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The Road to St. Brendan's.

"Ah go my children, go away, obey the inspiration.
Go with thy manntling hopes of health and youthful expectations.
Go clear the forests, climb the hills, and lay the railroad lines.
Come let us seek a living place and leave the land that's dying."


 


        Out of Ireland they came, by the hundreds of thousands. They and others like them from other lands, full of hopes, dreams and 'youthful expectations' forged the new world into what it is today. They mapped the lands, worked the forests and climbed the hills. They fought the wars as soldiers, on the streets as policemen or firefighters, and in newfoundland, as they would do in so many other ocenside places, they caught the fish.

        Out of Ireland too came the sons of O'Heyne, spilling out from County Galway the clan landed and spread, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Boston, New York. Wherever there was a gateway they strode through it in pursuit of their own hopes and dreams, their own destinies. Destinies that would see one become mayor of Boston John B. HynesRon Hynes   stake his claim in Canada's music world, and another who would lose his life along with so many others in the World Trade Center collapse September 11th 2001, New York Firefighter  Captain Walter Hynes . Extended family, clan members, sons of O'Heyne all.

        Another Hynes though made that journey across the seas from Ireland to land and found his own line and branch in Newfoundland. Family history unfortunately doesn't at the moment say exactly where in Ireland he was from, nor does it give us the year of his birth, nor even when exactly he landed in Newfoundland. James however did come, made his home and founded his line.

        Born in the late 1700's, he first officially appears in the records of Newfoundland in 1815 on taking to wife one Rebecca Bryant (or possibly Bryan, there being some debate about this) at King's Cove on Bonavista Bay. From that we can assume that most likely James had been in Newfoundland for some time before marrying. It is hard to imagine that he went directly from Ireland to land in a more remote area of the province.

        It is more likely (and somewhat supported by family memory) that he landed at  Ferryland , at the time not only a major British port of call, but also, and perhaps all the more important in that day and age, a community that was not only Catholic, but one with an already established Irish community.

        From Ferryland  the story goes he would make stop for a time in  Holyrood , another primarily Irish and Catholic settlement on Conception Bay. (Note: Another Hynes branch would be founded in Holyrood about the same time frame as Phillip Hynes (relationship to James unknown) would begin his own family there in the earliest part of the 1800's, some of who's descendants can be found in the area there even to this day.

        As said earlier, James first appears officially at King's Cove where was found the Roman Catholic church that served the Central Bonavista Bay communities. Home for James at that time was nearby  Greenspond Island, a fishing community which would be his home for the decade or two to come. It's not recorded whether james and rebecca had any children during their marriage, nor is it known exactly when Rebecca passed away, but sometime before 1825 James would marry again, this time to an Elizabeth (Betsy) Noonan of the nearby  Gooseberry Islands .

        The greatest challenge to fishing in the early 1800's (as it remains even today) was in 'getting to the fish', Greenspond served that purpose for a time, but obviously not well enough for james as soon he and Betsy would pack themselves up and off they would be to settle within the Gooseberry Islands community, closer to the fish for certain, and again a place with a small Roman Catholic community (Greenspond had been almost entirely protastant). By this time James, and his grown sons were running their own schooners, fishing the bay, and like most others of the time, fishing the Labrador coast as well.

        In her wonderful article on the history of  St Brendan's Tina Broderick Martin puts the Hynes family as moving to St Btrndan's near the early 1880's where James apparently would finally settle for the few remaining years of his life (assuming he is still alive at that point, but again family history does say he as well as his sons and their families settled together).

        St Brendan's would remain family home for the Hynes family for the next 30 or 40 years (Though some of the girls would move away to nearby  Gambo with their Cashin husbands when part of that family moved their), until the family would begin it's slow spread across the rest of Canada and into the US as well.

        Few of the Hynes' remain in St Brendan's now though many of the families who are there even now have a measure of the Hynes blood in their own backgrounds, James' descendants though have taken roots in many another place across Canada, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, all have their own pockets of his line....and who knows, perhaps one day some of us might call St Brendan's home again as well......
 


From Helvick Head to Hescut Point: The St Brendan's Irish
 An article by Tina Broderick Martin
 
 
 
 
 


In memory of those who like Capt. Hynes gave their lives that day.
As a former firefighter myself I sat and watched in horror as not one but both towers collapsed knowing full well that the numbers of those within would still be in the thousands, knowing too that among those thousands would be many a police officer or firefighter, men and women, who truly do, protect and serve.



 
 

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