Lennox and Addington Historical Society

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MADDEN - The Robert Madden Line, Napanee

"NAPANEE. Robert Madden has reached the Age of 92.

Robert Madden resides with his son, Percy R. Madden, and Mrs. Madden, one mile east of Napanee. On Saturday, Mr. Madden was ninety-two years of age.... Two years ago, members of the Madden family held a reunion, when fifty members representing four different branches of the family were present.

The members of the four different branches of the family who attended were descendants of John Madden, who was born in Ireland, near Dublin. John Madden came to America with his wife and settled in Philadelphia about the year 1760, where his first son, Robert, was born. Another brother remained in Ireland and became an English Church clergyman.

John Madden was the father of eight children, six boys and two girls, and died at the age of 98 years. He took his family to Vermont when the rebellion started and remained there during the war, until 1795, when he emigrated to Canada. They settled in Ontario, about twenty-three miles west of Kingston, near Napanee. The children of John Madden have settled in different parts of Canada.

Robert [Sr.], the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was among the earliest settlers in the County of Lennox. Among the children of this Robert Madden was William Madden, who was the father of the present Robert Madden. Other members of the family {ie., children of Robert Madden Sr.] were Stephen Madden and Andrew Madden, who for many years conducted a store in Napanee, James Madden who resides on the old homestead, and Mrs. John G. Fennel and Mrs. Bowen. Of the six members of the family only two are living, James and Robert [Jr.]

There were born to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Madden [Jr.] thirteen children, of whom five are living: Percy R. Madden, Norman Madden (who resides in Quebec), John Madden (of Holcomb, Washington), Mrs. John Schermehorn (Kingston), and Mrs. G.E. Pitts (Hamilton). Mrs. Robert Madden [Jr.] passed away on June 8, 1916."

The above article, by Gordon Smithson, was published in the Kingston Whig-Standard of March 21, 1933. It was reprinted by the Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society in their Newsletter, March-April, 1986.

Robert Madden Jr. (1842-1938) married Ruth E. Miller (1843/4-1916). She was a granddaughter of Andrew Miller, a United Empire Loyalist. Thier children who survived early childhood were Ida, who married John Schermehorn and moved to Kingston; William Madden; Etta, who married George Saundercook; Norman Madden who moved to Quebec; Nellie, who married G. Ernest Pitts of Hamilton; John Madden, who married Lettie Bates and went to the United States; Percy R. Madden; and Laura Madden.

The Maddens tended towards manufacturing and business, rather than farming. Their intermarriage with some of the most prominent Loyalist and business families of the Bay of Quinte area and elsewhere makes this an interesting line for study of inter-family alliances and upward mobility in the Confederation period. Other Maddens who came to the Bay of Quinte area directly from Ireland are very likely connected, although this has never been clearly worked through.

The sense of historic importance of the family held by the members themselves, as evidenced through the formal family reunion in 1931 is also of interest.

February, 1999

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