Saturday, October 29, 2011

Surname Saturday: Foy(e) and Ireland Families, Dane County, Wisconsin

During the years in Springdale, not only did  James P. McPherson connect with families from Scotland, he also connected with families that in the future would become part of the McPherson extended family.  The Foye (also spelled as Foy) and the Ireland familes were two of the latter, as three of the eleven children of James P. and Mary Burns McPherson would take mates from these two families, which were interconnected.  The first born daughter, Ann Adamson McPherson married Alonzo Foye;  the second son, James Burns McPherson married Elizabeth (Kempfer) Ireland; and Emma Ellen McPherson, the 4th  daughter, married Hank Ireland.

From family stories, I had always known that the Foye and Ireland families were somehow connected.  I was delighted to find more information on the Foye-Ireland connection when I read the following memory by Orpha Chandler More on page 89 of the  Centennial History of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948:

The Foye Family
As told by Orpha Chandler Moore
My grandmother Mary Foye, was born in Canada.  her maiden name was Mary Campbell, her father Scotch and am not sure but think her mother was French.  She married Henry Kempfer and there were five children ofd that family, three boys and two girls.  The girls were Flora and Henrietta.  I don't know the boys' names.  Henrietta was born after her father's death and was named after him.
They lived in Quebec and lived on a farm of some sort for after a storm the fish that were washed in  from the river or ocean were raked up and used to fertilize the land. 

Later she married my Grandfather Foye who came there from Vermont. I don't know anything of his family, only  Grandmother said he was French.  There were six children in that family, two girls and four boys, Mary, Aprinda, Winthrop, Steven, Alonzo, and Milton.  Mary married a man by the name of Wright,  She is buried in Waukesha.  She had two children. Mary and Jennie.  My grandmother brought them up.  Mary married Charlie Lewis.  Jennie married Carl Krause.

My grandfather and grandmother brought the Foye family with them from Canada and I think they came by boat to Milwaukee as they lived in a wood chopper's cabin in what was know as the Waukesha Woods.  She cooked and baked bread for her family around the stumps using iron kettles.  She had no stove.

Grandfather walked from there to Mt. Vernon and took up government land near the Big Spring.  I do not know just how long they lived in that cabin but until they built their log cabin in Mt. Vernon, I suppose.  i am not sure Henrietta Kempfer came when they did.  I think she was married to Septimus Ireland before she came here.  Two of her children Dick and Lou came to see us before Grandmother passed away.  The Kempfer boys were left in Canada on the farm.  Grandmother had eleven children and raised two grandchildren.

As Grandmother lived with us a good share of the time it fell to my lot to stay home with her much against my will and I should remember more of the things she told me.

Now, for those of those of you who are interested in such things, here is the documentation that the Foye and Ireland families were indeed in Dane County, Wisconsin.  The following is a historical outline via the  Federal Census, 1850 through 1880, of the Foye and Ireland families.  Members of these two families who married children of James P. and Mary McPherson, and thus are related in a cuzinly way, aredenoted by Bold Face.

The family of John and Mary Foye are listed in the 1850 Federal Census for Eagle, Waukesha, Wisconsin, probably shortly after they immigrated from Canada.  His occupation was listed as a farmerthey had six children living with them, Stephen(17), Mary (16), Winthrop (12), A(Aprinda ) (9), Alonzo (6), and Milton (2).

By 1857, the Foyes had arrived in Springdale, as J.P.'s diary notes suit between Spears vs Foy during October and December.

The 1860 Federal Census for Springdale, Dane, Wisconsin, also list the Foye  family as living close to the McPhersons. At that time John and Mary Foye had two children and one grandchild living with them, L.M. (Alonzo, who married Ann A. McPherson) (16), Milton (12), and Mary Foye Wright's daughter, Mary Wright (4).

The 1870 Federal Census for Springdale, listed John (70) and Mary (69) living alone; however, next door was the residence of Alonzo and Ann Adamson McPherson Foye, and their son William (4 1/2) and two granddaughters of John and Mary Foye, Jennette and Mary Wright.

In 1880, Mary Foye is listed as living with the family of her daughter,  Aprinda Foye Chandler. Aprinda and John Chandler's children were listed as Ella (21), Orpha (13), Bertie (11), and Willie (8).

The connection between the Foye family and the Ireland was Mary Foye's daughter Henrietta who married Septimus B. Ireland.  Henrietta was Mary's daughter from her marriage to Henry Kempfer.  Henry died before the birth a Mary's baby girl, whom she named after her husband and the father of the child.

By 1860, according to the Federal Census for Primrose, Dane, Wisconsin, Septimus and Henrietta Ireland had relocated from Canada to Wisconsin.  The following children were living with them, Elizabeth, who would marry my great grandfather James Burns McPherson (9),  Mary (7), Lucy (5), Septy (3) and Henry(9 mos), who would much later marry Emma Ellen McPherson .

The 1870 Federal Census for Montrose, Dane, Wisconsin, lists Septimus and Henrietta Ireland and five children, Lucy (15), Septy (13), Henry (10), James (8), and Mildred E. (3).

In 1880 according to the Primrose, Dane, Wisconsin, Federal Census, Alonzo and Ann A. Foye are listed with two sons, Willie (10) and Luie (4), and Alonzo's nephew Henry Ireland (20).

Now finally, after all these years, I finally have a more clear picture of the wonderfully confusing world of the McPhersons, Foyes and Irelands.

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


  1. I really enjoy the connections you're making Joan -it's becoming a community history. I have Irelands in my family tree (married in) but nothing to do with USA.

  2. Thanks, Cassmob, glad you enjoy the connections --and the community. BTW
    I think our Ireland family(married in, too) came from Canada, but not sure where they were before.