Religious and Ethnic Strife

[ St. Patricks\' Roman Catholic Church, Biddulph, 2005, Copyright Great Unsolved Canadian Mysteries Project, Jennifer Pettit,   ]

Leaving Ireland did not mean that the Donnellys could easily redefine their place in society. Nineteenth century Ontario was an environment shaped by race, ethnicity, religion, gender and class. Where people lived, how they voted, what shops and pubs they frequented and how they were treated depended on these factors. Ethnicity and religion in particular framed the experience of the Donnellys in Lucan. Their Irish background and their commitment to the Catholic faith were often at the root of their troubles. They lived on the “Roman Line,” so named for the Roman Catholic settlers who lived there. Yet, the Donnellys were friendly to Protestants as well, which created difficulties for them. A parish priest such as John Connolly could exert tremendous influence over people like the Donnellys who did not conform to his vision of a "proper Catholic."


Diaries, Journals or Reminiscences



Newspaper or Magazine Articles