Fonds F01847 - Foley family fonds

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Foley family fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00239 F01847

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1845-1976 (Creation)
    Foley (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

5 m of textual records

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Biographical history

Descended from Irish, Roman Catholic stock, Declan Foley arrived via Chicago, in the newly settled community of Westport, Canada West, in the early 1850's. He soon established a general store and by the following decade, he had begun, along with several other family members, a thriving mercantile, forwarding, and pharmacy business. With his store located on the banks of Upper Rideau Lake, he was able to provide service to both the agricultural/lumbering and Rideau Canal shipping communities. For nearly seventy years D. Foley and Co. was an important member of Westport's commercial life.

John Protaise Foley, a son of Declan's, opened a law office in Westport, following his graduation from Osgoode Hall in Toronto. For over forty years he maintained a successful general practice, engaging primarily in real estate and estate law. Following his death in 1942, his sister Ursula carried on his affairs, and those of the general store for a lenghty period, as she slowly wound down both interests.

James Foley, a brother of John's, aspired to a clerkship in the Senate, in his early years. Over time his efforts were rewarded as he finally attained the position of Clerk of the Crown in Chancery for Canada, a post he held through the first two decades of the twentieth century. As such, his name appeared as the author of many publications dealing with federal elections and their attendant electoral maps.

Custodial history

The Foley Family fonds was donated to Queen's University Archives in the autumn of 1994, by Ursula Gilhooly (a great-granddaughter of Declan's) and her husband Frank. The records had been housed for many years in various locales within the house and general store overlooking Upper Rideau Lake, in the town of Westport, Ontario.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, financial records, subject files, deeds, and wills relating to the legal practice conducted by John Protaise Foley in the same town (1845-1976); correspondence pertaining to James Foley, Clerk of the Senate, (1882-1896); scrapbooks. This fonds, predominantly covering the period 1869 to 1956, contains financial records from D. Foley & Co., a general merchantile and forwarding business located in Westport, Ontario (1875-1944).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Ursula and Frank Gilhooly, and Mrs. Margaret Roberts - 1994


As the material arrived in no discernable order (the original order had been lost due to numerous moves over the years), an artificial arrangement was established by the archivist.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

F3 A3.9

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Copyright restrictions may apply. Please consult archivist

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No further accruals are expected

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  • Shelf: 5134
  • Shelf: F3 A3.9