Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mention of Daniel Dunlea

Conception Bay, Newfoundland ( Fishing Rooms - Plantations)
http://www.the rooms.ca/ic_sites/fisheries/imag

The story of my 3rd Great Grandfather Daniel Dunlea, a young man from Ireland coming to a new land with hope of a better life for his family, has been passed down through generations as part of the Flynn Family History, without any official documentation to prove it is correct. My Grandfather's notes, are about the only written word available. No records have been found to date, recording his existence, his travel or even his death.

In a recent telephone conversation with my 2nd cousin, Joe Flynn, he shared with me, that he had found a reference to land occupied by Daniel Dunlea. Searching the Newfoundland Grand Banks Genealogy Site, Daniel Dunlay appears in a file of Miscellaneous Deeds and Wills of Patrick Corbit and William Danson. This Indenture dated, "the fourteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty five." Patrick Corbit of Harbour Main, Conception Bay Newfoundland was a Planter and William Danson of Harbour Grace Newfoundland was a Merchant.

This legal agreement between the two men, was a trade agreement of Fishing Rooms and Plantation Situate laying in Harbour Main.  The document gives a description of the property involved in the settlement and of the neighboring properties as well as it's owners. Located in the second paragraph it states," by the river of Harbour Main on the SW by Daniel Dunlay."

Joe explains the spelling of Dunlea is slightly different, and that most surnames go through a transformation over time and with immigration to new countries.  There were O'Dunlea in Southwest County Cork, Ireland, first the O' was dropped and then it was Anglicized to Dunlay.  Not to mention, that in the old days, spelling was somewhat of a freelance business.

I find this new bit of information very exciting, the time period fits the family story, the property location is correct. This may be a new direction in researching Daniel Dunlea.

Thank You, Joe


Note - In Newfoundland, the term "Planter" refers to the owner of a fishing premises (a "Plantation") or a vessel.  In the early days, a resident fisherman ( as opposed to an English Migratory Fisherman) was considered a "Planter"


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Brook

Photo taken by Helen Flynn Hynes
The Brook on Flynn's Hill
 Up the hill, from my Grandparents place, a stream of water runs down the hill.  It is located right next to "Uncle Bill's house, separating his and his son Michael's house.
My memory of this brook is slight. I remember, several long wooden planks stretching from bank to bank at it's narrowest point. I remember, cousins Clare and Anastasia  running effortlessly across the make-shift bridge, and I pausing with caution before proceeding.  I remember, briefly looking up the hill following the line of rocks and listening to it's rhythmic sound.  Then being called by my cousins, "come on" encouraging me to join them.
This brook was located just below the window of the "Girls Room" in "Uncle Bill's" house. My cousin Helen shared this photo, stating, "This was once our swimming pool when we were tiny. I remember at least 5 of us fitting in there".
  "It still sings me to sleep at night". Helen Flynn Hynes


Friday, March 15, 2013

"The Old Man's Chair"

When my grandparent's house was sold around 1990, Uncle Ray had told cousin Helen they had taken everything out of the house that they wanted and if there was anything she was interested in, to have a look.  She remembered an old chair, that she saw at my gandparent's house, looking around she found it and decided to take it. Her father, William was still alive at the time and she questioned him about the chair that she thought to be Uncle Stephen's (my grandfather). Her father replied, "No that was the Old Man's Chair, from the old house".

Helen states, "Now you can only imagine how happy I was to realize that I now possess my Great Grandfather's Chair." She goes on to say, that she has since had it refinished but tried to retain as much of it's original character as possible.

              Stephen Flynn Sr.
           Photo taken abt 1920

The chair looks great, Helen!     
Thank you for taking such good care of this family treasure and for sharing this story and photo of "The Old Man's Chair"


A Painting of "The Mountain"

"The Mountain" by Helen Flynn Hynes

I was very fortunate to receive this photo of a painting my 2nd cousin Helen made, back in 2002, she explains,
"A picture I painted of the mountain as it looked when I was a child".  Nothing more needs to be said!

Thank you Helen!, so very much,  for sharing your beautiful painting!


Willian Flynn's Family

Wiliam A. Flynn's Children

Front - Lt to Rt, Oldest to Youngest
Michael, Mary, Catherine, Gloria,
Back Rt to Lt
John, William, Helen, Mildred, Isabelle, Joseph, Anastasia, Clare, and Frank
Photo taken Fall 2012
Wiliam A. Flynn
with 9 of his 13 children taken about 1955

William Flynn was my Grandfather's nephew who came to live with him on Flynn's Hill after his parents died of Typhoid Fever, when he was abt 7 years old. He married Helen Frances Healy in 1938 and built a house just up the hill from my Grandfather's place. They raise a family of 13 children. Yes that's right! Thirteen Children.  That means, Thirteen 2nd cousins for me, who grew up on Flynn's Hill.

My brothers, sister and I often played with "Uncle Bill's" younger children Clare, Anastasia and Frank while visitng our grandparents on Flynn's Hill.

Recently, I  connected with some of them, Clare, Gloria and Helen through Social Media. Helen has shared some photos of her father's house and reveals she has lots of wonderful stories about growing up on Flynn's Hill.  She states, " I can describe each vegetable garden, every path, the brook, the mountain in great detail, and could even draw sketches if necessary".

I look forward to hearing all of their stories of growing up and learning more about their father, as well!

I spoke with 2nd cousin John, by telephone last fall about getting in touch with his brother Joe, And just the other day, I received a call from Joe!  Yes! that is correct! Joe Flynn who wrote the note to my mother about his visit to see Uncle Martin in New York back in 1993. He received my message that I was looking to talk with him. Joe informs me, that a copy of the tape recording of his visit is on it's way.  He explains that he had heard about Uncle Martin who left Harbour Main and moved to New York more than 60 years prior. Traveling in the the states, he decided to find him and meet him ( with help from my mother). 

Joe has been researching The Flynn Family History as well, has read my Blog, and already has been helpful with accuracy on dates and additional information.  We intend to stay in touch and work together.

The above photo of William Flynn's Children was from their most recent reunion, taken Fall 2012.  How wonderful that they are able to all get together, especially with being such a large family. It is really quite an accomplishment!


This photo, was taken the summer of 1966 or 1967 on Flynn's Hill.  It is one of my favorite photos!.  Nanny is there on the Lt, "Uncle Dad" relaxing in her arms. 2nd cousin Isabelle, me, my brother Mike and 2nd cousin Frank.


The photo on the left, was taken around 1966 visiting with my second cousins in Nanny's Sitting Room.

Lt to Rt

Clare, "Me" and Anastasia


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kiss a Cod Fish?

Steve ' Kissing the Cod" Newfoundland Flickr - Photo Sharing!
640 x 427 - 102 KB - jpeg
I asked my 2nd cousin Helen, what exactly was "Newfie Screech", she explained it was a dark Jamaican Rum shipped in barrels to Newfoundland which is then bottled right there on the island.  She goes on to explain that for a visitor to become a "Honorary Newfoundlander", you must drink a shot of rum and kiss a cod fish!. This is part of a Newfoundland Tradition called being "Screeched In"

Ok? I have kissed a dog before but never a codfish!  Neither my Mom, Aunt Agnes nor Uncle Ray have ever told me of such a ceremony before, so I decided to look into this further.

What I found was, that this type of ceremony must be conducted by a "True Newfoundlander", (someone born in Newfoundland) who may dress up like a Fisherman to conduct the ceremony. Honorees start with a shot of Newfoundland Screech then learn and recite some Newfoundland verbiage that goes like so. I have included it's translation for you, as well.

"Deed I",   -   ( Indeed, I am )

"Me Old Cock",  -  ( An Olde English term of endearment, meaning Buddy or Friend )

"Long may your Big Jib Draw!"  -  A Mariner's term meaning Good Luck - May there always be wind in your sails!

Once you have mastered this verse, (and they won't let you continue until you have),  
then comes the kissing of a real Cod Fish!

If you do everything right, you will then be given a official certificate making you a "Honorary Newfoundlander!"

Helen states this is a very controversial ceremony, some embrace it, others consider it derogatory.  Usually a great bit of fun! and most tourist enjoy it.

Something tells me, I better start practicing!

Thanks Helen!


Friday, March 1, 2013

What is Newfie Screech?

My last Blog Entry prompt the question, from my dear longtime friend Kim, "What is Newfie Screech?" I think there are many who have the same question, so I did a little research.

The Story of Screech

The Great Exchange
Long before the Canadian liquor board was created, The Jamaican Rum that was eventually to be known as screech was a mainstay of the traditional Newfoundland diet.

At this time, salt fish was being shipped to the West Indies in exchange for rum.  This resulted in fish becoming the national dish of Jamaica and rum becoming the traditional drink of Newfoundlanders.

The Early Days
Not being overly concerned with the alcohol content, the early fisherman tended to drink the rum at incredibly high sterngth with no attempt to temper the taste.

When the government took control of the alcohol trade in the early 20th century, they put the rum in sophisticated, unlabelled bottle and fortunately did not alter the rum itself.
A Hospitable Host
This delightful product may have continued indefinitely as a nameless rum except for the influx of American servicemen to Newfoundland during World War II.

As the story goes, the commanding officer of the first detachment was taking advantage of Newfoundland hospitality for the first time and was offered a drop of rum as an after-dinner drink.

The Screecher
Seeing his host toss back the liquor with nary a quiver, the unsuspecting American adhered to local custom and downed the drink in one gulp.

The look of shock on the American's face was overshadowed by his bloodcurdling howl as he managed to regain his breath. Sympathetic persons from miles around rushed to the house to assist the poor man and of course to satisfy their curiosity as to what was going on.

Tis the rum, me son
Among the first to arrive was a garrulous old American sergeant who pounded on the door and demanded “What the cripes was that ungodly screech?”

The taciturn Newf who had answered the door replied simply, “The screech?” ‘Tis the rum, me son.” Thus was born a legend. As word of the incident spread, more soldiers began trying this mysterious rum, adopting it as their favorite.

A Legend is born
The liquor board immediately pounced on the name and reputation and began labeling Famous Newfoundland Screech.

Over the years, the alcohol content of Screech has been toned down and the flavor mellowed, so that in 2003, Screech Rum won a gold medal for excellent taste at the International Rum Festival. Today, Screech Rum is an international favorite amongst all rum aficionados.

In my next Blog Entry I will explain how to be come a "Honorary Newfoundlander".  I will give you one clue, "Newfie Screech" has something to do with it.

The above information was obtained through the website http://www.screechrum.com/story check it out for more information.