#52Ancestors asks bloggers to "have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”
This week's blog post is about my ancestor William Moynahan (1st cousin 3x removed) who lost his arm in farm machinery in 1902 and would later become a well known auctioneer throughout Essex County, Ontario.
It was difficult to find photos of Essex auctions at the turn of the century so I have borrowed photos from other jurisdictions (mostly Alberta) from the same time period to give a sense of the life of an auctioneer in the early 1900s.
|Poster from a Peterboro, Ontario auction|
|Barnet's Auction Sale: Auctioneer |
|Barnet's Auction Sale: Selling livestock|
William Moynahan was born the 1st of December 1878 in Maidstone, Ontario, Canada. He was the son of John Moynahan (1832-1906) and Maragaret McDonald (1848-1925)
William was the first born and had three sisters: Mary Allen (1881-1944), Catherine (1882) Margaret Walsh (1884) and a brother John (1886-1918) who also auctioned with William in 1918.
William Moynahan lost his arm in a farm accident (January 1902).
The clipping below shows that in 1918, William auctioned for a time with his brother John Moynahan (1886-1918) under the name in the Essex Free Press of "Moynahan Bros. Auctioneers".
William's brother John was sick with influenza that later developed into pneumonia. He eventually died in November of 1918 on the very farm where he was born on Middle Road in Maidstone. Earlier in 1918 John had been engaged in the cattle business for several years as well as general farming.
|Auction February 4, 1918|
Moynahan Bros., Auctioneers
|1927 Municipal Elections|
Over the years, William Moynahan partnered with many other auctioneers according to the Essex Free Press:
- Moynahan and Powell Auctioneers (1916)
- Moynahan Bros. (1918)
- W. Moynahan - Auctioneer of the County (1922)
- Short and Moynahan (1924)
- Cook and Moynahan (1924, 1926)
- Short and W. Moynahan (1925)
- Short and Moynahan - The "Essex Auctioneers" (1927)
- Moynahan and Wismer Auctioneers RR4 Amherstburg (1938, 1939)
|Essex Free Press (Essex, ON), 15 Jan 1926, p. 4|
|Essex Free Press Feb 24, 1922|
I searched desperately for William's date of death and place of final rest. He never married and was last mentioned in his sister's (Mary (Moynahan) Allen) obituary in June 1944 (below). So I knew that William was still alive in the mid 1940s.
I located a William Moynahan who died Mar. 6, 1950 and was buried in the Sun Parlor Home Cemetery for Senior Citizens in Leamington but I could not be sure it was "my William". The cemetery listing did not indicate a date of birth.
I searched in vain for a 1950 obituary at the Windsor Star or the Leamington Post and thought that I would likely have to order his official Ontario death certificate to verify if in fact it was the same William.
I wrote to the contributors of the Cemetery Project online database for the Home cemetery and they said there were no more additional details on file.
And then I found it! In the Essex Free Press on Page 4!
|Essex County Auctioneer Essex Free Press (Essex, ON), 10 Mar 1950, p. 4|
|William Moynahan's memorial now features his obituary|
with thanks to Douglas Gammon.
I am so happy that William Moynahan's story will now be known!