estate matters. Isaac and his other brother Losee served in the 2nd Leeds, Flank Company during the War of 1812.
    Warmly, from your distantly-related Ireland cousin —

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