Thursday, April 7, 2016

F is for Frank Gleeson

I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016), where we write 26 blog posts featuring each letter of the alphabet.

F is for Frank Gleeson

Francis “Frank” Thomas Gleeson was my paternal great granduncle, and the younger brother of my second great grandmother, Anna Gleeson who married John H. Sullivan. 
Francis Thomas "Frank" Gleeson
He was born 29 December 1877 in Ontario, Canada, the tenth child of John Gleeson and Margaret Tierney, and baptized at the Basilique Notre Dame in Ottawa on the 1 January 1878.[1]

Until yesterday, I wasn't sure when he was born and didn't know where he was baptized. He didn’t appear in the baptism records of St. Philip Church in Richmond, Ontario, where the family was living and his older brothers and sisters had been baptized. His parents moved the family to Dakota Territory around 1879-80. It was possible they had moved a little earlier and he was born during the travel or in Dakota Territory. However, he had always claimed that he was born in Canada.

So how do I know this is the “right” Francis Thomas Gleeson? Here is the image of the baptism:
Baptism of Francis Thomas Gleeson, 1 January 1878

Here is the transcription, the best I could do with the poor handwriting and the French language:
Annee 1878, B1 Le premier janvier mil huit cent soixante-dix-huit nous soussigné avant baptizé Francis Thomas, in le vingt-neuf decivar du légitime marriage de John Gleson et de Margarette Tierney. Parrain Philipp Lowry & marraine Suzanne Dubreil. G. Bouillon, Ptr.
Here is my attempted translation of the French:
The first of January 1878, we the undersigned before baptized Francis Thomas Gleson, born 29 December of legitimate marriage of John Gleson and Margarette Tierney. Godfather Philip Lowry & godmother Suzanne Dubriel.
So my analysis of the baptism record is as follows:

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica,
Wikimedia Commons
The Basilique Notre Dame in Ottawa was not far from Richmond, so it was possible that the family used this church for the baptism. His parents were listed as John Gleson and Margaretta Tierney and although the spelling of their names were off, the names coincide with his parents’ names. The sponsor, Philip Lowery, was Frank’s uncle, who married Ellen Mary Tierney, Margaret’s sister.  For the other sponsor, Suzanne Dubriel, I am not sure who she is. Margaret’s oldest sister, Elizabeth Tierney, married Charles Dubreuille, but none of their known children match this name.

[1] Ottawa, Basilique Notre Dame, "1876-1880," 1878, no. B1, Francis Thomas Gleson, database & images, "Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967," ( : accessed 6 April 2016).

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.


  1. How wonderful to have the photos and the records!

    I'm at


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